pacific masters swimming

We offer adults in Northern California and Northwestern Nevada the opportunity to participate in a lifelong fitness and/or competitive swimming program.
Pacific Masters Mission statement: The purpose of Pacific Masters Swimming is to encourage and promote physical fitness and enjoyment of swimming for adults 18 years of age and over through a program that supports clubs, coaches, facilities, education, competition and social opportunities.

Pacific Masters News and Events

The June 7th edition of the Pacific Masters Update contains information about the following:

Events and Clinics

  • Open Water and Pool Competitions
  • Community Talk and Social: The Mid-Life Crisis at 47-52 Years of Age Thursday, June 10, 7:00 PM
  • Pandemic ePostal Challenge Series
  • Mountain View Masters: Non-Free Triple Threat ePostal June 1 - 30
  • USMS: June Summer Fitness Challenge June 1 - 15
  • USMS: 5K/10K ePostal National Championships May 15 - Sept 15
  • USMS Short Course National Championship  July 21-25, Greensboro, North Carolina

Pacific Masters News - details in Update

  • Pacific Masters Monthly Meeting June 16, Doors Open at 6:45, Meeting at 7:00 PM

USMS News

  • Open Water National Championship Bids Open through August 1
  • Try Masters Swimming Month

Clubs and Coaches

  • Coaching Open Water Swimmers Video
  • Kerry O'Brien Inducted Into Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame By Jenn Hwang
  • Passing of Verne Scott By Nancy Ridout

Editor's Note

  • PRIDE In Swimming

Please send suggestions for Update articles to the Update Editors.

Kerry O'Brien Inducted Into Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame

Coach Kerry O'Brien

Long-time swim coach Kerry O'Brien of Walnut Creek Masters has been inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame. Kerry recently retired from coaching after coaching the Walnut Creek Masters for over 40 years. He was voted USMS Coach of the Year in 1987. In 2008, he was awarded the Grassroots Coaching Award. That award is now known as "The Kerry O'Brien Coaches Award".

Kerry had a huge impact on his team. He helped swimmers learn to swim, break records, and win awards. He even babysat some of the babies for the parents who brought their kids to swim practice.

As a swimmer, I kept jumping around teams because I was moving and switching jobs. In the end, I always found myself coming back to Walnut Creek. I would commute from Alameda to Walnut Creek to Fremont because I knew the benefit of Kerry's coaching. He created a great culture on the team. Walnut Creek Masters is a large team, but it has a small team feel.

Coach of the Year Presentation Video

Donita Flecker, this year’s winner of the Coach of the Year Award, did an exceptional job pivoting during the pandemic and offering her small fleet of swimmers a safe refuge from daily challenges.

Donita has been the coach of Sebastopol Masters Aquatic Club (SMAC) since 2007. While some clubs struggled to launch a COVID-friendly Masters program, Donita overcame obstacles at the local pool, swiftly re-started workouts, and managed to increase participation in SMAC by an impressive 90% in the process. Many swimmers currently on the team have been with her from the beginning, and some have just this year started benefitting from Donita’s skillful coaching. She is equally as attentive to those testing the waters and learning about interval training as she is to the more experienced speedsters.

Pandemic ePostal Challenge Series

in the pool

We miss our competitions. They motivate us in practice, provide community, get our adrenaline going and provide joy. Until we are all able to be on the pool deck together, Pacific Masters offers the Pandemic ePostal Challenge Series.

Pacific Masters, or one of its member teams, will host an ePostal each month until we resume in-person competitions open to all. To add spice we are turning this series of ePostals into a competion, the Pandemic ePostal Challenge Series. Swimmers can earn points in their best two events in each ePostal. These points will be combined across all ePostals in the series. When the series concludes there will be awards for the top point recipient in each age group. We will also acknowledge those who swim the greatest number of total events.

Pacific Masters Service Awards for 2020

The Pacific Masters Service Awards for 2020 were announced at the Annual Celebration Meeting on November 15th. Pacific Masters couldn't be successful without its volunteers. They represent the unsung heroes in every club and Masters activity in Pacific Masters.

Nancy Ridout Award for Distinguished Service: Phyllis Quinn
Contributor of the Year: Karen Harris
Appreciation Awards: Richard Burns; Carol Nip; Laura Shope; Greg Stoner
Personal Achievement Awards: Catherine Breed; Google Relay (Craig Robinson, Joe Gardner, Erik Haugen, Sven Mawson, Collin Johnston, Tom Dowd, Rob Gray, and Joe Young)
Peggy Lucchesi Award: Bonnie Tsui

2020, A Very Strange Year

MEMO masters workout at the beach in Alameda <<...>>

In one of our early organizing committee meetings for the 2020 virtual Annual Celebration and Meeting, I volunteered to make a video about this year for Pacific Masters Swimming. I quickly realized that there were no activities during the year, no content to work with. I also never made a video in my life.

The solution was to ask members to send in their stories about how they weathered the pandemic. Many of you were gracious enough to share your stories. That solved the content problem. I still needed to turn it into a video.

While exploring my options, I kiddingly asked my 11-year-old grandson if he could make a video. He'd never made one either, but unlike me, he didn't know what he didn't know. Together we produced this video capturing the essence of Pacific Masters Swimming during 2020. You can view it here.

By: Rich Burns

Great Books for Swimmers and Water Lovers

These days, the closest I’ve come to going for a swim has been going for a walk through the park and pausing at the chain link fence protecting my local pool from people like me. When the Shelter-in-Place order was first announced, I had just returned from a lovely swim and felt great. How long could this lockdown possibly last?

It’s lasted long enough for me to revisit many of my favorite swimming-related books, as well as dive into a few new ones. Below is a list of some classic, must-read, books as well as a few new, or lesser-known ones that deserve your attention. I’m an open-water baby, so my picks lean towards tales of wild swimming, stories about endurance athletes and books about the healing nature of water. I hope you’ll find a few on this list to tide you over until you are next able to jump in and enjoy the water yourself.

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