Competitive swimmers recognize that the most difficult events are the 200 fly, 400 Individual Medley and the 1650 free. The 400 IM consists of 100 each of the fly, back, breast and free. In the Brute swim, competitors complete the three events consecutively. The Mini Brute swim is only slightly easier with a 100 fly, 200 IM and 1000 free.
The postal Brute swim originated with the Davis Aquatic Masters in 2009. Masters swimmers from around the country swim the event during the month of November. National results are compiled, with swimmers being ranked in each of the five year age divisions. Results are announced in January.
Thirty-two Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters took the Brute swims challenge. The TCAM swimmers ranged in age from 22 to 75.
Jenny Van Blaricom, 57 swam the Brute swim for the ninth consecutive year while Sheryl Parola, 69, Tim Trujillo, 44 and Susan White, 75, raced for the eighth time. Impressively, Trujillo’s eight swims have varied less than one minute, while Parola’s times ranged over 2:30 minutes.
Susan Loyd, 58 raced the longer Brute for the seventh time. Her final time was within 10 seconds of last year’s swim.
After a five year hiatus, Casey Slater, 45 had an impressive swim with a final time of 28:42.90. Her five Brute swims ranged within only 40 seconds of each other. She set new team records in the 200 fly, 2:37.55, 400 IM, 5:43.42 and 1650 free, 28:42.90. Slater had the fastest time for the TCAM swimmers.
Racing in only their second Brute swim, Greg Jacobus, 65 and Josie Alomia-Brown, 34 set new personal bests in two of their events. Jacobus dropped time in his fly and IM plus he improved almost 1:30 in his overall time. Alomia-Brown shaved time in her fly and IM.
New personal bests were set in the 1650 free by Eric Roberson, 42 and Matt Frediani, 46. Both swam the Brute for the first time with Roberson improving his free by 28 seconds, while Frediani dropped 14 seconds.
Swimming strong Brute swims included Karen Kessel, 67, Stuart Welsh, 60, Peter Oliver, 59, Jim Lucich, 57, Faylan Cannon, 53, Paul McIlroy, 51, Kelli Slater, 44, Julie Baker, 40, and Lisa Hieb-Stock, 36.
Tackling the Brute swim for the first time were Lorena Arellano, 50, Karen Aldridge, 41, Karen Nickols, 40, and Skip Haugen, 22.
In the Mini Brute swim, John Watkins, 45 in only his second swim dropped over a minute in his overall time. Watkins set new bests in all three of his events, most significantly improving 52 seconds in his 1000 free.
Margott Weltin, 56 set a new overall best in the mini by 29 seconds. She had personal bests in the fly and free portions of her swim.
Setting a strong pace in her third Mini Brute was Angel Woodall, 42.
Making their debut in their first Mini Brute were Jon Mahanna, 69, Martha Buthmann, 64, Tim Neeley, 54, Jenn Kesterson, 38, Jon Weldon, 35, and Emily Frost, 33.
With winter training ahead, the TCAM swimmers are preparing for upcoming postal events including the 400 KICK in December and the 1650 or mile swim in January.12
Open Water Results
The 2017 Pacific Masters open water overall top results were announced in November. Six TCAM swimmers broke into the top 20 in the five year age group awards.
During the open water season, swimmers scored points for each of their placings in the top ten. The races ranged in distance from 500 yards to over 6 miles.
Open water veteran, Susan White, 75 topped the charts in first place in the 75-79 age group.
Joining White with top ten awards were Patti Philpott, 47 in second, Peter Oliver, 59 in third and Greg Jacobus, 66 in sixth in their respective age divisions.
Christine Oliver, 54 tied for 16th place.