Sixty Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters swimmers took the plunge and swam in the team’s eighteenth annual Distance Challenge during the month of January. Swimmers ranging in age from 22 to 81 swam the 500, 1000, 1650 free or the One Hour Swim.
Racing in the pool mile or 1650 free, new team records were set by Casey Slater, 46 in 19:44.32, Mike Callahan, 39 in 19:57.80 and Gail Rodd, 75 in 33:57.39 in their respective age divisions.
Leading the way with new personal best times were John Pradenas, 60 with a drop of 2:46, Larry Marum, 70 with 1:46, Brooke Fulkerson, 22 with 1:30 and Susan Loyd, 58 with 1:29.
Significant time improvements were achieved by Jonathan Weldon, 36 dropping 1:25, Kristi Loveridge, 34 shaving 1:24 and Tim Neeley, 55 with 1:03.
New bests were set by Karen Kessel, 68 improving 46 seconds, Jane Lucich, 55 with 27, Karen Nickols, 41 with 16 and Martha Bushman, 65 with 5 seconds.
Special recognition was given to Rita Wolf, 63 and Judi Wilson, 69 who have swum the 1650 every year. Rodd has only missed two years, swimming for sixteen years.
Having swum the distance challenge for over ten years were Sheryl Parola, 69 and Laurie Perry, 63 with 14 consecutive years and Larry Carter, 69 with 13 years.
Taking the challenge for 12 years was Toni Wivell, 81. Wivell was the oldest team competitor in the annual swim.
Susan White, 75 and Jim Lucich, 58 both have competed for 11 years. Joining the over 10 year group were Robin Carter, 66, Stuart Welsh, 61, and Matt Gass, 60.
First time distance swimmers included Malcolm Carden, 71, Donald Segerstrom, 66, Jon Watkins, 46, Annika Graveline, 40, Andi Thomas, 37, Jenn Kesterson, 39, Stephanie Beaver, 34, Abbe DeMattei, 33 and Megan Greenberg, 32.
Outstanding swims were recorded by Bette Axiak, 72, Jon Mahanna, 70, Rhea Gross, 67, Pete Fogarty, 66, Greg Jacobus, 66, Kaye Whitney, 64, Jan Rea, 61 and Steven Holt, 60.
Setting strong swims in the under 60 age divisions were Annie Brosnan, 59, Jenny Van Blaricom, 58, Siobhan Hill, 56, Mark Houghton, 55, Faylan Cannon, 54, Lorena Arellano, 51, Patti Philpott, 47, Kelli Slater, 45, Karen Aldridge, 42, and Emily Frost, 34.
The One Hour Postal swim is a national masters event. Seven TCAM swimmers swam continuously for one hour and recorded their distance.
Van Blaricom competed for the eighth year consecutive year. Her distance was just a few yards shy of her personal best set in 2017.
Buthmann, Michie Anderson, 40, and Peter Oliver, 59 competing for the second year all improved their total yardage. Buthmann improved her distance by 155 yards, Anderson 60 yards and Oliver 20 yards.
Christine Oliver, 54 swimming for her second year was close to her previous best. Graveline and Candace McDonald, 56 swam the hour for the first time.
The TCAM swimmers continue to train throughout the winter for upcoming meets, open water swims and the team’s, Big Blue Challenge.