I’m always excited to see masters swimmers in the news so I was pretty stoked to see an article this morning featuring USMS swimmer Laura Val in the San Francisco Chronicle. Laura is a force to be reckoned with in her age group (55-59)… well just about any age group really now that I think about it. I had the pleasure of losing to her at the 2009 USMS 1 mile open water championships at Lake Millerton by about 5 minutes, as a matter or fact she would have only missed 1st place in my age group (25-29) by 2 seconds! She had a really exciting finish to that race where she was coming in stroke for stroke with another swimmer. They hit the shore at almost the exact same time and she managed to out run her opponent to the gate.

A picture I took at the Millerton Mile of Laura’s dramatic super close finish

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

Most annoying thing people assume about athletes in your sport: That you need to compete to be a Masters swimmer. In fact, less then 25 percent of Masters swimmers ever compete in a meet. It’s a great place to enjoy the company of like-minded friends, exercise and get a tan.

Advice you’d give a rookie: Take lessons to learn the proper way to swim the strokes so you’re not fighting the water. It does take time to get that “feel for the water,” but once you get it, we’ll never get you out of the pool.

You can read the entire San Francisco Chronicle article here.

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