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Allen Stark
July 18th, 2008, 11:20 PM
Swimming World has a list every year of the top Masters Swimmers,which we have argued about.But who is the best?An impossible question but fun to speculate on
.On the Women's side it is obviously Laura Val,no it's KPN,no it's SVDL(those last 2 are so great they don't need names,just initials.)what about that Torres woman,I'd count her out,not because she is hardly a Masters Swimmer anymore,but because she is too one dimensional(50 and 100 free only,please:rofl:)
On the mens side it is obviously Rich Abrahams,except he may not be even the best in his age group(Bob Strand?) and Strand may not even be the best breaststroker(Tim Shead,Jeff Commings,etc.?) And what about Dennis Baker and all those Smiths?
My vote Women-Laura Val-she is great at so many things,has been for years,and I know her and she is really nice.
Men-Bob Strand-he also has been great for a long time and is my friend and nemesis.
What is your vote?

Michael Heather
July 19th, 2008, 12:33 AM
Gee, thanks, Allen. You have now made it impossible for Bob to enter a room through a normal door, due to swollen head syndrome.

In all seriousness, everyone should try to get to Atlanta this September for his induction to the IMSHOF. I am sure there is nothing he would like more than to see gobs of people applauding his successes and honor.

okoban
July 19th, 2008, 02:37 AM
I do not know who is 'top' but I think 'most valuable' is our Ande

ehoch
July 19th, 2008, 12:27 PM
Agree with the Women - but not with the Men. I think a good test is to see how long the records survive. I have to go with Rich Abrahams and Jim McConica - their times in the past 10 years for the most part hold up against the new swimmers in those age-groups.

Its a slow show
July 19th, 2008, 03:11 PM
There are so many great swimmers that it certainly is impossible to get a consensus. If you judge swimmers over a long time period it would be hard to vote against Val, Pipes many others. In the long view of domination Strand is certainly near at the top. McConica certainly. Rich Abrahams without a doubt though injuries have reduced his amount of years swimming but hard to not vote for him. I am just rambling they are all great swimmers!!!

knelson
July 19th, 2008, 03:49 PM
I think Rich Abrahams is a great candidate, but should other swimmers get "extra credit" for versatility? I think one of the reasons Michael Phelps is considered the greatest swimmer alive--or even of all-time--is because he's so versatile.

rtodd
July 19th, 2008, 04:06 PM
After reading his story and achievements, for me it's McConica.

CaliSwimmer
July 19th, 2008, 06:23 PM
After reading his story and achievements, for me it's McConica.

I'm lucky to swim with McConica nearly every day. He always gets to the pool 20 minutes early to pull covers, too. Great guy with never an unkind word for anyone. He's doing a 25K lake swim this week, I believe. Did a channel swim last week here locally and nearly got the record but for very strong ocean currents. :) He gets my vote! :woot:

For the women, I have to vote for KPN because I just got her DVD and I love it. She has an amazing freestyle stroke and an odd but very effective flip turn. :cheerleader:

CreamPuff
July 19th, 2008, 07:17 PM
I'm lucky to swim with McConica nearly every day. He always gets to the pool 20 minutes early to pull covers, too. Great guy with never an unkind word for anyone. He's doing a 25K lake swim this week, I believe. Did a channel swim last week here locally and nearly got the record but for very strong ocean currents. :) He gets my vote! :woot:

For the women, I have to vote for KPN because I just got her DVD and I love it. She has an amazing freestyle stroke and an odd but very effective flip turn. :cheerleader:

You are lucky!!! I had the good fortune of meeting and speaking at length with Jim this weekend at the 25K OW. He is a true inspiration and a really nice guy. I wish I could train with him too!! He has my vote as the greatest masters swimmer of all time. He mentioned that he had only 8 days rest between the channel swim and this 25K. Amazing!! :applaud::applaud:

ViveBene
July 19th, 2008, 07:22 PM
She,
How did the 25k go? Glad you're still alive! Detailed trip report coming up?
Thanks,
VB

CreamPuff
July 19th, 2008, 07:25 PM
She,
How did the 25k go? Glad you're still alive! Detailed trip report coming up?
Thanks,
VB

Hi ViveBene, will post on the OW forum AFTER a HUGE dinner out tonight - I'm thinking Mexican or a huge steak! Alcohol will be involved. Was an AWESOME event to partake in! Great fun! I'm alive. That's the best news. I think I'm going to switch back to high maintenance sprinter - sooo much easier! :laugh2: The quality of competitors was scary high! Wonderfully run event.

Big AL
July 19th, 2008, 07:31 PM
He doesn't swim all the time, but when he has, he has been great in all the strokes and his national records stand until this day in most of them:

Ron Karnaugh

(I'm preferential to a 400 IMer, anyway) :bow:

CaliSwimmer
July 19th, 2008, 07:35 PM
You are lucky!!! I had the good fortune of meeting and speaking at length with Jim this weekend at the 25K OW. He is a true inspiration and a really nice guy. I wish I could train with him too!! He has my vote as the greatest masters swimmer of all time. He mentioned that he had only 8 days rest between the channel swim and this 25K. Amazing!! :applaud::applaud:

Aw, good to hear that he's finished with the 25K, I couldn't remember if he said it was this coming week or earlier. He trained for the open water races by swimming long course by dragging a plastic milk jug tied to his waist.

Did you all know that a couple years ago he became an Los Angeles County beach lifeguard (like the Baywatch guys)? He then went on to pass the paramedics license, not because it was mandatory for the job but because he wanted to know what to do in case of a real emergency out on the beach. He worked nearly every day last summer. This summer a little less, I think. Oh well, he would hate that I'm bragging about him.

How did he do in the lake race? Are there results online somewhere?

Smith by Marriage
July 19th, 2008, 07:41 PM
If you're talking all time greats, you can't overlook Ron Johnson. The guy is amazing on so many levels: MULTIPLE World Record Holder in MULTIPLE age groups,MULTIPLE events. Head Coach of ASU and made them top contenders at NCAA; Mexican Olympic Coach; inventor of various swimming "tools"; and the most passionate and knowledgable swimmer I've ever met.

Ron Johnson. The man rocks.

Jason Marsteller
July 19th, 2008, 08:07 PM
You had me nervous when I first saw the title! Every year we put out the World Masters list, I almost don't even want to come on here *grin* Someone is always snubbed, just like the NCAA Tournament for basketball!

Looking forward to some of the great conversations to be had in this thread.

Its a slow show
July 20th, 2008, 01:22 PM
Both Bob Strand and Jim McConica are being inducted into the Hall of Fame this Sept. I think between them they have set about 100 world records and 150 USMS records in their careers.