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knelson
November 5th, 2013, 11:34 AM
Darian Townsend entered a masters meet in Mesa over the weekend and broke five world records in the 25-29 age group. This was Townsend's first masters meet. For those of you who are not familiar with him, Townend is a three-time Olympian and gold medalist from South Africa.

Swimswam.com posted a story about Townend's incredible meet. Here's the link: http://swimswam.com/5-world-records-1-day-townsend-rips-masters-debut/

I found the comments quite interesting especially this one by "HMMM":

I have no problem with athletes making money off of Masters but why have a separate division called Masters if there are no rules or restrictions? None of the sponsored people you mention in their 50′s are training for Rio are they?. Most people in Masters believe they are swimming against recreational swimmers which is why there is a separate Masters division and those records are set by recreational/retired swimmers. If Phelps remains retired and wants to swim Masters, well there goes a few records in his age group but none of us in our club would have a problem with it. We discussed that very subject this morning after practice and Phelps, like Rowdy Gaines is retired and would welcome him. Many of us have swam against and met Rowdy and it is a true honor to share the pool with him in a Masters meet. But our entire team would have a huge problem if Lochte decides to swim a Masters meet while he is still fully training for the Olympics and blows all the records out of the water. If Lochte swims 12 events, he is going to walk away with 12 records. Why have a separate record book? If he can do that, you might as well just call us all USA swimmers and do away with the Masters division. There are meets where fully training pros swim and they are called Grand Prix’s, Nationals, and Worlds. Call us old fashioned, call us Masters swimmers, but we all think Masters should be separate from the training pros..

So I'm curious what the rest of you think. Should someone like Darian Townend or Ryan Lochte be allowed to swim in masters meets when they are professional swimmers who are training full-time? And maybe "allowed" is a poor choice or word. The bottom line is do you think they have any business swimming masters meets?

arthur
November 5th, 2013, 11:46 AM
Yes, anyone should be able to set masters records. Eligibility to set masters records should only be determined by age, not by how much you train.

__steve__
November 5th, 2013, 11:54 AM
It's competition broken down into 5 year age groups for adults

orca1946
November 5th, 2013, 12:08 PM
Just cuz they a from another world in time & talent, they are swimmers just like us.
Sure , their records will be on the books till Y3K -but let them swim.

knelson
November 5th, 2013, 12:17 PM
Yeah, I always thought USMS held sacred the notion that everyone (18 and over) is welcome. I guess some people think this means novices and slow swimmers are welcome, but not super fast swimmers. Personally I like the option to swim both masters meets and USA Swimming meets. It would be hypocritical for me to think I should be afforded this opportunity, but others are not for some nebulous reason that they are "too fast for masters."

mmlr38
November 5th, 2013, 01:22 PM
I agree with most here that anyone who wishes to swim at a masters meet should be allowed to do so, regardless of who they are, their background, how they're training, professional status, etc.

pwb
November 5th, 2013, 01:51 PM
Yes, anyone should be able to set masters records. Eligibility to set masters records should only be determined by age, not by how much you train.


Just cuz they a from another world in time & talent, they are swimmers just like us.
Sure , their records will be on the books till Y3K -but let them swim.


I agree with most here that anyone who wishes to swim at a masters meet should be allowed to do so, regardless of who they are, their background, how they're training, professional status, etc.

I fully agree with these points. I realize guys like him swimming Masters while still in their full-time pro training are going to make it hard for the next crop of 'mere mortal' Masters to have a chance at those records, but I still think this is a great thing for Masters swimming. I'd love to see more cross-pollination while these guys are in their prime so that they see how much fun Masters is and they continue with it throughout their lives. I love seeing Olympians of all ages race at Masters meets; if getting them engaged in Masters when they're younger keeps them in it longer, that's a win for all of us swim fans.

Rob Copeland
November 5th, 2013, 02:33 PM
are going to make it hard for the next crop of 'mere mortal' Masters to have a chance at those recordsI’m not sure how many mere mortals had a shot at the previous records…

Personally I’m thrilled that elite athletes are competing in Maters Swimming. In this case Townsend, who trains in Tucson drives to a meet in Mesa instead of flying to a FINA World Cup event. It sounds like a great idea, if it fits his training plan.

And it would have been great if others from Tucson Ford could have showed up. Townsend, Grevers, Burnett and Ritter could have a shot a t a couple of relay records.

ande
November 5th, 2013, 03:26 PM
Should someone like Darian Townend or Ryan Lochte be allowed to swim in masters meets?
The bottom line is do you think they have any business swimming masters meets?
Sure
Why not
It's already happened.

if you wanted to exclude elites, how should we word it?
USMS is for sucky self deluded swimmers who must have jobs and train part time?
NO
All are invited
All are welcome

USMS is a family and a celebration of swimming. No matter where one happens to be on the spectrum of ability and accomplishment.

Should USMS recognize performances of swimmers of various ages who are not USMS or fina members?

sunruh
November 5th, 2013, 03:39 PM
Should USMS recognize performances of swimmers of various ages who are not USMS or fina members?

since FINA *IS* the governing body of all things aquatic and usms is a member of fina. if you are not, then you dont. period.
if you go faster than an existing WR and its not sanctioned by usms or fina...then it dont count!

aquageek
November 5th, 2013, 03:57 PM
The past five years I have been at meets with members of our Team Elite. The excitement and enthusiasm they bring to a meet is awesome. I've never heard a single complaint, or whine. In fact, it draws greater attention to Masters swimming.

Here's an example, last week I walked into our training room and two members of our pro team were in there. One stood up, came over and then introduced me to the other as the Masters coach. These are both very famous swimmers.

That dude HMMM is a whiner.

ElaineK
November 5th, 2013, 04:26 PM
Meeting Cullen Jones at Georgia Tech Nationals, and seeing him again at Greensboro Nationals was one of the highlights for me. It made watching him in the last Olympics even more exciting, because he is a great guy who brings a lot to USMS.
8067

Allen Stark
November 5th, 2013, 05:22 PM
One of my best moments in swimming was getting crushed by Megan Jendrick in a 100 BR.It was so cool just to be on the blocks near her.Every time I have been at a meet with the "elites" everyone stops what they are doing to watch them.If anything,having elites in the sport adds to the legitimacy of Masters.
If you are in the age group and registered,you are a Masters swimmer,period,end of discussion.

kristilynn
November 5th, 2013, 05:54 PM
In order to achieve a Master's record, wouldn't the swimmer have to be a registered USMS member? I fail to see how you could exclude them if they are a member of our organization, and I think that it's great when elite swimmers are at Master's meets.

That Guy
November 5th, 2013, 10:30 PM
One of my best moments in swimming was getting crushed by Megan Jendrick in a 100 BR.It was so cool just to be on the blocks near her.Every time I have been at a meet with the "elites" everyone stops what they are doing to watch them.If anything,having elites in the sport adds to the legitimacy of Masters.
If you are in the age group and registered,you are a Masters swimmer,period,end of discussion.

I've been obliterated by Megan several times. Swimming against her and other elites is very cool. I look forward to the next time I take the blocks next to an Olympian. One thing I think of when I race elites is the non-swimmers who tell me I'm like Phelps just because I can swim butterfly...

ALM
November 5th, 2013, 10:52 PM
Thanks to this discussion, I just added Darian Townsend to our Olympians list!

Check out his listing (http://www.usms.org/hist/oly/olympian.php?oid=1027) as well as the listings of many other Olympians who have also been USMS members (http://www.usms.org/hist/oly/).

knelson
November 6th, 2013, 12:10 AM
I can imagine those who voted "no" may feel a bit cowed at the moment, but I would still like to hear their point of view. I encourage you to comment and not just vote, especially if you vote "no."

jaadams1
November 6th, 2013, 03:13 AM
One of my best moments in swimming was getting crushed by Megan Jendrick in a 100 BR.It was so cool just to be on the blocks near her.Every time I have been at a meet with the "elites" everyone stops what they are doing to watch them.If anything,having elites in the sport adds to the legitimacy of Masters.
If you are in the age group and registered,you are a Masters swimmer,period,end of discussion.I was in Megan's introductory masters meet in Olympia, WA, and that particular meet, I decided to enter the 100 Breast, 200 Breast, 200 IM, and a couple others. Well, I was right next to her in those 3 events. She blew me away by 10 seconds in the 100 (going :59something), and in the 200 Breast, she finished as I was heading into the wall at the 175 turn (I know this because I could hear the crowd cheering). :) In the 200 IM, I decided to go for it, and asked her if she'd like to race to the 50 of the 200 IM. :D She agreed, I sprinted my @ss off, and she beat me out by about 1/2 a bodylength, and then continued on to crush me and go under 2:00 as well. It was great swimming next to her, and my sister took tons of pictures that day, so I will remember it for a while.

jaadams1
November 6th, 2013, 03:14 AM
I've been obliterated by Megan several times. Swimming against her and other elites is very cool. I look forward to the next time I take the blocks next to an Olympian. One thing I think of when I race elites is the non-swimmers who tell me I'm like Phelps just because I can swim butterfly...

It was a pleasure to swim next to you, and glad you felt okay with it.

Chris Stevenson
November 6th, 2013, 05:04 AM
I can imagine those who voted "no" may feel a bit cowed at the moment, but I would still like to hear their point of view. I encourage you to comment and not just vote, especially if you vote "no."

I have no problem with the "elites in full training" participating in masters, but I am a bit surprised by the lop-sidedness of the poll here. I think that the viewpoint expressed by the "no" vote isn't all that uncommon, and I agree with you that it is important to understand.

And I think it is also the viewpoint of FINA. Consider two of their rules: they refuse to recognize records done by USMS members at USA-S meets (or similar situations in other countries), and they refuse to recognize the legitimacy of UNAT clubs. I may be wrong but I think both rules are aimed at trying to prevent "pro" swimmers from setting a bunch of masters records. It may also explain their insistence that 25 is the youngest age for masters swimming, rather than 18 as in the USA.

People who say it is about speed may be missing the point of the poster in the original article (emphasis added).


If Phelps remains retired and wants to swim Masters, well there goes a few records in his age group but none of us in our club would have a problem with it. We discussed that very subject this morning after practice and Phelps, like Rowdy Gaines is retired and would welcome him. Many of us have swam against and met Rowdy and it is a true honor to share the pool with him in a Masters meet. But our entire team would have a huge problem if Lochte decides to swim a Masters meet while he is still fully training for the Olympics and blows all the records out of the water.

The issue doesn't seem to be talent but the ability to basically be a full time athlete, a luxury that most of us don't have. And this view isn't so very uncommon. I remember a request from a full-time elite swimmer (I forget whom) who competed in a masters meet that her new records be disregarded; I think this happened a couple times.

I sympathize with the viewpoint -- I sure wish I had time to train more (especially lately) -- but IMO it does fall apart a bit on examination. The amount of time that "real" masters swimmers have to devote to training is widely variable, and is a major factor in one's performance. Heck, just look at some of those Go The Distance swimmers. Should folk who have retired from their day job similarly be forbidden from competing because they have more time/energy to devote to training? Obviously not.

That Guy
November 6th, 2013, 07:12 AM
It was a pleasure to swim next to you, and glad you felt okay with it.

For the last time, I don't want your autograph.

ElaineK
November 6th, 2013, 08:29 AM
For the last time, I don't want your autograph.

Hey, That Guy! It's great to have you (and your humor) back on the Forums! :smooch: It just wasn't the same without you. :sad:

aztimm
November 6th, 2013, 10:00 AM
I agree that anyone who is in good standing should be allowed to swim in any masters meets.

That said, everyone should be aware that at most masters meets, anyone can swim nearly any event. There could be first time meet swimmers, who have never swum in a meet before. There could be swimmers who take 30+ min to swim the mile. And someone of Olympic caliber would probably lap people in any event over a 200 (and possibly even a 200).

I've encountered elitism at meets where someone told me, "it is people like you who make these meets so slow." I'd hate for things like that to be repeated.
I'm not saying that everyone has to cheer for everyone else, but just that by going to a local masters meet like this, everyone should know what to expect.

aquageek
November 6th, 2013, 11:10 AM
I agree that anyone who is in good standing should be allowed to swim in any masters meets.

By "in good standing" you simply mean you have a valid credit card.

magick17
November 6th, 2013, 11:15 AM
Yes..

sunruh
November 6th, 2013, 11:52 AM
By "in good standing" you simply mean you have a valid credit card.

well, technically, NO!

as a perfect example, Lance Armstrong is in good standing with USMS.
HOWEVER, his ban by WADA and USADA therefore prevents him from competing in USMS even though he is "in good standing". and i would guess he has a valid credit card, but that doesnt really matter.

jpetyk
November 6th, 2013, 12:31 PM
If having the young, elite swimmers helps attendance at masters meets, I'm all for it. Having these folks attend could be used to the advantage of the meet organizer (Pittsburgh meets are rare and grossly unattended). I, for one, would love to watch these guys and gals swim. I just don't think it is big news when the super stars break all the masters records.

__steve__
November 6th, 2013, 01:13 PM
I see elite swimmers in every age group.

jpetyk
November 6th, 2013, 01:23 PM
I see elite swimmers in every age group.
Touche I was referring to the Olympic caliber, pro-swimmer in full training mode that this thread was discussing.

That Guy
November 6th, 2013, 03:28 PM
Hey, That Guy! It's great to have you (and your humor) back on the Forums! :smooch: It just wasn't the same without you. :sad:

Thanks, I missed me too.

jaadams1
November 6th, 2013, 03:43 PM
Thanks, I missed me too.
Did Microsoft finally unlock the chain from your ankle and desk?

quicksilver
November 6th, 2013, 09:04 PM
I voted yes in that the presence of a professional athlete injects a whole lot of excitement to a meet. It's an inspiration to see them race even if they have no immediate competition.

Regarding the records, is it safe to say that the elite swimmers would probably take their toll on the 25-29 age group records for the most part? I'm unaware of the statistics on how many younger athletes belong to USMS, but the majority of our membership seems to be more in the middle age bracket rather than just a few years out of college.

trexleradam
November 7th, 2013, 12:42 AM
Alright. I'll be the jerk.
In triathlon, there are professional and age group categories. AGers aren't eligible for prize money and pros can't claim AG prizes or qualify for world champs in the softer AG category. Pro isn't bounded by age. Many pros renounce their pro status, wait a nominal cooling off period (I think there's one) and race as age groupers.
I think this system makes a lot of sense. Obviously the abuses of amateurism were rampant through the last century but I think masters is implicitly an amateur activity and it's worth preserving at least a nominal division between the two. And Rowdy Gaines etc would still be welcome in masters after their pro careers.

knelson
November 7th, 2013, 01:02 AM
Does triathlon have two separate national organizations like swimming does in the U.S. with USMS and USA Swimming? To me that would make a difference. Of course it's an entirely different discussion about whether it makes sense to have two distinct national organizations.

vo2
November 7th, 2013, 06:03 AM
I think it's fantastic. What a neat opportunity to line up next to the best. I'd be on the lookout for any regional Master's meet where I had that opportunity to do so. The excitement surrounding a swimmer of that level would be so exciting for me. My general rule of thumb is no more than 8 hours in the car for a meet b/c that's all my back can take and still be 'swimmable' that day. I'd be inclined to jump a regional flight to hit up a meet with an Olympic hopeful on the blocks.

There are two guys on my Masters squad who specifically target low volume/low competition meets so they don't have to find out how good they really aren't. Their desire to have a high finish is so important they selectively choose the weakest fields to ensure the best chance. When the big meets come around it's 'oh I'm really busy that week' or 'my shoulder has been bothering me'. The excuse machine is so reliable it makes the Navy Master Clock look clunky. I'm looking forward to bringing this up to them at practice tonight to get their take.

ande
November 7th, 2013, 12:01 PM
since FINA *IS* the governing body of all things aquatic and usms is a member of fina. if you are not, then you dont. period. if you go faster than an existing WR and its not sanctioned by usms or fina...then it dont count!

I know the rules
Meet has to be sanctioned
Swimmer has to registered

just saying there's been some pretty excellent swims by swimmers of masters eligible ages that didn't count and weren't recognized.

Allen Stark
November 7th, 2013, 01:15 PM
Alright. I'll be the jerk.
In triathlon, there are professional and age group categories. AGers aren't eligible for prize money and pros can't claim AG prizes or qualify for world champs in the softer AG category. Pro isn't bounded by age. Many pros renounce their pro status, wait a nominal cooling off period (I think there's one) and race as age groupers.
I think this system makes a lot of sense. Obviously the abuses of amateurism were rampant through the last century but I think masters is implicitly an amateur activity and it's worth preserving at least a nominal division between the two. And Rowdy Gaines etc would still be welcome in masters after their pro careers.
Interesting historical note,early in Masters Swimming,since coaches could compete in Masters meets,and coaches were professionals,Masters Swimming was not considered "amateur" by the AAU,which then governed swimming.

StewartACarroll
November 7th, 2013, 02:05 PM
I think it's awesome. I am of the same opinion as lot of others in that I would love to be beaten by these guys and gals and just have the opportunity to be in the same pool as them. I don't know how anyone can be anything other than inspired by a swimmer like Darrian. If someone is talented enough to be sponsored and spends most of there waking hours trying to make themselves better then I support them either from the pool or from the deck. I am sure there is a lot to this question, but why are there two bodies for swimming in the US; I get that USAS focuses on age group swimming which I support and USMS focuses on masters swimming which i also support, but why the two separate bodies. I was amazed when I just joined USAS that I could not use my USMS times for meet entry.

Britt03
November 7th, 2013, 02:15 PM
I think everyone should be allowed to compete, but if you are part of any National Team (aka considered "elite), your times shouldn't be counting for records. That's how I would do it.
I agree that it is amazing to be swimming next to Alia Atkinson or Megan Jendrik at a masters meet, but if they then go off to swim a World Cup the week after and almost break a Wolrd Record (elite), I don't think their times should count for USMS record books.
I doubt those people enter master meets anyway just to break record or make it into Top 10. I do know though a few masters swimmer (I include myself in there), that like to pull out a state or zone record list or Top ten list and train for an event that is normally an off event just to make it on the list.
So why take away motivation from real masters swimmers when the elite swimmer most likely won't care about this anyway.

knelson
November 7th, 2013, 03:37 PM
So why take away motivation from real masters swimmers when the elite swimmer most likely won't care about this anyway.

Simply because a record is a record. It should be the fastest time swum . As soon as you start putting caveats on records the records immediately become next to meaningless.

gull
November 7th, 2013, 04:13 PM
Why not simply recognize age group records set at any FINA-sanctioned event?

aquageek
November 7th, 2013, 04:52 PM
So why take away motivation from real masters swimmers when the elite swimmer most likely won't care about this anyway.

So, if someone faster than you meets your definition of a real masters swimmer and beats you then it is OK. But, if someone is faster than you and isn't a real masters swimmer and deprives you of a trinket, then it isn't OK. I'd like this rule discussed at next year's convention. I would like a committee to decide who is and isn't a real masters swimmer.

My first petition is to declare knelson and pwb unreal masters swimmers so I can move up on the Top Ten rankings annually.

The Fortress
November 7th, 2013, 05:07 PM
My first petition is to declare knelson and pwb unreal masters swimmers so I can move up on the Top Ten rankings annually.

There are some former elites in my age group that you can put on your petition too!

I don't understand the distinction between elites racing at the world cup/grand prix/nationals and retired elites. In both cases, those elites will smoke the typical or even quite excellent masters swimmer. Indeed, many retired elites now hold masters worlds records. Why would it be invalid for them to have records at 25-29 but perfectly ok at 45-49? Don't we want our records to reflect the fastest swimmers in those events?

pwb
November 7th, 2013, 07:26 PM
Simply because a record is a record. It should be the fastest time swum . As soon as you start putting caveats on records the records immediately become next to meaningless.:agree:


Why not simply recognize age group records set at any FINA-sanctioned event?This actually makes a lot of sense and I could get behind this.


My first petition is to declare knelson and pwb unreal masters swimmers so I can move up on the Top Ten rankings annually.OK, if we're going down this path then I really want to be #1 in the 50 breaststroke, so I hereby declare all the 45-49 year olds who beat me last year to be unreal ... all forty-seven of you (including that most aqueous of rats from Pittsburgh).


I don't understand the distinction between elites racing at the world cup/grand prix/nationals and retired elites. In both cases, those elites will smoke the typical or even quite excellent masters swimmer. Indeed, many retired elites now hold masters worlds records. Why would it be invalid for them to have records at 25-29 but perfectly ok at 45-49? I agree; it makes no sense to have some sort of age cut-off or delineation of what constitutes someone as being in 'full training' mode.

Do we have to go back in time now and nullify the records Dara Torres set at the 2006 Worlds because, after racing there, she decided to get back into training and competing at the Olympic level?
What about the folks who are retired now and devoting possibly as much relative energy and mindshare to their training as some of the 'elite' younger folks competing at the Olympics?


None of these cutoffs make sense. If you are the age, if you swim the time in a sanctioned event, if you are a member, you can and should set all the records you want.

I, for one, hope we see more examples of people like Darrian Townsend (who does train, evidently, 3 days a week with the Masters team) coming to USMS or FINA Masters meets, putting on a great show and tearing down more records.

quicksilver
November 7th, 2013, 08:33 PM
Why would it be invalid for them to have records at 25-29 but perfectly ok at 45-49? Don't we want our records to reflect the fastest swimmers in those events?


Agreed.

I think that Kirk's original post is referring to 'elites' who are very much still part of today's world competitions. And that's where the question of fairness came in. At the end of the day a record is a record regardless of age group. It would be crazy to put an asterisk next to every Olympian's result when they set a new masters standard.

Besides, by the time any elite athlete moves on in life, gets married, has kids, job pressures, a house mortgage etc...let's just say that the playing field is a bit more level.

Brian Goodell is a perfect example of an Olympic distance star who truly humbled himself when returning to masters. Guys in his age group are pretty amazing.

jaadams1
November 8th, 2013, 02:44 AM
I get that USAS focuses on age group swimming which I support and USMS focuses on masters swimming which i also support, but why the two separate bodies. I was amazed when I just joined USAS that I could not use my USMS times for meet entry.
You can custom enter times in the meets, rather than being entered at "NT". You just have to let the coach know the times, and he/she has to make the extra effort to input the entry times manually. But for the most part, they have 50-100 or more swimmers to enter, and it's hard enough just doing that. I was lucky that my coach did that, because otherwise I would've been entered with my FORMER USAS times from when I was 23 years old that were in the database already. They were actually too fast for me now and I'd be seeded in the wrong spot and bringing up the rear of the heat all the time. :)

jaadams1
November 8th, 2013, 02:47 AM
My first petition is to declare knelson and pwb unreal masters swimmers so I can move up on the Top Ten rankings annually.

:rofl: Nice! :)

pmccoy
November 8th, 2013, 12:35 PM
My first petition is to declare knelson and pwb unreal masters swimmers so I can move up on the Top Ten rankings annually.I'll second this. Or at least make them wear board shorts for competition swims... and they have to wear a cap like this (http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/20739.htm?color=11590#color=11590). Might as well throw Stewart in the elite category also. He's way too fast.

A few years ago, Freddy Bousquet dropped by an Auburn Masters meet and swam a 18.7 50 free. That was pretty cool to watch. I didn't see a downside to him being there. Maybe someone in the 25-29 age group was annoyed? Being a big swimming school, the Auburn meet occasionally draws and elite swimmer for whatever reason. Unfortunately, they usually scratch their events. I wish more would show up and swim.

comrades78
November 8th, 2013, 05:25 PM
I swam at the Mesa meet. When they announced Darian Townsend, I had no idea who he was, not realizing that he swam
for S.A. But watching him swim, it was like watching a killer whale let loose in the pool. All in all, pretty exciting, although some
of the other swimmers in his events looked a little shocked. If you are used to winning in his age group and he happens to
show up, it's just the luck of the draw.

craig68
November 8th, 2013, 10:25 PM
I swam next to Bousquet when he went that 18.7! Everyone in the aquatic center went ballistic. (For his swim, not mine, just to be clear). How cool is that? I actually wish I had stepped down from the blocks to watch the race. I've never seen anyone go that fast in person. :)

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 07:59 AM
So, if someone faster than you meets your definition of a real masters swimmer and beats you then it is OK. But, if someone is faster than you and isn't a real masters swimmer and deprives you of a trinket, then it isn't OK. I'd like this rule discussed at next year's convention. I would like a committee to decide who is and isn't a real masters swimmer.

My first petition is to declare knelson and pwb unreal masters swimmers so I can move up on the Top Ten rankings annually.

If you read my post beginning to end, you would have read that I define an elite swimmer as a National Team member. I think thats a pretty easy distinction to make.
Read before you rip my post apart!

pwb
November 12th, 2013, 08:33 AM
If you read my post beginning to end, you would have read that I define an elite swimmer as a National Team member. I think thats a pretty easy distinction to make.For any country? Current year? So, you're OK with Allison Schmitt coming to a Masters meet this year as she makes her comeback and breaking all the records she wants (e.g., she's not currently on the National Team)?

How about the event? Could Josh Schneider come and swim the 50 fly and 100 free since he made the National Team on the basis of his 50 free?

How much time has to pass after a swimmer has been on the National Team before they are allowed to swim and set Masters records? Would you turn away Rebecca Soni today if she decided that Masters was the right venue for her to continue her competitive swimming?

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 08:51 AM
For any country? Current year? So, you're OK with Allison Schmitt coming to a Masters meet this year as she makes her comeback and breaking all the records she wants (e.g., she's not currently on the National Team)?

How about the event? Could Josh Schneider come and swim the 50 fly and 100 free since he made the National Team on the basis of his 50 free?

How much time has to pass after a swimmer has been on the National Team before they are allowed to swim and set Masters records? Would you turn away Rebecca Soni today if she decided that Masters was the right venue for her to continue her competitive swimming?

I would exclude (that is ONLY from record lists and Top Ten, not from competition) only current National Team members of any country. Not all countries make a distinction by event, therefore, if your name is on the current NT list for that year, your times don't count, regardless of event.
So yes, Allison Schmitt and Rebecca Soni are more than welcome to swim masters AND break records, as they a re currently not on the National Team.

As to how much time has to pass: as soon as your off the list, you're good to go.

Masters is a great avenue to keep swimming competitvely to make it back to the top. People should be encouraged to compete in USMS.

So since this thread is about "elites", I first came up with a definition of what an "elite" is. For me, that's a current NT member. You can't define an elite swimmer by saying somebody is in full training mode or not, as every swimmer is different. Using the current NT lists, is a straight forward distinction to who would qualify for records and TT and who doesn't.

Rob Copeland
November 12th, 2013, 09:11 AM
For those who are interested, the current USA National Team can be found at
( http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1454&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en )

Also remember the opinions expressed are those of the author. While you may disagree with the opioions, please respect the author’s right to hold them and write them here.

Note – Britta may be the only person posting on this thread who has been personally impacted by the scenario in question. If not for swims by the amazing Megan Jendrick, Britta would be holding a few more USMS records. As an aside; it looks like Jendrick’s Olympic Trials time is the record for the 100 Breast (1:09.81), but her 200 Breast at the same meet (2:34.09) isn’t. Did someone forget to measure the pool after the 200BR?

pwb
November 12th, 2013, 09:53 AM
Also remember the opinions expressed are those of the author. While you may disagree with the opioions, please respect the author’s right to hold them and write them here.I do. I just disagree.


Note – Britta may be the only person posting on this thread who has been personally impacted by the scenario in question. If not for swims by the amazing Megan Jendrick, Britta would be holding a few more USMS records. I get it and I feel her pain - I broke the 400 free National record that stood at the start of the 2009 SCM season, but a certain former German Olympian went even faster. Yes, we were both 40-something at the time, but I could argue that his former training as a member of the German National Team disadvantaged me and advantaged him. In fact, I'm sure it did. But, it still doesn't matter - he was faster at 40-44 than any registered USMS swimmer had ever been -- and I don't think it should matter at any age. In my opinion, we should not exclude a certain class of members from our sport just because they are at a certain stage of their training and/or how they are pursuing their living at a certain age in their lives.

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 10:03 AM
I do. I just disagree.

I get it and I feel her pain - I broke the 400 free National record that stood at the start of the 2009 SCM season, but a certain former German Olympian went even faster. Yes, we were both 40-something at the time, but I could argue that his former training as a member of the German National Team disadvantaged me and advantaged him. In fact, I'm sure it did. But, it still doesn't matter - he was faster at 40-44 than any registered USMS swimmer had ever been -- and I don't think it should matter at any age. In my opinion, we should not exclude a certain class of members from our sport just because they are at a certain stage of their training and/or how they are pursuing their living at a certain age in their lives.

I agree with your post partially.
You talk about a former German Olympian. I don't think you can distinct "former" elite athletes or National Team members/Olympians for life from anything.
That's why I set the only criteria as currently being on a National Team.
Both my parents are Olympians: does that mean that my mom's 100 free SCM time of 1:40+ in the 55+ age group shouldn't count?!
I think the discussion we are having is a really interesting one and obviously goes far beyond the original question if "elites in full training mode should compete in master meets".
Maybe we need to open a new thread for the records/TT discussion to really take off. Would be interesting to see what other people that were actually directly affected by this have to say.

Average John Smith
November 12th, 2013, 10:25 AM
The question isn't whether or not you agree with National and World Class elite swimmers participating in Masters meets.

It's why they would want to participate ........ :-)

aquageek
November 12th, 2013, 10:27 AM
If you read my post beginning to end, you would have read that I define an elite swimmer as a National Team member. I think thats a pretty easy distinction to make.
Read before you rip my post apart!

I actually read your post, maybe even twice, and then I quoted it. I simply find your opinion to be self serving so that you can get more records or TTs. So, you don't get a TT or a #1 ranking, so what? Is it that important? Is excluding swimmers to guarantee yourself a trinket what USMS is all about?

There will always be someone faster. You want to exclude faster people simply because they are faster, and for no other reason. I don't want to be in a race next to someone who I know can't break records.

If NT members don't want their times to count I assume they can go exhibition at meets. I did this in an 800 last summer. A fellow Masters swimmer and I knew we would be in the top 3 of a USAS meet so we declared ourselves as exhibition swimmers so that the kids could get the medals.

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 10:59 AM
I actually read your post, maybe even twice, and then I quoted it. I simply find your opinion to be self serving so that you can get more records or TTs. So, you don't get a TT or a #1 ranking, so what? Is it that important? Is excluding swimmers to guarantee yourself a trinket what USMS is all about?

There will always be someone faster. You want to exclude faster people simply because they are faster, and for no other reason. I don't want to be in a race next to someone who I know can't break records.

If NT members don't want their times to count I assume they can go exhibition at meets. I did this in an 800 last summer. A fellow Masters swimmer and I knew we would be in the top 3 of a USAS meet so we declared ourselves as exhibition swimmers so that the kids could get the medals.
]
I'd bet if you asked Darian Townsend if he knew he could swim exhibition, he would not know.

My post is not about myself only, and that you read it that way is your own personal definition.
But since you ask if it is that important: yes, to me, personally it is. Since I have little to no competition in my age group, I am going after rankings and records to find motivation. I especially like meets where men and women are mixed so I don't have to swim a race all by myself. I'm not saying I am so much better than anybody else, but you asked me if that's important to me and here is the reason why it is.
For example: I swam a zone record in the 400IM LCM earlier this year, simply by pushing myself by setting a time as a goal I wanted to reach. The next person in that race (regardless of age group, it was seeded by time) was over 1min behind me. So why not use this as a motivation?
I used to swim on a level that I will never reach again so "breaking personal best times" isn't an option for me.

What is your personal motivation? Maybe you can get me an idea to get away from my current approach.


Overall, this thread asked if elite swimmers (you put your own definition behind this) should be allowed to compete. And I said, yes of course they should. And only excluded current NT members from TT and records. I think that is a pretty fair thought if they compete on a level where they are not worries about setting state and zone records but national and world records.
I doubt a current NT member would care if their time counts for TT or records. But that would be an interesting question to ask one of them.

The Fortress
November 12th, 2013, 11:06 AM
I'd bet if you asked Darian Townsend if he knew he could swim exhibition, he would not know.


And yet Natalie Coughlin knew she could swim exhibition at a masters meet she competed in.

If you wanted more competition, you could swim in USAS meets.

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 11:27 AM
And yet Natalie Coughlin knew she could swim exhibition at a masters meet she competed in.

If you wanted more competition, you could swim in USAS meets.

That's a valid request. I am a USAS member but don't even make cuts for Nationals and Grand Prix. So now I am swimming on the regional/state level. I couldn't go to either meet last/this year (regional nor states) because it's a 4-5 day meet and with a full-time job, I can't take off that much time. My events were during the week. So I guess there was no way for me to swim, because losing my job over swimming isn't an option and I didn't qualify in off events "that fit my schedule". So I went to 3 meets that were more local and just the weekend. I still had no competition and spent 12 hour+ days at the pool waiting for events.
For all those reasons: I love masters swimming: I don't know one adult who doesn't swim professionally or works in aquatics who has time to spend all weekend at the pool.
That's why there is masters swimming, right? For those full-time job people that swim as a hobby more or less competitive.

I don't now why these posts became so personal, but I am sure i am not the only person in USMS who was personally impacted by this.
Did I complain? No. But somebody posted this thread to start a conversation and I am sorry that my opinion differs from 99% of the people in this thread. That doesn't mean my opinion is solely about myself. It is not.

I am all for USMS being inclusive, but for the sake of this thread, I gave my opinion, and since it differs from what people want to hear, I guess it's a wrong opinion.

Frank Thompson
November 12th, 2013, 11:36 AM
Note – Britta may be the only person posting on this thread who has been personally impacted by the scenario in question. I am not sure who are the posters in the past, but I believe this statement is false. Britta is not the only person impacted by this but one of many. Anyone USMS member who swam in the meets listed below and some of these swimmers were National Team members at the time of swim impacted both USMS Records and Number 1 USMS Top Ten Times. Rather than list all of the swimmers, I have linked the meets so people can see all of the swimmers and some of the them are current or past USA Swimming National Team members.

http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/meet.php?MeetID=20130629Phil66L
http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/meet.php?MeetID=20121201USANATY
http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/meet.php?MeetID=20120702OLYMPIL
http://www.usms.org/comp/meets/meet.php?MeetID=20111117PRDUELL

As an aside; it looks like Jendrick’s Olympic Trials time is the record for the 100 Breast (1:09.81), but her 200 Breast at the same meet (2:34.09) isn’t. Did someone forget to measure the pool after the 200BR?

This statement is false. All of the Olympic Trials times were counted for USMS National Records and if swimmers did not request them to count for either Top Ten or National Records, then those are the only times that would not show up. The 2:34.09 was the record until this year and Justine Mueller broke that record with a time of 2:29.80 and she also broke the 100 Breast Record of 1:09.81 with a time of 1:09.10. I see that Britta is currently 2nd in both those events in the 2013 LCM prelim top ten but is first in the 50 Breast just like 2012 so she selected All American for her efforts.

Eugene Godsoe, is an example of a current National Team member breaking a USMS National Record in the 100 LCM Free in the 18-24 age group by an USMS swimmer named Noah Copeland, who is not a USA National Team member. But then Josh Schneider broke his record, and I am not sure if he is a USA National Team member, but he is an NCAA Champion, which in my book is equal status. The bottom line in all this is that this has been happening for years and its not an isolated incident to one swimmer

knelson
November 12th, 2013, 11:36 AM
Even if I don't agree with your [Britt03, that is] opinion at least you came up with a clear cut definition of who should be excluded from setting masters records. If there was a rule stating current National team members were not eligible for records I don't think I'd have a huge problem with it.

The Fortress
November 12th, 2013, 11:40 AM
That's a valid request. I am a USAS member but don't even make cuts for Nationals and Grand Prix. So now I am swimming on the regional/state level. I couldn't go to either meet last/this year (regional nor states) because it's a 4-5 day meet and with a full-time job, I can't take off that much time. My events were during the week. So I guess there was no way for me to swim, because losing my job over swimming isn't an option and I didn't qualify in off events "that fit my schedule". So I went to 3 meets that were more local and just the weekend. I still had no competition and spent 12 hour+ days at the pool waiting for events.
For all those reasons: I love masters swimming: I don't know one adult who doesn't swim professionally or works in aquatics who has time to spend all weekend at the pool.
That's why there is masters swimming, right? For those full-time job people that swim as a hobby more or less competitive.

I don't now why these posts became so personal, but I am sure i am not the only person in USMS who was personally impacted by this.
Did I complain? No. But somebody posted this thread to start a conversation and I am sorry that my opinion differs from 99% of the people in this thread. That doesn't mean my opinion is solely about myself. It is not.

I am all for USMS being inclusive, but for the sake of this thread, I gave my opinion, and since it differs from what people want to hear, I guess it's a wrong opinion.

I wouldn't want to sit around at USAS meets either. So I get that. But we all have competition in our age group. I was not an "elite" as an age grouper and only swam one year in college. My main competition in my age group now are a 1980 olympian, a couple olympic trialists and the greatest masters swimmer of all time. Not exactly easy going.

I'd rather be inclusive. But I also agree with Kirk's last post.

gull
November 12th, 2013, 11:49 AM
I don't believe that masters track and field prohibits professional athletes or national team members from setting age group records, but the minimum age to compete as a masters athlete in track is 30, so presumably it is less of an issue.

Frank Thompson
November 12th, 2013, 12:27 PM
Even if I don't agree with your [Britt03, that is] opinion at least you came up with a clear cut definition of who should be excluded from setting masters records. If there was a rule stating current National team members were not eligible for records I don't think I'd have a huge problem with it.

I think we have a compromise that works so I would be in disagreement with not letting National Team members establish USMS National Records. First, a swimmer must be a registered member of the USMS. Second. they have to follow all of our USMS rules for the record to be established namely record applications, pool measurements, and copies of either birth certificate/passport. This is the step where most of these swimmers don't have the time to do it, plus you have probably most of the swimmers not even thinking about this because they are trying to make one of the teams that travels to World University Games, Pan American Games, Pan Pacs, World Championships, and the Olympic Games. If for some reason, a swimmer breaks a USMS National Record and completes the USMS process, then they should be awarded the USMS National Record. The compromise is, they can't get a FINA World Record unless they swim in a USMS sanctioned event.

If we did what Britta wanted to do, I could see all problems with this. For instance Eugene Godsoe was not a National Team member until this past summer so in his case he would have USMS Records and then they would stop once he was a National Team member. Same with BJ Johnson, Dara Torres, and others. Top Ten recorders have enough to do then adjusting meet results for these swimmers and keeping track of who is on the USA National team at the time of there swims.

Clark Burckle attended the 2013 Nationals this past summer. He was an 2012 Olympian and finalist in the breaststroke events at the 2013 National and World Trials meet and because he did not make the team, should he get the USMS Record and not BJ Johnson who was a finalist and did make the team. This is just nuts. Both are members of USMS. Clark actually got a World Record because he swam in a USMS sanctioned meet and BJ did not because FINA won't allow WR's in non sanctioned meets. So it worked out for both swimmers. Clark will not be able to claim All American in the 100 and 200 Breast but like Britta he was first in the 50 Breast and will be All American for his efforts.

aquageek
November 12th, 2013, 12:52 PM
Since I have little to no competition in my age group, I am going after rankings and records to find motivation.

So, to get your rankings you want to exclude the only people that can beat you? It would seem that if you are so great as to lack meaningful competition you would actually want competition. It is called a competition right?

aquageek
November 12th, 2013, 12:56 PM
I don't know one adult who doesn't swim professionally or works in aquatics who has time to spend all weekend at the pool.
That's why there is masters swimming, right? For those full-time job people that swim as a hobby more or less competitive.

I know dozens if not a few hundred full time non swimming professionals who spend all weekend at meets. They are called volunteer officials and parent volunteers. Heck, I know three volunteers meet directors who put on a Grand Prix meet annually.

For every Masters swimmer there is a different reason for why they swim.

aztimm
November 12th, 2013, 12:58 PM
Who would monitor a list of, "National Team Members," to ensure that they aren't eligible for USMS records?


I've run several marathons, half marathons, and a few cycling events. I have several friends who have done multiple triathlons. At least in those sports (I'm not sure about every sport), everyone is all lumped together in any rankings. So long as one runs a marathon that is approved by the Boston Qualifying committee (I know there's some specific term for it), and they run xxxx time, they can run at Boston, if they register. There are similar forumlas for who gets invited to the Kona Ironman.


Most USMS meets that I've been to and heard about attract so few swimmers that I think we should be thinking of ways to increase who swims at them, and certainly not the opposite. Heck, we've had several meets cancel because of a lack of registration.

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 01:04 PM
So, to get your rankings you want to exclude the only people that can beat you? It would seem that if you are so great as to lack meaningful competition you would actually want competition. It is called a competition right?

I'm still waiting for you to tell me how you draw you rmotivation. And I am not that great that I never have competition. Just look at the rankings and results and you can see that there is competition, but most of it is on the other side of the country for me. So if you swim Nationals, you might be lucky to swim next to them. The rest of the year you don't see your competition. That's when rankings and TT come in.


I know dozens if not a few hundred full time non swimming professionals who spend all weekend at meets. They are called volunteer officials and parent volunteers. Heck, I know three volunteers meet directors who put on a Grand Prix meet annually.

For every Masters swimmer there is a different reason for why they swim.

Still waiting on you to tell us your reasons. All you have done so far in this Thread is shoot against other people's opinions.

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 01:07 PM
Who would monitor a list of, "National Team Members," to ensure that they aren't eligible for USMS records?


once TT are finalize you can pull a list of the current NT and go through it.

Re participation: you are not excluding anyone from participation with what I proposed.
Re your example of Marathons: there is no designated "Masters Marathon" if that were the case, I think people would also think differently about it.

aquageek
November 12th, 2013, 01:18 PM
Still waiting on you to tell us your reasons. All you have done so far in this Thread is shoot against other people's opinions.

My reasons are irrelevant and unimportant. I coach a huge Masters team and have about a dozen Top Ten swimmers in various age groups and multiple events. None have ever complained about getting smoked by a fast elite swimmer. In fact, all love it when we get the chance to go up against the best. I heard the bell at my 900 on a 1000 once because of a super stud next to me. While my first reaction was despair, I then realized how awesome it was to be beaten by one of the best in the world.

I guess my question to you remains unanswered as well. Why do you find faster people than you to be unworthy of records simply because they are faster?

knelson
November 12th, 2013, 01:19 PM
once TT are finalize you can pull a list of the current NT and go through it.

There could also be something on the record submission form asking the swimmer to verify that he/she was not on a national team at the time of the swim.

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 01:31 PM
My reasons are irrelevant and unimportant. I coach a huge Masters team and have about a dozen Top Ten swimmers in various age groups and multiple events. None have ever complained about getting smoked by a fast elite swimmer. In fact, all love it when we get the chance to go up against the best. I heard the bell at my 900 on a 1000 once because of a super stud next to me. While my first reaction was despair, I then realized how awesome it was to be beaten by one of the best in the world.

I guess my question to you remains unanswered as well. Why do you find faster people than you to be unworthy of records simply because they are faster?

I never used the word "unworthy". That's how you interpret my post.
All kinds of swimmers should be able to set records and be in TT lists. But if we already have a distinction between USMS and USAS then there should also be a distinction for the records.
Faster people than me are definitely welcome to break records and beat me in the TT, heck I wouldn't even care if I weren't in the TT. But, if I see that 1-3 current National Team Members, who compete for much more than USMS TT and records, are on the list, I don't think they should be there.
That is my personal opinion and has nothing to do with you somehow coming up with me saying that I find it unworthy or don't like faster people than me. Not sure how you came up with these facts. I never said those!

Overall, I swam once next to Maria Moravchova at the World Cup. She set a FINA World Record in the lane right next to me. It was the 100 IM and after the 25 fly I only saw her feet. It was one of the best races I have ever been part of.
I still remember it to the day.

I don't know what your problem is with me stating my opinion. I don't care, but don't make up stuff that I never said!

Frank Thompson
November 12th, 2013, 01:32 PM
[QUOTE=Britt03;292339]once TT are finalize you can pull a list of the current NT and go through it.

I see all kinds of problems with this. Take my example of Eugene Godsoe. He made the National Team in 2 events but swam in the same events before he made the National team. Are you expecting every Top Ten Recorder to go thru every meet for swims that he may have had National Records and Top Tens before he made the National Team? What about someone like Davis Tarwater, who did not make the National Team until someone pulled out of the 200 Free? Also because the National Team is selected by event, what about the other events that the swimmer can be eligible for and they may not be Records but could make the Top Ten. Would they be excluded because they made a National Team in one event and would not be eligible in other events? What about other courses such as SCY and SCM, would they be excluded from those as well, once they made the National Team in one event?

I agree with Geek here, it sounds like you want to exclude as many swimmers as you can from USMS Records and Top Ten so you can get the USMS Records and Number 1 swims yourself.

sunruh
November 12th, 2013, 01:39 PM
here is the obvious reason to NOT have any kind of prevention:

what other nation(s) would do this as well?

ie prevent brian goodell and mike o'brien, but allow vladimire salnikov?
or better yet allow Sun Yang? (well he's 21 now but still could be a usms record)

as long as you have no issues with USADA and/or WADA, and are also in good standing with USMS, you get to swim.

Frank Thompson
November 12th, 2013, 01:52 PM
But, if I see that 1-3 current National Team Members, who compete for much more than USMS TT and records, are on the list, I don't think they should be there.

Could you please name the 1 to 3 current National Team members? Justine Mueller is listed but I don't see any results from any National Team meets. Perhaps she qualified next year. Megan Jendrick is currently not on the list. I see some other swimmers that were listed ahead of you from USA National Meets but they were not National Team members.

http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1453&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en&biosid=742f2d53-c255-46eb-a081-d7ab367b91e8

Overall, I swam once next to Maria Moravchova at the World Cup. She set a FINA World Record in the lane right next to me. It was the 100 IM and after the 25 fly I only saw her feet. It was one of the best races I have ever been part of.I still remember it to the day.

You must be talking about Swimming here and not Masters Swimming because I know that FINA World Cup are not sanctioning masters meets even though FINA sanctions them. They are FINA Swimming sanctioned meets. I don't know what this statement has to do with our discussion other than to see YES you are good enough to swim in FINA World Cup meets against the best competition out there. Maria Moravchova has set FINA Masters World Records but not in this instance and swam them in NGB Sanctioned masters meets

Rob Copeland
November 12th, 2013, 02:41 PM
Somehow this discussion has morphed from “Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters meets?” into a heated debate about Top 10 and records.

Does anyone object to getting back on topic?

Indianaman79
November 12th, 2013, 02:43 PM
Wow guys/gals - settle down!

i can see Britt's point of view - her motivation is to get as high as possible on TT and to not be able to obtain position 1-2-3-etc because of current Olympians or NT members is disappointing. its kind of like a major league pitcher going to the minors just for fun. Why they would they do this - not sure - but i'm sure people have their opinions

I can also see the other point of view - these people are exciting to swim against. I would love to get smoked by an Olympic sprinter. I would have my wife there and say "watch this guy, this is the difference between me and the Olympics" and they would beat me by a body length or more in the 50yd free. It would be a great once in a lifetime opportunity. They also draw attendance and generate excitement, which USMS is interested in as well.

These are points of view - neither is right or wrong - but please respect them.

Indianaman79
November 12th, 2013, 02:49 PM
"Somehow this discussion has morphed from “Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters meets?” into a heated debate about Top 10 and records.

Does anyone object to getting back on topic?"


i think the topics are connected. if elites (whatever the definition is) participate for fun then it impacts SOME of the masters swimmers goals. I have no side to this, so i feel that i can see both points of view. If you think about it - a masters swimmer sacrifices their personal time and energy training months for this meet or record or TT times - or whatever. Then you have an elite swimmer that decides to swim this event for fun and is training for the world cup.

I can see where they are coming from.

pwb
November 12th, 2013, 03:03 PM
I'm still waiting for you to tell me how you draw you motivation.While I certainly look at the rankings and the records, I won't say that's the main place where I draw my motivation from. For me, Masters swimming has allowed me the opportunity to reacquire my love of competing -- I had it as an age grouper, but kind of lost that in the latter years of my collegiate experience. At that point, qualifying times (e.g., Trials, NCAAs) and competition became very heavy, pressure-filled events for me. I didn't enjoy competing. With Masters, I love racing again.

So, what are my motivators?

To race - I really, really, really, really LOVE / ENJOY / ADORE racing -- at any time of the year (in shape, out of shape, rested, not rested), in any event, against any type of competitor (e.g., I lost a 50 kick exhibition race to my 10 year old daughter recently and it was a blast), in any type of water (e.g., pool, SCY / SCM / LCM, lake, ocean, ... heck, if there was a race in a Michael Phelps signature swim spa, I'd get psyched).
To stay in shape, to rarely visit a doctor and when I do, to have him tell me my blood pressure, lipids, body fat,... any measurement he can take are awesome. Oh yeah, I compete against myself with those blood pressure machines at pharmacies and grocery stores all the time -- trying to see if my latest bout of training has helped.
To find ways to beat my younger Masters self -- as noted above, I have no illusions of competing against my 20 year old self, but I'm really looking forward to Santa Clara Nationals next year to compete against my 34 year old self since the 2001 Nationals there was my first Nationals ever as a Masters swimmer. What motivates me -- to kick my own ass from 13 years ago!
To race -- did I mention I like racing? I almost think I like racing when I don't win more than when I do ... if the others in the race have pushed to make me faster. A few examples ...

Racing Rowdy Gaines in the 100 free at his eponymous meet in 2009. I was right next him. He kicked my ass ... and I swam faster that I could have ever imagined
Racing in the same heat of the 400 free as Janet Evans in 2011 when she was working on her preparation for 2012. Yes, she beat me. Handily. Like 6 seconds. Hut, it was still my Masters personal best.
The 500 free at Greensboro Nationals (2012) where the entire field of 8 were former Division I competitors of mine, where 4 of us turned at the 450 in a deadheat and where the difference between 1st and 5th ended up being only 3.5 seconds. Oh yeah. I didn't win, but swam my best Masters time ever.
A 1500 at a throwaway LCM USAS meet where I ended up in the first heat with some 13 year old and he and I swam neck & neck the whole way, both of us helping the other to push under 18:00 for the first time (well, me, as a Masters swimmer). Yes, that time was almost 2 minutes slower than my collegiate race, but the race was one of the most fun I ever had. Oh yeah, he touched me out at the end.




I honestly don't thinking the TT rankings motivate me. I look at them, but they're kind of a crap shoot based upon who got to swim what in what kind of shape each year. As for the records, there are certainly some that motivate me ... until they don't.

Am I motivated currently by the 400 IM National records in my age group (45-49) - for sure; they seem within my grasp. If I get one, will it be cool? Absolutely. If I don't, will I lose my motivation? Absolutely not.
Am I motivated by the world records for the 400 IM in my age group -- absolutely not. Nicolas Granger of France dropped such sick times in the last year or so that they are, barring some miracle, just not within my reach. Does that fact diminish my motivation? Not at all. Fortunately, I'm motivated enough by all the above that I don't need any additional motivation.

pwb
November 12th, 2013, 03:25 PM
Somehow this discussion has morphed from “Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters meets?” into a heated debate about Top 10 and records.

Does anyone object to getting back on topic?Actually, I think the TT & record discussion is precisely on topic because this seems to be what people are objecting to when it comes to 'elites' competing in Masters. The point of view (not mine) seems to be that they can compete, but their times shouldn't be 'allowed' for TT or records.

knelson
November 12th, 2013, 03:27 PM
"Somehow this discussion has morphed from “Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters meets?” into a heated debate about Top 10 and records.

Does anyone object to getting back on topic?"


i think the topics are connected.

I agree. I don't see how you can really separate the two. It seems strange to me to say "Yes, of course you can swim in this masters meet. Everyone is welcome!" And then when they swim really fast go "Nice job, but we're not going to count that time for TopTen or records. It's just a little too fast for our taste and might make some of our other members upset. Sorry."

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 04:03 PM
I think so far I was the only one in this thread that really gave elites a definition.
Before anyone can vote on if they should be allowed to swim or not (as indicated in the poll, not talking about records, TT etc), there needs to be a universal definition. Otherwise this pool doesn't do anything.

So how do other people define elites? I'd love to hear some more definitions.

The Fortress
November 12th, 2013, 04:03 PM
It seems strange to me to say "Yes, of course you can swim in this masters meet. Everyone is welcome!" And then when they swim really fast go "Nice job, but we're not going to count that time for TopTen or records. It's just a little too fast for our taste and might make some of our other members upset. Sorry."

Sounds like helicopter parenting to me!

knelson
November 12th, 2013, 04:19 PM
Before anyone can vote on if they should be allowed to swim or not (as indicated in the poll, not talking about records, TT etc), there needs to be a universal definition. Otherwise this pool doesn't do anything.

I intentionally made the definition of "elite" somewhat nebulous. It's sort of like pornography: hard to define per se, but you know it when you see it! And that was really what I wanted to gauge--whether people think these super fast, young swimmers belong in masters meets. I didn't want it any more clearly defined than that.

Britt03
November 12th, 2013, 04:23 PM
I intentionally made the definition of "elite" somewhat nebulous. It's sort of like pornography: hard to define per se, but you know it when you see it! And that was really what I wanted to gauge--whether people think these super fast, young swimmers belong in masters meets. I didn't want it any more clearly defined than that.

Gotcha!

Frank Thompson
November 12th, 2013, 04:33 PM
They are connected and we did not get off topic. The thread started with Darian Townsend participating in a sanctioning masters meet on November 13, 2013 and because of his participation he set a bunch of National/World Records. Because he is considered an elite in full training mode, should he be eligible to be a member of USMS and participate and with the result of his participation set National/World Records. If he is a member of an NGB Swimming Federation and going to meets against other professional swimmers or swimmers that can make time cuts at the highest level, should they be excluded from swimming in USMS and if they are allowed to swim in USMS and set a bunch of Records, then someone should judge what the "elites in full training mode" means and make a decision as to their membership in the organization and their eligibility to set records and make the USMS top ten list.

The thread started to get debatable because Britta brought up the fact that she has to compete with current or past National Team members. Rob had mentioned that she competes against Megan Jendrick and now Justine Mueller and that has lessen the fact that she would have more USMS Records and Number 1 Swims. That is true and as a I pointed, there are others that have been burdened with this and the only solution would be to exclude current National Team members from setting records. The thing I find interesting is why National Team members and not just everyone who can make an National, World, Olympic, and NCAA time cut. The meets that I linked on post 62 show many swimmers that compete as USMS members and they should be treated like everyone else and have the same rights such as setting records, if they achieve them.

Should swimmers that recently compete at the US Nationals, US Open, NCAA Championships, and any other high level meet not be eligible for Top Ten and Records. I will take my current example of Noah Copeland. He swam in 2009 at NCAA meets, USA meets, and would be considered by myself to be an "elite in full training mode" for that year of competition. Should he be excluded from swimming in USMS and setting USMS National Records? No. Should he be excluded from USMS Number 1 swims, USMS Top Ten lists, an All American selections because he happened to be swimming at the highest level meets during the 2009 year? No.

This is the kind of debates that will spring from this because of these discussions.

http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1470&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US

http://www.usms.org/comp/tt/toptenind.php?SwimmerID=06BWN

http://www.usms.org/comp/poolrecords.php

aquageek
November 12th, 2013, 05:41 PM
This is the best forum debate we've had since the sandbaggers and split-requesters tried to convince those of us that compete legitimately that those practices are acceptable.

My basic issue with this is that it smells like an attempt to simply grab glory for an incredibly small group of people. Also, it is not in the least in the spirit of competition if you have to narrow the field such that it only benefits one or two people. Lastly, it also strikes me as "every child gets a trophy" brand of feel good sports.

Most of the fast swimmers I know feel ripped off if their best competition isn't at a meet. I'm not sure what value there is to Masters swimming to exclude fast swimmers simply because they swim fast. And, that's exactly what this is about.

gull
November 12th, 2013, 05:53 PM
If we simply raise the minimum age for Masters swimming to 30, then (with rare exceptions) this problem goes away. Of course then USMS becomes less inclusive.

thewookiee
November 12th, 2013, 07:38 PM
My reasons are irrelevant and unimportant. I coach a huge Masters team and have about a dozen Top Ten swimmers in various age groups and multiple events. None have ever complained about getting smoked by a fast elite swimmer. In fact, all love it when we get the chance to go up against the best. I heard the bell at my 900 on a 1000 once because of a super stud next to me. While my first reaction was despair, I then realized how awesome it was to be beaten by one of the best in the world.
?

I have to agree with Geek. I swam at a meet his team puts on in December of 2011. In two of the events, I stood on the blocks next to two members of Team Elite. I knew my chances of winning those races were about as good as geek growing facial hair. But those were two of my favorite masters meet moments.

I raced to the best of my ability in each event. When the "elites" finished, they started cheering for the rest of us in each heat. They were the first to congratulate the rest of the swimmers. In the warm-down pool, they even offered pointers to people.

If they pay their annual membership fee, they should be allowed to compete in usms. Their times should count for top ten and/or record, even if they are currently on a national team.

If they follow usms rules, there isn't a valid reason for excluding them.

pwb
November 12th, 2013, 07:53 PM
My basic issue with this is that it smells like an attempt to simply grab glory for an incredibly small group of people. Also, it is not in the least in the spirit of competition if you have to narrow the field such that it only benefits one or two people. Lastly, it also strikes me as "every child gets a trophy" brand of feel good sports:applaud:

It's also arbitrary and opens up a :worms:. If we're going to exclude really fast young people just because they spend their profession is swimming, are we going to then exclude retired folks who have all the time in the world to dedicate to their sport and swim, maybe training with the same ferocity and commitment as the 'elites?'

__steve__
November 12th, 2013, 09:25 PM
What is wrong with split requesting, other than being annoying?

Rich Abrahams
November 12th, 2013, 11:04 PM
:applaud:

It's also arbitrary and opens up a :worms:. If we're going to exclude really fast young people just because they spend their profession is swimming, are we going to then exclude retired folks who have all the time in the world to dedicate to their sport and swim, maybe training with the same ferocity and commitment as the 'elites?'

Patrick, You must be joking about us retired folk. Sure we have the time, but the energy is a whole other matter. I've recently been volunteering as an assistant coach for a Division I swim team. I absolutely cannot believe the swimmers' capacity for hard work, both in and out of the water. Makes me tired just watching them.

gull
November 12th, 2013, 11:09 PM
What is wrong with split requesting, other than being annoying?

Some would argue that split requesting, like sand bagging, is self serving. If you want a time for, say, the 100 free, then you should enter that event. Or so the argument goes.

pwb
November 13th, 2013, 12:30 AM
Patrick, You must be joking about us retired folk. Sure we have the time, but the energy is a whole other matter.Don't shatter my illusions, Rich. I'm dreaming of retirement as the time I can finally devote myself to training again without this pesky thing called work getting in the way ;)


I absolutely cannot believe the swimmers' capacity for hard work, both in and out of the water. Makes me tired just watching them.Rich, I've only swum one workout with you ... and I could say the same for you. It certainly made me tired.

Sojerz
November 13th, 2013, 02:45 AM
:

.... are we going to then exclude retired folks who have all the time in the world to dedicate to their sport and swim, maybe training with the same ferocity and commitment as the 'elites?'

Not a good plan for retirement, way to much sleep would be required too, and the big eternal rest is already far too near at this point for all that sleeping to be worthwhile. Save some energy and enjoy retirement.

I totally get what Britt03 is saying. There is nothing wrong with a focus on setting goals and aspiring to TT times and records, and it is not hard to understand that it would be discouraging to a highly competitive swimmer when a NT member or pro swimmer enters the competition, if one's focus is on TTs and usms records. But, not letting an eligible swimmer's times count (NT or not) just doesn't seem right. In a relatively few years, as someone else indicated, age and life requirements will somewhat shuffle and equalize the field of competition.

Debugger
November 13th, 2013, 06:00 AM
If we simply raise the minimum age for Masters swimming to 30, then (with rare exceptions) this problem goes away. Of course then USMS becomes less inclusive.
To be honest I don't understand such sayings. What do you think these people should do from 25 to 30? Start drinking beer before TV and goofing off?
I really liked experience in Poland - in opposite they have so called zero category for 20-25 years. The idea is to prevent youth from quitting swimming after they finish their career and to give them purpose to keep on with healthy lifestyle by giving them chance to compete in Masters starting from 20.

thewookiee
November 13th, 2013, 07:35 AM
:applaud:

It's also arbitrary and opens up a :worms:. If we're going to exclude really fast young people just because they spend their profession is swimming, are we going to then exclude retired folks who have all the time in the world to dedicate to their sport and swim, maybe training with the same ferocity and commitment as the 'elites?'

I think we should exclude people that swam at the university of texas or any other major d 1 school. They had a competitive advantage over those of us that swam mid major or small schools.

I vote that if your initials are pwb,a.r., smith's, then you shouldn't allowed to compete until at least your 80's.

I mean, if we are going to exclude people, anyone with major D1 experience out to be out as well. They certainly have advantages of the rest of us.

dolu
November 13th, 2013, 08:32 AM
Why not simply recognize age group records set at any FINA-sanctioned event?

:applaud:

pwb
November 13th, 2013, 08:37 AM
There is nothing wrong with a focus on setting goals and aspiring to TT times and records, and it is not hard to understand that it would be discouraging to a highly competitive swimmer when a NT member or pro swimmer enters the competition, if one's focus is on TTs and usms records. But, not letting an eligible swimmer's times count (NT or not) just doesn't seem right.Agreed.


...equalize the field of competition.This phrase really caught my attention and I think it's the crux of the problem -- the field of competition was never and will never be equalized. As some people try to craft 'exclusion' rules, to me, it seems like the effort is designed to try to accomplish this elusive goal of 'equalizing the field of competition.'

sunruh
November 13th, 2013, 09:13 AM
equalize the field of competition.

i am ALL for this!!!

pwd, sorry buddy, you have to lose about 9 inches of height. oh, and gain about 30lbs.

and since i'm the shortest and fattest in our age group, everyone has to eat more Blue Bell ice cream than i do.....haha good luck with that!

so, instead of ages can we go by weight class or better yet height class? i vote for height class!!!

p.s.
wow just thought of this....everybody is now required to have 2 knee surgeries and 2 shoulder surgeries as well. dont worry i am willing to give tips on how to shorten the recovery to just missing 1 entire year. for each shoulder operation.

mmlr38
November 13th, 2013, 01:27 PM
I think we should exclude people that swam at the university of texas or any other major d 1 school. They had a competitive advantage over those of us that swam mid major or small schools.

I vote that if your initials are pwb,a.r., smith's, then you shouldn't allowed to compete until at least your 80's.

I mean, if we are going to exclude people, anyone with major D1 experience out to be out as well. They certainly have advantages of the rest of us.
YES! THIS!!! ^^^

And for those of us, who have never swum competitively before starting masters just a couple of years ago, we should get our own "division" with separate TT times and records from all other masters swimmers who had any form of coaching or instruction in competitive swimming in their youth! :D

Rain Man
November 13th, 2013, 03:43 PM
I don't see the issue. If the swimmer is a USMS member swimming at USMS sanctioned competition, where's the problem? Who cares if they break every WR on the books? They're doing it against other Masters swimmers. Shoot, you could argue that they should be allowed to set records at USA-S meets because they at least have some competition there.

If you're so hung up on whether or not you get into a TT list in Masters swimming of all places, you need to get a life.

If you pay the dues, and you abide by membership rules, you get to compete. End of story.

Sojerz
November 13th, 2013, 03:56 PM
Agreed.

This phrase really caught my attention and I think it's the crux of the problem -- the field of competition was never and will never be equalized. As some people try to craft 'exclusion' rules, to me, it seems like the effort is designed to try to accomplish this elusive goal of 'equalizing the field of competition.'

My point is that "aging" and the "passing of time" inevitably change and to some degree, equalize and remix the field without us interfering. We don't need to come up with ways to equalize it (like excluding NT members), equalization or changes to the field just happen. It's life. If you are twenty something now you may not have that perspective, but look around when you turn thirty, forty, fifty, and sixty and the field and picture you see will be different at each point in time and somewhat "equalized" (for lack of a better term). Patience and perseverance.

I'm betting there are lots of life time swimmers who did not come close to NQTs, but kept at it, and now have TT times and records as they've aged.

Sportygeek
November 13th, 2013, 06:13 PM
I don't believe that masters track and field prohibits professional athletes or national team members from setting age group records, but the minimum age to compete as a masters athlete in track is 30, so presumably it is less of an issue.


Merlene Ottey (still a Slovenian National Team member when she set her W50 records!), Linford Christie, Kim Collins, Haile Gebrselassie...


Geb's M35 Marathon WR (2:03:59) was formerly the *Open* WR - can't get more elite than that.

no200fly
November 13th, 2013, 06:40 PM
My favorite memory of the Atlanta nationals was standing next to Cullen Jones and Nick Brunelli while they watched sixty-five year old Rich Abrahams break 50 in the 100 FR. They were going nuts. They were saying something like "can you freaking believe that..."

I think it is great to see elite athletes perform and the more who participate in our events, the better. I think having Cullen Jones, Nick Brunelli and Mark Gangloff swim in our nationals adds to the prestige of masters swimming, even if they only entered to be able wear their rubber suits one more time. When people ask me about the competition, its nice to be able to say that there were Olympians and national team members at the meet. I think it makes the competition more relevant.

sickfish
November 13th, 2013, 06:58 PM
As someone who has had the pleasure of being soundly defeated many times by former Olympians twenty years my senior (and non-Olympians, and girls, and big fat dudes, and little kids...), I think it's a cop-out to exlude any registered swimmer from eligibility for NR/AA/top 10. If someone in your age group swims faster than you, they get the record. You want it? Train better.

Glenn
November 13th, 2013, 11:22 PM
I'm betting there are lots of life time swimmers who did not come close to NQTs, but kept at it, and now have TT times and records as they've aged.

Sojerz,

Correct me if I am wrong here, but it sounds like you are saying that TT times and records are easier as you get into the older age groups. I don't think that is true. I also think if a swimmer does not have NQTs now that he or she will be able to get TT or records when they get older.

For 1971 the #1 time in the 50 - 54 age group for men in the 100 SCY was 59.60. In 2013 the #1 time was 48.04 ( the current record is 46.59). By way of comparison, the #1 time in the 25 - 29 age group for the 100 free SCY in 1971 was 49.40! This means that the 50 year old today would have beaten the pants off of the 25 year old 42 years ago.

In 1971 the #1 time in the 60 - 64 age group for men in the 100 SCY was 1:06.80. In 2013 the #1 time was 51.03 (the current record is 49.14). When you look ahead 20 years the records look easy, but in 20 yeas the records will be much better than they are now - guaranteed.

People have the impression that as they age the top times are softer. Not true.

All that said, I believe that anyone who is a member of USMS, Olympian or elite or in "full training mode" should have opportunity to set all of the records they can.

chowmi
November 13th, 2013, 11:58 PM
This is the best forum debate we've had since the sandbaggers and split-requesters tried to convince those of us that compete legitimately that those practices are acceptable.

My basic issue with this is that it smells like an attempt to simply grab glory for an incredibly small group of people. Also, it is not in the least in the spirit of competition if you have to narrow the field such that it only benefits one or two people. Lastly, it also strikes me as "every child gets a trophy" brand of feel good sports.

Most of the fast swimmers I know feel ripped off if their best competition isn't at a meet. I'm not sure what value there is to Masters swimming to exclude fast swimmers simply because they swim fast. And, that's exactly what this is about.


Paragraph 1: Disagree. Best was anything Aquageek/Fortress vs. Fernandez "Show Me Your Times!" I loved that guy. No, not you. Well, ok, that guy too!

Put me down in the Yes, allow "Elites" column. Whatever "elites" is, I vote yes!

Thank you.

jeremyc
November 14th, 2013, 02:57 PM
I'm in the 65-69 age group. Most of the national record holders in my age group and my previous age groups all seem to be previous NCAA champions. Some of them are retired and are now certainly training full-time.

I'm glad to be able to get in the pool with these guys and give it my best shot, just like I was glad to be able to swim on college team with Olympians (I was certainly not at that level, but I swam with them every day).

We have qualifying times for Nationals and most masters swimmers that I know can't make those times, but they are still allowed to swim three events.

I'm going to try and get a big crowd to go to nationals this year. They'll swim in the early heats and then they will feel the excitement as the heats go by.

chowmi
November 14th, 2013, 03:45 PM
I think so far I was the only one in this thread that really gave elites a definition.
Before anyone can vote on if they should be allowed to swim or not (as indicated in the poll, not talking about records, TT etc), there needs to be a universal definition. Otherwise this pool doesn't do anything.

So how do other people define elites? I'd love to hear some more definitions.

To Britt03, I absolutely commend you for going up against the formidable forumites here! You are braver than I as I would simply slink away and hang out at my kid's parent portal or go to flyertalk.com forums and wait for the dust to clear before coming back to the swim forums.

I 100% support your definition of an elite swimmer - for YOU. Given your previous thread about (I think you meant) Martina Moracova? I see where you are coming from.

I define an elite as any registered masters swimmer who has a current season qualifying US national winter cut, or an 18 yr old who makes junior cuts.

I don't think there should be any limitations placed on elites.

Records have to be applied for. That is voluntary on the part of the swimmer. Records are not automatically granted. What would be interesting is whether there is a procedure in place for any other party to object (sorry, I know, I sound like the attorneys I work with here) to a swim in the record application process.

Thank you.

Allen Stark
November 14th, 2013, 04:56 PM
I can imagine those who voted "no" may feel a bit cowed at the moment, but I would still like to hear their point of view. I encourage you to comment and not just vote, especially if you vote "no."

Remember this from page one? When someone did she kinda got jumped on.We can disagree without being disagreeable.

aquageek
November 14th, 2013, 05:20 PM
Remember this from page one? When someone did she kinda got jumped on.We can disagree without being disagreeable.

What's the fun in that?

Frank Thompson
November 14th, 2013, 05:37 PM
I think the reason some people feel the way they do here is because this swimmer has come here before and complained about the current process. This has happened in the past, now in the present, and will continue in the future unless there is a USMS Rule change defining Elite Swimmers and how they should not be eligible to swim in masters and get records and top tens. This same subject was brought up last year and I have linked the thread and the discussion starts at post 29.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?21596-Top-10-Listings-for-LCM-2012

From the current poll, I don't know if it would be worth it to try for a USMS Rule change, but we all will have to live with this if there is no change in the future.

jpetyk
November 15th, 2013, 11:57 AM
Now that Michael Phelps in back on the radar, if he chose to swim in a USMS meet, would you dispute it? I would try to travel to wherever the meet is just to be part of it. I think a lot of people would.

mpmartin
November 15th, 2013, 12:17 PM
I think it would be interesting to see what slower swimmers think about this. I wonder if they would object to elites coming in first and setting records...

The Fortress
November 15th, 2013, 12:57 PM
I think it would be interesting to see what slower swimmers think about this. I wonder if they would object to elites coming in first and setting records...

What do you mean by this? Slower swimmers might want to have the records?! Slower swimmers might want less competition? This whole discussion is somewhat bizarre ... Meets are by definition competitions. When you limit the competition, you devalue masters swimming. Why would we want to do that?

__steve__
November 15th, 2013, 01:00 PM
Probably the only objection will be from the 2nd place, record breaking performance swimmer, when 1st is awarded to an elite.

knelson
November 15th, 2013, 01:03 PM
What do you mean by this? Slower swimmers might want to have the records?! Slower swimmers might want less competition?

Yeah, this seems weird to me, too. The slower swimmers don't have a chance to set records whether the 'elites' are competing or not. Also the chances of them swimming in the same heat and thus being demolished by an elite are slim. So why would a "slower swimmer" object?

jpetyk
November 15th, 2013, 01:21 PM
I think it would be interesting to see what slower swimmers think about this. I wonder if they would object to elites coming in first and setting records...
I count as the "slower" swimmer. I will never set a record, and top ten...maybe when there are only 10 in my age group. I think everyone should be able to participate. Watching the super fast swims in person as a Masters swimmer is a highlight. I just think when the "professional" sets a bunch of records, it's not news. They deserve to have it, but I get excited to read about the middle aged, works full time with kids and mortgage guy/gal that is still able to set records. That's news.

mpmartin
November 15th, 2013, 01:23 PM
I merely was asking what the opinions of swimmers might be.
I am interesting in hearing from them to see what their opinion is.

thewookiee
November 15th, 2013, 01:36 PM
I think it would be interesting to see what slower swimmers think about this. I wonder if they would object to elites coming in first and setting records...

What is your definition of a "slower swimmer?"

aztimm
November 15th, 2013, 01:55 PM
I think it would be interesting to see what slower swimmers think about this. I wonder if they would object to elites coming in first and setting records...

I personally don't care who sets what records at any meet. I never will, unless I happen to outlive my competition. But based on family history, that looks doubtful.

On a personal note, I'd avoid any meet where I knew someone of Olympic caliber was present, especially a very small meet with few heats of events. Last year I was in the faster heat (of 2 heats) of the 1500 LCM free and was lapped twice. I'd hate to get lapped in a 200 SCM/SCY event. And my swimming pretty much looks horrible, I'd just feel very intimidated swimming anywhere near a really good swimmer.

The meet on 11/3 that brought this whole thing up was at the pool where my team trains. I hadn't planned to swim, and as it happened I had bronchitis and couldn't have anyway.
But I feel the focus of smaller USMS meets should be on USMS meet swimmers. I love it when I hear that someone is getting up on the blocks for their first ever meet, or that they are swimming their first 400 IM, or 1500m free.

Britt03
November 15th, 2013, 02:18 PM
I think the reason some people feel the way they do here is because this swimmer has come here before and complained about the current process. This has happened in the past, now in the present, and will continue in the future unless there is a USMS Rule change defining Elite Swimmers and how they should not be eligible to swim in masters and get records and top tens. This same subject was brought up last year and I have linked the thread and the discussion starts at post 29.

http://forums.usms.org/showthread.php?21596-Top-10-Listings-for-LCM-2012

From the current poll, I don't know if it would be worth it to try for a USMS Rule change, but we all will have to live with this if there is no change in the future.

to my defense when I had questions about the topic you posted: the preliminary TT were posted. Then, when the final lists came out, they had suddenly added swims from Trials. I was then told that all swimmers at Trials registered with USMS were automatically approached and asked if they wanted their times to count or not. All they had to do is answer to an email with "yes" or "no".
since all this happened "so late in the Game" I think my question in the linked thread was definitely legit and not meant as a complain, rather than a "what just happened" reaction.

We will never have an equal playing field in USMS and no matter what rules are done, changed, bent, broken, etc, somebody will always have something to say. It adds to a great discussion, which in my mind was the purpose of this thread. What bothers me in this entire Forum though is that if one person has a different opinion than the majority, that person is automatically thrown under the bus rather than take different opinions as an invitation to discuss on a level that I would expect from mature people.

Rob Copeland
November 15th, 2013, 02:20 PM
I think it would be interesting to see what slower swimmers think about this. I wonder if they would object to elites coming in first and setting records...I’m twice as old and 25% slower than Darian Townsend, so maybe I’d qualify.

Personally, I’d be thrilled to swim in a meet with Townsend, even better to swim next to him. And ecstatic if I didn’t get lapped in the 200 Free SCM.

The Fortress
November 15th, 2013, 02:39 PM
tWhat bothers me in this entire Forum though is that if one person has a different opinion than the majority, that person is automatically thrown under the bus rather than take different opinions as an invitation to discuss on a level that I would expect from mature people.

This is nothing compared to some other threads. No one has even been banned yet! And don't feel alone. I've been thrown under the bus much worse than this. One of the last times was when I had the audacity to use a split request to set a record. Cue Geek attack.

pmccoy
November 15th, 2013, 02:42 PM
On a personal note, I'd avoid any meet where I knew someone of Olympic caliber was present, especially a very small meet with few heats of events.I'm kind of the other way on this. I won't go looking for events with elite swimmers but every year, I swim a meet (typically 150-200 swimmers) where there is the potential for elite swimmers to show up. I'm fast enough to end up in the "fast" heat for most of my swims but I'm certainly no TT threat (yet). I've been lapped multiple times in a 1650. I've been lapped in a 200 fly. I've been humbled by a certain forumite in the 200 br. And those aren't even by "elite" swimmers... at least by various current working definitions. I'll admit there's a certain enjoyment with winning the "not quite so fast" heat. But I also tend to put forth a little more effort in the "fast" heat in a vain attempt to prove I belong there. When it is all done, I'm looking at the clock because I figure that if I can keep beating myself, the TTs and records will work themselves out.

Britt03
November 15th, 2013, 02:46 PM
This is nothing compared to some other threads. No one has even been banned yet! And don't feel alone. I've been thrown under the bus much worse than this. One of the last times was when I had the audacity to use a split request to set a record. Cue Geek attack.

Thank you. That's good to hear. I still think that differing opinions should be used more for discussion rather than what happens in this forum. But that's again, my personal opinion and might be different from others.
That was totally OT now. Sorry about that.

Rob Copeland
November 15th, 2013, 02:52 PM
We will never have an equal playing field in USMS and no matter what rules are done I respectfully disagree. I believe swimming has the most level playing field of all sports. Everyone steps up together in the heat, has the same starting horn, swims the same stroke and distance and hits a touchpad that is identical to the one hit by everyone else in the race. Where any inequities come into play is in the genetics and training that brought each swimmer to the blocks.



What bothers me in this entire Forum though is that if one person has a different opinion than the majority, that person is automatically thrown under the bus rather than take different opinions as an invitation to discuss on a level that I would expect from mature people.It bothers me too. At times we forget that opinions expressed here are not statements of fact or solutions to the problems, they are personal views.

And if it makes you feel better, if it wasn’t for you this thread would have died out about 100 posts ago, instead of being
… the best forum debate we've had since the sandbaggers and split-requesters…

knelson
November 15th, 2013, 02:56 PM
I merely was asking what the opinions of swimmers might be.
I am interesting in hearing from them to see what their opinion is.

Yeah, sorry. We shouldn't have inferred your position just by asking. However, didn't you post very early (looks like you subsequently deleted it) saying you agreed with the sentiment of the person who posted on swimswam that prompted this discussion in the first place? If so then let's hear why you feel that way.

Rain Man
November 15th, 2013, 03:07 PM
What bothers me in this entire Forum though is that if one person has a different opinion than the majority, that person is automatically thrown under the bus...
Well when your opinion is wrong.. yes. What good is membership if you're going to exclude certain members from participating?


And my swimming pretty much looks horrible, I'd just feel very intimidated swimming anywhere near a really good swimmer.
Hey you can't worry about that. Masters swimming means something different to all different subsets of swimmers. There are those that are (clearly) hung up on whether or not they are in a TT list or setting records, and there are those that are there to accomplish a 200y swim for the first time. If you're worried about what some other swimmers might think of you because you get lapped twice in a 1500, rest assured most don't care, and they certainly don't form any meaningful opinion about you based on your performance at a swim meet. If they do - well you don't need those kind of people anyway.

I still don't understand why this topic exists or where the problem is. "If an elite swims I might not be able to set the NR. " So kick out your competition? Is that the answer? Or go faster?

gobears
November 15th, 2013, 03:40 PM
Well when your opinion is wrong.. yes. What good is membership if you're going to exclude certain members from participating?


According to whom? Is this a scientific fact? While I personally agree that all times/swimmers who are registered should count, I get Britt's frustration and can disagree without making grandiose statements as though my opinion is fact.

Britt - you are fast enough that your time will come. You won't always have what you currently consider "elite" swimmers in your age group. You will likely always have someone who has been an "elite" swimmer, though…

The Fortress
November 15th, 2013, 04:11 PM
You will likely always have someone who has been an "elite" swimmer, though…

And likely experience the same frustration ...

Good to see feisty girls posting -- a relative rarity on this forum.

gobears
November 15th, 2013, 04:36 PM
Good to see feisty girls posting -- a relative rarity on this forum.

Too true. I'll wear that label proudly ;-)

fatboy
November 15th, 2013, 05:42 PM
I merely was asking what the opinions of swimmers might be.
I am interesting in hearing from them to see what their opinion is.


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ElaineK
November 15th, 2013, 06:59 PM
Remember this from page one? When someone did she kinda got jumped on.We can disagree without being disagreeable.

This thread brings back memories of being jumped on for using this font! :afraid: Hey Aquageek and Wookiee: :wave:

ElaineK
November 15th, 2013, 07:04 PM
I think it would be interesting to see what slower swimmers think about this. I wonder if they would object to elites coming in first and setting records...

I'm slow and I don't object! As I stated earlier, meeting Cullen Jones in Atlanta and seeing him again in Greensboro were USMS highlights for me. One of my favorite things about going to Nationals is seeing the elites race! :cheerleader:

Glenn
November 15th, 2013, 07:35 PM
Good to see feisty girls posting -- a relative rarity on this forum.


We like the fiesty women too!

Sojerz
November 15th, 2013, 09:54 PM
Sojerz,

Correct me if I am wrong here, but it sounds like you are saying that TT times and records are easier as you get into the older age groups. I don't think that is true. I also think if a swimmer does not have NQTs now that he or she will be able to get TT or records when they get older.

For 1971 the #1 time in the 50 - 54 age group for men in the 100 SCY was 59.60. In 2013 the #1 time was 48.04 ( the current record is 46.59). By way of comparison, the #1 time in the 25 - 29 age group for the 100 free SCY in 1971 was 49.40! This means that the 50 year old today would have beaten the pants off of the 25 year old 42 years ago.

In 1971 the #1 time in the 60 - 64 age group for men in the 100 SCY was 1:06.80. In 2013 the #1 time was 51.03 (the current record is 49.14). When you look ahead 20 years the records look easy, but in 20 yeas the records will be much better than they are now - guaranteed.

People have the impression that as they age the top times are softer. Not true.

Yah, I get that...probably resulting from advances in training, technique, goggles, coaching, etc. We've gotten smarter and faster. Each younger AG is faster than the older and since times for the youngest AG are dropping, times as they get older will drop too. In about 1971 a 50.0 men's scy fr was a great time, those 20 somethings (my AG) are now 60-64 and the record is under 50.0, which is amazing. Yes, the youngest AGs keep getting faster and they will continue to be fast as they age.

But, the point of my posts is the same as Gobears:


While I personally agree that all times/swimmers who are registered should count, I get Britt's frustration....

Britt - you are fast enough that your time will come. You won't always have [a gaggle of] what you currently consider "elite" swimmers in your age group. [Though] You will likely always have someone who has been an "elite" swimmer,...

Read the Jim Thorton Story (his blog is out there) to believe patience and perseverance count and time remixes things.

mpmartin: I was never able to reach elite times, so I'm a slower fish (then and now) that loves to swim with faster ones. I had the opportunity to swim early mornings for a few summers with one friend that was a 1980 Olympic hopeful in the 400IM and another that was a DIII relay record holder (both much faster than me) and I enjoyed ever minute of it. I would love to swim in a meet or heat with an "elite" swimmer, it's motivational--ignore the time difference and enjoy the experience.

Paul Smith
November 19th, 2013, 10:55 AM
This discussion brought back memories of being in the dive well/warm down pool in Indianapolis in 2004....I had just finished the 100 free and had a rare win over my nemesis the Evil John Smith and as I was swimming back and forth I had noticed an older gentleman sitting on the wall laughing to himself. I finally stopped and asked if he had heard a good joke and he said "no...but I got the last laugh"! He went on to describe his joy at having finally beaten some of his long time competition by outliving them!

PS: And to be clear, he in no way was taking pleasure at someones passing just finding some humor in himself and being competitive!

__steve__
November 19th, 2013, 11:37 AM
Time is always the bottom line

Average John Smith
November 19th, 2013, 06:29 PM
This discussion brought back memories of being in the dive well/warm down pool in Indianapolis in 2004....I had just finished the 100 free and had a rare win over my nemesis the Evil John Smith.............

As I remember you weren't in the 100yd free event Evil Smith....... you chickened out, dodged me and swam the 100 in the 1000 instead.

Come join me in Santa Clara as I continue the pursuit...........a 100yd. free bet against Mr. Gaines .... during the 1000 free.

Old School Rules: Compy goggles..... two footed start (no stagger)..... classic speedo brief........ and no underwater dolphin kicks.

Loser buys dinner.

pwb
November 19th, 2013, 07:16 PM
..... classic speedo brief........ Not sure those come large enough ... no one wants a repeat of the Portland Incident.

knelson
November 19th, 2013, 09:08 PM
Old School Rules: Compy goggles..... two footed start (no stagger)..... classic speedo brief........ and no underwater dolphin kicks.

And I suppose no cap? OK, I guess neither of you actually need one...:)

Frank Thompson
November 19th, 2013, 09:20 PM
As I remember you weren't in the 100yd free event Evil Smith....... you chickened out, dodged me and swam the 100 in the 1000 instead.

Come join me in Santa Clara as I continue the pursuit...........a 100yd. free bet against Mr. Gaines .... during the 1000 free.

Old School Rules: Compy goggles..... two footed start (no stagger)..... classic speedo brief........ and no underwater dolphin kicks.

Loser buys dinner.

I think you are referring to the 2008 Nationals when Paul swam the 1000 because my teammate Dan Israel was next to Paul when he swam the 46.89 on the first 100 and I remember seeing that. You swam a 47.02 in the individual event. I looked up the 2004 Nationals and Paul had the rare win.

Average John Smith
November 20th, 2013, 02:34 PM
I think you are referring to the 2008 Nationals when Paul swam the 1000 because my teammate Dan Israel was next to Paul when he swam the 46.89 on the first 100 and I remember seeing that. You swam a 47.02 in the individual event. I looked up the 2004 Nationals and Paul had the rare win.

I stand corrected!