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TheGoodSmith
August 11th, 2005, 12:03 PM
Interesting and unfortunate that the vast majority of ex swimmers that made finals at NCAAs or Nationals when they were younger (or even just cuts) do not now participate in Masters Swimming. Only a small handful of these people come to Masters Nationals each year within each age group.

What a good opportunity USMS presents to see old faces and have a good time. I think USMS would benefit tremendously from their knowledge of the sport.


John Smith

scyfreestyler
August 11th, 2005, 12:04 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Interesting and unfortunate that the vast majority of ex swimmers that made finals at NCAAs or Nationals when they were younger (or even just cuts) do not now participate in Masters Swimming. Only a small handful of these people come to Masters Nationals each year within each age group.

What a good opportunity USMS presents to see old faces and have a good time. I think USMS would benefit tremendously from their knowledge of the sport.


John Smith But then all of the second rate swimmers could never win an event. :)

TheGoodSmith
August 11th, 2005, 12:07 PM
Most are grossly out of shape and have a distaste for the sport. I wouldn't worry about it.


John Smith

scyfreestyler
August 11th, 2005, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Most are grossly out of shape and have a distaste for the sport. I wouldn't worry about it.


John Smith No worries. I am in no danger of winning any events anytime soon.

Jeff Commings
August 11th, 2005, 12:35 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Most are grossly out of shape and have a distaste for the sport. I wouldn't worry about it.


John Smith


And they're too busy popping out babies. Most of my former collegiate teammates are doing that. One of them tried to make a comeback, but his wife just lost control of her uterus and popped out three babies in three years.

I always thought many of the former greats would appear in Masters swimming. From my era, it's good to see Roque Santos still in action.

aquageek
August 11th, 2005, 01:07 PM
I had a swimmer who swam at one of the top D-1 programs recently tell my wife that if he ever saw a pool again, it would be way too soon. There were lots of expletives mentioned about swimming as well.

SwiminONandON
August 11th, 2005, 01:09 PM
I think alot of them come back around age 35 or so ... they need a brake ...

aquageek
August 11th, 2005, 01:22 PM
So, they bloom early, take a decade or so off and then bloom again late.

Sorry, couldn't resist, gull80 put me up to it.

knelson
August 11th, 2005, 01:37 PM
Brian Goodell is entered in LC Nationals. It will be interesting to see how he swims. His first event is the 800 free which is today.

valhallan
August 11th, 2005, 02:01 PM
Bobby Hackett was our high school team captain back in the late seventies. And after his four years at Harvard he threw in the towel.

It would be interesting to see what he could do if ever the urge to compete again resurfaced. 47 years old is still relatively young considering that most masters keep going well into their seventies. (There's nothing more inspirational than watching a ninety year old doing butterfly.)

A Goodell/Hackett race would be most interesting.

ande
August 11th, 2005, 02:41 PM
most of the ones in austin never want to go near a pool again unless there's an umbrella drink or something cold and intoxicating in their hands.

maybe they'll get back in the pool when they gain more weight or injuries force them to the conclusion that swimming is the only sensible way to stay in shape. Then maybe when they transition from pitiful to decent, they'll don a speedo and enter a meet.

If some really great people get back into it
they'll make it tough on us also rans.


HOW TO GET THEM:

peer pressure sometimes works

stupid bets with alcohol prizes are extremely effective

black mail could work, those with recollections (although fuzzy), photos, and video could "encourage" others

The GREATS need a reason, a great place, dates, and plenty of time to prepare.

Maybe a reality show in the same vein as celebrity boxing matches might be interesting

Hmmm,

Ande


Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Interesting and unfortunate that the vast majority of ex swimmers that made finals at NCAAs or Nationals when they were younger (or even just cuts) do not now participate in Masters Swimming. Only a small handful of these people come to Masters Nationals each year within each age group.

What a good opportunity USMS presents to see old faces and have a good time. I think USMS would benefit tremendously from their knowledge of the sport.
John Smith

Bob McAdams
August 11th, 2005, 03:49 PM
Originally posted by 330man
But then all of the second rate swimmers could never win an event. :)

I choose to believe that the reason they don't come is because they're afraid us less experienced swimmers will beat them! :p


Bob

laineybug
August 11th, 2005, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by aquageek
So, they bloom early, take a decade or so off and then bloom again late.

Sorry, couldn't resist, gull80 put me up to it.

careful with the weejee board, you could summon up something you don't want.

laineybug
August 11th, 2005, 04:25 PM
How to get them back?

Has anyone ever called them up and said, "Hey, come on back. I miss swimming with you."

Peter Cruise
August 11th, 2005, 04:45 PM
Lainey, that approach is far too sensitive & considerate... I prefer this gambit "I'll bet you couldn't still break (fill in the blank) if your life depended on it!"

waves101
August 11th, 2005, 04:50 PM
I'm not sure that I want too many NCAA champs back in the water but then again I do like it when a small Division III swimmer, like myself, beats a former Big 10 (or similar) swimmer. Don't get me wrong....I don't let it be known. But... it does give me a little giggle inside.

TheGoodSmith
August 11th, 2005, 04:58 PM
I think beer and R&R is a better approach to entice these people. Most aren't interested in racing as they are so burnt out on it from so many years ago.

There needs to be more of a reunion appeal, and USMS needs to keep Nationals in a good vacation type location (coast or beach oriented) to strengthen the appeal.


John Smith

TheGoodSmith
August 11th, 2005, 04:58 PM
.

Howard
August 11th, 2005, 05:41 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
.

Most intelligent thought of the day.

aquageek
August 11th, 2005, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by waves101
beats a former Big 10 (or similar) swimmer.

When did the Big 10 start swimming programs? And, just because UM has Phelps as a training buddy doesn't mean they count.

The South rules.

Matt S
August 11th, 2005, 06:19 PM
Hey Aquageek,

Need I remind you of this little backwater school in Bloomington, IN. They had a coach by the name of Councilman who was pretty well regarded in certain circles, and a dude, Spitz was it (?), that some say was half decent.

More recently I've heard some folks from Ann Arbor talk about one of their local heros, Dolan if I recall correctly. Supposedly he wasn't half bad on a good day.

Please enlighten me, whose men's 4x200 relay just broke the U.S. Open record at Senior Nationals?

Matt

aquageek
August 11th, 2005, 06:42 PM
I knew someone would bring up Indiana and that was an oversight on my part. However, it is a fact that serious swimming talent today stays below the Mason Dixon line, as do most people who desire less than 11.5 months of winter a year.

Blue Horn
August 11th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Michigan just win a NCAA championship back in 1995. Plus they were 5 at NCAAs this year. Plus, Minn and OSU weren't that bad either. However, overall the Southern schools certainly out perform their Northern counter parts in the NCAAs and make up the majority of the top 25. Suprisingly though, Ohio, Penn, Indiana and Mich still turn out more high school talent than you might expect given the yearly finishes at NCAAs over the last 10 to 15 years.

Hook'em
Blue

kaffrinn
August 12th, 2005, 12:21 AM
Maybe we need to remind all of our once-competitive friends that in Masters they can always come back and just race 50's. Not to mention the 100 IM. I know for me it was a lot easier to start competing knowing that these distances were an option.

F'ueco
August 12th, 2005, 01:19 AM
50's?

The last time I did a race that short was my freshman year of high school. These days I dislike anything shorter than a mile. :)

cinc3100
August 12th, 2005, 01:34 AM
Well, the South like Arizona and California and Texas recruits across the US and foreign countries. I think the way swimming is today that the club teams have less influence past high school. Think 35 years ago, the club teams got the college swimmers in the summer time. This past summer nationals, the college teams had club versions for non-school part of the year. There was Longhorn made up of several college and some high school folks. Club Wolverang, the university of Michiagan at Ann Arbor with Mr Phelps.

TheGoodSmith
August 12th, 2005, 12:26 PM
Correction.....

Texas rarely if ever has recruited foreign swimmers for their mens collegiate swim team.

I still say beer is the best way to induce old swimmers back into the sport.


John Smith

Frank Thompson
August 12th, 2005, 01:09 PM
The Big Ten Conference has been the most successful conference in history in the NCAA Championship Meet. Of the 82 NCAA Championships that have been held, 39 team championships have been awarded to the Conference. Of the 39 the breakdown is as follows: Michigan 18, Ohio State 11, Indiana 6, and Northwestern 4, for a total of 39. Of the 43 Championships not won by the Big Ten Conference are as follows: USC 9, Texas 9, Stanford 8, Auburn 5, Yale 4, Cal 2, Florida 2, Navy 2, Tennesse 1, and UCLA 1 for a total of 43 NCAA Championships. This information comes from the NCAA website. I didn't even bother to go through the individual titles but it appears that the Big Ten has more than half of those.

Its true the Big Ten has not won an NCAA title since 1995, so most of these Championships were in the earlier years. The Big Ten remains the most active conference with 21 of 22 schools having programs for both Men and Women. The only program dropped so far is the Illinois Men from the conference.

aquageek
August 12th, 2005, 01:29 PM
Well, two follow ups to this.

First, 10 years ago the Big Ten had won 39/72 championships in swimming.

Second, we all know why Illinois dropped swimming. It's because 10 baseball playing teenagers in the state believe swimmers are gay. That, in turn, caused the state to drop swimming from their flagship institution.

When did the Big Ten get 22 schools?

TheGoodSmith
August 12th, 2005, 02:08 PM
What we need are some old college relay rematches at USMS Nationals. That may bring a few old faces out of the woodwork.


John Smith

Rob Copeland
August 12th, 2005, 02:20 PM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
Texas rarely if ever has recruited foreign swimmers for their mens collegiate swim team.
John Smith And I thought Texans considered anyone who wasn’t from the great state a foreigner.

TheGoodSmith
August 12th, 2005, 02:48 PM
Rob,

No...... anyone that is not from Texas is considered an "outsider" not a "foreigner".


John Smith

Frank Thompson
August 12th, 2005, 05:39 PM
Geek:

I meant 22 programs from 11 schools. Remeber Penn State joined but they did not rename the conference to the Big 11. And its been dry for a while with NCAA Championships. Maybe Bob Bowman can change that in the future.

About your second point, I will leave that up to Craigh. I don't think he will agree with your statement because I believe when he was thinking like this he was referring to young boys and wearing speedo's.

Mr Goodsmith, didn't Texas recruit some foreign divers while you attended the school. I know its not swimming, but they do contribute to the points for the Championship. Also I have been thinking about what your saying about ex National Caliber swimmers from the past and I believe we have really had a lot come back and compete at one time or another. Maybe not consistantly but they make a presence. What % do you believe would be a representation for that.

I have a teamate from Michigan Masters that swam at the 1989 Pan Pacific Championships and in his heat there was 3 people that had won 9 Olympic Gold Medals. Rowdy Gaines, Jim Montgomery, and Brain Goodell were all in the same heat in the 200 Free. Also another teammate of mine went to the Short Course Nationals at USC in 1990 and couldn't believe all of the National caliber swimmers at the meet. In his heats in backstroke he had Mook Rodenbaugh, Clay Britt, Sean Murphy, and Fran Mortensen just to name a few. Mr Goodsmith, you might have been at this meet because I believe all of these guys are in your age group. My teammate commented that it reminded him of heats of the Olympic Trials.

There are 156 ex Olympians that have swam masters that USMS knows about. Gail Roper keeps track of this on this website and there is probably a lot more. It would be interesting if someone would trace back all of the national swimmers that have swam up until this point. I think there is a lot more that you could imagine.

TheGoodSmith
August 14th, 2005, 10:03 PM
Well, I certainly agree with the few swimmers you've mentioned that have attended Masters Nationals from time to time. I guess you look at the percentages over all and it's pretty dismal. You will typically only find 1 or 2 people of a formerly high caliber level in the final heats of each age group at Masters Nationals. Sometimes, many of the heats have absolutely no ex national caliber swimmers in them.

If you think about it...... these were the only people at nationals long ago. Swimming obviously burns people out mentally. A couple here and there like Rowdy, Mook, Brian Goodell etc... is great to see from time to time. But it's pretty small percentage wise if you think about it.

As for the Texas divers being foreign recruits. I swam when Matt Scoggins dove for Texas in the early to mid 80s. I don't remember any foreigners divers on the men's team at that time. There may have been a foreign diver on the women's team at a later date. Point being, Eddie doesn't shell out money to non citizens like other collegiate teams do. I wouldn't have named Texas in the context Cinc30 did.

As for Big 10 making an impact on NCAAs.... Well..... It's just not been that powerful a conference for swimming since Indiana's program died in the late '70s. Michigan is prety much the sole school. PAC 10 and SEC very much rule the swimming conferences these days in terms of number of programs and depth. Texas stands alone in a very pathetic swimming conference now. The sport is not growing in the US in general. If anything it's dying slowly.


John Smith

aquageek
August 15th, 2005, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by TheGoodSmith
The sport is not growing in the US in general. If anything it's dying slowly.

US medal totals in the past 4 or 5 Olympics and World Championships certainly lend credibility to this assertion.

TheGoodSmith
August 15th, 2005, 10:26 AM
The 400m free relay is the best indicator of this issue. It represents depth in the US programs.

John Smith

aquageek
August 15th, 2005, 10:40 AM
Again, I totally agree, one relay race of a single stroke of a single distance represents all the swimming done in the whole nation.

TheGoodSmith
August 15th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Well, if you really want a clear picture of what is going on with age group swimming and the future of USS performances, get out to a few age group meets and see for yourself. Its not encouraging.

Boys enrollment is down comparatively on nearly every metric.... vs. girls.... vs.... 20 years ago.... vs. the population at large. Its not a good picture. This is apart from another significant fact that so many colleges have pulled the plug on swimming in the past 10 years.

Let me ask you..... do you really think the depth of American sprinters are on par with what they used to be? Did the 100m freestyle in the Olympics impress you?

Remember, performances today are a reflection of programs 10 years ago or more. Men's swimming has been on a decline in terms of enrollment for a while now.

John Smith

aquageek
August 15th, 2005, 12:49 PM
I've been to more than a few age group meets and let me say your experiences are different from mine. Swimming is crazy popular here. The programs have waiting lists.

TheGoodSmith
August 15th, 2005, 01:12 PM
Well, that's good news that swimming is doing so well in North Carolina. But you must have noticed that many meet results still show a lagging enrollment in the younger ages there too.

Note for example the state meet results for NC for 2004. 10 and under boys have a poor showing in terms of numbers.

2004 NC Long Course Age Group Championships - 7/28/04 to 7/31/04
http://www.ncswim.org/2004meets/NC04045-NC/Results.htm


John Smith

gull
August 15th, 2005, 03:05 PM
Getting back to the original question, are these guys a) still swimming for fitness but not interested in competing, b) doing some other form of exercise, or c) sedentary like 60% (or more) or the population?

TheGoodSmith
August 15th, 2005, 03:15 PM
The answer I think is mostly b.) and c.)

Most guys I talk to want nothing to do with swimming anymore, not even for fun and general excercise. Some do different sports, but I find most to be a bit out of shape in general.

..... a.) did they leave the sport with a bad taste in their mouths? i.e. poor performances b.) did their coaches drain every brain cell from their heads? i.e. bad coaching c.) Did they never like it that much begin with? d.) do they not want to compare old times with current times .... i.e. old age

Who knows..... It'd be nice to have USMS Nationals as a bigger forum for reunions for ex national caliber swimmers. It seems to be a missed opportunity for most of these people.


John Smith

Frank Thompson
August 15th, 2005, 03:39 PM
Mr Goodsmith:

According to the University of Texas swimming website, under Olympians these guys were listed as being collegians at Texas in the Olympics. In 1980, Ken Armstrong - Canadian Diving Team. In 1984, both Jon Vegard and Christian Styren repesenting the Norway Diving Team.

For swimmers, I know it was before Eddie's time but Felipe Munoz, who was the upset winner of the 200 Breast in the 1968 Olympics. Also a swimmer named Carlos Arena reperesented Mexico in the 1996 Olympics. These were the only foireign athletes that were listed as representing the University.

gull
August 15th, 2005, 03:42 PM
Not having been National caliber, I'm not convinced that these guys are less represented in USMS than other former swimmers (college/high school/age group).

Jeff Commings
August 15th, 2005, 03:45 PM
A few more from Texas:

Zasha Robles from Venezuela. Very talented backstroker who never reached his potential. Swam from 1992-96. Swam high school in the States.

Paul Latimer from Scotland. Good IMer. Same years as Zasha.

And a guy named Jose Inesta, Mexico. I always thought he'd make the 1996 Olympics, but he burned out after about two years.

But yes, the number is low, given the trend.

TheGoodSmith
August 15th, 2005, 04:20 PM
Well my first comment is that Eddie doesn't control the diving team or the diving scholarships that are handed out. Back then the diving coach, "Brownie" did that. Yes, diving points do score with swimming points together, but I have yet to hear of any foreign divers scoring real significant points at NCAAs for Texas if any.

Secondly, Ken Armstrong (Canadian) 1980.... was probably already on the team when Eddie took the job at Texas around 1978.

Thirdly, my senior year was 1984 and the two divers that represented Texas at NCAAs were Matt Scoggins and my roommate David Lindsey. Whomever the other two divers were, they did not appear to contribute points to the team that year. I don't remember those names, personally. Then again, my brain is getting old and is anything but reliabable these days.

Lastly, over the years, Eddie has not lured foreign talent to his teams with money the way other coaches have done so. This is not to say he won't let foreigners swim on the team. It is a approach that is refreshing to see when so many other coaches give up on recruiting in the US and turn to help from abroad.


John Smith

Frank Thompson
August 16th, 2005, 10:32 AM
Mr Goodsmith:

I made an error about the Olympic years of some of those divers. Christian Styen was a member of the 1992 Olympic team not the 1984 team representing Norway. The other guy, Jon Vegard was on both the 1980 and 1984 teams for Norway so he was probably long gone before you swam there. I don't think either of these guys contributed major points like Scoggins and Dumas did at the NCAA Championships.

cinc3100
August 17th, 2005, 04:12 PM
Well, I agree that Texas has less foreign swimmers than the University of Arizona does. I was saying that most top college programs get there share of out of state swimmers. I think back in the mid-1970's. What's interesting that in spite of having less college program for guys than gals,our men's team is probably one of the best. Many college programs that are elimanated have swimmers that don't make nationals. Now, I can see people being upset that they have less opportunity now to swim in college than the girls. The same was true for the girls 25 years ago. But whether having more boys going out for the sport at 10 years old hurts in the long run who knows. We have more girls that go out for the sport but our women don't win as easily was our male team. Maybe, swimming is more competive in the world at the female level.

Rob Copeland
August 17th, 2005, 04:49 PM
And speaking of Texas… they picked up some real studs this year in Klueh, Patton, Verlatti.

A.K.
August 17th, 2005, 08:43 PM
Ande's theory of...
"peer pressure sometimes works"
"stupid bets with alcohol prizes are extremely effective"

I think this is what has the best chance to bring people back... atleast that's what we are doing.

I mentioned to my old swim mates that I started swimming again and they asked how far I was swimming- I mentioned 1000 yards to start out and they ridiculed me... well I had to double that and started doing 2100 yards the next day... it's good to be back.