View Poll Results: Should elite swimmers training full time swim in USMS meets?

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  • Yes, everyone is welcome!

    75 92.59%
  • No, these swimmers have no business swimming masters.

    6 7.41%
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Thread: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters meets?

  1. #1
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters meets?

    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-...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?
    Last edited by knelson; November 5th, 2013 at 12:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Very Active Member arthur's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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.

  3. #3
    Very Active Member __steve__'s Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    It's competition broken down into 5 year age groups for adults

  4. #4
    Very Active Member orca1946's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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."

  6. #6
    Very Active Member mmlr38's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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.

  7. #7
    Very Active Member pwb's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by arthur View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by mmlr38 View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Moderator Rob Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by pwb View Post
    are going to make it hard for the next crop of 'mere mortal' Masters to have a chance at those records
    Iím not sure how many mere mortals had a shot at the previous recordsÖ

    Personally Iím 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.
    The opinions expressed in the above post are mine and not those of U.S. Masters Swimming.

  9. #9
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    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?

  10. #10
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by ande View Post
    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!

  11. #11
    Very Active Member aquageek's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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.

  12. #12
    aka Elaine-iaK & Aqua Dog ElaineK's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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.
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  13. #13
    Very Active Member Allen Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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.
    "To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield" Tennyson
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  14. #14
    Very Active Member kristilynn's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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.

  15. #15
    sǝssɐןb ɹǝʇʇǝq ʇǝb That Guy's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    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...
    "I blame you, James!" - knelson

  16. #16
    Very Active Member ALM's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Thanks to this discussion, I just added Darian Townsend to our Olympians list!

    Check out his listing as well as the listings of many other Olympians who have also been USMS members.

  17. #17
    Very Active Member knelson's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    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."

  18. #18
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Stark View Post
    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. 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.
    "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." - K.A. Benthin

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  19. #19
    Age Grouper in Training jaadams1's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
    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.
    "Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do." - K.A. Benthin

    Inland NW Top Ten & Records Chair, and Web-Dude
    www.inlandnwmasters.org

  20. #20
    Very Active Member Chris Stevenson's Avatar
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    Re: Should elites in "full training" mode swim in masters me

    Quote Originally Posted by knelson View Post
    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.

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