Swimmer's Ear
Newsletter of the Potomac Valley Masters Committee
May 2017

    Newsletter Schedule printed 3 times a year
  • January (deadline: December 15)
  • May (deadline: April 15)
  • September (deadline: August 15)
    Newsletter Editor
  • Cheryl Wagner
  • phone: 202-387-2361
  • fax: 202-478-0948
  • email: cherylw46@yahoo.com

  Note from the Chair

Greetings fellow swimmers!

Summertime is approaching, heat is in the air. Those rivers, lakes, oceans and summer swim clubs are starting to look real enticing!

Attending the LMSC Leadership Summit a fee weeks ago was a pretty eye-opening experience. We looked at a few membership trends and are seeing a 25% participation rate in USMS pool and open water events. Aside from insurance, most will tell you the biggest benefit of USMS membership is events, be it pool or open water. So to the 75%, I'd LOVE to hear from you: what benefits do you see now and how can we improve your membership experience?

Happy Laps and see you soon!


PV logo

  Articles & Interviews

Margot Pettijohn at UMBC Meet
Interview with Margot Pettijohn
by Cheryl Wagner

I first met Margot at a Terrapin-Ancient Mariners fun meet in 1993. At that time we were about the same speed in breaststroke. That quickly changed and now she is a champion in all strokes. Here is an interview with Margot about how she started swimming and her amazing year.

Q: Where are you from and when did you start swimming?
A: I am from Baltimore, Maryland. I learned how to swim when I was five, learning all four competitive strokes by the age of seven. As a history lesson, butterfly and breaststroke were one stroke. The butterfly stroke started in the 1930s when it developed as a style of swimming breaststroke. Swimmers and coaches began to realize that breaststroke was quicker when a swimmer recovered their arms forward above the water and the arm technique – as well as the swimming term ‘butterfly’ – was born. While the dolphin kick was against breaststroke rules, the butterfly arm technique continued to be used in breaststroke races until butterfly was established as an individual stroke by FINA in 1952. That is why Masters swimmers can still do the breaststroke kick with fly. That rule has saved me a few times during the 200 fly.

Q: How and when did you start swimming competitively (also how did you get started in Masters)?
A: I started my swimming competitive career at age six. However, I never swam on a year round team. I learned all the strokes as a kid and swam at camp and in high school. I did do a few AAU (former USA) meets. We didn't have lane markers, just ropes with floats. No goggles either. We didn't swim like we do now -- mostly I remember doing a length or two at a time and getting out. I remember putting castor oil in my eyes before practice and any light was too bright after practice. Mostly I swam breaststroke, fly and IM.

In September 1992, our twin daughters Cheryl and Michelle left for college and I stopped being a swimming mom and became a swimmer. I've been lucky to participate in swimming on both sides. When our daughters swam (MCSL and USA), I was a stroke and turn judge, referee, and timer. Now we have role reversal. Sometimes, our daughters give me advice on racing. They encouraged me to start Masters and told me I had to swim in meets, otherwise I would have no focus and not work practices.

Q: Did you swim in high school or college?
A: Yes I swam on my Friends School high school team. We did not have a pool at the school, so we swam at a YMCA pool twice a week. Knox college did not have a women's swim team, so I did synchronized swimming. This was before Title IX.

Q: Tell me about your records last year.
A: I aged up to the 70-74 age group. With Ken's support, his special pre-meet pasta sauce and pre-meet back rub, I have had an unbelievable swimming year.

Margot Pettijohn W70-74 Records
100 Fly (SCY) 09-17-16 1:23.83
200 Fly (SCY) 09-17-16 3:07.31
200 IM (SCY) 10-30-16 2:58.42
50 Breast (LCM) 07-09-16 45.13
100 Fly (LCM) 07-10-16 1:35.09
200 Fly (LCM) 07-24-16 3:37.41
200 IM (LCM) 06-26-16 3:20.72
400 IM (LCM) 06-26-16 7:16.18
100 Breast (SCM) 12-03-16 1:36.93
100 Fly (SCM) 03-05-16 1:34.06
100 Fly (SCM) 03-25-17 1:33.78
200 Fly (SCM) 08-28-16 3:30.68
200 IM (SCM) 01-17-16 3:18.73
400 IM (SCM) 01-17-16 7:07.46

Q: What are your swimming goals for the future?
A: Just to stay healthy and enjoy every moment. I want to continue my swimming. Besides being a very low impact, healthy sport, swimming lowers my stress level and allows me to be less hyperactive. I love meeting friends of all ages and occupations. It is definitely a lifetime sport that is providing long-term satisfaction and rewards. I want to be one of the older swimmers others say about, “I want to be like her when I am ... years old.”

Ways Artificial Intelligence Was Used at the Rio Olympics (excerpted)
Source: http://futureadvocacy.com/blog/artificialintelligencerioolympics

AI optimized athletes’ training

AI maximized the impact of training for many athletes competing in the games. Barbara Kendall, former Olympic medalist, explains how ‘sports teams are putting robotic sensors in athletic clothing and equipment, gathering data when athletes are wearing or using them, and then leveraging the data in all sorts of ways: from providing sports fans with real time stats and coaches with data to help them inform and coach performance.’

AI predicted the medalists

AI was even used to predict the winners. A company called Unanimous A.I., which develops technologies for Swarm Intelligence, gave their AI the task of forecasting swimming medals. It anticipated three more golds for Phelps, although he ended up winning five! Read all of its predictions here.

With the rapid pace of developments in AI technology and its use we should expect the intelligence revolution to radically transform future Olympics. We already know that at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics automatic translation services, using AI, will be available in real time for athletes and visitors in seven languages. Who knows what other AI applications will be available by the time the Olympics roadshow pulls into Tokyo in 2020?


AI Generated Swim Sets (excerpted)
Source: www.splurgeswim.com

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA – An artificial intelligence algorithm just did a coach's job by writing an entire swim practice from scratch for an NCAA Division I collegiate squad including sets, reps, distances, descriptions of stroke+equipment+pacing and intervals. The coach simply provided the (a) one base interval, (b) the total amount of yardage desired, (c) desired stroke emphasis and (d) desired overall intensity. The software did the rest.

Read more: www.splurgeswim.com.


Swimming after a Hip Replacement
by Cheryl Wagner

my new hip
While biking home from the pool (and training for my 19th Bay Swim), I fell and broke my lwft hip. By evening of the same day I had experienced a total hip replacement. One of my first thoughts in the recovery room was, "When will I be able to swim?"

My surgeon told me to wait 6 weeks for the wound to heal before going in the pool. The post-operative instructions (for between 6 - 12 weeks depending on the patient and surgery) included: no bending (more than 90 degrees), no sitting on a low chair, no twisting and no crossing legs.

I was still on crutches at 6 weeks but stuffed myself into my Honda Civic and drove to the pool where I completed 1,000 yards (freestyle, no flip turns). Within 2 days I increased my yards to 1,500 and added 10 minutes of water-jogging. The water jogging made an enormous difference in range of motion and muscle tone and I started progressing much faster after regular visits to the pool.

The post operative restrictions (no bending, twisting, crossing legs, etc.) are due to the artificial ball and joint being smaller than the natural joint it replaced. So until the muscles, ligaments, and scar tissue have healed and secured the new joint, at certain angles it can pop out (dislocate). For more information on post-operative restrictions, see http://www.healthpages.org/surgical-care/hip-precautions-after-hip-replacement-surgery/

Another question is when (and whether) breaststroke is allowed. I found an article in the Journal of Arthritis, titled "Swimming Breaststroke after Total Hip Replacement". They conducted a survey of patients and surgeons about swimming after total hip replacement. See the article for all of the details, https://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/swimming-breaststroke-after-total-hip-replacement-are-we-sending-thecorrect-message-2167-7921-1000147.php?aid=42446. However, they did state, "No healthcare professionals have seen a case of dislocated THR following swimming breaststroke, and there are no reported cases in the literature."

So fear not, ye who have a new hip. The swimming pool beckons.





Congratulations! PV Results at USMS Spring Nationals

View results: PV Results


UMAC Terrapins at USMS Spring Nationals
photos and text by Mackenzie & Wyatt Bradbury

Mollie Grover

Courtney Randolph

UMAC Terrapins

Jeff Strahota

UMAC Terrapins

Courtney, Mollie, Andy

Jonathan, Jeff, Wyatt, Andy

at the pool
  • Congratulations to National Champion in the 200 BK, Silver Medalist in the 100 BK, Bronze Medalist in the 100 FR, and 6th place in the 50 FR - Mollie Grover of UMAC.
  • Congratulations, Courtney Randolph! 500 FR Silver Medalist showing off her hardware in her Speedo swag! She also was National Champion in the 400IM and 200 FR, and was 4th in the 200 IM.

E-Postal Swimmers
by Wyatt Bradbury, February 4, 2017

Congratulations go out to Jonathan O'Laughlin and Kathryn Maddux who completed the USMS E-Postal Nationals Hour Swim. Jon swam 4775 yards and Kathryn swam 3775. Congratulations to both our athletes!




  Meet News


Testing the Bay - Early April
Article and photo by Joe Stewart

Joe in the bay - early April
Joe Stewart'a first swim in the Chesapeake Bay - early April.


UMAC ANCM ALEX Tri-Meet February 18, 2017

PHOTOS: http://www.pvmasters.org/~newsletter/May-17/terr-ancm-alex-2-18-17/


UMAC Terrapins at Albatross & Colonies Zone Meets
photos and text by Mackenzie & Wyatt Bradbury

UMAC Terrapins at Albatross

Jeff, Mike G, Mike D, Steve

UMAC Terrapins at Colonies Zone



Meet Officials Needed in 2017 IGLA Championships at World OutGames Miami on May 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th

We are reaching out to recruit officials for a swim meet in Miami on May 26th, 27th, 28th, and 29th. We are in need of a few more officials and have very generous thank you bags including lodging and airfare for out of town officials.

If you are interested. Can you please contact us?

Email: Diego

KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) Volunteers Needed
by Garret Sern

Fellow Masters Swimmers – If volunteering is one of your new year’s resolutions, please consider KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now).

KEEN provides opportunities for children, regardless of their mental or physical challenges, to enjoy sports, including swimming! KEEN has two swim programs, one based at Georgetown Prep in North Bethesda, Maryland, the other at Deanwood Aquatic Center in D.C. The kids really appreciate volunteers who share their enthusiasm for the water. If you desire a change from the pool, KEEN has plenty of programs for everyone’s tastes.

There is no long-term commitment to volunteer with KEEN; you just register and participate in the programs you enjoy based on your schedule. To learn more and to register for a program go to http://www.keengreaterdc.org/. If you have any questions or if you would like to organize a group to volunteer for a session, please contact Garret Sern at gwsern@gmail.com


UMAC Last Chance SCY Meet - May 6

UMAC Last Chance SCY Meet - May 6 - College Park- Eppley Recreation Center Natatorium - University of Maryland

Virginia Senior Games Swim Meet May 11-12, 2017

Virginia Senior Games Swim Meet May 11-12, 2017
Short Course Yards - NOVA of Virginia Aquatics Center - Richmond, VA

Maryland Masters 1500 or 800 Time Trial May 21, 2017

Maryland Masters 1500 or 800 Time Trial May 21, 2017
University of Maryland Baltimore County - 1000 Hilltop Circle - Baltimore, MD

Fort Ritchie 6th Annual Swim Fest May 27, 2017

Fort Ritchie 6th Annual Swim Fest in Cascade, MD May 27, 2017
(750 meter, 1500 meter and 2250 meter Open Water Swims) Fort Ritchie, Cascade, MD

Jim McDonnell Lake Swim May 27 - 28, 2017

Jim McDonnell Lake Swim May 27 - 28, 2017
Open Water - Lake Audubon - 2070 Twin Branches Road - Reston, VA

Tide Swimming 1st Annual LCM Meet in Virginia Beach, VA June 17, 2017

Tide Swimming 1st Annual LCM Meet in Virginia Beach, VA June 17, 2017
Princess Anne YMCA, 2121 Landstown Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

John Shrum Memorial Cable Swim July 8, 2017

John Shrum Memorial Cable Swim July 8, 2017 at Chris Greene Lake in Charlottesville, VA 22936 USA

DCRP LCM Meet July 9, 2017

DCRP LCM Meet at Wilson Aquatic Center, Washington, DC July 9, 2017

Ocean Games 9-mile Open Water Swim July 15, 2017

Ocean Games 9-mile Open Water Swim in Ocean City, MD
Caroline Street, Ocean City, MD 21842

USMS Summer Nationals August 2-6, 2017

USMS Summer Nationals in Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota

USMS Coaches' Certification Clinics

USMS Coaches' Certification Clinics

Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Courses

Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor Certification Courses

Future Saints program at Marymount University - Volunteers Needed

We would like to disseminate information about our Future Saints program at Marymount University. We are trying to fill the void left when Nadar Por Vida ceased to exist. We invite children of low income families to Marymount University every Saturday night ( except holidays ) for swimming lessons.

Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional deaths for children ages 1-4, the second leading cause of unintentional death for kids 1-14. Studies show that Latino and African American children drown at a rate 3 times higher than white children, and if neither parent can swim, the rate is 9 times higher.

We use volunteer instructors from Marymount University Swim Team, the Clark Swim Club, and other local high school swimmers, but would love to have some more adult swimmers involved.

I know there are some Potomac Valley Swimmers that would be very interested in helping out. We have a SignUp Genius on our website, http://www.clarkaquaticfoundation.org.

USMS Marketing Resources

Here is a link to the USMS Marketing resources page. Clubs are eligible to receive a Co-Branded USMS/Team Logo Banner every calendar year. There is also all manner of USMS Swag available for free if you only pay shipping to get it. http://www.usms.org/content/coachresources?utm_campaign=top_nav&utm_medium=local_programs.

Registration Notes
by Jeff Roddin
  • We now have 32 registered clubs vs 35 last year. The three that did not renew are CPMS, MAS and SWSP (SWSP switched to the MD LMSC).


Private Swim Clinics

There is information at http://www.claybrittswimming.com/masterstriathletes.html about lessons, Masters workouts and how to arrange a private clinic for your team or friends. I’m excited to be able to offer private lessons again and I hope this can benefit you.

Clay Britt http://www.claybrittswimming.com

PV LMSC Meeting Minutes - March 7, 2017

March 7, 2017 minutes



USMS Sponsor Partner Benefits

Because of the time, energy and resources our partners dedicate to USMS, we’re able to provide valuable membership benefits. For more information see: http://www.usms.org/merch/sponsors

Private Swim Instruction

Clay Britt http://www.claybrittswimming.com

  Photo Credits


All photos by Cheryl Wagner unless otherwise noted.

  Events Calendar



Pool Event Calendar



Long Distance/Open Water Calendar