The largest contingent of masters swimmers in Juneau's history went to Anchorage this weekend Alaska Masters Short Course Yards State Championships at Bartlett High School Swimming Pool. The meet is today and Saturday.
``We have 17 people, nine women and eight men, going to state. It's the largest group we've ever taken,'' said Janet Rumble, who co-coaches Juneau's unofficial masters team with Marc Bucat.
Juneau doesn't officially have a masters swimming program or team, not like Anchorage with its Sports West Alaska Masters (SWAM) team or Fairbanks with a similar squad. But Rumble said there are about 25 adult swimmers who regularly work out together three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 5:30-6:30 a.m.). The Juneau swimmers pay $5 to the city for each morning lap swim session.
Nine swimmers from Juneau attended the state meet last year, taking third place in the team standings behind SWAM and Fairbanks. There are usually about 150 swimmers from around the state at the meet, Rumble said.
Of the Juneau swimmers, Rick Wery broke a couple of age group records at last year's state meet but only swam in four events so he didn't score in the individual standings. This year he plans to swim the required six events for individual age group scoring, and Rumble thinks he has a good chance of winning his division.
Two other Juneau swimmers, Ritchie Sonner and Tom Jacobsen took first place in their age groups in past state masters meets, Rumble said.
The Juneau swimmers are Rumble, Justine Bishop, Leah Davis, Gina Atkinson and Sharon Heidersdorf in the women's age 30-34 division; Bucat and Dean Courtney in the men's age 30-34 division; Sonner and Mary Ethridge in the women's age 40-44 division; Sally McLaughlin in the women's age 45-49 division; Wery, James McGowan and Greg Pease in the men's age 45-49 division; Jacobsen, Jake Yearty and Paul Johnson in the men's age 50-54 division; and Marianne Stillner in the women's age 55-59 division.