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Member News
January 2010

In This Issue
I Want to Be Like Marianna
The Hanging Streamline Drill
2009 SPMA Regionals a Huge Success
Warm Welcome from Local Swimmers
Insurance Coverage for All Members
We've Got Spirit!
Really Cool Website of the Month
Curl Burke Masters of Washington DC earn RCWOM honors this month for keeping their team organized and updated at:

To be considered for Really Cool Website of the Month, please make sure that your team's website includes the current USMS logo and Join/Renew Membership button. You may submit your team name and web address to the USMS for consideration at
One-Hour Swim

The One-Hour Postal National Championships is only in the month of January, so get signed up now!

One-Hour Swim

The objective is to swim as far as possible in one hour, submit your results, and be ranked with everyone in your age group across the country.
Check it Off!
The Check-off Challenge is back, and it is time to enter. First deadline for T-shirts (for February delivery) is January 31.

Check-off Challenge

If you have not heard of this event, you should "check" it out. Basically, you make a commitment to swim all 18 pool events in a single year, and check them off on the T-shirt. Each year's T-shirt sports a different theme.
Go the Distance
Swimmer of the Month
Michael Schaeffer
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What About You?
Do you have a story to tell? We are always interested in hearing from our members about their swimming experiences. We may feature your story on the Web, in STREAMLINES, or in SWIMMER magazine. Write to us at
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U.S. Masters Swimming had a blast in 2009; the staff moved into a new headquarters, a new president and officers were elected, volunteers continued to wow us with their hard work, swimmers swam fast, had fun and got fit. In 2010, U.S. Masters Swimming looks forward to even more growth, improvements and updates. What are your goals for the new year? Together, we can accomplish our goals, stick to resolutions and get better with every stroke.

Swimming for Life
Your Friends at U.S. Masters Swimming
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I Want to Be Like Marianna
By Betsy Durrant

Betsy DurrantWe are all inspired by someone. Some of us are inspired by family members, some by friends and yet others by the swimmers in the next lane over. Long time Masters swimmer and volunteer, Betsy Durrant, is inspired by Mariannna Berkley. The 87-year-old Masters swimmer swims lap after lap, but it is her attitude, generousity and zeal for adventure that makes Betsy say, "I want to be like Marianna."

This camel riding, record breaking, and ladder climbing world traveler inspires people from around the world. Read more

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Perfecting Your Breaststroke Glide:
The Hanging Streamline Drill
by Chris Colburn, Academy Bullets Masters

Chris ColburnIn all my years as a swimmer and coach, I found that one very simple skill was more important to breaststroke than any other. Holding the body in as tight a streamline as possible throughout the stroke enables you to make gains with very little effort. Keeping the entire stroke streamlined reduces frontal and lateral drag, and enables a longer, faster stroke.

The streamline is most important, though, during the glide, so keep the arms straight and head tucked tightly, while pointing your toes and keeping your knees straight and together. By developing discipline with this simple skill, even non-breaststrokers can make significant improvements. Read more
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New Features for the Calendar of Events

The USMS Calendar of Events is now interactive! This improved calendar features a new search tool, allowing you to search for events by type of event, location and date.

Currently, to see additional events included on the USMS Calendar of Events please submit a request form.

Coming Soon...
Plans for the future of the USMS Calendar of Events include an online interactive national events sanctioning process, which means all events that receive a USMS sanction will automatically appear on the calendar-- no submission request will be necessary. Additionally, RSS feeds will be available to include on your local program's website. Look for these great improvements later this year.
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2009 SPMA Regionals a Huge Success
By Raul Reis

U.S. Masters Swimming events continue to grow. Meet directors and volunteers continue work hard to present their participants with a memorable experience and swimmers continue race to measure progress and challenge themselves.

SPMA Regionals

In December, SPMA hosted its largest Regional competition to date accommodating more than 650 swimmers. Volunteers and athletes, alike, praised the event. Read more
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A Warm Welcome from Local Masters Swimmers

U.S. Masters Swimming has received a warm welcome from members of the Sarasota swimming community since its doors opened in June. In December, the Original Sarasota Masters, a local team affiliated with the Florida Aquatic Combined Team, presented the U.S. Masters Swimming staff and headquarters with a beautiful Chinese Fan Palm. The blue ceramic pot was chosen to complement the unique blue tile roof of the Pagoda building, and a hand-painted tile commemorating the gift adorns the pot. Thank you to the Original Sarasota Masters!

Sarasota Masters at HQ
Pictured from L to R: Peter Hegwein, Sarasota Masters Coach; James Donnelly, Sarasota Masters Secretary; Kyle Deery, USMS staff; Deb Walker, Sarasota Masters Vice-President; Edna Gordon, Sarasota Masters President; Jim Matysek, USMS staff
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More Insurance Coverage for Members

U.S. Masters Swimming is pleased to announce that there are even more benefits for members in 2010. The following insurance coverage is included with annual membership, an increase from previous years.

$25,000 of excess medical insurance with no deductible
  • This coverage includes treatment by a physician or dentist, hospital room and board, use of ambulance, dental work to teeth, drugs, medicines, x-rays, rental of medical equipment like a wheelchair or hospital bed, prosthetic appliances, and orthopedic appliances or braces
$5,000 of Accidental Death and Dismemberment
  • This coverage includes loss of life, speech and hearing, loss of eye, loss of hands, and loss of fingers
Temporary Total Disability
  • Up to $750 of disability coverage
MEDEX Assistant Service
  • While traveling away from home, insured members have assistance in the event of a travel-related emergency. This coverage offers assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 52 weeks a year. Travel-related emergency assistance includes: 
  • Special assistance in replacing lost or stolen travel documents, including passports
  • Emergency funds transfer
  • Special assistance in locating the nearest, most appropriate medical care
  • Verification of insurance coverages facilitating entry and admissions into hospitals and other medical care providers
  • Assistance in establishing contact with family, personal physician, and employer as appropriate.
  • Special assistance in the coordination of direct claims payment.
  • Management, arrangement, and coordination of emergency medical transportation and evacuation as necessary.
  • Translation services and referrals to local interpreters as necessary.
  • Knowledgeable legal referral assistance.
  • Courtesy assistance in securing incidental aid and other travel-related services.
  • Coordination of securing bail bonds and other legal instruments. 
U.S. Masters Swimming continues to strive to provide you with support both in and out of the water. More information is included in the USMS Guide to Operations. If you have additional questions about our new coverage, you may contact Sandi Blumit at 800-777-4930 or email her at
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We've Got Spirit!

PVAC Masters of Collegeville, Pennsylvania sport their new USMS caps after their annual Reindeer Games in December. After a brief warmup, they participate in relays that involve swimming with Santa hats, Rudolph noses, and reindeer antlers. However they find their true spirit in their Eggnog and Cookie relay: each swimmer swims a lap, eats a cookie and drinks an eggnog (extra thick, but not spiked) and swims back for the next swimmer. This group looks merry, jolly (and, oddly, not queasy) and happy to be members of U.S. Masters Swimming!

PVAC Masters Holiday Pic
To see your team featured as part of the We've Got Spirit photo series, please email us at
Dive in at USMS.ORG

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About U.S. Masters Swimming

U.S. Masters Swimming, founded in 1971, is a membership-operated national governing body that promotes adult health, fitness, wellness and competition through aquatics. It does so by partnering with more than 1,000 adult swim clubs across the country that offer swim/fitness programs, promoting information via a bi-monthly member magazine and, and sanctioning and promoting pool, open water and virtual competitions. More than 50,000 adults are registered members of U.S. Masters Swimming.

U.S. Masters Swimming encourages all U.S. Masters Swimming members to subscribe to STREAMLINES, however if you would rather not receive this update, please do not click the unsubscribe button, as that will remove you from all other U.S. Masters Swimming National Office mailings. Rather, please click on the "Update Profile/Email Address" link at the bottom of this email. Here you can select to discontinue your STREAMLINES service or sign up for the monthly coaches' newsletter, STREAMLINES for Coaches, and/or STREAMLINES for Volunteers, a quarterly publication

Header photo by Cokie Lepinski.