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June Krauser Gets Her Own Lane

2001 Masters swimmer of the year

Carl House | January 7, 2003

Now it looks like she'll be fixed in the record books for some time. In 2001, June Krauser earned 13 new world records and 27 number one rankings. She started the year at the top of her 70-74 age group and still managed to capture three number one rankings.

When she aged-up to 75-79 in time for long course, she promptly set seven world records, nine national records and captured 12 number one rankings. She's something of the sport's Ironwoman and dominates all distance freestyle events from 400 to 1500 meters. She also owns the 100-, and 200-meter butterfly.

Perhaps her most astounding swim of 2001 was the 400-meter IM, where she became the first woman over 75 to break eight minutes. A bit of perspective here: no woman over 75 has ever broken four minutes for the 200 IM, let alone eight minutes for the 400 IM, the sport's most demanding event.

Lest we forget, Krauser continued her winning ways in short course meters, taking another six world records, eight national records and 13 number one rankings.

by P.H. Mullen, published in Swim magazine, May-June, 2002

 

Induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame

June Krauser (USA) was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Contributor in 1994. The following text was included in the program for the induction ceremony of that year:

For the record: influential in establishing the Masters swimming program (1972); wrote the first rule book for Masters swimming; one U.S. national championship (1943, breaststroke); U.S. representative to FINA Masters Swimming Committee; World Masters Swimming Champion; Editor of Swim Master, Masters first newsletter.

June Krauser learned to swim in Lake Michigan at age four and has made a splash ever since. First coached by Hall of Famer Dick Papenguth at the Indianapolis Athletic Club, June went on to swim for Bud Sawin at the Riviera Club as a member of the three time winning senior national team in 1941, 42 and 43. At age 16, June won a national championship in the 220-yard breaststroke. She and her sister Joan, the famed Fogel sisters, won nationals on the same day. A graduate of Purdue, June swam for Pappy's famed Lafayette Swim Club for two years and then retired from workouts for close to 30 years.

She may have left the water, but certainly not the sport. June switched from swim suit (silk and sheer black back then) to business suit. Moving to Florida with her husband Jack in 1955, June got her feet wet as an age group mother when daughter Janice turned five and swam in her first AAU meet. Son Larry followed and later became a Purdue captain. June became an official, and after helping to formulate the Florida Gold Coast Swimming Committee, she was elected secretary/treasurer, a post she held for nine years. June's administrative and organizational skills were immediately acclaimed, and she moved quickly to the national level. In 1959, June was named delegate for the AAU Convention and has represented South Florida every year since in AAU, USS or USAS.

In 1964, June was named as a member of the U.S. Olympic Women's Swim Committee and in 1968 took on the unpopular but necessary role of re-organizing and enforcing the rule book as the Swimming Rules Chairman. She also served as manager on six international AAU trips.

Twenty-five years after her "retirement" from active senior competition, June got back into the pool as a Masters swimmer—a concept and program she helped to pioneer in 1971. Krauser was the first and only rules chairman for United States Masters swimming, and the founder/editor of their first national newsletter, Swim Master, for its 20 years. For her untiring devotion to the sport, June was named the second recipient of the Capt. Ransom J. Arthur Award, and the first USMS rule book was dedicated in her name.

In addition, June served as president of AAU Masters, was five time national meet director and most recently was named to her second consecutive four year term on the FINA Masters Swimming Committee. June has swimming friends around the globe from her many travels, as team manager, committee representative and competitor. As her friends have said, "Mother Masters is one of the most dedicated people we know. If you need something done right, you call June Krauser."

June has never missed a USMS national competition—44 in all. Overall, she has won 65 short course and 71 long course championship titles. She has competed in four world championships and touts 11 titles and five Masters world records. A Hall of Fame Dame President, long time International Congress member and College Coaches Swim Forum member since 1955, you can find June looking young, tan and physically fit swimming her 2.5 miles at the Hall of Fame pool seven days a week. "Mother Masters" is truly a tribute to our sport as a competitor, administrator and pioneer.

 August, 1996: June Krauser's Phenomenal Winning Streak

published in the Florida Gold Coast LMSC News, by Carl House

June moved into the 70-75 year old age group in 1996 and started the LCM season with a meet at Aquacrest on June 8. She swam four events and set seven world records. Each event was a world record and she set four records in the 1500 with her splits at the 200, 400, and 800. Her times were

43.62 in the 50-meter fly,

1:42.00 in the 100-meter fly,

3:33.75 in the 200-meter IM, and 25:11.23 in the 1500-meter freestyle. Her record breaking splits in the 1500 were;

3:12.90 at 200 meters, 6:36.50 at 400 meters, and 13:23.69 at 800-meters.

She continued swimming record breaking times in all her events at the 1996 FINA World Championships in Sheffield. Her times were;

1:40.85 in the 100-meter fly,

3:39.91 in the 200-meter fly,

3:35.13 in the 200-meter IM,

7:30.91 in the 400-meter IM, and 13:15.45 in the 800-meter freestyle. Her record breaking splits in the 800-meter free were

3:11.95 at 200 meters and 6:33.19 at 400 meters.

At the International Swimming Hall of Fame on July 13,1996, June swam the 200-meter freestyle in 3:09.82, again breaking the FINA record for her age group, and with a still faster time than at Aquacrest or Sheffield.

 June's story:

published in "Florida Gold Coast LMSC News"

June Krauser started swimming at age six. She had the advantage that her mother had captained her high school swimming team and her father was a swimming and water polo official. She and her sister, Cynthia Bruce, were both national champions and likely to be Olympians in 1940 and 1944 except that the Olympics were cancelled during WWII. June swam in college at Purdue, then dropped out of swimming for 25 years, and began again at age 44. She has two children. Janice is active in our LMSC and also in water polo. Larry was an All-American swimmer at Purdue and now lives in San Jose.

June literally wrote the rules for Masters swimming. When the USMS was formed in 1971, she wrote the first rule book and has chaired the Rules Committee since that time. She holds positions on other committees as well, and is the USMS delegate to FINA, the world governing body for aquatic sports. She published Swim-Master for twenty years and thus provided the major source of information on Top Ten and other Masters news. She founded the Gold Coast Masters Swim Team in 1972 and has led it ever since.

Ransom J. Arthur was acknowledged as the founder of Master's swimming in 1973 and an annual award bearing his name has been given every year since. June was given the first of those annual awards in 1974 in recognition of having done the most to further the objectives of Masters swimming. She has always been a leading competitor in Masters swimming, and last year posted the fastest times in the nation in 13 events. She placed in the Top Ten in 52 individual events last year. June doesn't count the world records that she holds ("it keeps changing"), but Brigitte Edelmaier says the number is 22. We are indeed lucky to have June in our LMSC.

 June Krauser: Mother of Masters Swimming

by Michael J. Stott, Swim Magazine, Jan-Feb 2003.

June Krauser, Fort Lauderdale (Florida Gold Coast Masters)

June Krauser had been making waves in USS and Masters swimming for years before I was shown a 1979 issue of Swim-Master. Like thousands before me, what I saw changed my life, and a resulting trek to the 1979 YMCA Nationals in Catonsville, Md., where I finished third in the 1650—gave my life a new competitive and social direction.

So I blame it on June—as do others. Rightfully called the "Mother of Masters Swimming," June is a cross between Douglas MacArthur and Joan Rivers. Not always beloved, but a leader in every sense, she has earned all the accolades—and abuse—tossed her way. The accomplishments include, but are not limited to:

  1. Current registrar, treasurer and sanction chairman for Florida Gold Coast Masters
  2. Being named SWIM magazine's Swimmer of the Year in 1997 and 2001
  3. Participation in every short and long course nationals since 1972
  4. Setting 66 new world records, holding 144 number one world rankings (351 Top threes) from 1986 to 2002
  5. Induction (1994) into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) as an Honor Contributor
  6. U.S. Representative to FINA Masters Swimming Committee (three four-year terms)
  7. President of AAU Masters
  8. First and only rules chairman for United States Masters swimming for first 20 years
  9. The second recipient of the Capt. Ransom J. Arthur Award

 The Many Faces of June

June the Character

"She personifies Ransom Arthur 's idea that Masters swimming is a program designed to encourage people to swim on a regular basis and be concerned about their physical fitness level. When you look at the shape she keeps herself in, it's just terrific. She's a real example of what the program is all about."—John Spannuth, president & CEO of U.S. Water Fitness Association.

"June's original history, while colorful, is not particularly complimentary… In my view she will go down as one of the legends of the sport."—Jorge Gonzalez , 1968 Olympian and friend of the family.

"June can be quite abrupt…She has a lot of people who hate her, but that's because they are usually guilty of something."—Buck Dawson, first executive director of ISHOF.

"She's an inspiration and carried the torch for Masters swimming in Florida forever. She's also kind of a curmudgeon… You know what you are dealing with. If there is something out of place, she'll let you know."—Stu Marvin, aquatics complex manager for City of Ft. Lauderdale.

"She's a tough mother, but she has greatly mellowed and all look upon her in the fondest way. Probably out of relief that we don't have to deal with her as we used to."—Carl House, Masters historian.

Competitor June

From 1972 through 2002 she has set 46 SCY, 46 LCM and 43 SCM USMS records in every stroke but back.

"June is a record counter. There are a lot of people like that."—John Spannuth.

"Every time she falls in the water we expect a national record."—John Grzeszczak, Florida Gold Coast Masters coach.

"In almost every event June is in a league by herself. I admire her consistency in the pool and her dedication to the entire Masters program…I feel lucky that I am a backstroker because I never could be a winner in all her specialties.—Doris Steadman, longtime friend and multi-time national backstroker record holder.

"I beat her when I was younger and healthier…In the butterfly she just seems to lie on top of the water and move her arms and everyone else fights and splashes, but she doesn't. I don't know how she gets there, but she gets there first."—Florence Carr, a competitor in childhood and today. Kids also swam together.

"She's the last one out (of workout); then goes into the weight room, then works the steps in the stands."—Tracie Moll, national champion 100-meter butterfly.

"She's always been a rules person. You can like the rule or hate the rule, but as long as it's the rule, you follow the rule and you try to fix it. She's very black and white in that respect. And that gets her in trouble with the majority of the world that's willing to do gray…That's not mom."—Janice Krauser, daughter.

"When it comes to the law, she knows. She's written most of them."—Buck Dawson.

"She can cut through the emotional arguments on swimming related issues and get to the bottom line on what is the right thing to do."—Randy Nutt, open water chairman for Florida Gold Coast Masters Swimming.

When John Spannuth was the national aquatics administrator for the AAU he wrote down ideas for rules for swimming, diving and synchronized swimming and asked June to organize them as a rulebook for AAU approval. She did, as well as later assembling the general rules and specific sport rules for the Special Olympics.

"She did a fabulous job."—John Spannuth.

"When you have an argument her knowledge is so vast, she's usually right."—Deb Cavanaugh, friend.

"I went to a meet last weekend and the first thing I said was "Your blocks are numbered wrong." They said, 'Oh, they are?' They didn't even know. They are supposed to follow USMS rules when they run a meet. That's the second pool this year I've found the lanes numbered wrong."—June Krauser.

Territorial June

"She's always wanted to be the premier swim person in Florida and Jack (Nelson, 1976 Olympic coach and coach Ft. Lauderdale Swim Association) was pretty good competition." —Jorge Gonzalez. See Jack and June below.

"June was thrown out of US Swimming. She was just a tyrant. She did not have finesse. She was removed from the board and that was the reason she got involved in Masters swimming. It was her way or the highway. June worked feverishly for U.S. Swimming and USMS. She was a driving force when the sport was at an early, early stage of development where nobody really wanted to do the work. June would get all the work and organization done and run the registrar and be the president, all the things that took time and effort. She's been marvelous for the sport."—Jorge Gonzalez.

"June used to run Florida with an iron fist."—Jorge Gonzalez.

"There's another side to the iron fist. She's very territorial. If you pee on her tree she gets mad as hell, but what you have to remember is that there wouldn't have been a tree if June hadn't planted it."—Jim Miller, USMS president.

"Opinionated, but the advice she had for everybody worked very well for the organization. During my term as president my secretary (and June) had a very difficult time getting along. I served as an intermediary because they were capable of getting a lot of things done, but not together."—Ted Haartz, successor to Ransom Arthur, first Masters president.

"You defer to certain people, and she's one of them. She's given her own lane, pretty much by divine right."—Stu Marvin.

"The only thing I can tell you is don't hop into her lane."—John Grzeszczak

"June gets lane 2 - alone."—Traci Moll.

"It's lane 9, not 2 if you number it correctly. It's the second one from the wall." - June Krauser.

"Damn, when I get to be that old, I hope I get my own lane. She gets full respect. I love her to death."—Tracie Moll.

Jack and June

"Jack is a very sharp, shrewd individual with friends in high places."—John Spannuth.

"June disqualified a Fort Lauderdale relay team in lane 8 for jumping from her position in lane 2 at nationals in Lincoln, Neb., in 1966. She's vindictive. She was a pretty ugly person. That was her way of getting at Jack. Time has passed; it's ancient history, all is forgiven and all is forgotten."—Jorge Gonzalez.

"They are on better terms now, but it's been a continuous battle."—John Spannuth.

"We had to make damn sure we took June and Jack (for ISHOF induction) in the same year."—Buck Dawson

"And that's sad. What it ended up doing was taking away any publicity she would have gotten locally."—Janice Krauser.

Friend June

Anne McGuire, former world and national champion and Florida Gold Coast Swimmer of the Year in 1997 died in July, 1998 after a lengthy battle with cancer. A graduate of Purdue she and June did not meet until their Masters days, but became fast friends. They would swim on Sundays and then play golf.

"Anne McGuire was a competitor. June's behavior with Anne was exemplary working with her as she got sick and she passed away."—Jorge Gonzalez.

"She misses her."—Deb Cavanaugh.

"It was very sad when she died. I don't think I've swum as well since."—June Krauser.

You'd think that by virtue of working as a lifeguard with offices at the ISHOF pool national champion Tracie Moll would have gotten some acknowledgement from June.

"I got no notice or respect from June until I got my first world record. Then it was like, 'Oh, you can swim.' I broke a world record and then I was in."—Tracie Moll.

That friendship led to numerous road trips and rooming situations at nationals.

"She's a great roommate. One time in Indianapolis I'm lying in bed and I'm just dying, waiting to go to the bathroom. I've been up 15, 30 and then 45 minutes and June is in the bathroom and I'm thinking 'what the hell, you know, I gotta go. I don't want to disturb her, but what is she doing?' An hour passes and I'm figuring I'm going to get dressed and go down to the lobby. I put on the TV louder and louder. All of a sudden she comes out of the bathroom and says, 'Oh, you're up.' I say, 'Oh my God, June' and I run in. She says, "I've just been crocheting the whole time. I thought you were sleeping.'"—Traci Moll.

"We call her June Bug. She wears a white or pink silicon cap and always comes out of the water with a perfect face."—Deb Cavanaugh.

Mother June

"Larry moved to put as much distance (Spokane) between him and her. Mother drove Janice pretty hard."—Jorge Gonzalez.

"June had high expectations. When you met an expectation, the expectations increased. It was never quite enough…It was the same for herself. Whatever she's done, she feels she could have done better…whether she's playing golf or swimming or putting a newsletter together or doing charts for FINA. The bottom line is to never be satisfied where you are. If you're not striving to do better or not looking forward then what's the point. She needs the constant challenge to improve herself for herself."—Janice Krauser.

Mysterious June (things you may not know about her)

  • Is skilled at sewing, knitting and crochet
  • Plays golf (and does not swim) every Tuesday. In her early years was an 11 handicap at golf and has made two holes in one
  • Hates ocean swimming and gets seasick on a dock
  • Began swimming at age five and trained under legendary coach Dick Papenguth at the Indianapolis Athletic Club from ages six to 12 and then as a student at Purdue University
  • Won in 1943, at age 16, a national championship in the 220-yard breaststroke. (Her sister won nationals on the same day)
  • Ran husband's steel tubing business for 20 years after he had a stroke
  • Son Larry was swim captain at Purdue and has won national championships in freestyle. He is also a member of the Pinecrest Hall of Fame
  • Daughter Janice was accomplished butterflyer and is a member of the U.S. Water Polo Hall of Fame

Quotable June on the future Of Masters

Originally Masters was intended for retired competitive swimmers.

"I think had we started the program today we would have made the minimum age 30 or 35 because you still have 33 and 35 year-olds that can compete with the elite. The current registration to age 18 is too young…The philosophy has changed and I guess we'll just have to live and change with it."

Of June

Her response to being viewed as a difficult, cantankerous person.

"I think they're right. I was worse when I was younger."

"Well, I had a good run at it…If you knew how much slower I was this year from last, it has hit (the slow down). I had a goal for many years to swim at least one time faster than the year before. I don't think I've done it this year. So you have to live with what you can do and…then just reassess your goals.”

"Some days I'm cutting down a little bit. I still get up early. When it gets too cold, I'm gonna wait until the sun comes up…I'm just gonna take it easier."

Wanna bet?

June Krauser will be inducted into the first Masters Hall of Fame in January

 Training June Krauser: from Swim magazine, Jan-Feb 2003

  • The essentials:

◦                                  Primarily trains herself, 5X a week ("at least"), mostly at ISHOF Pool:

◦                                  2,500 - 4,000 yards or meters:

◦                                  Has no set workout, keeps it extremely varied, but prefers to train in increments of 500:

  • A typical warm-up:

◦                                  500 free swim with some one-arm

◦                                  500 kick (free, breast, fly)

◦                                  on weekends will alternate 50 free/50 back

  • A favorite set: 5 or 7 x 300 free (swim, pull, swim)
  • Other sets:

◦                                  5 x 100 fly (kick, swim, drill, swim)

◦                                  5 x 100 or 200 IM (not done same day as the 5 x 100 fly)

  • To break up work outs:

◦                                  Will sometimes do a slow 200 breast, followed by breast sprints

◦                                  Backstroke, may do one kick for each three back swim (5 x 100)

  • Paddles: Never more than 500 per workout
  • Fins: Occasionally will kick 500 when pool is 50 meters
  • Pull: Some in the 300 sets
  • Weights (2 - 3x week for 30 minutes):

◦                                  Uses 3 lb weights to exercise an old shoulder problem

◦                                  machines mostly for legs

  • Steps (2 -3 x week): 5 sets of up and down 22 steps
  • Warm down: "A hot shower when it's cold"

 

Swim magazine, Jan-Feb 2003

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