Encouraging More Adults to Swim
USMS Oral History

Reflections from Margie Hutinger Dec 8, 2001

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Margie is the Editor of Maverick Lane Lines, the newsletter of Florida Maverick Masters swim team. Each issue of her publication includes a story called Maverick of the Month.

Frank Starr : from the June, 2000 issue.

Frank Starr, our Maverick patriarch, celebrated his 90th birthday, by winning all five of his events in the St. Pete Championship Meet in Apr., and establishing two FL LMSC records.

Starr received his BA from Loyola Univ. in Montreal, in 1931. He began his career at a radio station in 1938, broadcast sports in 1951, performed various emcee jobs and acting gigs. He was recognized for these achievements with the Actra Lifetime Membership. He married Pauline in 1951, and both did photo modeling. Their trips south began when they followed a Canadian baseball team to Florida.

Starr started his competitive swimming career with Coach Joe Biondi at the Clearwater Y, at age 70. At his earliest Masters meets as a 75 yr old, he won all his events at the St Pete meet and at the National Y Meet in Indy. Another outstanding performance, was competing in the first USMS 85+ menìs relay, in 2000.

At 80, he had a heart attack and at 85, fractured his spine. Starr attributes both recoveries and longevity to his swimming workouts, a diet including lots of fruits and vegetables, walking five miles to work for twenty years and giving up smoking at age 55. He and his wife, Pauline, spend the summer in Montreal, operate their ten acre apple orchard and drive to Clearwater, Florida, for the winter.

They will join the team in Munich, for his first World Meet.

Gladys Olsen : from the March, 2000 issue.

Gladys Olsen, 73, entered the world at Suburban Hospital, in Oak Park, IL, the same hospital where her three children were born. She attended Wright Community College in Chicago, and worked as an accountant at a Kelly Girlsì Agency while raising her family.

Olsen lived in the Chicago area, most of her life, except from 1933-1937. She spent those years in Norway, where she learned to swim in a fjord. While trying to keep her face out of the cold water, she developed her high breaststroke technique.

She joined Masters in the early 70's, and swam for the Shabonna YMCA. Her first Masters meet was the 1974 Nationals, at Circle Campus, Chicago. She swam in many meets around Chicago, and at Western Ill. Univ., where she met Paul Hutinger , who ran meets for 20 years. She also attended several of his clinics.

When she moved to Florida in the ‘90's, she swam with the Hutingerìs on St Pete Masters. When they formed the Florida Mavericks, she became an enthusiastic member and supporter on her longtime friendìs team.

She regularly places in the USMS Top Ten. The highlight of her Masters competition was winning the 200 m fly at Nationals, in Ft Lauderdale, in 1998. Although behind at the flags, she buried her head, and swam hard to the wall, as coach said. She and her husband, Bob, have been married for 52 years, and live in Ft. Myers Beach.

Alan Maloney : from the January, 1999 issue.

Alan Maloney, will age up to 70, on Jan. 31 (as will his twin brother, Andrew). The twins, born in Brooklyn, NY, remain the surviving males in their family of ten children.

At age six, he developed an interest in swimming, when he took lessons at the Brooklyn Central YMCA. His early competition included Y, High School and Life Guarding teams. He attended Long Island University, and swam on the varsity team, with Maverick teammate, Charlie Schlegel. Maloney enjoyed his early experiences in Florida, life guarding on the sunny beaches of Ft. Lauderdale. He and Arlene, his wife, spent 28 years in Europe, working for the DODDS (Department of Defense Dependents' School). He will return to Germany in 2000, for the Worlds and to visit friends.

In 1991, he made his first foray into Masters swimming, as Unattached. After he competed in a local St. Pete meet, he joined their team. In Nov., 1996, he and six other swimmers, formed the Florida Maverick Masters. He served as the first President, providing valuable leadership and support to make them a viable team, being LCM National Mens' Champs in 1997 and 1998. He is a Top Ten swimmer, and holds two World Relay Records.

Maloney also enjoys triathlons, volleyball, and running. He and Arlene are retired and live in Clearwater, FL.

Elmer Luke : from the March, 1998 issue.

Elmer Luke (71) may be a new Maverick, but not a stranger to the sport of swimming. He competed in high school in Hibbing, Minnesota, a hot bed of swimming in the 1940ìs. As a senior, he was the state champion in the 220 free. While at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, he held school records in the 220, 440 and 1650 free. After college, Luke taught high school physical education and coached the boys and girls swim teams for 37 years.

Luke joined Masters last year and enjoys setting goals and making new friends. He became a Maverick in the fall, and swam meets at Sarasota, Bradenton and Clearwater. His improved times will place him in the Top Ten, with a 16:15 for the 1000 free. His 7:09 for the 400 M free ranked him 10th for 1997.

In 1998, Luke received the Coachìs Award, a swim bag, for his outstanding swims at SCY Nationals in May, and further improvements at LCM Nationals in August. All in spite of the challenges of myositis, a progressive muscle weakening disease.

We look forward to having him on the 800 M relay, potentially another National Record.

Elmer, and wife, Bonnie, spend summers in Minnesota, and the rest of the year in Sarasota.

Doris Prokopi : from the September, 1998 issue.

Doris Prokopi, 62, learned to swim in her German school, at age 12. The only stroke they taught was breast. At age 21, she came to the United States. Her son, Eric, joined a swim team when he was seven. Doris supported his efforts by driving him to practice and to his swim meets, until he became a college freshman at Gainesville. She says she learned alot about competitive swimming by watching Eric, although in all those years, she never got back in a pool.

With Eric away at college, Doris missed the action in the pool. At age 56, Ericìs coach at Brandon Blue Waves encouraged her to join Masters. This was the first she knew about this sport. Several months later, she swam in her first meet, in Tampa. She swam 10 events, won the high point award, and was hooked. Since then, she always swims the maximum number of events.

She is a regular participant in the senior games, and in 1995, was the Florida Female Athlete of the Year. At the last three Sr. Nationals, she frequently placed in the top 6, her highest medal being 3rd in the 100 m breast. In Nov., 1996, she was one of the founders of the Florida Maverick Masters. She competed in the last two LCM Nationals, and has enjoyed the excitement and fun with her new team. She placed in all of her events, her best being a 3rd in the 100 m fly.

She practices in Tampa, 3000 yds, 5 days a week. She lives in Land O'Lakes with her husband, Bill and son, Eric.

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