Encouraging More Adults to Swim
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USMS Oral History


Reflections from Jim Matysek Jul 27, 2001

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In December Masters swimming lost two Rochesterians, 79 year old Don Agate and 98 year old Joe Reiners, Sr. Reiners, 9 days shy of 99 years briefly held LC world records in 1993 in the 50 Free at 59.58 and the 50 Breast, 1:28.47 set at the ECC Buffalo pool in the 90-94 age group.

Don Agate of Rochester Area Masters Swimming still holds Empire State Games LC records in the 50 and 100 Free in both the 65-69 and 70-74 age groups set in '89 and '91 respectively. He also holds the SCY Zone record in 70-74 age group set in 1992 for the 50 Free with a time of 29.47.

Another milestone in Niagara District æs brief history. They are an inspiration and have left a challenge and reminder that we all can swim to enjoy a long life.

On a personal note:

Don was a great guy. When I joined my team almost 10 years ago, I remember one day when we were doing sprints. We swim with the lanes fastest to slowest from one side of the pool to the other. While we were doing 50's, I remember seeing someone way over on the other side of the pool nearly keeping up with us. This was really unusual, and I asked the coach who it was. She said it was Don Agate and that he was 70 years old! The guy was a phenomenal sprinter. He was also one of the nicest Masters swimmer I've ever met. He always timed at our meets when he wasn't racing. My daughter used to like to time and he would get her to help out with his lane. She got a real kick out of spending the day timing with Don. He will be sorely missed.

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