Reflections from Gail Roper May 7, 2001
Bruce Hopping(a recollection from Gail dated 5/4/01) When I first started swimming in the Junior New Jersey championships in that state, Bruce Hopping was an official. I remember he was the starter at the 50 m free race held in a lake. We had to row out to a platform in the middle and swim 50m into a dock on the shore. Once Bruce and the swimmers got on the platform, it sunk from the weight and we started the race with the water over our ankles. His shoes and pants got all wet. He shot the gun and shouted "Go" at the same time. There were no lane lines and the water was all brown. The finish was a dock that was open under the water and some of us touched underwater and hit our heads. Not a good place to swim a 50 free. I remember there always seemed to be a lot of women around Bruce.
Yes, you found me. You must have called my parents; it would be pretty hard to find me otherwise. I can't believe I was ever fast enough to have made All-American! I was at a swim meet several months ago held at the pool where the Indian Valley Aquatic Club used to swim in Novato, and saw that Donna still held a couple of records in the 8 & Under group. Not bad after more than 20 years!
I don't know if my mom and dad told you, but I married a Texan and now live in the Dallas area. My last name is Baggett now, and I'm six months pregnant with our first child. My husband, David, and I both fly for American Airlines as pilots; a job which we both love. Life is great!
It was so good to hear from you. Yes, I'm still swimming (very slowly now), especially now that I'm pregnant. I imagine you're still breaking all kinds of records - did you leave any for anybody else? Take care; I hope your family is doing well.
Love, Heather (Buckendahl) Baggett
Masters Swimming History for Gail Roper for 1971-19721970 May 2-3 Amarillo, Texas, Couldn't go, no funds
June 18-21, 1970 1st Senior Olympics LA Swim Stadium This meet was advertised in Swimming World magazine and was how I heard about it. Set four National records. Ann Adams, Jim Eubank and the Tafts swam this. I have a program
April 24-25, 1971 Western Regional Masters Short Course Walnut Creek High point winner 35-44, Five National records Pete Cutino, water polo coach at Cal swam in this meet as well as Ann Adams, Walt Pfeiffer , Elfreide Rogers, Mary Lou Elsenius Saunders.
1971 May 7-8 Amarillo, Texas. No funds, couldn't go.
June 26-27, 1971 2nd Senior Sports International. LA Coliseum formerly Senior Olympics. Have a program, Cathy Ferguson gave out the medals I have a picture I think the Greunders swam this one, I have to check out the program.
September 19, 1971 Livermore SCM, Put on by Paul Thompson .
1972 May 19-21 National Masters San Mateo, CA 42 Women's overall High Point winner (Only time they gave this award) I coached a Masters Team in Santa Rosa, CA and sent a team to this meet. Dick Smith was one of my swimmers here. I found him in recreational swimming doing laps and asked him to join the masters team. It was cold as the fog came in and the meet was held on a hilltop, June Krauser
was freezing all the time and made several references to the weather in Florida. Chet Jastremski and Doc Councilman swam.
1972 June - 3rd Senior Sports International Mission Viejo LC. Five national records A film comedian, Doodles Weaver, competed in the diving events and did a comedy act. Roy Saari swam in this meet. Ann Adams, Winston Kratz
June 4, 1972 San Rafael H.S. MAC Masters.
1972 Aug 11-13, Bloomington, IN Long Course. Couldn't go, no funds.
September 16, 1972 2nd Livermore Masters SCM.
October 7,8 1972 Santa Rosa Masters. The Tafts and Pat Bressee swam here.
November 28, 1972 Sacramento Pentathlon newspaper.