May 3, 2005

USMS prepares for some fun and fast swimming in Fort Lauderdale

The City of Fort Lauderdale welcomes all athletes and spectators to the world-famous Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex for the 2005 United States Masters Swimming  Short Course National Championships on May 19 – 22. Over 1,600 athletes have entered, representing 177 clubs from across the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Russia, Mexico and England.

The Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex is one of the finest facilities in the United States, boasting 10 FINA World Records, and hosting a record eight USMS National Championships. The outdoor facility consists of two 50 meter pools, a 25 yard diving tank, and seating for 1,750 spectators. Hundreds of USMS national records have been established there.

The Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex is also the home of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. ISHOF is the international showplace for swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming. Its museum, library and archives contain the world’s largest collection of aquatic memorabilia in over 40 exhibits and displays illustrating the history of aquatic sports.

The Championships are open to any registered Masters swimmer 18 years old and above. This year's meet roster holds a number of top Masters swimmers from all age groups hoping to take advantage of the fast waters of the Fort Lauderdale pools to add their name to the USMS record book. Also entered are swimmers with goals to participate, swim the best they can, and have FUN.

Despite its elite sounding name, United States Masters Swimming with its National Championships welcomes swimmers of all abilities. Competitors enter a maximum of three individual events without meeting the National Qualifying Times established for those events.  Swimmers compete in age groups that start with 18-24 and continue in five year increments (25-29, 30-34, 35-39, etc.) to the age group of the oldest swimmer.  In this year's 90-94 group 90-year-old Des Sessinghaus, a “local boy” from Fort Lauderdale, will compete for Gold Coast Masters, and Maria Lenk-Ziegler from Alburquerque will compete for New Mexico Masters.

USMS is a national organization that provides organized workouts, competitions, clinics, and workshops for adults aged 18 and over.  Programs are open to all adult swimmers (fitness, triathlete, competitive, non-competitive) who are dedicated to improving their fitness through swimming.  For those who like the challenge of competition, USMS organizes swimming meets on a regular basis.  Competition is offered through short course (25 yard and 25 meter) and long course (50 meter) pool meets, lake, river, and ocean open-water swims, postal meets, special events, and national and international championships.

For more information see

Tracy Grilli, National Office Administrator
United States Masters Swimming