Over 6,000 yards in the one hour postal
Two exceptional performances stand out in the history of the USMS One Hour Postal Championships. On the men's side, Olympian Dan Veatch, age 30, from Berkeley, Calif., was the first Masters swimmer to break the 6,000 yard barrier in the One Hour Swim. On his way to swimming 6,115 yards in January, 1994, Veatch averaged just under 59 seconds per 100 yards. (for the other, see Lisa Hazen.)
Those who have followed Olympic swimming during the past 10 years may remember the name of Dan Veatch. In the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Dan finished seventh in the 200-meter backstroke, his specialty. Also on his swimming resume are victories in the 200 back at the Pan Pacific Games in Brisbane in 1987 and in Tokyo in 1989. Only an unfortunate hamstring pull at the 1992 Olympic Trials, just ten minutes before the 200 back, kept him from further Olympic fame.
Another unfortunate mishap apparently led Veatch to his record swim in the One Hour Swim. At the Maui Channel Swim in September, 1992, Veatch slipped off a boat, catching his toes in the boat's propeller. Though his toes were not severed, Veatch sustained an injury that required extensive rehabilitation. His orthopedic surgeon recommended, of all things, swimming to aid in his recovery.
"On Halloween that year, I decided to train for the One Hour Swim to help me get back into shape," says Veatch. The following January, he swam 5,975 yards in 60 minutes, a new USMS record. Logically, his goal for the following year was to break 6,000 yards.
"Masters swimming has afforded me the opportunity to do something I love," says Veatch. "At the University of San Francisco, I'm able to train with former Senior National and Junior National qualifiers." He credits his enthusiastic coach, Valeriy Boreyko, former national swimming coach for Thailand, with helping to keep swimming fun.
Strangely enough, Lisa Hazen and Dan Veatch are friends. They met at the Del Valle Relay in northern California, where they swam together as a relay team for three years. Not surprisingly, as in the One-Hour swim, they were the "Cream of the Crop."
published in SWIM magazine, November-December 1995
Daniel H. Veatch lives in San Francisco and swims for University of San Francisco Masters.