- Human Interest
Building a lifetime of swimming memories
Larry Krauser says he learned to swim when his mother threw him in their backyard pool in South Florida at age 2. His earliest memory of swimming competition is from age 5, when he was so far out in front of everyone in a race that he slowed down to finish more with the group, worried that he might be doing something wrong.
From those early beginnings, Krauser went on to swim on an exceptionally good high school swim team (Pine Crest) under a good coach, Jack Nelson. Nelson was the US women’s coach for the 1976 Olympics in Montreal and he swam the butterfly in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Although Krauser's stroke has always been freestyle, Coach Nelson had him competing in the distance events as a freshman and sophomore and the sprint events as a junior and senior. He graduated from high school as a two-sport All-American in water polo and swimming.
At Purdue University, Krauser repeated the pattern of his high school events under coach Fred Kahms. His favorite memory was going to NCAA championships as a freshman, “Even though I didn’t swim very well,” and being the team captain. He also played water polo at Purdue on a club team, which he coached his junior and senior years.
Meanwhile, U.S. Masters Swimming was getting its start back at home in June Krauser’s household. Every so often Krauser would go home and help her run Nationals, with his favorite job being head timer for the women’s end of the pool. He remembers his mother spending a lot of time putting together the Swim Master newsletter: compiling results, typing it up, and then mimeographing it in the laundry room.
Krauser joined U.S. Masters Swimming when he turned 25, the minimum age for membership back then. Since then he’s swum in multiple national and world championships, both pool and open water, including his first in Montreal, Canada, in 1994. In Casablanca, Morocco, he won his first world championships in the 100-meter and 800-meter freestyle events. His most memorable world championship was Perth in 2008, with the most interesting part being the 10 to 12 inch jellyfish in the open water swim. “I must have hit a 100 of them!”
As a member of the Inland Northwest LMSC, Krauser has served as the LMSC secretary, the open water chair, and was the lead organizer in bidding the Long Bridge Swim as the 2007 USMS 1–3 Mile Open Water Championships at Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, Idaho.
What does Krauser get most out of Masters Swimming? “Tired,” he jokes. With all the international travel he does for his work in the post-tensioning industry, he has to work hard to get swimming workouts into his schedule. “I swim to try to stay sane but it’s hard to stay in shape.”