Article image

by Linda Enders

July 1, 2006

Competing in Raleigh Area Masters

Our RAM president, Ceil Blackwell has been swimming with the Raleigh Area Masters since 1983. She had not seriously competed prior to this date, however, she always enjoyed fitness swimming and had trekked to the many swim meets of her children. After the kids left the nest and went to college she began swimming Masters. She initially joined for the companionship but has always enjoyed the workouts.

Her favorite events are backstroke, 100 IM, and 50 free. She holds records in the 50 back, 100 IM, and the 50 free. The only practices she dreads are the ones with distance freestyle sets. Ceil enjoys serving as the NC Masters president. Her biggest challenge as president was putting together the state team. At out-of-state meets, she always admired states which had state teams. She was disappointed when she could not field a relay team with her fellow North Carolinians. But she also wanted to retain the camaraderie and team spirit of individual teams while competing within the state. (Individual teams such as DAM, MPAC, and RAM are chapters within NCMS.)

During North Carolina Swim meets, chapters continue to compete as individual teams, though swimmers from different chapters can join together and compete as a NCMS relay team. The results of NCMS relay teams will not be included in the meet score, but their times can be recognized officially as pool, meet, state or national records and in the USMS Top Ten. Ceil has many Masters memories. Her favorite was when RAM put together a relay with four women that were 45, 55, 65, and 75 years old. Ceil swam the anchor leg and when it was her turn to swim, all the other teams had finished. She finished up strong anyway and that relay made a long course freestyle Top 10 time.

from Across the Lanes, North Carolina Masters

, January 1997