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by P H Mullen

March 31, 2003

2001 Masters Swimmer of the Year

Jim Eubank died at age 88 1/2 on Monday afternoon March 1, 2004 at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, Calif., of complications following a stroke he suffered on February 23, 2004. He will be missed by all who knew him. Jim Eubank (M 85-89) was named 2001 Masters Swimmer of the Year by Swim magazine in the May-June 2002 issue."

If Californian Jim Eubank of San Diego Swim Masters is not your role model, he should be. This year's "senior" member of the 2001 Masters Swimmers of the Year (don't ever say "oldest" even though his e-mail address is "oldcalif") was unavailable to interview. Why was he unavailable? Because in the second half of the ninth decade of his life, Jim Eubank had hopped on an airplane bound for New Zealand, where he competed in the Masters World Championships.

I want to be Jim Eubank when I'm in my late 80s. So should you.

Eubank lives in San Marcos, Calif., a suburb north of San Diego. It's largely a retirement community, and it's a safe bet that Eubank is one of the most accomplished athletes in the region.

In 2001, he was marvelous in the yards format, winning six number one rankings and setting five national records in the 85-89 age group. He dominates the freestyle events and finished first in every event from 50 yards through 1650 yards. He set records in all but the 50. Most notable was his 1:16.19 for the 100-yard freestyle.

In long course meters, Eubank again dominated the freestyle events, owning the top ranking in every event from the 50 freestyle through the 800 freestyle. He finished the long course season with two world records, four national records and five number one rankings.

And how's this for range: his two world records were set in a sprint (100-meter freestyle) and a distance event (800-meter freestyle).

published in Swim magazine, May-June, 2002

There was also a splendid story about Jim Eubank in the March 24, 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated.