The 2014 class of IMSHOF inductees includes three USMS members
Every year, Masters aquatic athletes from around the world are inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame, and this year’s class of seven inductees includes three U.S. Masters Swimming members. The 2014 swimming inductees are Pam Hutchings (Australia), Jean Troy (USA), David Guthrie (USA), and Timothy Shead (USA). Divers Jennifer Mangum (USA) and Ted Witte (USA) and water polo standout Radovan Muskov (Croatia) were also named to this year’s list of IMSHOF inductees.
To be considered for inclusion in IMSHOF, athletes must have been competing for a minimum of 16 years, spanning four, five-year age groups. Up to nine inductees are named annually, and the class must seek to include three male swimmers, three female swimmers, and three divers, synchronized swimmers, water polo players, or contributors. Using a points system, the Hall of Fame reviews the records and placements of top Masters athletes, and a panel of 62 international swimming authorities then selects the individuals to be honored. This year, three USMS members passed that complex test.
Jean Troy, 87, holds 68 USMS individual pool records, as well as eight relay records. She’s been competing since 1976 and has consistently ranked in the FINA World Top 10 for more than 32 years. She’s earned 39 All-American honors, divided among 24 pool individual events, 14 relays, and one long distance event. She’s also earned 37 FINA Masters world records.
Born in North Carolina, Troy swam in the summers for a few years as a child but didn’t start competing until age 45 when she joined USMS as a member of Colonials 1776. She was soon racking up Top 10s and All-American honors, scoring wins in the 50, 100, and 200 freestyle events. She’s competed in three FINA Masters World Championship meets—1992, 1994, and 2002—where she earned five gold, three silver, and three bronze medals. She swims primarily IM, freestyle, and butterfly events. Today she trains and competes with the Florida Maverick Masters in Saint Petersburg, Fla.
Troy says the honor came as a complete surprise and she’s pleased to be included in this year’s class of inductees. “The nominating committee consisted of over 60 members from all over the world,” and they had “quite a ‘pool’ to choose from. It means that this is the highest honor a Master swimmer can attain. It is something I will be proud off for the rest of my life. It’s hard to believe it’s real.”
Troy hopes to continue her winning ways in the pool. “Having been an active Master since 1975, almost 40 years, I don't know how not to swim. Working out encourages your body to be as agile and healthy as it can be as you age. I just hope I'm around and in shape three years from now when I can try for some of the records of the 90 year olds,” Troy says.
David Guthrie, 54, holds 56 pool individual USMS records, as well as 7 relay records. A strong breaststroker, Guthrie has been ranked in the FINA Masters Top 10 for 22 years and has broken 43 FINA Masters world records. Of those records, 24 were set in long course meters competitions and 19 in short course meters. In addition to his impressive swimming career, David is also a certified USMS coach for his club, the Rice Aquatic Masters, located in Houston, Texas, on the Rice University campus. David competed in the FINA Masters World Championships in both 1992 and 2006, bringing home two golds, three silvers, and one bronze medal.
Guthrie says he was also surprised by the honor, which he considered to be his highest achievement within the sport. “It was the farthest thing from my mind at this point. I hoped to be considered someday, but I thought it would be many years or decades away.”
Admitting to being almost overwhelmed by the enormity of the honor, Guthrie adds, “Being inducted means achieving one of the ultimate goals in the sport, one of its highest honors. Aiming for it—dreaming about it—and actually reaching this goal are completely different realities. I’ll need time to process it. Allowing time for this honor to soak in, to understand what this really means to me, is important. Right now, it feels like it's happening to someone else. But I also feel like a member of the swimming family. When I looked at the numbers, how only two or three pool swimmers worldwide gain entrance each year, it struck me how few can be voted in. Even over the course of a lifetime, the number is incredibly small. The doorway to enter the HOF is tiny, and the number of accomplished and truly exceptional swimmers far outnumbers seats at the table. It’s a staggering thought, one that makes me extremely thankful.”
Timothy Shead, an American who lived in South Africa for more than 30 years and set many world masters records while swimming with a South African program, has consistently placed in the FINA Masters Top 10 since 1992 and has set 32 FINA Masters world records—20 in long course meters and 12 in short course meters. He’s competed in 10 FINA Masters World Championships, winning 17 gold, 16 silver, and five bronze medals. He’s an all-around swimmer, competing in the IM, butterfly, backstroke, and breaststroke events. He trains with the P2LIFE club in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Despite his impressive list of accomplishments and world records, Shead was also surprised at being included into the IMSHOF list this year, an honor he calls his proudest achievement. “I knew I had scored a lot of points through world records, world championship victories, and FINA top world times, but I did not know how I ranked against others or if other criteria for induction were also used,” he says.
And achieving this honor is very important to him. “It means EVERYTHING. This award is the most prestigious that can ever be bestowed upon a Masters swimmer, and it’s both humbling and exhilarating.” As a younger swimmer, Shead says he couldn’t conceive of achieving this honor. “I was never a ranked age group, high school, college, or senior swimmer. I never even qualified for a national championship. But I knew if I hung in there, one day I might start winning. It took 20 years, but I was right. I joke with my friends about Masters Swimming: “He who slows slowest, wins.”
Still, Shead recognizes that he didn’t get to this stage completely on his own. “Being awarded this great honor made me reflect upon the people and circumstances that helped me attain it. I have called all those involved and thanked them, from previous coaches to those that directly or indirectly got me involved in nutrition and my teammates and those others that have made Masters Swimming such a huge and wonderful part of my life. Without them and my nutritional formulas, it would have simply never been possible.”
- Human Interest