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by Laura M. Hamel

October 1, 2012

Great results and great fun

Several dozen U.S. Masters Swimming members swam in the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. June 25–July 2. Top athletes, coaches and swimming experts consider the USA Swimming Trials, the fastest swim meet in the world, to be the most stressful meet in a swimmer’s career—much more so than the Olympics themselves.

USMS is proud to count some of the top swimmers in the world amongst its members. The majority of our members will never experience what Cullen JonesAnthony ErvinMadison Kennedy, and other elites experience at Olympic Trials as they vie for spots on Team USA, but we mere mortals love to watch them and it’s always exciting when they drop in on the occasional Masters swim meet.

Truly impressive is the number of USMS members at Trials who are more like regular Masters swimmers, (albeit with a lot more experience and speed than most of us). These are athletes who train with Masters clubs and swim regularly in Masters meets. Sure they have extensive swimming resumes—most were top-level college swimmers or members of USA Swimming’s national team—but in many cases they are competing against swimmers half their age.

Steve West, 40, of Novaquatics Masters and Jeff Commings, 39, of the Phoenix Swim Club, competed in the 100 breaststroke at Trials. West was ranked 139th with a time of 1:04.68. He ended up an incredible 61st with a time of 1:03.90. Commings jumped in the ranks as well, going in at 103rd place with a 1:04.42, ending up 68th with a 1:04.16. There is sure to be a rematch between the two next week, as both will be returning to the CenturyLink Center Omaha to compete in our Summer Nationals.

Erika Braun, 40, of North Carolina Masters, was ranked 124th in the 50 free but dropped eight places to 116th place with a time of 26.66, even though she added a few 100ths to her seed time of 26.32. Braun was recently featured in SWIMMER magazine’s “From the Center Lanes.”

Brian Jacobson, 38, of Minnesota Masters, had a great 50 freestyle, dropping from 134th place to 82nd and shaving his 23.42 seedtime to 23.35.

Coach Chad Durieux of Rose Bowl Masters, featured in two SWIMMER technique articles this year, was on hand to see Rose Bowl swimmers Dawn Heckman, 34, and, Eric Carlson, 27, compete. Heckman was ranked 54th in the 400 free with a 4:16.19 and ended up 40th, with a 4:16.95. She also added a little over a second to her 800 freestyle seedtime of 8:46.22, but so did a lot of others because she rose in the rankings from 41st to an impressive 25th. Carlson dropped time and gained rank in the 100 breast, going from 135th place with a seed of 1:04.65 and ended up 76th with 1:04.33. He added a few seconds to his 200-breaststroke seedtime of 2:20.02, but gained a few spots in the ranking ending up at 101st place.

Kevin Doak, 31, of Michigan Masters, was ranked 118th in the 100 fly at 55.19 and swam a 55.23, ending up 88th. He also achieved 112th place in the 100 back with a 58.47. Doak will also be returning to the pool for Summer Nationals.

Anthony Diers, also 31, swims for MOVY Masters. He placed 104th in the 100 freestyle with a 51.44 and 122nd in the 50 free with a 23.42.

Adam Mania, 28, of Wisconsin Masters, placed 14th in the 100 back with a 55.31, 83rd in the 100 free with a 51.15, and 170th in the 50 free with a 23.48.

Jessie Alcaide, 27, Maine Masters placed 74th in the 50 freestyle with a 26.35 and 97th in the 100 fly with a 1:02.18 and tied for 99th in the 100 free with a 57.50.

Two members of The Olympic Club, John Dorr, 28 and Egan Gans, 26, competed at Trials as well. Dorr was ranked 83rd in the 100 breast with a 1:04.17, but took some time off and placed 59th with a 1:03.87. Egans also swam the breaststroke events, placing 53rd in the 100 breast with a 1:03.66 and 77th in the 200 breast with a 2:19.41.

Congratulations to all our USMS members who competed in the 2012 USA Swimming Olympic Trials.

Complete meet results have been posted at


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