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by Ashley Gangloff

October 16, 2008

Career dedicated to health and fitness

Verne Scott, a long-time Masters swimmer and a current member of Colorado Masters, will be inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class of inductees. In the 1980s Verne dedicated his time and efforts to the establishment of the Triathlon Federation (USA Triathlon) and served as the USA Triathlon executive director. Verne worked to institute rules, event production standards, sanctioning process, championships, meetings, membership and a magazine.

Verne began his involvement in USMS in 1974 after years of involvement in swimming at the age-group level, when he recognized the lack of an adult program in Davis, Calif., and decided to initiate a Masters program. In 1974, Verne started the Davis adult program with 11 athletes; the Davis Masters program now has over 400 members. Verne’s involvement in USMS continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s; Verne was a representative to Pacific Masters Swimming, a member of the PMS Board, chairman of Pacific Masters Swimming and then vice president of USMS in 1984.

Verne’s entrepreneurial spirit trickled into the triathlon world in the mid-1970s. In 1976, Verne and a few Masters teammates looked at one another and said, “Why don’t we give a triathlon a try?” Verne was hooked. In 1979, Verne hosted and managed the first triathlon in Davis, Calif. “Masters swimmers made that event successful,” said Verne. Verne’s life and family continues to involve triathlons and aquatic fitness. His two daughters are USMS members and coaches, and his son, Dave, is a noteworthy triathlete and coach.

Verne, currently residing in Boulder, Colo., recently saw a need for adult swimming at his local pool and built a beginning adult swimming program. “Swimming isn’t just physical, it’s social and contributes to your well-being”

So what does Verne say to people that claim, “I’d like to get fit, but there’s nowhere for me to go?” Verne believes that there is something for everyone; “it is essential to maintain fitness through one’s life,” he said, and when it comes to finding an aquatic or fitness program, “it is a matter of pursuit. There are programs out there for everyone. You have to take initiative and responsibility for your own fitness.” Verne, who didn’t start swimming until the age of 49, shares that “I was last in a lot of races that I competed in, but I was out there.”

Today, at 84 years old, Verne still swims three times a week and coaches beginning swimming lessons for adults.

Other USA Triathlon inductees include Jon Gray Noll, Judy Flannery, Karen Smyers and Sheila Taormina. “This being the first year of the Hall of Fame, everyone on the committee was committed to setting a very high standard and to selecting inductees who truly shaped the sport,” said Chuck Graziano, co-chair of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

USMS congratulates Verne on his career and dedication to health and fitness. His accomplishments are noteworthy and serve as inspiration to the USMS membership.