Midcoast athletes medal at World Masters Swim Championships
Montreal — Six Midcoast swimmers, including two from Hope and one each from Lincolnville, Warren, Montville and Bremen, spent the first week in August in Canada competing at the 15th FINA World Masters Championship.
Margot Hayes, Bill Jones, Ellen O’Donnell, Linda Moran, Susan Rardin and Dieter Weber were joined by Kristi Panayotoff, recently of Lincolnville, and Allison Stratis, Dr. Peter Giustra’s daughter, who now lives in Portland, and another two dozen master swimmers from around the state at the event.
Weber coaches the Penobscot Bay YMCA group. Rardin teaches adult swimming at the same facility.
It was as close as FINA Worlds will get, Jones said. Maine Masters Swim Club, the blue lobsters, rented a house (the Maine Masters’ Mansion) where most of the competitors bunked during the event.
The Midcoast six, or possibly eight, faced nearly 7,000 competitors from more than 100 countries. Swimmers in the most popular age groups, such as Hayes, Moran and Stratis in 45-49 and Weber in 50-54, faced as many as 200 competitors in some events.
FINA used two Olympic pools left from the 1976 Olympics and erected a third to accommodate the hoards. Competitors and supporters got free subway and bus passes, free rides to and from airports, and free entry into several museums.
Jones and Panayotoff, from the sparser, older age groups, brought home the Midcoast’s medals, awarded for first through 10th places for individuals and first through third for relays.
"It was relay day that produced the greatest chaos and glory," Jones said. "Chaos because, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m,., except for a thunder storm, every three minutes, another heat of 40 swimmers got lined up and swam. Glory because Jones, O’Donnell and Rardin were three-fourths of Maine’s mixed 70-year-old relay that placed eighth in the world."
Jones also was a member of an eighth-place men’s relay. O’Donnell, Rardin and Panayotoff combined with Tish Noyes of Mount Desert Island in Maine’s 60-year-old relays which placed 12th and 14th in the world.
Maine Masters fielded 24 relays with 24 swimmers. The younger ones faced massive competition. Margot Hayes, 45, swam the butterfly leg on a 30-year-old relay which placed an amazing 22nd. Without five Midcoast athletes, Maine would only have had 14 relays.
Panayotoff and Jones said they were proud of their individual medals too. They placed better than anticipated. O’Donnell’s individual backstroke and Rardin’s individual butterfly and individual medley in the 60-64 group were particularly impressive. So was Hayes’ 21st in the 200m butterfly.
Donna Edelbaum of Union and Peter Giustra of Warren "would have placed very, very well. So would Frank Giustra, Hodding Carter and others (in the local master group). The 30s, 40s and 50s age groups are really packed," said Jones.
The individual results for those swimmers with Midcoast ties at the worlds were:
Margot Hayes, age 45
200m freestyle 59th 2:53.24; 100m butterfly 33rd 1:29.28; 200m butterfly 21st 3:54.43; 200m mixed medley relay 200+ (butterfly leg) 61st 2:39.24 (35.43); 200m mixed freestyle relay 160+ 58th 2:20.35 (32.85); 200m women’s medley relay 120+ (butterfly leg) 22nd 2:36.88 (35.83); and 200m women’s freestyle relay 160+ 22nd 2:16.96 (no split).
Bill Jones, age 77
50m butterfly 9th 48.54; 100m butterfly 9th 2:03.53; 200m butterfly 4th 4:55.37; 200m individual medley 6th 4:06.25; 400m individual medley 5th 9:27.38; 200m mixed medley relay 280+ (crawl leg) 8th 3:05.07 (37.96); 200m mixed freestyle relay 280+ 8th 2:53.92 (37.59);200m men’s medley relay 280+ (backstroke leg) 8th 3:15.26 (51.66); and 200m men’s freestyle relay 280+ disqualified.
Linda Moran, age 45
100m breaststroke 90th 1:50+; 50m freestyle 114th 38+.
Ellen O’Donnell, age 61
50m backstroke 12th 46.55; 100m backstroke 15th 1:45.65; 200m backstroke 21st 3:48.79; 200m mixed medley relay 280+ (backstroke leg) 8th 3:05.07 (46.73); 200m mixed freestyle relay 280+ 8th 2:53.92 (40.62); 200m women’s medley relay 240+ (backstroke leg) 12th 3:22.83 (47.93); and 200m women’s freestyle relay 240+ 14th 2:41.56 (41.36).
Kristi Panayotoff, age 66
200m backstroke 22nd 4:13.07; 50m butterfly 23rd 58.31; 100m butterfly 10th 2:02.46; 200m individual medley 19th 4:24.63; 400m individual medley 17th 8:54.60; 200m mixed medley relay 240+ (breaststroke leg) 33rd 3:19.73 (59.33); 200m mixed freestyle relay 240+ 35th 2:58.11 (50.22); 200m women’s medley relay 240+ (butterfly leg) 12th 3:22.83 (no split); and 200m women’s freestyle relay 240+ 14th 2:41.56 (50.22).
Susan Rardin, age 64
50m breaststroke 32ndT 54.15; 50m butterfly 25th 47.02; 200m butterfly 16th 4:31.44; 400m individual medley 16th 8:07.77; 200m mixed medley relay 280+ (butterfly leg) 8th 3:05.07 (47.26); 200m mixed freestyle relay 280+ 8th 2:53.92 (36.51); 200m women’s medley relay 240+ (freestyle leg) 12th 3:22.83 (no split); and 200m women’s freestyle relay 240+ 14th 2:41.56 (36.66).
Allison Stratis, age 45
100m freestyle 90th 1:26+; and 50m freestyle 111th 38+.
Dieter Weber, age 52
50m freestyle 131st 33+; 100m freestyle 137th 1:15+; and 200m freestyle 76th 2:47+.
Bill Jones of Hope contributed information to this story.