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Pacific Masters Celebrates Another Great Year at its 2017 Annual Meeting

Pacific Masters Swimming members gathered on November 12 for the organization’s annual meeting and celebration of fitness. This year’s event was highlighted by keynote speaker Natalie Coughlin and featured officer elections and the presentation of fitness and achievement awards.

The festivities started with a practice at Acalanes High School in Lafayette with a practice led by Mary & Stu Kahn with assistance from Rick Hamilton, Mike Kazek, Carol Nip and Joel Wilson. Following the work out, participants were treated to a breakfast of bagels, juice and coffee.

The day continued at St. Mary’s College in Moraga with a panel discussion titled Beyond the Pool-Worldwide Open Water Opportunities. Susie Dods led a group of open water experts and enthusiasts including Gary Emich, Suzanne Heim-Bowen, Jane Mason, Raine Pierce, Mina Rhoden, and Joel Wilson. Between them this panel had swum the English Channel, the Straits of Gibraltar, the length of Tahoe, the ice of Russia and the Alcatraz crossing a thousand times. There was talk of swims in exotic and beautiful locations. Attendees heard about the challenges of long distance swimming in extreme environments and how to overcome them.

For many, the highlight of day was the keynote address by 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin. Ms. Coughlin recounted her competitive journey starting as a youth swimmer in Vallejo and culminating with trips to the podium in multiple Olympics. She shared her experience on Dancing with the Stars and how she was never more nervous than opening the cooking supplies on Chopped. Prior to her talk, Natalie signed autographs and posed for pictures.

Following the keynote Pacific Masters President and Chair John King opened the business meeting with a review of Pacific Masters operations during 2017. Vice President for Pool Meets John Morales, Vice President for Open Water Phyllis Quinn and Vice President for Communications and Technology Bob Anderson each made brief presentations on their areas of responsibilities. A fuller review of 2017 operations can be found in the Pacific Masters Swimming Annual Report. Secretary Leianne Crittenden secured approval of the most recent minutes followed by presentation of Pacific Masters finances and 2018 budget proposal by Treasurer Teddy Palmer.

Next on the agenda was recognition of the Pacific Masters service and achievement award winners. Although not a Pacific Masters award, it was noted that Michael Moore received the Captain Ransom J. Arthur M.D. Award, the highest USMS honor. Ann Hirsch’s induction into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame was also highlighted. Personal Achievement Awards were given to Patricia Zuppan-Hood, winner of 5 gold medals at the World Transplant Games, and Sandy MacDonald, for high standards of excellence and achievement in open water and long-distance swimming. Marcia Benjamin received the Peggy Lucchesi Award for bringing joy to Masters swimming. Pacific Masters Appreciation Awards went to Chris Campbell, Steve Cutting, Charlene O’Brien, Teddy Palmer and Sierra Nevada Masters. John Morales was recognized as Contributor of the Year.

The final agenda item of the meeting was officer elections. The following candidates were chosen:

John King, President and Chair
John Morales, Vice President for Pool Meets
Phyllis Quinn, Vice President for Open Water
Bob Anderson, Vice President for Communications & Technology
Mary & Stu Kahn, co-Vice Presidents for Clubs & Coaches
Leianne Crittenden, Secretary
Laura Holmes Shope, Treasurer

A copy of the business meeting presentation can be obtained by clicking here.

A selection of images from the day can be found at this Flickr site.

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