Locals to compete in Masters world championships
What do a local United States Forest Service hydrologist, a marketing consultant, an anesthesiologist and a South Lake Tahoe police officer have in common? They are all competing in the FINA XI Masters World Championships, which started with opening ceremonies on Thursday in Stanford.
These four masters swimmers, who share the city of South Lake Tahoe Parks & Recreation Center pool with other masters swimmers at 6 a.m. each day, are eager to compete against 7,200 other athletes representing 75 countries.
United States Aquatic Sports, the host federation; United States Masters Swimming; and the local organizing committee has been working for the past three years to bring athletes from around the world to Northern California for the biennial championships to compete in the five aquatic disciplines: synchronized swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and speed swimming.
South Lake Tahoe police officer Josh Adler will play water polo with the Tri-Valley team out of Napa. One of 12 teams – five are international – Adler’s team is guaranteed five games. Adler formerly played water polo in high school and college and then went on to coach the LAPD team, which participated in the police Olympics, placing first.
Jenn Gleckman, marketing consultant with Strategic Marketing Group has come late to swim competitions, and will compete in a couple of 50-meter events.
“The Masters World coming to Northern California is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.
Jim Sullivan, anesthesiologist working primarily at the Lake Tahoe Surgery Center in Zephyr Cove, will be seeded in the top third of his 50-54 age group. He swam in high school and college and now has two of his six children swimming for college teams.
USFS hydrologist Kristine Senkier comes from a family of swimmers, including two older sisters. Her son, Dylan, is on the Tahoe Swim Club, and she got back into the water after he started with the team. Kristine swims four events at the worlds and hopes to place in the top 10.
Kristine started swimming at 5, progressing to national level in her teens. Her swimming career took her to the brink of the 1988 Olympic Trials.
After 16 years of coaching experience, coach Dale Bogard pushed these and other swimmers in her program towards their individual goals.
“We started talking about the Masters World Championships last summer, and the goal of competing has not only inspired these four swimmers, but the rest of the group as well,” Bogard said. “All of my swimmers have reached higher levels for themselves and the team spirit is at an all time high.”
Bogard’s program is for any swimmer who desires stroke improvement, strength and endurance training, and preparation for competition. It is available through the Lake Tahoe Community College and can be take for credit or no credit.