National championship tops Masters swimmers' year

Winning the national postal championship crowns a year of achievement.

Published January 10, 2007

Setting a national record in a relay, St. Petersburg Masters swimmers beat 29 other teams en route to a national postal championship; the results were announced last month.

The 65-over mixed relay team of Sandy Steer, Woody McDaniel, Katie Knight-Perry and Ned Allen set a national mark for 6,000 yards, swimming 10 hours, 17 minutes and 39 seconds. No other group in the 65-over age group has ever competed at the distance, Steer said.

Two other relay teams also placed first: Flavia Zappa, Charlotte Petersen, Laura Kaleel in the women's 35-and-over age group and McDaniel, Allen, and Bob Beach in the men's 65-over. Petersen won the women's 40-44 individual championship, while Beach won the men's 75-79 age group.

Postal meets are swum in the competitors' own pools, and results are mailed in and tabulated by judges.

The St. Petersburg Masters victory capped a year of successes.

Individual national records were set by Beach in the 2-mile open water cable swim, who logged a 1:01:04.57 and by Adam Jerger (25-over) who recorded 55.66 in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Bill Specht, 48, was one of nine Masters swimmers inducted in August into the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Since 1988, Specht has swum in four different age groups and held 30 world records in the backstroke and butterfly events.

In 1998, he was named the nation's Masters Swimmer of the Year. Specht joined St. Petersburg Masters 16 years ago.

Twenty-seven team members were named All-Americans; they earned the honor by having the nation's fastest time in one or more events.

The All-Americans are Allen, Gary Bastie, Beach, Ted Bradley, Elaine Bromwich, John Cox, Kern Davis, Knight-Perry, Adrienne Forkois, Pam Geiger, JoAnn Harrelson, Kelli Hoover, Judy Humbarger, Jerger, Kaleel, Fred Lewis, McDaniel, Kristin Nardozzi, Aaron Peter, Petersen, Brian Rimel, Sharon Salzman, Lauren Sanchez, Tom Smith, Specht, Steer, Sarah Swoch and Zappa.