This has been a busy fall and winter for the Martha’s Vineyard Masters Swim Club. Four members of the team competed in the New England Short Course Yards championship meet held in Harvard’s Blodgett Pool on March 12, 18, 19 and 20. This is the largest masters meet in New England with over 850 swimmers competing. Masters teams from all of the New England states as well as New York, New Jersey, the eastern seaboard and several other parts of the country ranging from Florida to the Pacific Northwest were there.

The Martha’s Vineyard contingent did very well. Rainy Goodale swam in the 40 to 44-year-old age group and placed first in the 200-yard breast-stroke setting a New England record in the time 2:37.1. Rainy also placed first in the 100 and 50-yard breaststroke events, second in the 50-yard butterfly and 200-yard individual medley and fifth in the 50-yard freestyle.

Leslie Craven swam well in the 50 to 54-year-old age group placing sixth in the 100-yard freestyle, seventh in the 200-yard freestyle, eighth in the 200-yard and 13th in the 100-yard individual medley events. All of Leslie’s times were personal bests improving on her previous best times by 3 to 5 seconds in each event.

Liz Fox was inspiring in the 55 to 59-year-old age group. Liz placed third in the 1000-yard freestyle, sixth in the 500-yard freestyle, fifth in the 200-yard freestyle, seventh in the 50-yard freestyle, sixth in the 50-yard and eighth in the 100-yard breast stroke events. Liz lowered her personal best times in the 1000, 500 and 200-yard freestyle events by an incredible 15 to 35 seconds.

Les Cutler swam in the 65 to 69-year-old age group placing fifth in the 1650-yard (mile) freestyle, ninth in the 200-yard freestyle, 12th in the 100-yard freestyle and and 10th in the 50-yard freestyle.

In December of 2010 the MV Masters swam in the 2010 New England/Colony Zone (Maine to Virginia) Short Course Meters Championships held in the Boston University Aquatics Center. More than 550 swimmers from the 13 Colony Zone states, the District of Columbia, Florida, Washington and Hawaii competed. The Vineyard swimmers were pleased with their performances. Liz Fox was fifth in the 800-meter freestyle and seventh in the 400-meter freestyle in her age group. Les Cutler was fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in his 65 to 69-year-old old age group. The team’s top swimmer, Rainy Goodale set New England records 50, 100 and 200-meter breast stroke events in her age group. Rainy’s time of 2:53.00 in the 200-meter breaststroke crushed the previous record by an amazing 4.87 seconds. She also placed second in the 200-meter individual medley, third in the 100-meter individual medley and fifth in the 50-meter freestyle.

In November of 2010, Les Cutler swam in both of the United States Masters Swimming (USMS) 3000-yard and 6000-yard Postal National Championship swims and was one of only seven men in the 65 to 69-year-old age group in the country who took on the challenge of swimming both events. Les placed 12th in the country in the 3000-yard (1.7 mile) event with a time of 55:48 and eighth in the country in the 6000-yard (3.4 mile) swim in a time of 1:59.04. Les also competed the 2010 USMS 1-hour National Postal Championship swim (how far can you swim in exactly one hour) and was one of four men in his age group that completed all three of these 2010 national long distance championship swims.

Finally in January of this year, Leslie Craven, Rainy Goodale and Les Cutler joined the more than 3500 swimmers who tackled the 2011 USMS 1-hour postal championship challenge. Leslie covered an amazing 2.5 miles in the hour while Rainy swam 2.4 miles and Les swam 1.75 miles in the allotted time. Leslie finished 18th in the nation and Rainy was 29th and Les 47th in the country in this highly competitive event.