A group of Masters Swimmers from Madison and the surrounding areas have now had the privilege of swimming together for two decades at the Madison YMCA, the Madison Community Pool, the Summit YMCA and other close by locations.  Traditionally, we track monthly swim yardage for the entire year on a user friendly web site  (with support from our web site coordinator Barry Lass).   Each of our 60 swimmers has a chance to see how they rank throughout the year in total yards within the group in a monthly newsletter.


Also, as we do every year in January,  the Masters Yardstick Swimmers gathered recently at our 20th anniversary annual awards breakfast on January 6th- a combined live (at the Kemmerer Library in Harding Township) and online (via Zoom) event- with strong participation (39 in person and 6 on Zoom)!  Hosted by longtime swimmers Bob Nissen, Joe Donohue, and Richard Clew, the multi-media slide show and event highlighted activities of 2023 (aided by our group historian, Barbara Rushman) and brought us together in such a way that all active members could enjoy.  


It began with a fascinating summary of our 20 year history- how we started, how we have evolved and grown as the “Yardstick Swimmers”, and what we have accomplished as a group.  Since 2004, our collective swimming efforts are amazing- logging more than 371 million yards- or nearly 211,000 miles!  That is equivalent to swimming “around the world”  more than 8 times!   

After reviewing a number of “20th Anniversary Workouts” submitted by our swimmers, we were entertained with a Surprise Video Tape and Congratulations Message from Rowdy Gaines, 3 time Olympic Gold Medal Winner in Swimming.  


Many of our swimmers enjoy participating in group workouts at the Walker D. Kirby Aquatics Center in its modern eight lane pool at the Madison YMCA!  For further information on the pool and swim program, please contact the main desk at the Madison YMCA at 973-822-9622.


Ultimately, we moved on to the highlight of the event- our Annual Awards.  Jane Ikeda of Mendham, Diane Dinsmore of Madison, and Bob Franks of Chatham were each named “Bold Performer of the Year”, for demonstrating improved performance, exceptional effort and a special commitment to the swimming program.  3 D(imension) 20th Anniversary Awards for long term participation and passion for swimming by exemplifying Commitment, Consistency, and Competitiveness were presented to Jennifer Bauman of Parsippany, Bill Sullivan of Florham Park, and Richard Clew of Harding Township.  


The  Team Competition was unbelievable, with our two squads each swimming more than 12 million yards in a competition that was close until the final day, when The Yardstick Rulers (led by Captain Richard Clew)  bested the Yardstick Junkies (led by Captain Bill Sullivan).  Finally, our top two swimmers for 2023 were runner up Cindy Viola of Chatham, and Yardstick Winner Sandra Seddon of Chatham, swimming 1,461,630 yards, or 830 miles!  Sandra was awarded the Doug Clark Championship Yardstick, named in memory of our former “Yardstick Swimmer”. 


We all had a great time, and were so happy to connect with our swimming friends for this special 20th Anniversary celebration.  And we will continue our monthly yard tracking in 2024, and are convinced that our program will grow in numbers!  Adult swimmers of all levels from beginners to experts are welcome to the Masters programs. To learn more about our Yardstick Challenge, please contact Bob Nissen at bobnissen@gmail.com.


Photo Attached.  Here are the names of those in the photo:

Row 1- Yardstick Winner Sandra Seddon, Barbara Rushman,  Bob Nissen, Deborah Fennelly, Joe Donohue

Row 2- Bob Franks, Bree Olivari, Nicole Sullivan, Noreen McManus, Melissa Griffie, Jane Ikeda, Nicole Bearce

Row 3-  Chachi Sabatino, , Bill Sjovall,  Debbie Goulian, Susan Kirk, Irene Fisher, Ed Tsuzuki,  Jim Sullivan

Row 4- Diane Dinsmore, Bill Sullivan, Alan Sawyer, Lynda Przedpelski, Sarah Sangree, Barry Lass, Ted Bohlman, Sam Kongsamut 

Row 5- Jennifer Bauman, John Przedpelski, Richard Clew, Barbara Wattenbach, Cande Olsen 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.