Masters swimmers promote health, longevity

December 28, 2005

Looking for a healthy, low-impact workout routine that fits your work schedule? Looking for an indoor sport that will get you in great shape for the summer? Maybe you’re looking to try something new, meet new people, accomplish some New Year’s resolutions, lose a few pounds or get back in to a competitive sport after years of taking it easy.

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Columbia Gorge Masters could be the program for you.

The Columbia Gorge Masters swimming program started in 2002 to provide competitive and recreational swimming opportunities to local adults. Today, the group consists of about 25 swimmers, ranging in ability from former college competitors to adults who only recently learned how to swim.

Coached by Shelly Rawding (current Hood River Swim Team Ospreys coach) and Jill Miles, the Masters work out three mornings a week at the Hood River Aquatic Center. Workouts differ from swimmer to swimmer, depending on individual abilities and conditioning levels.

“The purpose of our organization is to promote good health, fitness and friendships through regular swimming,” commented team member Sandy Rousseau. “We welcome swimmers of all ages, from 18 to 100-plus years old, regardless of previous swimming experiences.”

Opportunities on the team range from solely workout swimming to competing in pool-meets, open water swims and triathlons.

“We invite people to join us for a two-week trial,” Rousseau said. “Come try some fun workouts with new friends. Just show up and see how you like the workouts and the people.”


Workouts are held from 6-7:30 a.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at the Hood River pool. Workouts are coached by Rawding and Miles, with routines differing from person to person.

“We have something for everyone,” said Rousseau. “The whole focus is masters swimming for life. It is a life-long fitness activity.”


For anyone interested in joining, the team is offering a free, no commitment trial. Beyond that, the membership fee is $25 a month, plus the pool user fee and an annual Oregon Masters Swimming fee of $38. For more information about the team, feel free to contact Rawding at or Rousseau at


The most recent meet the team participated in was the Northwest Zone Short Course Masters Championships at David Douglas High School in late November.

Team highlights from the meet include Nikki Weeks setting two zone records in the 30-34-year-old age group: one in the 50-meter breast stroke and one in the 50-meter butterfly.

Individual meet highlights:

Nikki Weeks (30-34) — First in 50 breast, 50 fly, 50 free, 100 free and 100

Claire Fitzpatrick (45-49) — Second in 100 IM, fourth in 50 breast

Ann Goodman (45-49) — First in 400 free, second in 50

back, 100 back, 200 back, 400 IM

Sandi Rousseau (55-59) — First in 50 fly, 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 back, 100 IM

Bill Sumerfield (45-49) — (first-ever masters meet) Second in 50 breast, fourth in 50 free, 100 breast, 200 breast

Keith Seltzer (45-49) — Second in 50 free, third in 50 fly

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners