Al Worth and Ken McKinney came away with 23 first places and three second places; yes, that’s correct – 23 first places. Chew on that Michael Phelps. Both have been swimming in national and local swim meets for over 10 years and this is the best year for each of them thus far.
The Arizona USMA state championship event held in Oro Valley on April 11, 12 and 13 gathered close to 300 swimmers from all over Arizona with everyone racing for the gold.
Sanctioned swimming events are typically broken into several categories: men, women, mixed and by age.
The meets normally have individual races and relays.
In the individual race each swimmer races against everyone in the group (men, women, etc.); relay events are either all men, all women or mixed (2 men 2 women).
Both the individual and relays race can be totally freestyle (what us old guys call Australian crawl), breast stroke, butterfly or back stroke where every swimmer swims the same stoke for the entire distance.
The I.M. (individual medley) is where one swimmer swims all four strokes (butterfly, back, breast, free style the entire distance.
The medley relays are a team effort where each swimmer on the four person team does a different stroke; i.e., butterfly, breast, back and free.
Distances vary from 1650 yards (about a mile) to 1000 yards, 500 yards, 200 yards, 100 yards, down to 50 yards.
There are electronic timers and a human timer at each end of the pool. Officials abound to make sure all the sanctioned rules are met.
Al Worth, 80 years young, attained four individual golds plus six relay golds for a total of 10 medals. In 2014 Al received “All American” awards in 500 yard free, individual and 400 medley relays. All American awards are only given to the national fastest times during the year.
Later this summer Al will participate in at least three local events (Prescott, Flagstaff and Grand Canyon games).
Ken McKinney, 76 years young, attained five individual golds plus two individual silvers plus eight relay golds plus one relay silver for a total of 16 medals.
Ken attained three personal records during the state meet in 100 yard breast, 50 breast and 100 I.M.
Ken is traveling to San Antonio, TX to compete in the 2015 nationwide USMS spring national championship on April 25, 26 and 27; then to Minneapolis, Minnesota in July for the national Sr. Olympics.
For anyone interested in learning more about local swim events, improving their swimming or learning to swim, leave a message for Al Worth at the club.