Martha’s Vineyard Masters swim at Harvard


On Saturday, March 10, and the weekend of March 16-18 members of the Martha’s Vineyard Masters Swim Team competed in the New England Short CourseYards Swimming Championships at Harvard University’s Blodgett Pool in Cambridge. The prestigious regional event was the largest masters swim meet in New England, with 887 swimmers (393 women and 494 men) from 81 different swim teams from across the nation.

On March 10, four Vineyard swimmers competed in the 1000-yard (0.6 mile) freestyle or 1650-yard (1 mile) freestyle swims.

A highlight for the Vineyard swimmers was the strong performance of Leslie Craven, who finished 2nd in the women’s 1650 with a time of 21:05.42 in her 50- to 55-year-old age group. It was more than a minute faster than she, or anyone on the team, had predicted she would swim.

Liz Fox finished 6th in the 1000-yard swim in the women’s 55- to 59-year-old age group, and Jonathan Chatinover, a new member of the team, was 4th in the 1000 in the men’s 50- to 54-year-old age group. Les Cutler finished 3rd in the 1650 in men’s 65- to 69-year-old age group.

In the main meet over the weekend of March 16 to 18, Rainy Goodale, the team’s strongest swimmer, placed first in the 50-, 100-, and 200-yard breaststroke, as well as the 50-yard backstroke. She placed 2nd in the 100- and 200-yard individual medley, 3rd in the 50-yard butterfly and 5th in the 50-yard freestyle. She finished the meet as the 3rd highest point scorer in the women’s 40- to 44-year-old age group.

Liz Fox, who matched her times from high school, placed 8th in the 500- and 200-yard freestyle and 8th in the 50-yard breaststroke. Most impressively, Liz swam the 50-yard freestyle in 33.97 seconds to capture 5th place in the women’s 55- to 59-year-old age group.Leslie Craven continued her strong efforts by finishing 5th in the 500-yard freestyle, 9th in the 200-yard freestyle, 15th in the 50-yard butterfly, and 16th in the 50 yard-freestyle and 100-yard individual medley.The team members were particularly happy for Tricia Jette, who returned from a series of challenging medical issues to finish 14th in the 50-yard backstroke, more than a second faster than her predicted time, and 22nd in the 50-yard freestyle.

Summer resident Sue Jensen, a member of the Cambridge Masters Swim Team trains with the M.V. Masters when she’s here. A world-class swimmer, she competed in ten individual events and four relays at the meet, finishing as the third overall point winner in her 50- to 54-year-old age group.

M.V. Masters coach David Espindle deserves great credit for the improved performances by the team members.