Oct 202014

15 NUTS competed at the 2014 Pac Masters Short Course Meters Championships in Walnut Creek the weekend of October 11-12. We had some GREAT individual swims and super fast team-record-setting relays. Our 15 members were comprised of 12 females, 3 males. Our gals took 4th place overall and our team placed 7th overall. This is truly amazing especially given the fact that very few of our swimmers competed in the max number of events. The weather was perfect with temps in the mid 70s to low 80s. Check out our results!

2014 Pac SCM Champs Summary

2014 All Meet Results

Sep 292014

USMS has bestowed some pretty awesome awards on two of our coaches here at Swymnuts. At the United States Aquatic Sports annual convention in Jacksonville, Florida (Sept 17-21. 2014), Coach Susie Powell was awarded the USMS Fitness Award for her work with both Swymnuts and SwimFit. In the presentation, it was noted that Susie has quite the creative flare in her coaching style, with fun and outrageous “themes” to her workouts often filled with props, toys and zany sets. She’s also known for the dramatic flare of coming on deck with some pretty wild outfits.

USMS Susie Powell Award

Susie’s Fitness Award


Susie at 2014 Convention

Susie at 2014 Convention

Coach Cokie was awarded the USMS Dorothy Donnelly service award recognized for her extensive work with both USMS and Pacific Masters Swimming. She also received the 2014 USMS Coach of the Year Award! She was presented the award at the USAS Banquet filled with about 1300+ members of USMS, USA Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchro Swimming. She was introduced by Rowdy Gaines and gave a short acceptance speech (below). She is thrilled beyond measure and thanks everyone on the team for their work to put together a nomination package. She was flabbergasted to receive the award as this team managed to keep secret they had nominated her.

Swimming World Magazine interviewed her and did a web article on 9-23-14. You can find that article here.

Cokie with Rowdy Gaines

Cokie with Rowdy Gaines

Cokie at the Podium

Cokie giving her acceptance speech

Cokie’s Acceptance Speech

My sincerest thanks and gratitude to USMS, to my Swymnut Masters team, to my friend and fellow award winning coach Susie Powell and to all who made this possible, especially my husband Tim who always encourages me to chase my dreams. I am deeply honored to receive this award.

Last week at ASCA, I encountered this Albert Einstein quote: “I have no special talent, I am just passionately curious.” That fits me.

I am so blessed to have the opportunity to follow my passion and serve my team, my community, Pacific Masters and U.S. Masters Swimming. I got into coaching Masters as a way to reciprocate to a sport that has helped me on so many levels. The crazy thing is, the more I give to the sport, the more it gives back. And that is what coaching and life is about. The more you give of yourself, the more you receive.

As coaches, we may not be solving political crises, creating world peace, or finding cures for debilitating diseases. Although, we know our swimmers do! But, we have the opportunity EVERY SINGLE DAY to positively influence those we work with, and that is what drives me. We witness a transformation take place with our swimmers. It starts with stroke metamorphosis and physical conditioning, but like sun rays, that transformation often extends out to their relationships and interactions with family, friends and others in their lives. It is an AWESOME thing to witness.

One last quote. Pericles said, “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

Thank you to all of you out there for the weaving you do with your friends, your family, and your sport. And Oh my gosh, cool beans, thank you for this award!

Sep 042014

Two top notch Pacific Masters stroke clinics are coming up soon!

On Saturday, September 27th there is a terrific backstroke-freestyle clinic in Davis led by Davis Aquatic Masters Coaches Stu & Mary Kahn. Not only are they outstanding coaches, they run great clinics. You will get the most current look at changes in the stroke and learn how to maximize your propulsion and minimize resistance. Here is the flyer for the clinic.

2014 Clinic Flyer Davis Free Back

On Sunday, October 19th, I’ll be leading a breaststroke clinic in San Mateo with Coach Tom Reudy of San Mateo Masters. He is an amazing breaststroker and also an excellent coach. In that clinic we’ll have one hour of classroom and two hours of pool time working all aspects of breaststroke including pull downs. Here is the flyer for this clinic.

2014 Clinic Flyer San Mateo Breast 101914

Sep 012014

Here is the latest instructional video from USMS featuring Coach Cokie and Swymnut Margaret De Somma. It is about the role of your hips in backstroke and freestyle and accompanies an upcoming article in the September/October SWIMMER Magazine titled “Get Hip With Your Hips”. The key is to understand the role your hips play and then learn to control the action to help propel you forward by tapping into the largest muscles in your back, your latissimus dorsi! Thank you to Margaret who makes this look so easy.

Aug 152014

i-coach-219192617_std1Ever thought about coaching? Want to learn more about what it takes to be a Masters coach? We are blessed to have local opportunities for just such training this fall/winter 2014.

First up we have the USMS Level 1 & 2 Coaches Certification training. That will be held at Rolling Hills Club in Novato on Saturday, October 4th from 9-5pm (show up at 8:30 for check in). The following day the instructors and coaches in the class will host a 3-hour stroke clinic for swimmers (covering all 4 strokes). That will be held at Rolling Hills Club as well and runs from 9am-noon (again, show up at 8:30 for check-in).

Then, on Saturday, December 5th, USMS is returning to Novato (again at Rolling Hills Club) to bring us USMS Level 3 Coaches Certification training.

If you think there is a chance in the future you might want to coach a Masters team, then seize this opportunity to catch this training close to home!

Cokie will be teaching the Level 1 & 2 class in October, and normally teaches the Level 3 course but will be in Cuba in December.

  • For further information on the Level 1 & 2 Coaching class October 4th, click here.
  • For signing up for the Stroke Clinic October 4th, click here. Cost is $40.
  • For further information on the Level 3 Coaching class December 5th, click here.
  • For more information about USMS Coaching Certification in general, go here.
Aug 052014

Kate Eby was in Oregon this past weekend for some open water swimming. Turns out not just the State of CA, OR and WA are on fire, so was Kate. She drives up to Cascade Lakes Oregon to compete in some open water events. Some you say? How about 4 swims?!? Saturday was the 500 meter and 1500 meter swim. Sunday was the 5K and 1000 meter swim. How’d she do? Holy smokes! First, second, second, third in the individual swims and FIRST overall for her age group.

She definitely fits as a NUT! Way to go Kate, we are all proud of you!

Oh yeah, by the way, on her return home, they closed the freeway she had used to travel from Sacramento to Oregon. That led to a 200 mile detour to get home. All the more time to savor those incredible swims. Kate Eby Cascade Lake OR

Aug 052014

On Saturday, July 19th, Swymnut Mary Sackett competed in an Olympic distance 1500 meter swim off McNears Beach as part of the Marin Swim competition. This was the second annual event for Marin Swim. Mary loved it and did fantastic, finishing in a 29:20. Full results for the Marin Swim can be found here. Congratulations Mary!!

Aug 052014

Four Swymnuts traveled up to Lake Tahoe to swim in the TransTahoe Relay. This is truly one of the best and most beautiful open water venues out there! Despite the reputation of Lake Tahoe being very cold, word has it that this year it was in the high 60s and quite lovely. No wetsuits are allowed at this event! All four said they’d do it again in a heartbeat. Congrats to each of our hearty and nutty Swymnuts!

  • Stacey Ellison – who swam on The Pirates who were in the Open Division. Their relay finished in a time of 4:29.40
  • Cathy Stone & Terry Powers – who swam on A Family Stone who were in the Mixed 180+ group and finished in a time of 5:17.48 (Cathy, hubby Mike, their kids and Terry who is adopted now into their family)
  • Erica Sutherland – who swam with The North Bay Nautigals group who were also in the Open Division. They finished in a 4:38.48

Next year we’re planning on targeting this as a team effort, so let Coach Cokie know if you are interested. In 2015 the date for TransTahoe is Saturday, July 18th. Ideally, you’ll drive up Friday, swim the event Saturday and either come home Saturday night or add another night in Tahoe and make it a weekend!

Full results of this year’s TransTahoe can be found here.

Stacey Ellison TranssTahoe 2014

Stacey looking relaxed before her leg of the relay


Terry and Cathy tagging to exchange in the water

Terry and Cathy tagging to exchange in the water

Terry and Cathy Tahoe

Terry and Cathy on the boat while someone else is doing the hard work!

May 192014

Six Swymnuts traveled to Stanford to compete in the 2014 Bay Area Senior Games at the BEAUTIFUL Avery Aquatic Center. Our team swam very well with everyone medaling in their events. Mary Piel found out she was a distance swimmer with a terrific 500 Free (and a new team record). Cokie swam 50 Breast for the first time in a few years, setting a new team record. Germana swam four events and never stopped smiling, getting two new Masters best times in two events. Nancy also swam four events with solid times in all four and a strong 200 Free. Jane had a good meet (all 4 events) and would have had a best time in the 100 free, except that somebody moved the wall, costing at least 3-4 seconds when she had to return to touch the dang thing! Nick Winer had an eerily similar experience in his 100 Free, just getting a toe touch on all 3 turns. Still, he managed a 58.16, his second best time this year. Makes me wonder what his time would have been! His 50 Free was just off his best time he set at Nationals two weeks earlier. We had fun in the sun! Full team results are listed below.

Swymnut Masters with some serious hardware. L to R: Nancy Applegarth, Mary Piel, Germana Fabbri, Cokie Lepinski, Nick Winer, Jane Mothersill

Swymnut Masters at the Bay Area Senior Games (Stanford) with some serious hardware. From left to right we have Nancy Applegarth, Mary Piel, Germana Fabbri, Cokie Lepinski, Nick Winer, Jane Mothersill

2014 BASG Stanford 051814

May 052014

Top of the Top Hardware for EricaWow what an incredible 4 days at the USMS 2014 Short Course Yards National Championships held in Santa Clara May 1-4. There is no possible way to convey everything that we saw and did at this meet. We laughed and cried (with joy), danced, jumped up and down, yelled and screamed for our teammates, swam our bodies into exhaustion and just simply had a wonderful time. To be able to have Nationals in our own “backyard” was such a blessing. We took 20 swimmers to the meet, swam 73 individual events and 5 relays and, frankly, the results far surpassed anything we coaches thought we’d see for this young team. I’ve got pictures up on our Facebook site and will get them up on our team photo site asap.

Some of the team accomplishments were:

  • This was a first time Nationals meet for 15 of our 20 swimmers
  • 11 of our 20 swimmers came away with a total of 16 medals
  • All 5 of our relays set new team records
  • 36 new team records were set in individual swims
  • 37 lifetime bests (in Masters) were set by our swimmers
  • 45 personal bests (in their current age group) were set by our swimmers

There were so many highlights to those individual swims and relays:

  • Rebecca Arnold medaled in her 50 Breast with a 35.70 for 9th place
  • Cassandra Coffee had a strong meet with season bests in all her swims and a blistering 29.21 in her free leg on the relay
  • Kayla Coffee (first Nationals meet) had great swims, especially her 50 Back where she was 8th (a medal!!), her 100 Back (11th) and her 50 Fly (12th)
  • Margaret De Somma got a new lifetime best in her 50 back and with it, the team record!
  • Kate Eby medaled in the 1000 free and hit a lifetime best in her 500 free (crying with joy after that one!)
  • Germana Fabbri in her first Nationals did great with lifetime bests in 50 Free, 100 IM and 50 Back. We discovered she has an awesome dive start!
  • Anice Flesh, 77, wowed us with her medal placement and her free leg on the relay (a 44.70 for a 50 free!). She took 2nd in the 100 Breast, 3rd in the 200 Breast and 3rd in the 100 IM
  • Coach Cokie Lepinski was thrilled with her performances this weekend, getting season bests in all 6 swims, medaling in two events (200 Breast, 200 IM) and having a stellar 50 Fly on the relay
  • Michael Lessin had his first meet with Swymnuts and his first Nationals meet swimming the 100 free in his best time and discovering just how brutal the competition is in that event
  • Jane Mothersill had her own t-shirt “See Jane Swim” and it seemed to provide some good luck in her 100 Breast with a 4-second drop in time and a new team record. She was also solid in her 100 Free, 200 Breast and 100 IM
  • Jack Naylor competed in the 50 Breast in a good time (not his best but still, a 30.77?!?!) and also provided an even faster split on the relay (30.22). Thanks Jack!
  • Crystal Pinkston is still on Cloud 9 with her 1000 Free 7th place medal (and a 10 second drop in time) along with a huge drop in her 500 Free and under 8 minutes for the first time ever!
  • Coach Susie Powell wowed us with her stamina in the 400 IM and set team records in that and three other events. She also walked away with two medals (400 IM – 7th and 50 Fly 10th)
  • Bob Reed had a nice drop in time in his 50 Free (26.78)!
  • Lea Reizman was on fire – four swims, for lifetime bests, 4 team records and a 7th place medal in her 50 fly!
  • Jana Strycker is our Fly Queen – no doubt! She had a 1:11.59 (12th) and a 30.29 on the 50 good for a medal (9th). She also has a pretty wicked start!
  • Erica Sutherland was impressive as always. Let’s start with her #1 finish in the 50 Back in a lifetime best of 30.87. That means she is the National Champion for the very first time (there will be more, trust me). She also had a lifetime best 100 Breast for a new team record and a medal for 9th (1:19.04); a strong 50 free (28.63) and a strong 50 fly (31.43)
  • Mimi Willard at her first Nationals scored a 10th place medal in the 100 Back and had 5 of her 6 swims in her best times, setting team records in two of them and narrowly missing a medal in her 200 Free (2:44.69, 11th). She just keeps getting better and better!
  • Nick Winer was THE MAN in the freestyle events. He had lifetime bests in the 50, 100 and 200 Free. He dropped 1.6 seconds in his 50 free going 25.99; dropped a WHOPPING 6 seconds in his 100 free (56.31) and swam a very fast 200 Free in 2:12.10 (his first ever 200 Free). He was grinning all meet!
  • Marlon Woolf set new lifetime bests in all 6 of his swims, setting team records in the process. Blazing fast 50 free (25.23), 100 free (56.46) and 200 free (2:07.35 a 3 second drop).

The support this team gave to each other was phenomenal. We had an absolute blast and it is a meet I will forever treasurer.

Coach Cokie


2014 Nationals SCY