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Tankers shine at Nationals

West Linn's Sonja Skinner is a national champion in Masters swimming


by: SUBMITTED - Oregon City Tankers display their hardware from the United States Masters Swimming Spring Nationals. Among those vying for the Oregon Masters Team at the nationals were: (front, from left) Alex Crooks, Tim Waud and Tessa Reeves; (back) Sonja Skinner, Britta Daubersmith, Tom Phipps and Jose Bolivar; and (not pictured) Byron Olsen and Melissa Arata.Oregon City Tankers masters swimmers did themselves proud at the United States Masters Swimming Spring Nationals, held this month in Santa Clara, California.

Ten members of the local club were a part of the 53-swimmer Oregon Masters Team that made a strong showing at the event, finishing second only to Puget Sound Masters. Puget Sound scored 1,530. The Oregon Masters scored 1,174-1/2; Colorado Masters were third, with 900-1/2 points.

Oregon City Tankers earned top 10 placements in 19 individual events and they were a part of three Oregon Masters record swims.

Oregon City Tanker Sonja Skinner of Milwaukie was the top performer from the local club. Skinner, 37, was part of a relay team that won a national title in the women’s 200-yard medley relay (1:55.03) for the 35-39 age division. She swam the butterfly leg in the women’s medley relay.

A 1995 graduate of West Linn High School, Skinner had been away from competitive swimming for 14 years before joining the Oregon City-based Oregon City Tankers masters swim team a year and a half ago.

Skinner said of her being part of a national championship team: “It’s a little weird. I guess it’s more surreal than anything. It’s hard to believe I’ve done it. I was happy with all of my swims. I had PR’s in all but two events.”

Skinner top ten

in eight events

by: SUBMITTED - Milwaukie 37-year-old Sonja Skinner excelled at the recent United States Masters Swimming Spring Nationals, placing top 10 in eight events and winning a national title.Skinner placed in the top 10 in eight events at the national championship meet. She placed third in the 35-39 100-yard butterfly (1:02.72), fifth in the 50-butterfly (28.54), seventh in the 200-individual medley (2:22.59), ninth in the 50-freestyle (26.64), ninth in the 100-freestyle (57.56), and she was part of a women’s 200-freestyle relay team that finished national runner-up (1:43.11), and a mixed 200-freestyle relay team that placed ninth (1:41.70).

Skinner’s time for the 100-yard butterfly and the time of her 200-yard medley and 200-freestyle relay teams were all Oregon Masters Swimming records. The record in the 200-freestyle relay was in the 18-plus age division.

The 35-39 mixed 200-freestyle relay team that placed ninth was an all Oregon City Tankers team. Joining Skinner on the team were Tankers Tessa Reeves, Jose Bolivar and Byron Olsen.

“The highlight for me was the 100-fly,” said Skinner. “It was my event back in the day. I dropped time and I placed third. I was happy with that.”

Skinner says her Oregon City Swim Club records from her youth for the 50 and 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly are still on the record boards at the Oregon City Municipal Swimming Pool.

“I’m three seconds off my all-time best for the butterfly, but I’m chipping away,” said Skinner, whose maiden name was Sonja Lewis. “My goal is to defy my age and swim as fast as I once did.”

Oregon City Tanker Amanda Metz, 33, placed third in the 30-34 women’s 200-breast stroke (2:43.77), fourth in the 100-breast stroke (1:15.59), fourth in the 50-breast stroke (34.57) and eighth in the 200-individual medley (2:35.27).

Oregon City Tanker Tom Phipps, 60, placed fourth in the 60-64 1,650-freestyle and sixth in the 200-butterfly (2:44.80).

Oregon City Tanker Byron Olsen, 35, placed seventh in the 35-39 50-backstroke (27.61) and seventh in the 100-backstroke (59.93).

Tessa Reeves, 35, of the Oregon City Tankers placed eighth in the 35-39 500-freestyle (6:09.07).

Oregon City Tankers head coach Tim Waud, 46, placed 10th in the 45-49 50-breast stroke (31.52), 10th in the 200-breast stroke (2:27.85) and 10th in the 1,650-freestyle (19:11.68).

Waud was also part of an Oregon Masters 45-49 men’s 200-medley relay team that placed sixth; Olsen and Bolivar were part of a men’s 200-freestyle relay team that placed eighth (1:35.89); and Reeves was part of a 35-39 women’s 200-freestyle relay team that placed ninth (1:49.74).

Tim Waud to coach

FINA World Masters

Waud was head coach of the Oregon Masters team and he’ll be the U.S. head coach for the FINA World Masters Swimming Championships, which are scheduled for Montreal Aug. 2-10.

Waud said of his experience as Oregon head coach at this year’s Spring Nationals in Santa Clara: “I’m just beyond excited! This was my 13th nationals [coaching an Oregon Masters team] and it was the most fun we’ve ever had. We had a really, really good time.... And with the number of national and zone and personal best and top 10 swims that we had, it was our best showing we’ve ever had.

“Out of our 53 swimmers, there was only one swimmer that did not have a PR; Oregon Masters swimmers set 44 Oregon Masters records, 19 Northwest Zone records and six national records.”

The FINA World Masters competition will feature over 10,000 athletes from around the world, competing in swimming, water polo, diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming.

Besides coaching the U.S. Masters Team at FINA Worlds, Waud will compete in several long-course events, including the 3-kilometer open water swim.

“I swam well at nationals, so hopefully I can get top 10 at World’s,” said Waud.

Waud says he swam at a world championship in 1994, at age 27, and placed 11th in the 100-breast stroke.



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