Local Masters swimmers qualify for National Senior Games

Highland Lakes Masters swimmers Craig Magerkurth (left), Thom Fairleigh, and Jim Cole sport a collection of medals they won at the 30th annual Texas Senior Games in San Antonio on April 6. Magerkurth and Cole qualified for the National Senior Games, which are June 14-25 in Albuquerque. Courtesy photo

Highland Lakes Masters swimmers Craig Magerkurth (left), Thom Fairleigh, and Jim Cole sport a collection of medals they won at the 30th annual Texas Senior Games in San Antonio on April 6. Magerkurth and Cole qualified for the National Senior Games, which are June 14-25 in Albuquerque. Courtesy photo

EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON

Three Highland Lakes Masters swimmers are golden after their performances at the Texas Senior Games in San Antonio on April 6.

“We had a great day,” said Jim Cole, the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond swim coach and Masters swimmer. “We came away with a lot of medals, and two of us qualified for the National Senior Games in June.”

Masters swimming is open to ages 18 and older, though the Texas Senior Games and National Senior Games are for athletes 50 and older. At the San Antonio meet, which was held at the Josh Davis Natatorium, Cole competed along with other Highland Lakes swimmers Craig Magerkurth and Thom Fairleigh.

Magerkurth came home with three gold medals and two silvers. He won gold in the men’s 50- to 54-year-old men’s 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard backstroke, and 200-yard individual medley. The silvers came in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle.

He also qualified for the National Senior Games.

Fairleigh won gold in the men’s 50- to 54-year-old men’s 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard breaststroke. The silver came in the 100-yard backstroke. He also finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle.

Cole earned gold in the 65- to 69-year-old men’s 100-yard individual medley and 50-yard butterfly. He grabbed bronze in the 50-yard breastroke.

Cole will also make the trip to the National Senior Games, which take place June 14-25 in Albuquerque. The Senior Games feature a number of competitions for adults 50 and older.

As for Masters swimming, Cole heads up the YMCA of the Highland Lakes program. While the word “Masters” is in the name of the program, Cole pointed out it’s not just for experienced swimmers. Even those just interested in swimming to get in shape, stay in shape, or become active can take part. A benefit of swimming is it’s gently on the joints, so people can do it well into their 80s or even 90s.

The Masters swim program is for ages 18 and older, and Cole and the instructors can tailor it to meet each person’s needs and goals.

Learn more at the YMCA of the Highland Lakes website or email Cole at jcole@ymcagwc.org.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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