Masters set records, Miller qualifies for swim worlds

The Grand Strand area was well represented at the Pan American Masters Swimming Championships this past week in Orlando, FL.

The championship featured swimmers from North, Central, and South America along with athletes from other areas of the world, competing for the opportunity to advance to the FINA World Championships to be held in August, 2019 in Gwangju, South Korea.

Conway’s Jenna Miller excelled in all of her events, setting a new South Carolina state record in the 100 meter freestyle, moving the mark by 1.18 seconds, while also setting personal record marks in the 800m freestyle, 400m IM finishing 2nd, 50m freestyle, 200m backstroke, and the 100m freestyle while qualifying for Gwangju in 9 events, and gathering medals in 5 events.

“I was really excited and ready to go. Unfortunately, I got sick the week before leaving and that shifted my expectations and I was in the mode of try my best,” Miller said. “Once I had a couple of good races, I picked up steam and it went from there.”

Miller, who works as a kayak guide for Glass Bottom Kayak Tours in North Myrtle Beach, and a school teacher at Carolina Forest High School swam all 4 years of her high school days at Carolina Forest High before graduating in 2009.

Swimming out of the North Myrtle Beach Aquatic and Fitness center, the Grand Strand Masters Swimming organization was well represented in the championship. North Myrtle Beach’s Sarah Bartley set a personal record in the 800m freestyle, and the 200m backstroke. Murrells Inlet’s Karen Fuss set personal records in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, and 200m freestyle.

Also participating and representing GSMS was NMB’s Joel Schmaltz, Clearwater, Florida’s Veronica McCumber , Ocean Isle Beach’s Greg Weber who set a personal record in 800m freestyle, along with Ocean Isle’s Susan Gebhardt who set 4 South Carolina state and personal records in the 800m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 50m butterfly, and 200m freestyle.

Coached by Diane Bartlett, the master’s organization was well received in Orlando. “Electric was a really good way to describe it. We met all these different people from other countries. If we were swimming,  they were cheering for us too,” Miller said.

To find out more about Grand Strand Masters, visit their facebook page.

Photo Credit: Susan Gebhardt

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