Swimming: Munster Masters in top half at national meet
By Brian Peloza Post-Tribune correspondent May 11, 2013 9:42PM
Updated: June 13, 2013 7:39PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Nicole Saulters held six individual and relay records at Ball State during her collegiate swimming career. A persistent shoulder injury, though, immensely limited her success as a senior.
Looking to erase those memories, the former Highland standout joined the Munster Masters Swimming Club to enjoy the feeling of competition.
“I was a little upset with the ending to my career, so I thought I could come back and start competing again with masters,” said the 23-year-old Saulters. “...It’s nice to have a love for the sport and be able to do it again.”
Saulters is one of 13 members of the Munster Masters Swim Club participating this weekend at the U.S. Masters Swimming Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.
The athletes have varying backgrounds and range in age from 23 to 55, but they all have common reasons in participating with the masters program.
“For me it’s getting back into the water years after not swimming,” said 31-year-old Peter Rokosz, a former state qualifier at Lake Central. “It’s the experience of again having the thrill of competition. It’s fun to push yourself and see what you’re capable of doing.”
Despite the club being only two years old, it’s showing well at the U.S. championships. Out of 174 teams, the Munster group is 60th in the combined male and female standings after Saturday’s events, with 40.5 points. The championships conclude today.
Saulters, who had shoulder surgery in August and didn’t begin swimming again until January, finished second in the 50 backstroke (26.98 seconds) in the 18-24 age group, setting the Indiana state record for that division.
“I wanted to win, but I’ll take (the state record),” Saulters said.
The times at the U.S. Masters Championships runs the gamut, along with the age divisions.
“You have times here that would score in the highest-level of college meets,” Munster Masters coordinator Matt Lee said, “and then you have 80- and 90-year-olds swimming.”
Munster team member Jon Lowell finished fifth in the 50 fly (23.59) in the 30-34 age division.
“This is just to have fun,” said Lowell, who swam for the University of South Carolina and is originally from Virginia. “That’s what it’s all about. This is just a byproduct of trying to stay in shape.”
And that goal is more easily accomplished with power in numbers.
“I was also looking to stay in shape and it’s a lot easier to swim with a group of guys rather than by yourself,” said Rokosz, who dropped eight seconds off his 200 freestyle time from the state meet, finishing 12th in 1:53.70.
Milos Rokosz, Lowell, Bryan Buksar and Clinton Marshall finished fifth in the 200 freestyle relay in 1:28. Peter and Milos Rokosz, Saulters, and Jelena Gober finished seventh in the mixed 200 free relay in 1:39.43.