August 2022 Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Sept. 25, 2022, Walmart Oz Mile, Beaver Lake Dam Site, Eureka Springs, AR. (Any active Ark Masters member can use the code ARKUSMS for a $10 discount off registration.) This is a big deal! Please read below for all of the details.

To view events across the country, visit this page on the USMS website.

To view events within our Zone, visit this page.

Swimmer Spotlight – Mark Jechura

If you continue reading this newsletter (and I sincerely hope you do), you will notice that Mark Jechura of Bentonville has recently been competing and setting several records for Arkansas Masters. In fact, rumor has it that he even broke one of SCOTT HALLIBURTON’s records! So, today we learn more about Mark and his swimming journey in the newest Swimmer Spotlight!

Summer Meets and New Records!

USMS Summer Long Course Nationals were held in Richmond, Va. this year. Congratulations to these speedy swimmers for setting new Arkansas Citizen records at that meet!

400 Free35-394:26.43Calvin SchildknechtLRM378/5/2022
1500 FREE55-5920:18.52Mark JechuraTJOS568/3/2022
1500 FREE70-7423:53.46Marvin SchwartzLRM748/3/2022
50 BACK35-3930.52Ales VolcansekLRM398/4/2022
200 BACK35-392:51.86Ales VolcansekLRM398/5/2022
200 BACK45-492:26.11Byron ShefchikLRM488/5/2022
50 BREAST35-3932.36Calvin SchildknechtLRM378/7/2022
100 BREAST35-391:12.13Calvin SchildknechtLRM378/5/2022
200 FLY45-492:28.69Byron ShefchikLRM488/5/2022
200 IM45-492:18.75Byron ShefchikLRM488/6/2022

Two records were also set in Jenks, OK at Oklahoma Memorial State Championship Meet on 8/20/2022

Mark Jechura: Men’s 55-59; 200 IM and 400 IM

All-American in the 400 Medley and 800 Free relays. This took place at the Arkansas State Championships. L to R: Aras Ross Karakivrak, Srdjan Markovic, Calvin Schildknecht, & Byron Shefchik

The Walmart Oz Mile Swim – Sept. 25th

The Walmart OZ Mile Swim is an open water race that offers participants and spectators a full weekend in Northwest Arkansas with festivities centered around swimming. The weekend will kick off with an Expo at The Red Barn in Bentonville on Friday, Sept. 24th from 4:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M. with a dinner ticket option. Saturday afternoon there is a pre-swim opportunity at the race venue from 2-4 P.M. Then, Sunday morning it’s RACE DAY! For participants coming in from out of state who have never seen the Ozarks, this is the best excuse to visit. The waters at Beaver Lake Dam are spectacular; crystal clear, with more than 10 feet of visibility.

Expo dinner tickets:

Spectator lunch ticket for race day:

The world’s largest open water race is the Midmar Mile, with over 15,000 swimmers in attendance every year. It is a tradition, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023, and they are our partner!  To a lifelong promoter of swimming, this event is inspiring. The Midmar Mile partnership means that the fastest female and male swimmers from the OZ Mile Swim will earn a trip to Midmar in 2023. The OZ Mile has been fashioned after the Midmar Mile. Both races bring swimmers, families, co-workers, and friends together around the sport of swimming.

Bonnie Adams, founder of SWIM OZ, created this race because she wanted to showcase the natural beauty of the Ozark region and offer an opportunity for her clients and team to be able to compete locally. There are so many amazing things that this area offers athletes, and it is time to put us on the map for swimming events as well. There is a very eclectic swimming population here in Northwest Arkansas. A lot of former Division 1 swimmers, Ironman triathletes, recreational swimmers, high school state champions, para-athletes, and special Olympic athletes all reside here. The 1-mile swim offers ALL of them the opportunity to participate.   The course is a triangle shape with complete viewing for the spectators to see their swimmer the entire race. 

We want to build community around swimming.  As a participant, here’s what to expect… Four distinct waves of competition (you can register for as many as you like).  Awards for first, second, and third male and female overall, and each race wave, including 5-year brackets for the age group wave. Overall first place winners receive free attendance to the Midmar Mile. There are two team divisions, Club teams for our 17 and under, and Club teams for our 18 and over, each winning team to leave with a traveling trophy and a permanent trophy. For your team to participate, you must have at least 10 participants register under your team’s name to be eligible. 

This year’s event will consist of a live band, food and beverages from local restaurants, and family and team friendly areas to spectate the action.  This should be on everyone’s calendar for a great day on the lake!  The entire event weekend has so much to offer our attendees. Bike trails, museums, music festivals, LPGA tournament, culinary delights, and so much more are all right here in Northwest Arkansas.

The Walmart OZ Mile Swim has some amazing sponsors and partners. Arvest is our presenting sponsor. Deloitte, UAMS, and the Ozark Outdoor Foundation are our main sponsors. The ability to have these partners gives us so much opportunity! We are able to provide 20% of our registration fees to two philanthropic organizations: the USA Swimming Foundation, with a focus on learning to swim and providing opportunities for swimmers to further their careers, and Dare2tri, with a focus on para-athletes by providing opportunities for them to become triathletes. These sponsorships also give us the ability to have a world class swimming event in the heart of the Ozarks at an amazing registration price! We are all feeling the increase of prices for everything. We were able to drop our price so that everyone could have something to feel good about participating in and include the entire family. 

Wave organization details:

8:00 AM – School Wave

            Ages 13 – 18: winners for top 3 male and female awarded, Youth Club Team awards are dictated by this wave.

8:45 AM – Elite Wave

            13 & over:  Must have a swim time of 26 minutes or under to participate. Times will count towards the Adult Club Team awards.

9:30 AM – Age Group Wave

            13 & over: winners for the following age brackets for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd male and female. Times will count towards the Adult Club Team awards. 13-15, 16-17, 18-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-60, 61-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80 and over

10:30 AM – OZ Wave

            There are no awards for this wave. 

            8 – 12 year old participants must wear a safety buoy and have a partner that is 18 or older with them the entirety of the swim. They can wear fins during the race.

            13 & over: Anything goes… wetsuit, fins, paddles, safety buoy, lifejacket, snorkel, kickboard, any or all. Just come swim the mile!

Why can’t the biggest swim in the US be in the beautiful Ozarks? Register TODAY!

Bentonville Swim and Social, Sept. 5th

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