June 2021 Newsletter

Upcoming events

July 21-25, 2021 USMS Short Course National Championship, Greensboro NC

July 24, 2021Trifest for MS Open Water Swim, Rogers/Beaver Lake   Currently registered Ark Masters members receive a $10 discount off registration.  Use the code USMS21 to apply the discount.

Oct. 6-10, 2021 Tentative date for USMS Long Course National Championship, Geneva, OH

As always, the USMS Events page has a full list (hint: this page probably defaults to your location, but if you click on “Show All” you can see all events across the country).

Award Recipient: Dotty Burke

During our Zone Championship meet in Little Rock on May 15th, we had the honor of surprising Dotty Burke with the Jesse Coon Award.

Jesse Coon was a man devoted to the sport of swimming, especially masters swimming. Jesse began his masters career in 1976 at the age of 65. He swam, competed, and earned National Top Ten times until 2005, just months before his death at the age of 94. Jesse inspired several generations of masters swimmers in the South Central Zone.  He regularly raced in the most challenging events, such as the 200 fly and 400 IM. Open, friendly, and gracious, Jesse was a well-known and beloved member of the masters community. Past award winners represent the heart of masters swimming and have been chosen because of their care and concern for others involved in the sport. 

Like Jesse Coon, Dotty began her masters swimming career in 1976 and swims the same challenging events, the 200 breast, 200 fly, and 400 IM. In 1976, she was living in St. Louis and the upcoming USMS National Long Course Championship meet was being held at her daughter’s swim club. The age-group coach encouraged Dotty to begin swimming in preparation for the championship meet. Specializing in breaststroke, she found immediate success at that first meet, achieving Top Ten times in three events.  Dotty continued training, first on her own and then with a newly formed masters team in St. Louis.   The former owner and operator of Medical Sales and Distribution Co., Dotty is retired and lives with her husband, Max Billen, in Hot Springs Village, AR.

Dotty now trains on her own at the Hot Springs YMCA, and enjoys workouts that include a variety of strokes which is the perfect training for her favorite event, the 400 IM. After successfully beating a 2020 cancer diagnosis, Dotty is again swimming and training for competition. She has achieved her 2017 goal of notching over 200 National Top Ten times (currently at 230 and counting). Dotty will continue to add to that total as she enters the 80-84 age group. 

Dotty gives back to the sport in various ways, beyond providing motivation and encouragement to her fellow swimmers at competitions. She has been a leader and organizer of the Tri the Village triathlon for seven years, coordinating all aspects of the swim portion of the event.  

Dotty is very involved in the Hot Springs Village Community, participating in Ladies Mah Jongg, Ladies Duplicate Bridge, and Couples Bridge groups. She is the Secretary for the Public Relations Committee for the Hot Springs Village  Community Foundation and an active member, volunteer, and organizer for the Women’s Ministry at the Village Bible Church. Congratulations to Arkansas Masters Swimmer, Dotty Burke!

Dotty Burke, and Scott Halliburton

Meet in Little Rock

On May 15th, twenty-five swimmers competed in the 2021 virtual Zone Championship Meet. There were 6 meets held across two weekends in May within our zone boundaries. All of the times were combined to create a South Central Zone Championship. Results from that meet can be found here. Many zone, state and citizen records were broken and it was great to get back to competition.

Little Rock, 5-15-2021


Masters coach Megan Cameron recently wrote an article that was published in the USA Triathlon magazine. Her article is titled 10 Tips for Getting Back in the Pool and can be read here. Good job on getting athletes back in the pool Megan!

Open Water Swims at Beaver Lake

Bonnie Adams with The Joys of Swimming/Swim OZ is again offering weekly open water swims on Wednesday nights at Beaver Lake. All of the details can be found here.

We hope you all are healthy and getting back into a swimming routine. Please feel free to forward me (Carie O’Banion at carie.obanion@gmail.com) any information (news, events. etc) that you would like us to share with our members. And don’t forget that you can follow us (and post) on our Facebook page: Arkansas Masters Swimming.

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