Beaufort Masters swim home with SC Masters state championship

mmccombs@beaufortgazette.comDecember 6, 2012 

The Beaufort Masters Swim Team had always been competitive, according to coach Carlton Bruner. But even they didn't expect what happened over the weekend.

The group from Beaufort defeated 18 other teams from around the country to win the S.C. Masters State Championship in Columbia.

"We weren't expecting to win the overall meet," said Bruner, who competed for the United States in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. "We thought we'd be competitive. But everyone from Beaufort swam well, and we ended up winning. It was kind of a surprise."

Amanda Babbitt (Women's 25-29), Bethany Byrne (Women's 35-39), Heidi Taylor (Women's 40-44) and Susan Thomas (Women's 60-64) were Beaufort's high-point winners for their age groups.

Other Beaufort winners were Stephanie Barras, Kit Bruce, Peter Wyman, Wallace Thomas, Tim Andrepont and John Youmans. David Jennings and Dennis Glaves won relay events.

Hilton Head Aquatics and Bluffton Masters Fins also competed in the event. Hilton Head was sixth, while Bluffton was 10th.

Guy Renew (Men's 30-34) and Joseph Green (Men's 45-49) were high-point winners in their age groups for Hilton Head. Barbara Eisele (Women's 80-84) was a high-point winner for Bluffton.

Other winners for Hilton Head included Lynnette Hennessey and Rick Williams.

Youmans had a particularly good meet for Beaufort. The 80-year-old, swimming for the first time in the men's 80-84 age group, won the 100- and 200-meter backstrokes while setting state records in nine events.

Youmans downplayed the records.

"At my age, there aren't that many people that even swim competitively," said Youmans, who's been swimming with the Beaufort Masters for six years.

Youmans didn't swim in college, but said he swam with a group 53 years ago. Still, there was "no way" he said he would have thought he'd be competing at this age.

"Staying fit is what I'm doing. It's for my health," Youmans said. "I flew for a living. I never dreamed of going back and swimming in competitions."

Bruner said there isn't much competition for Youmans in South Carolina.

"At (his) age, there are not really that many swimmers," Bruner said. "But that's a testament to John himself. A lot of those events, no one had actually swam that event (competitively) before in the state of South Carolina. He set a state record in every event he swam."

"It's just one of those things that happened," Youmans said.

With the victory, Bruner goes out a winner as the coach of the Beaufort Masters. He is opening a business and wouldn't have the time to devote to the team.

"I'm not going to be able to commit to a consistent time to coach every evening and that's just not fair," Bruner said.

Bruner likely will return to swimming with the team, as he did for four years before taking over as coach.

"I've learned a lot of things with him," Youmans said. "I wish I'd had him when I was a kid."

S.C. Masters State Championship

Dec. 2-4, Columbia

Team Scores

1. Beaufort Masters 1072, 2. Grand Strand Masters 926, 3. Columbia Masters 624, 4. Georgia Masters 611, 5. N.C. Masters 288, 6. Hilton Head Aquatics 248, 7. Palmetto Masters 135, 8. Sea Wolves YMCA Masters 129, 9. Carlina Aquatics 92, 10. Bluffton Masters Fins 90, 11. Team Greenville 83, 12. Greater Knoxville Masters 59, T13. South East Metro 54, T13. Maine Masters 54, 15. LTP Masters 46, 16. Virginia Masters 45, 17. Gold Coast Masters 36, 18. Central Maryland YMCA 20, 19. Fish Masters 18.

Beaufort Winners

Amanda Babbitt, Women 25-29: 50-meter freestyle (35.63), 50-meter backstroke (41.11), 100-meter backstroke (1:31.05), 200-meter backstroke (3:31.45), 50-meter breaststroke (47.22), 50-meter butterfly (39.54), 100-meter butterfly (1:41.19), 200-meter intermediate medley (3:25.93), 400-meter individual medley (7:35.82).

Bethany Byrne, Women 35-39: 200 free (2:26.80), 100 back (1:14.10), 50 butterfly (33.47), 100 IM (1:14.57).

Heidi Taylor, Women 40-44: 50 free (38.83), 50 back (44.28), 200 back (3:30.41), 100 butterfly (1:48.60), 200 butterfly (3:58.41), 200 IM (3:44.24), 400 IM (7:54.82).

Stephanie Barras, Women 40-44: 100 breast (1:57.56).

Kit Bruce, Women 55-59: 50 free (37.64), 100 free (1:26.36).

Susan Thomas, Women 60-64: 1,500 free (30:55.30), 50 back (59.52), 100 back (2:20.08), 200 back (4:59.43).

Peter Wyman, Men 55-59: 50 free (35.22), 100 free (1:17.69), 400 free (6:04.19), 50 back (49.02), 50 breast (47.85).

Wallace Thomas, Men 60-64: 1,500 free (35:01.07).

Timothy Andrepont, Men 60-64: 200 IM (5:05.15), 400 IM (11:09.98).

John Youmans, Men 80-84: 100 back (2:18.16), 200 back (4:59.79).

200-meter freestyle relay, Men 240-279: (Wyman, David Jennings, Dennis Glaves, Thomas), 2:44.13.

Hilton Head Winners

Lynnette Hennessey, Women 45-49: 50 free (30.61), 100 free (1:07.25), 100 IM (1:23.77).

Guy Renew, Men 30-34: 200 free (2:24.18), 1,500 free (19:50.73).

Joseph Green, Men 45-49: 1,500 free (23:19.52), 50 breast (40.75), 100 breast (1:31.13), 200 breast (3:31.23).

Rick Williams, Men 50-54: 100 breast (1:23.53), 200 breast (3:06.95)

Bluffton Winners

Barbara Eisele, Women 80-84: 50 free (1:05.37), 100 free (2:32.89), 100 back (2:47.28), 50 breast (1:28.51), 100 breast (3:32.37), 50 butterfly (1:31.59), 100 butterfly (3:24.99), 100 IM (2:55.39), 200 IM (6:19.22), 400 IM (12:54.21).

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