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Mavericks of the Month - 2000

The following swimmers were selected as "Mavericks of the Month" in 2000. Our first edition of "Maverick of the Month" was in 1998, and 2000 marked the third year for this popular newsletter feature.

Margie Hutinger, 60, started swimming in the family pond, in Ohio. She had formal swimming lessons at Miami University (Ohio), and taught at summer camp. She was an age group swimming mom for her three children, in Port Washington, WI. When they no longer competed, she coached novice swimmers in WI and IL. In 1987, at age 47, with no competitive swimming background and tired of sitting through swim meets in the bleachers, she joined Wisconsin Masters. On the way to her first meet, she almost chickened out driving to the pool. She hung in there, dove off the blocks, and was beaten in her very first event, 100 IM, by a woman 20 years her senior. Her oldest son told her not to worry, she just had more experience. Since then, she has competed in every event, and made Top Ten, since 1993. Margie and Paul met at the Pan Pacific Meet in Indy, in 1989. Four years later, they were married on the deck of the North Shore Pool, in their swim suits, after a Sunday morning workout. She swam for St Pete Masters for several years, and in 1996, was one of the charter members of the Mavericks. She writes our newsletter, which has ranked in the Top 5, Nationally, for two years. She is the FL Top 10 and Records Chair and was a delegate to the National Convention, in 1999. In her spare time, she
cycles and competes in triathlons. She and her husband Paul, live in St. Petersburg, FL.

Gladys Olsen, 73, entered the world at Suburban Hospital, in Oak Park, IL, the same hospital where her three children were born. She attended Wright Community College in Chicago, and worked as an accountant at a Kelly Girls' Agency while raising her family. Olsen lived in the Chicago area, most of her life, except from 1933-1937. She spent those years in Norway, where she learned to swim in a fjord. While trying to keep her face out of the cold water, she
developed her high breaststroke technique. She joined Masters in the early 70's, and swam for the Shabonna YMCA. Her first Masters meet was the 1974 Nationals, at Circle Campus,
Chicago. She swam in many meets around Chicago, and at Western Ill. Univ., where she met Paul Hutinger, who ran meets for 20 years. She also attended several of his clinics. When she moved to Florida in the '90's, she swam with the Hutinger's on St Pete Masters. When they formed the Florida Mavericks, she became an enthusiastic member and supporter on her longtime friend's team. She regularly places in the USMS Top Ten. The highlight of her Masters competition was winning the 200 m fly at Nationals, in Ft Lauderdale, in 1998. Although behind at the flags, she buried her head, and swam hard to the wall, as coach said. She and her husband, Bob, have been married for 52 years, and live in Ft. Myers Beach.

*Frank Starr, our Maverick patriarch, celebrated his 90th birthday, by winning all five of his events in the St. Pete Championship Meet in Apr., and establishing two FL LMSC records. Starr received his BA from Loyola Univ. in Montreal, in 1931. He began his career at a radio station in 1938, broadcast sports in 1951, performed various emcee jobs and acting gigs. He was recognized for these achievements with the Actra Lifetime Membership. He married Pauline in 1951, and both did photo modeling. Their trips south began when they followed a Canadian baseball team to Florida. Starr started his competitive swimming career with Coach Joe Biondi at the Clearwater Y, at age 70. At his earliest Masters meets as a 75 yr old, he won all his events at the St Pete meet and at the National Y
Meet in Indy. Another outstanding performance, was competing in the first USMS 85+ men's relay, in 2000. At 80, he had a heart attack and at 85, fractured his spine. Starr attributes both recoveries and longevity to his swimming workouts, a diet including lots of fruits and vegetables, walking five miles to work for twenty years and giving up smoking at age 55. He and his wife,
Pauline, spend the summer in Montreal, operate their ten acre apple orchard and drive to Clearwater, Florida, for the winter. They will join the team in Munich, for his first World Meet.

*NOTE: Frank passed away on December 17, 2002. He will certainly be missed by his friends, family and his Maverick teammates.

Charles Schlegel, 70, Brooklyn, NY, attended Ohio State in 1948, and swam with Olympian, Bill Smith. After the war, he served in an Air Borne Unit (28 jumps), in Germany, near relatives. Subsequently, he attended Long Island U on a swimming scholarship, and receive his
teaching certificate. Schlegel taught at Unionville High School, Long Island, where he coached all sports, plus swimming. Gabelson, a top NYSU coach, hired him a year before the new Plainview HS was built. Schlegel established a top HS swim program in the US, along with his other duties as Aquatic Dir, Athletic Dir and Ass't Principal. In 1981, he was named "National Coach of the Year." His 466 wins/16 losses earned him the title of 2nd winningest coach, behind George Haines, CA. From '60-'85, his HS won all 30 league titles and 28 out of 30 Sectional Championships (equal to state title in NY). He coached (Level 5, top) a USA team for 27 yrs and assisted the German Olympic team in Munich, '72. For 3 yrs, he served as Ath Dir, Facilities Mgr and swim coach at NYSU (Westbury). He moved to FL in '89, and coaches a HS team. His astonishing lifetime win/loss record nears 1000/50. He swam on the first Maverick National Champs team in '97. He holds two US 3000 Yds Postal relay records--2000. His swimming has been limited, recently, due to two surgeries. He and his wife live in Ponce Inlet, FL. Schlegel was recently inducted into the Metropolitan Swimming Hall of Fame in East Meadow, NY.

Niela "Dakota" Eliason, was born in N Dakota in 1930 and married on 9/12/52, the same day and year as Kennedy. She received her RN degree in Denver, and several years later, accompanied her husband to his Navy base in the Phillipines. Eliason has been swimming since high school, receiving her lifesaving badge while overseas. Their next move was to St Petersburg, FL. She has competed, but prefers the fitness aspect of Masters swimming. She regularly logs in her miles for the Key West Challenge. Eliason enjoys writing and earned her BA in English at USF, in 1980. She does free lance writing for the St Pete Times. Recently, she wrote an impressive article about the historical Lewis and Clark Trail. She and her husband experienced the trail, first hand on a summer trip. Several of her short stories were published in 1990. She wrote "Kitchen Tables and Other Midlife Musings," a book on how to be middle-aged and get away with it. Eliason follows a true Maverick approach to life, which enhances her outlook as a vegetarian, atheist and nudist. She belongs to Save Our Strays, which provides foster care for homeless cats. In three years, she has taken care of 40 cats. At the Spring Awards, the Mavericks honored her with the 1999 Fitness Swimmer Award. She and her husband live in St Petersburg. To learn about Niela's book, "Kitchen Tables & Other Midlife Musings, click here. This link leads to an outside page, so click your browser's back button to return here. To contact Niela, please send an e-mail to Dakota.one2@verizon.net.


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