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Mavericks of the Month - 2007

The following swimmers were selected as "Mavericks of the Month" in 2007. Our first edition of "Maverick of the Month" was in 1998, and 2007 marked the tenth year for this popular newsletter feature.

Chuck Hutinger, 53, was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
"My dad (Paul) was the age group coach so I was swimming since I was 4. My first competition was in the Kansas City Athletic Club. I started with the gun, hit the water and my swim suit immediately dragged to my knees. I pulled it up and got out right then and there. I went all of 8 yards. Needless to say, dad and I had a talk about making sure my swim suit was tied before swimming. I always checked before getting on the blocks for every race since then."
A memorable and fun experience was being on the Bloomington, IN, High School swim team and winning State. Sometimes, we worked out with the IU Swim team. "One day Doc Councilman wasn't there and his son, Jimmy was coach. Mark Spitz, IU swim team member, said to Jimmy, in front of all of us, 'If I break the 50 y National Record, can I go home?' We were awestruck. Jimmy laughed. 'Sure Mark.' Mark was still dry when he got on the blocks, and started on Jimmy's Go! When he touched out on the 50, Jimmy looked at his watch, 'I can't believe it. You can go home now, Mark.' We were all amazed, as Mark had beat the record by a tenth."
Chuck joined the Mavericks when he was an integral part of the upcoming Kurtzman/Hutinger father son relay. He started working out again so he could at least finish 100m. The Sarasota meet, was his first meet in 20 years. (Suit stayed on.)
His outstanding swim accomplishment was a full ride swimming scholarship at Illinois State U. His greatest lifetime accomplishment that he is most proud of is doing a circus show in front of 10,000 Vietnamese refugees. "Their collective voices, increasing in pitch as we jumped up on the trampoline and decreasing in pitch as we came down, is a sound I'll never forget."
"My swim goal is to be able to swim a 100 without getting tired and out of breath, like Œin the old days'."
He lives in Land O'Lakes, FL, with his wife Jan, daughter, Rachel, 18 and son, Chris,15. "Both who have the collective talent of their mother and I."

The first column was called "New on the Blocks," and was first featured in the March, 1998 edition of the Maverick Lane Lines . This was the first article, plus an update.
Elmer Luke, 71, may be a new Maverick, but not a stranger to the sport of swimming. He competed in high school in Hibbing, Minnesota, a hot bed of swimming in the 1940's. As a senior, he was the state champion in the 220 free. While at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, he held school records in the 220, 440 and 1650 free.
After college, Luke taught high school physical education and coached the boys and girls swim teams for 37 years. Luke joined Masters last year (1997) and enjoys setting goals and making new friends.
He became a Maverick in the fall, and swam meets at Sarasota, Bradenton and Clearwater. His improved times will place him in the Top Ten, with a 16:15 for the 1000 free. His 7:09 for the 400M free ranked him 10th for 1997. We look forward to having him on the 800 M relay, potentially another National Record. Elmer, and wife, Bonnie, spend summers in Minnesota, and the rest of the year in Sarasota.
UPDATE.....On April 20, Luke was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame, at Hopkins High School, where he was the swim coach. During those 37 years, he compiled some impressive records. His boys and girls teams had a dual meet consecutive victory streak of 132 wins. They were state champs, twice, and runner ups, three times. There were numerous conference championships. During his coaching years, Luke was the Minnesota Coach of the Year, four times.
His son is following in his footsteps and continuing the winning Luke tradition. In 2006, the younger Luke was voted the Minnesota Coach of the Year. Elmer still coaches, as his son¹s assistant.
Luke is no longer able to compete, or even swim, as he suffers from a progressive debilitating muscle disease. He and his wife, Bonnie, now reside full time in Minnesota.

James Browne , 67, was born in Brooklyn, NY. His earliest competition included four years of high school at St Johns Preparatory School, in Brooklyn. He also competed four more years at Niagara University, in Niagara Falls, NY, just four miles north of the world-famous waterfall.
During his college years, he worked as a Lifeguard for the NYC Dept of Parks, at Riis Park in Rockaway, NY.
Browne's spent his career of 34 years working for the Marine Midland Bank, in various branch and commercial lending capacities. The bank is now HSBC Bank USA, one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world.
After his early competitive swimming, he took a long hiatus. "We moved to Sun City Center, FL, from Little River, SC, in July 1999. Shortly afterterwards, I was able to join the SCC Masters Swim Club, as a guest. One of the highlights from one of my first Masters meets, was breaking 30 seconds in the 50 yds free, for the first and only time in my life. In 2002, I joined the Mavericks. Major accomplishments for me included achieving several individual USMS Top Ten rankings and swimming on several Maverick Relays that set National Records."
During the One Hour Postal, sponsored by the Mavericks in 2007, Browne was one of the dependable and hard workers, folding t-shirts, counting and packing awards, medals and t-shirts and running errands whenever needed.
"I had an unusual swim at a recent meet at the Sarasota Y. The time on
the scoreboard for my 100 m free was 1:41, about 15 seconds slower than what I expected. I was ready to quit swimming for the year! I complained to Coach Paul, and he checked in the scoring booth. My official time was 1:26.
I was greatly relieved that my body was still working."
As for the greatest accomplishments during his lifetime, he lists his family and friends.
His swim goals are to stay healthy and keep on swimming. He resides in Kings Point, Sun City Center, FL, with his wife Pat.

Karen Swanigan, 52, was born in Marshfield , WI . She graduated from Wausau West HS in Wausau , WI . She moved to Florida in 1978, and graduated from USF with BS degrees in Social Science and Accounting. She started working with Florida Power (now, Progress Energy), where she continues to work.

“I spent the first 30 years of my life out of the water due to fear, and never learned to swim. Meeting, and marrying, Rod changed that. I quickly learned that he is part fish and fearless in water of all types and temperatures. I first joined a Fitness group and came to the pool in the evenings. George Bole was kind enough to teach me to swim. It was a real feeling of accomplishment to learn to put my face in water without panicking.

Swanigan relates an interesting swim experience. “Several years ago, as Rod and I swam in the Gulf, we watched a school of stingrays swim around us as we stood very still.”

For several years she stopped swimming due to her work schedule. When she come back, she discovered her fear of water had returned, and she had to fight the battle, again. “It was a great accomplishment to feel comfortable in the water, again.”

When asked what her greatest accomplishment in her life has been, she replied with a grin, “I'm very proud to be humble.” She did elaborate and added, “Starting college at 27 and completing my degrees 10 years later was a challenge, while working. I think I am more proud of refinishing all the

old popcorn ceilings in our home. And...I achieved the near impossible

task of luring Rod away from Dolly Parton!”

Swanigan's goal: “To learn the breaststroke and swim it while moving forward, not backward! Or, perhaps this stroke could become the 5th stroke and be renamed the Swaniganstroke?”

She and Rod live in St Pete, FL, in a house surrounded by a jungle of Florida native plants. They are the proud parents of 3 cats, 2 cocatiels, 1 Betta fish, 1 snail and 7 outside goldfish.

Aaron Kurtzman, 78, was born in Plainfield , NJ . He first entered the competitive world of swimming as a Freshman in High School. As a senior, he was All-East (first place) in the 100 Butterfly.

He continued to swim while attending Seton Hall University , NJ , only 14 miles from New York City . Again, he excelled in his specialty, and was an All American in the Butterfly. Kurtzman was inducted into the Seton Hall, Hall of Fame, for his outstanding accomplishments.

Kurtzman swam in the 1950 Maccabiah Games, in Israel , and was the champion in the 200 m Butterfly. He served in the Navy during the Korean War, and in 1952, was a member of the US Navy Olympic Swim Team.

After college, he was the President of his own business forms company.

Kurtzman had an interesting experience with his favorite fly stroke, but not in the usual sense. In 1948, he swam in the 4 Mile Senior National Long Distance Championship, in NJ. You guessed it......four miles of butterfly! Why? “I was 18 and did it for a steak dinner and a medal. I finished, and wasn't last!”

In 1980, he joined Masters, while living in NJ, “Because

my brother, Joe, belonged.” He's been with the Mavericks since 2000,

following Joe's example.

Among his outstanding achievements, he lists winning an Eastern Collegiate 200 Butterfly Championship and in 1985, he was a National Masters Champion in the same event. For many years, he has also been ranked as a USMS Top Ten swimmer.

Kurtzman has another specialty, which takes him from the pool to the croquet court. Another accomplishment he is most proud of, is his National Masters Croquet Championship.

His goal is to keep in shape so he can swim at another Masters Nationals, when he's 80. Kurtzman is retired and lives with his wife, Joan

(married since 1951), in Palm Beach Gardens , FL. Their family includes

three sons and six grandsons.

John Sampedro, 44, was born in Tampa Florida , the youngest of five. He has always lived in the Tampa Bay area.

John learned to swim in a unique style. When he was six years old, he went fishing with his grandfather, off of the Keys. While they talked on the bow of the boat, “My grandfather pushed me overboard, to “teach” me how to swim. Talk about “tough love!” I thrashed around enough to keep from dying.”

While in high school, he competed on the wrestling team. Sampedro didn”t swim very much, except during his surfing years, into his twenties.

After high school, he worked as an ironworker and welder. In 1990, he fell from a high beam and suffered extensive injuries. He spent the next 2 1/2 years going through considerable rehabilitation . By 1993, he was no longer interested in the high-risk business of working on iron beams ten and twelve stories high. He launched a new career after attending massage school.

Currently, he is a Licensed Massage Therapist, and works in sports medicine with patients who have chronic and acute injuries, to assist them through their rehabilitation.

“Margie responded to my massage ad in the MAD DOGS newsletter, in 1997.

She wanted relief for her unused muscles, after three months of being cooped up in a halo, with a broken neck, from a horrible car accident. I joined the Mavericks soon after meeting Margie and Paul, and learning that their new club offered me an opportunity to train in a less restrictive atmosphere than I was used to.”

He considers his five-time survival of the 1 1/2 K swim portion of the

St Anthony”s Triathlon, as his most outstanding swim accomplishment. We”ll

see him in the pool more often, as he trains for two major goals--Hawaii Ironman and ultra distance races.

His sons, Jeremy and Zeb are two of his greatest accomplishments. “They rock!” In addition, “I”m most proud of becoming a massage therapist and having patients trust me with their care for fourteen years.”

Sampedro lives in St Petersburg with his new Vizsla puppy, Molly.


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