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Before the coronavirus closed Mingus Park Pool, several Southern Oregon Masters swimmers used it to swim an hour straight for this year’s first Masters epostal competition.

In epostal events, adult swimmers from all over the United States swim in their local pools and then send their results in to be compared nationally.

Ralph Mohr of Coos Bay was the top individual placer among Mingus Park swimmers, placing third out of 22 swimmers in the men’s 75-79 age group with a distance of 3,595 yards.

Mohr also was on Oregon’s first place 75-and-over men’s relay. He was the youngest of a group that had an average age of 83. He also was on the mixed 75-and-over relay for Oregon that placed second.

Mixed relay teams included two men and two women. Results are combined by adding together the yardages of all the participants.

Matt Miller of Ashland came to Mingus Park twice in February to try the swim and went 100 yards further his second time, going 5,060 yards. This was good for fourth place in the men’s 40-44 age group, beating 23 others. He also was on two national champion 35-and-over men’s relays. His second try at the hour swim made the difference in one Oregon relay, which only won by 40 yards.

Chris Marler of Coos Bay competed in the hour swim for the second time and was fifth overall in the 35-39 age group with 4,225 yards. He went 100 yards further than in 2019 after a year of hard training.

Stephanie Martin and Don Uhlir of Gold Beach also came up to Mingus Park to complete their swim.

Martin was fifth out of 104 women in the 60-64 age group and was on Oregon’s national champion mixed 45-and-over relay. She completed 4,395 yards.

Uhlir was 16th out of 72 men in the 60-64 age group, completing 4,195 yards.

Masters swimmers like using Mingus Park’s pool for national epostal competitions because it is only 20 feet above sea level and, being outdoors, always has fresh air. The new ultraviolet disinfectant system, which the city put in last year, takes care of any possible viruses or pollutants in the water and makes it easy for swimmers to see the walls for turns.

Unfortunately for swimmers, Mingus Park, like all other public pools in Oregon, is currently closed because of the pandemic. Local swimmers are currently doing land exercises and waiting for local lakes to warm up past 60 degrees so they are warm enough to swim In, while they hope Mingus Park’s pool will be open again soon.

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