Coos Bay masters swimmer Ralph Mohr traveled to Mesa, Ariz., where he competed in 90-plus degree temperatures in the Spring National Championships.
Mohr was among 2,000 masters swimmers in the event and earned medals in all six of his events while hiding out from the sun in an air-conditioned gym when he wasn’t competing.
He started by placing fourth in the 1,650-yard freestyle, swimming a time of 26 minutes and 21.32 seconds, which ranks him second on the all-time top-12 list for Oregon masters swimmers in his age group, 75-79.
He achieved the same spot in the Oregon rankings the following day, when he placed fifth in the 500 freestyle in 7:46.92.
The third day of the meet, he placed fourth in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:43.37, which he considered relatively slow.
“I haven’t swum butterfly for three years due to a shoulder injury,” he said, adding that “at least I finished the 100 fly.”
On the final day of the meet, he placed seventh in the 200 freestyle in 2:55.55, again moving to second all-time in Oregon. The No. 1 person on Oregon’s list was a member of the United States team for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
Mohr also had his worst and best swims on the final day.
“My 50 butterfly was awful,” he said. “I misjudged the turn on the second length, lost my tempo, and struggled home.”
Still, he placed fifth with a time of 43.76.
He then anchored Oregon’s 65-and-over 200 medley relay to a win in its heat and ninth overall with a team with swimmers ranging from 65 to 77 in age.
“It was a good meet for me personally,” he said. “My swimming was average, but I was able to meet several former students and swimmers who now live in Arizona.
“The Oregon team also placed third overall. We had a great time competing together.”
Mohr next will compete in a 5-kilometer event at Amazon Pool in Eugene in late May, starting the summer open-water and long-distance season.