The 2009 YMCA Masters National Swimming Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., attracted swimmers from all over the United States.
Coach Donna Hooe and Susan Baker represented the Hinesville/Liberty County YMCA in the four-days of competition.
Day 1: Events were distance swims and Hooe braved both races. Her swims were consistent and put the team in 22nd place. She placed 5th in the 1650 free with a time of 22:06.88 and snuck into 8th place on the 1000 free with a time of 13:12.75.
Day 2: Despite dislocating her shoulder and getting it back in place during the 100 free, Baker completed the race in a 1:20.94 for 19th place. She came back strong in the 100 backstroke with a 1:35.63 for 14th place.
Hooe started strong with a 3:11.96 (season best) in the 200 breaststroke, squeaking into 8th place. Next up was the 100 free with a 1:04.46 (another season best) and 10th place. Her final race was a great surprise the 100 backstroke with a 1:17.74 (lifetime best) and a 7th place finish.
Hinesville had 8 points so far in the team competition.
Day 3: After difficulty with her shoulder again Baker had offers of help from Rowdy Gaines, former Olympian, during her warm-up. She swam two of her three races, the 100 breast with a time of 1:41.82 for 12th place and the 50 free in 32.78 for 21st place. She did have to scratch the 100 IM since her shoulder was getting too painful for the fly.
Hooe had a flat, slow 100 breast with a 1:30.53 for 12th place, saying she just could not get the feel like in the 200 breast the prior day. In a heavy hitting 200 backstroke heat she did a lifetime best with a 2:44.75, placing 6th just out of 5th.
She had the opportunity to participate in a stroke clinic with Gaines and then a sit down with Olympian Karlyn Pipes-Neilson for advice and autographs.
Day 4: the 500 free with an average time of 6:21.48 for 10th place.
Hinesville finished in 41st place as a team with only two swimmers representing the team.