Nine members of Palo Alto’s Rinconada Masters swimming team recently celebrated becoming Brute Squad Members. To do this they had to swim 200 yards of the butterfly stroke, 400 yards of the individual medley (butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and “freestyle” (usually the front crawl)), and 1650 yards (a “swimmer’s mile”) of freestyle. Any swimmer who can complete this event deserves to be called a Brute.
The Brute Squad event was originated in 2008 by the Davis (California) Aquatics Masters swim club, one of the largest U.S. Masters Swim affiliates in the country. It was inspired by earlier ones for other sports - in which members are expected to be superior in terms of strength and agility - and by movies such as Conan the Barbarian.
Masters swimming is adult swimming, for a broad range of abilities, competitive or not. Swimming is one of the best sports for fitness. Most swimmers feel good and look good, all the time. Not surprisingly, they have good mental discipline too. Most of them are so modest you wouldn't know how fit and talented they are. And swimming is good for all ages, from toddlers to folks in their 90's.
(Photo credit George Young)
Front row left to right: Jim Shaw, Lindsay Belden. Suzi Parker, Judith Schwartz
Back row left to right: Joanne Chace, Edie Gelles.
Not in picture: Shahe Krakirian, Bonnie Yoffe-Sharp, Alex Chen