Giustra brothers members of national championship relayOlder Midcoast pool athletes continued to set pace in 2013
Five Midcoast masters' swimmers, including a pair of national champion brothers, are highlighted in the 2013 long course results published by US Masters Swimming.
Brothers Frank and Peter Giustra were half of a national championship relay team in 2013. Additionally, Peter Giustra placed fourth nationally in an individual event, better than any Maine swimmer.
Penobcot Bay YMCA’s Frank Giustra, 76, of Waldoboro and Peter Giustra, 75, of Warren were half of Maine Masters’ winning 400-meter freestyle relay for men with combined ages totaling 280-319 with a time of 6:22.42.
The teams’ ages must add up to at least 280 years. The Giustra brothers pulled younger Maine master Bob Johnston, 62, of the Augusta YMCA into the 280-plus category. Bill Rupert of South Turner, the other member of the relay, already was age 70.
In 2013, when a number of Maine regulars did not compete, the Giustras’ relay was Maine’s only long course national champion. Ironically, the national winning relay narrowly failed to break the Maine and New England records set the previous year by Peter Giustra and Rupert with Pen Bay Y’s Bill Jones and Fred Pierce.
The meet at which the brothers swam the national-championship relay was July 28 at the Jennie Thompson Pool in Dover, N.H.
Peter Giustra further distinguished himself in 2013 by finishing fourth nationally in the 200-meter butterfly for his age group. That is the highest individual place garnered by a Maine master during the year.
Other national individual top-10 places for Midcoast swimmers went to Kristi Panayotoff, 65, of Lincolnville and Harry Schmitke, 75, of Spruce Head. The Pen Bay Y Masters’ swim coach Dieter Weber, 51, of Bremen made national top-10 as part of Maine’s 200-239 men’s 400-meter freestyle relay.
So, in addition to the relay that was Maine’s only 2013 national long course winner and Maine’s highest ranked individual, Pen Bay Y swimmers accounted for five of Maine’s 19 long-course top-10 masters’ swimmers last year.
Maine Masters 2013 long course top 10
Women ages 65-69 — Panayotoff, 100 butterfly (9th, 2:07.38), 200 butterfly (8th, 4:40.08), 200 individual medley (9th, 4:19.99) and 400 IM (7th, 9:06.87).
Men ages 75-79 — Schmitke, 50 breaststroke (7th, 48.6), 100 breast (10th, 1:58.47) and 200 breast (4:36.68). Peter Giustra, 200 fly (4th, 5:17.04).
Men combined ages 280-319 — Frank Giustra and Peter Giustra (1st, 6:22.42).
Bill Jones of Hope contributed information for this story.