Category Archives: Bainbridge Aquatics Masters

BAM coach wins national award

I received this release from the Bainbridge Aquatic Masters regarding head coach April Cheadle:


April Cheadle
April Cheadle

This week Bainbridge Aquatic Masters (BAM) head coach April Cheadle will travel to Jacksonville, Florida, to accept the Kerry O’Brien Coaching Award. This national award is given to a handful of coaches each year who are building masters membership in communities throughout the country.
Since Cheadle became the BAM coach in 2010, membership on the team has doubled ­ primarily because Cheadle’s passion, enthusiasm, intelligence and patience with all levels of swimmers (and) has become (a) local legend.

The Kerry O’Brien Coaching Award was created to honor the namesake coach of the very successful Walnut Creek Masters program, and the spirit and passion he brings to coaching. Five principal areas of excellence are considered: Building the Foundation, Reenergizing, Mentoring a New Club, Coaching Education at the Local Level and Creating Opportunities for Members. Cheadle was awarded for exceeding the criteria in two areas: Reenergizing and Creating Opportunities for Members.

Cheadle grew up in Central Washington and swam at the University of Washington. She is certified as a coach at the United States Masters Swimming Levels 1, 2 and 3, and was selected as assistant coach for the
Puget Sound Masters National Team in 2011, and co-head coach of the team in 2012 and head coach in 2014.

BAM is the local United States Masters team. They swim at the Bainbridge Aquatic Center with 13 different swim practices offered each week. To be a Masters swimmer, you must be age 18 or older and registered with United States Masters Swimming. Skill level and ability varies from beginner to national competitor and all are welcome. Get more info at

Masters: BAM’s Bullock wins national titles; PSM claims team title

Members of the Bainbridge Aquatics Masters who competed with the Puget Sound Masters regional team at the U.S. Masters spring national championships last week in Santa Clara, Calif.
Members of the Bainbridge Aquatics Masters who competed with the Puget Sound Masters regional team at the U.S. Masters spring national championships last week in Santa Clara, Calif.

There was quite a heavy contingent of Bainbridge Aquatic Masters (BAM) swimmers who were part of the Puget Sound Masters regional club that swam last weekend at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships in Santa Clara, Calif.

Among the 89 swimmers was Sarah Bullock, who won two events. BAM coach April Cheadle was selected to lead the PSM team for the third year.

April Cheadle
April Cheadle

“It was an honor to be chosen to lead, organize, and coach the 89 athletes that made up the Puget Sound Masters Spring National squad. This was the largest squad to travel from our region to a national meet, and we had high hopes of placing in the top three going into the meet,” Cheadle said.

PSM won the overall regional team title with a score of 1,530. Oregon Masters finished second (1,174.50) and Colorado Masters third (900.50). The women’s team placed first (828) as did the men (570).

Bullock won the 1,650-yard freestyle in the 45-49 age group with a time of 19 minutes, 32.15 seconds. Bullock won her second title in the 400 individual medley in 5:26.14.

“It’s so fun to see my hard work pay off,” Bullock said. “I’ve been training for months without really watching my times, so seeing that number one beside my name was pretty shocking.”

Also competing for BAM were Kari Wetzler who was second in the 1,650 free in the 30-34 age division; Kate Carruthers (65-69) was second in the 100 breaststroke in 1:32.34 and Karen Segerson was sixth in the 1,000 free in the 35-39 age division.

For the men, Dennis Sawyer (70-74) finished fourth in the 400 IM in 6:50.95 and fifth in the 200 breaststroke in 3:11.44 and had a time of 1:22.46 in the 100 breast for fifth; Mark Benishek (30-34) was 11th in the 50 free in 23.25 and eighth in the 100 backstroke in 1:03.69; Randy Rogers (55-59) was eighth in the 200 butterfly in 2:27.90 and Cestjon McFarland, Tom Goodlin and Barney Voegtlen all contributed to BAM’s success.

Also, the mixed 200 free and medley relays in the 65+ each placed third — 2:03.09 for the free and 2:26.57 for the medley. The 200 medley relay for the men’s 65+ finished fifth in 2:20.39 and the 200 free relay was eighth in 2:06.39.

I’ve also included a link for a searchable list on the USMS website for all PSM swimmers who participated. You can also search by swimmer at the same site.

Bainbridge’s Lindley finishes USMS Nationals meet

Bainbridge Aquatic Masters club swimmer Jane Lindley has completed her events at the U.S. Masters Spring National Championships in Indianapolis this weekend.

Lindley, who is competing in the 50-54 age division, finished 12th in the 50-meter backstroke in 35.55 seconds; 13th in the 50 butterfly in 35.04; and 14th in the 100 freestyle in one minute, 5.32 seconds.

She placed 11th in Sunday’s 50 freestyle in 29.48.

Bainbridge native and Olympic silver medalist Emily Silver is also at the nationals, but she’s not competing. Silver is there with and has been on hand to present gold medals, along with Olympic champion Jason Lezak, and working with USMS on video recaps of the meet. Emily is doing a good job and becoming quite a talented sideline reporter.


BAM’s Lindley headed to U.S. Masters nationals

First off, I’m sorry I have posted in a while, but as the high school playoffs heat up around here my time becomes very limited. I’ll do my best to be more diligent.

That said, I wanted to take a moment to write about a local masters swimmer who will be heading to the United States Masters Spring National Championships, Friday-Sunday at Indianapolis’ Natatorium — which looks a LOT like KCAC in Federal Way.

Jane Lindley
Jane Lindley

Bainbridge Aquatic Masters swimmer Jane Lindley will be competing in her second national championships.

I’ll have a story on her, her training/diet and what she hopes to accomplish at nationals in Friday’s edition, but also wanted to post her schedule here.

Lindley, who has a swim blog of her own at, will swim in the 50-meter backstroke on Friday at 7:45 a.m. Pacific. She will compete in the 100 freestyle Saturday at 7:50 a.m. and the 50 butterfly at 8:50 a.m. and finish her individual events in the 50 free on Sunday at 11:10 a.m.

She is joined by 35 other Puget Sound masters swimmers and will swim in relays as well.

The website will be livestreaming the meet, so you can watch Lindley at the times listed above.

BAM’s Cheadle wins Masters coaching award

April Cheadle
April Cheadle

The nomination didn’t come as a surprise for Bainbridge Aquatic Masters swimming coach April Cheadle, but the award did.

Cheadle, who is in her third season heading the masters program for adults 18 and over on the island, won the Pacific Northwest Association of Masters Swimming PNA Coach of the Year. It’s a first for Cheadle and likely a first for BAM, which has been in existence for at least two decades.

“It really is an honor to my team because they’re the ones that took the time and effort and committed to be part of the team,” Cheadle said of the award, adding her team is an “inspiration for me as a coach. I feel like it’s a recognition for them as well.”

The PNW Masters covers all of western Washington with close to 60 teams — which range from two to 140 members.

Cheadle is not new to the coaching/teaching field. She is an elementary education teacher, but is currently not in a classroom. Cheadle graduated from Eastmont High in Wenatchee — she swam distance free and individual medley — and swam for the University of Washington.

BAM has doubled in size since Cheadle’s arrival — going from 70 to about 140 members.

BAM member Eileen McSherry wrote in the nomination form about Cheadle:

“When I returned to BAM after cancer surgery, a bit scared and lacking confidence in my body, she knew just the right words to let me know that she believed in me and my ability to heal, at my own pace and with the support of the team.

“She treated me like I was going to be normal again. I am sure that she was part of the miracle that led to my remission.”

Cheadle said the admiration is mutual.

When she joined BAM, she found a group of adults open to change and ready to be challenged, Cheadle said.

“That’s the thing that inspires me,” she said. “(To) work with adult athletes of all abilities, willing to trust you and try something new. I give them all my creativity and knowledge. I just love that combination.”

Cheadle, who is also an assistant coach with the Bainbridge Island Swim Club, said she especially enjoys the masters program because it’s not limited by time, like coaching club or high school in-season only.

“I appreciate that these are lifelong learners,” she said. “I have all the time in the world as long as they put in the effort.”