Skehan Award E-mail

Begun in 1986 after the untimely death of John Skehan (the swim coach of St. Bonaventure University and founder of SKWIM), we recognize his pioneering effors on the part of Masters swimming in the area.

He opened SKWIM in 1979 to the newly emerging Masters swimmers. His summer clinic was the first program offered nationally to Masters competitors. This was a time when there were no more than 5,000 of us nationally*. For most of us this was our first exposure to a coached workout. Coach Skehan was not only in tune with the times but he was out at the leading edge.

-George McVey (excerpt from the Jan. 1999 issue of Water Power Gazette newsletter)

*Note: As of 2016, there are over 60,000 members of USMS.


  • 2016 - Kevin Vallely - Ithaca area coach and swimmer for over 20 years. Has displayed remarkable leadership qualities and remains an inspiring figure in the world of masters swimming.
  • 2015 - Kevin Markwardt - Ithaca meet host for 18+ years. Hosted over 20 masters swim meets in both Short Course Yards and Long Course Meters, providing thousands of swimmers with competitive opportunities in our area.
  • 2012 - Amy Johnson - Served as Secretary from 1996-2010 and Sanctions officer from 2003-2011.
  • 2006 - Dan Kornblatt - Served as Chair from 2000-2004 and Vice Chair from 2012-2014. Dan has been the President, Coach, and meet host for the Binghamton University Masters Swim club over the years. Also, Dan received the prestigious USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award in 2015.
  • 2005 - John Pilger - Served as the Registrar from 1998-2013 and ran the Newsletter from 2005-2006.
  • 2000 - Bill Walter - Served as Chair in 1990 and Records Chair from 1998-2003.
  • 1999 - Lynn Fuller and Vern Hecker - Vern served as the Open Water Chair from 1997-2013. Lynn began serving as Treasurer in 1996 and continues to this day. Both members hosted hugely successful Open Water and pool events in Canandaigua Lake and Canandaigua Academy for many years.
  • 1998 - Jim Matysek - Served as the Registrar from 1996-1997, Top Ten Recorder from 1994-1996, and Webmaster from 1998-2000.
  • 1997 - Alex Goodin
  • 1994 - Lola Donner and Sue McVey
  • 1993 - Lorie Rick - Began serving as Coaches and Fitness Chair in 1996 and continues to this day. Founded and coaches one of the most successful programs in the history of Niagara LMSC: Rochester Area Masters Swimming.
  • 1991 - Kay Turner - Served as our first Treasurer in 1987 until 1995, as Records Chair from 1995-1997, Postal Coordinator from 1998-2010, and Sanctions Chair since 2012.
  • 1990 - Fred Dittman
  • 1989 - Otto Dingfield
  • 1988 - Angie Sinacore
  • 1987 - George McVey - One of the founders of Niagara LMSC. Served as Officials Chair from 1994-2011. George was a 1994 recipient of the USMS National Championship Meets Award and 2012 recipient of the USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award
  • 1986 - Betty Lou Gruner and Gene Donner - Gene was a 1994 recipient of the USMS National Championship Meets Award and 1997 recipient of the USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award.

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