2010-10-07 / News

Island swimmer takes championship once again

Diann Uustal poses with her most recent collection of swimming medals. Diann Uustal poses with her most recent collection of swimming medals. Islander Diann Uustal once again proved she is a champion at the U.S. Masters Long Course swimming championships held recently in Puerto Rico.

Uustal swam five events and won all five with commanding leads. She finished first in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter backstrokes; 50 butterfly; and the 50- meter breaststroke.

Uustal, who currently holds six U.S. records, has been named a U.S.M.S. all-American in her sport, and her times are ranked second in the world in two events, and third, fifth and eighth in three additional events. She also holds six YMCA national records and has been inducted into the R.I. Aquatic Hall of Fame.

Earlier this summer, in Atlanta, Uustal won four U.S.M.S. championships and broke four U.S.M.S. records.

“I swim for the health, fitness and re-creation that swimming offers and for the pure joy of cruising in the water,” she said. “When I train for a particular event, I do it for someone I know who’s not able to participate athletically because of a challenge they face. I know what that’s like. I’ve been sidelined by serious injury, and faith, family, friends and swimming helped me regain my health.”

Swimming with her friends in an early morning salute to the day is a wonderful balance to the stressors of her career in medical ethics and end-of-life care, she said.

Uustal is certified as a “Total Immersion” coach in all four strokes, and gives individual and group lessons to masters swimmers, tri-athletes, competitive age group swimmers, open water distance swimmers and fitness swimmers.

“I love helping competitors refine their strokes and achieve personal best times in the pool and open water,” she said. “I love helping people master the art of swimming with greater ease, less effort and more enjoyment.”

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