Jurgen Schmidt, 90, Ole Larson, 92, still competitive at 2013 U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals

2,000 swimmers in town for nationals

INDIANAPOLIS - They've already passed their 90th birthdays, but two swimmers are still making waves at a national swimming competition in Indianapolis this week.

More than 2,000 swimmers have converged on the IU Natatorium for the 2013 U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals, which run through Sunday.

Jurgen Schmidt, 90, lives for a chance to test himself against his peers.

"I think I'm a very competitive person," he said. "In the business world, I was competitive. In the Navy, I was competitive. I like to compete to see how I stack up."

He's faced off many times with Ole Larson, 92. Larson says the spry 90-year-old always wins.

"We've know each other for a good many years. I've never beaten him," Larson said. "I try, but I've never beaten him."

Poolside timers and observers are delighted by the competitors who have been around for nine decades.

"There are so many inspirational people here, it's just incredible," said timekeeper Lori Adelson. "I'm almost 60. If I can keep swimming for 30 years, that would be great."
 
As Schmidt charges ahead in the pool, his wife roots him on from the deck. She is battling Alzheimer's disease, but nothing can keep her away from the pool.

Schmidt competes in 20 meets a year. He plans to swim in the 50-, 100-, 200- and 500-yard freestyle events in Indianapolis.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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