Passages: Frederick “Ted” Haartz, U.S. Masters Swimming Pioneer, 92

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Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Frederick “Ted” Haartz, who spent more than four decades as an administrator at the highest levels of U.S. Masters Swimming, died on Jan. 1.

Haartz was 92 years old. His death was announced by his family via social media.

Ted Haartz

Haartz swam at Tufts University and competed in Masters swimming starting in the 1970s. He was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2013.

Haartz became synonymous with the Top Ten Times list that he established and maintained across all of the Masters age groups for more than a decade. He was present at the formation of the original group of 55 Local Masters Swimming Committees (LMSC) and was a charter member of the New England Masters Swim Club. He competed for New England at the second Masters National Championships in 1971, winning a national title in the 100 individual medley.

His volunteer work quickly went from the local to the national. He served a term as the chairman of the Masters Swimming Committee off the AAU and was instrumental in separating the organization from the AAU, then serving as the president of the newly independent U.S. Masters Swimming. He also held various other offices and sat on a number of committees. He spent more than three decades on the USMS Board of Directors and as an ex-officio liaison to USA Swimming.

From his ISHOF bio:

He has been instrumental in developing USMS into a cohesive organization, one that could grow and become independent. In 2008, Ted was sought after to help USMS hire an Executive Director to lead the growing organization. Ted has 43 years of continuous service to USMS.

In the pool, Haartz set five Masters world records and 11 Masters American records. A breaststroke specialist, he competed over 10 age groups from 1971 on and was present at every long-course Masters Championship from 1973-2010.

In 2009, USMS named an award in his honor, the Ted Haartz Staff Appreciation Award, of which Haartz was the inaugural recipient.

Among Haartz’s awards are:

  • Capt. Ransom D. Arthur M.D. Award (1976)
  • Presidential Appreciation Award for meritorious contributions to USMS (1978-1981)
  • Outstanding Leader in Masters Swimming (1980)
  • Presidential Service Award recognizing outstanding service as a USA Swimming Liaison (1995)
  • U.S. Masters Swimming National Championship Meets Award (1996)
  • A Lifetime of Service to Swimming Award by the Arizona LSC (2005) (Haartz moved to Arizona in his retirement)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame 2013 Honor Contributor

 

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Don Megerle

    The best of the best… Ted interviewed me for the position of men’s swimming coach in 1971…he helped me adjust to Tufts and was a huge supporter of the program…I am personally indebted to Ted and his family for their kindness and love! RIP my dear friend…❤️🙏🏻❤️

  2. avatar
    Judy O’Neil

    Ted is my cousin. I have always loved, respected, and admired him. His swimming record is so inspirational. Thank you for this great article.

  3. avatar
    Lucy Thompson

    Ted is my late husband’s cousin, but I still consider him and Lee part of my extended family. His swimming record is long and rightfully honored. His commitment to his family and extended family members is honored by me.

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