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Mission Hills Pastor Swims for Silver

     (First in a series on what clergy do in their spare time.)

     Having swum competitively since he was 8, Scott Landis, pastor of Mission Hills United Church of Christ in San Diego, recently took three silver medals in the IGLA (International Gay and Lesbian Aquatic) meet held this year in Oahu, Hawaii.  A distance swimmer, Scott competed in two relays and a 2.4 open water ocean swim held on the North Shore of Oahu on July 9.  In a field of over 100 swimmers he took the silver medal in his age group finishing the race it 57:10. 

     “I trained hard for the last year anticipating this race and it was everything I expected.  The warm clear water, resplendent with beautiful colored fish and coral, makes it like swimming in a salt water aquarium!  The water was very choppy and it was a tough swim, but I am very glad I did it.  Finishing was all I had in mind.  Getting the silver was a bonus I never expected.” 

     Scott’s partner, Randy Spicocchi, swam the shorter 1.2 mile swim held just before the longer course and did very well, posting a personal best time.  The two of them swam on a 200 meter medley relay team that also won silver. 

     IGLA is a dedicated to hosting aquatic meets each year other than the years in which the Gay Games are held – the next one scheduled to take place in Cleveland, OH in 2014.  IGLA brings out the best gay/lesbian masters swimmers in the world for individual swimming events, water polo, and diving.  The next IGLA meet will be held in 2012 in Reykjavik, Iceland.

     Scott and his partner met on the San Diego Masters team DSST (Different Stroke Swim Team) in 2010 and have enjoyed competing in several meets together.  This was the first time they swam together on a relay team.  “It was really great to do so well in my individual swim, but even better to come in second swimming with Randy.

      Scott works out with DSST almost every Saturday morning, but like most clergy with little spare time, has to squeeze in distance workouts, which usually encompass swimming more than 2 ½ miles each time, at odd hours.  “I have always loved the sport and it is wonderful to live in a city where I can practice outdoors year-round.  I typically swim at least four times each week.  It’s a great way to keep in shape and, I think, it keeps me sane.  I feel so fortunate to be able to do this even at almost 56 years old.  That’s a lot of years of swimming!”

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