MUNSTER | Bryan Buksar is not out to just master the moment; he wants to master the split-second.
"Right now, my 50 (freestyle) time is around 22.7 seconds," said the 39-year-old orthopedic physical therapist from Schererville. "My goal is to get it in the low twenty-twos ... like 22.2."
Shaving off a half second doesn't seem much.
"But half a second is swimming is like this," Buksar said with his palms almost fully arm-spanned apart. "You try to drop that distance by working on your turns, stretching out at the right time at the finish ... stream-lining better ... getting a better start off the blocks."
Buksar swam at Highland High School, where is set 13 school records. He became involved in competitive swimming again when he found out about the Munster Masters Swim Program while attending an age-group meet at Munster High School on behalf of a relative.
Buksar, who is ranked nationally in his age group in the 50 and 100 freestyles, and fellow Munster Masters swimmers Jon Lowell and Milos Rokosz, both 33 of Dyer, will compete at the U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Championships to be held May 9-12 at the IUPUI natatorium in Indianapolis.
"I used to be a distance swimmer in high school, now I'm more into sprints," Rokosz said. "I'm glad I got into this program. You need to train with a group, with people who will push you, if you want to get better."
Munster Swim Club coach Matt Lee runs the program while helping design the training regimen.
"This is basically year round," Lee said. "The groups vary. We have practices four days a week during the evenings, and three times a week during the mornings.
"Some people do it for better health, some do it while training for triathlons. But these guys (Buksar, Rokosz and Lowell) do it because they still like to compete."
Lowell is particularly dedicated. Last June, he embarked on a major road trip just to swim one race (50 free) at the Wisconsin Masters State Championships. Good thing he won it or it would have been an even longer trip home.
"I admit, it's sometimes hard to come here after work," Lowell said. "You're already tired. Often, it's cold outside so when you go out with your hair still wet while finally heading back home it freezes up."
The trio puts in an estimated 3,500 yards per week in training.
"The national championships have been a motivation," Lee said. "They are held at different locations throughout the country, and this year they so happen to be in Indianapolis.
"It's hard for adults with families and jobs to travel across the country for a swim meet, but many do."