By PATTI SCOTT-BAIER
For The Union Democrat
Retirement from a career of law enforcement provided Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters swimmer Karl Kleman with a special reunion opportunity.
Kleman competed in the United States Police and Fire Championships held in San Diego in June.
Over 5,000 participants competed in 42 team and individual sports during the week- long championships.
Along with swimming, events were held in cycling, bowling, golf, indoor rowing, horseshoes, basketball, wrestling, water polo and running to name just a few.
To compete, participants must be active or retired firemen or have peace officer status. The competitors in the “Police category” included secret service agents and United States Marshals.
Kleman worked for over 20 years with the San Jose Police Department. After retiring and moving to Sonora, Kleman worked as a constable in the Tuolumne County courts system.
The meet held at Del Mar Cathedral High School had swimmers competing in five- year age divisions ranging from 25 to over 80. Swimmers were seeded in heats by age.
Kleman had an outstanding meet — he was the dominant swimmer in the 70-74 age division. Kleman finished first in all five of his events. Being a strong breaststroker, Kleman had quick races in both the 50 and 100 breast. He continued his winning trend by also capturing the 50 free and 50 back. What figured to be Kleman’s most challenging race was the 100 IM, where he swam a length of the pool of each stroke. He still won that race by almost 25 yards ahead of his closest competitor.
Being very modest about his meet results, Kleman felt he had a “good meet” and was most proud of his 100 IM swim.
Kleman will join his TCAM teammates at several area meets including team mini-meets and (in August) the Pacific Masters Championships in San Mateo and the annual Modesto Summer meet.