Frequently Asked Questions

What is Masters Swimming?

Worlds Fly Masters swimming is a program that incorporates conditioning, stroke technique, strength and endurance. Each workout is designed to improve swimming skills and provide the best physical exercise you can do for your body.  It is also a great social network in which to find friends who love the water as much as you do.

Who can join?

Anyone who wants to swim. Current swimmers range in age from 18–91.  You need not be a strong swimmer, or even have a desire to compete, in order to enjoy the benefits of working out in the water. Women of MOST

Do you have to compete?

Open Water MOST has members who do compete in formal Masters swim competitions. Some members train in order to improve their swimming for triathlons. We also have members who workout for the simple pleasure of swimming. Over one-third of our swimmers have never competed nor have any plans to compete.

Not in swimming shape?

You will quickly improve by just simply getting in the water and doing it. Every workout is adjusted for each swimmer’s ability level. Our program as one of the best and largest in South Texas. Members range in ability from beginners to World Record holders, and from former high school swimmers to internationally ranked triathletes. Julie and Tiita

Who are the Coaches?

Head Coach Susan Ingraham

Coach Susan

Susan is celebrating over 40 years of coaching and teaching swimmers. She was named the 2008 USMS Coach of the Year. She is an USMS Level III Certified Coach, and has trained several internationally ranked athletes and swimmers. She has earned a podium finish at each of the FINA World Championships and Pan American Championships that she has attended since 2007.  Susan is also the USMS 2010 LCM National Champion in both the 50 and 100 Fly while competing in Puerto Rico.    Susan has a long history of training open water athletes, as well as competing herself.  She was the 2nd Female Overall at the 2009 Alcatraz Invitational and finished 4th place at the World Championships (3K) in both Italy and Canada.  Susan, along with her assistant coaches, currently hold several National Postal Relay records, including 10 K Postal swims.  In 2000, Susan was named the head swim coach for USA Modern Pentathlon  National Team, which sent three athletes to the Olympics, including the Women’s Silver Medalist.  Susan has three sons.  Chase (34) competed in the 2010 CrossFit World Championships and owns his own gym in Dallas. Kyle (32) is the Offensive Coordinator at TLU, following a career as Wide Reciever at Purdue. Colton (30) is a Civil Engineering graduate from SMU and Two-time Alcatraz Invitational Champion. Corky, her husband of 38 years, is retired, enjoying traveling and the open water.


Asst. Coach Tiitta Elias


Tiitta has been a MOST Team Coach for 10 years and is an USMS Level III Certified Coach. Tiitta has 25 + years of coaching experience which includes age group and masters team coaching in Texas and Finland. Tiitta swam for Finnish National Team and and was Finland’s National Champion 1984-1988. She was selected for European Championships and World Championships in 1985 and1986. She attended University of Houston with full swim scholarship 1989-1992 and graduated with Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. Tiitta attended University of Texas - Pan American 1992-1995 and graduated with Masters in Exercise Science. While in Pan Am she was a teaching assistant for swimming and weight training and coached McAllen Swim Club age group swimmers.  In 2010, she was recognized as a National Top Ten swimmer for USMS in both Free and Fly. Tiitta is married to Pancho, with two sons Panchito (21) and Tero (19).


Asst. Coach Elaine Valdez


Elaine Valdez has been a Masters swimmer since 1980. She has been consistently in “Top Ten” and earned “All-American” (#1 ranking) 13 times in her Masters swimming career. In addition to her outstanding National rankings, Elaine has also been ranked as one of the Top Ten swimmers in the World numerous times. She is part of several relay teams that hold National Records from MOST in the Long Distance Postal events.   Elaine is a USMS Level III certified Masters Coach with over 18 years of experience coaching children and adults. She joined the MOST coaching staff in 2005. She is also a member of American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) and a Level II Certified ASCA Coach.  In addition to her aquatic background, Elaine is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. 




Asst. Coach Todd Erickson

Todd is a 20 year veteran of the USAF with a B.S. in Physical Education and Masters in Public Administration. He began competitive swimming at age five and has been involved throughout his life in both competitive and pleasure swimming, triathlons and coaching. Todd has over 40 plus years combined experience in individual/team coaching, including coaching high school swimming and water polo, youth swim team club and summer league teams. Todd remains personally active in US Masters Swimming, is a member of MOST as both coach and swimmer, where he has been a member of several Top Ten Relay Teams. As a local Northside ISD High School coach his boy’s teams were District Champions three years, Regional Champions one year and Spring Water Polo Champions two years. Todd was a two-time Northside District Coach of the Year, as well as the Regional and San Antonio Express News Coach of the Year. Todd is a Level 4 ASCA Coach since 1998 and became a Total Immersion Certified Instructor in 2010 and Level III Masters Coach in 2012. Todd’s philosophy is to help people learn to swim more efficiently, effectively, and effortlessly, making them faster. As they say, “If you’ve seen one swimmer….you’ve seen one swimmer.” Todd’s coaching is geared to the specific needs of the individual. Triathletes benefit from Todd’s ability to refine their swimming skills to conserve energy for the competition without losing time in the water. Todd will help you develop and enhance your skills to become a smarter swimmer whatever your goals may be. You may reach Todd at ticoachtodd@att.net or 210-379-5170.


Asst. Coach Mark Saroni



Mark is a professional triathlete with a Masters in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Tyler. Mark has been competing in triathlons since he was 12 years old and began coaching at age 16. He has worked with everyone from two year old children to nationally ranked junior triathletes to adults in their 50’s and 60’s learning how to swim freestyle and side breathe for the first time. He is a three time USA Triathlon All-American and competed in the 2007 and 2008 Age Group Sprint World Championships where he placed 25th and 8th in his age group, respectively. He recorded top 30 overall finishes at USAT Collegiate and Age-Group National Championships in 2010 and 2011, before making the jump to the professional ranks in 2012. Mark is a full time triathlon and swim coach in the San Antonio area and enjoys working with athletes and seeing them achieve their goals. In his free time between coaching, training and racing, Mark enjoys long bike rides with his wife Jessica and consuming hefty pizza’s after said bike rides.



Sounds great! How do I sign up?

Please give us a call, Coach Susan (210-859-2859), who can answer any further questions you may have. Come and try your first workout at no charge. (The JCC offers a $60 – 30 day trial membership before you decide to become a member of the facility.)  Call today and allow us to assist you in reaching both your personal fitness and swimming goals.