Marlins Partners



  Masters Head Coach: Joe Dowd


Sierra Marlins is a registered United States Masters Swimming Club.  Our members (aged 18 & Up) are provided with the opportunity to enjoy the sport of swimming through workouts aimed at gaining physical fitness, relieving stress, improving technique and/ or improving competition times.
We train at the beautiful outdoor Olympic - sized pool at the Folsom Aquatic Center (
1200 Riley St. ) where we train both long course (50 meters) and short course (25 yards).

We swim 6 workouts a week.  Mon - Fri we swim from 5:30 - 7:00 am and on Saturday, please contact your coach as this time slot may vary.  During the school year (Sept - May) we swim 3 long course (50 meter) workouts a week and 3 short course (25 yard) workouts a week.  Once our age group kids are out of school (June - Aug) they switch the pool around for us and we swim long course every morning unless there is a blip in the schedule such as a swim meet.  When this happens, we usually swim short course unless the Masters want to switch the pool to short course.  It usually takes about 8 minutes to switch the lane lines around.

Our head masters coach is Joe Dowd.  Coach Joe has been one of the longest running members of the Masters program and devotes his coaching energy solely to the Masters swimmers.  He has extensive knowledge of all aspects of swimming from stroke technique to race strategy to open water swimming.

Contact Information:

Joe Dowd:


How to get signed up?:

  1. US Masters Membership
  2. Sign up for the Marlins - $65 per month

1.  All our Masters swimmers must be a member of US Masters swimming.  This is a yearly fee that is renewed before Dec 31 of every year.  It is not a requirement that you are registered under the umbrella of the Sierra Marlins Masters Team, but you need to be a member of US Masters to be able to participate in a workout.  

Here is the link:  Our Club Code is: SMST

2. The second thing that you have to do is be registered as a Sierra Marlin.  This is easy.  Coach Joe will take care of this on site with his laptop.  After all your info is entered you will receive a few emails to:

  • Login and verify your password
  • Signup for Auto Pay.  Your dues are automatically charged to your Credit Card on the 1st of each month.  Our dues are $65 per month.  If you want to suspend your account for any reason, you must give 30 day notice to suspend the account.  Less than 30 days will result in you still being invoiced and charged for that month's dues.

Do I have to compete? 

No, it is not a requirement that you compete.  Some of our members travel to Masters swim meets and some only want the camaraderie of a group swim environment.  We do have a huge percentage of our swimmers that practice and sometimes compete open water.

Do I have to be fast? 

Nope.  We have intervals for everyone.

Do I have to swim multiple strokes?

No.  We write workouts that are sometimes IM (Individual Medley) or Stroke specific, but we are happy to modify if it is necessary.  With that said, we will encourage and teach all 4 strokes.  Swimmers that can swim all 4 strokes usually get more out of their workouts and our goal as a Masters swim team is to help develop our athletes.

What if I’m a triathlete or open water swimmer and I want to focus only on freestyle?

If that is what you want, that is ok.  Coach Joe is an accomplished open water swimmer.  He has been a part of award winning Tahoe and Alcatraz swims and teams.  The fastest that he ever swam open water was when he was training using all 4 strokes.

A little bit of open water trivia:

Haley Anderson, the 2012 10k open water Olympic Silver Medalist was a Sierra Marlin and still comes back and swims with the team.  She swam for USC as a distance swimmer and trained using all 4 strokes.

What if I’m training for something specific?  Can you help me with my training plan?

We would be happy to.  It’s more fun when we have goals.  The group will rally around what individuals are trying to accomplish and create a very strong training group.  Things like this mix it up and everybody likes the variety.

Do we have open water practices?

We are planning on having Friday open water swim workouts late Aug through Sept.  We switch off between Folsom Lake and Lake Natoma.

Do we have any volunteer requirements?

We host a championship open water swim meet at Lake Natoma every year at the end of September.  You are not required to volunteer, but most of the Masters are out there.  Coach Joe is usually the race director and the Masters swimmers from the Marlins have always owned the responsibilities of this meet in the past.

Let me know if you have any questions.  You can always show up on deck and introduce yourself to me.  I'm on deck every morning.


Coach Joe