Four Masters Swimmers are shooting for 2 records at the Ford Aquatics Southwest Classicby Andy Morales on Jun. 06, 2013, under Sports
I received an email from a college friend (Becki Peduchi Major) that pretty much went like this: “We are four working moms, we all swam in college and we are all 50+ years old.”
Typically, I try to stay away from stories that involve moms who are way beyond their high school days (like me) but this intrigued me for several reasons. First, Major, Monica Bailey, Carolyn Duffield and Stephanie Martin are elite athletes, most have swam in Tucson or have kids who have competed at the highest levels of high school sports here and they are trying to bring back not one, but two swimming records to Tucson.
The four swim on a relay team for the Ford Aquatics Masters Swim Team and their age-group puts them barely in the 200-239 category. Their combined ages just fits over the 200 cutoff mark which is a tremendous bonus.
Having personally had children swim, I know firsthand that swimmers typically want to be at the top of their age-group for competition but that is not the case for Masters where the age brackets are much larger than a two-year span.
A relay team that just fits in the 200-239 category has a great age advantage over one that is almost 40 years older than they are. Simply, this is their best chance to break the records they have their eyes set on.
They will be going for the World Record in the 800 Meter (4×200) Free Relay and the National Record in the 400 Meter (4×100) Free Relay this Friday and Saturday at the Ford Aquatics Southwest Classic held at the Hillenbrand Aquatic Center on the University of Arizona campus.
The 400 Free Relay will be held Friday and the 800 Free Relay will be raced on Saturday. More information on days and times for the various events can be found HERE.
The four Masters Swimmers are coached by Jim Stites at the University of Arizona. The records they are trying to break are 4:20.68 (NR) in the 400 Free Relay and 10:02.67 (WR) in the 800 Free Relay.
“The records have been in the FINA books for quite some time and, with our hard work behind us, we will hopefully be world record holders by Friday evening,” wrote Major.
“I hope we can get some coverage just to show people that life doesn’t have to stop because you have kids or are in the second half of a century of life.”
WHO THEY ARE
Becki Peduchi Major: Flowing Wells/University of Arizona
Becki was a standout swimmer at Flowing Wells and then went on to Arizona. She coached at Flowing Wells and is currently a teacher at Salpointe. Her son Dylan ran cross country for the Lancers.
Fun Fact: Becki won the middleweight division for body building in 1995.
Monica Bailey: Sabino/Southern Methodist University
Monica coached the La Paloma Swim Club for many years. Her son Cameron was a standout swimmer for Catalina Foothills.
Fun Fact: Monica is a flight attendant for American Airlines.
Carolyn Duffield: Newark High School (Delaware)/Virginia Tech
Carolyn, a longtime competitor in Masters Swimming, is an assistant director at the University of Arizona/Eller College and is the mother of Catalina Foothills All-Star swimmer Krista. Her whole family (Husband Brian and son Andy) also swim for Ford Aquatics.
Fun fact: Carolyn can reel off the world and national record times for her events by heart.
Stephanie Martin: Tucson High/Occidental College
Stefanie is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Alaska Anchorage working on migration in the Arctic and recidivism among convicted felons in Alaska.
Fun fact: Although Stephanie does not like to be called “Dr.,” she earned that honor in 2005. (Political Economy, University of Texas).