You always remember your first swim meet. Usually, the memory involves being seven or eight years old, and afraid of the jam-packed warmup lane.
For 92-year-old Stasia Kowalski, it went a little differently. Kowalaski did not even learn how to swim until she was almost 40 years old due to fear of the water.
Last weekend, she competed at the Lakeside Long Course Invitational Masters Meet in Louisville, Kentucky. Stasia called her three events — the 200 medley relay, 50 backstroke, and 100 backstroke — “easy,” because she got rest in-between.
She went 1:45.57 in the 50 and 4:08.80 in the 100. She led off her relay, where she was 20 years older than anyone else on her team. You can see the full results here.
“The lanes don’t seem as long anymore,” she told USA Today.
Swimming is often heralded as a low-impact sport in terms of wear and tear in the body, and Kowalski can confirm. She walks with a cane on land, but she swims just under a thousand yards a few times per week throughout the summer.
Though she was a “wreck” with knots in her stomach before the meet, at 92, Wowalski felt what the youngsters usually do when they hit the water in a race for the first time: complete ease.