A woman who drowned off the shore of East Beach in Santa Barabara last week has been identified as UCSB Hall of Fame swimmer Marcie Kjoller. The 50-year old was swimming in the ocean when she was separated from the group she was with. She was found and pulled ashore and CPR was administered, but she was not able to be revived.
As an athlete, Kjoller (then Marcie Fuller) was a member of 4 Big West Conference championship teams between 1987 and 1990. She also earned All-America honors in 1987, 1988, and 1990 as part of Gaucho sprint free relays.
“She was super competitive,” former UCSB head coach Gregg Wilson told the Santa Barbara Independent. “She was a team captain who set the template for what the captain should be.” UCSB’s annual captain’s award bears Kjoller’s name.
After graduation, Kjoller began teaching elementary school in Santa Barbara, and later paired with her former teammate Dawn Schroeder to launch Moms in Motion in 2001. That program encouraged women to get in shape for a triathlon. She was involved in several other fitness-related projects, and in 2007 and 2008 she was part of a 6 person relay that swam across the Santa Barbara Channel from Santa Cruz Island to the mainland.
A paddle-out in celebration of Kjoller’s life is scheduled for Sunday, April 7th, at 1:40 PM at East Beach. That will be followed by a congregation at the Red Piano at 519 State Street.