Welcome to the next installment of Meet Your ‘Mates – your lane mates, that is. In the last installment, we met swimmer and artist, Jan Johnson. This time, we turn our attention to a swimmer who teaches in our Adult Learn-to-Swim program and always has a smile on her face, Stephanie Long.
Growing up around the water, Stephanie began swimming competitively when she was 10 years old. When she was 12, she placed 3rd at the Age Group State Meet in the 50 Free and her Rivi Medley Relay team came in 2nd, while earning a National Top 16 time. In high school, Stephanie swam on a relay for North Central that set a new county record. And, when not in the water swimming, she lifeguarded and water skied - although not at the same time.
After high school, Stephanie began swimming for the Swim Club at Indiana University and served as it's Vice-President. The swim club was "very laid back, similar to IAM, in which you could go to as many practices as you please and meets were more fun than stressful." Finding that a welcome change after age group competitions, Stephanie loved traveling to meets and bonding with her IU club teammates. Stephanie then joined IAM to not only stay healthy, but to bond with new people and feed her competitive spirit.
Swimming primarily at either Butler or IUPUI, Stephanie counts freestyle as her favorite stroke. Her favorite event? The 50 Free. However, as Stephanie has found out, "the older I get, the better I'm getting at distance events and slower, sadly, at sprinting."
What is the best coaching advice Stephanie has ever received? "It's not about the amount of yards you swim, but how you swim them," which Mel says all the time.
Away from the pool, this coffee shop supervisor loves to hang out with friends, read, and make t-shirt blankets. She even made one for herself solely out of shirts she's gotten over the years in swimming. She also likes to run and has competed in about 5 half-marathons, quite a few 5K's, and some sprint triathlons.
Always encouraging those around her, Stephanie's smile is infectious. So, the next time you see Stephanie on deck, be sure to introduce yourself to this amazing swimmer - and Meet Your 'Mates.
By Karen Gernert
Indy Aquatic Masters
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