Jean Troy holds 10 world masters swim records for short- and long-meter pools, most in the age group 75 to 79.
By TERRY JONES
Published December 23, 2003
Laps count, but so do smiles
Despite the edgy name, the Mavericks swim club is a supportive group that advocates exercise and enjoying life. Oh - and swimming . . . lots of swimming.
SUN CITY CENTER - For as far back as she can remember, Jean Troy, 75, has enjoyed much of her life in or on the water.
In the water, she has set 10 world masters swimming records - all within the past 18 months and most in the 75 to 79 age group.
On the water, Troy and her husband are avid sailors. The two often take their 41-foot trawler and sail for months, enjoying the sun, wind and freedom.
Troy never swam competitively in high school or at the University of North Carolina, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English, but she was involved in recreational swimming. Before Troy retired, she worked as the aquatic director for a YMCA in Wilmington, Del., where she was also a member of a masters swim team.
All 10 of her world records are for short- (25) and long-meter (50) pools. The difference is noteworthy, because the short-meter pools require a little more time with the added turns.
Troy swims mostly freestyle events and her long-meter records include the 50, 100, 200, 400 and 1,500. In addition, she set a world record in the 50-meter butterfly in the long-meter competition. Her short-meter records were all freestyle and included the 100, 200, 400 and 800.
"I joined the Mavericks about four years ago," Troy said. They are just the nicest people and so much fun to be around. It is very convenient, because I can do all my training here in the Sun City Center pool on my clock. Normally, we don't all see one another until we have a meet some place. Paul (Hutinger) put together a training program for me that nearly works me to death, but it helped me win championships."
Troy trains four days a week for about 30 minutes. She swims 2,500 yards in each session, starting at 6:30 a.m. Although the pool is measured in yards, Troy says that doesn't interfere with her results.
To increase her speed, she starts her workout by swimming 10 sprints of 100 yards in 2-minute spurts. She swims the 100 yards at her fastest pace, then rests for the number of seconds remaining in each 2-minute drill.
"I work like a dog on those sprints," she said. "If I don't swim each sprint with all I have, it does not increase my speed. It is grueling, and nobody knows how hard I push it but me. I want to do it, though, and with 10 world records, it helps a lot."
Troy also does another Hutinger-inspired workout referred to as ladders.
"It works in stages. I swim 50 yards, 100 yards, 200 yards and 400 yards with no rest. Like I say, I work like a dog, but I want to do it. My incentive is I am 75 only once, so I might as well do it right," she said.
Troy says she doesn't plan to compete again for a few months.
"My husband and I are going sailing soon, and we probably won't be back until about spring."