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Remembering Jayne Mann Lambke

Loved competition

Author Unknown | January 20, 2002

Jayne Mann Lambke moved to St. Petersburg in 1987. She promptly joined St. Pete Masters, and, under the expert coaching of George E. Bole, quickly became an outstanding Masters swimmer. During her first year with St. Pete Masters, she placed in the U.S. Top Ten in ten events in short course meters and 14 events in short course yards. She was an All-American in 1989, placing in the Top Ten in 46 events. She repeated as an All-American each year thereafter, through 2000. In 1991, she placed in 56 events.

In 1995, Jayne placed in the Top Ten in 55 events, achieving 22 first places and was named a USMS All Star. She repeated as an All Star in 1996, while placing in 51 events. In the 1999-2000 season, Jayne placed in 32 events (tops for St. Pete Masters) even though she did not swim in any long course meets. Jayne was a fantastic athlete and competitor. But more importantly, she was an outstanding human being. Jayne loved people. She loved her family, her friends, and her team. She opened her heart and her home to everyone. Jayne will be missed by people around the world.

Jayne passed away on November 11, 2000. Sandy Steer has updated Jayne's story with the recollections and tributes from her friends.

57 year old Jayne Lambke 's love for the water began with her mother, who believed that swimming was the cure for all ailments. She was introduced to the water at an early age, swimming and sailing with her family in local lakes and reservoirs throughout the state of Oklahoma. At the age of 12, her mother enrolled her in swimming classes at the Oklahoma City YWCA so she could become more confident in the water. It wasn't long before she began competing in meets under the supervision of a Y lifeguard who was getting coaching tips from a group of South Africans who swam for the University of Oklahoma. At 13, Jayne broke the 50-meter freestyle record for the 13-14 year age group with a time of 32.8 at the Southeastern U.S. Junior Olympic meet, held that year in Houston, (the old record was 33 seconds). At this meet, Jayne was the only person to use the dolphin kick in the "new" butterfly stroke. One year later, at 14, she received recognition as "the most promising AAU swimmer" in the state of Oklahoma at the same time that Graham Johnston received recognition as the "Outstanding AAU Swimmer" in the state. A year later she was invited by Matt Mann to train in Canada for the 1954 Olympics but was discouraged by her brother who believed the myth that swimming would make her too muscular and unfeminine. Shortly thereafter she "retired" from swimming to start her family.

While living in New Orleans where she had moved to start her own yacht brokerage business, she became an assistant to Dick Bower at the Tulane age group swim club and became head coach for the Covington Country Club team. Under her enthusiastic efforts the club team grew from 50 members to 160 swimmers and became the best club team in the state of Louisiana.

When she was 42 she took up swimming again to combat the mental stress of watching her yacht brokerage business go down with the collapsing New Orleans "oil economy." Swimming provided an outlet for the stress and she discovered that she could become a strong swimmer without losing her feminity as she began competing in Masters competition.

She really hit her stride after she moved to St. Petersburg, Fla., and began swimming for George Bole and the St. Petersburg Masters team. Under George's tutelage Jayne set three world records at the 1990 Pan Pacific meet, has been an All-American six out of the last seven years, an All Star in 1994 and 1995 and a long distance All Star in 1995.

Jayne thrives and truly enjoys competition, at work and play. In addition to swimming, she races sailboats and works in the highly competitive market of employee out-sourcing. Swimming has definitely helped this mother of three and grandmother of nine stay healthy, balanced, and "feminine."

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