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by Barbara Jackson

April 21, 2006

Founded Masters programs and aquatic center

Carol Tait Macpherson was born in San Francisco, moving to Palo Alto, Calif., in 1947. She started swimming through Palo Alto Parks and Recreation and later affiliated with the Santa Clara Swim Club at the age of 13 in 1951. The team was coached by George Haines.

Carol was George Haines's first national champion winning the 500 and 200 yard freestyles in 1954. She was a national champion and All-American in 1954 and 1955 and a member of the 1955 Pan American team in Mexico City, swimming the 200-meter freestyle and placing third in the 400-meter freestyle. She retired after the Olympic Trials in 1956, but came back to swim relays for Santa Clara in 1957 helping Santa Clara win their first national meet as a team. Carol was inducted into the Santa Clara Swim Club Hall of Fame in 1969.

Co-founding the Rinconada Masters in 1972 with Cindy Baxter, she has developed and coached the program for 33 years, the last 10 by herself.

From 1974 to 1980 Carol sat on committees for the Pacific Association during the development of their Masters program. She organized and ran two national long course championships, both at Santa Clara, Calif., in 1974 and 1980. From 1979 to 1985 Carol represented the Pacific Association by attending national conventions and sitting on various committees which formulated policies for Masters swimming.

Carol was a six time Masters All-American and won 35 first place national championships, holding many national and Pacific Association records.

In 1982 she co-founded the Rapp's Triathlon for Masters, acting as co-meet director until 1987. She won the 2.5-mile Masters Triathlon swim in Lake Havasu, Ariz., in 1985 which was sponsored by Rinconada Masters. She was also co-directing the event at the time.

Carol was the meet director for the 2003 Masters World Penthalon at Stanford University and is currently on the swimming committee organizing the FINA World Championships at Stanford in August, 2006.

In 1997 she founded the Carol Macpherson Aquatic Center and continues to direct summer programs, currently with 25 employees. Presently she is running two programs, one in Palo Alto and the other in Redwood City under the Aquatic Center umbrella. This work plus her activity with the Rinconada Masters doesn't leave her much time to train hard, but she still keeps her feet wet in workouts, and is able to train for short course nationals some years.