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by Suzi Green

April 2, 2013

A return swimmer goes the distance

Bev Montrella is a 66-year-old retired swim coach living in Mission Viejo, Calif. She is married to Jim Montrella, the 1976 USA Olympic team coach and has a daughter who is a USMS member.

After swimming as an AAU age grouper in her teens, Montrella swam with USMS for a couple of years in her late 20s. She left the sport, but returned at the age of 60 for two reasons: jogging wasn’t working out so well anymore, and a FINA meet was planned to take place practically in her back yard. Montrella says she trains harder when she has an objective, and the meet was an attainable goal.

Montrella swims with the Mission Viejo Nadadores. She likes to train, but she also swims for fun and fitness. She says she loves her teammates, who vary in age from 20 to 90-plus, and she enjoys the camaraderie that goes along with almost-daily swims. Her group workouts are about 3,000 yards each, and she says she is fortunate to have her husband act as her personal trainer and coach. A devotee of the pool, Montrella says she will swim in the ocean only when the water temperature can be regulated to 80 degrees and as soon as that black line is painted on the ocean floor.

Montrella enjoys setting goals for herself, and Go the Distance helps her to do that. Her goal for 2013 is to swim 365 miles. She also sets smaller goals for herself every year, and her participation in GTD means she logs the yardage she needs to meet those goals. So what about this year? Montrella is enthusiastically looking forward to Summer Nationals, which will be held in her home pool in Mission Viejo in August. Not only will the meet be fun, but it’s another motivating goal for which Montrella can reach.


  • Human Interest


  • GTD