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by Scott Rabalais

July 19, 2000

From outstanding postal to pro swimming

Two exceptional performances stand out in the history of the USMS One Hour Postal Championships. Lisa Hazen , age 30, from Sunnyvale, Calif., swam 5,625 yards in sixty minutes this past January. Averaging 1:04 per 100 yards, she finished first overall, defeating all male and female participants in 1995. (for the other, see Dan Veatch.)

Distance championships are nothing new to this veteran swimmer. As a youngster, Hazen joined the Arden Hills Swim Team in Sacramento and trained under legendary coach Sherm Chavoor for 11 years. She attended Stanford University from 1982 to 1986 and was named All-American in each of her four years.

Hazen took a three-year break after Stanford, got married, and settled into a career in database software development. A skiing accident forced her back into the local pool for rehabilitation. From there she was conned by fellow swimmers to try an ocean swim, and she enjoyed it immensely. "Open water swimming was a new challenge, and I was motivated by the fact that I might win some of the races."

Top distance swimmers Carol Lee and Paul Asmuth, seeing Hazen's promise, challenged her to enter the longer, professional races. She was up to the challenge this past January as she captured the women's title in the 60K (37-mile) Rosaria Marathon in Argentina and placed third in the Lago Tapes 26K in Brazil just six days later. During 1994, Hazen captured two USS National Championships, the 5 and 10 kilometer, and swam the fastest 1,000-yard freestyle for women in USMS history in 10:12.34.

Hazen's outstanding performance in the 1995 One Hour Swim was quite coincidental. Preparing for her South American marathon swims, she had just completed a "hell week" of training with the local USS team and, feeling strong, decided to test herself. With her husband, Don Dasher, taking splits, Hazen swam alone and managed to hold her 1:04 average on virtually every 100.

Lisa is not the only Hazen who has shown championship swimming form. Her older sister, Karen, is a former American record holder in the 1,650-yard freestyle and occasionally swims an open water relay with her sister. Anita Hazen, mother of Lisa and Karen, has been ranked in the USMS Top Ten every year since 1978.

published in SWIM magazine, November-December 1995

Lisa A. Hazen lives in Sunnyvale, Calif., and swims for Santa Clara Swim Club.