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by Dennis Wilson

May 29, 2005

Leaving the glory to others

Sarah (Pulliam) Brougher Kopsky, born in 1942, grew up in Ponca City, Okla. Her dad worked for Continental Oil Co., which had an employee swimming pool where Sarah learned to swim. At age nine, and for the next 10 years, she swam on the Conoco Aquatic Club team, coached by George Harman.

In 1956 she, along with her sister and several teammates, attended the AAU Swimming Nationals in Tyler, Texas. She finished in the top six in the 100 and 200 fly and IMs. She was also 10th in the 1500-meter free. She also competed at nationals in Dallas, Houston, Topeka, Redding (Calif.), and Bartlesville (Okla.). Several swimmers made an impression on Sarah, including Pat McCormick the diver and Shelly Mann, the 100 fly champ at Melbourne, Australia.

Sarah started swimming Masters in 1987. She works out around 4,000 yards/meters, four to five times a week with the Tulsa Masters Swim Club. She currently (2005) serves as secretary to the Oklahoma LMSC. Despite having dozens of Top Ten swims, numerous All-American swims, and even a few ignored national records, Sarah is almost unknown in her sport. While she has never attended nationals, and seldom competes in anything but a local meet, she has made All-American every year from 1990 to 2003, excelling in free, fly and backstroke. Her husband John Kopsky, who also competes and has Top Ten swimming honors, serves as treasurer, registrar, sanctions and webmaster of the Oklahoma LMSC.

Leaving the glory to others, Sarah would rather jet off to see one of her three grandchildren, ages seven, nine, and 10. Extremely modest, you would never know that she is one of the very top women in her age group in the world.