Article image

by Author Unknown

September 15, 2002

No previous background in competitive swimming

Susan Munn is one of the most successful swimmers in the Pacific Association who began her Masters career with no previous background in competitive swimming. She was born Susan Louise Jensen in Omaha, Neb., but grew up in Southern California. Her first pool experience was at age four at the YMCA in Pasadena, Calif. When she was 11 and 12 years old she and her eight year old sister rode two buses from a neighborhood of L.A. near Watts to the YMCA in Huntington Park for swimming lessons. She never competed as a child, in high school or college, but was always drawn to the swimming pool for lap swimming, work, and play. She was a swimming pool 'groupie'.

Susan moved to Davis in 1966 with her family and worked at UCD as a staff research associate for 20 years in a research facility on contract with the U.S. Dept. of Energy. In 1987 she shifted gears and worked as a clinical laboratory scientist for 13 years in the UCD Medical School Coccidioidomycosis Serology Lab. She also raised two girls. She retired in May 2000.

She began Masters swimming in 1976 when her running buddies told her about the benefits of cross training. She was immediately interested, that old pool 'groupie' mentality took hold. The Davis Aquatic Masters coach at that time was Dave Scott, who was a very positive and encouraging force in her life. Susan still trains and swims with the Davis Aquatic Masters and does coached workouts. She keeps motivated by trying to keep up with the younger swimmers in her lane. Her philosophy is to do your best under all conditions. In May of 2000 she received a heart pacemaker after trying to work and train with a resting heart rate of 30-35 bpm. She is now swimming better than ever!

1984 was her best swimming year. In 1983 she trained for and competed in the Ironman Triathlon. It was the 12 hour 44 minute finishing time that put her in first place in her age group (45-49) in that 1983 Ironman. A time, incidentally, faster than the winner of the 40-44 age group. She was fortunate to receive some very valuable coaching from her old friend and coach Dave Scott. All of that training carried her over in her 1984 swims. After several years of triathlon and swimming competitions she retired from the triathlon circuit to concentrate on her first loves—her family and her swimming.

Her current goals are to overcome all those bad stroke habits that have accumulated over the years, improve in all four strokes, concentrate on the positive, be a good role model as an aging athlete, and to better some PRs.

Susan leads an active life, participating in open water swims, pool swimming, enjoying the golden years with her husband, being a church official, gardening, power walking, volunteering, traveling, and enjoying her five grandchildren.