Twelve Masters Swimmers from the Needham YMCA swam “Miles for Marly” at the Harvard Blodgett Pool on January 6. This memorial swim is 100x100 yards, or 6.2 miles, of an endurance challenge. The 100-x100 yard event is steeped in history, as it was famously and routinely done by Bobby Hackett, 1976 Olympian, as a workout assigned by his coach, Joe Bernal. Coach Bernal had Bobby Hackett complete the 100x100 yard set on the 1:00 minute interval, which is very fast.
Although the Needham Masters swimmers did not match Bobby’s interval pace, they trained mentally and physically to earn the badge of honor many masters swimming groups strive for by matching Bobby’s distance in a single workout.
The 100x100 yard swim is called “Miles for Marly” in honor of the coach of the Charles River Aquatics (previously known as Cambridge Masters Swim Club). Marlene Pineda, a competitive swimmer who set a record for distance freestyle at Smith College, was tragically killed in a bicycle accident in 2010 in Brighton. The funds raised from the annual swim go to the Marly Pineda Scholarship Fund. Marly was the interim head coach of the Cambridge Masters Swim Club and the assistant coach of the Harvard women’s swim team when she died at age 24 years old.
Participating swimmers from the Needham Masters club are: Andrew Allen Yasmine King, Scott McCue, Michael Mutter, Richard Partridge, Julia Pearson, John Pizzuto (coach), Richard Savage, Tamara Takoudes, Jessica Uhrich (coach), Alexander Walley and Lisa Wentworth.