Mary Bennett To Be Posthumously Inducted Into International Swimming Hall of Fame

The International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) is proud to announce that Mary Bennett,  will be inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2018 during the IMSHOF Induction ceremonies in Jacksonville, Florida, Friday evening, September 28, 2018.

The induction will be held in conjunction with the United States Aquatic Sports convention.

Mary Bennett of Urbana, Illinois, attended Pine Crest Prep School, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and continued on to the University of Michigan, where she received a degree in Zoology. She eventually became a certified public accountant and owned her own business where she dealt with clients from all over the country. Bennett had an exciting life, travelling and living all over the world, A member of the USA Peace Corps, she taught science in Liberia, and was the National Women’s Swim Coach in Nigeria. Bennett also resided in Saudi Arabia and Iran. She moved around the U.S. a couple times, and ended up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey in 1986, where she lived until her death in 2014.

A lifelong swimmer and diver, Bennett participated in the 1968 Olympic trials in freestyle, just missing out on making the team. As a student at the University of Michigan, she competed in the both swimming (50 Free, 200 Medley Relay, 200 Free Relay)and diving, (1meter, 3-meter diving).

She eventually left swimming behind to focus her attention on diving and formed a close relationship and bond with her coach, ISHOF Honoree, Dick Kimball. After a break, about 1990, she returned to diving and began competing in Masters diving events, both on the national and international level.

Mary competed in four age groups between 1990 and 2014 (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69). She competed in the 1 meter, 3 meter, 10 meter and also in the synchro diving events winning a total of 106 gold, 23 silver and three bronze medals. Bennett travelled to and competed in six different FINA Masters World Championships, where she won 13 gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze medal. At the World Masters Games (2002, 2005, 2009) she won five gold and four silver medals. Just months before her death from cancer she won the synchro platform event in Montreal in 2014. At the time, Mary was on oxygen and had to be carried up the ladder to do her dives but insisted on finishing the event. She passed away on October 11, 2014.

Mary Bennett won the McAlister and Krahn Performance Award (Sable) in 2012. Bennett was one of the founding members of the East Coast Masters Diving (ECMD) and continues to be an inspiration to all Masters divers. Today, ECMD hosts an annual “Mary Bennett Masters Invitational Diving Meet” for divers over the age of twenty-one years old.

Bennett will be inducted as part of a group of nine (9) outstanding individuals who will be inducted at the IMSHOF’s annual ceremony. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in conjunction with the 2018 United States Aquatic Sports XXXVIX Convention.

The prestigious IMSHOF class of 2018 includes four swimmers, two divers, one synchronized swimmer, one water polo player and one contributor, from five (5) different countries: the USA, Austria, Germany, Brazil and Japan:

SWIMMER INDUCTEES: 

MAURINE KORNFELD (USA)
HITOMI MATSUDA (JPN)
MARCUS MATTIOLI (BRA)
JURGEN SCHMIDT (USA)

DIVER INDUCTEES: 

MARY BENNETT (USA)
IRMTRAUD BOHN (AUT)

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER INDUCTEE: 

BETH CAREY (USA),

WATER POLO PLAYER INDUCTEE:

WOLF-RÜDIGER SCHULZ (GER)

CONTRIBUTOR INDUCTEE: 

WALT REID (USA)

In addition to honoring the IMSHOF Honorees, ISHOF will be recognizing Swimming World Magazine’s Top Ten Masters Swimmers from 2017.

Swimming World Magazine‘s Top Twelve Masters Swimmers for 2017 are:

Men – Rick Colella (USA)Sergey Geybel (RUS)Nicolas Granger (FRA)Karl Hauter (GER)Willard Lamb (USA), and Darian Townsend (USA)

Women – Noriko Inada (USA)Maurine Kornfeld (USA)Betty Lorenzi (USA)Karlyn Pipes (USA)Diann Uustal (USA), and Laura Val (USA).

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Book Your Hotel 

About IMSHOF
The purpose of the IMSHOF is to promote a healthy lifestyle, lifelong fitness and participation in adult aquatic programs by recognizing the achievements of individuals who serve as an example for others. To be considered, honorees must have participated in Masters programs through at least four different masters age groups and are qualified by an objective point system based on world records, world top 10 rankings and World Championship performances. The IMSHOF is a division of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, please visit: www.ishof.org

About ISHOF
The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. (ISHOF), established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Recognized by FINA, the International Olympic Committee’s recognized governing body for the aquatic sports in 1968, its mission is to preserve the history of swimming, celebrate the heroes, promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all children and adults, and connect older generations of swimmers to youth.

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Author: Andy Ross

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Andy Ross is the new man on board at Swimming World. He is based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He is a 2017 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he graduated cum laude.

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