Sep 15, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT
OK, I’ll see your 61-year-old college placekicker, and raise you a 49-year-old woman who walked on to the Pepperdine University swim team. Phyllis Reffo is a former model and securities investment consultant who started swimming eight years ago to rehab various old injuries. She was spotted by the Santa Monica Junior College swim coach, who invited her to work out with his team … and she eventually started competing for them. After discovering she still had college eligibility, she walked on at Pepperdine and made that team.
Photos here. Lucky chlorine.
Reffo swims the 100- and 200-yard individual medleys, and the 50 and 100 breaststroke events. It’s a remarkable accomplishment considering that when she first started swimming, she was nowhere near completing a 4,000-yard training regimen.
“In a short period, I went far beyond anyone’s expectations,” Reffo said. “I just kept going. I would do a 4,000-yard workout, then I would do that workout twice a day. I wasn’t the fastest, but I wasn’t the slowest, either. I was able to keep up with the 19- and 20-year-olds”
My favorite part: When Reffo tried to go online to fill out her NCAA eligibility application, the system kept logging her out when she put in her age.
“It is funny, because I’m older than some of my teammates’ parents,” said Reffo, who plans to major in physical therapy. “I’m just trying to live my life as best as I can every day. I’m not letting my age get in the way.”
I doff my cap to you, madam. That is, I would if I had one.
49-Year-Old Phyllis Reffo Walks onto Pepperdine Swim Team [Larry Brown Sports]
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