Jean Durston (USA)
Honor Masters Swimmer (2007)
INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS:World Points – 889, Pre-1986 Points – 42, Total Points – 931; Since 1974, she has competed in 6 age groups (60-64 thru 85-89); 26 FINA MASTERS WORLD RECORDS;
Her affair with the water began in 1973 when her physician prescribed an aquatic exercise program as therapy. Soon, she was swimming laps and, within a year, competing. Her first competitive meet traumatized her as she gulped far too much pool water. Perhaps it was the taste of chlorine or the promise of victory, but Jean Durston became a lifelong swimmer.
In 1974, Jean Durston began swimming mainly freestyle events. In her 80’s Durston was known to log nearly 2700 yards a day, four days a week as a member of the Walnut Creek Masters Program. Even though she never competed in a Masters World Championship, she set 26 FINA Masters World Records- 13 long course meters and 13 short course meters- all in freestyle, butterfly and I.M. events.
A pioneer of Masters swimming, Jean Durston competed in six different age groups and was an inspiration to many fellow swimmers. At 85 she swam the fly — arms fully out of the water. In 2001, Jean Durston died. Her legacy reminds us each to swim for life, focus on technique and enjoy each lap.