Olmstead breaks records at state swim meet


Marina Olmstead of Chunky broke two state records and won four state gold medals at the Mississippi Swimming Short-Course Championships held Feb. 15-18 in Biloxi.

Olmstead swam the 100-yard Backstroke in 56.11 seconds, breaking the Girls 15&16 state record of 57.13 seconds, winning by two body lengths.  Olmstead’s swim also broke the girls open state record, making her the fastest female 100-yard backstroker in Mississippi history.  Her swim was also a Winter Junior National Qualifying time.

“When I saw my time, I couldn’t believe it,” Olmstead said. “I broke the record by more than a second.  I also made a Winter Junior National time, which was one of my goals for this year.  It still hasn’t sunk in.” 

When father/coach Bryan Olmstead was asked if he was proud of his daughter breaking the state record, he replied, “It’s not so much pride as it is relief.  Kind of like when you’re teaching your child to ride a bicycle, and you get to let go for the first time.  You always knew they would.  Now, for the first time, they know.”

Marina Olmstead also won gold in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle, and 100-yard butterfly.  She scored silver in the 200-yard individual medley and bronze in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke races, bringing her total to over 60 state medals.

Younger sister Maya Olmstead also competed in the Championships in the girls 13-14 age group.  Maya Olmstead made it to two finals and placed eighth in the 100-yard butterfly.

Although the Olmsteads swim for Laurel Swim Association, they train in Chunky in a training pool in their backyard.

Marina Olmstead will next compete in the American Junior National Classic in Clearwater, Fla, in March.