Agner, Steimel shine at National Senior Games

Published 11:33 pm Saturday, June 22, 2019

Staff report

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The mother-daughter duo of Phyllis Steimel and Mary Jo Agner, local YMCA swimmers, turned in outstanding performances here last week in the the National Senior Games Championships.

Steimel, know as “Coach,” founded the local swim team, known as Rowan Aquatic Club YMCA, 35 years ago. Her daughter, Mary Jo, was one of the first swimmers on the new team. Many years later they are both still involved with swimming and train with the Rowan Aquatic Club Masters team at the YMCA several mornings a week.

Agner had an outstanding meet in Albuquerque, participating in the 50-54 year age group. She won a highly competitive 200 butterfly race, setting a national record in the process. She also set a national record in the 400 individual medley.

Agner also placed first in the 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle and the 200 IM.

Steimel also swam very well, competing in the 80-84 year age group. Her hard work and persistence in the practice pool paid off at the national level. Steimel earned finished sixth in the 50 and 200 backstroke races, sixth in the 50 free, seventh in the 100 backstroke and 10th in the 50 breaststroke.

“This experience allowed me to see and meet so many talented, exceptional and brave people!” exclaimed Steimel. “Many have been doing these national games for years. It was a fun, great experience and I look forward to getting back in the pool. It must be the fountain of youth.”

The YMCA Masters team is a fitness swimming group for any adult. An alternative group known as the Turtles also meets at the YMCA twice a week for adults who are new to fitness swimming or like a very relaxed pace.

The local Senior Games swim meet is held at the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA every year. Last fall, several local swimmers earned a trip to the Senior Games State Meet in Cary.

Savannah Daniel at is the contact person for the Rowan Senior Games.