Currently the Product Manager at FINIS, Mark is in charge of designing, engineering, and successfully launching new products. Working closely with local swim schools and Olympic coaches he researches what the swimming world needs next. Attending Stanford University from 2002-2006 he obtained a BS degree in Product Design Engineering.
Mark has been involved with swimming for the past 22 years, both competing and coaching at the national and age-group level. At Stanford, he swam for the Cardinal and was the Captain of the Men’s team his senior year. Mark was the 2004 U.S. Senior National Champion in the 200 IM, and went on to receive All-American honors in the 200 IM, 400 IM, and 200 Fly.
Besides swimming, Mark enjoys traveling, snowboarding, tennis, and crushing people at board games. He most recently started triathlon training with the goal to complete an Ironman before 2014.
At the age of ten, Mallory competed in her first open water swim on a whim at a Zone Championship meet. Since then, Mallory has completed some of the worlds most famous open water swims. In 2004, at the age of 18, Mallory completed her first major marathon swim, the 28.5 mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, in which she placed 4th overall. In 2008, Mallory was the Fastest American and Fastest Female of the Year to swim the 21 miles across the English Channel under the Channel Swimming Assocation. In August 2010, Mallory posted the fastest women’s time of the year for the 21-mile Catalina Channel, the second fastest time overall.
In addition, she also became the 39th person in the world to complete the “Triple Crown” of open water swimming consisting of the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, and the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. Mallory’s next challenge is to take on the “Ocean’s Seven,” marathon swimming’s equivalent of the Seven Summits. In addition to the English and Catalina Channels, the Ocean’s Seven include the Tsugaru Channel in Japan, the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the Irish Channel, the Molokai Channel in Hawaii, and the Straits of Gibraltar from Spain to Morrocco. To this date no one has ever completed all seven swims.
She now coaches a Master’s Training Group at her gym in Indianapolis and trains with Indy Swim Fit. She is also the race founder and director for the Swim For Kids’ Sake charity swim in Culver, Indiana, and keeps an open water swimming-themed blog at http://mallorymead.com/category/blog/.
Tony Wahl – FINIS Software Engineer - Guest Blogger
As a competitive pool swimmer in Southern California, Jen was exposed at an early age to open water swimming. Her passion for the ocean was cultivated as a young Junior Lifeguard and through participating in local ocean swims with her family. As a true distance swimmer, Jen transitioned to marathon swimming in 2009, when she crossed the 21-mile Catalina Channel in a time of 9:02, the fastest female time of the season. In 2010, she competed in the 28.5-mile Manhattan Island Marathon Swim, placing 7th overall and 4th woman. Jen has also swam the 17-mile channel between Kauai and Niihau in Hawaii, and completed a second Catalina Channel crossing in the opposite direction. Her next pursuit is to become the first person in history to complete the Ocean’s Seven, seven of the most challenging channel swims around the world. You can follow Jen’s training and open water swims at her blog, www.jenschumacher.org.
During the first two years of her marathon swimming career, Jen was also working towards her Masters degree in Sport Psychology at California State University, Fullerton. She credits much of her success in open water swimming to her mental training. In turn, these valuable experiences have helped her become intimately familiar with the mental game of swimming, which she teaches to various teams and individual athletes through her Sport Psychology Consulting practice (www.jenschumacher.com).
Brooke Bennett, popularly known as one of the most elite swimmers in the country, is an Olympic gold medalist, sports broadcaster and a soon-to-be author, just to name a few accolades.
Her talent and determination that ultimately created her entrepreneurial spirit today, started at an early age with encouragement from her grandfather who built Bennett a swimming pool and taught her to swim. As her role model, Bennett, to date, still dedicates every race and accomplishment to him. At the young age of 12, Bennett qualified for her first junior national cut and went on to win her first gold medal in the 800 meter freestyle at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. That same year, the U.S. Olympic Committee named Bennett the “Sports Woman of the Year.” After ultimately adding 14 U.S. champion titles to her record, Bennett continued her success, winning two gold medals, one in the 800 meter freestyle and another in the 400 meter freestyle, in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Inspired by Bennett’s passion and athleticism, Wheaties honored her wins by placing her on the cover of their “Breakfast of Champions” cereal box. Disney also praised Bennett’s success by having her handprints in cement at the Disney/MGM Studios. If that wasn’t enough, Bennett was also inducted into the Sports Club of Tampa Bay Hall of Fame in 2009 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in May 2010.
Currently, Bennett is utilizing her passion for sports as a sports broadcaster for Bright House Sports Network in Florida. Bennett is also a certified personal trainer and nutritionist through the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT). Adding to her list of achievements will soon be “author” of her very own cookbook offering home-style cooking recipes with a healthy spin.
- Three-time Olympic gold medalist in the 800m and 400m free
- Fourteen National Titles
- Ranked Ninth in the world in the 800m free – 2004
- Holds world record for 800m free in 2000 at Olympic Trials