Mighty Mermaids

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Mighty Mermaids, six U.S. Masters Swimming national champions and record holders
The Mighty Mermaids is the nickname of a fantastically fit female group of open water swimmers who have set records and won competitions from coast to coast.

Contents

Open Water Swimming Career

They have finished fifth overall in the 2009 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim (7 hours 33 minutes), 24th overall and 2nd fastest female team at the 2008 Trans Tahoe Relay and made names for themselves in numerous individual open water swimming and pool swimming competitions. They also did a 9:19:44 crossing of the Catalina Channel in setting the Catalina Channel - Fastest Female 50-59 Catalina-to-Mainland Relay record for an all-female over-50 relay team by over an hour and a half. They also became the first relay to successfully cross Lake Winnepesaukee in the state of New Hampshire.

Members

The Mighty Mermaids are a special team where age and competitiveness are their calling cards. The team consists of Christie Plank Ciraulo (55), Nancy Steadman Martin (54), Lisa Bennett (53), Jenny Cook (51), Karen Farnsworth Einsidler (53) and Tracy Grilli (52).

Christie Plank Ciraulo

When Christie turned 50, she dreamed to organize a group of fast women in their 50's to swim together on a major open water swimming relay. Christie was looking for something more than just pool swimming. She introduced herself to Tracy and Nancy and kept in touch for over a year before the Trans Tahoe Relay became a possibility.

Jenny, Karen and Lisa were recruited and confirmed in short order. As Christie recalled, "Once our team was set, we were already picking out our team color, team suits and team nail polish.”

In their first collective foray, the Mighty Mermaids won their division at the 2008 Trans Tahoe Relay, finishing ahead of their nearest rival by 90 minutes, setting an unprecedented standard for their age-group. Their swim at the 2009 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim continues to showcase their ageless talents. The team includes:

Christie (Los Angeles) has earned 144 spots on the US Masters Swimming Top Ten lists and numerous World Top Ten rankings. She won USMS national championships in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 2008 and 2009, in addition to winning her age group division at the Waikiki Roughwater Swim and several ocean swims in Manhattan Beach, Seal Beach, and Newport Beach in California.

Nancy Steadman Martin

Nancy (New Jersey) has swum along the Jersey shore since childhood. She has swum all over the world including an English Channel crossing in 2004, the 17.5-mile Ederle Swim in 2006, and across the Catalina Channel in 2008.

Lisa Bennett

Lisa (Virginia) is a US Masters Swimming and 3-time world record holder with 159 USMS Top Ten swims with numerous open water swimming victories, including being the first woman to win the Navy SEAL reunion swim.

Jenny Cook

Jenny (Los Angeles) is a national and world record holder in the pool who is taking her considerable swimming talents to the open water from California to New York.

Karen Farnsworth Einsilder

Karen (New Jersey) is a successful English Channel swimmer who several local open water swimming victories in between earning 132 USMS Top Ten positions and setting 9 world records and 19 world number one rankings. A breast cancer survivor, mother of triplets and an attorney, it is a wonder Karen has time to sleep.

Tracy Grilli

Tracy (New Hampshire) is the widely-recognized administrator for USMS in addition to having consistently placed on the world's top ten lists.

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