Katy Vandam (Inducted 2020)


Katy will be one of the youngest members of the Hall of Fame but we have a feeling she will be setting records for a long time in the future. Katy started swimming when she and her two brothers decided they should jump in a hotel pool while on a family vacation. It wasn’t a concern to them that none of them knew how to swim; they were only 5, 4, and 2. Lucky for them their father, who is an experienced swimmer, was nearby and quickly fished the three of them out of the water. That was the start of her love for swimming.

Katy learned to swim while living in Washington State and swam age group throughout her youth in Florida and Minnesota. In MN she swam for Richfield Swim Club, Minneapolis Washburn in 8th grade and Minneapolis South for high school. She swam a variety of events and participated in the State meet every year since 8 th grade. She chose to attend the University of New Mexico and participate on the Women’s Swim & ive team from 2003-2007. Primarily swimming the 100/200 Back, 100/200 Fly and IM.  She also participated in water polo and triathlon while in college.

She joined a master’s team within weeks of finishing her college swimming, Lobo Masters in Albuquerque NM. It was so fun, even though practice started 30 minutes earlier than in college, and she actually got to swim with friends of her dad! She shared a few stories she heard about her dad but we’ll keep those confidential.

Katy moved back to MN in 2009 and found Hopkins Masters. Since then she has been part of Minnetonka Masters, STAR Masters, Edina Masters, St. Thomas Masters, Iswim Masters, and Macalester Masters. She loves the diversity of the swim programs throughout the city. Different pools, practices, and friends to swim with keeps life fun!

She almost stopped swimming after the death of her older brother in a tragic drowning
accident in 2010. It seemed insurmountable to get into the water everyday after that happened.

In her words “I swim because I have unfinished athletic goals that push me but mostly I swim because I need the physical and mental challenge to start my day. Ever since my brother died I use the water to help get my day started. I use the water to distract me from the pain of loss.... if I can make a hard set or swim a hard race then I have more strength to heal. At first going to swim practice was the only reason I got out of bed. Now, thankfully, it is about more than just healing and distraction. I have met so many wonderful people at swim practice, swim meets, the lakes and socials!”

This dedication and drive has resulted in great success over the years.
National Results:

Five Top 3 Individual Finishes: 2017 - LC Nationals, Minneapolis MN
Six Top Ten Individual Finishes: 2019 Spring National, Mesa Arizona (30-34) – at the age of 34

National Champion:
200 Fly – 2:10:00
400 IM – 4:42:84

62 Individual National Top Ten Times
31 Relay National Top Ten Times

State Records :
8 Current MN LMSC Records
18 Current MN LMSC Relay Records–
(Some of the records she owns were previously held by Olympic Qualifier and MN Hall of Fame Swimming Legend Judy Lallier).

In addition to her in pool success Katy has been an active volunteer who has served in a variety of roles with the MN Masters LMSC. She also coaches High School Swimming, passing on her knowledge and experience to future masters swimmers.

**Congratulations Katy on your induction into the 2020 MN Swimming Hall of Fame!!!

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About Minnesota Masters Swimming

Minnesota Masters Swimming LMSC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to a healthy swimming lifestyle for adult swimmers within 87 counties in Minnesota and 3 in Western Wisconsin. It is the local governing body for United States Masters Swimming (USMS).

There are 1,172 registered swimmers in the Minnesota LMSC and over 60,000 nationwide. Anyone 18 years of age or older is eligible to join. No prior competitive swimming experience is necessary.

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