It took just 59.08 seconds for Team Behrend to have an impact on the 2012 Highmark Quad games, which started with a 100-yard swim Sunday. Jen Wallace, the Penn State Behrend swim coach, finished with that time – the third-fastest of any woman in the water.
She was lucky to have room in the pool. Sixty-eight Penn State Behrend employees and family members have signed up for the 2012 Quad, a year-round fitness initiative that is open to participants of all ages and skill levels. Last year, the team had just six members.
“We never really pushed it before,” said Patty McMahon, director of Health and Wellness Services on campus. “But this year, we went all-out, getting T-shirts and talking it up.”
Penn State’s Health Matters program paid a portion of every team member’s registration costs.
Michelle Brown, a disability services coordinator in Student Affairs, had, until Sunday, been a strictly recreational swimmer. “I worried that the competition would be too intense,” she said of Sunday’s event, which was held at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. “But it was actually very fun. Team Behrend pulled together to provide support for each other.”
Brown’s husband and two daughters, ages 7 and 9, also swam. Quad founder Craig Latimer sees that as proof of the program’s value.
“When these families go home from this, they sit down and have dinner,” Latimer said. “And what do you think they talk about at dinner? They talk about how they did. They talk about being active, and healthy.”
Team members are now training for the Quad’s second event: a 12-mile bike race in July. A 5-mile run and a 5-mile cross-country ski race will complete the series.