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Karlyn Pipes

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(Redirected from Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen)
The Do-Over by Karlyn Pipes and Tito Morales
Karlyn Pipes is a member of the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) class of 2007 and International Swimming Hall of Fame class of 2015

Karlyn Pipes (born 18 March 1962) is an American professional athlete, swim clinician and motivational speaker, originally from Lompoc, California and currently living on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is the author of The Do-Over, written with Tito Morales and was honored as a Masters Swimmer in 2015 by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. She has established more number one rankings than any other masters swimmer in history, and was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2007.

After nearly two decades of swimming in masters swimming, Pipes has become the most decorated masters swimmer in history, amassing more national and world records than any other swimmer in history with a current world record tally of 223.

Professional Career[edit]

  • Pipes is currently a competitive swimmer as well as a triathlete, inspirational speaker, and swim technique expert. She owns Aquatic Edge, a mobile service that offers Faster Freestyle swim technique workshops worldwide, as well as private swim instruction and camps in Kona, Hawaii.
  • As a professional speaker that travels worldwide, Pipes shares her experience, strength and hope with audiences of all ages.
  • Pipes offers technical talks to coaches and athletes and is a three-time presenter at the prestigious American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic.
  • As a writer, Pipes penned a monthly column entitled "The Pool's Edge" for Swimming World Magazine from 2007–2012, and has been a contributor to the West Hawaii Today newspaper and SWIMMER Magazine.
  • In 2015, along with contributing author Tito Morales, she wrote The Do-Over: My Journey from the Depths of Addiction to World Champion Swimmer, an autobiography about her struggles and victories over addiction that was recognized by the 2016 Buck Dawson Authors Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame
  • Pipes has received a Certificate of Merit for saving the life of a drowning person from the American Red Cross.


Pool Records and Achievements[edit]

  • 2009, 2008, 2007 & 2004 World Masters Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine
  • To date, Pipes has set over 208 FINA Masters World Records…more than any swimmer
  • As of 2016, Pipes has set 332 U.S. Masters Swimming national, 6 long distance, and 53 relay records
  • Pipes is an 18-time USMS All-Star achieved by earning the most #1 rankings in an age-group in a year
  • Currently holds 47 FINA Masters World and over 95 United States Masters National records
  • Karlyn’s records stand the test of time spanning THREE age-groups: 35-38, 40-44 and 45-49
  • International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) class of 2007
  • Female Swimmer of the Year 1997, 2002 & 2003 United States Masters Swimming (USMS)
  • Top Ten Masters Swimmer of the Year 1994-1998, 2000, 2002 & 2003
  • NCAA Division II record holder in 200-yard backstroke from 1998 to 2001 with a time of 2:00.54
  • Oldest athlete to set and/or hold an NCAA record
  • Featured in Swimming World May 2004 for “Swimming Tall” backstroke technique photo
  • Featured in 2004 Mar/Apr. Edition of SWIM “Learn from the Masters” backstroke technique
  • Cover of SWIM Magazine three times: April 2005, February 1998 and September 1995
  • Cover of Fitness Swimmer Magazine and backstroke start photo essay, October 1997
  • 417 time USMS All-American (achieved by earning #1 national ranking in an event)
  • 8 USMS Long Distance Records for 35-39 & 40-44 (3,000 yd., 6,000 yd, 5k & 1-hour postal)
  • Set 4 National and 5 State Community College records in 1996-1997
  • San Diego Hall of Champions Amateur Star of the Month 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 & 2002
  • A USA National Qualifier 1995-2000 and 2004 (placing 10th 200 back in both 1996 and 1998)
  • Has broken a FINA Masters World record in every stroke
  • 8 time NCAA Div. II All-American 1998

Open Water Swimming[edit]

  • Ali'I Challenge 10k swim-overall winner with a new course record of 2:09.32, Kona Hawaii 2009
  • Overall Winner-2006 Kukio Blue Water 1.2 mile Swim 2004 & 2006 and overall female winner 2004-2008
  • Top female, 2nd overall & new course record Hapuna RWS 2004-2008 (Hawaii)
  • Top female & new course record for the 1.2 King Swim, July 10th 2004, 2008 (Hawaii)
  • 2004 Maui Channel Swim Overall Winning Team RCP Milers (Hawaii)
  • Overall Winner for the 2004 Cinco De Mayo Splash 1-mile swims at Waikoloa (Hawaii)
  • 2nd female and 12th finisher overall 2003 40-44 Division winner La Jolla Gatorman 3 mile
  • 1st Female 40-44 age group and 2nd overall 2003 USMS National 3k champs, Clemson, SC
  • Overall winner of Coronado Optimist One-mile Cable swim from 1995-2003
  • 1999 5k Open-water USMS National Champion for 35-39 age group, Catalina Island
  • 3-time overall (female) winner of the Gatorman 3-mile at La Jolla 1993, 1994 & 1996
  • Only swimmer to win “Daily-Double” Gatorman3-mile/one mile swim combo 1994 & 1996
  • La Jolla Rough Water One-mile Swim Champion for 30-34 & 35-39 1994-2001
  • Overall (female) winner Coronado 4th of July Rough Water swim from 1993-2001
  • Overall winner & course record holder for Base-to-Base Military Swim from 1994-1998


  • Degree: BS In Communication/Public Relations from Cal State Bakersfield 1999
  • Speaker: American Swim Coaches Association World Swim Convention 2003, 2005 and 2006, 2007
  • Speaker: Aquatic Nelson Vargas Coaches Clinic 2006
  • Writer: Swimming World Magazine “Pool’s Edge” monthly column and features
  • Writer: West Hawaii Today Newspaper


Global Swimming Summit[edit]

Pipes is a featured speaker at the 2016 Global Swimming Summit, a free online summit hosted by Chris Ritter of Ritter Sports Performance that explains and describes open water swimming for people of all ages and abilities. Speakers at the Global Swimming Summit include: Gerry Rodrigues, Lesley Paterson, Gary Hall Sr., Mike Collins, Brad Kearns, Alex Kostich, Glenn Mills, Karlyn Pipes, Tyler Fenwick, Kevin Rindal, Kristian Manietta and Steph Saullo.

External links[edit]