The Post-Journal

Young Sets 6 Records

97-Year-Old Jamestown Woman Makes History In Pittsburgh

Judy Young.
Judy Young, 97, of Jamestown set six age-group records at the 2023 National Senior Games in Pittsburgh this weekend. Submitted photo.

The group text started last Friday morning, continued on Saturday and extended into Sunday.

The nine people involved — all supporters of Judy Young — were anxious to get information and show their support for the Jamestown swimmer who was competing in the National Senior Games in Pittsburgh.

Among the responses were:

“OMG, fantastic!!!!!!”

“Way to go Judy!!! YAY!”


“Woo hoo!! Crushing it!!! Congratulations.”

Then Bill Rollinger, the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Famer and one of the finest swim coaches this area has ever known, chimed in.

“Keep swimming fast, swimming straight and be happy with your results,” he wrote.

Young, 97, did as directed.

All the way into the record books.

By the time her weekend at the Trees Hall Aquatic Complex at the University of Pittsburgh was complete, Young had placed first in all six events she entered in the 95-99 age group. Incredibly, all six races — the 50-yard freestyle, the 100-yard freestyle, the 200-yard freestyle, the 50-yard backstroke, the 100-yard backstroke and the 200 backstroke — were age-group national records.

Following are the events Young swam, the times she posted and the times that she broke:

¯ 50 freestyle: 1:17.0, Young’s time; 1:24.0, former record

¯ 100 freestyle: 2:44.0, Young’s time; 3:22.0, former record

¯ 200 freestyle: 6:28.48, Young’s time; 6:52.0, former record

¯ 50 backstroke: 1:28.0, Young’s time; 1:34.0, former record

¯ 100 backstroke: 3:02.0, Young’s time; 3:28.0, former record

¯ 200 backstroke: 6:22.37, Young’s time; 6:53.0, former record

And all those accomplishments came AFTER she was awarded the Humana Game Changer, a national award for outstanding athletes who, according to Julie Mascari, the Medicare president at Humana in New York, “exemplify active aging and provide encouragement, motivation and inspiration for people of all ages to pursue lifelong health.”

To put that honor into further perspective, Young was one of only 28 to be selected for that special honor. Although she quickly deflects any credit for her success in the pool, she has always admitted that she enjoys the competition.

A native of the New York City borough of Queens, Young moved to Jamestown with her family in 1961, but didn’t begin swimming competitively until joining the YMCA Masters team in 1987. Thirty-six years later, she’s still going strong.

Young wasn’t the only area resident to shine in the Steel City over the weekend as her YMCA Masters teammate Karen Williams, 62, competed in six events in the women’s 60-64 age group.

Following are the swimming events Williams participated in and where she placed:

¯ 50 breaststroke: 46:50, ninth place

¯ 50 backstroke: 43:55, 13th place

¯ 50 butterfly: 40.03, 10th place

¯ 50 freestyle: 33.29, 12th place

¯ 100 freestyle: 1:17.0, 13th place

¯ 100 individual medley: 1:31.0, 17th place

It was a special weekend all the way around for Young and Williams, and another area resident, Jamestown’s Cheryl Burns, will compete today in the team triathlon where she is doing the swimming leg. Burns, a veteran of triathlons, is the only Chautauqua County participant on that team.

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.