Maria Veen

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I have always had a love of water, even from infancy when I fell into the deep end of the pool & wanted to do it again after my brother fished me out. At the encouragement of a parks & recreation swimming instructor, my parents signed me up on the Birmingham YMCA swim team when I was 10. I barely passed the 200 yard qualification swim, but I made it! I swam with that team through age 18, and swam for my high school team at Bishop Foley Catholic High School in Madison Heights, MI. My first job (not including babysitting) was lifeguarding & teaching children’s swim classes through the Troy Parks & Recreation & at the Birmingham YMCA. I also coached the Y team 8 & under group for 1 year when in college.

During my college years, my focus shifted to my studies, & I drifted away from swimming. Although I swam for fitness over the years, I didn’t reconnect with competition until 2006, when I started to do triathlons. I completed two Olympic Length tris with Team in Training in 2006 & 2007. This brought me around to wanting to compete in swim meets again, and I found MAC via the Michigan Masters website in 2008. I was very excited to join the MAC coaching staff in 2014, which is giving me a chance to learn so much more and to give back to the team that I love.

In addition to the USMS competition, I’ve also completed two Ironman triathlons (Cozumel & Zurich), as well as the 10 mile Kingdom Swim twice & the Mighty Mac swim across the Mackinaw Straights in 2016. The various open water competitions offer a nice balance to the pool meets, and are a great way to enjoy the Michigan summers.

My husband and ultra runner, Gary, and I were married in 2013. We live out in Howell, with 3 cats (Winnie, Lucy & Sheldon), 2 dogs (Pablo and Nigel) and a lizard (Oliver).  I’ve worked in the auto industry for 25 years, and am currently a program manager with Tenneco Automotive Clean Air Division.