Carie O’Banion

Hometown and Current residence: I was born in San Francisco, CA, and currently live in Rogers, Ar.  In between, I lived in Washington DC., Knoxville, TN, Birmingham, AL, St. Louis, MO, Indianapolis, IN, Houston, TX, and Omaha, NE.

Family and Occupation:  Have been married to my husband, Dan, for almost 35 years. We have two awesome children, Shawn and Katie, and a wonderful daughter-in-law, Emily.  I just retired after twenty years as a school library media specialist.

Swimming background: My mom put us all on summer swim team to get us out of her hair.  I was 6 at the time, and I quickly started swimming year-round (AAU at that time).  I swam through high school, and then 1 year of college at a Division III school (DePauw University).  After college I swam on my own off and on until I discovered a masters team at Univ of Nebraska, Omaha in about 1996.  Thought I would hate it, but LOVED it!  Most of my great friends have come through swimming or other sports.

Favorite event/race: I was always a sprinter (50/100 Fly and Free), but I’ve been branching out and doing some long distance events recently.  I actually kind of like it.

Swimming hero:  Mark Spitz was my hero as a kid, and Jason Lezak more recently.  I got to meet him in 2008 while volunteering at the Olympic Swim Trials, and I hate to admit it, but I didn’t know who he was at the time!

Swimming goals:  My current goal is to swim a 200 fly at a meet, but I also want to be swimming and competing until I’m old(er) and gray(er).

Advice to new masters swimmers: Swim with others!  You will work harder and learn from them.  Plus, it’s just more fun.

Hobbies:  Reading, cycling, rug hooking (yes, I’m a hooker), and traveling.  My biggest adventure was walking the Camino de Santiago across Spain last fall.

Do you participate in other sports? I’ve done a few triathlon, and I ride with Girls Bike Bentonville.

Where do you currently swim?  Bentonville Community Center, and Melvin Ford Aquatic Center in the summer.

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