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Gaile Harden, USMS Swimmer Awarded for Making Age Group Top Ten

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

Prescott – Gaile Harden, USMS (United States Master Swim) swimmer was awarded for making the Top Ten in her 80-84 age group. Gaile won the award for the short course yards swimming the 1,000-yard freestyle in February this year. Last year Gaile placed in the top ten in the 50, 100, & 200 Backstroke and 50, 100 & 200 Breaststroke. Her husband Paul of 62 years coaches her at meets, keeping her focused, encouraged, and warm.

Gaile started swimming at age 54 to help with a back injury and has been swimming at YMCAs since then. She swam at the Littleton, CO YMCA, then the Glendale-Peoria YMCA before moving to Prescott, where Gaile and Paul have been YMCA members for 20 years. Gaile credits swimming at the YMCA for her continued healing. In addition to swimming 3 to 4 days a week, Gaile also does light weights, Pilates 3 days a week, and walks all contributing to continued healing and improved health.

While the pool was closed due to COVID-19, Gaile was creative in working out using pulleys to simulate the freestyle stroke. “I was so thrilled when the Y opened their pool so I could get back to my workout,” she said. Denise Dalke-Heridia, Membership staff said, “Gaile always comes in with a smile and eager to get in the pool to her favorite lane.” Gaile is eager for the pool to open more and said “After swimming the reserved 50 minutes, I wish I could swim longer as I’m concentrating on bettering my distance swimming.”

Gaile is a retired teacher and volunteered to teach swim lessons in Colorado. When Gaile is not training for her next meet you will find her playing the electric keyboard & guitar and writing children’s stories. The Prescott YMCA is blessed to have Gaile as part of the Y Family.

For more information about the James Family Prescott YMCA aquatics and their mission, visit or contact Austin Olsen, Aquatics Coordinator at 928-445-7221 or

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