Local Team: Oregon Reign Masters
Occupation: Mechanical Engineer/Product Manager at Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES)
Submitted by Arlene Delmage
Megan is a relative newcomer to Oregon Swimming but she is certainly not new to swimming. With five Top Ten swims in 2017 this distance swimmer can definitely hold her own. For those of us fortunate enough to work out with Megan we see first-hand how hard she works in every practice and we are all the better for it. I personally tried to keep up with her in a 1500 SCM race in Hood River and was dropped like a hot potato around the 800 meter mark!
Megan grew up in Orlando, Florida, where she attended Lake Mary High School. When she was eight years old she started swimming with Patriot Aquatics in Florida. She continued to swim age group and high school through her junior year. She did not swim her senior year because she was taking a Differential Equations class at the local community college which meant that she would miss too many practices and most swim meets.
After graduating from high school in 2003 she attended University of Central Florida where she received her undergraduate degree in 2006 and her Master’s degree in 2008. She swam on her own from time to time after college but did not join a Masters team until she moved to Atlanta to work for IES. She says “In Florida it’s pretty easy to find a pool to swim some laps. In Atlanta many of the pools close for the winter so I joined a Masters team to have good pool access. I was very lucky to have found Swim Atlanta and spent 2.5 years training with them at Georgia Tech in the pool from the 1996 Olympics! About 2 months after I joined Masters with Swim Atlanta my coach encouraged me to race. It was kind of a disaster – I learned how much work my mom had done to prepare for age group meets when I suddenly realized I didn’t know how many towels to pack! I forgot about bringing snacks as well but was too nervous to eat anyway. Race days are much easier for me now ”
In March 2017 Megan moved to Portland, Oregon, to accept a promotion to Product Manager with IES. She also teaches “Energy Efficiency in Buildings” in the engineering college at the University of Portland as an Adjunct Instructor. Says Megan, “I love it here & have no plans to leave! My Masters team in Atlanta was really incredible, so I was pretty nervous to leave them behind last year. I have gratitude beyond words for the amazing swim family that’s adopted me in Oregon.”
The same coach that encouraged Megan to race again encouraged her to try Open Water. Swim Across America hosts an event in Atlanta every year, so Megan raced a 5K with them and learned about the unique challenges of open water swimming! “I love racing open water and am very much looking forward to the Swim Vacation series in Oregon this July. One of my Swim Atlanta teammates, Stephanie Lemmons, is flying out for the week to join me and the other competitors (she’s in a different age group than me, so it’s okay 😉 ). We’re pretty excited.”
When Megan is not swimming she is working, authoring technical publications, and volunteering with ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers), a global professional association seeking to promote engineering to students. She organizes leadership events for young engineers around the world, and leads many activities with Girl Scout troops. Her volunteer efforts with ASHRAE have taken her to Argentina, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, and all over North America.
Her Oregon coach Dennis Baker has nicknamed her “Raspberry” because she has a garden big enough to feed a small army. She earned this nickname by bringing so many fresh-picked raspberries from the garden to practice last year to share. When everybody else was swimming Dennis ate most of them!
Her Father moved to Portland with her while her mother and youngest sister are still in Orlando. Megan has another younger sister and a nephew who both live in Paris, France.