Local City: Coos Bay
Local Team: COMA, Bend
Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
Jayna grew up in Redmond, WA, where she began swimming competitively for Bellevue Eastside Swim Team when she was 6. During her very first swim meet, she jumped in the pool instead of using the blocks, swam half-way, stopped and climbed out of the pool and cried. Being an extremely shy, quiet kid, her mom & dad coaxed her into doing it again and again. She has been swimming ever since!
Jayna swam competitively attending all the regional meets and YMCA nationals. It wasn’t until she qualified for Junior Nationals as a freshman in High School that she realized she may have some speed. She recalls her dad laying out all the options and what it would take to reach each level. At that point, it was her goal to attend a Division I school and she attended Washington State University from 1990 to 1994.
What Jayna learned through her swimming career (and parents) about motivation, determination, dedication, drive, goals, and perseverance, she believes saved her life. After college, she hung up her goggles, started a family, and found herself fighting for her life while pregnant with her daughter. Following multiple surgeries and once being told her baby would not survive, she gave birth to Mareyna Karlin. She is the love of her life. Mareyna, now 20, attends University of Idaho studying Animal Science and is a pole vaulter. Mareyna had open heart surgery this past December and competed in her first meet just three months after surgery. Jayna believes that swimming, sports, and faith, teach fundamental skills for living a successful, happy, fulfilling life. She is so proud of her daughter.
At age 35, Jayna began swimming again at Mingus Pool in Coos Bay, where she met the most wonderful people and her closest friends (too many to name). The pool is a spiritual, healing, and place to go to release all tension, while striving to reach new goals. When she heard that the 2008 spring nationals the next May were going to be at the University of Texas, it was meant to be. That was the same pool where she attended her first Junior Nationals. She traveled by herself and just happened to be taken under the wings of two of the greatest, huge-hearted people, Tom Landis and George Thayer.
Since that time, Jayna holds 7 SCY, 3 SCM, 8 LCM Oregon records; 7 NW Zone; and, 4 Long Distance Records. Last year, she swam times leading to 7 SCY & 8 LCM times on the Top 10 USMS lists in the 40-44 age group. In addition, she made the FINA World Top 10 lists in the following categories, respectively; 800 Free- 7th, 50 Breast- 9th, 100 Breast- 6th, and 200 Breast- 6th.
One of Jayna’s goals is to be an inspiration to others and to support others to reach their goals. That brings her the greatest joy. She hopes to swim the rest of her life. She also enjoys sewing and cycling. She believes she is never fast enough. After all, that is what keeps her going.