View Full Version : shortest swimmers out there

August 20th, 2003, 01:04 AM
So, how many of you don't fit the sterotype, over 6 foot if you are a guy or 5'"8 if you are a gal. I'm only 5'4", so how many of us are there out there?

August 20th, 2003, 08:05 AM
I'm a 5'9" guy. And I stopped growing years ago! (Vertically at least.)

August 20th, 2003, 08:31 AM
I am 5'8" and 200ilbs and have no problems.

Fritz Lehman
August 20th, 2003, 10:16 AM
I'll go out on a limb and say most of us don't fit. I'm under 6 and don't give it a second thought.

August 20th, 2003, 11:38 AM
I'm 5'3" and don't have full range of motion in either arm due to an accident that turned both arms, at the elbows, into 'a pecan that had been smashed with a hammer' (thats the way the doc described the break to me) My stroke is even shorter than what it normally would be, BUT, I don't allow myself to think what might be if... thats just waisted energy and I'd rather use that energy to become better with the abilities I have now.

So would anyone care to estimate what a good stroke count might be for me? When I read posts on stroke count I always wonder what might be a reasonable goal for me..

August 20th, 2003, 10:06 PM
So what is the typical sterotype of a swimmer.

I am 5'2" with my deck shoes on.
I try to hold my own and I would never use my size as an excuse.

You can be just a efficient in the water.

Size doesn't matter in swimming.

Phil Arcuni
August 20th, 2003, 10:44 PM
There is no doubt that being taller helps make faster swimmers. If you doubt it, just look at the average height of the male swimmers in the 50 or 100 or 200 meters freestyle at the latest world championships. To assert otherwise is foolish.

This is not to say that shorter swimmers can't be faster than taller swimmers, just that being taller helps. Nor is it an issue that deserves much thought.

For the record I am 6' in the morning, maybe. I get beat by shorter swimmers and taller swimmers, and sometimes beat shorter swimmers and sometimes beat taller swimmers. I rarely, however, win against the really fast swimmers. :(

September 3rd, 2003, 04:37 PM
I dont fit the stereo type, im only 5'5 130 lbs

Sam Perry
September 3rd, 2003, 05:04 PM
I fit the stereotype, 6' 2" 180 lbs. I get beat by MANY people shorter and heavier than myself, so that tells me I need to shrink and gain some weight!!! :D

September 3rd, 2003, 05:11 PM
I have had the pleasure of beating and being beaten by Sam and never thought about his height and weight. I didn't even realize he was 2+ inches taller than me! Next time maybe you'll give me a headstart?

Sam Perry
September 3rd, 2003, 07:35 PM

I thought you already had a 10 year head start on me! Isn't that enough???

BTW Congrats at Nats this summer you swam awesome!!

September 12th, 2003, 07:13 PM
big feet help too,act like flippers

September 13th, 2003, 04:27 PM
MALE 5'-7" 175#

September 14th, 2003, 12:00 AM
My best friend is 5'4" tall, 34 years old, been swimming since 6 years old, holds a number of our master's team records, and is able to qualify for out national team in several events.
She swims 1500 free in 19 minutes... She did the postal 5K in 1:11:44
She did LaYolla rough water gator run (3 miles) in 1:12 (I think, or 1:14) swimming through some major kelp patches.

Her specialty is 200 and 400 IM.

In practice, she laps most 6'+ guys, except for 3-4 best ones.

Did I mention she's my hero? :)

September 14th, 2003, 05:07 PM
I'm only 5'3". I was even shorter during my peak competitive time, and did very well.

Michael Heather
September 24th, 2003, 12:47 AM
I'm 4'6" and weigh 234 lbs. I float llike a cork, but my arms don't reach the water. Help!

September 25th, 2003, 01:33 AM
At least you float and don't sink. I'm a floater myself. On the heavyside but not 234 and only 5'4" my strokes are high.

October 5th, 2003, 09:39 PM
I'm 5 foot 2 inches and I never really let it get me down when I'm swimming. It was really a rush for me to get up on the blocks as the shortest and then to kick some butt and beat everyone!! :D

November 24th, 2003, 08:38 PM
One of my first coaches told me that "water was the great equalizer" and reminded me that "great things come in small packages like diamonds and dynamite."
5'1" and I still prefer LC meters.:D

November 24th, 2003, 11:50 PM

Oh my God, are you allright???? When I saw you recently you were taller than 4'6" weren't you?

Michael Heather
November 25th, 2003, 01:20 AM
I did stretching excercises and got better.

January 6th, 2004, 08:59 AM
first of all, michael, I don't believe you.

second of all, I was most emotionally scared over my height during rowing in college. everyone around me was a giant! Back then my rowing coach convinced me that I was 5'6. So, for all those years I felt better about it. Then, just a couple of years ago, my husband measured me--sure enough I'm only 5'4.5.

My coach had lied to me for a confidence booster.

So, yes, I'm short...but wear high heels alot.

Michael Heather
January 6th, 2004, 09:37 AM
In this instancce, I'm glad you are going with your first impression. Anyway, I already reported that I got better. It is no cakewalk to be tall, either. The world is engineered for (and maybe by) the average height person, whoever he is. Imagine trying to stuff Shaquille O'Neal into a Renault Dauphine.

January 6th, 2004, 10:17 AM
Jerrycat, I'm only 5'3".75 (lol) and I very seldom wear heels (even though I 'dress for success' at work). When I tell people how tall I am I usually get, something like, No, you aren't THAT SHORT! I think its because I square my shoulders, walk tall/confident.

January 6th, 2004, 04:52 PM
Well, the coolest people in the Lord of the Rings are hobbits. Being around 4"0 like them does make it interesting. Image a swim team of hobbits.

January 6th, 2004, 05:01 PM
And as I remember seeing they have little rafts for feet, no problem in the kicking sets. They bring their own fins.....

January 7th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean...in fact, my career has been primed by working with very astute businessmen. I had to stand strong to survive, let alone be an equal! Lately, I've found myself rethinking the heels...square shoulders, plus a fierce attitude--no need for the extra few inches.


January 7th, 2004, 11:40 PM
Michael is actually twice as tall as Mel Goldstein:D The 234 pounds and floating like a cork is pretty correct.

There are sure a lot of great masters swimmers who are short people.

Mel, Nancy, many many under 5'4".

I love breaststroke because it is the one stroke where size matters least. The animal heats can have short men and women, tall, all body types (skinny, large, jumbo).

January 8th, 2004, 12:58 AM
Well, with breast there are different sizes. Anyway, Tara Kirk is only 5'6" and Kristy Kowal over 6'0". Also, breaststrokers along with some sprint flyers tend to be more heavier built than either freestylers or backstrokers. In my youth I was best at breast and fly. Now, mainly breast.

January 8th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Okay I think I've got most of the women & men out there beat...I'm 4' 9 3/4", and will probably shrink in the golden years still to come.

My times are still improving and I definitely get to reel in the taller people on the 400IM after butterfly. But I have also known twins at 4' 11" who swam in college their 100 yd br times were a 1:10 the other a 1:07 both PR's and awesome times, but hmmmm 3 seconds difference and they're twins, and I also watched them beat others who were taller!

Beware of the short people! We rock!...and have plenty of space on airplanes!


Michael Heather
January 9th, 2004, 12:55 AM
You little fellows have the big advantage of the mysterious "leverage" effect. It is really easy to get your short stubby arms and legs spinning around real fast, and since the joints are so close together, you use exponentially less energy to move along in the water! It is a wonder that more world records are not held by midgets.

January 30th, 2004, 04:55 PM
Im a 55 guy.

old dog
January 30th, 2004, 11:32 PM
Ever noticed that when treading water in the deep end we all see
eye to eye? ;)

February 3rd, 2004, 01:07 PM
I see no difference in being tall or short. If you work as hard as you can, you will be the best of the best. Doesn't matter wether your tall, short, light, or heavy. It all matters if you put forth effort!

5'2, 145lbs

February 3rd, 2004, 02:46 PM
It doesn't so much in masters but elite swimming-olympic swimming it does. Only one woman on the national team is 5'4" amd several of them are 5'9" plus. Only two men are at 5'10" and 1/2 and several are 6'4" and above. Even its been mention that Mark Spitz were around today,he probably would have been a top flyer rather than a top freestyler since most male freestylers in the 100 and 200 meter are 6'5" plus.

February 13th, 2004, 04:29 PM
I fit the sterotype (I'm 5'10" and female, and I have big feet women's size 11, men's 9 1/2) but I think that if I were to swim in a meet I would get my butt kicked, by swimmers shorter and taller than me.

February 21st, 2004, 07:33 AM
I'm a whopping 5'0" tall if I stand up really straight. Really about 4'11 3/4".

I however do this to better myself and have something to improve, so my height doesn't really bother me when it comes to swimming.

December 6th, 2008, 10:55 PM
LOL i fit the stereotype i didn't even know there was one out there that more swimmers were above 6 feet tho most people on high school team are 5'11''- 6'7'' (the one guy is really big) and I'm 6'3'' but i don't think you can be short and still be able to swim as fast as most people who are tall unless your wing span is like 70 inches or more and your legs are really strong. Because i went to states this year along with everyone who was tall on the team and we came in first overall and their wasn't many short kids out there sadly.

December 7th, 2008, 06:09 PM
It doesn't so much in masters but elite swimming-olympic swimming it does. Only one woman on the national team is 5'4" amd several of them are 5'9" plus. Only two men are at 5'10" and 1/2 and several are 6'4" and above. Even its been mention that Mark Spitz were around today,he probably would have been a top flyer rather than a top freestyler since most male freestylers in the 100 and 200 meter are 6'5" plus.

Neither Eric Vendt or Gil Stovall are that tall. Eric Vendt especially has apparently grown several inches in the last few years. :cool:

And Masayuki Kishida is sub 6 feet, he swam sprint fly and freestyle (19.2,43.3 in free and 45.4 in fly at SC Nationals) for Japan in Beijing. Tomomi Morita, Kosuke Kitajima, and Kohei Kawamoto are 3 other shorter Japanese swimmers.

Both Dominik Meichtry and Jean Basson are under or right at six feet.

Also worth noting, according to Dave Cromwell Ian Crocker only has size 11 feet. Though I think he's six five.

Basically, being tall helps, but it isn't so cut and dry in the water.

EDIT: And Riaan Schoeman who swims for South Africa (400 IM) is like 5' 7".

December 9th, 2008, 06:00 PM
I am 5'1" and 95 lbs. No wonder I am such a terrible swimmer...

December 11th, 2008, 02:30 AM
I just noticed that the last post before Greg's was almost five years older.

I found a picture from the Indy Firecracker meet back in 2003. The lady on the left is Nadine, one of the fastest Master's swimmers around. The lady on the right was a post-college swimmer going for some Olympic trial qualifying times. They were both standing on the same level ground, no tricks involved. Just goes to show that there are fast swimmers of all sizes.

February 18th, 2009, 06:24 PM
I'm 6'1"175lbs.

I'd gladly give up an inch or two for increased flexibility, esp in my ankles and knees...

February 19th, 2009, 10:02 AM
I am 5'5" but come from an athletic family so it hasn't hindered me in most sports...and I find swimming to be the most level playing field at my level.

My father is 5'10 and my son is destined to remain sub 6'. I call my son a little "powerhouse" because he's so compact and solid...he's got faster event times than a lot of the taller boys in his age group and I attribute it to his detail oriented personality. He really focuses on his form and improving his efficiency in the water.

His only real issue is the coach's inability to nurture any swimmer other than those with the "typical swimmer" biological assets. So, he's kind of in it for himself right now.

When he feels "small" compared to others his age, I remind him that his height isn't a barrier...just another of life's obstacles that will make him stronger in the long run.

April 9th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I'm 5ft 3 inches and 110 pounds, but I hold my own in the pool!

April 10th, 2009, 09:36 AM
I am 5'5'' and weigh 115. I get beat all the time by people who are smaller/bigger/older/and younger than me. I think sucess is determined by stroke quality and physical conditioning. :anim_coffee:

April 10th, 2009, 12:11 PM
I'm 5ft 3 inches and 110 pounds, but I hold my own in the pool!
Good for you! -Ive seem six footers plus-with every physical assett possible-but without training ,a good coach, intent and a big heart fail miserably.:cheerleader:

April 15th, 2009, 07:53 AM
I am 5'4.5" and I love distance but I think I'm a sprinter! I think I was supposed to be shorter (my mom is 5'1" on a good day) but swimming probably lengthened me out a bit :) Sure, taller swimmers say they get to the wall quicker but that just means I can swim longer to get faster.:)

April 15th, 2009, 09:18 AM
510" 185lbs

May 31st, 2009, 01:29 AM
For shorter people I guess they'll need more strokes per length. What height would 20 spl be reasonable?

January 18th, 2012, 10:04 PM
I am a 5'0" and 108lb girl and I only compete against guys, but I still win! My favorite thing about swimming is getting out of the pool and hearing my opponents whisper "I just got beat by that little girl."

May 11th, 2012, 04:56 PM
I am 5'8" and currently 156 but usually around 162. It has definitely had a considerable impact on my career as a swimmer.