When Myra Anne Martin was two years of age, her mother, Amy Pulling-Martin taught her how to swim in the bath tub. That early start began Myra Anne’s swimming career as the 12-year-old was able to beat her mother’s record in the Chesterfield Aquatic League (CAL) in the individual medley (IM) with a time of 1:14.02.
“I was overwhelmed with emotion that my daughter broke my record,” said Pulling-Martin. “I never doubted she could do it, she works very hard.”
The record was set in 1982 by Pulling-Martin and stood for 32 years. This mark was the third record Martin beat of her mother’s, also eclipsing her times in the 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke, records set in 1980. Martin also broke a 50 breast stroke record set in 1982 and is also a member of two teams that set relay records at the Chester Recreation Association (CRA).
Myra Anne, a rising eighth-grader at Carver Middle School is one of the top swimmers that the CAL has to offer. Myra Anne’s best event might be the individual medley, which includes a length of four strokes – the butterfly, back, breast and free style. In the CAL, her IM time currently ranks first, along with her 50 breast stroke, while her 50 fly ranks second. The “little mermaid,” as called by her parents, is ranked in the top 16 in nine different events per Virginia Swimming.
“I love swimming,” said Martin. “But it wouldn’t be as fun without my friends.”
Martin started organized swimming at the CRA at 10, then swam for the Chester YMCA, later joining the Poseidon Swim Team in the fall of 2012. In addition to school, the nearly 13-year-old practices five to six days a-week for 90 minutes a day.
Martin’s young cousin, Charleston Oates, five years old, has also taken to the water like a fish.
“We hope she will go onto break Myra Anne’s records,” said Pulling-Martin. “We’ll keep it in the family,” she laughed.
Perhaps one day we’ll be telling the story of the National Junior Honors Society member signing with a college or university – but first, there’s summer swimming season and the eighth grade.