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At 80, Pahrump’s Cathy Behrens eyes her 6th Nevada Senior Games swim title

What was once a hobby has turned into an annual event for success and achievements for Pahrump’s Cathy Behrens.

Behrens, 80, grew up in Euclid, Ohio, just northeast of Cleveland, and lived there for nearly 45 years of her life before moving to the Las Vegas valley in 1988.

Growing up, Behrens had always enjoyed swimming. She started swimming at the age of five. She was always good at it and she would teach swimming lessons to people at the local YMCA.

However, she never entered any swimming competitions or swim leagues.

That all changed when Behrens joined her company’s corporate challenge team and competed in the swimming competition.

“It’s something I do well, have fun at and enjoy,” Behrens said of swimming. “I’m the happiest in water.”

After competing in the corporate challenge, Behrens decided that she wanted to race competitively.

In October 2017, Behrens entered into her first-ever Nevada Senior Games event. Her main event is the 50-yard freestyle race.

She won the event in 1:03:69. At the time, Behrens was racing in the 75-79 year-old age group.

Behrens has competed in the Nevada Senior Games swimming competitions every year since 2017 with the exception of 2020 due to the coronavirus.

Behrens’ 2017 event time was the fastest she has recorded at the senior games in her five years participating.

The competitions are separated into different age groups with 5-year windows.

Behrens now participates in the 80-84 year-old age group.

She has taken home first place in every state level race that she has entered, in two different age brackets.

Behrens’ most recent win was this past October.

“I knew I won,” Behrens said. “When I finished the race, the score wasn’t up yet. In the excitement, I got out of the water and a couple of people walked up to me saying, ‘Cathy, you did great!’ I didn’t look back at the board.”

Behrens wound up winning her 50-yard race with a time of 1:10.28.

For winning her event, Behrens has competed in the Nevada Senior Games swimming competitions every year since 2017 with the exception of 2020 due to the coronavirus. has qualified for the 2023 National Senior Games in Pittsburgh.

The competitions begin on Friday, July 7 and they’ll finish on Tuesday, July 18.

The swimming competitions will begin on Friday, July 14 and will conclude on Monday, July 17.

As of right now, Behrens isn’t quite sure if she’s going to compete in the national competition, but she still has a little bit of time to make her final decision.

Behrens plans to compete in the state competition again when it comes around in October. The event takes place at the Pavilion Center Pool in Las Vegas.

Contact sports writer/editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com. Follow @the_dannysmyth on Twitter.

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