May 8, 2018
Swimming World Presents “Up & Comers: Mena Boardman”
Many talented swimmers get their start at an early age, and Mena Boardman of Portland Aquatic Club is no exception. Boardman first began learning to swim as an infant at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., before beginning competitive swimming at the age of 6 in Vietnam.
The young Boardman started turning heads by winning her races at the “ISB Splash,” considered to be one of the largest regional meets in Southeast Asia—at the age of 8!
In each meet that Boardman swims, she continues to improve and excel. This past February at the 10-and- Under Championships in Tualatin Hills (Oregon), Boardman finished among the top three in all of her events and became the fastest 9-year- old in the 50 yard free in Oregon since 2000 with a 28.75. Additionally, she won the 50 fly and collected silver medals in the 100 fly and 100 IM. She also turned in an eight-second time drop with her third-place finish in the 100 free (1:10).
Portland Aquatic Club coach Tom McLaughlin told Swimming World, “Mena shows little effort in moving through the water, and she has excellent technique,” emphasizing how she continues to succeed in each race she enters.
Athleticism comes naturally to Mena, as both her aunt and grandfather played NCAA Division I basketball. Her grandfather played for Harvard in the early 1970s, while her aunt, Lani Silversides, was a standout player for the University of Vermont from 2001-05.
Outside of the pool, Boardman has many interests, including going to the beach, cliff jumping, playing basketball and painting. In addition to living in Vietnam for three years, Boardman has traveled to 16 countries (so far) in Africa and Asia—and she’s only 9 years old! She says her favorites are Kenya and Laos. (In fact, the accompanying photo of Mena was taken in Kenya!)
To learn more about the Class of 2018 ISHOF inductees, check out the May 2018 issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!
Photo Courtsey Boardman Family