Mary Mohler

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Mary Mohler
Mohler after setting American record in 200 m butterfly at 2008 world championships
Personal information
Full name Mary Elizabeth Mohler
National team  United States
Born (1984-09-17) September 17, 1984 (age 30)
Middlesex, New Jersey
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Sport Swimming
Strokes Butterfly, backstroke, freestyle
Club Athens Bulldog Swim Club
College team University of Georgia
Coach Jack Bauerle

Mary Elizabeth Mohler, née Mary Elizabeth DeScenza (born September 17, 1984) is an American former competition swimmer and former world record-holder.

Personal life[edit]

Mohler was born into an Italian-American family in Middlesex, New Jersey. Her father, Robert DeScenza, works as a structural engineer and her mother, Margaret DeScenza, is a homemaker. She attended Rosary High School in Aurora, Illinois where she was best known for being the Illinois High School Association state champion for the 100 yard Butterfly from 1998 to 2001. During the off season of her high school swim team, Mohler was a member of the Academy Bullets Swim Club based in Aurora, Illinois. She started swimming at the age of 6 and joined the swim club shortly after.[6] Following graduation from high school in 2002, she attended the University of Georgia where she graduated in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Mohler's collegiate swimming career reached its peak as she became a four-time NCAA champion in the 200 butterfly, only the second to do so besides Mary "Madame Butterfly" Meagher, from 2003 to 2006.[7]

During and after her collegiate career, Mohler qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials but failed to make the both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Swim Team. Even though she had two disappointing results from the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, she continues to train for the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics with hopes of making the team. To aid in her efforts towards the 2012 Summer Olympics, Mohler currently competes in the 2008-2009 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series. Currently, she is ranked first in the series and obtaining best times for her Butterfly events.

She has two other siblings who also shared the love for swimming. Mohler has an older sister, Katie, and a younger sister, Patricia. Her younger sister, also qualified in the 200 m butterfly for the 2004 Olympic Swim Trials. Mohler's personality has been described by friends and family as very outgoing and quirky, so she has been known to have the nicknames of "Crazy" and "Crazy Mary." Mohler has a long-haired weiner dog named Speedo. Before swimming, she participated in soccer and softball. Outside of swimming, she likes to relax by laying out on a beach. In addition, her favorite hobbies outside the pool are baking, reading, and shopping. She hopes to one day be a nurse or a veterinarian.[8]

Club swimming career[edit]

After walking past a community pool with her older sister Katie, Mohler fell in love with the sport of swimming. Taking after her older sister, she dedicated herself to longs hours of practice. She was determined to do well and had dreams of making it to the Olympic games some day. Mohler's hard work started to pay off as she distinguished herself from other swimmers with her phenomenal swimming with the Academy Bullets Swim Club before high school and during the high school off season. Her coach Bill Schalz worked with her to better her stroke techniques as she went on to do well at all of the Chicago Area swim invitationals. Currently, her 11/12 year old, 13/14 year old, and Senior Women short course yards and long course meters records at the Academy Bullets Swim Club still stand.[9]

Academy Bullets Swim Club records
Stroke Course Time Year Age Group
50 Butterfly Short Course Yards 26.79 1997 11/12
100 Butterfly Short Course Yards 58.71 1997 11/12
100 Butterfly Short Course Yards 55.25 1998 13/14
200 Butterfly Short Course Yards 2:04.30 1998 13/14
100 Butterfly Short Course Yards 53.11 2002 Senior
200 Butterfly Short Course Yards 1:57.00 2002 Senior
50 Butterfly Long Course Meters 29.82 1997 11/12
100 Butterfly Long Course Meters 1:04.15 1997 11/12
100 Butterfly Long Course Meters 1:01.44 1999 13/14
200 Butterfly Long Course Meters 2:17.53 1999 13/14
100 Butterfly Long Course Meters 59.04 2003 Senior
200 Butterfly Long Course Meters 2:08.38 2003 Senior

High school swimming career[edit]

Her success at the club team level continued as she competed for the Rosary High School Swim Team at the Illinois High School Association State Swim Meet. She graduated with her high school diploma in 2002. Mohler was a two-time state champion in the 200 yard Freestyle, a four-time state champion in the 100 yard Butterfly, and a two-time state champion in the 200 yard Medley Relay. She broke the 100 yard Butterfly IHSA state record during the 2001 state finals with the time of 53.11.[10]

IHSA State Champion
Year Event Time
2000 200 yard Freestyle 1:48.66
2001 200 yard Freestyle 1:48.44
1998 100 yard Butterfly 55.73
1999 100 yard Butterfly 55.34
2000 100 yard Butterfly 53.13
2001 100 yard Butterfly 53.11
1999 200 yard Medley Relay 1:46.37
2000 200 yard Medley Relay 1:47.60

Collegiate career[edit]

Mohler continued her high school success in the pool at the collegiate level. She attended the University of Georgia(UGA) from Fall 2002 through Spring 2007 and was majoring in Biology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. While attending classes, she was a member of the UGA Swimming & Diving Team. She earned seven All-American certificates, and was a four-time NCAA champion in the 200 yard butterfly from 2003-2006. This was only the second time a swimmer had won four NCAA championships in the 200 yard Butterfly, previously accomplished by Mary T. Meagher. In 2005, the UGA Swimming & Diving Team won the NCAA title. That year, she participated on four of the five winning relays and won two of her individual events, the 100 and 200 yard Butterfly.[7] Her records set at UGA still stand for the 100 and 200 yard Butterfly with the times of 51.56 and 1:53.51, respectively. She was the recipient of the 2005–06 Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year.[11]

NCAA swim titles
Year Event Time
2003 200 yard Butterfly 1:53.51
2004 200 meter Butterfly 2:06.02
2004 400 meter Freestyle Relay 3:35.14
2004 400 meter Medley Relay 3:56.00
2005 100 yard Butterfly 52.11
2005 200 yard Butterfly 1:54.19
2005 400 yard Freestyle Relay 3:13.56
2005 800 yard Freestyle Relay 7:01.03
2005 200 yard Medley Relay 1:37.81
2005 400 yard Medley Relay 3:33.89
2006 100 yard Butterfly 51.56
2006 200 yard Butterfly 1:53.78
2006 800 yard Freestyle Relay 7:03.75
2006 200 yard Medley Relay 1:37.24

2004 U.S. Olympic swim trials[edit]

During her collegiate swimming career, Mohler qualified for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials. As the reigning NCAA four-time champion in the 200 meter Butterfly event, it was an upset that DeScenza didn't qualify under this event.[12] She came in fourth, top two make the Olympic team, behind Dana Kirk, Kaitlin Sandeno, and Whitney Myers with the time of 2:10.89.[13] DeScenza's younger sister failed to qualify in the 200 meter Butterfly as well. Other events Mohler failed to qualify in were the 100 meter Freestyle nor the 100 meter Butterfly.

Mary DeScenza's 2004 U.S. Olympic swim trial results
Event Final Time Place
100 meter Freestyle DQ DQ
100 meter Butterfly 59.82 7th
200 meter Butterfly 2:10.89 4th


  • DQ = Disqualified

Swimming career after college[edit]

A year before graduating from the University of Georgia, Mohler signed with major swimsuit brand TYR Sports, Inc.. TYR will be her official swimwear until 2010.[15] Mohler had a smooth transition from swimming as an amateur in college to a professional swimmer. Unlike amateur swimming, she now gets paid to swim, do photo shoots, and hold swim camps. Narrowly missing the 2004 Olympic Swim Team, DeScenza knew that she had to redeem herself. She felt that it was a "blessing in disguise" because she was able to focus more of her swimming and train harder by learning from her mistakes.[16] Mohler continued training in 2007 for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials by competing in the 2007-2008 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series. She came in second in the rankings, behind Michael Phelps by 76 points.[17]

2008 U.S. Olympic swim trials[edit]

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Swim Trials brought disappointment once again. Mohler was just short of a spot on the 2008 Olympic Swim Team. She just missed a spot on the team by coming in fourth place, top two make the team, in the 200 meter Butterfly. Mohler represented the Athens Bulldog Swim Club and came in with the time of 2:09.23. She was out touched by newcomers Elaine Breeden, Kathleen Hersey, and Kim Vandenberg.[18] She has learned from this experience and has put it behind her.[19] Mohler also failed to make it in the 100 meter Butterfly. She finished sixth, top two make the Olympic Team, with the time of 58.72.[20]

2008 U.S. Olympic Swim Trial Results
Event Final Time Place
100 meter Backstroke 1:01.87 10th
100 meter Butterfly 58.72 6th
200 meter Backstroke 2:10.00 4th
200 meter Butterfly 2:09.23 4th


2008 U.S. Open[edit]

At the 2008 U.S. Open Swim meet, Mohler finished 10th in the 100m freestyle, 4th in the 100m backstroke, and 5th in the 200m backstroke. In the 200m Freestyle, she tied for 1st place with Kristen Heiss. In the 100m butterfly, Descenza won 1st place, and broke the U.S. Open meet record. She also won the 200m butterfly, and anchored the Athens Bulldogs' meet champion and meet record setting 4x200m freestyle relay.[22]

Current: 2008-2009 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series[edit]

Currently, she continues to swim for Athens Bulldog Swim Club and coached by Jack Bauerle. She trains by swimming at least 12,000 yards/meters for five hours, six days a week.[8] Her swimming is improving due to putting less pressure on herself and more on enjoying swimming.[23] As of March 5, 2009, Mohler stands firmly in first place on the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series with 104 points. She is 47 points ahead of Olympian Ryan Lochte. The Minnesota Grand Prix was held at the University of Minnesota swimming facility on November 14, 2008. The second meet of the series began on January 16, 2009. Mohler started the new year with six gold medals, one silver medal, and an American short course record for the 200 yard Butterfly 1:51.28. The Missouri Grand Prix was held at the University of Missouri swimming facility on February 13, 2009. The Austin Grand Prix was held at the University of Texas at Austin swimming facility on March 5, 2009. There are two remaining swim meets of the series. The Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix will be held at the Mecklenburg County Aquatics Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 14, 2009. The Santa Clara International Grand Prix Swim Meet will be the final swim meet of the USA Swimming Grand Prix Swim Meet Series. It will be held at the pool of the Santa Clara Swim Club in Santa Clara, California on June 11, 2009.[24]

Minnesota Grand Prix events
Event Prelim Time Final Time Place
200 yd Freestyle 1:49.42 1:46.69 1st
100 yd Backstroke 55.78 53.73 1st
200 yd Backstroke 2:01.85 1:56.83 1st
500 yd Freestyle 4:50.55 4:43.20 1st
100 yd Butterfly 54.71 53.52 1st
200 yd Butterfly 2:00.62 1:57.06 1st
Southern California/Long Beach Grand Prix Events
Event Prelim Time Final Time Place
50 yd Freestyle 23.24 22.66 1st
200 yd Freestyle 1:47.50 1:43.93 1st
1000 yd Freestyle 9:47.52 NP 1st
100 yd Backstroke 55.20 53.06 2nd
200 yd Backstroke 1:57.39 1:51.85 1st
100 yd Butterfly 55.16 52.06 1st
200 yd Butterfly 1:57.93 1:51.28 1st
Missouri Grand Prix Events
Event Prelim Time Final Time Place
50 m Freestyle DNS DNS DNS
200 m Freestyle 2:03.07 1:58.25 1st
100 m Backstroke 1:02.40 1:01.46 1st
200 m Backstroke 2:14.83 2:11.06 1st
100 m Butterfly 59.67 58.11 1st
200 m Butterfly 2:11.68 2:07.46 1st
200 m Individual Medley 2:19.12 2:14.40 2nd
Austin Grand Prix Events
Event Prelim Time Final Time Place
200 m Freestyle 1:46.14 2:00.61 3rd
100 m Backstroke 54.07 1:01.88 2nd
200 m Backstroke 1:55.18 2:11.96 3rd
100 m Butterfly 53.00 58.91 1st
200 m Butterfly 1:55.88 2:09.01 1st
200 m Individual Medley 1:58.15 2:15.12 3rd
  • NP=No Prelims
  • DNS=Did Not Swim

Awards and titles[edit]

The following is a list of awards and titles Mohler has received according to TYR Sport Inc. Athlete Biography: Mary DeScenza and USA Swimming Biography: Mary DeScenza.

  • American Record Holder – 200m Butterfly SC
  • 2008 World Champion – 200m Butterfly SC
  • American Record Holder – 200 yard Butterfly
  • 2008 USA Swimming National Kiphuth Award Winner
  • 2008 5-Time U.S. National Champion
  • 2007 Kiphuth Award Winner
  • 2006 Honda Award Winner as the nation's top collegiate female swimmer
  • 2006 U.S. Open Triple Gold Medalist & High Point Champion
  • 2006 American Record Holder – 400 yard Freestyle Relay
  • 28-Time NCAA All-American
  • 2003- 2006 NCAA Champion – 200 yard Butterfly
  • 2001-2006 Six-time National A Team
  • 1999 National Junior Team
  • 2001-2003, 2005 All-Star Team
  • High School National Honors Society
  • 2002 Illinois High School Swimmer of the Year

Personal best times[edit]

Mohler has swum a multitude of events. A table of all of her best times can be found at the USA Swimming website. The most notable best times are for 200 m Butterfly and 100 m Butterfly.

Stroke Course Time Standard Meet Meet Date
50 Butterfly Long Course Meters 27.25 "AA" and "All Times" 2003 World Championships 7/20/2003
50 Butterfly Short Course Meters 26.84 "All Times" 2006 SC World Champs 4/5/2006
100 Butterfly Short Course Meters 57.79 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2004 Women's NCAA Champs 3/18/2004
100 Butterfly Short Course Yards 51.56 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2006 Women's NCAA Champs 3/16/2006
100 Butterfly Long Course Meters 58.11 NRT Missouri Grand Prix 2/13/2009
200 Butterfly Long Course Meters 2:04.14 Summer Nationals (LCM) World Championships 7/29/2009
200 Butterfly Short Course Yards 1:51.28 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2009 So. CA Grand Prix Series 1/16/2009
200 Butterfly Short Course Meters 2:04.27 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2008 SC Worlds 4/9/2008

American swim records held[edit]

Stroke Course Time Meet Meet Date Record
200 Butterfly Short Course Yards 1:51.28 2009 USA Swimming Southern California Grand Prix 1/16/2009 American Record
U.S. Open Record
200 Butterfly Long Course Meters 2:04.14 2009 World Championships 7/29/2009 American Record
200 Butterfly Short Course Meters 2:04.27 2008 Short Course Worlds 4/09/2008 American Record

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2005 Montreal - Heat results: Women's 4x200 m freestyle
  2. ^ 2003 Barcelona - Heat results: Women's 4x100 m medley
  3. ^ 2005 Montreal - Heat results: Women's 4x100 m medley
  4. ^ 2005 Montreal - Heat results: Women's 4x100 m freestyle
  5. ^ 2006 Shanghai - Heat results: Women's 4x100 Medley
  6. ^ "USA Swimming Club Profile: Academy Bullets Swim Club". USA Swimming. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  7. ^ "University of Georgia Student Life: Mary DeScenza". University of Georgia. 2005-06-27. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  8. ^ a b "USA Swimming Biography: Mary DeScenza". USA Swimming. 2009-. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. ^ "Academy Bullets Swim Club Records". 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  10. ^ "Illinois High School Association Girls Swimming & Diving Individual Champions". IHSA. 2009-11-22. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  11. ^ Collegiate Women Sports Awards, Past Honda Sports Award Winners for Swimming & Diving. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  12. ^ Svrluga, Barry (2004-07-13). "Olympics: Swim Trials". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Olympic swim trials results". USA Today. 2004-07-11. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  14. ^ Trials results at
  15. ^ "Industry News: Mary DeScenza Signs with TYR Sport Beyond 2008 Olympics". Sports Publication International, Inc. 2006-04-18. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  16. ^ Schaller, Bob (2006-05-23). "20 Questions with Mary DeScenza". USA Swimming. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  17. ^ "Phelps Secures Toyota Grand Prix Series Top Spot". USA Swimming. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  18. ^ "U.S. Olympic Trials: Elaine Breeden Grabs Spot in Beijing With Meet Record 200 Fly". Sports Publications International, Inc. 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  19. ^ "20 Question Tuesday with Mary DeScenza". Swim Network. 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  20. ^ Manahan, Kevin (2008-07-01). "Plainsboro swimmer snags spot in Olympic trials final". The Star Ledger. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  21. ^ Trial results at
  22. ^ "USA Swimming U.S. Open". Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  23. ^ "Mary DeScenza Tells Us What's Different This Year". Swim Network. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2009-04-05. [dead link]
  24. ^ "2008-09 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series". USA Swimming. 2009-03-07. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Liu Zige
Women's 200-meter butterfly
world record-holder (long course)

29 July 2009 – 30 July 2009
Succeeded by
Jessica Schipper