Mary Mohler

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Mary Mohler
Mary Mohler 2009.jpg
Mohler in 2009
Personal information
Birth nameMary Elizabeth DeScenza
Full nameMary Elizabeth Mohler
National team United States
Born (1984-09-17) September 17, 1984 (age 36)
Middlesex, New Jersey
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
StrokesButterfly, backstroke, freestyle
ClubAthens Bulldog Swim Club
College teamUniversity of Georgia
CoachJack Bauerle

Mary Elizabeth Mohler (née DeScenza, born September 17, 1984) is an American former competition swimmer and former world record-holder in the Women's 200-meter butterfly (long course).

Pre-college career[edit]

Mohler showed promise from an early age. Swimming for the Academy Bullets Swim Club, she set several team records, some lasting over a decade.[6] In high school, 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.[7]

Mohler swam the butterfly leg of the 4x100 medley relay in the 2001 World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, winning her first international medal, a silver. She had finished fourth in the individual final.

Collegiate career[edit]

Mohler attended the University of Georgia, earning seven All-American certificates. She was a four-time NCAA champion in the 200 yard butterfly from 2003–2006 - only the second time a swimmer had done so, behind Mary T. Meagher.

In 2003, Mohler won another relay silver at the 2003 World Aquatics Championships, and followed it up with three more relay medals at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships, including her first gold medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay.

In 2005, she won an NCAA title with the UGA swimming and diving team. That year, she participated on four of the five winning relays and won two of her individual events, the 100 and 200 yard Butterfly. 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 won the 2005–06 Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year.[8][9]

In 2019, Mohler was inducted into the University of Georgia's Circle of Honor, the highest honor for UGA student-athletes.[10]

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 Olympic Trials[edit]

In 2004, Mohler qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, but did not make the team, coming in fourth in the 200m butterfly with a time of 2:10.89. This was an upset, as she was the reigning NCAA champion in the 200 butterfly, and had qualified for three US world championship teams before. [11] She also finished 7th in the 100 meter butterfly.[12]

Professional career[edit]

A year before graduating from UGA, Mohler signed with major swimsuit brand TYR. [13]

Mohler was motivated to make the 2008 Olympic Team after narrowly missing the team in 2004, citing her 4th place finish in the 200m fly as a "blessing in disguise" because she was able to focus more of her swimming and train harder by learning from her mistakes.[14] In 2007, she came in second behind Michael Phelps in the 2007-08 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series.[15]

2008 Olympic Trials[edit]

However, in 2008, Mohler again was just short of a spot on the team. In the 200 meter butterfly, she finished fourth again, although improved her time to a 2:09.23. [16] She also finished fourth in the 200 meter backstroke, sixth in the 100 meter butterfly, and 10th in the 100 meter backstroke.[17]

However, at the 2008 U.S. Open Swim meet, Mohler won the 100m and 200m butterfly, setting a meet record in the former, and tied for first in the 200m freestyle with Kristen Heiss. She also set a meet record in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay with the Athens Bulldogs.[18]

2009 US Open & 2009 World Championships[edit]

In the 2009 U.S. Open Swim meet, which also served as the US qualifying meet for the 2009 World Aquatics Championships, Mohler finished 2nd in the 200m fly with a 2:07.13. Because the top two finishers in each event get to swim it individually, this swim qualified Mohler for the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome. She also finished 12th in 200m free, 8th in 100m back, and 4th in 100m fly. [19]

In the preliminaries of the 200m butterfly, Mohler set a world record with a time of 2:04.14. This beat the old world record - set by Chinese swimmer Liu Zige in the 2008 Olympics - by just 0.04 of a second. [20] Despite this outstanding performance, Mohler fell just short of a medal in the finals, finishing fourth with a time of 2:04.41, just 0.13 behind bronze medal winner Katinka Hosszu. The gold medalist, Australian swimmer Jessicah Schipper, broke Mohler's world record with a time of 2:03.41.

Personal life[edit]

Mohler was born into an Italian-American family in Middlesex, New Jersey, and learned to swim at the age of six.[21] Mohler has an older sister, Katie, and a younger sister, Patricia; the latter qualified to swim the 200 m butterfly in the 2004 US Olympic Trials alongside Mary. 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, and graduated from the University of Georgia 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.

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. In addition, her favorite hobbies outside the pool are baking, reading, and shopping.[22]

Currently, Mohler lives with her husband, Charlie, and their four kids, Maggie, Emily, Joey, and John. They married just weeks after she set the world record in the 200m butterfly.[23]

Personal best times[edit]

Mohler's former world-record time of 2:04.14 in the 200m butterfly still stands as the American record today.

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2005 Montreal – Heat results: Women's 4x200 m freestyle Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ 2003 Barcelona – Heat results: Women's 4x100 m medley Archived March 4, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "2005 Montreal – Heat results: Women's 4x100 m medley" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2009.
  4. ^ 2005 Montreal – Heat results: Women's 4x100 m freestyle
  5. ^ 2006 Shanghai – Heat results: Women's 4x100 Medley
  6. ^ "Academy Bullets Swim Club Records". March 23, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  7. ^ "Illinois High School Association Girls Swimming & Diving Individual Champions". IHSA. November 22, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  8. ^ Collegiate Women Sports Awards, Past Honda Sports Award Winners for Swimming & Diving. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  9. ^ "DeScenza Wins Honda Award". Swimming World News. April 6, 2006. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  10. ^ USA Swimming, [1]. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  11. ^ Svrluga, Barry (July 13, 2004). "Olympics: Swim Trials". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  12. ^ "2004 U.S. Olympic swim trials results". USA Today. July 11, 2004. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
  13. ^ "Industry News: Mary DeScenza Signs with TYR Sport Beyond 2008 Olympics". Sports Publication International, Inc. April 18, 2006. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  14. ^ Schaller, Bob (May 23, 2006). "20 Questions with Mary DeScenza". USA Swimming. Archived from the original on February 13, 2007. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  15. ^ "Phelps Secures Toyota Grand Prix Series Top Spot". USA Swimming. March 26, 2009. Archived from the original on July 21, 2006. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  16. ^ "U.S. Olympic Trials: Elaine Breeden Grabs Spot in Beijing With Meet Record 200 Fly". Sports Publications International, Inc. July 3, 2008. Archived from the original on December 29, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  17. ^ Manahan, Kevin (July 1, 2008). "Plainsboro swimmer snags spot in Olympic trials final". The Star Ledger. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
  18. ^ "USA Swimming U.S. Open". Retrieved May 14, 2009.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "2009 US Open Results". US Swimming. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  20. ^ "Descenza Breaks World Record in 200m Butterfly". TYR Sport, Inc. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  21. ^ Manahan, Kevin. "Plainsboro swimmer snags spot in Olympic trials final", NJ Advance Media for, July 1, 2008. Accessed November 27, 2017. "Descenza, born in Middlesex, learned to swim at the local YMCA and competed with the Middlesex Water Rats until her family moved to Chicago when she was 8."
  22. ^ "USA Swimming Biography: Mary DeScenza". USA Swimming. 2009. Archived from the original on April 16, 2013. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  23. ^ Watkins, Mike (April 11, 2019). "Mary Descenza Mohler Celebrates her Life as Wife and Mother". USA Swimming. Retrieved March 22, 2020.

External links[edit]

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

July 29, 2009 – July 30, 2009
Succeeded by
Jessica Schipper