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Greensburg's Kuzmkowski logs more than 2,000 miles in pool

| Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

John Kuzmkowski has accomplished something he does not expect to repeat as a member of the U.S. Masters Swimming Go the Distance program at the Greensburg YMCA.

Kuzmkowski, 59, logged 2,215.63 miles in 2013, the most of all participants reported nationwide so far.

In the program, men and women 18 and older report, on an honor system, the distances they swim throughout the year. Results are listed online.

Swim caps, drawstring bags and swimsuits are awarded to swimmers reaching certain milestones.

“I'll never place first again,” Kuzmkowski, of Greensburg, said. “You must be married to the pool to win.

“I decided to push the number so far out, only a bigger (fool) would attempt to go that far.”

Of the 4,077 swimmers reported, Kuzmkowski was one of three logging 1,500 or more miles. Timothy J. Martin, 48, of Caltech Masters in Pasadena, Calif., ranked second (1,691.29).

Kuzmkowski, who swims at least three hours each day, plans to cut his distance this year.

“I'll probably scale back to 1,000-1,500 miles,” said Kuzmkowski, who began by swimming just 200 a decade ago.

Kuzmkowski said Jennifer Prohaska, senior program director at the Greensburg YMCA, has been good at finding him lanes in the pool.

“John is so sweet and has a very outgoing personality,” Prohaska said. “He greets everybody and is there long after they're gone.”

Kuzmkowksi, a roofing contractor, said his wife also has been understanding of his devotion to swimming.

Kuzmkowski's next major goal is to swim the English Channel.

Kuzmkowski (5 hours, 2 minutes and 28 seconds) finished third in the Solo Male Swimmers Wave 2 division at the annual Swim Around Key West event in Florida last June.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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