Club chair Jessica has been a Spencer member since 2002, when she moved to the UK from Texas and decided to locate herself in South London so as to be close to the club. She was attracted by the reference to world records on the Spencer website, and also to a photo of Dave Mace surrounded by wine bottles….
Fly has always been Jessica’s speciality. She was already swimming fly pretty well by the age of 7, and on the back of that was invited to join the local swim team. She went on to swim competitively until she was 16, and then again at university for two years. The gruelling training in those later years burned her out, and she did not start swimming seriously again until her early 30s when she joined her local masters team in Dallas. She has been swimming competitively ever since. She has travelled widely to compete, including Dunkirk, Cologne, Ljubljana, Cadiz, Edmonton, San Francisco, Stockholm and Lanzarote, not to mention Sheffield! Her current target is a top 10 in the 200 fly at the World Championships in 2019.
Jessica can also be persuaded into open water, and remembers the 5k at the European championships in Lake Bled as her most scenic swim ever. She is also a very popular stand-in coach, setting tough but thoughtful sets based on her experiences in the US.
Jessica is proud of being part of two world record holding relay teams, but also has a good stock of funny moments with Spencer. Such as being unable to get her Ian Thorpe style body suit on before a 1500 race (Grace finally managing to zip her up while she was on the starting block) and, after swallowing gallons of seawater during a 3k swim at Eastbourne, running across a full hotel dining room still in her swimsuit, asking rather insistently for the loo…
Jessica’s love for swimming and the club in obvious. “Spencer has meant and continues to mean a great deal to me. It’s been my touchstone during tough personal times and my joy from the friends I’ve made.”