My Name Is... Suzy Cotton

Longtime swim coach and record holder


I’m 60 years old and I live in Centennial. However, I worked for the Highlands Ranch Community Association from 1997 until May of this year. So I do call that my second home.

In my 24 years working with HRCA, I was a head swim coach, aquatic Red Cross CPR and first aid trainer, a swim instructor and a lifeguard. I was laid off in May due to COVID-19 but I’m now employed as a swim coach for Highlands Ranch Aquatics; it is a club swim team located in Highlands Ranch.

I really enjoyed coaching and teaching young swimmers how to swim. Watching them progress from floating into actual stroking is just a joy in itself.

A longtime swimmer

I grew up in Colorado Springs in a swim family. I started swimming competitively at the age of 7 and continued through high school and two years of college.

I then took 35 years off of swimming to raise my daughter and pursue other activities.

At the age of 49 I dove back in the water and my body remembered how to swim fast again.

I currently have seven events where I placed in the top 10 in the nation in my age group. I was first in the 200-yard backstroke and second in the 200-yard freestyle in my age group this year. I also placed fifth in the world in the 200-meter backstroke for the short course season in 2019. 

I really believe it’s never too late to get back in the water.

My home

Highlands Ranch has been my home, from raising my daughter, to seeing me through marriage, divorce, death, alcoholism and winning in the world championship swim meet in Montreal. I was the only Highlands Ranch employee Master swimmer that has ever participated in such a high level.

I have loved watching the trees grow. When I first started working at Eastridge in 1997 the trees we’re so small. Now they are glorious and full of life and stories.

I don’t think people know how much they mean to me. Working at all for rec centers over almost a quarter of a century I have made many lifelong friends that I cherish dearly.

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