Mary-de Mackie Hand

Class of


Mary-de Mackie Hand, along with DSMHOF Hall of Famer Jenni Franks, dominated Delaware women’s swimming for more than a decade. Hand earned a scholarship to the University of South Carolina, where she was a three-time All-America selection and set school records in three events. Hand qualified for two Olympic Trials, and made it to the AAU Nationals for 10 consecutive years.

Mary-de began swimming at Wilmington Aquatic Club (WAC) when she was four years old. By age 10, Mary-de was among the East Coast’s elite competitive swimmers. Hand owned the nation’s fastest time in the age 11-12 200-yard girls’ freestyle for two years (1970-72). Although her high school (A.I.duPont) had no swimming program, Mary-de competed in AAU regional and national meets and summer swim leagues. Before she left Delaware, Mary-de left a tsunami of broken records in her wake. These include her 1973 Delaware open meet 500-yard freestyle mark for girls (13-14 age group) and the girl’s 1,650-yard freestyle record Hand set at age 16 in the Delaware State Swim Meet. Mary-de won five events in that 1975 meet, a precursor of today’s state high school championships.

At age 15, Mary-de was ranked 11th in the United States and 18th in the world in the girl’s 1,500-meter freestyle. She competed in the 1976 Olympic Trials at age 16. Hand qualified for the 1980 Olympic Trials, but her dreams of Olympic gold were shattered by the American boycott of Olympic competition that year. At South Carolina, Hand made the NCAA Division I women’s All-America swim team in 1978, 1979 and 1981. She set school records in the 500 and 1,000-meter freestyle in 1978 and the 400-meter individual medley in 1979.



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