Tami Paumier – Honor Athlete

When she was twelve Tami Paumier’s doctor recommended increased swimming to recover from her badly broken arm. Little did her gymnastics coach know that he was losing her to world swimming. Tami’s early lessons in Ann Arbor at age five and in Columbia from five to nine provided the skills to jump levels in a hurry.

After only two years of concentrated Age Group swimming, Tami Paumier of Columbia Aquatics association, exploded on the scene in 1977 with a fifth in the 100 Breast at 1:07.3. In 1977-78 with five Individual Rankings, her 1:05.36 for 13-14 girl’s 100 yard Breast was Third in the U.S. and her 1:15.88 was Second in the 100 meter Breast.

From that time on, Tami had the control of local record books in the 100 Breast. She attended Olympic Training Camps in Squaw Valley, California and took sixth (1:13.59) in Senior Nationals (World Trials) in a year when the U.S. women destroyed the powerful East German Team. This earned her a fourteenth place World Ranking for the year.

At U.S. Nationals in 1979, Tami finished second to Tracy Caulkins in the 100 yard Breast in the fast time of 1:02.6, thus qualifying for the Pan American Games in July in Puerto Rico. In the meantime Tami gained experience by competing against a West German Team in Long Beach that April.

By summer Tami’s confidence and expert preparation by CAA Coach, Pat Smith had Tami ready for the Pan Am. Tami, just a week shy of her sixteenth birthday, came through with a fast 1:12.20, shocking Tracy Caulkins, the U.S. favorite to win the Gold Medal. Later during that busy summer Tami narrowly missed an U.S. Senior Title by placing second in Fort Lauderdale.

In 1981 Tami attended Michigan, then an AIAW Women’s Team and won Big Ten Championships in the Breaststroke. Later Tami transferred to Virginia and swam for the Cavaliers.

After graduating with an architectural degree, Tami has begun her own small architectural firm while also working in other fields.

Tami’s accomplishments in swimming from the Columbia area illustrate the growth of Columbia Aquatics from fledgling team in the early seventies to International success before the end of the decade.