Written by Shelly Poe
A three-time All-American and four-time NCAA qualifier, backstroker Kim Kaufman was a four- year letterwinner for the West Virginia women’s swim team in the mid-1980s.
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Despite suffering from a rotator cuff injury for two years, Kaufman set school records in the 50, 100 and 200 back, and led off the record setting 200 and 400 medley relays. Her 100 back record of :57.35 set in 1985 still stands, as does the 200 medley relay record, 1:46.33, also set in 1985.
Kaufman was the first female athlete at WVU to earn NCAA All-America status, and was the first swimmer, male or female, to earn four trips to the NCAA Championships.
In her first season of collegiate competition, Kaufman qualified for the NCAA Championships in two individual events as well as the 200-medley relay. She placed 23rd in the 50 back (:27.77) and 17th in the 100 back (:58.30) and set school records in all three backstroke events.
During her sophomore campaign, the Belpre, Ohio, native led the WVU women’s swim team to a ranking of fifth by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. Kaufman qualified for the NCAA championships in the 100 back for the second straight year, and placed 12th.
Also in 1984, she set the school record in the 200-back in a time of 2:07.17, which stood until 1990. In addition to resetting all three of her school records in back, Kaufman qualified for the Olympic trials in the 100 back, barely missing the cut. For her achievements, Kaufman was honored with her first of three consecutive All-America awards.
Her times continued to drop in her junior and senior years, which earned Kaufman her third and fourth trips to the NCAA championships. As a junior she placed 13th in the 100 back and as a senior finished 12th while setting the school record in that event. WVU was 16-11 in regular season competition during her four years on the team.
Kaufman and her husband Earle Eidenire reside in Miami, Fla. They are the parents of two children, Patti and Eric.