Maria Reeves was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska. She grew up at Gold Dredge No. 8, and loved teaching people about the dredge and how to gold pan. To this day she still enjoys panning for gold and searching for Pleistocene fossils.

She was a member of both Midnight Sun Swim Team and Lathrop High School Swimming and Diving. Her senior year, she posted the third fastest high school time in the country in her favorite event, the 50 free. Her record of 23.33 seconds still stands in Alaska today. Not only was she a high school All American, she was also part of several record-setting relays. At state in 1999, she led off a 200 free relay that was ranked third in the nation before anchoring a record-setting 4 x 100 free relay to solidify a LHS girls team title.

The perpetual swimmer, she has competed in multiple National Championship meets, as well as Washington Open/U.S Open Championships. In 2000, she became the youngest female athlete to represent Alaska at Olympic Swimming Trials. She earned a swimming scholarship to Northwestern University and graduated with degrees in Radio TV Film and English. The highlight of her collegiate career came in 2001 with a 10th place individual finish at Big Tens in the 50 free.

She discovered that coaching was her passion soon after graduating and in November of 2006, she accepted the head coaching position at North Pole Aquatic Club. In 2007 she married her husband (and the Army). She continued coaching and wrote her first book, “Alaska Gold: The History of Gold Dredge No. 8” during her husband’s first deployment. The Army has since moved the couple out of state, but Alaska will always be her home. She has also found a job that she loves more than anything: being a mom.

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