Competitive swimmer, 72, mourned after heart attack

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A Nyack swimmer is being mourned Monday after he died from an apparent heart attack Friday at the Empire State Games.

Joel Schwartz, 72, was in his 35th lap when he died at the Binghamton competition. Friends and relatives describe the man as anything but the typical senior citizen.Schwartz did laps at the Nyack YMCA about four times a week when he wasn't doing fundraising or tutoring children in math. He also lifted weights.

"He was in excellent shape," says YMCA Aquatics Director Joshua Friederich. "He probably swims better than half of our staff. He was in fantastic shape.""I think he was a role model for a bunch of people, especially us who are middle aged," says friend Neal Levy. "He swam with a passion."Schwartz, a retired businessman, leaves behind a wife of 10 years, a daughter and stepdaughter.

To make donations, contact the YMCA at 845-358-0245.

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