Friday, December 4, 2020

Happy Birthday 1997 Honor Swimmer: Mike Barrowman !

 MIKE BARROWMAN (USA) 1997 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD:  1988 OLYMPIC GAMES: 4th (200m breaststroke); 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (200m breaststroke); 1989, 1990 World Swimmer of the Year; WORLD RECORDS (7): 200m breaststroke; 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m breaststroke); 1987 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: silver (200m breaststroke); US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (6): 2 short course (200yd), 4 long course (200m); NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS (3)

During the 20 year period between the 1972 Munich Olympics and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the world record was held by only five swimmers - Hall of Famers John Hencken (USA), David Wilkie (GBR) and Victor Davis (CAN) among them.

Nick Gillingham (GBR) held the record for two days in 1990 sandwiched between USA's Mike Barrowman. Barrowman joins 1940s swimmer Joe Verdeur (USA) in breaking the 200m breaststroke world record, a record number of six times. Between 1988 and 1992, Barrowman dominated the 200m breaststroke as no other swimmer did, winning 15 of 16 major national and international competitions.

His first world record came after five years and one day in the same pool, same lane when Davis had set the mark of 2:13.34 at the 1984 Olympic Games.  Until his retirement after the 1992 Olympics, that mark was to fall an additional five times by another 23 seconds, by Mike.

To Barrowman, success came all of a sudden, but not without a considerable amount of hard work and training.  Leading up to the 1988 Olympic Trials, he was ranked 64th in the world and no one had heard of Mike Barrowman.  To his astonishment, he dropped an incredible seven and one-half seconds, from 2:21.39 to 2:13.74, to make the US Olympic Team and travel to Seoul.  But it was while at Seoul, after finishing a disappointing fourth place that he set his sites for the greatest achievements yet to come that made swimming history. When they played the national anthem of Hungary for Seoul's winner Jozef Szabo, Mike was under the bleachers in the practice pool - all alone. He had wanted the gold medal.  The memory of not getting it was the catalyst that drove him to higher achievements during the next four years.

Barrowman began his first swimming lessons at five months old, from his grandmother, a Red Cross instructor.  By eighteen months, he could jump off the diving board and dog paddle to the side, and at four years he could swim freestyle and backstroke.  Through high school, he swam for the Rockville, Maryland-Montgomery Swim Club and Churchill High School.  But it was in 1986 that he met the Hungarian-born coach Jozsef Nagy and moved with him to Curl-Burke Swim Club and then stardom.  The Hungarian-speaking Nagy's first words to Barrowman were "breaststroke strong."

Nagy developed the "wave-action technique" of the breaststroke, and Barrowman became the showman of the stroke.  Through the technical use of physics and the practical use of "borrowing" the same head and shoulder characteristics of a cheetah running, Barrowman turned this stroke into the fastest in the world.  On land, he re-popularized the use of medicine balls, taken from the 1950s, to increase quickness, particularly in the recovery phase of the stroke. Dryland work, but not weight training, was a very important part of his total training.  His secret to success was none other than "good ole hard work."

It was the desirable balance of his University of Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek, and Hungarian-born Nagy that helped Mike perform so well.  He not only wanted to succeed for himself, but more so for his coaches and family.  Under Urbanchek's guidance, Barrowman earned three NCAA breaststroke championships and was selected the NCAA 1990 Swimmer of the Year.  Urbanchek describes Barrowman as being "very meticulous.  He can describe exactly what he is doing in his stroke."

Under Nagy's guidance, Barrowman perfected his stroke.  His style of coaching, Mike was to criticize. "Nothing is ever good enough.  Everything I do, 100 people have done better, girls can do better.  Some people couldn't handle it, but it works for me," says Barrowman.

Barrowman became a model of concentration, a study in intensity.  He won six US National Championships and won the gold medal at the 1991 Perth World Championships by defeating the same two swimmers as he did in the next year's Olympic Games, Norbet Rozsa (HUN) and Nick Gillingham (GBR). At these Games, this 5'11", 163 lb. swimmer born in Paraguay, lived his dream, the Olympic gold medal.  In the process, he set six world records and was voted World Swimmer of the Year in both 1989 and 1990.  He was also selected as a finalist in 1990, 1991 and 1993 for the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award.

After his retirement from swimming, Mike began kayaking, another water event which uses the same muscles as swimming.  He finished 15th at the 1996 US Olympic Trials.

He works on sports cars, writes novels, goes to the opera and conducts clinics throughout the world.  Kids love him, because he is a champion inside.

On this day in 1918, Honor Contributor, Sebastian Salinas-Abril was born


FOR THE RECORD: FINA: Vice President (1972-76), Bureau Member (1968-80), Chairman of Technical Swimming Committee (1981-88); ASUA: Secretary/Treasurer (1971-75), Executive Committee (1963-79), Honorary Life Member (since 1980); South American Swimming Confederation: President (1966-72), Vice President (1982-86), Honorary Life President (since 1987); Peruvian Swimming Federation: President (1959-60, 1963-64), Honorary Life President (since 1979); “Orden de los Caballeros de la Natacion Sudamericana”: President (1987-present), Member (1968-present); Awarded IOC’s “Silver Collar of the Olympic Order” (1996).

Sebastian Salinas Abril gave many long years of meaningful service as an amateur to swimming. Over these years he has made great advancements for the aquatic disciplines throughout South and Central America and the world. He was a hard working and dedicated man whose only ambition was to further swimming.

Born in Lima, Peru, in 1918, Salinas’ involvement in swimming goes back to 1941 when he became a delegate of Lima’s Swimming Association and his swimming club “Club Universitario de Natacion”. Within 11 years, he was chairman. Within that year, he began a 50 year term as a swimming official in regional and international swimming competitions.

Salinas received his formal education as an agricultural engineer attending Louisiana State University (1937-1939) and graduating from the University of Arizona (1945). But his interests laid in swimming and for the next 55 years, he served in varied capacities in Lima and Peru Swimming Federation’s, South American Swimming Confederation (CONSANAT), The Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas (ASUA) and Federation Internationale de Natacion Amateur (FINA).

On the national level, he has been a two-term President, Honorary Secretary, and Life Honorary President of the Peruvian Swimming Federation (1949-1999). He has served in leadership positions of the Peruvian Sports Institute, National Olympic Committee, Panathlon Club Lima and National Sports Patronage. In 1987, he was elected Honorary Life President of CONSANAT having served on this body since 1966.

His tenure with ASUA began in 1951 as Chairman of the Records Committee. He has served as Secretary, Treasurer, and since 1975, Executive Committee Member.

On the world level, he served for 20 years with FINA as Bureau Director (1968-1980), Vice President (1972-1976) and Technical Swimming Committee Chairman (1980-1988). As a meet official, he has been either chief timekeeper or starter at 3 South American Swimming Championships (1952, 1954, 1956) 3 Pan American Games (1951, 1963, 1967) and the 1972 Olympic Games and 1973 World Championships. Because of his knowledge of the rules, he served as meet referee at 4 Olympic Games (1976-1988), 4 World Championships (1975-1986), 3 Pan American Games (1971-1979), 5 South American Seniors Swimming Championships (1968-1990), as well as numerous South American Junior Swimming Championships.

From 1985 to 1991, Sebastian presented over 10 lectures (mostly for FINA) throughout the Americas and Spain for swimming officials. Since 1947, he has served as a delegate at over 91 International Congress Meetings. He was the catalyst in preparing FINA’s first complete handbook containing a chronological listing of world records, published in 1976.

His distinctions received include the Order of Merit for Distinguished Services presented in the Commander Grade by the Government of Peru (1965), Silver Plate from ASUA for achievement orated to the Latin American Trophy Cabeza de Palenque (1976), The Laurels of Sports – Great Cross Peru’s highest sports condecoration presented by the Peruvian National Sports Council, and the Silver Collar of the Olympic Order presented by the International Olympic Committee.

Salinas is a man of great stature who never lost sight that athletics are for the athletes. Like at the 1975 World Championships in Ecuador, his efforts have gone a long way to benefit swimming both short term and long term. The 1987 FINA records cite him for “special recognition”.

His honest and disciplined approach to sport has rendered more than 55 years of a positive, intensive and fruitful campaign in the international field of aquatics and sport.

Abril passed away in 1999.

Happy Belated Birthday to the Great Hobie Billingsley, who turned 94 on December 2nd!!!

HOBIE BILLINGSLEY  (USA) 1983 Honor Coach/Diver

FOR THE RECORD:  1968 U.S. Olympic Women's Diving Coach; 1972 U.S. Olympic Men's Diving Coach; 1976 Austrian Olympic Diving Coach; 1980 Austrian and Danish Olympic Diving Coach; 1959 U.S. Pan American Men's Diving Coach; 1945 NCAA Champion (1m, 3m springboard); As Indiana University's diving coach his divers captured 16 NCAA, 27 Big Ten and 64 National AAU diving titles; They also won 4 Pan American, 3 World and 2 Olympic gold medals along with 80 National titles between 1959 and 1982; 1973 recipient of the "Mike Malone Award" and 1964 "Fred Cady Award"; founded the American (1971) and the World (1968) Diving Coaches Associations.

Hobie Billingsley was voted the "U.S. Diving Coach of the Year" seven consecutive times between 1964-1970.  He was also the first "NCAA Coach of the Year", first presented in 1982.  A four-time Olympic Coach representing three different countries, his Olympic success was exceeded only by his national success with his divers.  Coaching in the premier diving nation of the world, Billingsley has won more individual diving titles as coach than any other person except his own mentor, the late Mike Peppe of Ohio State.  

Hobie won both the low & high NCAA springboard titles as a freshman at Ohio State before entering the Army Air Corps in 1945.  With his best friend from college, the late Bruce Harlan, and later with Dick Kimball, he toured 15 summers, establishing himself as an all-time great comedy diver with water shows.

However, it was as a coach, the second diving coach ever hired in college ranks, that Hobie made his greatest mark.  Among his Olympians, Rick Gilbert, his first champion and former head coach at Cornell; Cynthia Potter who holds the record for National titles at 28; Jim Henry with 13 National titles; Leslie Bush, holder of every major diving title; and Ken Sitzberger, 11 time National champion.  

In the 1968 NCAA Championships, Hobie's divers scored 96 unprecedented points with five divers making the finals on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.  He is the producer of the prize-winning documentary, "Hobie's Heroes".  Hobie's greatest pride is in the fact that there are more diving coaches in the high school and college ranks in the U.S. that have graduated from Indiana University under his tutelage than from any other university.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Happy Birthday Laura Val !!


                               Laura Val (USA) 2004 Honor Swimmer

INTERNATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: World Points – 2042, Pre-1986 Points – 0, Total Points – 2042; Since 1984, she has competed in four age groups (35-39 thru 50-54); 97 FINA MASTERS WORLD RECORDS;

Never during the 30-year history of Masters Swimming has a female been more dominant

in her age group in almost every event than Laura Val. Her Masters world records range from 50m sprints to 1500m distance races. She dominates backstroke, butterfly and individual medley events also.

From a very young age she loved being in and around the water. At age 10-1/2, she was into competitive swimming at the Mountain View (CA) Dolphins team coached by Tom Bosmans. By age 12, she was a Junior Olympic National Champion. Within two more years, she placed in Swimming World's "Five Best Age Group Times" and in the 15-17 age group she set a national record (200y freestyle – 2:03.4). At age 18, she transferred to Hall of Fame Coach Nort Thornton's Foothill Aquatic Club where she made great strides in a more competitive atmosphere.Within a year, she was ranked 11th in the world in the 200m butterfly at 2:29.4 and 20th in the 100m butterfly. That same year (1970), she won a gold medal as amember of the U.S. 4x100m medley relay, competing at the World Student Games in Turin, Italy.

Then, her swimming came to an end. No women's college scholarships meant retirement for many girls at that time. Laura enrolled at San Diego State University to earn a Nursing Degree and graduated Cum Laude (1972). She became a registered nurse for over 20 years,mostly at the intensive care unit at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City (CA). In 1992, she was named one of the Ten Outstanding Nurses in the State of California by Nurseweek Magazine. Since 1997, she has been the Human Resources Director, first at Automated Power Exchange and presently at the Silicon Valley-based Berkshire Hathaway Company with 600 employees.

In 1984, she joined the Los Altos Masters just to get back in the water and do some fitness training without any competitive ambitions. However, just a year-and-a-half later,when her club hosted the U.S.Masters National Championships, she competed and won six races, breaking six national records. Breaking records has been a trend for Laura ever since.

For her five years in the 35-39 age group, Dave Knochenhauer and Bill Olliver were her coaches. Since age 40, John Bitter at Santa Clara has been her swimming guide, although she is affiliated with the Tamalpais Swim Club. She loves to train, swimming 5,000 yards or meters five days a week. She has to force herself to take two days of rest. Her times at age 35 were faster than her times at age 18. Phenomenally, every year she competes, her times get faster. By the time she reached age 50, she was still swimming faster than her own 45-49 age group records. She is the only Masters swimmer to hold world records in three different age groups at the same time.

Currently in the 50-54 age group, Laura owns 22 of the 35 long and short course world records. She has every freestyle record from 50m to 800m. She is the only woman over age 40 ever to break a minute in the 100y fly or two minutes in the 200y free.

Val does all this while she and her husband Gregory raise two daughters, Jodi and Jamie. She does not lift weights, crosstrain, monitor her diet or do stretching exercises. Swimming is only one part of her very busy life.Her strength comes from her love of the sport. She enjoys every minute of it.

To date, Laura holds 49 long course Masters world records and 48 short course Masters world records, a total of 97 Masters world records. In 2002, Swimming World named her Masters Swimmer of the Year. She has been a member of both the USMS Sports Medicine and Research Committee and Champion Committee and is active in her local Pacific Masters Swim Association. She has been named a USMS All Star 14 times (1987, 1989-2002).

At swimming meets Laura is always the "rabbit to catch." At swim practice she has to be talked into leading off the set first. In her heart, she just loves being in the sport for its fitness benefits and swimming meet fun; and of course, the camaraderie. To Laura, all the world records and standings are a byproduct of her time spent in the water.

It's Giving Tuesday !! Please consider ISHOF in your Giving....

Monday, November 30, 2020

Olympian Mark Tewksbury Appointed Companion of the Order of Canada

Olympic swimmer Mark Tewksbury was appointed Companion of the Order of Canada Friday, in recognition of his athletic and advocacy achievements.

The honor is the highest level within the Order of Canada, bestowed to only 165 living Canadians at a time, honoring those who make the most extraordinary contributions to the nation. Tewksbury was among four athletes appointed to the Order, along with Olympic rower Sandra Kirby as Officer and five-time ice dancing medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as Members.

“I had no idea when I won the Olympics so many years ago that it was just the beginning of my journey, not the end,” Tewksbury said in Canadian Olympic Committee news release. “I have never shied away from standing up for what I believe in or for using my voice to speak for those who might not have been able. It is an incredible honour to be appointed Companion of the Order of Canada not just for my sport accomplishments but for my fight for equity, inclusion and human rights for all.”

Tewksbury, 52, is one of Canada’s most decorated swimming Olympians. He won gold in the men’s 100-meter backstroke in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and earned medley relay golds at consecutive Games, helping the Canadians to silver in Seoul in 1988 and bronze in Barcelona. The Calgary native’s accomplishments include gold in the 100 back and silver in the 200 back at the 1987 Pan Pacific Championships; a silver medal at the 1991 World Championships in Perth in the 100 back; and four gold medals across two Commonwealth Games.

Since his retirement, he has served as an athlete representative to the International Olympic Committee and was the chef de mission for the 2012 Canadian Summer Olympic delegation. Tewksbury sits on the board of directors for both the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Olympic Foundation and has helped mentor young swimmers.

He has been a long-time advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, which stemmed from his coming out as gay in the 1990s, working with numerous organizations that fight for gay representation and human rights. Among his many sporting hall of fames (including enshrinement in the International Swimming Hall of Fame) and other accolades, he received the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award for Gender Equality in 2019.

Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex Thanksgiving Update, November 2020

Training Pool


It was a busy Thanksgiving week at the aquatic center, with each piece falling in line!

🍂🍂 Besides pouring the concrete foundation for the new entry building, Neptune Benson Defender regenerative pool filters were placed inside the filtration room building. Utility site work is progressing, dive well and tower structural elements will continue next week after the holiday.

New Pool filters! Neptune Benson regenerative filters! 
Grandstand and Filtration Room structure.
Seating Capacity - 1,522. New Musco sports lighting.
              Inside electrical vault

Old Entrance 
Everyone knows the bottom of the pool is a nice, quiet,
peaceful place; now it’s a great spot for lunch too!

I never realized how much dirt is moved in, 
out and around on a construction job site. It is 
a constant process moving it here and there.