Two of our three workouts are in the books for Day 1 (the divers are on the boards as I write this) of the 80th year of St. Thomas Swimming and Diving. It was in 1934 that saw the first record of St. Thomas’s participation in the Minnesota College Conference swimming meet.
There are, by happy coincidence, 80 athletes on the roster in this 80th year…41 women and 39 men–of which nine are divers! They are more deeply talented than any team in the program’s history, although it’s a little hard to compare the championship teams of the 40s and 50s. Back then, there were fewer events, teams were smaller, and the number of events an individual could swim were very limited. In 1949, for example, Rule V, Section 3 states, “No contestant shall participate in more than three different events in a swimming meet (participation in a water game excepted).”
Bob Christensen’s 1941 championship team had only eight men, but they won five events and the championship. St. Thomas’ss first championship team after World War II has only 10 men, a manager, and legendary coach Don Adee in the team photo.
So, today’s team, while huge by comparison, is able to stand on but a handful of shoulders–that’s how broad they were.
The 1941 Champions