Husky Swimming History

The 20th Century

Washington Swimming was established in 1932 as one of our original sports.  Our Pavilion Pool was opened in 1934.  We have had 7 different Olympic medalists earning 9 total medals including 2 gold medals.  In addition, the Huskies have been honored with 98 different swimmers earning All America honors 332 different times.

1932-1962: Jack Torney

Coach Torney was the coach for nearly 30 years, taking 3 years away to serve in WWII during which Bob Buckley and Eric Kirkland oversaw the team.  Under Coach Torney, the Huskies won the conference (PCC-North) 18 times and came in second 6 times.  The last two years of his tenure, the UW became a part of the AAWU in which the Huskies placed second in the conference both years.

In 1961-62, the Men’s Team was ranked 22nd in the Nation.

1962-1968: John Tallman

During Coach Tallman’s time, the Huskies competed in the AAWU and the Pac-8 achieving a high place of second.  In 1966-67, the team was ranked 25th nationally.

1969-1998: Earl Ellis

Coach Ellis was the first Husky coach to have both a men’s and women’s team.

Men’s Team

During Coach Ellis’ tenure the Huskies achieved the following:

Year

Conference Place: Pac-8

National Rank

1969-70

4th

11th

1970-71

4th

7th

1971-72

4th

6th

1972-73

3rd

5th

1973-74

2nd

4th

1974-75

3rd

7th

After the 1975 school year, despite a third place conference finish and a top ten rank, the University made its first attempt to cut swimming.  As a result, a number of the elite Husky swimmers left the University to swim and finish their schooling elsewhere.  After the program was reinstated, the men’s team achieved the following:

Year

Conference Place (NPCC)

National Rank

1975-76

1st

20th

1976-77

1st

1977-78

1st

9th

The Men’s Team then became a part of the Pac-10 and accomplished the following:

Year

Conference Place (Pac-10)

National Rank

1985-86

6th

34th

1988-89

7th

33rd

1989-90

7th

37th

1990-91

7th

26th

Women’s Team

Before 1968, women’s swimming at the UW was a club team which operated without university funding.  The swimmers held bake sales and other fundraising activities to raise monies for their training, gear and travel.  Apart from Lynn Colella’s accomplishments in the 1972 Olympics (Silver Medal, 200 Butterfly), we do not have information on what was accomplished by this club sport.  Barbie Mitchell also swam in the 1972 Olympics in the 200 Breastroke.

In 1975 and after the Men’s Team was reinstated, the University officially began its Women’s Swimming Team under Coach Ellis.  Swimming was one of the first official women’s sports at the University.  It was implemented as a woman’s sport as a result of Title IX of the Federal Education Act.  As a direct result of this legislation, the team became official.

Under Coach Ellis, the Women’s Team achieved the following:

Year

Conference Place (NCWSA)

National Rank

1975-76

1st

16th

1976-77

1st

31st

1977-78

1st

30th

1978-79

1st

40th

1981-82

1st

22nd

The UW then joined NorPac for women’s athletics.  There, the women achieved the following.

Year

Conference Place (NorPac)

National Rank

1984-85

2nd

22nd

1985-86

2nd

29th

After women’s athletics joined the Pac-10, the Women’s Team accomplished the following under Coach Ellis:

Year

Conference Place (Pac 10)

National Rank

1995-96

6th

36th

 

Summary of Performance in the 20th Century

Men’s Team

In this first period of Husky Swimming, the Men’s Team may be summarized as follows:

Year

Coach

Won-Loss

%

Top 25 in Nation

Conf. Champ.

1933-42,

1945-62

Jack Torney

142-11-2

.923

1

18

1943

Bob Buckley

4-0

1.000

1944

Eric Kirkland

5-1

.833

1963-69

John Tallman

30-31

.492

1

1970-98

Earl Ellis

215-45

.827

8

1998-99

Mickey Wender

4-6

.400

Thus, in the 67 years of Husky Swimming before the 21st Century, we had 6 coaches, a won-loss record of 400-94-2 and a percentage of .808.

Women’s Team

In this first period of Husky Swimming, the Women’s Team may be summarized as follows:

Year

Coach

Won-Loss

%

Top 25 in Nation

Conf. Champ.

1975-98

Earl Ellis

203-27-2

.879

3

1998-99

Mickey Wender

10-3

.769

In the first 24 years of Women’s Swimming at the UW, we had 2 coaches, a won-loss record of 213-30-2 and a percentage of .873.

The 21st Century

2000-2006: Mickey Wender

In the first 6 years of the Century, Coach Wender accomplished the following with the teams:

Men’s Team

The Men’s Team, under Coach Wender, accomplished the following:

Year

Conference Place (Pac 10)

National Rank

2001-02

6th

30th

2003-04

6th

25th

2005-06

6th

45th

Phil Davis became a Pac-10 Champion in 2004 in the 100 and 200 Breastroke.  Later that year, Bruno Barbic participated in the World Championships in Indianapolis in the 50M Freestyle and the 100M Freestyle-the First Husky swimmer to do so since the late 1970′s.

Under Coach Wender, Luke Eckhoff, Derek Rose and Justin Adrian all attained All American Status.  John Lyssand and David Moilanen were awarded Academic All American Status.  Further Justin Adrian, Bruno Barbic, Diogo Bezerra, Brendon Bray, Tim Collins, Lorant Divald, Brenton Dowdy, Luke Ekhoff, Craig Gillis, Ryan Kastl, Bret Lundgaard, John Lyssand, David Moilanen, John Muir, Ryan Oleson, Tamon Page, Mark Pearson, Kevin Quinn, Jeff Schmidt, Dustin Shigeno, Ryan Stratton, Kit Tainter, Francis Tam, Jim Wolfe all were honored on the Pac 10 All Academic Team during Coach Wender’s time here.

Women’s Team

Under Coach Wender, the Women were ranked in the 2002-03 season.

Year

Conference Place (Pac 10)

National Rank

2002-03

7th

19th

Additionally, Kim Harada won the Pac-10 Champion in the 200 Free in 2003.  Further, Sharon Olson, Melody Staubitz, Kim Harada, Irene Schnieder and Annette Vayo all achieved All American status.  Brittany Epperson and Kim Jasmer both were awarded Academic All American status.

The following made the Women’s Pac 10 All Academic Team under Coach Wender:  Maryanne Boosalis  Jessica Buchanan, Brittany Epperson, Courtney Hentzen, Anissa Hilyard, Evelyn Hingsbergen, Kim Kripps, Liya Liu, Julie Massey, Rebecca Rogers, Rachel Seely, Casey Sherfey, Jennifer Stucka, Megan Taggart, and Leslie Wukstich.

As with the mid-1970′s, when the University attempted to disband the swimming program, there was a several year ripple effect from Barbara Hedges choice to do the same in 2000.  Although the program was almost immediately reinstated, the effect was serious as it has taken several years to recover.

2006-Present: Whitney Hite

Coach Hite came onboard as the Head Coach in September 2006.  Since then, he has accomplished the following.

Men’s Team

The Men’s team had a slower start than the Women’s Team under Coach Hite but has made impressive gains.

Year

Conference Place (Pac 10)

National Rank

2006-07

6th

2007-08

6th

2008-09

6th

22nd

Academically, David Bai, Yonatan Cohen and Scott Spansail all reached Academic All American status.  Further, Yonatan Cohen was awarded the Academic All-District VII award in 2007-08 by ESPN, the Magazine.  Further, the Men’s Team has regularly posted some of the highest grade point averages in the department.

Women’s Team

The results with the Women’s Team have been significant since Coach Hite took over the reins.

Year

Conference Place (Pac 10)

National Rank

2006-07

6th

35th

2007-08

6th

12th

2008-09

5th

15th

The past two years for the Women’s Team has resulted in the highest national places in the history of the program.

The following made the Women’s Pac 10 All Academic Team under Coach Hite, Maggie Bever, Marisa Chang, Kim Jasmer, Blythe Murray, and Petra Radovic.  Further, the Women’s Team has regularly posted some of the highest grade point averages in the Department.

Individual Accomplishments Under Coach Hite

While the Swimming Program has had a number of significant individual accomplishments over the years, below is a list of what our swimmers have accomplished under Coach Hite apart from School Records (almost all of those have been set under Coach Hite).

Nationally Ranked #2: Scott Spanasil

The Men’s Team story for 2009 will not be finished until Saturday, March 28, 2009, the final day of the Men’s NCAA Swimming Championship.  However, going into that meet, the Huskies are led by Senior Scott Spansail who, in December 2008 at Husky Invitational, posted the second fastest time in the Nation in the 1650 of 14:41.98.

The Men’s team is fielding its first team at NCAA’s in many years.  Eight men are attending the meet

Women’s Team – 3 Pacfic Ten Conference Champtions and 11 All-Americans

Since Coach Hite began coaching at Washington in September 2006, the following women swimmers have achieved All American status:

2009 All Americans:  Erin Campbell, Genevieve Patterson, Hannah Ross and Lindsay Sharp.

2009 Pac 10 Champion:   Erin Cambell, 200 Backstroke

2008 All Americans:  Erin Campbell, Emilee Jennings, Ariana Kukors, Genevieve Patterson, Petra Radovic, Lindsay Sharp, and Kim Jasmer.

2008 Pac 10 Champions:  Kim Jasmer 500 Free and Ariana Kukors 200 IM and 400 IM.

While it is widely believed that Husky Swimming had its best success in the 1970′s, that is true only for the Men’s Team.  For the Women’s Team, the best success came in the early-mid 1980′s.  Under Coach Hite, these facts are no-longer true as we have returned to national prominence in three short years.

 Washington Husky Olympians

The following Husky men swimmers have competed in the Olympics:  Jack Medica (1936 Berlin); Rick Colella (1972 Munich; 1976 Montreal); Rick DeMont (1972 Munich); Doug Northway (1972 Munich); Robin Backhaus (1972 Munich).

Leave a Reply