Splashback 1936

University of Iowa 1936 Swim Team

<<< One wonders if coach Dave Armbruster knew he had a dream team when he assembled the University of Iowa's 1936 swim team. That year Iowa won the Big Ten championships for the first time and placed second in the NCAA championships-Iowa's best year ever. Consider the accomplishments of this talented team (l to r): Arne Christen, diver, two-time All American; Jack Sieg, breast and freestyle, originator of the butterfly stroke and four-time All American; Ray Walters, freestyle sprints, won 50 and 100 freestyle at Big Ten and 50 free at NCAA championships, and five-time All American; "Weh" Wehmeyer, breast and freestyle, first to try butterfly/dolphin stroke and four-time All American; "Jake" Jacobsmeyer, team captain, freestyle and eight-time All American; Dick Westerfield, backstroke, set NCAA record in 150 yard backstroke and six-time All American; Bob Allen, breast and freestyle, two-time All American; and Bob Christians, freestyle and backstroke, possibly first swimmer to use catch-up drill and five-time All American. Story goes that Yale coach Bob Kiputh had this photo taken because he was so impressed by the musculature of the Iowa swimmers.

Bob Christians Sieg, Walters, Jacobsmeyer and Christians also made up the 4x100 freestyle relay team that won the NCAA championship in 1936.

Proving they're still contenders, Iowa teammates Christians and Westerfield, both now 90, teamed with Woody Bowersock, 92, and Walt Pfeiffer, 92, at Long Course Nationals in Mission Viejo to set new world records in the 360-399 medley relay and freestyle relay. See www.usms.org/comp/lcnats05.

<<< Starts were made from pool's edge in 1937 when Bob Christians swam for the University of Iowa.

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