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Story of Two Champions Behind CSU’s Fast Pool

Most people know why The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium was way ahead of its time when completed in 1972 (big gutters, bright lights, integrated diving well, no windows, etc.).  Here’s “the rest of the story”.

VanDijk-Pool Internal_resizeThe CSU pool made big news when it opened in 1973 simply because it was, well, BIG! While not proven (yet), the pool was also VERY FAST.

A few years later the NCAA made the following pronunciation after 16 NCAA records were shattered during the 1977 Division I Championships held in our pool: “The greatest swimmers in the fastest pool at the greatest meet in history”.  Our pool was now OFFICIALLY  v e r y   f a s t.

When the pool was dedicated as “The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium” in 1999 it was still considered one of the fastest five pools in the US. There were several reasons our pool was (and still is !) so fast:VanDijk-Pool Layout_resize

  • Its big, wide gutters keep the water smooth
  • The deep water in the competition end of the pool, no separate diving well, make for fast swimming
  • The lights are designed with a special “competition mode” for extra brightness
  • There are no windows in the pool which keep the lighting consistent and reduced distracting glare

VanDijk-Pool Section_resizeSo, how did this all come about?

VanDijk-Pool External_resizeThe simple answer: Bob Busbey was ahead of his time in pool design thinking, and knew Peter van Dijk who was an outstanding architect with the ability to convert big, new ideas into practical reality.  The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium, located in the CSU Physical Education building, was the result of a collaboration between these two champions.

How they met, and what lead to their partnership to build the pool leads to “the rest of the story”.

Bob and Peter attended the AAU National Championships in Columbus Ohio in 1946.  They were both in the hotel lobby waiting for room assignments. Bob was from Fenn College, Peter from the New York Athletic Club.  Neither had roommates so they decided to room together.

Years later when Bob was looking for an architect for the new CSU pool he knew Peter’s office was in Cleveland.  Bob ask Peter if he’d like to build “ a big fast pool”; Peter said yes and, well, the rest is history as they say.

Peter, now 86, has been a Masters Swimmer for 40 years.  He has 50+ National Championships in Freestyle and Backstroke.  He is the winner of 17 Gold Medals in Masters World Championship competitions.  And he’s still swimming with O*H*I*O Master Swim Club, most recently winning  4 Gold Medals at the 2014 Montreal World Championships last AUGUST.

Bob was also a champion  – Fenn’s first All-American  (’48 & ’49) and four-sport athlete in swimming, baseball, fencing and track. And five-time Highlander Class National Sailing Champion. He also won the 50 and 100 freestyle at that AAU Championship meet back in ’46.

VanDijk-Original Plans_resizeRegards and thanks to Peter van Dijk who literally “wrote the book” on The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium and provided the pictures you see here.

Dave G, along with Wally, Joe, Jim, Jim, and Tom for the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Project

In the splash zone:

What’s YOUR story – about you, teammates (well, maybe not all the stories) or coaches (please be a little kind OK)?

Here’s three easy ways to share them:

Timeline Wall – Link to the Past, Connection to the Future

Timeline Wall thinking started Day 1 of the Heritage Project. It’s a natural place to record 83 years of swimming and diving heritage – with space for 25 more.

Here are the proof prints of what you will see when you walk into The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium and check out the base of the East Bleachers on Heritage Weekend (REGISTER HERE – September 25/26 is just two weeks away).

proof__0000_through 1940

proof__0001_through 1957

proof__0002_through 1971

proof__0003_through 1985

proof__0004_through 1999

proof__0005_through 2013

 

proof__0006_through 2027

proof__0007_through end

Additional information links:

  • If you want to scan the 26 photos at the top of the Timeline Wall they are here: Timeline_photo_story_sample.
  • If you would like to see the Timeline Wall in more detail you can download TimelineWall_proof (CAUTION: this is a 35 Mb file).
  • Media guides from all years available are here: Media Guides
  • If you see a missing item you feel in important or come upon a typo please send an email to: heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com.  This wall WILL continue to grow and has been designed so individual items or entire new years can be “pasted on”. So please share your thoughts with the Heritage Committee via email or comment below – especially during the earlier years of the program where some details may be missing.

—————————————–

September 10 , 2015 UPDATE. Here is link  to the data and photos behind
83 years of teams, athletes, coaches and history

Thanks to the many friends and alumni who provided inputs into the creation of the Timeline Wall.

———————————————————————————-

 

The Timeline Wall will capture the people, teams, community groups and events that have shaped and will continue to shape our swimming and diving heritage since the first Fenn College team in 1932. Each year the most notable half dozen or so events will be will be captured on a timeline that will stretch from 1932 through 2039.

Why 2039? We felt a third of the space at the base of the east bleachers should be reserved to grow with our athletes, teams and community events in The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium. And we wanted a reason to celebrate with the rest of the University during the 75th Anniversary which will take place in 2039!

Current thinking is to capture this history as columns of text-based entries flowing from left to right, north to south. A few pictures will be used across the top to add interest and  highlights. The hundreds and hundreds of pictures from our past would never fit in this small space;  they will live with Magnus on the Ninth Lane Banner overlooking the pool and Rec Center.  The virtually unlimited space on the Heritage Website  will provide handy access for even more details than can be displayed on the timeline.

Timeline_MockFill

The concept drawings created to share the vision of the timeline shown on the renderings below are simply to show size and scale – consider them placeholders for now.  Until replaced with the actual events selected from the past to populate the wall.

That’s why THE HERITAGE COMMITTEE NEEDS YOUR HELP.  We’re looking for historical inputs and suggestions for entries on the Timeline Wall.  What do YOU think should be captured on this will?  Read on.

The “milestones” shown in the drawing below were taken from media guides, photo albums and other records. They are just an artists concept – for example we wouldn’t repeat coaches names each year (however we’d LOVE to repeat Horizon League Championships each year!).

Timeline_MockFill_Selection

Here is an artist’s rendering of the timeline from the foot of the eastern bleachers.Timeline_near_perspective_crop

Jim Starrett ’74, Tom Fattlar ’84, and Wally Morton ’74-’14 are working on what goes where on the wall.  They are reviewing media guides, rosters, articles from local and student papers, and more.  They would like swimmers and divers, men and women, alumni and friends to make suggestions and add items for consideration.  We have the ability to capture ALL items one way or another – either on the Timeline Wall, on the Heritage Website or both.

So, here’s how YOU can “make history”.  Send along your comments, suggestions, copies of newspaper clippings or just a “one liner” with your input.  We don’t need much and it doesn’t have to be formal, but we do need INPUTS !!  You can:

    • Enter a comment below this post
    • Upload a document HERE
    • Send an email to: heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com
    • Connect directly with Jim (swimstarr27@gmail.com), Tom (tfattlar@yahoo.com) or Wally (wmorton37@gmail.com)
    • Volunteer to join the Heritage History Team for a few months

Dave G, for the Heritage History team: Jim, Tom and Wally

CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Project

 

In the splash zone:

We have posted a number of men’s, women’s and mixed swimming and diving  Media Guides HERE.  If you have saved a guide that’s not on this list please connect with the Heritage History team.

Also, be on the lookout for 30’s through 60’s memorabilia to make sure we celebrate Fenn College and Fischer Pool heritage as well.  Here is a picture of the Ellwood H. Fisher Pool Dedication from 1941.

COUNTDOWN has begun…

DAY #28 —— and our countdown to reach GOAL is ON.  And we’ve gotta get there and reach the Heritage Project funding goal. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE take a good, hard, honest look at what this entails & climb aboard. Will YOU personally take some ownership with this endeavor??

Have you ever read an inspiring story/article/book that tugged on your heart strings and you heard that inner voice saying… “ I probably, NO, I SHOULD take action to “Pay It Forward.” Well, procrastination is sometimes The King, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here is YOUR chance to truly make a difference in a BIG impactful way. PLUS your donation grows with the matching donation challenge that is in effect thru Feb. 28.

EVERY DOLLAR YOU DONATE MAGICALLY BECOMES $3.

Don’t feel like you can do a single, one time donation this month?? No need to, you can choose to do your donation(s) as: 52(weekly) at a $5 minimum payment per, or 26 as biweekly, 12 monthly, 4 quarterly, or even 2 semiannually – BUT the key to it all is to DO SO.

And you can do so here:  bit.ly/25k-match

I leave you today with a favorite quote of mine I’ve used most of my life as an athlete, coach, & career educator and lifetime learner: . . .

“ IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME.”

 . . . . . just 10 two letter words that really says it all.

Fondly… Jim Starrett, 1974 Captain @ CSU & Penn-Ohio Conference team Champions

Tunnel Vision – Bright Blue or Dark Cool ?

August 30, 2015 ——————————

Soon after this blog was first published in January the response was immediate and unanimous – “Bright Blue” !! Fast forward seven months later to August 28. Comments from those who have seen the tunnel:  Wow! Goosebumps! Fantastic!

Tunnel Picture SpotThe new tunnel entrance to The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium features an under-water-like experience leading into one of the fastestpools in the country and certainly one of the most graphically dramatic.  All thanks to the “Team is Forever” attitude from Fenn College and Cleveland State University Swimming and Diving friends and alumni.

Imagine the shock when visitors walk around the corner of the PE Building and first see Bob’s name – and then the after-shock when they fully comprehend the tunnel effect that stands in front of them.  Hello Magnus –  Go Vikings!!Tunnel Guard

The last 20 days have marked a complete change of atmosphere in the pool thanks to the Design Team at Flying Hand Design and the production and installation team at Repros, Inc.  This would be an excellent time to call out the Repros team because projects like the South Tunnel are challenging, difficult, frustrating, – – – well, you get the message.

How often have you messed up the small 1′ sticker on your licence plate.  Or a 3″ window decal.  And of course that bumper sticker with the bubble or wrinkle in it.  Now imagine working with the vinyl graphics in the tunnel.  How would you like to tackle an 8′ wide ceiling on a stepladder.  Or a 20′ wall bordered by angles, doors and a 12′ high ceiling.

High fives all around for the Repros Install Team.  Way To GO !Tunnel Installation Tunnel Title - Getting it Right

Tunnel Install Team

Oh, and remind us to tell you the story about the diving catch in the end zone to the get the name right!  You will have at least six opportunities to hear that story and more at Heritage Weekend Friday September 25 and Saturday September 26.

Details HERE. See you THERE.

Wally Morton ’74-’14, Dave Guinther ’69, Tom Fattlar ‘74;’81-’84, Jim Starrett ’74, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ’81 and Mike Lehto ’94-’07

 

January 25, 2015 ——————————

Two hot-off-the-press design concepts for the tunnel into The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium bleachers provide contrasting approaches for the graphics possibilities. We’re interested in alumni thoughts on these options.  Please leave your comments below or on our Facebook group page.

By now everyone should be familiar with the Concept Graphics developed for The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium.  If by chance you have not seen them, they are HERE.

One of the last pieces to the project is the tunnel that leads from the PE Building to the second floor bleachers of the pool.  Two alternate concepts have been developed.

Option I provides a dramatic entrance through a dark tunnel flanked by two swimmers.CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-10

Option II features an underwater immersion path into the pool.CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-16

Here is a renderings for Option I. CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-21

And for Option II.CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-30

Please see additional pictures for these two concepts at the end of this blog.

We are inviting CSU swimming and diving friends and alumni to share their thoughts with the Heritage Committee on these two concepts.   Many ways to do so:

  • Leave a comment at the bottom of this post
  • Comment on our Facebook group page HERE
  • Send an email to heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com with your thoughts or to talk live with one of our committee members.

Thank you, and Go Vikings !

For the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Project,
Wally Morton ’74-’14, Dave Guinther ’64, Jim Starrett ’74, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ‘81, Tom Fattlar ’86

PS – Please DONATE, SHARE this link ( http://bit.ly/blue-or-cool ), and COMMENT on Facebook

In the splash zone:

If you have not done so already, please consider making a donation to support the Heritage Project here:  http://bit.ly/Finish-strong.  Only 34 days left until the matching challenge gift expires on February 28th.  Please consider passing along the link above and graphic below to other friends and alumni:Heritage Mailer - Graphic

Here are additional pictures and descriptions of the tunnel graphics concepts.  First, for “Dark Cool”:

CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-15

CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-11

CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-12

CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-14

And for “Light Blue”:CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-20

CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-19 CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-17

CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-16

CSU_NatatoriumTunnel_concepts-20

Six Weeks Left – Let’s ALL Finish Viking Strong Together

CSU swimmers and divers have a tradition of peaking for the Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championships – Feb 25-28 this year. February 28 is also the date the Matching Gift Challenge for the Heritage Project will expire.  Let’s ALL finish Viking Strong Together!

Initial leadership funding for the project (concept graphics are HERE) provided us with a solid start in October.  Then our general campaign kicked in just before Thanksgiving (Heritage Campaign Launched with $50,000 Matching Gift Challenge).

We closed out 2014 with over $14,000 in donations against the $25,000 target needed to obtain the matching $50k.  Now we need everyone’s support to meet our two goals: fund the project and show broad participation among ALL alumni.

The Heritage Project is not just about fundraising – its an opportunity to demonstrate to future prospects, current teams and CSU administration that Fenn/CSU swimming and diving alumni believe in the importance of  “team is forever”.

You can help with a contribution of any amount from $25 to $1,000 on line HERE or making a donation by check if that works better for you (address details on our website). And remember, EVERY donation helps to fund the project and  – JUST AS IMPORTANT- shows support for CSU Swimming and Diving.

With less than six weeks to go we can also use your help to spread the word to other friends and alumni.  Please call, email, text or connect with others using your favorite social media.

And remember you can check out pictures of your team on the Heritage Website. Men’s pictures from 1932 and women’s pictures from 1970 are here: Team Photos.

Thank you, and Go Vikings !

For the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Committee,
Wally Morton ’74-’14, Dave Guinther ’64, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ‘81

PS – In case you want to send along the above links directly, they are repeated here:

 

In the Splash Zone

Congrats to our men’s and women’s team for their win over Gannon Friday.  The 2015 pictures, along with team rosters, have been posted to the Heritage Website as well. You can check them out here:  Women’s Photo     Men’s Photo

Ninth Lane Banner Honors Swimming & Diving Alumni

The Ninth Lane Banner provides a large, watchful Magnus encouraging our swimmers and divers while honoring our dedicated alumni. It’s visible from both the pool and rec center. Every alumni should upload their favorite picture(s).

*********     6/3/15  UPDATE     ***************
We Did It – Hope you’ve seen this:
Heritage Project Powers Champions Campaign into Fast Lane

And thanks to many alums we’ve received over 650 photos.  You can see latest Ninth Lane Banner photos here.  You can share this 6/3 email with other friends and alumni.  

If you’d like to help review pictures and help edit the content of the Timeline Wall please email our team – heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com – for additional details.  These are short term (finished in June) yet Time-Critical tasks.  We could use some help for a few weeks.

**************************************************

The Ninth Lane banner was the final element in the Heritage graphics plan.  In addition to providing an always-present cheering section for our teams it will be a massive “wall of fame”  to highlight more alumni pictures than would fit on the Timeline Wall.

The concept of a large graphic on the south wall came from many hours of sitting in The Robert F. Busbey Natatorium while interviewing graphics design partners back in July.  Once we realized we had far more heritage pictures than would fit on the rather “short” Timeline Wall, the south wall presented a huge unused area highly visible from the Rec Center. And accessible to up-close viewing from the second floor bleachers promenade.

Ninth_Lane-divided REFORMAT - Copy

The montage idea came from a visit to the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve Visitor Center in the Grand Teton National Park.  Philip McFee, “Mr. Creativity” behind our Heritage Concept Graphics, came up with the idea for the mosaic embedded in the area below the lane markers as shown below.  The location was ideal because the south wall is very accessible and can be NinthLane_Close_Scale_crop - Copyviewed up close from the top of the south bleachers.

The individual pictures below will be approximately 5″ x 7″ when the project is completed.  The pictures used for the Concept Graphics were taken from Fenn College and CSU photo archives.  In parallel with the fundraising portion of the project we are asking all swimming and diving alumni to share a favorite picture (or pictures ) for inclusion on the Ninth Lane Banner (NOTE: as of May 1 please submit all photos (file name must include year and name of event or people shown) to heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com.

 

Ninth Lane photomosaic_detail - Copy

Here is the view of the Ninth Lane Banner from the Rec Center from the stairway above the “coffee shop” windows.

NinthLane_pool_deck_crop - Copy

The three banners that comprise the Ninth Lane will also be visible from the Rec Center window overlooking the east bleachers.

NinthLane_Rec_View - Copy

As our fundraising efforts kick into high gear we look forward to honoring ALL alumni by including at least one of their favorite pictures on the Ninth Lane.  If you or your family have a picture or pictures you would like to preserve forever as part of the photo mosaic embedded in the Ninth Lane please upload it (or them) to the Heritage Website.

5/1/2015 Update:

  • The photo upload site was closed May 1st.
  • Pictures can be submitted via email to heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com (all photos must contain date taken and names or events in the file name).
  • Click here to View All alumni pictures submitted

If you encounter any problems or simply want to email your photo (s) send your questions or pictures to heritage@csu-swim-dive.com.

Regards from the Left Coast, Dave G

In the splash zone:

Our two goals still remain in front of us:

  • Fund the Heritage Project (we’re on the 30th lap of a 1,000  as/of Dec 14th)
  • Obtain a contribution from every swimming and diving alumni (still early in the race – PLEASE help by making a donation of any size)

Please help by making an ON-LINE DONATION today!  Or contact  John McCreery, Director of Alumni Programs, to discuss your giving preference.  Information on both is here: CONTACT AND DONATION INFORMATION

 

Heritage Project General Campaign Launched with $50k Matching Challenge

400+ swimming and diving friends and alumni received letters last week requesting Heritage Project donations. We have commitments from donors in the form of a $50k matching challenge to help us meet our $75k goal.  Every $1 donation means $3 in funding.

A big THANK YOU to these dedicated alumni who understand the importance of finishing the Heritage Project VIKING STRONG.

If you received the letter or email you already know you can DONATE HERE.

For those of you who are tracking our team via social media (or have moved and we don’t have your contact information) you can SEE WHATS UP.  You can also SEE THE VISION FOR THE POOL GRAPHICS.

And we can’t forget to also thank all those who supported the Champions Campaign to upgrade The Robert F. Busbey Nataorium with a new video scoreboard, record boards and championship banners.  If you haven’t seen it yet you should WATCH THE TEAM THANK-YOU VIDEO.

And please pass this link along to other Fenn College / CSU swimming and diving alumni so everyone has the opportunity to help cement, literally and figuratively, the heritage behind the 9 DECADES OF ATHLETIC AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE created by Bob Busbey and Wally Morton.

If you have questions about the Heritage Project, want to talk live to an alum from your team or would like to pass along suggestions for the pool graphics let us know – send an email to: heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com

For the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Committee,
Wally Morton ’74-’14, Dave Guinther ’64, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ‘81

In the splash zone:

We know there are swimming and diving alumni whose mail/email addresses we don’t have.  PLEASE take a few seconds to pass this blog along to one or more teammate or alumni so we can be sure and get the word out on this matching gift!

 

Needed: Heritage Relay Captains – Can You Help?

UPDATE: Monday, 24 NovemberThe general campaign to finish STRONG and support the Heritage Project was launched with letters and emails sent to swimming and diving friends and alumni.  We still need relay captains to make follow-up phone calls to all alumni.

Next week we launch the direct mail campaign for the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Project.  Our two goals: connect with all alums and fund the remaining portion of the Heritage Project (more GREAT NEWS on that next week).

The purpose of this post is to ask for help in making follow-up calls to ensure the direct mail arrived and answer any question friends and alumni might have.  We’re looking for “Relay Captains” who are willing to make 5-6 calls to other alums in their era.  We will provide a list with contact information.  Ideally these would be past teammates to help minimizing “cold calls”.

We’ll provide a “cheat sheet” with guidelines for the call and background information in addition to the contact list.  Just a few hours of your time would be a GREAT HELP.

Link to Calling Tips is HERE

If you can help please let us know by this Friday, November 14th so we can create the lists.   Send email to: captains@csuvikings-swim-dive-heritage.com

For the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Committee,
Wally Morton ’74-’14, Dave Guinther ’64, Jim Smith ’78, Joe Stockwell ‘81

Splash Bash Swimmers Raise $4,000 for CSU Swimming & Diving

Thanks to all who helped make the 5th Annual Cleveland State Splash Bash in the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium a huge success. 150 swim team, alumni and O*H*I*O masters swimmers raised over $4,000 for the CSU Swimming and Diving team.Splash Bash - Full House

CSU coach Paul Graham and his assistant coaches Kate Inozemtseva and Kevin Rapien get the first round of thanks.  They organized the event, publicized it and took care of registrations and seeding.

The meet officials were on the line for the entire event.  Thanks Tom Fattlar, Jim Starrett and Kat Torok for your volunteer effort.  With 150 swimmers there were plenty of stats (results here) and starts; Tom Gorman and Ron Ezzo ably handled that job along with Daniel Cox and other members of O*H*I*O Masters Swimming.

With 45 CSU swimmers on hand we were also able to tap into our superb core of  team parents and friends of the CSU program who served as our volunteer timers.  Thank you all.

The meet offered Paul Graham, the new CSU Swimming and Diving Coach, a chance to meet friends and alumni in and around the pool. Gerry Meyer introduced Paul and thanked Wally for his 39 years of service to CSU. Splash Bash - Gerry Wally Paul

CommunityCorner_3_AllFilledWally has been outstanding in his support of community events in the Busbey Natatorium.  One of the features of the Heritage Graphics that will be installed next year will be a “Community Corner” to acknowledge and thank the many community organizations, volunteers and supporters who have both used the pool as well as given back to CSU through volunteer efforts and financial support.  If you have suggestions or ideas about the best way to utilize the soon-to-be-installed Community Corner or if your organization’s name should be on on the poster please let us know (heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com)

For many, especially out-of-town CSU alumni, this was the first visit to the pool since installation of the new video board, record boards, and championship banners.  The video board adds state-of-the-art capabilities to the fast pool.new scoreboard

The Championship Banners add visual history to the pool.banners waving high

The Record Boards replaced aging displays that could no longer be properly updated – oopps, does that white cap seem to be getting a little jump on the field?New Record boards backrop a fast start

The date for this year’s Splash Bash was selected to overlap with the CSU 50th Anniversary.  Here’s a link to the first CSU Swimming Team, 19645-65.  You can see all the teams, men, women and co-ed, from 1932 – 2014 HERECSU 50th Anniversary

Thank you (again)  Champions Campaign friends and alumni who enabled us to keep the Robert F. Busbey Natatorium in competitive shape.  We’re looking for the same level of  “team is forever” support from all our alumni and friends as we enter the fund raising phase of the Heritage Project.

Regards, and thank you Jim Starrett, Kevin Rapien and Paul Graham for contributing to this post, Dave G

In the splash zone:

Here are a few more pictures from the Splash Bash.  If you have pictures you’d like to share send them along to heritage@csu-swimming-diving.com

Tom Fattlar, Chris Kantorak, Jim LaMastra and Mike Lehto getting ready for the 5th annual Splash Bash at the 50th CSU reunion.

Tom, Chris, Jim and Mike

Jim LaMastra, Brad Burk, Chris Kantorak, and Wally Morton teamed up for the opening medley relay.
Splash Bash - Jim Back at itChris flying along

Spash Bash - Wally Jumping Right In

Meet officials Jim Starrett and Tom Fattlar  watch as Gerry Meyer congratulates Wally and introduces Paul Graham.Jim and Tom backstop Gerry Meyer

Wally and I shared a lot of text messages preparing for Heritage Weekend.  Many of them were swapping tips and stats from our daily workouts.  John Parry was kind when he later said that “Wally touched out Dave in the 50”.  It wasn’t that close.Wally won the race

Splash Bash was only one of many races for John McCreery on Saturday.x IMG_3119

Wally Weekend Memories: Stories, Honors, Smiles, Giving Back

What a great weekend.  Celebrated 9 decades of Fenn/CSU swimming and diving heritage with 165 friends, many brand new!  So many stories and memories.  Wally deserved the honors he received for the smiles he created, his awesome career, and always giving back.

2014-photo wally morton inducted into GCSHOFAs we begin to relive last weekends great times there’s no way we can begin to highlight all the highlights.  Those will begin to roll out as we share stories and pictures on the new Heritage Website and Facebook.

Enclosed are a few of my favorite times from the combined CSU 50th Anniversary Celebration and our CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Weekend honoring Wally and all he’s done for the program.

Wally’s induction into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night started the weekend off. Wally was a happy and deserving inductee.  A highlight for me was meeting Peter van Dijk and hearing the story of his first meeting with Bob Busbey, how they later became partners in designing the fastest and most advanced pool for its time, and seeing the architects drawing from the construction files of the pool.  Stay tuned for a few pictures from the construction book.

2014-Wally Congratulates new coach Paul GrahamThe weather for Friday’s golf outing was amazing; everyone appreciated the time to connect with each other and meet Paul Graham our new coach.  Kudos to Rob Salisbury for all his work setting up the event.  And the reception at Mark Krusinski’s home provided time to meet so many of the swimmers, divers and coaches who had many Wally stories to share (and a number of stories from Becky’s and training trips we won’t share :).  Wow, the grilled shrimp courtesy of Brian Bailey’s Carolina Barbecue team were out of sight!

My goal for Saturday’s Splash Bash was to break 50 in the 50 at the 50th.  Mission accomplished, however serious work needed if I’m going to catch up to Wally at next year’s event.2014-photo-splashbash dave and wally

The Splash Bash is in its 5th year.  Thank you O*H*I*O Masters for the “packed house”. Your support of our team, the community and Busbey Natatorium has been tremendous.Splash Bash - Full House

The reception and roast were  the main event of the weekend.  Wally deserved every compliment and honor and hug for his  unselfish dedication to Bob Busbey, to our natatorium, to CSU, and to a program that positioned swimmers for success across Cleveland and around the world.  He’s the one who built the dynamite program then fought to keep it alive.  Without him we wouldn’t have been there  celebrating 9 decades of athletic and academic excellence that will radiate from the Busbey Natatorium for decades to come !

Thanks AGAIN to Brian Bailey and his team.  Because of his generous donation of dinner Saturday night the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage program was able to raise thousands of dollars toward Wally’s goal.  Here’s a picture of Wally and Brian with the “other” Wally.14-09-20 Wally and Brian roast Wally

2014-photo-morton-karban-fletcher-krusinksiHerb Fletcher, CSU Hall of Fame Diver, certainly had the most memories to share.  He was on the 1946-49 teams with Bob, and was still actively diving into his eighth decade.  Here’s a picture of Herb with Wally, Rick Karban and Mark Krusinski, other great CSU divers.

The celebration continued on at Becky’s over on 18th street.  Thanks and a tip-of-the-hat to their team for fun Saturday.  And ESPECIALLY for their very generous donation to the CSU Swimming and Diving Heritage Program.

2014-photo Wally Coaching DaveOn Monday we met with our graphics designer to plan next steps for design and fabrication, received a swimming lesson from the master, and a finished with a lunch-time replay with Wally of the wonderful weekend.

Then is was off to CLE for wheels-up at 4:40.  Weekend was over, however memories of the stories, honors,  smiles and giving back by Wally and his swimmers and coaches will be there for a long, long time.

Regards from the Left Coast,

Dave G

In the Splash Zone:

We set two goals Saturday night to help wally meet his goal to leave the Busbey Natatorium in better shape than when he took over from Bob: 1) Fund the Heritage Project graphics in 120 says, and 2) obtain a contribution from every swimming and diving alumni.   Swimmers especially know meets aren’t won by just the fastest swimmers, they are won by the entire team.  So EVERY donation is significant  The on-line donation page is available 7/24 whether you’re on a desktop, laptop or mobile device.

You can donate on line, make a contribution by check or volunteer your time and talents HERE.