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World Record Throwback: Michael Phelps, Erik Vendt’s Epic Duel in the 400m IM at 2002 US Nationals

Michael Phelps and Erik Vendt had one of the all-time great races in swimming with both guys getting under Tom Dolan’s WR in the 400m IM at the 2002 US Nationals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
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History of the Hall of Fame Aquatic Center in Fort Lauderdale
 
In 1926, one of the worst hurricanes on record sucker-punched Broward County, killing an estimated 325 people and prompting Fort Lauderdale’s mayor to declare martial law. It also paved the way for the city to embrace the idea of Commodore Auylen Harcourt Brook, who believed promoting swimming and the building of a “concrete pond” would fuel the ailing local economy and help revitalize the area.

The Fort Lauderdale Sentinel supported the idea of a bond issue, and on June 28, 1927, proclaimed: “With such a bath house, our excellent beach, now notably popular, will become far more popular and a genuine attraction in drawing visitors to the city, both summer and winter.”

Estimated to cost $90,000 and criticized for costing $130,000, the Las Olas Casino Pool came to be considered one of the city’s best ever investments.
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Mary T. Meagher breaks two world records in one day at ISHOF

Forty years ago, Ocean brand swimsuit was a swim suit of choice,  USA Swimming wasn't even an idea yet, the AAU was in charge, and Mary T. Meagher was 14 years old.

August 16-19, 1979, the International Swimming Hall of Fame was host to the 1979 AAU Senior National Swimming Championships and Olympic Trials were less than a year away.  Fort Lauderdale was the perfect venue for the event with its warm breezes, palm trees and the Atlantic Ocean just across the street.

Mary T. Meagher was a shy 14 year old from Lakeside Swim Club in Louisville, KY.  She had previously broken the world record the month earlier, at the Pan Am Games in July and her coach Denise Pursley thought she was ready to do it again.

And boy, did she do it!  Not only did Mary T. better her own world record in the 200m butterfly in the prelims with a 2:08.41, she then bettered it once again in the 200m butterfly finals with a 2:07.01. It was the third time Meagher had broken the world record in that event in two months.
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Ethelda Bleibtrey’s Pioneering World Record 100 Years Ago on August 16, 2019 by Craig Lord
 
August 16, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the first women’s world record over 440 yards (later 400m) freestyle – and the first global standard set by Ethelda Bleibtrey. A year later, she would become the first American woman ever to claim Olympic gold in the pool – and the first woman to claim three golds, too.

Over the 440 yards freestyle in New York on August 16, 1919, Bleibtrey set the first official world record over the distance, in 6mins 30.2sec. Since then 13 other Americans – in 31 efforts in total – have set the global standard over 440y and then 400m, the current standard 3:56.46, set by Katie Ledecky for Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro on August 7, 2016.

 
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Aileen Riggin Soule, 
by Meg Keller-Marvin

I remember many years back, maybe in the early 1990s, I cannot remember the exact year, but Aileen Riggin flew in from Hawaii to visit ISHOF to accept the Grand Dame Award.  What I remember, clear as day, was that for the event at ISHOF she wore her 1924 navy blue and white USA Olympic uniform, complete with fabulous hat, and it all fit her beautifully.  How many of us could do that 60+ years later? Aileen was joined by teammate Alice Lord Landon, who also donned her Olympic uniform.  I remember listening to Aileen tell her stories and being just mesmerized by them.  I think the best part about being at ISHOF for the last half of a century is the fabulous people I've gotten to meet, spend time with and talk to.  Aileen Riggin was one of those people.  Don't get me wrong, it's exciting to meet Michael Phelps but there were very few who could tell the stories, tell the history, that Aileen Riggin could tell.......and here is her story, in her words.
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Asta Girdauskiene 2019 MISHOF Honor Diver
 
The Masters  International Swimming Hall of Fame (MISHOF) is proud to announce that Asta Girdauskiene, will be inducted into the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the MISHOF Induction ceremonies in St. Louis, MO, on Friday evening, September 13, 2019, to be held in conjunction with the United States Aquatic Sports convention. 

Asta Girdauskiene began her career in diving at the age of nine and went on to win multiple national championship titles in the former USSR.  The platform was always her strongest event.   But life as a diver ended for her in 1982 after she completed her university degree and began working as a lecturer. 
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Dr. Jim Miller to be inducted  into MISHOF Class of 2019
 
The Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame (MISHOF) is proud to announce that Dr. Jim Miller will be inducted into the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the MISHOF Induction ceremonies in St. Louis, MO, on Friday evening, September 13, 2019, to be held in conjunction with the United States Aquatic Sports convention.

Jim Miller has been involved in all aspects of Masters Swimming and aquatics.  His eclectic aquatic experiences as an athlete, coach, official, physician, leader and lecturer have given him a wealth of knowledge and experience beyond words. And only a person of Miller’s seemingly unlimited talents could fit all his contributions to aquatics and Masters Swimming into one lifetime.
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2019 September Newsletter

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