EDNA SOLTYSIAK SOTNIK
1984 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Edna is from a family of famous swimmers – her brothers Matt and Anthony having preceded her at the Olneyville Boys’ Club, where all three starred for coach Joe Watmough. While a youngster in the 9th grade at Junior High School, Edna surprised the New England swimming world by winning the New England A.A.U. 100 freestyle championship.
From that early accomplishment, Edna went on to win state, New England, and National championships in numerous events and distances. Among her records were: National A.A.U. Junior Indoor 200 breaststroke champion; R.I. State Indoor 100 breaststroke champion; New England Senior outdoor champion in the 440 yard freestyle; New England Senior outdoor long distance champion and she also won the N.E.A.A.U. 200 meter breaststroke championship. In 1941, cutting 21.1 seconds off the existing record, she won the 440 yard freestyle event. While winning the N.E.A.A.U. 220 breaststroke event in a meet in Whitinsville, Massachusetts, Edna broke the American Record by 1.35 seconds.
As a member of the Olneyville Boys’ Club Auxiliary team, Edna teamed with Doris Brennan and Mary Kayser in winning numerous relay titles, including the N.E.A.A.U. 300 medley relay championship. This same team placed 3rd in the 300 yard medley relay at the Women’s National A.A.U. championships in Miami, Florida.