1986 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Bob started his swimming career at age 9 under coach “Bud” Latham at the Providence Central Boys Club. He started to gain attention at the age of 13, when he competed against high school and college age swimmers in A.A.U. competition, placing in the top 3 places in many events.
In the late 1940’s while still a high school student, Bob won state and New England titles at various distances in the backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and individual medley.
One of his most noted victories was against Dick Fadgen, who in later years was an alternate on our Olympic team. This victory was in an individual medley event of 300 yards.
After high school Bob concentrated on long distance races. While attending Bowdoin College in Maine on a swimming scholarship, he won the heralded 2 and 1/2 mile Peaks Island to Portland race, lowering the record by almost 3 minutes – a record which still stands.
He was elected Captain of his college team in his senior year, and was given the award as the outstanding swimmer on the team that same year.
His most noted accomplishment came in the National Long Distance Championship held at Terre Haute, Indiana for A.A.U. swimmers. He won the event in record time, beating some of the top collegiate swimmers from teams throughout the United States, and was named to the All-American first team for this feat in 1952.
Some of his records still stand at Bowdoin College.