Dennis Manrique taught himself how to swim at the
age of eight while
just three years ago Pete Adams had trouble stroking two lengths of the
pool. But today both 16-year-old Detroit youths are hailed as members
a national relay record unit.
Last weekend Denny and Pete combined with Rick Skarbo
and Ray Ferguson
for a 2:02.7 clocking in the 200-meter medley relay at the Fort Wayne
open AAU championships. The time clipped five-tenths of a second off
2:03.2 mark set a year ago by the Aqua Bears, of California.
With each swimming 50 meters, Skarbo led off in the
followed in the breaststroke,
Ferguson the butterfly and Adams the freestyle.
Skarbo, also 16, and Manrique, both are Western High
17, recently graduated from Pershing and Adams is a junior at the same
East Side school.
The talented quartet has been swimming competitively
as a relay unit
for two years under the guidance of Patton Pool instructor Harry Hauck.
"I've been working with them together ever since I
shifted from St.
Clair Recreation to Patton three summers ago," related Hauck as he
their newly won Fort Wayne trophy.
"I consider Adams my protege of the lot. Originally, I
took him over
as a raw-boned youngster of 13 at St. Clair. At that time he sweated
going just two lengths of the pool.
"When I switched jobs, I brought him to Patton along
with his school
buddy Ferguson. Both Skarbo and Manrique advanced through Patton's
They surprised me the first time in a dual meet at
Turners in 1960.
||same afternoon they bettered two
national records (since
broken) in the 200- and 400-yard medley relays with times of 1:50.8 and
"Last April the Patton strokers uncorked a national
record of 1:47.7
for the 200-yard medley relay at the Women's City Club invitational, a
mark that still stands.
Aside from their relay success, each is a most
in his stroke. Skarbo, the kingpin of the crew with some 37 trophies to
his credit, set a 100-yard backstroke record of :59.2 in the Public
League last March.
Adams captured the state Class A 400-yard freestyle
crown with a record
4:04 flat in the championships at Ann Arbor last spring. As a 10th
he was clocked in 1:55.4 for the 200 and 4:14 flat in the 400 during
Manrique's peak prep time was 1:08 flat in the
while Ferguson's best clocking in the butterfly was :59.2.
This summer Hauck's speed merchants are following a
practice program. Their daily routine calls for a four-hour morning
(7 to 11a.m.), with two more workouts in the afternoon (2:30 to 3:30
5 to 6:30) for 6-1/2 hours per day.
Each of the unit has physical dimensions of a football
year 'round they're strictly swimmers. Ferguson is 6 feet 2, 187
Adams 6-1, 180; Skarbo 6 feet, 165; and Manrique 5-11, 155.
"The boys are gunning for two major challenges early
next month," concluded
Hauck. "I'm planning to enter them in the senior men's national AAU
long-distance event at Cuyahoga Falls, O., on Aug. 4.
The following weekend at Cuyahoga Falls the unit will
make its first
appearance in the senior men's national AAU competition (Aug. 10-12)."