Article 046 c.1961

RECORDSETTERS-These schoolboys from Patton Pool set two national age group records at the American Turner's pool, hanging up new times in the 200 and 400-yard medley relays. From the left are Ron Boyd, Raymond Ferguson, Bob Blanchard and Rick Sarbo.

Laud Age Group Program

Give age group swimming an assist if Rick Skarbo, of Western High, wins the Public School League backstroke or Ron Boyd, of Mackenzie, is first in the 100-yard freestyle in the PSL championships next winter. 
The same is true if Peggi Wirth, of the American Turners, does well in the national women's championships. 
Age group swimming, American Turner Coach Roy Pouliot points out, is responsible for improving times among young swimmers. 
"It's been wonderful," Pouliot declared. "It has expanded the base of swimming so that you discover a lot more of the children who have talent to become a champion."
A former Northwestern High and Wayne State butterfly contestant, the 34-year-old Pouliot has been a pioneer in the type of swimming that is likely to make the United States preeminent in the water by the time the 1964 Olympic Games are held in Tokyo. 
"The age group competition started about 12 years ago in California and began to snowball in the last few years," he said. "What has made this type of swimming interesting is that all boys and girls swim against others own their age, making the competition equal. 
"It maintains their interest and keeps them coming back for their daily workouts. They practice four days a week, taking part in meets on weekends."
The Turners have gone to meets in Chicago, Indianapolis, Dayton, Hialeah, Fla., Ann Arbor, Green Bay, Wis., and Toronto, winning first and second in the relays in each.
Pouliot starts the girls with long workouts at the start of the season, making the distances shorter and increasing the speed as the season progresses. 
The Turner girls were ready a week ago, setting two national records in the 15-16 age group. First, Peggi Wirth, Cynthia Osgood, Kathy Cross and Leslie Beckenhauer set a record of 1:49.6 in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Later Peggi, Cynthia Goyette, Kathy and Cynthia Osgood established a mark of 2:04.3 for the 200-yard medley relay. 
Not to be outdone, four boys who work out at Patton Pool, set records of 1:50.6 for the 200-yard medley relay and 4:04.1 for the 400-yard medley. Included on the teams were Rick Skarbo, 15, of Western; Bob Blanchard, 16, of Dearborn Edsel Ford High; Raymond Ferguson, 16, of Pershing; and Ron Boyd, 15, of Mackenzie.
"The times were in the nature of a birthday present for Cynthia Osgood who was 17 the day after we broke the records," Pouliot said. "She'll have to swim in open competition in the future." Cynthia is a junior at Ligett School. Kathy, 15, is a freshman at Our Lady Star of the Sea; Cynthia Goyette, 14, attends Queen of Peace High; and Leslie, 14, is a student at Liggett. 
Miss Wirth, a 16-year-old red-headed, freckle-faced junior of Sacred Heart Academy, is the teen-ager of whom Pouliot expects "great things."
"Peggi is the first Michigan woman to break 59 seconds for 100 yards freestyle, making 58.6 seconds in the state championships at Ann Arbor in March," the Turner coach said," She has a very nice, smooth stroke, is quite powerful and hasn't reached her potential."

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