Article 166 c.1964
Swim Times To Improve
Michigan's high school swimmers will have to go some to match the best performances of last season. But don't bet they won't do it. 
This state's prep swimmers have shown marked overall improve- ment season by season. Now coaches rate them among the best in the nation and they have become prime targets for college recruiters.
Improved techniques and growing community interest in the sport have helped to spur the school- boys on. So has a weekly swimming season feature of The Detroit News.
For three years now, The News has published lists of outstanding high school performances. The times are reported from all parts of the state to Coach Pat Wallace, of Royal Oak Dondero, who compiles the figures.
Today, starting the fourth year, the first list of the swimming season appears. And an interesting one it is.
"There are over 130 times on this first list," said Wallace, "and believe it or not, only 14 of them would have been fast enough to make our final list of last season."
"They'll really start to come down fast, though. Once these kids see what they have to do, most of them will go out and do it."
There are, for example, only three clockings in the 200-yard medley relay and three in the back- stroke that would have been published last March. There are only two each in the breaststroke and freestyle relay.
In the 50-yard freestyle, the individual medley, the 100-yard freestyle and the 400 freestyle only one time, the leading, would have been fast enough.
And in the other two events, the 200-yard freestyle and the butterfly, none of today's times would have made the grade. That's an idea of how fast they went last year.
The fleetest of the fleet were names to The News' annual All-State swimming team. All have graduated except state 400-yard freestyle record holder Doug Webster of Kimball, who is ineligible at the moment.
A similar program of weekly lists which end with the naming of the state's outstanding prep participants is conducted by The News during the track and field season.
A bumper crop of swimmers graduated from Michigan high schools last June. Many of the performers had been regularly appearing on the swim lists since their inception. Today's list contains mostly new names.
"We seem to be starting a new cycle," said Wallace, an active member of the Michigan Inter- scholastic Swimming Coaches' Association. "A few of the most promising boys are just freshman and sophomores, the same situation we had three years ago."
Lester McCormick, of Warren Fitzgerald, is one of the bright freshmen. He currently is the leader in the 200-yard individual medley and should be a comer in the distance freestyle events.
There are enough veterans to insure sparkling clocking in the near future, however. Rod Henderson still is swimming the freestyle sprints for defending Class A champion Seaholm and there are others, like Mike Schoenhals and Adrian VanOss, of Kimball, and Bob Hand, of Saginaw.
One of the surprises is Dick Darby, of Flint Southwestern. Dick had been a fair freestyler but was not considered a standout. He was switched to the backstroke and today is ranked at the top of this event.

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