Doug Webster will be only 15 when the trials for the U.S.
Olympic swimming team are held next summer, but his coach, Harry Hauck,
of Patton Pool, accords him a good chance to make the men's squad that
goes to the 1964 games in Tokyo.
"I really believe that," said Hauck. "He's the most
sensational high school freshman I've seen in swimming. Why he hasn't
lost all of his baby fat as yet, but he's growing like crazy--his dad is
6-4-- and Doug'll be a big guy. Yes, he could be ready in '64."
Webster has done nothing to indicate that Hauck's enthusiasm
might be mis- placed. He runs what amounts to a pro- duction line at Patton
and Brennan pools, turning out winners during the year. He's making
this area a treasure trove of swimming talent.
In recent weeks, Doug has broken three national age-group
records for boys in the 13-14 age bracket. He covered the 200-yard
backstroke in 2:14, the 200-yard butterfly in 2:16.1, the 400-meter freestyle
in 4:45 and then cut his 200-yard back- stroke mark to 2:13.7.
"What I like about Doug is the way he relaxes and he's
a hard worker," added Hauck. "He's been swimming with champions on
either side of him during his workouts and in some of the meets, too."
Hauck referred to his other young stars, George Saldana,
Ricky Skarbo, John Powser, Pete Adams and Jay Osrowske. All won many
high school and age-group honors during the season.
"Doug spots all these boys two years--they're all 16--but
they'll tell you, Doug is hard to shake off and most of the time they can't
do it," said Hauck.
During the school year, Doug represents Royal Oak Kimball
High, where he is under the supervision of Dick Heller for five days of
the week and trains with Hauck on week-ends at Patton Pool.
Hauck and Heller are in accord of Webster's great potential
and the two coaches see eye-to-eye in his development.
"He's got great desire--he never quits and he's getting
better all the time but fast," observed Heller.
Doug, whose dad Bud Webster, coaches all sports at Our
Lady of Sorrows High School, came to Hauck's swimming school when he was
"Last summer he was good enough to make our long distance
team that won the national A.A.U. four-mile championship," said Hauck."Doug
placed fourth behind Eddie Glick, of Huntington (Ind.), Saldana and Mike
Kin, of Indianapolis. Mike just touched him out for third after Doug
had beaten him in a 400-meter and a mile race earlier in the summer.
"Doug, as a member of the winning long distance team,
was the youngest swimmer at 14, ever to win a National A.A.U. gold medal."
During the high school year, Doug chased his teammate
Tim Cash, in the 400-yard freestyle all season. Cash, with a 4:07.3 time,
led the state preppers in this event in the weekly ratings in The Detroit
In the state championships at Michigan State, however,
Cash went unplaced in the final of the 400 while Webster moved up to third
place. Adams was the winner and Saldana was second.
Hauck's "sweet sixteen" group are all aware that young
Doug is coming up fast. Their outdoor workouts--eight miles of swimming
daily--start June 16 at Brennan Pools.