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1967 Swimming Team (2001)

The record speaks for itself. Extending the Loyola skein of victories to 28, the 1967 Swimming and Diving Team completed a second consecutive undefeated season while sweeping to its second straight Chicago Catholic League and National Catholic Championship crowns. This team was defined not so much by its star athletes and record-breaking performances, through it produced both, as by its tremendous, unbeatable depth. The 1967 team won every dual, triangular, and relay meet entered. After beating arch-rival Fenwick in a big meet earlier in the season, coach Dick Shiman's Ramblers approached the Catholic League meet wary of any let-down and determined to defend its title. There would be no let-down, as the Ramblers once again drowned the Friars, 290.5 to 246. They took firsts in six of eleven events and produced three new league championship records and two All-American performances in the process. Loyola swimmers set new Catholic League marks in the 100 yard backstroke (Steve McCarthy, 56.4), the 200 yard Medley Relay (McCarthy, Jay Reynolds, Bob Bennewitz, and Steve Kohler, 1:43.1), and the 400 yard Freestyle Relay (Steve Kohler, Tom Donoghue, John Dwyer, and Steve Dowdle, 3:28.6). Both McCarthy's backstroke time and the medley relay time earned All-American designation. Other champions included John Curran in the 50yd free, Chris Hansen in the 200yd Individual Medley, and Bob Bennewitz in the 100yd butterfly. However, it was Loyola's depth which secured the crown. Remarkably, every entry in the individual events finished in the top six: second place finishes by Bob Rolfes in the 50, Curran in the 100, and Hansen in the 100 backstroke; third places by Dowdle in the 200, Dwyer in the 200IM, Donoghue in the 100, Phil Crouch in the 400, Jordt and Reynolds in the 100 breaststroke, and Dave Pierce in diving; a fourth place by Dan Baas in the 400; fifth places by Chuck Stark in diving and Steve Gilbert in the 100 butterfly; and a sixth place by Crouch in the 200. A long list, each point significant. The 1967 team capped a glorious season at the 33rd annual National Catholic championships in Philadelphia. Coaches Shiman and Mickey McGuire had prepared the squad well, with hard training, perfect tapering, and good scouting. Loyola simply had too much depth, emerging victorious from a 36 team field despite winning only one event - the 200 yard Medley Relay, with McCarthy, Reynolds, Hansen, and Kohler doing the honors. Other top finishes were McCarthy's second in the backstroke and Curran's third in both the 50 and 100 freestyle. The rest of the story was Loyola's indomitable depth, with all of the aforementioned Catholic League stalwarts doing their part in the national meet, picking up those fifth, sixth, and the seventh places for valuable points. The 1967 Swimming Team - truly a team - captured the National Catholic Championship by 23 points, cementing its place among Loyola's dynasty teams of the mid 1960's.

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