On Sunday, we received an unsolicited email from Peter Kamerlen, a former swimmer at RIT. Peter, it turns out, has PDF results of every New York State High School Swimming & Diving Championship meet dating back to the 1997-1998 season.
We love these kind of emails.
About a year ago, we launched the SwimSwam Results Archive. The goal for this archive, besides putting results at the fingertips of our writers for easier reference, is to try and preserve the history of our sport. Who finished 4th in the 220 yard free at the 1936 NCAA Championships? Did dad really make finals at Y Nats in 1972 as he claims? Taylor Drysdale won the 150-yard backstroke at the 1932, 1934, and 1935 NCAA Championships, but didn’t in 1933. Where did he place? Did he even swim?
Some of these questions are very niche, but they all contribute to the full story of the history of swimming, and that makes them important. It’s possible that nobody alive today knows the answer to any of those questions posed above.
Finding results from meets from the last decade or so is relatively easy, and for a few years before that most of it is available in some form. But when we reach back into the 1990s, the 1980s, and earlier, the full history of big swim meets are beginning to disappear. Someone might have these files on a computer, but then get a new one and don’t bring those old files with them. Natural disasters or spring cleaning could wipe those records out of existence.
We’ve stumbled upon a few of these treasure-troves already. Coaches Mike Sutton and Charlie Griffiths at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps had paper copies of NCAA Division III Championships dating back to 1979, and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps just so happens to be where our results-archive manager Torrey Hart swam in college. So she rolled over to the pool, scanned them all, and now they’re available.
Stu Swanson, a 1981 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, also dug up some old NCAA Division I Championship results – dating back as far as 1979.
You Can Help Too
Peter suggested that between quaran-cleaning and general boredom, there might be a lot of people going through old files who might stumble across some old results.
What meets do we need? Honestly, we’ll take any meet of any repute that you might have (though not all results will go up right away). Right now, we’re prioritizing old National, Junior National, High School State Championship; and Collegiate National, Conference Championship, and big invite results.
If you’ve got the files electronically, we’d love if you emailed them to share [at] swimswam.com. Have the paper files? If you can scan and send them, that’s great!
Have paper files and no access to a scanner? Email us anyway, and we’ll see if we can figure something out.
Thanks to those who have helped us build this tool for the swimming community, and thanks for those who will help continue to build it in the future.