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Mr. "Al" Merriam 1927 - 2021
John Neeleman, ’64 All American swimmer, Colorado State University, 1968
I asked John to tell us about his swimming career. November 2020.

 

John said: 

"I took a big drop in times my first year at FJC, going from 58.1 to 54.8 in the 100 fly, then 53.2  at CSU in 67 and as I said  my relay split in 68 was 52.1. 

 

"Workouts were much longer at Fullerton and CSU.... we were doing about 6000 yard/day... 2 workouts, morning and afternoon. This was still several years before goggles and so it was a lot of work.... but we were very successful."

 

Continued below photos. Click on a photo to enlarge and view.

 

Continued

"Bill Johnson at FJC went to the Mexico City Olympics and one of the guys from FJC, John Mattos, is in the Swimming Hall of Fame. 

 

"The 2 guys in the CSU pic,  got 2nd the Nation in their races at the NCAA Championships. Also Ralph Hutton swam after me at CSU and he took a Silver medal  in Mexico City in 68 for Canada and also made the Olympic team in 64 & 72. 

 

"Anyway I was lucky to have good coaches: Ernie Polte at  FJC and Art Solow at CSU. When you work out with swimmers on that level, it's really intense but very rewarding. Also these guys are all my oldest and dearest friends now!  All that mutual shared anguish following the black line (in the pool) lap after lap, creates bonds of friendship that last for your entire life."