Friday, July 11, 2008

More about times and stopwatches

When I last mentioned stopwatches here, I said the league moved to recording hundredths around 1981. I was really guessing at that, relying on the records we've published in our handbook. Former swimmer and longtime coach Brian Camp emailed me to tell me he remembered getting times at the 1975 All Stars in hundredths using touch pads--and the pads gave him faster times than some of the timers did! He believes this was the first All Stars to go to hundredths. In 1976, his first year coaching , he remembers the big fat digital Cronus watches that he thinks went to the hundredths. (He does remember the AA batteries didn't last very long.) Rob, a former swimmer and coach and current swim dad, brought one of the old stopwatches to Long Course--this one only recorded to tenths. (And no, I didn't take a picture of it, and you can bet I'm kicking myself for not thinking to do so! My excuse is I was selling programs at the time.)

Brian's comments had me emailing Linda, the MCSL records chair. She's researching the question. It also got me to haul out my ribbon box. Yes, I confess I have a very old Woodies box (for you non-natives, Woodies, aka Woodward & Lothrop, was a local department store that closed its doors some years ago) filled with ribbons and medals...well, mostly ribbons and mostly third places (back then, we only got ribbons for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd). Anyway, digging through the pile of over 100 ribbons, I found two that recorded the time to hundredths--one from 1967 and the other from 1964. Hmm. I suspect another trip to the Montgomery County Historical Society might be in order.

Oh, and in the same post where I first mentioned times, I said Glenwood didn't have lane targets back in the day. Apparently it wasn't the only pool with blank walls. Brian wrote that when he swam for West Hillandale in the 1960's, opposing teams sometimes marked targets on the pool walls with crayon!

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