November 4, 2008

Sad news in the Carthage swimming community today. I got an e-mail from Tory Olson, telling me that his father, Mickey Olson had passed away. Mickey was the first guy to give Carthage swimming to national recognition when he qualified guys for NCAA's. Under Mickey, Carthage had its highest-ever national finisher - Jud Koenitzer - who finished 2nd in the 50 free at the NCAA Championships (with a 21.7 if you can believe it).

I never met Mickey, but he would call me annually to check up on the team and tell me about some recruits from the Sioux City area where he coached for 25 years. Not only did he coach for a quarter-century - he was a longtime referee, officiating a decade's worth of NCAA Championships. (Read his impressive obituary here.)

In telling me about his dad, Tory wrote, "My brother and I grew up on the Carthage campus so we have fond memories of our time swimming at Carthage as kids and spending many hours running around the campus."

Wow - I'll bet he wouldn't recognize the place now, not with the new pool (named after the father of that NCAA runner-up), Oaks Residence halls with their huge LCD screen TV's, or simply the sheer number of students on campus.

Tory would also like to enlist the help of any friends and alums who can support their effort to rename the West High School Pool after his dad. If you could, drop a note to the school board on behalf of their efforts. Send it to:

Mickey Olson Memorial Pool
C/O Paula Hamp
3850 Jackson St.
Sioux City, IA 51104



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