Swimming

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Entry Category: Swimming

Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame is a body that recognizes swimming excellence in the state. The induction of its first class in 1986 served as an announcement of the state swimming community’s determination to raise the profile of swimming in Arkansas beyond its emergence every four years as part of the summer Olympics. The Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization that seeks to recognize and honor those who have contributed to swimming in Arkansas and to promote amateur swimming throughout the state. Its club efforts both teach swimming and offer the first opportunities for competition to the college teams that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)–sanctioned championships to the high-level club teams that serve …

Blair, Paul Barr

Paul Barr Blair was an iconic figure in Arkansas swimming. The founder and longtime coach of the Arkansas Dolphins swim team, he was a nationally recognized swim coach whose innovative approach to sprint training, with its focus on interval work, earned him wide acclaim. Paul Barr Blair was born on May 19, 1949, in Dover, Ohio, to Bill and Martha Blair. Blair graduated from Dover High School in 1967 and then went on to West Liberty State College in West Liberty, Virginia. In 1971 and 1972, Blair earned back-to-back All–Western Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American honors, as well as leading West Liberty to the conference swimming title. After graduating from college in 1975, …

Evans, Grover

Grover Evans was known throughout central and northeastern Arkansas for his political endeavors, sports accomplishments, and career as a motivational speaker. In 1978, he was in a single-car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. The road to recovery placed many challenges in his path, but he was able to meet those challenges and he was inducted into both the Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Grover Evans was born on March 6, 1952, the first African American born at St. Bernards Hospital in Jonesboro (Craighead County); he was named after the delivering doctor, Dr. Grover Poole. His parents were William Evans and Georgia Lee Holiday, and he had five younger siblings. …

Rothhammer, Keena

Keena Rothhammer, who was a talented and versatile swimmer, became one of the leaders of the U.S. national teams at both the 1972 Olympics and the 1973 World Championships. Rothhammer was the first Arkansas native to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming and set multiple world records over the course of her career. Over her short career, Rothhammer held two world records, ten American records, and fifteen individual national records. Keena Ruth Rothhammer was born on February 26, 1957, in Little Rock (Pulaski County) to Grant Roy Rothhammer and Dianne Becker Rothhammer. As their daughter’s swimming potential became clear, the family left Little Rock for southern California, where she was coached by the legendary George Haines at the Santa …