Thursday, May 5, 2011

1940 pre-race article building up Ed Watson as favored winner for the 1940 Antelope Island To Black Rock race

Not sure if this is from Deseret News or Salt Lake Tribune, or even the date, but it is sometime in the early summer of 1940:

Watson Favored in Long Splash - Start Scheduled at Antelope Island By Mack Corbett 
Twelve well-conditioned swimmers from Utah and Wasthington pronounced themselves ready for tomorrow's 8.12 mile marathon which will decide the National Junior AAU Outdoor Long Distance Swimming Championship of 1940.
The event is scheduled to start at 11a.m. from the sandy beach of Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake and finish within two and a half hours of the starting time at Black Rock Beach near Garfield.
Gords interjection:  I don't think Mack really discussed the expected finish time with someone who knew, since the record holder for that distance was Orson Spencer with a 3:40:52 time.   Two and half hours would mean a 18:28 per mile pace which is doable by a really fast miler, but I don't think anyone could swim that fast for 8 miles straight.  Even in the Great Salt Lake.    Sorry.  Just had to point that out.  On with the article....

Final pronouncement on the physical condition of the field will be made tomorrow at 9 a.m. by Dr. C. Ralph Cornwall, examining physician. 
Watson Leads Field
The contestants are Ed C. Watson, of Salt Lake City, defending champion; Wesley Workman of the University of Utah, Arthur Johansen of Pyallup, Wash., R.C. Isakson of Magna, Russell L. Rigby of Garfield, Wayne Christensen, Byrne Fernelius and A.C. Cook of Ogden, and four other Salt Lakers - Ken Lyman, Don Thoresen, Glen Smith and John Carmen of the Deseret Gymnasium.
A keen race is in prospect what with fair weather the forecast in contrast to last year's storm-tossed competition.  Watson will step into the brine as the odds-on favorite, but Thoresen and Lyman are both capable of sensational time.  Carmen is an accomplished back-stroker and can change off without diminishing speed.  Rigby is a veteran of previous swims and this may be his year.  Fernelius placed third last year and is a member of Bert Jensen's ski instruction staff. The same is true of the other entrants, so a dark horse could easily walk off with the honors.
Boatmen Will Aid
T. C. Adams, commodore of the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club, has issued a call to all sailboat owners to be ready to meet the swimmers at Antelope Island and escort them on the swim; Frnak A. Hulbert will be in charge of the speedboat flotilla which will also assist George A. Knepp, sheriff's deputy will be in charge of the Sheriff's launch and auxiliary speed boat. 
Dr. Cannon In Charge
Dr. Munn Q. Cannon chairman of the Intermountain A.A.U. swim committee, is conducting the event which is an official part of the Covered Wagon Days celebration.  Officials of CWD will be on hand for the finish of the race, congratulate the winners and attend a dinner given by James Latses, operator of Black Rock Beach.  In the swimmers' and officials' honor in the early evening.  Gus P. Backman, Intermountain A.A.U. president, planned to attend and aware the four official national A.A.U. trophies to the first four finishers.  
Officials for the event, besides Dr. Cornwall and Dr. Cannon, are: Charles Welch Sr., presiding judge; George Adamson, Chloris Watts, first aid; Don Reddish, Denny Ausherman and Rex Sutherland, timers;  Dr. Hyde Cowley, clerk of the course; Harold McNeil, Ward Armstrong and Ferron Loosee, inspectors; Gus P. Backman, honorary judge.

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