Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ken Lyman Wins National Jr. AAU Distance Swim Title - 22 July 1940

Ken Lyman Wins National Jr. AAU Distance Swim Title - 22 July 1940 - Deseret News

Watson Second 18 Minutes Behind Ex-Granitian - By Mack Corbett

The third time proved the charm for Ken Lyman, 27-year-old former Granite High School freestyle and backstroke ace, yesterday when he won the annual Great Salt Lake swim and the National Junior AAU Long Distance Championship for 1940 all wrapped up in one.

KEN LYMAN, 27 year old Salt Laker, is national junior AAU outdoor long
distance swim champion for 1940 as a result of his victory yesterday in the
annual Great Salt Lake Marathon from Antelope Island to Black Rock beach.
He crawled and backstroked the 8.12 miles stretch of brine in 4 hours,
18 minutes and 19 seconds.  Lyman is pictured above, surrounded by
admiring fans and covered with salt crystals, as he emerged from the water
at Black Rock pier.

The well-proportioned Salt Lake City athlete negotiated the 8.12 miles of heavy salt water between Antelope Island, the starting point, and Black Rock Beach pier in 4 hours 30 minutes and 19 seconds.  The record, set by Orson Spencer in 1937, is 3:58.  [GORDS MAKING CORRECTIVE EDITOR REMARKS HERE.  Wait a minute.  the record set in 1937 was 3:40:52! ]  Incidentally, Spencer, with his arm in a horizontal cast from a recent automobile accident, followed the swimmer in a boat all the way yesterday.

In winning the briny grind, Lyman finished 18 minutes ahead of defending Champion Ed C. Watson, also of Salt Lake City, who required 4 hours 38 minutes.


Only two others of a field of eight who started the marathon at 12:10 p.m., were able to complete the course in the face of a choppy head wind that blew up at about [1] o'clock to harass the paddlers considerably.  They were Russell Rigby of Garfield who reached the Black Rock pier at 5:32 for the elapsed time of 5:22 and Wayne Christensen of Ogden who finished 5:52 and a time of 5:42.  Incidentally, Christensen is one of the first long distance swimmers to essay the breast-stroke in the heavy water.  He swam it all the way using the "frog kick."

Keith Fernelius of Ogden, Robert Isakson of Magna, Arthur Johansen and Wes Workman, of Salt Lake CIty, were picked up by the boats when the wind blew too much of the strangling salt water in their faces.   Johansen stayed fairly even with the leaders through six miles.


The race was a duel between Lyman and Watson from the start.  Swimming with his face under water, the way he learned in ocean swimming, Watson went into the lead and stretched it to an advantage of a half mile over Lyman at the half-way mark.   Lyman was almost that far ahead of Rigby who was in third place at this point.  Watson commenced to ship [home] of Great Salt Lake as the wind started to whip up and in the next two miles took violently sick, vomiting at one juncture.  Lyman's steady pace pulled him even, then past the defending champion.  He turned on his back the last mile to avoid the salt spray and came in a decisive winner.  He is Utah's fastest back-stroke exponent as well as fastest freestyler.  Watson showed supreme courage in finishing only 18 minutes behind the winner.


All the swimmers were chafed by their close-fitting trunks.  Most wore a thin layer of grease.  Lyman used goggles only a mile or so after the wind came up.  Asked if he would like to go out and do it all over again, Lyman, who showed little fatigue said: "I would tomorrow.  I feel fine.  I was really in condition for this one.  Been training for six weeks, some of 'em six mile jaunts.  I've lost two of these races to Spencer.  With Orson out, I figured this was my chance."

Lyman stands 5 feet 11 and weighs 165.  He was on the coast when last year's race was held.

Gold statuette trophies were presented to the four finishers at a dinner given by Jim Latses, owner of Black Rock Beach, in the evening.  The race was supervised by Charles Welch Sr., and Dr. Munn Q. Cannon.
Post a Comment