Between 1938 and 1968, Howard Judd’s teams won 26 of 31 state championships — an unheard of record. They often competed against New Trier High School, Proviso East and others from the Chicago suburbs, until those schools balked at CHS’ tiny pool and insisted upon at least a longer pool-length, which was created in 1960. It was dedicated in February of that year, and was called the “Howard G. Judd Pool.”
It bears noting that Howard was a very gregarious fellow who talked to every kid in town. I recall memorable chats with that wonderful gentleman, and I wasn’t even a swimmer. He spoke on a broad range of topics and was well-versed in all of them. It was a common sight years ago, particularly on balmy summer evenings, to see Howard and his wife, Elsie, walking hand-in-hand downtown or along Clinton’s riverfront.
Sources: Mike Kearney, Clinton Herald archives. Dedicated to Bob and Frances Bicklehaupt, avid swimmers of Clinton’s distinguished past. Next time, Part 2 of Swimming in Clinton.
Gary Herrity is the Clinton Herald’s historical columnist.