The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Features

August 2, 2013

Clinton is a swimming city

(Continued)

Former Councilman Mike Kearney and a small group bravely re-enacted the 1913 feat above by swimming from bridge to bridge three years ago. Kearney’s name is on the 1958 CHS state championship trophy, and his brothers’ names (Ed and Bud Kearney) appear on the 1962 state trophy. That’s the only instance of three brothers all having their names on state championship trophies from Clinton. Ed’s name is also on the 1961 runner-up trophy, and Bud’s was on the ‘63 and ‘64 runner-up trophies. (It is sad to note that the 1964 trophy would have been a state championship trophy if one swimmer had not gotten overly excited and jumped back into the pool before all the other swimmers had finished, thereby disqualifying CHS for the relay that, otherwise, would have been the winning event.)

Kearney continues as a daily swimming enthusiast to this day, and is a leader and historian on it, as well. In discussing our new Clinton High School Hall of Fame (to be unveiled in the fall), he notes several swimmers are included, adding, “You know, Clinton swimmers could have their own Hall of Fame and easily fill it with highly acclaimed state and national champions of note.”

Back in 1941, Hubert “Hubie” Norman and his brother, Del, were the star swimmers at CHS, and were both named All-Americans. “Hubie” had only one leg and had to get special permission in order to compete, but had many fine wins to his credit. My wife’s mother, Pearl Jackson, was a classmate and spoke of him fondly years ago, saying, “He was the nicest boy you could hope to meet, and very popular. He never let his handicap get in his way, nor did he accept any special treatment because of it.”

The All-American designation places an athlete in an elite group (top 20) of the finest in the nation in their particular event. Clinton can be extremely proud of the 43 individuals who were named All-American swimmers — a total 83 times. The first CHS All-American swimmer was James Edgar, in 1934, and the last was Larry Stover in 1965.

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