Allison Grant Townsend
Allison Grant Townsend competed in North Carolina state age group programs from age 12 through senior nationals. She held numerous state age group records and trained under Coach Don Easterling with both the Wolfpack Swim Team and the Sweet Acidophilus Milk Swim Team.
Allison won the National Junior Olympics for the 100 yard breaststroke two consecutive years, as a 12 and 13-year old. In 1976, Townsend set the age group and senior North Carolina record for 200 meter freestyle and, in 1977, set the records for 100 and 200 yard breaststroke and the 200 meter freestyle. She held these records for over 15 years.
On the larger scene, Townsend was world ranked in both the freestyle and breaststroke events in the mid-1970s. She placed consistently second or third for the for the 100 yard and 100 meter breaststroke events at Senior Nationals, breaking the American record for that event twice. She was a member of the U.S. National team and represented the U.S. in international competition in South America, East Germany, and Russia. She was an Olympic trials qualifier for the 1976 Olympics. Townsend concluded her swimming career with Arizona State University where she was a 4-time All American and National AIWA Champion in the 50 yard breaststroke in 1979 and the 400 medley relay in 1981.
Dr. Ray Martinez arrived at East Carolina University in 1954 where he started the first swimming team and coached it for 14 years. His team won the NAIA Swimming and Diving Championships in both 1957 and 1959. In 1964, his team placed second in the NCAA College Division Championships and finished in the top seven for ten consecutive years. During his coaching years at ECU his men earned All-American honors 65 times and won 19 college national championships. In addition, his teams won all the Southern Conference Championship Meets they entered.
The state of the art natatorium at ECU was designed and built under the direction of Coach Martinez. When Dr. Martinez attracted the 1968 National AAU Men's Short Course Championships in ECU, he directed the first meet to use all electronic timing and judging equipment. In 1956, he established the highly regarded Eastern Seaboard Interscholastic Championships which is still held annually at ECU for outstanding prep and high school swimmers throughout the Eastern United States.
In 1960, he founded a private swim club, Raynez, and sponsored successful summer swimming camps during the 60's and 70's. Dr. Martinez received the first Kiputh Award for national leadership in aquatics and was elected tot he East Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.
Phil Riker, a native of Patterson, New Jersey, came to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1964. He had just taken fourth place in the 200 meter butterfly at the 1964 Olympic Games in Toyko. As a member of the Tar Heel swim team, Butch, as his teammates called him, captured several titles. He was the ACC Champion in the 100 and 200 yard butterfly for three straight years (1966-68). In his senior year, he was also a member of the ACC record-breaking 400 yard medley relay team which won the conference title.
In 1965, Phil represented the USA at the International Swim Festival in Bremen, Germany setting American short-course records, and taking first place in both the 100 and 200 fly. Later that year, he competed in the World Collegiate Games held in Budapest, Hungary.
Riker was an All-American in the 100 yard butterfly for the 1965-66 season. The following season, he was named All-American in both butterfly events, as well as the 400 yard medley relay. In 1968, he was All-Ameican for his participation in the 800 yard freestyle relay. Riker continued to swim in his adult years with U.S. Masters Swimming.
Peter Fogarassy was a Junior National breaststroke champion in his native Hungary before escaping to the U.S. in 1957. He attended high school in Connecticut and was recruited by Willis Casey to North Carolina State University in 1959 where he made an immediate impression on the local swimming community. Fogarassy set three national records in his freshman year in the 100, 200, and 220 yard breaststroke events. In 1960, he broke the world record in the 200 meter breaststroke and won the AAU National Championship.
During his undergraduate years at NCSU, Fogarassy was named to the All-American team each year. He never lost a breaststroke event in four years of competing in the ACC and finished in the top 3 at the NCAA Championships each year. Fogarassy was awarded the Louis J. Fisher Amateur Athlete of the Year award for North Carolina in 1960 and 1961 - surpassing an incredible array of talent competing at that time in basketball and football.
Fogarassy continued to swim competitively into his adulthood with U.S. Masters Swimming, even achieving All-American honors at this level as well.
Jack Nelson grew up in Georgia and excelled in many sports - primarily football - as a youth. He did not begin his serious competitive swimming career until 1953 at the age of 21 during his four year tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force. He was soon beating the times of every member of the Air Force swimming team, and, by 1954, held world records in the 100 and 200 butterfly.
While attending the University of North Carolina under the tutelage of Ralph Casey, Nelson again broke the world record in the 200 meter butterfly. Then, in April of 1956, with the North Carolina Athletic Club, Jack teamed with Dick Fadgen, Bill Sonner, and Dave McIntyre to set a world record in the 400 medley relay during the AAU Swimming Championships at Yale University. Later that same year, Jack competed with the U.S. Olympic Team in Melbourne, Australia. The following year he entered the University of Miami where he became an All American selection and AAU National Champion in the 200 Butterfly.
Despite his swimming accomplishments, Nelson is better known nationally and internationally as a swimming coach, having won 30 state high school championships, more than any other in the history of swimming. He was recognized as National High School Coach of the Year in 1969, was a coach for the U.S. in the 1983 Pan American Games, and, in 1976, was the U.S. head women's swimming coach for the Montreal Olympic Team. He is past president of the American Swimming Coaches Association. He is second only to Doc Councilman for coaching in one location for the longest time, that location being Fort Lauderdale, Florida for more than 30 years.
Previous to his induction, Nelson was been selected by two other groups to be in their Sports Hall of Fame. They are the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sports Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame at the University of Miami. In 1994, he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an "Honor Coach". In 1999, Nelson was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
North Carolina Swimming Hall of Fame