SWIMMING & DIVING

Former Merrillville swimmer, three other locals to be honored by HOF

2011-04-15T22:00:00Z Former Merrillville swimmer, three other locals to be honored by HOFBy Bob Moulesong Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 15, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

When Robert Beck first heard the news that he had been inducted into the Indiana High School Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame, he was struck by the humility of the moment.

"It is hard to describe what an honor it is to be considered for the Hall, let alone inducted," Beck said. "I can't really explain what a humbling experience this has been for me and my family."

Beck was a state champion as a Merrillville freshman in 1980 in the 100 yard freestyle. He went on to win two more state titles in the 200 freestyle as a junior (1982), and the 200 individual medley in a state-record time of 1:53.34 as a senior in 1983.

"At that time, I thought I had reached the top of my swimming," Beck said. "But I was fortunate enough to attend the University of Texas and achieve even more."

Beck earned a full athletic scholarship to UT and received All-Conference and All-American honors during his collegiate career.

"A lot of people don't realize what a great swimming school Texas is," Beck said. "They have won 10 National Championships."

Beck reached his pinnacle in 1984, when he was a finalist in the U.S. Olympic trials.

"None of it would have happened without my parents," Beck said. "They hauled me all over Indiana from the time I was 6 years old. I couldn't have received better support."

Beck, a member of the USA Swim Foundation, still hits the pool four or five times a week.

"It's a great place to find tranquility," he said.

While many swimmers, divers, and coaches have served their local programs over a long and distinguished career, their accomplishments must have been worthy of statewide recognition for them to be considered for the Hall.

The nomination process for the Hall of Fame includes "exemplifying high standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character, and candidates judged on their significant and/or long term contributions to interscholastic athletics," according to the standards of the selection process.

A permanent Hall of Fame plaque with the honorees names is on display at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.

With his family in tow, Beck will be in Indianapolis Saturday night for the Induction.

"It will be a very special night for us," Beck said. "I can't wait."

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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