By John Lohn
HAVERTOWN, Penn., April 25. IN three days, Brendan Hansen will join an exclusive group of sports figures when he's inducted into the Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fame. The induction will be held Thursday evening.
A graduate of Haverford High School, Hansen is one of the finest athletes to ever emerge from Delaware County, located in the corner of Southeastern Pennsylvania. The world-record holder in the 100 and 200 breaststroke distances, Hansen is one of 12 individuals who will receive induction.
Including the likes of Heisman Trophy winner John Cappelletti (Penn State) and Mickey Vernon, a two-time American League batting champion, the Delco Athletes Hall of Fame already features three Olympic swimmers. Not bad for a relatively small county.
Prior to Hansen, Carl Robie, Jane Barkman and Tim McKee earned induction. Robie was the 1968 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 butterfly while Barkman was the bronze medalist in the 200 free in 1968, in addition to aiding a pair of United States gold-medal winning 400 free relays (1968/1972). McKee, meanwhile, won silver medals in the 400 I.M. in 1972 and 1976 and claimed silver in the 200 I.M. in 1972.
Before heading to the University of Texas, where he posted career sweeps of the breaststroke events at the NCAA Championships, Hansen was a four-time Pennsylvania state champ for Haverford High in the 100-yard breast.
A triple medalist at the Athens Olympics last summer, Hansen set world records at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials. After popping 59.30 in the 100 breast, Hansen went 2:09.04 in the 200. Hansen was the 200 breast world champ in 2001 and won three medals at the 2003 World Champs. More, he won four gold medals last October at the World Short Course Championships.
Recently, Hansen qualified for this summer's World Champs in Montreal by winning the 100 and 200 breast events at the U.S. Trials.