Passages: Ken Nakasone, Former Indiana All-American, Pan American Champion, Dies at 82

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The Indiana swimming and diving program is mourning following the death of Ken Nakasone this month. He was 82.

Nakasone swam at IU from 1959-63, earning All-America distinction from each of his final three seasons. He swam the breaststroke leg of IU’s third-place 400-yard medley relay in 1962 and placed top-10 in the 100-yard breaststroke each season, peaking at fourth in 1963.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Indiana swimming great Ken Nakasone,” IU head swimming coach Ray Looze said. “He will forever be remembered as a tremendous leader, student, and swimmer. Our thoughts are with his family.

“Our program has an extensive history with Hawai’i. Doc Counsilman and Soichi Sakamoto had a deep friendship over many years, which resulted in numerous high-level Hawai’ian swimmers attending Indiana University. Mahalo.”

Nakasone competed at the 1959 Pan American Games, winning a gold medal in the 400-meter medley relay and a silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke. During his career, he established American records in the 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter breaststroke and 220-yard breaststroke.

Nakasone was born and raised in Pu’unene, Hawai’i. He was inducted into the Hawai’i Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Indiana athletics. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact 

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