Olympians Charlie Houchin, Lauren Perdue, Nick McCrory Among Inductees to NC Swimming Hall of Fame

Photo Courtesy: Joao Marc Bosch

The North Carolina Swimming Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2017 inductees, which includes three Olympic Gold Medalists, a Hall of Fame Coach, and the first-ever Diving inductee. This year’s inductees are Don Easterling, David Fox, Charlie Houchin, Nick McCrory and Lauren Perdue. The Induction Ceremony will be Saturday evening, April 22, 2017, in Cary, NC.

The North Carolina Swimming Hall of Fame was founded in 1985. Six inductions were held from 1985 through 1991, but the Hall of Fame went dormant for a long period afterwards, finally returning to action with inductions in April of 2016 after a 25-year hiatus.

“We are thrilled with our latest class of inductees,” said Gerry Chapman, Chairman of the NC Swimming Hall of Fame Committee. “I said that our 2016 class would set a high bar for future inductions, but I believe our Class of 2017 was up to the challenge and certainly represents the very best in Aquatic Sports in our state. We are particularly excited to induct our first-ever diver, Nick McCrory, into the Hall.” Hall of Fame Committee members involved in the selection process include Ceil Blackwell, Gerry Chapman, Hill Carrow, Trish Martin, Paul Silver, Kevin Thornton and Jonathan Watson.

Don Easterling became the Head Coach of NC State University Men’s Swim Team in 1970. He led the men’s team to 15 ACC Championship titles, including 12 consecutive titles from his first season in 1971 to 1982. His 1973 Men’s Team won every event in the ACC Championships and finished 8th at NCAA’s that year. Two years later NCSU achieved their highest NCAA placing under Easterling at 6th. Coach Easterling started the women’s program from the ground up in 1976, leading the team to back-to-back ACC titles in 1979 and ’80, His Women’s Team finished as high as 6th in the AIAW and 8th at NCAA’s. He collectively coached 40 athletes that earned All-America honors: 24 men and 16 women. In addition to his success in NCAA competition he coached seven future Olympians, including five medalists (two of whom, Dan Harrigan and Steve Gregg, are in the NC Swimming Hall of Fame), as well as four Pan Am Games medalists. Easterling’s career record is 328 wins and 118 losses for a .735 winning percentage. He was named ACC Men’s Swimming Coach of the Year in 1984 and ’92, ACC Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year in 1991, and National Collegiate Scholastic Swimming Coach of the Year in 1993. He has been inducted into the Texas Legends of Swimming (1996), the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2004), and the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame (2016).

David Fox is a Raleigh native who attended Sanderson High School. He now resides in Dallas, TX. He is a six-time USA National Champion, past World and American Record Holder and 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist. David found success in his early days by becoming a seven-time YMCA National Champion and six-time State Champion. In 1988 he broke multiple State and YMCA National Swimming Records including the 50 yard freestyle 20.89 (State Record), 100 yard freestyle 45.18 (State Record), 4×50 Free Relay 1:23.79 (State, Y National, National Age Group Records), and 4×100 Free Relay 3:03.68 (State, Y National Records). David attended NC State University where he was a seven-time ACC Individual Champion, eight-time ACC Relay Champion, and two-time ACC MVP. In 1995 he earned the World #1 Ranking in the 50 meter Freestyle at 22.23 seconds, making him the third fastest American of all time. David was inducted into the Sanderson High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.

Charlie Houchin grew up as an age group swimmer in Raleigh, NC. Both of his parents were All-American swimmers at NC State. Charlie swam summer league for Oak Park, competed for Raleigh Enloe High School, and swam year round for the YMCA of the Triangle age group team. He was a High School All-American in the 200 and 500 yard freestyles as a sophomore, junior and senior. He attended the University of Michigan where he swam for the Big 10 Champion Wolverines. Charlie earned numerous accolades for his college aquatics achievements including 2009 All-Big Ten First Team, 2009 Big Ten Champion (400-yard freestyle relay), 2009 All-American (800-yard freestyle relay), 2010 All-Big Ten first team, 2010 Honorable Mention All-American (500-yard freestyle), 2010 All-American (800 yard freestyle relay). Charlie won two gold medals (400m Freestyle and 4 x 200m Free Relay) at the 2011 Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. He became an Olympic Gold Medalist in 2012 at the London Olympic Games in the 4 x 200 meter Free Relay. He concluded his career with a Gold Medal in the 2013 World Championships in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

Nick McCrory was born in Durham, grew up in Chapel Hill, and currently resides in Durham. Nick began diving at the age of seven. He competed for East Chapel Hill High School and for Duke University. He was a USA Diving Junior National Diving Champion (2005) and a Senior Champion (2011). During his collegiate career he became the first athlete in history to win four NCAA national championships in Men’s Platform Diving (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014). He was also an 11-time All American. In the Atlantic Coast Conference Nick stands as the most decorated diver in ACC history with 10 diving championships. He set the conference scoring record on the 3-meter board, and was the first and only ACC diver to sweep all three disciplines (1 meter, 3 meter, and 10 meter) at the Conference Championships two years in a row. He was named the ACCs Most Valuable Men’s Diver and Men’s Diver of the Year all four years at Duke. In 2014 he was the ACC Men’s Swimming and Diving Scholar Athlete of the Year. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Nick finished 9th in individual platform diving and captured the Bronze Medal with David Boudia in Men’s Synchronized 10-meter Platform Diving.

Lauren Perdue, a Greenville, NC native, grew up swimming for East Carolina Aquatics. Her father and sister swam at the University of Virginia, her mother swam at William and Mary, and her brother currently swims at UNC. Lauren still holds the North Carolina Swimming record in 100 and 200 meter freestyles for the 15-18 age group. She was 2009 Junior National Champion in the 200 yard freestyle and 2009 4A Conference Swimmer of the Year at J. H. Rose High School in Greenville. Lauren competed for the University of Virginia from 2009-2013. At UVA she was 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year, won ACC Swimmer of the Year honors in 2011, and was named ACC Swimmer of the Conference Championships in 2010, 2011, and 2013. During her collegiate career she was a 19-time conference champion including champion three times each in the 100 and 200 yard freestyles. She capped her swimming career with an Olympic Gold Medal in the 4 x 200m Free Relay at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

The 2017 N.C. Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at One Eleven Place located at 111 Realtors Way in Cary, NC, on April 22, 2017. The evening’s festivities will start with a Cocktail Reception at 6:45pm, followed by Dinner & Ceremony beginning at 7:30pm. The Induction Ceremony is being held in conjunction with the North Carolina Swimming Select Camp and House of Delegates spring meetings.

Press release courtesy of North Carolina Swimming Hall of Fame.

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