Was Bolles High School’s Record Tear Better than Mark Spitz’ Santa Clara Record Assault in 1967?

Guest commentary by Bob Klapthor

EL PASO, Texas, December 19. THE recent awesome record setting by Bolles High School got me to thinking about what I consider an even more impressive record setting by the Mark Spitz-led 1967 Santa Clara team.

Eras do differ, but Santa Clara's 1967 effort was truly astonishing. They broke three American records plus an additional six National High School marks. Three of their records (Medley Relay; 200 & 400 Frees by Spitz) were set earlier in the season with six records falling at their SIC Championship meet.

American Records:
200 YD Medley Relay: 1:36.7 by Mitch Ivey (24.9) — Jack Faunce (27.5) — Mark Spitz (22.7) — Bob Jamison (21.6). They likely could've swum about 1:35 if they had gone after this at their SIC Meet.

200 YD IM: 1:54.4 by Mark Spitz

100 YD BUTTERFLY: 49.1 by Mark Spitz

National High School Records:
200 YD FREE: 1:43.6 by Mark Spitz

400 YD FREE: 3:38.9 by Mark Spitz (I believe this swim also broke the old American Record, but both the AAU & the NCAA had switched to the 500 Free instead).

100 YD FREE: 46.6 by Bob Jamison as a relay leadoff. He had earlier swam a 47.0 in prelims to break the existing 47.4 mark that Jamison co-held with Steve Clark (1961).

100 YD BACKSTROKE: 53.1 by Fred Haywood ahead of his teammate Mitch Ivey's 53.4. In prelims, Mitch Ivey swam 53.2 to easily beat the old record of 54.1 by Charles Goettsche (New Trier, IL, 1966).

400 FREE RELAY: 3:06.8 by Bob Jamison (46.6) — Rick Eagleston (46.9) — Fred Haywood (47.6) — Mark Spitz (45.7). The previous High School record was set by Santa Clara in 1966 at 3:14.5. The better comparison is that the listed American record was 3:07.2 by Yale in 1965. A few weeks earlier at the 1967 NCAA Meet, three teams broke 3:06 led by Stanford's 3:04.9 clocking.

200 FREE RELAY: 1:25.7 by Bob Jamison (21.6) — Jack Faunce (21.5) — Rick Eagleston (21.5) — Mark Spitz (21.1). The previous record was 1:28.0 by Hinsdale Central, IL (1965).

The following year Santa Clara was unable to improve on their relay records (only Spitz returned), but did take down four National High School records during Spitz's senior year. Brian Job (a junior) swam a 59.2 Breaststroke; while Mark Spitz set new marks (all American records) in the 100 (45.6); 200 (1:40.5) & 500 (3:38.0) Freestyles. Interestingly, Spitz missed his own Butterfly record by .1 seconds (too bad).

Bolles was AMAZING (especially that 2:54 Free Relay). I'm glad head coach Sergio Lopez went after the relays this year, I found that VERY COOL indeed! Plus Ryan Murphy's times have set the bar very high for Jack Conger if he is to defend his Swimming World Magazine High School Swimmer of the Year crown from 2012.