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John Coombs

Inducted May 2012

John “Jock” Coombs learned to swim at the Bangor YMCA in 1964 from instructor Betty Solórzano.  At age 7 he joined the Bangor Y team under Coach Fred Pierce for the 1966-67 season and in his first meet he earned his first ribbon in the 25 breaststroke.  At the 1969 AAU Junior Olympics meet he won the 11-12 age group high point award by winning 5 races.  By the end of his Y career in 1973 he had set 1 state record in the intermediate 100 free (53.1) and as part of the intermediate 200 medley relay.                                 

     In his first year of high school swimming during the 74-75 season as a sophomore, he helped lead the team to a state and New England team title. He set state records in the 200 free (1:50.11), 500 free (5:12.281) and was a member of the state and New England record setting 400 free relay (3:21.09 splitting a 49.3 for his leg).  In his junior year he set state meet and state record in the 200 IM (2:07.126) resetting the record at New England’s finishing 2nd with a time of 2:06.097.  In the 100 free he set a state mark with a time of 48.811.  Bangor finished 2nd at the state meet and 3rd at New England’s.  In his senior year he established new meet and state record in the 200 IM (2:05.695) and a new state meet record in the 100 free (49.789).  He also anchored Bangor’s state meet 400 free relay team with a come from behind victory over Hebron to also win the meet for Bangor splitting a 48.1. At that year’s New England meet he set a new state record in the 200 IM (2:05.00) and tied for first in the 100 free setting a new meet, state and team record of 48.8 but was awarded 2nd place via a judge’s decision.  He set many Bangor records.

     As a member of the men’s team at Springfield College he was an NCAA D-2 championship qualifier in the 100 free in both 1979 and 1980.  He also earned All American status as part of the college’s 400 free relay team.  In 1978 he was named a member of the All New England team.   He was also school record holder in the 200 IM (2:00.1).  In 1978 and 1981 he was voted Springfield’s outstanding student-athlete and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1981.  Coach Charles Smith noted about John “John always did his best and encouraged everyone else to do their best.  He would never give up and always believed he would win.”

     Currently living in New York State with his wife Lorie, John coached one year of high school swimming (Marlboro H.S.) and he started the N.Y. state swim ranking system for boys and girls also tracking teams/rosters/and all meet results for the state. His web related H.S. swimming links registered over 20 million hits for the 2010-11 season!