- Schofield Barracks, in the beginning...........
The General Robert Richardson Pool, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii was commissioned during war time by LTG Robert Richardson Jr. Commanding General, United States Army Forces, Middle Pacific. Dedication of the pool fulfilled the General's dream of "every soldier a swimmer". Total cost of construction was $463,913. A lot of money considering the times.
The following is from the 957 News (U.S. Army Mid-Pacific Newspaper) from February 4, 1944. "when the plans were approved, General Richardson stated the 100 meter tank was being built to meet every requirement of the International Games Committee on swimming.
The Mid-Pac commander also said that while for the present the pool would be used to teach combat swimming to save lives, after the war thousands would enjoy recreational swimming and some day perhaps, Hawaii would receive the Olympic Games and Schofield would have the honor of being host to the swimming."
Once filled, the pool holds 1.25 million gallons of water, measuring 103 meters long and 25 meters wide. The diving area, with a training platform, originally 10 meters high, was inviting enough for the 1972 US Olympic Diving Team to use as a practice pool prior to going to Munich, Germany. When fitted with a bulkhead, the pool meets all required international specifications for competition.
- Ford Konno
Ford Konno from Honolulu, Hawaii began swimming at the age of nine at the old Nuuanu YMCA on Fort and Vineyard Streets. There, he developed into one of Hawaii's premier swimmers of the 1940's and 50's.
Graduating from McKinley High School in 1951, he moved on to Ohio State and the Olympics in 1952. At the Helsinki Games, Konno won gold in the 800 meters freestyle.
In 1957, PFC Konno returned to Hawaii in the U.S. Army, stationed at Schofield Barracks as the 25th Infantry Division's swimming instructor. For the following three years Konno also coached and helped to develop the Schofield Sharks Swim Club into what it is today.
- Palama Settlement - The 1950's
The development of an Age Group Swim Team on Schofield in 1955 proved to be the fulfillment of several dreams.
The first dream come true was the opening of Richardson pool. Then immediately following the end of World War II in 1945, the pool saw the second dream made real, Olympic caliber swimming.
The 25th Division had a world ranking swimming and diving team both in the military and national AAU rankings. With swimmers in the early 50's like Ford Konno and other Olympic medalists. George Leonard, Ensie Oyakawa and, Robert Carr members of the All=Army team.
The reasons for this level of swimmers was due to the quality of Hawaiian swimmers heading home after the war and the Army's willingness to promote the training and competition of national competitors.
This rich base of resources coupled with the "Dad's Club", desire to help manage an age group swimming program established the Schofield Sharks Swim Club as one of the oldest age group swimming teams on the islands.
The Sharks dive into the groove generation
The SSSC move into the 1960's groove generation with the rest of the nation. John F. Kennedy was elected and assassinated, the Beatles invaded America and the nation went to Vietnam, Schofield troops deploying, literally abandoning the quad areas, while leaving behind the dependent children and spouses. Amazingly during these difficult family times the Sharks flourished. This generation of Sharks are to this point at forty years the group with the most success stories, winning the most meets, holding the most Hawaiian records and keeping the biggest numbers in the water. Seems like the Sharks were always assembled for something in the 1960's though not always just fun. Many Hawaiian swimming records were held by Sharks in this decade.
Hawaiian Record Holders in the 1960's included: Errol and Rick Aboe, Peggy Hagood, Chris Comeau, James Coleman, Cathy and Peter Fauenheim, Elizabeth Hodge, J.Landers, Richard Martin, Chris McMahon, Chester Miltenberger, Wayne Norris, Elizabeth Nowak, Gary Pardy, Mary Ann Renfer, Doug Ricthie, Debra Rodgers, Ralph Ricthie, Mike Rusche, John Schank, Jeff Schloesser, Cheryl Segrave, Tate Matthew, Richard Martin, Stephan Reinke, Hollie Shaw, Susan Smith, Tina Wier and Linda Zukivich.
The Progression of the Shark Coach.
The Dad's club and the 25th Division original supports of Age Group Swimming.
There were always good swimmers surrounding the Sharks. From the beginning there was Buddy Amina. Also, Richard Cleveland and James Keanu, Cleveland an Olympic competitor. All of these men were a gift to early age group swimming from the Division.
As the move away from Divisions and the Dad's Club support into the civilian community the caliber of swimming and coaches never failed.
Coached we have been lucky to have include: Bill Woolsey, Bill Gaison, Bob Miyashiro, Walter Keale, Luis Hangca and his wife Hildegard, Les Anderson, Peter Cole, June Kurt, Pat Reinke, Peter Sehlmeyer, Ken Segawa, Brad Liedke, Dick Green, and Lawlor Reck a four time interim coach and Peter Cole. Completed the list with Shawn Cowper and Les Oshiro. 1970's
Not only were the lanes at Richardson busy in the 1970's, but the decks saw their fair share of action. The Sharks moved away from the Dad's Club and division sponsorship. Department of Defense coaching turned in a game of musical chair coaching. Although the Sharks in the 70's had to endure a succession of seven different coaches, the tireless and enthusiastic efforts of these coaches and overwhelming support of team parents resulted in a large talent laden team that reached its peak in 1977 with a 3rd place team finish at the Short Course Championships. Head coaches in the 70's were: June Kurt, Tom O'Malley, Pat Reinke, Peter Sehlmeyer, Ken Segawa, Brad Liedke, Dick Green. The waters of Richardson Pool held eight to ten sanctioned meets a year in the 70's as well as three State Championships and five Invitational meets. The lanes were also honored to house many Far Western Championship qualifiers; Julie Fishcer, Eddie Fox, Cathy Donovan, Mike Wilson, Les Oshiro, Rhonda Ruark, Marry Hallock, Don Baker and Lisa Rome in this same decade. Sharks also held Hawaiian records with swimmers Dan LaVasseur, Julie Fischer, Mike Wilson and a 13/14 girls relay team with Julie Fishcer, Cathy Schneider, Kathy Kelly and Shelly Reno. 1980's
The long anticipated hiring of Shawn Cowper Daniels as head coach brought stability to the coaching staff and team. The coaching emphasis was in offering a year round elite level training program for the top swimmers. This program produced an average of 3 to 4 qualifiers for the Western Zone Championship each year. The team record book was nearly completely re-written during this period. When Les climbs from pool to deck in 1985, the Sharks begin moving away from the small elite team. Les believes in the masses. Les brings yet another style to the Sharks with his own philosophy. The new emphasis was placed on developing swimmers out of the Sharks swim lesson program. By August 1987 team membership rose to nearly 100 swimmers. In addition half of the team's state qualifiers in 1987 had been graduates of the swimming lessons program. 1990's
The 90's have proven to be the quiet rebuilding years for the Sharks. hurricane Iwa removed the bulkhead which allowed the pool the prvilege of =hosting meets and lenghty clusures have caused the Sharks to find alternate practice areas. The Officers Club and Wheeler pools both now closed were our first choices. The Wahiawa pool and our friendly Navy neighbor at NCTAMS have always been willing to open their gates. Road Trips for the Sharks means flying off island !
For Sharks of all ages, some of the best memories are traveling off island to compete in; Hilo, Maui and Kauai. In Hilo remember swimming above the falls ? Going to the Volcanoes National Park ? and to Laupahoehoe to the beautiful Akaka Falls. In Maui swimming Iao Needle in Wailuku stream, going to Haleakala National Park, the Seven Sacred Falls and over to Lahaina may be the best places ever. Kauai means seeing the Waimea Canyon, Hanalei. Thank you chaperones ! Many Sharks have traveled after leaving the team to swim at their colleges and university. This lists includes; University of Hawaii, Rice University, Harvey Mudd College, University Texas at Austin, the University of Washington and Columbia University. Mr. Richard "Dick" Oshiro.