Marine Ace To Take Crack At World Swim Mark In Meet

By E.V. Galloway, Marine Sports Correspondent, 25 Feb 1946

Another name appears about ready to join Soichi Sakamoto's long list of nationally known aquatic record breakers.

This time the contender being primed by Coach Sakamoto for the starting gun is a marine, Lt. Ralph Wright, from Stockton Calif. and presently stationed with the service command unit at Camp Catlin.

Lt. Wright, a 24 year old graduate of the College of the Pacific, has been knocking on the threshold of national breastroke records for some little time.

 In high school competition he tied the national high school mark, and he still holds the national junior college record of 2 minutes 25.7 seconds for the 200 yard distance, set in 1941.

Actually he set two junior college records, for he broke the old one in 1940 and then bettered his own 1940 time to set the present mark in 1941.

In speaking of his association with Coach Sakamoto, Lt. Wright said: "It is amazing to me what a difference his coaching help has made. I selected him as the coach I would be most likely to get the greatest help from."

The present 100 meter record of 1 minute 13.1 seconds was set by Jack Councilman of Ohio State, racing in a 50 meter pool, where he gained a slight time advantage in making the one turn.

Lt. Wright was clocked by C.W.Pratt, a local AAU official at 1 minute 12.1 seconds in the army pool, swimming the 100 meter course as a straightaway, without benefit of a turn.

An exhibition performance against time in the University of Hawaii pool last month netted a near record time of 2 minutes 23.7 seconds for the 200 yard breaststroke event. This is only 1.7 seconds slower than the present world's best.

Had the lieutenant continued on a t the same pace to complete the 200 meter course, approximately 20 yards farther, he would very likely have toppled the present official standard of 2 minutes 37.2 seconds for that distance.

The rigid requirements established by the AAU for acceptance of new record times, narrow the opportunities for the marine swimmer to try to better the present official mark.

The marine ace will swim against time and attempt to shatter the world record in both the 220 yards and 200 meters breaststroke distances, Friday Night, in the Punahou girls' meet