WEDNESDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 1965
TH MICHIG.rAN. sBATIM
as it i.VwiV'A1 Lni1tty
r. d~Tb , At N m Wt rl ieTA_
LURD UT 11WH. TLY':
By CHUCK VETZNER
When Carl Robie stands on the
swimmer's starting block with his
stomach sucked in and his chest
expanded to the size of the village
blacksmith's, one observer com-
pares him to a bullfrog ready to
hop into a pond.
Once the starter's gun is fired
and Robie hits the water, most
similarities between him and an
amphibian vanish. Robie simply
has the ability to move faster in
* water than many native inhabi-
tants of the streams and oceans.
But now it was only a snowy
weekday afternoon, and with the
next swimming meet days away,
there was less pressure than
Robie plunged into Matt Mann
Pool to begin his practice session.
He didn't bother to assume his
usual characteristic stance, but
once in the water he moved with
his usual speed. As he quickly
glided along, the electric timer
steadily marked off the seconds.
Back and Forth
Coach Gus Stager watched him
swim eight lengths of the pool,
then pause for a moment's rest
and repeat the ordeal several
When he was done, an awed
teammate whispered, "He's got to
be the greatest all-around swim-
mer in the world."
Stager heard the lavish words of
praise and readily agreed.
"Carl was doing freestyle sets,"
Stager explained. He went 100,
200, and 500 yards and repeated
the distances over and over.
"Today, nearly every time he
swam, it was of world record
caliber. It was the best set I ever
saw or heard of."
Actually, spectacular times are
almost taken in stride by Robie
and.the only unusual part of his
performance was that he was
breaking records in the freestyle
rather than the butterfly - his
Again this year,
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CARL ROBIE, Michigan's butterfly and individual medley ace,
practices in Matt Mann Pool, Robie is a former world-record
holder in the 200-meter butterfl,
in the 1964 Olympics.
But Carl's times are about as
easy to improve as the Hope dia-
A big problem for Robie would
seem to be the desire to keep on
swimming with new goals and
challenges in mind.
He readily admits this, but
points out that he is now seeking
different goals. "I feel that I'm
part of a team and a team that!
ly and winner of a silver medal
was really getting discouraged; I
was getting fat and I decided that
if I didn't win something in the
next year, I was going to quit."
In that next year the proverbial
tide started to turn. The change
was actually almost too much to
believe-even for the Hollywood
movie version of life stories.
"I went from 300th to fifth best
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has a great chance to win the Big in America in one year," said'
Ten and the NCAA champion- Robie, basing the new ranking on
ships. I'm not swimming so much his position in the 1960 Olympic
for myself, as I .am to help the trials.
team win." There's no single reason for the
THURS. FRI. SAT. MON. TUES. WED. THURS. FRI.
When people talk of the
Robie's share of the load is'
obviously no ordinary one. He's
the team's top man in the indi-
vidual medley and also in the
As such an important man in
Michigan's title drive, it must give
Stager a few nightmares to know
that if it weren't for Robie's in-
dependence and perserverance he
would probably be a bright pudgy
Yale sophomore right now.
After graduating from high
school as first in his class, Carl
planned to continue his studies
and swimming at Yale. While his
grades merited admittance and
the swimming coach- was delighted
change, but to attempt any ex-
planation, Betsy Schumaker must
enter the scene. An M.I.T. gradu-
ate and a several time national
swimming champ, she was the
person who helped Robie the
most. Miss Schumaker was coach
of the Vesper Boat Club, where
Carl now did his swimming. Us-
ing a new accelerated training
program coupled with long hours
Robie regained his earlier form.
The form he recovered is actu-
ally somewhat unusual. Unlike
most swimmers, Robie is not an
overwhelming physical specimen.
He stands 5'10%" and weighs only
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at the thought, under Ivy League "I don't know why he's so
rules he did not have the financial great, but he's amazing to watch,"
need to qualify for a full athletic said Stager trying to analyze s
scholarship. Robie's success. "He's not mus-
Could Have Gone cular but he's a natural swimmer.
"I could have gone there," Robie He has a lot of strength in the
reflected. "But I didn't want my water, but it's not brute power.
father to have to pay for my edu- He just sort of gets' hold of the
cation." So Robie dismissed the water."
verdant walls of Yale and headed The main question is how long
West. Robie can keep going and remain
} k'xYet if Robie had been the type a top swimmer. He's well aware
to give up easily, he wouldn't have that many outstanding perform-
_.,_ had any scholarships to consider. ers who succeed so young, seem1
Most champion swimmers either to wain at an early age. But
CARL ROBIE start out with amazing success or Robie plans to be around for sev-
generation that does everything else reach the top only after long eral more seasons. "I think that
sooner' and better than ever be- years of hard work. Robie was a mental attitude is the main con-
fore, Robie is good example to combination of both methods. sideration. I still love swimming
prove the point. Carl's competitive aquatic ca- and want to keep competing.
A 1n f 1-4--A P.r. O. sf~ ISwimminghas been everything to
At the .age of1 5 ne set a world'
record in the 200-meter butterfly.
The next summer he broke his
own record and, drawing the
wrath of the people who write the
record books, Robie did the same
once again the next year. At a
seasoned 19 he won the AAU
championships for the fourth
straight year but for, the first?
time did not establish a new mark
for the books.
In addition, he has the Pan-
American butterfly record and
even more impressive won a silver
medal in the Tokyo Olympics.
Only a Soph
But with so many accomplish-
ments behind him, Robie is only a
sophomore, just starting his col-
legiate swimming career. In al-
most any other sport, a person in
such a position would be a year or
two from reaching his prime.
Se age o Len when i.. bIV----
he joined the Prendergast -Boys' me.
Club in his home town of Drexel Long Sommer
Hills, Pa. He candidly admits that During the school year, his
he had no special inspiration to practice time has to be limited,
start swimming. "In our neigh- but in the summer he practices
borhood swimming was the big twice a day for a total of five
thing so I just went along with hours. "I sleep and eat in between
the crowd." practices" is how he puts it.
Man Up Front "He has the ability to really
But it wasn't long before he punish himself," Stager added.
started passing the crowd. Aside from team goals, Robie
Only a few months later, Robie has some other plans in the back
was the national butterfly chai-of his mind. "Making the Olympic
wasthenaionl uttrfl cain iteam was ,a life time dream and
pion in the ten and under division. ini a medal is a swimmer's
"I was just sort of a natural at version of heaven. Even though I
it," he admitted. made the team in two events, I
But at that point things started felt that with more experience, I
turning the other way. During the could have made it as a freestyler.
next few years, victories were as . . . It would be a real thrill to
scarce as whales in Lake Michigan make two Olympic teams. .."
and it appeared as though Robie's Based on his recent perform-
career was about washed up. ances, heaven and Carl Robie
"Everybody just passed me by. I might be meeting again.
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Patterson Seeks 'Peace Inside'
NEW YORK tP)-Floyd Patter-
son shook off some more of the
nightmare that has haunted him
for more than two years-but he's
not out of darkness yet.
"Every victory brings me a lit-
tle more peace inside myself," the
30-year-old former heavyweight
boxing champion said Tuesday.
"But I haven't found complete
"I don't, suppose I will until I
can face up to Sonny Liston, and
then walk away with my head in
Two humiliating first round
' knockouts by the leering Denver
Destroyer still weigh on the cop-
per shoulders of the only man who
has ever los t the heavyweight
Less to Carry
Patterson eased his burden
some with a rousing unanimous
decision at Madison Square Gar-
den Monday night over George
"I showed them I wasn't a
crowd of 19,100, Patterson became
a new man.
"It was like walking in daylight
for the first time," he said. "I
could look everybody square in the
eye again." One of these was the
reigning heavyweight champion,
Patterson is a brooding, highly
sensitive man who is a contradic-
tion in many respects.
popularity is strictly negative.
He contends his new-found pop-
ularity is strictly negative. "They?
like me not for what I am but
what I am not," he says. "They
don't like Liston because he's al-
ways in trouble with the law. They
don't - like Clay because he talks
too much about the Black Mus-
Queried abouta return fiht
He is a man in a game of vio- with Liston, he said, Nobody
lence with a deep-seated hatred would pay to see it, I wouldn't
for violence. myself."
Last year he was chided for not When Chuvalo, complaining that
delivering the crusher blow to Ed- referee Zach Clayton hadn't let
die Machen when he had the lat- him fight his real fight, was asked
ter on the ropes. by reporters what he would change
"I couldn't," said Patterson. if he ought Pattrson againge
"I saw the look of hurt on his ifterfugtP s n
After knocking out Ingemar Jo- "He'd change the referee."
hansson at the Polo Grounds in Chuvalo complained again at a
1960, Floyd said, "I'll never be news conference that refree Zach
that vicious again." Clayton had handicapped him by
Talks Like Prof breaking up the fighters too soon.
Patterson, who never finished "I would like a rematch," said
high school, sometimes talks like Chuvalo. "Patterson fought a