Peter van Dijk

Induction Year : 2015

Sport: Swimming & Diving

A lasting legacy has to start some place. In 1946, teenager Peter van Dijk represented the New York Athletic Club at the AAU national swimming championships in Columbus, Ohio. Robert Busbey was swimming for Cleveland’s Fenn College, the forerunner of Cleveland State University. A chance meeting before the meet wound up with the two young swimmers rooming together during the event and establishing a lifelong friendship.

An immigrant from the Netherlands born in Indonesia, van Dijk grew up in Venezuela as his father worked in the oil industry. He continued his swimming career at the University of Oregon and during a two-year stint in the U.S. Army.

He earned a Master’s Degree in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Busbey (1976 Greater Cleveland Sports hall of Fame) was on his way to becoming CSU Athletic Director. With van Dijk having established his design work with Cleveland’s Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building in the early 1960’s, it was natural that Busbey looked to van Dijk’s firm for CSU’s physical education building and natatorium in 1971.

Van Dijk’s design for the pool’s wide gutters, depth and lighting earned national acclaim as CSU went on to host national championships. He also won acclaim for his work at Blossom Music Center, Cain Park, John Carroll University and Ursuline College.

He also found the time during the past 40 years to compete in age-group swimming throughout the world. He won 50 national championships in freestyle and backstroke. In 2014, he won his 17th international gold medal as he brought home four golds at the Montreal Masters World Championship at age 85.

Northeast Ohio’s landscape bears the lasting legacy of the talented architect with a love for water.

Erica Rose

Induction Year : 2014

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Erica Rose wasn’t born in the waters of the world. It just seems that way. The native of Cleveland Heights has swum in and around 16 countries.

Her list of accomplishments stretches from high school, to major college competition, to the international stage. Rose, who began swimming for the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins at the age of seven, was a two-time state champion and two-time runner-up in the 500 free at Hawken School where she lettered in all four scholastic years (1997- 2000). The Hawks won three state championships in her time at the Gates Mills school.

Erica was recruited by Northwestern University where she competed all four years in distance and individual medley events, advancing to a Big Ten Championship finals and an NCAA championship qualifier.

Rose excelled in open water events, enjoying a 12 year run of success that started at age 14. She was a member of seven World Championship teams, holds 10 national titles as well as seven Pan Pacific and Pan American titles.

She also scored a World Championship title in the 5K open wager swim in Perth, Australia in 1998.

Erica went out a winner. Although she had announced her retirement

in 2011, she competed in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim around New York City. At age 28, she won the grueling 28.5 mile test­ believed to be the longest swimming event in the world — with a time of 7 hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds.

For added energy during the demanding Gotham swim she munched on sugary dried pineapple. For a light moment, Rose recalled having to tread water when a Norwegian Princess cruise ship was crossing her path.

Erica and her fiance, Brendan Dancik, live in Ann Arbor, Mi., where Erica is working on a dual degree in global public health and business administration at the University of Michigan. They will be married next month in  Cleveland at The Arcade.

Wally Morton

Induction Year : 2014

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Dedicated commitment.

Wally Morton was the epitome of that quality during his 39-year tenure in the Physical Education Department at Cleveland State University as the men’s and women’s swimming coach. He coached the Vikings to 20 conference titles during 46 winning seasons, totaling a school-record 387 dual meet victories.

After graduation from Miami University (Ohio) in 1970, where he was a member of two Mid-American Conference championship swimming teams, Morton came to CSU in 1974 and served seven years under legendary CSU coach Bob Busbey. He was named head men’s coach in 1981 and women’s head coach in 2007.

His teams won 14 Penn-Ohio, two Midwestern Collegiate Conference and two Horizon League championships. He was named conference coach of the year nine times. At the time of his retirement in June 2014, his swimmers held 11 men and six women league titles.

He guided five swimmers and one diver to the NCAA championships and three to Olympic qualifiers, with Nedim Nisic representing Bosnia at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

The men’s team earned 47 Mid-Major All-American Awards from the College Swimming Coaches Association.  He women’s team received 17 Mid-Major honors.

Both teams have received the Scholar All-American Award a combined 57 times, with 27 earning Academic All-American laurels.

But all those numbers pale in comparison to Morton’s tireless hours spent helping Northeast Ohio’s high school and club swimming teams. As Aquatics Director, he was always generous in making the quality CSU facilities available to athletes and coaches for practices and high-caliber meets.

He lives in Strongsville with his wife, Carol. They have a son, Rob.

Jerry Holtrey

Induction Year : 2011

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Jerry Holtrey knew how to bring home a winner.

The Hawken School swimming coach won the 23rd state championship of his career in 2011, with 21 of those coming with the girl’s team.  He guided the Hawks to their record-tying 13th straight title in 2011.  Since the OHio State Athletic Association added Division II in 2000, Hawken has won all 12 championships.

He also produced champions outside the high school level.  Coaching the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins, his swimmers have won every district championship, long course and short course, for the last 42 years and holding almost two-thirds of individual District records.

A native of Huntington, Indiana, he was a member of the 1957 Huntington YMCA nation championship team.  He went on to swim two seasons at both the University of Michigan and Indiana University, the latter under legendary coach James “Doc” Councilman.

After short coaching stints in Indiana and Kentucky, he took over coaching duties with the Silver Dolphins and began a teaching and coaching career at Hawkin in 1969.  He retired from teaching in 2008.

During his tenure, more than 400 Hawken swimmers earned All-American status.  He coached Olympians Melanie Valerio and Diana Munz, along with open water champion Erica Rose.

He has been the head and assistant coach for numerous national and international teams.  He was previously inducted in both the Ohio high school and national swimming hall’s of fame.

Along with his wife, Donna, they raised three children.

Pat Young

Induction Year : 1980

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Versatile athlete who won national recognition in several sports. Won a national diving championship in the early 1920’s and qualified for the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Unable to raise the money for the trip to France, he surrendered his place on the team.
(Deceased)

Robert Schaefer

Induction Year : 1978

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Aquatics chairman of the Lake Erie AAU from 1969 through 1978, he has been responsible for bringing numerous major aquatics programs to Cleveland, among them at least five national diving championships, two national synchronized swimming championships, and a national swimming championship.

Barbara Schaeffer Nejman

Induction Year : 1978

Sport: Swimming & Diving

A 26-time finalist in national diving championships, Was a member of United States’ 1976 Women’s Olympic Diving Team, finishing eight in Montreal in the three-meter springboard. Gold medalist in 1973 Pan-African Games and was named the Outstanding Women Diver in the 1969 U.S. National Championships while still a senior at Berea High School. Later competed for Indiana University and Clarion State College.
(Deceased)

Edward Bettendorf

Induction Year : 1978

Sport: Swimming & Diving

All-American swimmer at Yale in 1967, 1968 and 1969 and a high school All-American for Fairview High in 1963, 1964 and 1965. Set national AAU age group records for 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard individual medley at 16 years of age. Captained Yale team as senior and later served as that university’s head swimming coach.

Allard Hardy

Induction Year : 1976

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Active in the sports of swimming and diving and in the field of water safety for over 40 years, he founded numerous committees and associations involved with water sports competition. Was chairman of the Lake Erie Association Swimming Committee Board of Managers, from 1954 to 1974, president of the Lake Erie Association AAU in 1967-68, and coached, officiated and taught on a variety of levels form the mid 30’s through the 70’s.
(Deceased)

Betsy Blake

Induction Year : 1984

Sport: Swimming & Diving

Won Junior National AAU championships in the 220-yd. freestyle and the 200-yd. breaststroke and swam on the championship medley relay team in 1940. Won Ohio championships in the 100, 220, 440 and mile freestyle swim the following year. Also won the Fairport Open Water mile that year, beating the winning men’s time by almost two minutes. Taught swimming for 40 years, 30 for Cleveland Division of Recreation.
(Deceased)