Diana Munz is arguably the greatest swimmer to come out of the Cleveland area. Raised in Moreland Hills and a 2000 graduate of Chagrin Falls High School, she owns three Olympic medals: a gold as a member of the winning 800-meter freestyle relay team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, a silver for the 400-meter freestyle at Sydney and a bronze for the 800-meter freestyle at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Munz got her start as an age group swimmer for the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins. It did not take long for her to advance to senior competition, where she won 21 national titles. Diana’s swimming career took her all over the world. Some examples: at the World Aquatic Championships in Perth, Australia in 2001, she won silver in the 800-meter freestyle; in 1997 at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, she won silver in the 1500-meter freestyle, bronze in the 400-meter freestyle and bronze in the 800-meter freestyle; in 2003 at the World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona, Spain, she won silver in the 800-meter freestyle and bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. Munz is a graduate of John Carroll University with a degree in communications. She retired from competitive swimming in 2005. In August 2006, she married Palmer DePetro. The couple have a daughter, Sydney Gabriella DePetro, and live in Lyndhurst.
Robert Busbey won All-American designation three times in the free style sprints at Cleveland State University (then Fenn College) in 1948 and 1949. The dominant swimmer in the Greater Cleveland area from 1946 to 1950, he lost only four races in four years of collegiate competition against some of the best swimmers in the country. Robert broke over 100 records in NCAA and AAU competition, including a national record in the 50-yard freestyle that stood for 12 years.
One of the first nationally-acclaimed swimmers from the Greater Cleveland area Ted Abrams set an American and world record in 1924 for the “plunge for distance”. His mark of 84 feet, six inches has never been broken.
National AAU long distance champion during the mid 1940’s, Ted Stevens was a multiple AAU All-American. He led the University Circle YMCA team to a National YMCA championship and was considered the outstanding distance swimmer in the area during his competitive years. Ted was an Ohio high school freestyle champion at East Tech for two years.
Louis “L.B.” Schaefer was a member of the 1959 United States Pan-American Team in backstroke. He won NCAA titles in the 100 and 200-yard backstrokes and swam on the gold medal-winning 400-yard medley relay team in 1962 to help Ohio State University win the national collegiate championship. L.B. was the Ohio state high school champion in the backstroke for three years (1957-1959) at Berea High School, where he captained the Berea team in his senior year. He also co-captained the Ohio State team in 1963.
Gretchen Kluter was a member of the 1955 U.S. Pan-American Games Team, winning a gold medal as a member of the 400-meter freestyle relay team and placing fifth in the 100-meter freestyle. She was also a member of the 1956 AAU All-American Women’s Swim Team and the 1972 All American Masters Swim Team. Gretchen was the first alternate for the 100 meter freestyle on the 1956 U.S. Olympic Swim Team, and set three national Junior Olympic records between 1953 and 1955.
Christine Kluter set American records in the 100-yard backstroke (long course) and the 110-yard backstroke in 1957. She was named to the 1959 U.S. Pan-American Games team and finished third in the 100-meter backstroke. Christine set five national age group records between 1954 and 1957 and finished in the top four in nine races in the national open championships between 1956 and 1960. She set national Masters records (30-34 age group) in the 50-yard and 50-meter backstroke in 1974.
An outstanding diver, Rose Boczek Burke won the national indoor championship for the ten foot (three-meter) board in 1928. A medal winner in Senior Championships from 1926 through 1929, she was also the Indoor and Outdoor Senior AAU State champion in 1926-27-28-30. Rose won numerous regional and inter-sectional titles between 1926 and 1930, and was founder and coach of the Ohio Women’s Swimming Association in 1935.
Helen Perry was the U.S. national AAU 100-yard backstroke champion in 1939 and 1941, setting an American record in 1940 and breaking that record in 1941. She won national junior championships in diving, backstroke, the 150-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle during an illustrious career that stamped her as one of the most successful female athletes to come out of Cleveland. Helen was named the Outstanding Athlete in Northeastern Ohio District by the AAU in 1937 and 1941.
Judy Norton was the U.S. national junior 100-meter backstroke champion in 1961 and a member of the national indoor championship 4 x 100-yard freestyle relay team for the American Swim Team in 1962 and 1963. She was a member of the U.S. Pan-American Games Swim Team, and was named Athlete of the Year by the Cleveland Athletic Club in 1963.
2001 Crocker Rd., Ste. 510, Westlake, OH 44145