2008 Larry Golden
Swimming had been a major part of my life since childhood. At age
five, I began swimming in Kewanee, IL for the YMCA swim team. I
began competing and at the age 8, I set a pool record of 13.8
seconds in the 20 yard Butterfly. That first pool record was in
1968 and stood until the pool was torn down in the late
1980’s. In the mid 70’s, my family moved to Hot
Springs, Arkansas, and I again joined the local YMCA swim team. I
attended Lake Hamilton High School had become the first swimmer on
the school’s newly formed swim team. In 1978, I was recruited
by UALR’s swimming and water polo coach John Torbett to
compete in two NCAA Division 1 sports. I played Water Polo and
helped lead the UALR’s Mens’ Swim Team to a 23-0 Dual
meet record during my first three years. I was named Team Captain
my junior year and was the 1981-1982
UALR Trojan Athletic Organization Student Athlete of the Year.
After almost 20 years, I got the swimming bug again, and in 2000 I
returned to competitive swimming as part of the Arkansas Masters.
In 2003, I stepped up to the commitment and began training with
Coach Paul Blair and the Arkansas Dolphins. I won the
Master’s Short Course National Championship in 2005 in the
100 yard butterfly with a time of 54.08, which was also the fastest
time in the nation for the year, earning me All-American honors.
Later that year, I was named Arkansas Masters Swimmer of the Year
for 2005. In 2002, I was second in the 100 yard butterfly at
Masters Short Course Championships, I place 10th in the 50 Meter
Freestyle, 11th in the 100 Meter Butterfly, and 12th in the 50
Meter Butterfly. Swimming has taught me lessons that have shaped me
into the person I am today. I am grateful for the experience and
consider myself very fortunate. .