Jerry Spencer

Jerry Spencer began his swimming career at 13, becoming a High School All-American at Casa Roble H.S. in Orangevale, CA, and Junior College All-American at American River J.C in Sacramento before attending the University of Arkansas. Recruited and trained by sprint coach and Arkansas Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Sam Freas, Jerry was a 1979 Southwest Conference Champion and the Razorback’s first All-American swimmer that year with a time of 20.1 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle. Jerry placed 2nd in the 50 meter freestyle at the 1980 US Nationals/Olympic Trials, earning a spot on the US team which competed against other boycotting nations in “the Alternate Olympics” held in Hawaii. At the 1981 US International Invitational, Jerry declined an offer to swim for the US National team, choosing instead to compete for the University of Arkansas. With teammates Jay Merrit and fellow ASHoF inductees Randy Ensminger and Martin Smith, the Razorbacks set a world record in the 400 meter freestyle relay, touching out the US National Team anchored by Rowdy Gaines. In that same meet, Jerry established a World Best time of 22.4 for the 50 meter freestyle. At the 1981 NCAA Championships, Jerry became the first Arkansas swimmer to break 20 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle with a time of 19.8 seconds. Jerry was a five-time Razorback All-American between 1979 and 1981, earning honors as a freestyler in the 50, the 100 (43.8 seconds in 1981), the 400 medley and freestyle relays, which he anchored with a split of 41.4 seconds. Representing the US at the 1981 World University Games in Bucharest, Romania, Jerry was a medalist in the 50 and 100 freestyle and a member of the winning 400 freestyle relay. As a member of the US National Team from 1980-1983, Jerry helped set American and world records in the 200 and 400 freestyle relays and the 400 medley relay. Jerry still enjoys swimming and holds several Arkansas Masters records. Married for 23 years to Tricia, their children, David and Ariel, will graduate from the U of A in May 2012. Jerry joined Wal-Mart in 1988 and currently serves as Vice President of Store Operations for Southern California.