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Biography

Profiling Carin Cone

One time queen of backstroke

Author Unknown | July 19, 2000

Carin Cone (USA) was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in 1984. The following text was included in the program for the induction ceremony of that year:

For the Record: 1956 Olympic silver (100-meter back). Six world records: (100-meter, 100-yard and 220-yard back) and one relay. Pan Am Games: 1959 gold (100-meter back) and gold medley relay. Sixteen A.A.U. Nationals: (100-yard, 110-yard, 200-yard and 220-yard back). Ten American records, short course: (100-yard, 150-yard and 200-yard back). Thirteen American records, long course: (100-meter, 200-meter, 220-meter back) and one relay.

Carin Cone literally came on like a hurricane to win her first Senior National Championship in the 200-yard backstroke. It was at Philadelphia in the middle of a hurricane in August 1955. Two days later she won the 100 back, an event in which she continued undefeated in the Nationals, Indoor & Outdoor, for the next five years. Her moment of greatest triumph and yet disappointment was at the 1956 Olympics where she and Judy Grinham (Great Britain) had identical times, and yet the judges picked Judy first. Carin won 16 Nationals and set four world and 24 American records all in backstroke. This "queen of backstrokers" in her time, like Eleanor Holm and Gloria Callen before her, and Lynne Burke afterwards, was also a cover girl supreme. The four of them, all from the New York area, were on more magazine covers than four full-time models, which all were invited to be. Carin had just two coaches, Marie Giardine at the Women's Swimming Association in New York and Phill Hansel at the University of Houston. Perhaps Carin Cone's finest year was 1959 when she began by winning both women's backstroke titles at the Indoor AAU meet. In July, Carin lowered her own world record in the 220-yard backstroke, slicing more than three seconds from her 1956 time. Two months later at the Pan American games in Chicago, Carin won the 100-meter backstroke title, and also established a world record of 1:11.4 on the lead off backstroke leg in the medley relay. She retired from competitive swimming in 1960. In 1962 she married Al Vanderbush - Army's football co-captain and All-American guard.

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