Richard Smith Receives 2000 Ransom Arthur Award
Happily tied to Masters swimming
Richard Smith is the 2000 Ransom Arthur Award Recipient. Smith swam as a University of Oregon "Duck" 1939-1943 (freestyle 220 and 440) along with two other now All-American US Masters, Gerald Huestis and Earl Walters. Richard and Gerald were co-captains of the University of Oregon swim team that won the Northern Division Championships and was named as the Pacific Coast Champion for the year 1942.
Richard served as an infantry lt. during 1943-1946 with the 94th Division in England, France, Germany and Czechoslovakia, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries from a land mine in France.
Richard and Joan Pine were married September 1, 1946 and are still a very solid unit after more than a half-century. From 1946 to 1970 Richard and Joan were too busy raising a family of four children (one, Doug now also a master swimmer) and earning a living to spend much time in the water. In 1970 Richard made a mid-life change and became an auditor for the California State Board of Equalization, stationed in Santa Rosa. About that time Gail Roper, one of our greatest Master swimmers, was coaching in Santa Rosa and formed one of the early Masters clubs. So Richard was back in the water, as was Joan, and both went to the first Masters National under the auspices of the AAU, held in San Mateo, Calif., (sorry about that Texas.) Joan came home with three thirds while Richard came home empty handed. “We both had a great time, met a lot of fine folks, and decided that this was the best thing invented since the wheel." So since that time both Richard and Joan have been involved in the Masters swim program. Richard has just retired from ten years as the treasurer of Pacific Masters Swimming and Joan has been active in Pacific during that time as head of several committees and during the past two years as vice-chair administration. On the national level Richard has served many years on the Finance Committee and is now Oceana Zone Rep., and on the Legislation Committee while Joan has been serving as National Historian and on the Top-Ten Committee. “Yes, the Smiths consider themselves ‘tied’ to the Masters swim program and we love every minute of it and everyone in it.” They were the recipients of the 2000 Ransom Arthur Award.
Richard is only coming up on 78 and so intends to keep healthy through swimming and sees many happy years down the road. Richard's motto is "Speak with someone new, someone you have never spoken to before, at every swim meet. Do this and you will find much enjoyment in being with your fellow Masters swimmers.”
Richard T. Smith lives in Sacramento, Calif., and swims for Sacramento Masters Swimmers.