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Profiling Dr. Robert MacDonald

Began Masters swimming in 1978

Author Unknown | July 19, 2000

Dr. Robert MacDonald, 70, was born in Chicago, and soon moved to California. As an eight year old, he dived for coins off Catalina Island, to the tourists' delight. A friend devised a helmet, hose and bike pump combination, so the boys could retrieve coins landing in the 40-foot deep water.

In 1940, Bob, 12, moved to St. Louis. He joined the YMCA swim team, coached by Ernie Vornbrock, Counsilman's mentor. In 1946, at Y Nationals in Detroit, he and teammate, Paul Hutinger , were members of the winning 400-yard free relay.

The army drafted him in 1946, and Bob served two years in the Korea region. He placed third in the 100-, and 200-yard breast at the All-Pacific Meet in Tokyo. Afterwards, he enrolled at St. Louis University, and swam on their team, which reigned as Missouri Valley Champs for three years. He represented the Missouri Athletic Club at the 1948 Olympic Water Polo tryouts, and the next year, his team won the National Junior Championships in Detroit.

After completing his dentistry doctorate, Bob moved to Naples, Fla., and started his practice. He presently shares an office with his son, Michael. Bob began Masters swimming in 1978, has won his breaststroke events at nationals and been an All-American several times. In 1996, he helped originate the Mavericks. In 1997, he swam breaststroke on the LCM and SCM world record 200 medley relays, again with teammate Paul Hutinger.

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