Profiling Allan Cartwright
"If it's wet and a race, I've probably done it!"
Allan Cartwright, born in Paterson, N.J. Grew up at a lake in North Jersey where he learned to swim and had his first competition: a race of unknown distance between two docks. First school was a two-room schoolhouse with no running water and an outhouse for a toilet. Moved to Van Nuys, Calif. (Los Angeles County) at the age of 14 and joined the Birmingham High swim team. All Los Angeles City four years in a row specializing in free, fly and medleys. Was high school All-American as a junior in the 100 fly and as a senior in the 100 fly, 100 free, 200 IM and swam the backstroke leg on an All-American medley relay. Went to Ohio State in 1960 and was a member of that school's 1962 NCAA championship swimming team. Placed third in the NCAA's in the 200 fly and was a member of OSU's record setting 400 free relay.
Joined the Navy in November of 1963 becoming a Naval aviator in July of 1965. Spent two tours in the South China Sea off the coast of Viet Nam flying the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk off the carrier USS Ticonderoga, amassing 231 combat missions and over 400 carrier landings. Discharged from the Navy Christmas Eve ,1968. Married Stephanie Nesbit of Alameda, Calif. in June of 1967. Two children: Natasha, born September 1970 and Christopher, born November 1974. Hired on with Western Airlines (The only way to fly) in 1969. Western was bought by Delta in 1987. Airline career included flying as second officer or copilot on Boeing 707, 720, 737, 727, Douglas DC-10, McDonnell Douglas MD-11, and Lockheed L-1011 aircraft. Finished career flying as captain on Boeing 757s and 767s. Retired: February 2002. Started Masters swimming at a meet at SF State in 1973. Has participated in numerous nationals, open water, rough water, Tahoe relay, and the Maui relay swims. “If it's wet and there's a race I've probably done it.” Most memorable Masters swimming event was winning the 200-meter IM at the nationals in 1980.