GCC inducts four into swimming & diving hall of fame

GROVE CITY, PA, January 19, 2002--A couple of All-Americans from the nineties, a standout from the 1940's and the winningest coach in school history were inducted into the Grove City College Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame on Saturday, Jan. 19.  The ceremony took place at the College Pool during the Wolverines' dual meet against Washington & Jefferson College.

Jay D'Ambrosio '94, Doug Fullerton '97, Major Robert Etter '51 and Coach Jim Longnecker comprised this year's hall of fame class.

D'Ambrosio, one of only nine swimmers in school history to win All-American honors three years in row, represented the Wolverines at nationals in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke all four years. D’Ambrosio still owns the varsity record in both the 100 backstroke (52.04) and 200 backstroke (1:53.63) events. He was named MVP of the 1994 Grove City College Swimming & Diving Invitational after leading the Wolverines to their fourth consecutive championship title. D'Ambrosio currently teaches Ancient History at Seneca Valley High School in Zelienople, Pa.

Fullerton, who was a teammate of D'Ambrosio during the 1993-94 season, became the school's 44th All-American in 1996, placing ninth in the 200 individual medley. A three-time MVP, Fullerton still holds an amazing eight varsity records: 200 IM (1:55.34), 400 IM (4:07.99), 200 freestyle (1:43.20), 200 breaststroke (2:08.48), as well as the 200 free relay (1:25.26), 400 free relay (3:09.73), 200 medley relay (1:35.81) and the 400 medley relay (3:31.68). He also earned NCAA Academic All-American honors after posting a 3.98 grade point average in mechanical engineering. Fullerton, who now works as an associate at an engineering firm in Houston, Tx., was named the College's Sports Man of the Year in 1996.

Etter, one of the fastest small college freestylers in his day, earned a team-high 87 points during the 1948-49 season. He specialized in the middle distance and distance freestyle events. He also swam on most relays. Etter currently resides in Pittsburgh.

Longnecker's 40-year record as the head men's swimming and diving coach at Grove City College speaks for itself -- 366 victories, 25 conference championships, 44 All-Americans, three national champions and not a single losing season. With a career winning percentage of .797, Longnecker ranks as one of the winningest head coaches in all NCAA divisions. He coached the Wolverines from 1958 through 1997, accumulating six undefeated seasons and nine one-loss records along the way. Longnecker guided the team to 40 straight meet victories from 1993 to 1997 which was then the longest known streak of its kind in the nation. His 40 consecutive winning seasons is also believed to be a national record. Longnecker, who still resides in Grove City, won All-American honors himself at the 1998 YMCA Masters National Swim Meet in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Competing in the 65-69 age division, he placed among the top five in the country in six events.

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