1977-78 Women’s Swimming

’77-’78 Women’s Swim Team
Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990

The ’77-’78 women’s swim team represents the apex of a marvellous era for this sport at Acadia. From the years 1975 to 1980, Acadia’s women swimmers won six consecutive AUAA championships. In the process, they established 31 Conference records and were undefeated in league meets from ’75 to ’79. The academic years, ’76-’77 and ’77-’78, saw national championships come to Acadia with Jack Scholz at the helm of both of these teams. His talent as a coach was recognized as he was awarded the prestigious CIAU Coach of the Year Award in 1978.

Following a national title in ’77, the ’77 -’78 season was another glorious one for Scholz and his Axettes. On record-breaking dives and swims by Judy Bailey, Roberta Thomson, Wendy Stevens, Mary Ellen McDonald, and Maureen Scott, the team easily won the AUAA Conference. As a result of their fine performances, twelve qualified for the Nationals.

Mary Ellen McDonald established AUAA records in both the 100 and 200 metre backstroke events. Bailey accumulated 393 points on the three-metre springboard and Stevens shattered the previous barrier in a butterfly event. Roberta Thomson cut the then existing mark in the 400 metre individual medley and was named the AUAA Swimmer of the Year.

At the Nationals in Vancouver and attended by Thomson, Bailey, Stevens, Marjorie MacDonald, Mary Ellen McDonald, Mareen and Jill Taylor, Pam Johnson, Cathy Kennedy, Holly Reardon, Penney Gaul, and Maureen Scott, the girls again finished first.

In collecting 291 points to easily outdistance Alberta, Roberta Thomson led the way with three second-place finishes: in the 100 metre breast stroke and 200 and 400 metre individual medley. Mary Ellen MacDonald came up with a second-place finish in the 100 metre backstroke and a fourth in the 200 metre backstroke. Acadia’s 400 metre medley relay team of MacDonald, Stevens, Thomson, and Gaul won that event and set anew national record in the process.

In accepting the National Coach of the Year Award, Jack Scholz commented that “the team scored in every event and every team member scored. Our depth and versatility was the key to success.”

It is a privilege to induct into Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame, the ’77-’78 Women’s Swim Team.