BOYS SWIMMING CHAMPIONS
Under the leadership of legendary coach John "Bus" Fairbairn, Aberdeen captured back-to-back state swimming titles in 1948-49.
The Bobcats overcame illness to win four events and easily outdistance runner-up Everett, 42-45 in 1948. Don Fairbairn won the 100-yard freestyle and was a member of two championship relay teams, the 150 medley and 200 freestyle. Ralph Hunter took the state title in the 100 yard breastroke.
As good as that team was, Coach Fairbairn believed the 1949 squad was even better, saying "I feel this year's Aberdeen team was the best ever to compete in a state tournament."
The 1949 Bobcats went unbeaten against high school and even some college freshman teams. At state, they amassed 55 points to finish 25 ahead of second place Stadium of Tacoma. Hunter repeated as the 100 breaststroke champion, Mark Matulich took the 50 freestyle, while Wright Benson took the 200 free (he won two more state titles in 1950). Don Hannula, the brother of Hall of Fame coach Dick Hannula and later award winning journalist in Seattle, won the 100-yard backstroke.