Former swim teams hold rematch 40 years later

December 8, 2011 10:00:00 PM PST
A rematch in Northbrook finally settled a burning question that has been haunting members of two former high school swim teams.

It has been four decades since most of the guys jumped into a pool representing the Glenbrook North Spartans or the Glenbrook South Titans -- 40 years of raising their own kids, pursuing careers, and putting on a few pounds. But they had an old score to settle and came with their old coaches along.

"That's why I'm enjoying this, just seeing what the kids are doing now, what their families are, meeting some of their kids up here. I mean, that's a long time ago," Bill Stetson, former Glenbrook South coach.

"We won, I don't have anything to settle" said former Glenbrook North coach Jim Runkle as he laughed.

In 1972, the South team won the meet in the final event - a relay - but was disqualified when a timer went into the water before it was over. They have disputed it ever since.

As boys from the current teams finishing with their own dual meet, the old guys gave it one last shot. They came in from all over the country -- some still in good shape and others full of enthusiasm anyway.

Without much drama, Glenbrook North won both relays easily Friday night.

"It's all in good fun. But there's still some competitive juices there, you can sense, and we're glad to win," said Jeff Reene, Glenbrook North swimmer.

"You got to stay active to stay on the green side of the grass, you know, and some of our guys, we've overcome a lot of obstacles but we're still swimming," said Mike Boothe, Glenbrook South swimmer.

And so the 40 year grudge was settled -- at least for now. With all the guys from the current teams watching, there could be another one of the meets in another 40 years or so.

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