Swimming is a race against time where the fastest person to the wall wins. Contending for two national championships where every one-hundredth of a second counted, no one could touch that wall faster than Peddie’s 1989-1990 boys’ and girls’ swim teams. In the end, the Falcons looked back at their competition.
In their accomplishments, the girls and boys team mirrored each other – with great determination,
speed, endurance and depth in every stroke and distance. Dominating archrivals Germantown and Mercersburg Academy, both squads won Easterns and swept mythical high school national titles (1990 and 1991). Led by elite swimmers Nelson Diebel (two gold medals, 1992 Olympics), Royce Sharp (1992 Olympian) and Jim Wells for the boys, and Barbara “BJ” Bedford (gold medal, 2000 Olympics), Jane Skillman and Jodi Navta on the girls' side, Peddie Aquatics captured second place at U.S. Nationals in 1990.
Beyond Peddie’s lane lines, our swimmers earned medals from every major international competition including Pan-Pacs, Pan-American Games, World Championships, World University Games, Goodwill Games and the Olympics.
“Chris (Coach Martin) inspired us to dream of being the best swimmers, but the rest came from us and it led us to excel in the pool, in the classroom and later in life,” said Skillman. “Collectively, we were performing at such a high level and part of our motivation was making the team proud and successful, but it was also this inner drive. Everyone operated at the same level of intensity.”
The team was not only successful in the pool, but in the classroom as well, sending student-athletes
to top tier schools including Princeton, Harvard, Brown, Stanford, West Point, and the Universities of Michigan,Texas and Southern California. In this, the 100th-anniversary year of Peddie Swimming, the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame is proud to recognize the 1990 swim teams for their unwavering persistence and remarkable accomplishments.