In the 1970’s, prep school swimming rapidly grew in stature with exceptional times that captured national attention. Benn Doyle was a cornerstone of the 1975 and 1976 teams that catapulted Peddie Swimming to recognition as one of the premier programs in the country, helping Peddie emerge as a power that would eventually win national championships and Eastern Interscholastic titles.
During his brilliant career, Benn garnered Prep School All-American honors in the 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard individual medley, and 200-yard medley relay, and collected first-place medals in the same events at the State Championship won handily by Peddie.
As a senior, he was a key swimmer both in Peddie’s first dual-meet victory over Mercersburg and in Peddie’s dramatic challenge to Mercersburg’s dominance at the 1976 Easterns. In this, the most significant school meet in the United States, the Peddie boys stood proud with a second place finish, and a collection of dedicated swimmers became a great swimming team.
Benn attended the University of Missouri where he was the 1980 swim team captain. He held three school records and his mark in the 200-yard breaststroke continues to rank fourth all-time at the university. Besides swimming in the NCAA Championships all four years, he participated in the 1980 Olympic Trials and capped off a marvelous college career by being named a recipient of the coveted NCAA Scholar-Athlete Award.
His contributions to the swimming world didn’t end with his graduation and devotion to a career as a veterinarian. Benn remains one of the top Masters swimmers in the world. In 2000, he was the American record holder in the 50-meter breastroke, and in 2001 he swam breaststroke on a world record-setting 200-meter medley relay team.
After Benn’s last season in the Peddie pool, coach Jeff Lowe said, “As a team we will miss the service of many...but most of all we will miss the quiet, intense manner of one of the most dedicated, hard working swimmers I have ever coached in Benn Doyle. Some day he will be remembered as one of Peddie’s great athletes who achieved success not only as an individual, but also as a proud member of a team.” That day has come.