In 2003, swimmer Leigh Ann Fetter became an official hall of fame inductee into the halls of the University of Texas at Austin.
Now, this college is widely known for their powerhouse swimming program, so being inducted is no slight feat, however as you might have guessed Fetter’s story doesn’t begin in the capital of Texas but rather right here in the Derby City.
A Louisville native, Fetter first came to national attention in 1987 as a Freshman swimmer at Texas at Austin, already showing potential it became evident of the Longhorns good fortune when she led the team to a 1988 NCAA National Championship.
’88 was also notable for the Summer Olympics, which were being held in Seoul, South Korea that year. As always many eyes were on the aquatic sports that year, and sure enough spectators globally saw the young Fetter.
She had made the women’s swim team as a powerhouse college athlete, finishing fifth in the women’s 50-meter Freestyle that year, Fetter returned to Austin with a new drive.
And as such, she led the team to two more NCAA National Championships during her college career in 1990 and 1991.
In that senior season for Fetter she found victories in the 50 and 100 yard freestyles in the NCAA Championship, in addition she was a major player in the team’s wins in the 200 free, 200 medley, and 400 free relay teams. That same year, Fetter became the second woman to win the same event four years in a row.
Back at that famed meet Fetter commented to Sports Illustrated, “We're very close as a team…We just tried to focus and concentrate on getting the job done during each session.”
For that attitude, which demonstrated a work ethic and a passion for achievement both solo and with a group Leigh Ann Fetter is certainly a Sports Legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of Pintrest