Hall of Fame: Carlos E. Rivas (1941)

Carlos is one of Hawaii's all-time great high school swimmers.

During his four-year high school career, he amassed an all-time total of 37 points in individual events in ILH competition, which did not include the points he helped earn on winning relay teams. This article appears as originally published in the Summer 1982 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.


During this time, official records of ILH, Hawaii AAU and National AAU Championships show that he placed first 18 times, second three times, third three times and fourth only twice.

One of the first swimmers in Hawaii to master the butterfly technique he won: the ILH Individual Medley Championship four straight years establishing and holding the record the last three; the ILH 100-yard Breaststroke Championship for three straight years, first tying and then breaking the record each successive year; five gold medals in the Territorial (State) Championships on Maui in 1940; Hawaiian AAU Championships in the 300-meter individual medley and the 220-yard breaststroke, establishing new records in each event. The medley record was the last standing record established by Punahou's immortal Olympian, Buster Crabbe (1927). He was a member of Punahou's 300-yard medley relay team that broke the national record in 1939 and 1940, and took first place in 1941.

Carlos participated in the National AAU Outdoor Championships as a sophomore, taking third in the mile and fourth in the 440 and 880, and as a senior picking up a second in the individual medley and a third in the 220 breaststroke, against world class competition – a remarkable performance for a high school swimmer at that time.

He was named to the High School All-American Teams in his sophomore, junior and senior years, and to the All-American Team in 1941 when his time in the 220-yard breaststroke was faster than the winning time at the Indoor Nationals.

World War II found Carlos serving in the Navy. That eliminated two Olympic games which had been his ultimate goal.

After his Punahou career he won four more Hawaiian AAU Championships, and then, for years, dedicated most of his free time to helping coach Punahou boys and girls teams to many ILH championships.

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