Hall of Fame: Clarence L. “Buster” Crabbe (1927)

Guess what! Buster, the swimmer was a member of Punahou’s 1925 football squad! Later Oahuans indicate he abandoned football for swimming, which was fortunate for both Punahou and Hawaii, as he really put Hawaii in the limelight with his remarkable achievements in swimming.  This article appears as originally published in the Summer 1980 issue of the Punahou Bulletin.

At Punahou he was a three-year letterman in swimming and captain of the 1927 swimming team. While in college at USC from 1928 to 1932 he was the AAU National Indoor and Outdoor Champion, domination every freestyle event in excess of 200 yards. He also was the 300-yard/300-meter individual medley champion, setting world records in the 300-yard individual medley event on two occasions. In the 1932 Olympics he set an Olympic record in the 400-meter freestyle and in the 1940 Olympics was the only American swimmer to win a gold medal again in the 400-meter freestyle. In later years he participated in the Masters Swim Program and in 1971 established world distance records in the 60 – 64 age group. Career performance: 16 world and 35 national swimming records – not including his Masters records! In his 70’s, Buster still swims regularly at his home in Scottsdale, Ar.

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