Dr. Jack Beattie Says,
“Come on in – the Water’s Great!”
Excerpt from New Dimensions Magazine Article
From the moment he first learned to dog-paddle as a toddler, Dr. Jack Beattie was hooked on swimming.
“By the time I reached high school (in Bay City, MI), I had competed in county swim meets,” he says. “Then, when I was in the 10th grade, my dad died from a heart attack. My swim coach became a great mentor for me. He encouraged me to pursue a college athletic scholarship.”
“Our coach, Charles McCaffree Jr., produced more Olympic swimmers than any other coach in the history of MSU,” says Dr. Beattie. “Although after college I had about a 15-year hiatus from competitive swimming, I had made great friendships with some of the most accomplished swimmers in the country and have stayed in touch with many of them.”
Although his orthodontic career and political interests had fully occupied him during his first years in Florida, Dr. Beattie still enjoyed recreational swimming. He was intrigued when he learned in the early 1970s that the United States Masters Swimming competition was about to launch. He began entering events, specializing in the backstroke but also swimming in freestyle, butterfly and breast stroke events. He won a total of 88 national championships and set national age group records. At one point, he held five simultaneous world records in different events.
Internationally, Dr. Beattie conquered Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA), setting world records while competing in 10 different countries. In Tokyo in 1986, he took three gold medals and set a world record, earning recognition in Sports Illustrated.
Like many highly accomplished swimmers, Dr. Beattie had a long-time dream of swimming the English Channel. In 2000, he joined a team with five other swimmers for a relay swim from Dover, England to Calais, France.
“Each member of the team swam for an hourat a time,” says Dr. Beattie. “There was a storm coming in from North Africa to France, and the boat captain considered calling off the swim due to the rapidly deteriorating weather. The timing becomes very critical because of the changing tide as you approach France — you have to enter the harborat just the right time. Another very difficult aspect of it was the hypothermia that you face in 60- degree water with wind and rain. I was shivering unbelievably hard every time I got out of the water. We were only in a 30-foot boat that was being pulled in every direction by the current. I’m glad I did the swim, but wouldn’t do it again for a million dollars.”
Despite the challenges, as an officially sanctioned channel swim team Dr. Beattie and his teammates received the Channel Association Award for the fastest relay crossing that year.
As a Masters swimmer, Dr. Bettie set National and World Records in the backstroke
In Tokyo in 186, Dr. Beattie took three Gold Medals in the Federation Internationale de Nitation (FINA) and was recognized in Sports Illustrated
Dr. Beattie shares a love of swimming with his entire family. His wife, Ernestine, also had a successful career in Masters swimming. All three of their children, including orthodontist Dr. John Beattie, oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Jeff Beattie and attorney Kim Beattie became All American swimmers and varsity college competitors.
Competitive Swimming Career Highlights:
* Bay City Central HS Varsity Swimmer 1948-52
* National High School All American in Junior and Senior years
* State High School Champion, 200 Yard Freestyle
* State High School Championship, 200 Yard Freestyle relay
* Two Event All-American - Junior Year
* Three Event All-American - Senior Year
* Michigan State University Varsity, 1952-'56 NCAA All-American
* Completed English Channel Relay Swim in record time in 2000
* Recipient of Heusner Award 2006 by Michigan State Varsity
* USMS National Champion multiple times
* Held Consecutive FINA World Records for 16 Years
* 2008 inducted in Bay County Sports Hall of Fame
Bay City / Bay County, Michigan
* 2012 MSU 'S' Club Jack Breslin Life Achievement Award
For more details please visit:
As a high school state swim champion and All American swimmer, Dr. Beattie was an obvious pick for the Michigan State University swim team, on which he became an NCAA All American
Dr. Jack Beattie re-launched his competitive swimming career in the 70’s by entering into United States Masters Swimming [USMS] competition where he subsequently won multiple national championships and set national age group records. USMS competition eventually led to his assault on FINA world records while traveling to international meets in ten different countries.
His three gold medal performance, including a world record in Tokyo in 1986, earned him recognition in Sports Illustrated. He also received an Athlete of the Year Award from the Orlando Sentinel when he simultaneously held five world age group records in different events. His most memorable national competition was in 1990 when he won six out of six events while setting two world age group records in the 50 meter and 100 meter backstroke events. Jack subsequently entered into open water competition, swimming the Maui Channel [Lanai to Maui) and also winning his age group in the 2.3 mile, Twenty First Annual Waikiki Rough Water Swim.
His masters swimming career was punctuated by swimming the English Channel in August, 2000 on a relay of six swimmers. This officially sanctioned competition resulted in the Channel Association’s Award for the fastest relay crossing of the year.
Jack was also a recipient of the 2006 Heusner Service Award from MSU Swimming and Diving. In 2010 Jack was the subject of a T.V. documentary that has been aired nationally on the PBS television show Growing Bolder, It featured his 21st annual invitational lake swim.
Annual Beattie Family Lake Swim
Dr. Jack Beattie shares his love of swimming on a personal and social level with many family members and friends. His family’s annual “Lake Swim” breakfast has been profiled in a segment airing on PBS... click here to view documentary
Lucky Meisenheimer and and friends at Jack's Family Lake Swim & Pancake breakfast
Lucky Meisenheimer and Jack Beattie after Jack's Family Lake Swim & Pancake breakfast
Carrot Top, Lucky Meisenheimer and Jack Beattie at the Annual Lake Swim at the Beattie's Winter Park home where they celebrate with friends their love of swimming, music and each other. (quote from Chart Magazine)
Annual Beattie Lake Swim & Breakfast
Every year, the Beatties host a one-mile
“Lake Swim” and pancake breakfast, attended by many family members, friends, triathletes and former collegiate and Masters swimmers, some of whom the Beatties have competed with in the past.
The Annual Breakfast, was featured in a video segment filmed by GrowingBolder.com, an online community, with the segment now airing on PBS stations nationwide.
“It is a great way to enjoy socializing and swimming with a great group of people, since swimming has meant so much to all of us,” says Dr. Beattie.
Dr. Jack Beattie
exceptional swimming career
He re-launched his competitive swimming career in the 70’s by entering into United States Masters Swimming [USMS] competition where he subsequently won multiple national championships and set national age group records. USMS competition eventually led to his assault on FINA world records while traveling to international meets in ten different countries.
His three gold medal performance, including a world record in Tokyo in 1986, earned him recognition in Sports Illustrated. He also received an Athlete of the Year Award from the Orlando Sentinel when he simultaneously held five world age group records in different events.
His most memorable national competition was in 1990 when he won six out of six events while setting two world age group records in the 50 meter and 100 meter backstroke events. Jack subsequently entered into open water competition, swimming the Maui Channel [Lanai to Maui] and also winning his age group in the 2.3 mile, Twenty First Annual Waikiki Rough Water Swim.
His masters swimming career was punctuated by swimming the English Channel in August, 2000 on a relay of six swimmers. This officially sanctioned competition resulted in the Channel Association’s Award for the fastest relay crossing of the year. Jack was also a recipient of the 2006 Heusner Service Award from MSU Swimming and Diving. In 2010 Jack was the subject of a T.V. documentary that has been aired nationally on the PBS
television show Growing Bolder, It featured his 21st annual invitational lake swim.
In Tokyo in 1986, Dr. Beattie took three gold medals in the Federation Internationale de Nitation (FINA) and was recognized in Sports Illustrated.
A Tribute to Bruce Aldrich, MSU All American SwimmerIn memory of Frank Reynods
Shared recollections for the family of Bruce Aldrich, read at his funeral
When I learned of Bruce's passing, I reflected back on some fond memories of Bruce. One that I vividly recall was our dual meet at the U of Iowa my junior year when I had a bad case of stomach flu. They had a New Zealand Olympian, Ross Lucas who was ranked second in the United Kingdom, in both of my events, the 220 and 440 free. After I placed second to him the 220, coach Mac looked at me and said, "I'm going to sit you out of the 440", as we were on course to handily win the meet ... that was until they screwed over both of our divers; as I recall it was Don Morey and Louie Micheaud, both ranked Big 10 finalists, who suddenly found themselves opposed by a couple unheard of, unranked Iowa gymnasts who even entered the water flat footed, with their hometown "judges'' paying them big time, obviously calculated to possibly effect the outcome of the meet.During the diving event Bruce was sitting next to me on the bench just shaking his head, watching it happen, and he was very upset by the fundamental unfairness, and repeatedly kept saying to me, "Ít's just not right Jack, they'll get theirs somehow.'' It was unconscionable ... their crony judges had in effect given them a 14 point swing that could place the entire outcome of the meet in jeopardy. Coach Mac immediately realized what had happened and only the 440 yd free and the relay remained. Coach Mac came over to me as the diving results were being announced and said ,''You're going the 440 Beattie.'' [We could not risk them taking First and second in the 440 free] I had diarhea and had earlier been vomiting. I silently looked up at him , and he looked down at me and said, ''You're going!'' Long story short, as I stood up taking off my warm up outfit, Bruce stood up with me, and even walked with me over to the starting blocks, he clapped me on the shoulder, and in a low voice said, ''Now let's see you do it.'' It was something that he'd never done before. I got up on the blocks fully intending to carefully follow coach Mac's strategic advice, to, " Just take it out easy and relaxed, and make sure I can finish the race and lock us in with a solid second place so we'll still win the meet." Now back in the 50's no swimmer wore goggles, and my vision was 20:200 in one eye and 20:400 in the other. In other words, I couldn't really see much without my glasses, but during the race I knew I was staying within an arms length in that I could hear Lucas' two counters, one at either end of the pool during our open water turns, and I was taking it easy, I really wasn't working it hard. Paginini was counting for me, yelling out the count at every hundred yards, not every 25 yard lap. As we approached the last two laps, as a matter of routine they always brought the flags down for the touch finish, and Lucas for some reason apparently got confused with which lap we were on, and he momentarily uprighted too soon at the flags; in that instant I had gained an arm's length lead on him. As I reached the turn with 40 yds to go, I was aware of my lead, but not how it was happening; Paginini was on his knees, yelling at me above the noise of the crowd, "Go-GO-Go!'' I had a lot left, so I sprinted hard and decisively beat Lucas. As we got out of the water Iowa's coach, openly berated Lucas in front of the entire Iowa crowd, poking him in the chest ... something that coach Mac would never do. When I returned to our jubilant bench, Bruce was smiling from ear to ear, and as we sat down he put his hand on my knee, leaned forward and said, "You did it Jack ... I told you they'd get theirs.'' We won the meet, coach Mac was right to have put me back in, my time was one of my best, and Bruce turned out to be very precient in his prediction, almost as if he had willed it to happen. He was a great team mate who consistantly exhibited tremendous character, and was a good friend. May God bless Bruce Aldrich and his family.Jack BeattieMSU '52-'56Member of 1954 All America free style relay with Bruce Aldrich, Tom Payette, and Chuck Baldwin
MSU '52-'56Member of 1954 All America free style relay with Bruce Aldrich, Tom Payette, and Chuck Baldwin
In memory of Frank Reynods
Former MSU swimmers was taken at USMS S.C. Nationals in 1982, Woodlands, Texas. Left to right, Wally Dobler, Jack Beattie, Melinda Whitcomb Mann, Frank Reynolds, Billy Steuart, and Al Coxon
Frank was an MSU team member, swam butterfly, and I.M. He was also the feature underwater star at our annual Porpoise Fraternity Show which ran for three nights with some fun relays, very creative skits and acts. Before announcing him, they'd darken the pool except for underwater lights, station life guards around the pool, then as he was announced there was a constant drum roll as he entered the water. To further heighten the drama the announcer would add death defying commentary about the signs of oxygen deprivation. Frank would swim four lengths, a 100 yards. He had incredible breath control, not too dissimilar to some of today's free divers? He'd emerge to great spectator applause. As an aside,the following year after his graduation a former H.S. swimmer, not on the team, showed up wanting his slot. He trained with us for a while and Coach Mac finally gave his approval. Opening night he totally blacked out as he shoved off from the turn at the deep end. They pulled him out and all was well. [Even more drama] He somehow convinced Coach Mac he could really do it, so second night came the drum roll et al. Unfortunately it happened again at the very same spot. No problem, but there was no third performance for him and the show went on.
Frank was not only a top competitor in USMS but also did open water and completed the 26 mile swim from Catalina to Newport Beach where their home was located, right on the ocean. The first year he tried it, his body shut down with just a short distance to go, so he then hired a dietician who monitored his routine, and scheduled his intake during the swim and a year later, while his son who swam at Stanford, accompanied him on the surf board ... he made it. A great swimmer and warm hearted person who shared our passion for competitive swimming. May God bless him and may he rest in peace.