Ronald Zaniewski ’61 Inducted 2000
Swimming & Diving
As the featured swimmer in the Gustavus swimming dynasty of the late 1950s and early '60s, Ron Zaniewski piloted his team to four consecutive MIAC championship titles, and an impeccable 35-1 conference record. The Gusties won titles in 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1960 during which Zaniewski went undefeated in the 100-yard butterfly, winning four individual MIAC conference meets and earning all-conference honors each season. In his first conference meet, Zaniewski upset the favorite to win the 100-yard butterfly while setting a new conference record that he would later break in 1959. On January 7, 1958, Zaniewski broke Ed Haapaniemi's '37 22-year old Gustavus pool record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:01.2. Only two weeks later, he swam the same event in 0:59.8 at St. Mary's University, setting a personal and team record. While the Gusties were dominating conference competition during Zaniewski's tenure, they were also making quite a splash on the national scene as they were competing against the likes of the University of Texas, Texas A&M, the University of Kansas, the University of Minnesota, and Columbia University.
Zaniewski, who graduated from Gustavus with a double major in biology and teaching, went on to receive his master's degree in teaching from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. He spent 32 years as a junior high science teacher in Stillwater, Minnesota, where he retired in 1993. Ron lives in Stillwater with his wife, Eloise. They have two children, Lisa (Blevins) '89, and Kyle.