Judy Baker is known in the community for her decades of coaching swimmers of all ages. She also happens to be one of the country’s all-time greatest swimmers at the collegiate level.
The longtime mentor with the Winskill Otters Masters Swim Club and the Winskill Dolphins youth program is among 55 Simon Fraser University alumni named as a finalist for College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America’s (CSCAA) centennial list of the 100 Greatest Swimmers and Divers.
The CSCAA has named 973 finalists, dating back more than 100 years. They will now go to a Blue Ribbon Panel of voters who will be charged with narrowing the selections to one hundred men and one hundred women. In total, 221 schools had at least one athlete named a finalist. Of the nominees, 739 were swimmers and 234 were divers.
Baker and teammate Sue Logan combined to win 10 races in record times at the 1982 NAIA Championships. Baker captured the 200 and 400 individual medleys, 200 butterfly, 400 freestyle and 200 breaststroke events.
It was part of her decorative competitive journey that began as a nationally ranked swimmer when she was just 13. By 1978, Baker was Canada’s top swimmer in three events and also owned a world ranking. Two years later, she broke the national record in the 800 metre freestyle.
Her prominence with SFU earned the two-time All-American an induction into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1991, one of nine swimmers in the program’s history to receive the honour.
Baker launched her coaching career in 1983.