Sandy Van Kennen

James F. "Sandy" Van Kennen Jr. '66

Winning an NCAA championship in 1966 (all divisions) in the 50-yard freestyle, Sandy Van Kennen set a New England record of: 21.39 and put a dramatic exclamation point on a remarkable college swimming career.

Sandy was undefeated in regional competition in the 50-yard freestyle during his three varsity seasons at Wesleyan.   He also won New England Championships in the 50 and 100 free in 1964, 1965 and 1966, establishing New England records several times along the way. During Sandy’s three varsity campaigns, the Cardinals posted a cumulative dual-meet mark of 25-5 and finished second in New England in both 1964 and 1966.

Sandy’s first national success came in his sophomore year (1964) when he earned NCAA College Division crowns in both the 50 and 100 free before going on to secure third place in the 50 at the NCAA Championships (all divisions).  He repeated as NCAA College Division champion in both events in 1965, then placed seventh in the 50 and tied for 11th in the 100 at the overall NCAA meet.  It was the last time he failed to win a 50-yard freestyle event, sweeping all his races in 1965-66.

Sandy also played lacrosse at Wesleyan and earned varsity letters in that sport as well in 1965 and 1966.