Winthrop B. Wilson
Hometown: Cranston, RI
Team: Special

Winthrop B. Wilson '51
Cranston, RI
Year Inducted:

Winthrop B. Wilson ’51 is still in the swim at age 53 as a Master Swimmer who, some say, is master of all he surveys. And why not? A look at the record shows 12 national championships since 1977, a place on the United States Masters All-American team 1977 through 1980, and a tag for being one of the eight or 10 best Masters Swimmers in the country. Masters Swimming was started in 1970, ostensibly as the Amateur Athletic Union’s program for men and women 25 years and older who compete in their own five-year age groups. Some would tell you that Master’s Swimming also was started for Win Wilson, he has so dominated his section of the events in recent years. Take the 1980 Master’s Championships, for example. Wilson certainly took them – three golds, two silvers, a bronze, along with four all-time personal best times. The 200-yard freestyle relay was the high point of the meet. The race came about three hours after he had completed the 1650, and he was the old man of the four-man relay team by a good margin. Swimming with Wilson was Bill Yorzyk, a national Hall of Famer and gold medal winner (200 butterfly) in the 1956 Olympics. Wilson’s 25.2 split was half a second better than Yorzyk’s time, and his relay unit won in the record-breaking time of 1:39. You don’t become a Master’s Swimmer merely by sending in your application fee. In Wilson’s case, the price he pays is between 2,500 and 3,000 yards in the Smith Swimming Center pool each morning, back and forth until his lungs curse at him. He never swam competitively until he came to Brown in 1947, but when Mr Wilson left he held three varsity records for the 220 (2:16.1), 440 (5:00.3), 1500 (20:57), and joined Bill Dolan ’52, Duncan Grey ’51, and Bob Barlow ’51 on the record breaking (3:35.4) 400 relay unit. Win Wilson is vice president in charge of development and community affairs at Women and Infants Hospital and lives in Cranston with his wife, Etta, and his children, Pamela, Susan, and Winthrop, Jr.