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Tony Skreslet (1968) - Swimming

Tony Skreslet
HoF Individual
Induction Year

In 1939, the Longview High gymnasium and swimming pool were completed and ready for business.  That facility, which was part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's  New Deal, has been witness to many sports highlights - especially in the pool.  With one of the few on-campus pools in the state, it is little wonder that the Longview 1939 boys' swimming and diving team came away with the state title.  Over the years, tankers like Wallace Holden, Willard Lamb, Bob Gregson, Don Malmstrom, Jeff Walker and Nan Leuschel have left their names in their wakes in the school pool. But arguably the best all-around swimmer in R.A. Long history is Tony Skreslet.  Tony, a soft-spoken, cerebral member of the class of 1968, would have blown up “YouTube” if it had existed then. His pool performances are eye-catching. By the time he left the hallowed halls of R.A. Long, Tony owned 90 percent of all the Lumberjacks' pool school records. They included the 50-yard freestyle, 60 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.  In 1966, as a sophomore, he broke two school records - 200-yard free in 1 minute, 59.7 seconds (held by Don Malmstrom) and the 100 backstroke in 1:04.0 (held by John Melin).  At state as a sophomore, he placed third in the 100 butterfly in a school record time of 56.7. Tony was voted team most valuable.  As a junior, Tony broke the pool record in 100 backstroke in 1:00.2 previously held by Jeff Matson of Olympia High School in 1957. Tony led RAL to 14-0 season record and to the Southwest Washington Conference district championship.  At state his junior year, he won the 50 freestyle in 23.3 and the 100 freestyle in 50.7. His two state titles helped the Lumberjacks to a sixth-place finish. He was the first two-time state champion in school history. And again, team MVP.  As a senior, Tony was voted the Lumberjacks' most valuable swimmer for a third straight year. He also set a school record in the 60 free.  At state, Tony added the 100 backstroke to his state championship collection. His third state title in three years. His time of 57.4 in the 100 back was the seventh fastest in the nation and put him in the mix for High School All-American honors.  His pool performances did not end at R.A. Long, however.  He was a three-year letter winner for the University of Oregon. At the 1970 NCAA swimming and diving championships at the Ute Natatorium on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, he and three teammates gained All America Collegiate Swimming team honors for their efforts  in the 400-yard medley relay. Tony earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Oregon. He added a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon Institute of Technology. Tony recently retired from the State of California where he was Transportation Engineer for 25 years. He worked primarily as a Project Engineer designing bridges and various transportation related structures.  Tony, who has one brother who lives in the Longview area, has been married 30-plus years and has one daughter and lives in Sacramento, California.