James Schiltz


Every year millions of American college students embark upon their spring break odysseys south to enjoy a break from classes and inclement weather. Contrary to the degenerative nature of today's spring breaks, the genesis of the custom was rather innocent. In 1934, before the ubiquity of collegiate indoor swimming pools, Colgate University's swimming coach Sam Ingram became concerned that the harsh winters of upstate New York were inhibiting his team's strength and conditioning. At the suggestion of a swimmer's father who hailed from South Florida, Ingram and his team traveled to Fort Lauderdale to train at the Las Olas Casino Pool. As the community eagerly welcomed his swimmers, Ingram reasoned that Fort Lauderdale was an ideal location to hold a competition that could display talent and allow proper winter conditioning for his and other swim teams.1