Moore Pool and the Pittsburgh '100' (1949-1970)
and Brookline's Zentgraf Family Swimmers

Moore Pool Champs - 1949.
Sun-Telegraph article on the 1949 "Pittsburgh Hundred."

For twenty-two years, from the inaugural competition in 1949 through 1970, the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph (1949-1959)/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1960-1970) and the City of Pittsburgh Department of Parks and Recreation hosted the "Pittsburgh Hundred," a month-long competition to determine the best free style swimmers in the city.

Over a thousand swimmers entered each July representing the various neighborhood swimming pools around Pittsburgh. Elimination races were held around the city in the weeks leading up to the finals, held each year until 1969 at Ammon Pool. The last championship, in 1970, was held at Moore Pool in Brookline.

Moore Pool participated in each of the twenty-two years of the "Pittsburgh Hundred," winning a record seven team titles, and numerous individual awards. The first three championships were won by Moore, with teams featuring James, Nancy and Henry Zentgraf, along with Jerry Weis.

The teams of the late-1950s made another three-peat, led by young Judy and Janice Keating, Roy Shaney and William Zentgraf. Moore Pool's final title came in 1962, paced by Larry Krauss, Pat Monahan and Gene Reiff. In all, Moore Pool swimmers captured thirty-one individual first place (many in record times), seventeen second place and eleven third place medals.

Many of the Moore Pool team champions also competed in a series of Allegheny Mountain Association (AMA) indoor and outdoor events hosted throughout the city that attracted the best competition from the tri-state area. A few of Moore's swimmers went on to compete in National AAU events.

Note: We are not sure if the Pittsburgh '100' competitions actually ended in 1970. That is the
final year that there were references to the event in the local newspapers.

Moore Pool Champs - 1950.
Sun-Telegraph article on the 1950 "Pittsburgh Hundred."




Pittsburgh '100' Team Champions (1949-1970)

1949 - Moore
1950 - Moore
1951 - Moore
1952 - Pleasant Valley
1953 - Paulson
1954 - Pleasant Valley
1955 - Schenley

1956 - Ammon
1957 - Moore
1958 - Moore
1959 - Moore
1960 - Fowler
1961 - Fowler
1962 - Moore
1963 - Beechwood

1964 - Beechwood
1965 - Fowler
1966 - Phillips/Fowler
1967 - Fowler
1968 - Oliver
1969 - Phillips
1970 - Phillips




Pittsburgh '100' Individual Medal Winners
Brookline's Moore Pool Team

1949

16/17 G - Nancy Zentgraf - 1st Place
14/15 B - Jerry Weiss - 1st Place
16-17 B - Bob Hodgson - 3rd Place
18-up B - James Zentgraf - 1st Place

1950

16/17 G - Nancy Zentgraf - 1st Place
14/15 B - Henry Zentgraf - 1st Place
16-17 B - Jerry Weiss - 1st Place
16/17 B - Don Barlet - 3rd Place
18-up B - Ronald Dall - 1st Place

1951

18-up G - Nancy Zentgraf - 1st Place
16/17 B - Henry Zentgraf - 2nd Place
18-up B - Erwin Herold - 1st Place

1952

14/15 G - Mary Lou Mulligan - 1st Place
18-up B - Buddy Marriner - 3rd Place

1953

14/15 G - Mary Lou Mulligan - 2nd Place
13-U B - William Zentgraf - 2nd Place
14/15 B - Bill Russell - 3rd Place
17-up B - Bill Frank - 3rd Place

1954

13-U G - Carol Gray - 1st Place
14 B - William Zentgraf - 1st Place

1955

13-U G - Carol Gray - 1st Place
15/16 B - William Zentgraf - 1st Place

1956

14 B - Reddie Bardashan - 3rd Place
15/16 B - William Zentgraf - 1st Place
15/16 B - Jim O'Donnell - 2nd Place

1957

13-U G - Ruth O'Connell - 2nd Place
14 G - Patty Stone - 2nd Place
15/16 G - Rose O'Connell - 2nd Place
17-up G - Grace Zeiler - 2nd Place
14 B - Edward Wettach - 2nd Place
15/16 B - Jack Hayes - 1st Place
17-up - William Zentgraf - 1st Place*
* Broke brother Jim's 1949 record.

1958

13-U G - Pat Zeiler - 2nd Place
17-up G - Grace Zeiler - 2nd Place
13-U B - Larry Shekell - 1st Place
14 B - Roy Shaney - 1st Place
15/16 B - Dennis Goldman - 2nd Place
17-up B - Jack Farrell - 2nd Place

1959

13-U G - Judy Keating - 1st Place*
13-U G - Janice Keating - 2nd Place
14- B - Mike Stevens - 3rd Place
15/16 B - Roy Shaney - 2nd Place
17-up B - Richard Rush - 1st Place
17-up B - Mike Monahan - 3rd Place
* Broke Carol Gray's 1955 record and
fastest overall female time ever
in any of the event age groups.

1960

13-U G - Judy Keating - 1st Place
13-U G - Janice Keating - 2nd Place
15/16 B - Roy Shaney - 1st Place
17-up B - Paul Zelonas - 1st Place

1961

NONE

1962

13-U B - Larry Kraus - 1st Place
14 B - Pat Monahan - 1st Place
17-up B - Gene Reiff - 1st Place

1963

17-up B - Danny Ryan - 1st Place

1964

17-up G - Cynthia Dawson - 2nd Place

1965

17-up B - Pat Monahan - 1st Place

1966

NONE

1967

13-U B - Mark Donato - 3rd Place

1968

NONE

1969

13-U G - Pat Longo - 3rd Place
15/16 G - Amy Kilburg - 1st Place

1970

15/16 G - Regina Liberatore - 3rd Place




Brookline's Zentgraf Family Of Swimmers
(1945-1957)

Helen and Henry Zentgraf lived at 351 Fernhill Street in Brookline. They had four children: James, Nancy, Henry Jr and William. The kids were all avid swimmers, spending summers at Moore Pool and winters at the Oliver Bath House perfecting their skills, practice that would help them one day make their mark on the local, district and national swimming scene.

James, the oldest, was the first to gain some notoriety in the mid-1940s as a free style swimmer. His sister Nancy and brother Henry soon followed. The three competed in the many indoor and outdoor Allegheny Mountain Association competitions held yearly around the Pittsburgh area, consistently placing in the top three. By the end of the decade they were considered some of the finest swimmers in the tri-state area.

James and Henry Zentgraf - 1945.
Several local swimmers at a practice for the Independence Day Swim Carnival at Highland Park on June 24, 1945.
Shown here are Ben Hilldorfer, Edward Riska, George Weis, Robert Fitzgerald, Jules Melograne,
Ray Kelly, George Rodgers, Henry Zentgraf and James Zentgraf.

The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph was one of the seasonal sponsors of the AMA swim meets, and they covered many of them, posting short stories and results throughout the year. Beginning in 1945, the Zentgraf name appeared ever more frequently as James and Nancy rose quickly through the ranks to the top of their respective age groups. That year James won the novice 200 yard free style in the Allegheny County Red Cross Aquatic League Championship.

Beginning with the annual Independence Day Swim Meet in 1946, competing for the Bureau of Parks and Recreation team, James finished third in the novice 100 meter free style. Nancy finished second to Patty Lou Swaney, a swimmer from Uniontown that would become her rival for the next few years, in the 14U 50 meter free style. Nancy also finished third in the Junior AMA 50 meter breast stroke, a style that would become her signature strength.

Nancy Zentgraf.    Nancy Zentgraf
Female Competitors in the Independence Day Water Carnival at Mount Pleasant pool (left). Nancy Zentgraf (12) is standing
on top second from the right, and with Nancy Lusk at right getting instructions from AMA champion Anella Kaskins.

At the Allegheny County Park Swim meet on July 20, Jim finished third in the 200 meter free style while Nancy finished second in both the 100 meter breast stroke and the open 50 meter free style. At the Labor Day Swim Meet at Highland Park, James competed in the men's 100 meter free style and 300 meter medley relay, Nancy in the 14U 50 meter freestyle and Junior AMA 50 meter free style, and younger brother Henry in the 14U 50 meter freestyle. At the qualifying meets in Moore Pool that past August, the Zentgrafs finished first in all five of their races.

The year 1947 saw Nancy win the Junior AMA 50 meter breast stroke championship at the Independence Day Meet. On Labor Day, Jim won the 300 meter medley relay and Nancy finished second in the Senior AMA 150 meter breast stroke. Nancy Zentgraf was not only involved in swimming. The November 1, 1947 Pittsburgh Press posted notice that she and several friends would be helping with the Old Newsboys Children's Hospital Campaign.

Just shy of her fifteenth birthday, Nancy won the Senior AMA 200 yard breast stroke and finished second in the Junior AMA 120 yard individual medley at Oliver Pool on February 23, 1948. She followed up on March 1 by winning the Senior AMA 120 yard breast stroke title in a record time of 2:39.2 at the All-City Indoor Championships. She also finished second in the Junior AMA 180 yard individual medley. Now a senior at South Hills High School, James won the 220 yard free style at the Pitt Interscholastic Swimming Championships on March 21.

Nancy Zentgraf    Nancy Zentgraf
James Zentgraf (lower left) and Bill Corr of Oliver after the 1948 Pitt championships in March
and Nancy Zentgraf (left) with Dolores Rider before the 1948 Labor Day Water Carnival.

During the 1948 summer season, James won the Senior AMA 400 meter freestyle and Nancy finished second in the Junior National AAU 200 meter breast stroke championship. At the July 4 Carnival Jim finished second in the Junior AMA 400 meter free style while Nancy took second in the Senior AMA 300 meter medley relay and third in the Senior AMA 400 meter free style. At the Labor Day Meet James was second in the Senior AMA 200 meter free style and Nancy second in both the Junior AMA 50 meter back stroke and the Senior AMA 150 meter breast stroke.

Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Nine was another big year for Zentgrafs. It began on February 22 at the Washington's Birthday Swim Meet at Oliver Pool. James finished second in the 300 yard medley relay and second in the 440 yard free style. Nancy finished third in the 220 yard free style behind rivals Patty Lou Swaney and Ann Moss of Wheeling WV, another of her main rivals over the years.

James and Nancy then traveled to Louisville, Kentucky in April for the National AAU Finals. The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph posted this review of their performance on April 9, 1949:

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

Zentgraf Wins National Title

Jimmy Zentgraf of Pitt, competing unattached, won the National AAU Junior 220 yard free style championship at the Kentucky AAU Swim Carnival in the Louisville YMCA pool.

The Pittsburgher was clocked in at 2:22.7. He also finished second in the Kentucky Open 150 yard individual medley, one-tenth of a second behind Bill Myers of Indiana University. Myers' time was 1:44.1.

Nancy Zentgraf, sister of the new National titleholder and standard bearer for Pittsburgh’s Department of Parks and Recreation, placed second to Betty Roland of Washington DC in the Kentucky Open 100 yard breast stroke championship.

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

James Zentgraf    Nancy Zentgraf
Nancy with Grazia Talerico and Suzanne Weller during the first day of the month-long Pittsburgh Hundred free style
trials in July 1949 and Nancy (left) with Ann Moss (center) and Audrey Shanaberger (right) on August 7, 1949.

Nancy returned from Kentucky and, later that month competed in the AMA AAU Indoor Championships, where she won the Senior AMA 100 yard breast stroke in a record time of 4:28, shaving twenty seconds off the previous mark. She also won the Senior AMA 300 yard medley relay in record time along with teammates Sophie Gasiorowski and Lois Fleckenstein. Her winning streak did not stop there. Nancy also won the Senior AMA 100 yard breast stroke, also in record time at 1:25.6, and capped off her mighty performance by winning the Senior AMA 400 yard free style relay with teammates Mary Pillon, Nancy Lusk and Lois Fleckenstein.

The summer season saw more championships and record-setting performances by sixteen year old Nancy. At the Independence Day Meet she won the Senior AMA 100 meter breast stroke in a record time of 1:36. She finished second in the Senior AMA 100 meter individual medley and third in the Senior AMA 400 meter free style medley relay. At the Big Liberty Championships at her home pool at Moore Park, Nancy finished second in the Senior AMA 200 meter individual medley and third in the Senior AMA 400 meter free style. In front of the home crowd, brother Henry captured the 14U 50 meter back stroke championship.

Spectators at the August 28 Victory Swim Carnival at Highland Park saw Nancy lead the Bureau of Park team to a resounding victory. Bureau swimmers tallied a remarkable 56 total team points. She won the open 100 meter breast stroke by beating her two rivals Patty Lou Swaney and Ann Moss. Her Senior AMA 300 meter medley relay team also took first place. James was on hand to take the title in the Senior AMA 200 meter free style.

Bureau of Parks Swim Team - 1949
The victorious Bureau of Parks swim team poses with Coach Elmer Swaney at the Highland Park Victory Swim Meet.
L to R (front): Bob Dapper, George Boyle, Robert Fitzgerald, Ross McCarty, Jerry Weis; (center) Eddie Brandt,
Mary Ellen Wohebler, Dorothy Keel, Nancy Lusk, Coach Swaney, Nancy Zentgraf, Nancy Etzel,
Barbara Opperman; (back) Paul McCoy, Ronald Sikura, Henry Zentgraf, Helen Gasiorowski,
Loretta Robinson, Sophie Fitzgerald, Mary Gerrich and James Connors.

Another significant event during the 1949 summer season took place on August 1 at Ammon Pool during the inaugural "Pittsburgh Hundred" competition. The free style event was open to all kids in the city and featured teams from the various city pools. Jim and Nancy led the Moore Pool team to a victory by finishing first in the men's 18-over and women's 16/17 year old age groups, respectively, before a crowd of over 2500, including Pittsburgh Mayor David L. Lawrence.

The November 13, 1949 Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph wrote that Nancy Zentgraf “is considered the leading woman breast stroke swimmer in the district” while listing her as one of the nominees for the prestigious AMA John E. Taylor Award. A month later Nancy finished sixth in the balloting.

On July 16, 1950, Nancy was one of the feature swimmers in the First Annual All-Women Swimming Meet and Water Show held at Moore Park. The Sun-Telegraph reported:

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

Ann Moss, swimming unattached from Wheeling WV won the 200 meter back stroke AMA Senior championship and the open 150 meter individual Medley to feature the Women’s Aquatic Show held in Moore Pool, Brookline, under the lights last night.

A crowd estimated at 1500 saw three AMA championships, two open events and a program of diversified events such as canoeing, fancy diving, clown diving and a number of water ballets, with the proceeds going to a fund to send US swimmers to the Pan-American Games at Buenos Aires next winter.

Patty Lou Swaney of the Uniontown YWCA set a record of 1:32.2 in winning the 100 meter breast stroke. Ann Moss was second and Nancy Zentgraf of the Department of Parks and Recreation finished third. All three girls bettered Zentgraf’s former record of 1:36.0 set last year.

<><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><> <><><><>

James Zentgraf    Nancy Zentgraf
James Zentgraf (lower left) after his win at the Victory Swim Meet on August 28, 1949 and the two Nancy's,
Nancy Zentgraf (Pitt) and her long-time Bureau of Parks teammate Nancy Lusk (Penn State), in 1951.

In the 2nd "Pittsburgh Hundred," Nancy defeated Nancy Lusk in a photo finish in the 16/17 year old competition, combining with another repeat champion, Jerry Weis, to help propel the Moore Pool team to its second title in a row. Henry Zentgraf also led the charge, finished first in the 14/15 year old age group.

Also that summer, at the Big Liberty Championship at Moore Park on August 7, Nancy won the Senior AMA 300 meter individual medley and 200 meter Senior AMA breast stroke, while James was tops in the Senior AMA 100 meter backstroke. Henry qualified for the Senior AMA 100 meter free style finals.

When the clock turned to the year 1951, Nancy was a Senior at South Hills High School and James a Senior at the University of Pittsburgh. Both of their AMA careers were beginning to wind down. It appeared to be an off year with both winning a number of second and third place finishes. After that year they were no longer mentioned in the swimming round-ups.

William Zentgraf
William Zentgraf in 1958.

Starting in 1953, the Zentgraf family tradition of swimming excellence continued with youngest brother William, who finished in second place in the 13U finals of the Pittsburgh Hundred. Already a nationally recognised AAU star in the free style and back stroke by the summer of 1954, William went on to rattle off four consecutive Pittsburgh '100' championships, breaking his brother James' 1949 record in the 17-over age group and leading the Moore Pool team to it's fourth title in 1957. William (Class of '58) was also a star for the South Hills High School team.

Nancy Zentgraf, born on May 29, 1933, went on to graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. She married William Trondle and moved to Ben Avon to raise a family. The Trondles had four children, Ann, Larry, Lynn and Hilary. Nancy passed away on October 11, 2011, followed by her husband William on October 13, 2014.

There have been many families whose sons and daughters went on to become local legends in Brookline sports, dominating the scene during their athletic years. One of those was the family of Henry and Helen Zentgraf, of Fernhill Street, and their talented swimmers, who burst onto the scene in the mid-1940s and rose to the top of their peer group, producing one title after another for over a decade.

* Researched and written by Clint Burton - December 15, 2019 *

<Moore Park> <> <Brookline History>