A Petersburg man is being inducted into the Alaska Swimming Hall of Fame.
Derek Gibb is one of three swimmers to be inducted in the hall this spring. “It’s a great honor for me and the town of Petersburg,” said Gibb. “Pretty cool. I didn’t expect that for sure.”
The swimming hall of fame is in just its third year and the 2015 class boosts the Hall membership to just eight. Gibb swam for the Viking Swim Club and many of his club records still remain on the board at the Petersburg pool. He also still holds some Southeast age-group records set during his time with the club team.
Gibb graduated from Petersburg High School in 1999 after individual state titles in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 backstroke. He helped the Viking boys team to second place finishes in the state in 1997 and ’98.
Gibb broke the junior college record in the 50 free while attending Golden West Junior College in California. Later he was all-American at Auburn University in Alabama. Gibb also swam twice at the U.S. Olympic trials, finishing as high as 15th in the nation in the 50 free and 19th in the 100 back stroke in 2004. He was also a member of the World University Games in 2003.
Gibb is humble about Alaska Hall of Fame honor and says he doesn’t know if he’s even the best swimmer to come from Petersburg. “There’s been quite a few good swimmers and obviously everyone knows Abel Aulbach just broke my record here this last year,” he said. “Which I kinda knew was gonna happen but I didn’t actually get a chance to help him out and whatnot but it was really cool that he was the one who broke my record and kept it in the city of Petersburg. I think Petersburg’s always had good swimmers and I think they’re gonna continue to do so.”
Gibb set the high school state record in the 100 free in 1998 and that stood until last fall, when Abel Aulbach set a new standard.
The Hall of Fame induction happens during Alaska Swimming’s Junior Olympic meet in late April.