Tad Van Leer ’77 was one of the Generals’ top performers for the highly-successful swimming and water polo teams of the 1970’s.
Van Leer played water polo for four years, helping elevate the program to varsity status. He served as a team captain and earned all-state honors as the Generals claimed the Virginia State Championship.
In swimming, Van Leer earned four varsity letters and served as a team captain for his senior season. He was a four-year individual qualifier to the NCAA Division III Swimming & Diving Championships, leading W&L to three Top 10 finishes while garnering seven All-America citations.
As a first-year student in 1974, Van Leer received the team’s Memorial Swimming Award as the top performer, qualifying for the NCAA Championships and setting a school record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 49.5 seconds.
Van Leer helped W&L to a 10th-place finish at the 1975 NCAA Championships, finishing 11th in the 100 freestyle and swimming a leg on the sixth-place finishing 800 freestyle relay and ninth-place finishing 400 freestyle relay teams. He set school records in four events and claimed three All-America citations.
As a junior, Van Leer placed 10th in the 50 free at the NCAA Championships to earn All-America honors as the Generals finished eighth in the team competition.
As a senior in 1977, Van Leer helped W&L to a ninth-place finish at the NCAA Championships by earning All-America honors in the 50 freestyle (11th), 100 freestyle (11th) and 400 freestyle relay (7th).
Van Leer graduated as the school record holder in the 50 free (22.0), 100 free (47.8), 400 free relay (2:12.2) and the 800 free relay (7:12.9).