Scott McCadam made a big splash as a member of the Iowa State swimming & diving squad from 1983-86. The Waterloo, Iowa native earned All-America honors five times, was a 10-time Big Eight individual champion and was a member of a world-record relay team during his time at ISU.
McCadam won his first Big Eight title as a freshman in 1983, winning the 100 free at the Big Eight meet. The following season, McCadam began his string of dominance at the Big Eight Championship. McCadam won three-straight Big Eight Conference titles (1984-86) in the 50-, 100- and 200 freestyle events for an unprecedented nine Big Eight titles in three years. He was named Big Eight Swimmer of the Year twice (1984 & 1985), breaking the school and conference marks in all three events. He still holds the school records in each.
McCadam earned All-America honors for the first time in 1984, placing third in the 100 freestyle. He notched his second All-America performance the next season with a fifth-place showing in the 50 freestyle at the 1985 NCAA Championships. McCadam closed out his incredible career with three All-America performances at the 1986 NCAA meet. He finished fourth in the 50 freestyle, eighth in the 200 freestyle and was the runner-up national champion in the 100 freestyle, finishing second to multi-gold medal winner Matt Biondi of UCLA with a career-best time of 43.70. McCadam’s 42 1/2 points at the meet let ISU finish 19th at the tournament.
During the summer of 1985, McCadam was a member of the U.S. 4x100-meter relay team which broke a world record at the All-University World Games held in Tokyo, Japan. McCadam led off the quartet consisting of Biondi, Mike Heath and Paul Wallace, which shaved off nearly two seconds from the previous world record. That record stood for three years until the 1988 Olympics.
After graduation, McCadam continued training for the 1988 Olympics. McCadam made the finals in the 50- and 100 freestyle events at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Austin, Texas. He finished fifth in the 50- and eighth in the 100-meter, missing an Olympic bid in the 50 by a mere .46 seconds. McCadam was a member of seven U.S. National Swimming teams and was ranked in the top-10 in the world for three years.