Dexter Woodford was one of many outstanding swimmers developed by Hall of Famer Larry Ricker at Akron East High. After winning numerous area titles, Woodford went to Ohio State in 1933. As a Buckeye, Woodford became one of the dominant distance swimmers in the nation. In 1934, he captured the National Junior AAU mile and 500-yard titles. Two years later, Woodford also helped Ohio State win Big 10 swimming titles in 1935, '36 and '37, earning All-American honors each year.