Six World Records Fall on DayTwo of US Masters Long Course Champs -- August 15, 2003

By Phillip Whitten

PISCATAWAY, New Jersey, August 14. THE lights flickered here this afternoon as much of the northeastern US and eastern Canada lost power in a massive blackout. Fortunately, the electricity stayed on and the second day of the USMS Long Course Nationals on the verdant campus of Rutgers University did not miss a beat.

Six world records and an additional three USMS national mark fell on Day Two. Once again, Walnut Creek's Suzanne Heim-Bowen led the way.

Yesterday, Heim-Bowen, 46, obliterated the 1500m free standard
for women 45-49. Along the way, she broke the 400 and 800 free marks. Today, swimming the 800, she took the 800 and 400 records down still further.

Heim-Bowen finished the 16-lapper in 9:24.53, six seconds under the 9:30.82 she split yesterday. In an evenly split race, she flipped in 4:41.64 at the 400, almost three seconds ahead of her 4:44.34 split yesterday.

Heim-Bowen is looking to take the record under 4:40 when she swims the 400 later in the meet. That would represent a drop of more than 12 seconds from Laura Val's pre-Nationals world record of 4:52.03.

There were several other spectacular record swims this day topped by Robert Poiletman's 1:07.15 in the men's 100m fly in the 60-64 age group. The old record was 1:10.06 by Japan's Koji Iwamoto last year.

The oldest record-breaker waas Golden West's Rita Simonton, 85, who zipped through the 800 free in 17:14.24, almost two minutes faster than the old record of 19:12.10 for women 85-89, set by Jean Durston in 1999.

Olympian Yoshi Oyakawa continued to assert his dominance in the backstroke sprints. Swimming in the men's 70-74 division, Oyakawa clocked 35.52 seconds for the 50 meter dorsal spring, erasing Japan's S. Sekikawa's 36.18.

In the men's 50-54 division, John McCall, Orlando Masters, sliced one-hundredth of a second off Lawrence Day's listed WR in the 100 fly, touching in 1:01.93.

National records were set by Greg Oxley, Peter Andersen and Jackie Marr.

Oxley, Colonial 1776, clocked a USMS record 1:10.27 in the 100m breast for men 45-49. Anderson, San Diego, went 1:18.63 in the same event for men 60-64.

Marr, also from San Diego, swam 11:41.17 in the 800 free, a record for women 60-64.

After Day Two, Colonial 1776 leads the team scoring with 606 points. Garden State Masters follows with 561, and New England is third with 452.

Results: USMS National Long Course Championships