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Seven Masters Records Fall at the Albatross Open -- April 11, 2004

By Jeff Roddin

BETHESDA, Maryland, April 11. ON the afternoon of March 20th, the Montgomery Ancient Mariners hosted the 12th annual Albatross Open (SCM) in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Albatross Open saw four different swimmers set a total of seven individual USMS and/or FINA Masters World records. The record setting swimmers traveled from as far south as Florida to as far north as Connecticut. The meet entrants included 182 swimmers ranging in age from 19 to 94. In addition to the USMS and FINA records, 74 swims bettered existing Albatross meet records.

Joann Leilich of Virginia Masters led all swimmers with new marks in all three breaststroke events for women 65-69 by astounding margins. Her first event was the 200m breast. Just prior to her heat I asked her if she had ensured that there were three backup timers in her lane and she said, "Oh, no need to make a fuss - I don't even know what the record is." She proceeded to break the USMS record by nearly 25 seconds with her 3:17.44! She later lowered the USMS records in the 50 Breast by over a second and the 100 Breast by over 9 seconds with her times of 43.16 and 1:32.37, respectively. Her 100 and 200 times were also new FINA Masters World records.

Paul Hutinger of Florida Maverick Masters blazed into town with his wife Margie with his eyes set on new marks in the dorsal events. The recent International Swimming Hall of Fame inductee did not disappoint: Paul used the 200 back as his warm up and then set new USMS records for men 80-84 in both the 50 and 100 backstroke events with times of 42.16 and 1:33.27, respectively.

John Craig of Connecticut Masters established a world record in the 200 Fly when he was in the 45-49 age group. Just aging up to 50, he continued the trend. John lowered the USMS and FINA marks in the grueling 200 fly by over a second with his 2:19.56 time. Except he didn't make it look so grueling with his last three 50s being fairly even. That can't be said for the rabbit next to him...

Robert Goldbloom of Metro Masters (New York) returned to his Montgomery County childhood stomping grounds in glamorous fashion. Robert narrowly missed the 100 IM USMS record for men 45-49 by just 3 tenths of a second (set last year at the Albatross Open by Greg Oxley) but he lowered the USMS record in the 50 Fly by 8-hundredths with his 27.00 clocking.

Troy Johnson of Virginia Masters won the Fastest Man in the Water award and Emily Groome of Germantown Masters won the Fastest Woman in the Water award. They earned these awards by virtue of their overall winning times in the Men's and Women's 50 free (23.89 and 28.54, respectively).

Full results of the meet can be found at:
www.pvmasters.org/results/ancm0304.htm

Below is a summary of the USMS/FINA record breaking performances:

Women 65-69

50 SC Meter Breast:
Joann Leilich, VMST, 43.16
USMS National Record (previous record: 44.55)

100 SC Meter Breast:
Joann Leilich, VMST, 1:32.37
USMS National and FINA World Record (previous records: USMS - 1:41.41, FINA - 1:34.50)

200 SC Meter Breast:
Joann Leilich, VMST, 3:17.44
USMS National and FINA World Record (previous records: USMS - 3:41.93, FINA - 3:25.67)


Men 45-49

50 SC Meter Fly:
Robert Goldbloom, METR, 27.00
USMS National Record (previous record: 27.08)


Men 50-54

200 SC Meter Fly:
John Craig, CONN, 2:19.56
USMS National and FINA World Record (previous records: USMS/FINA - 2:20.86)


Men 80-84

50 SC Meter Back:
Paul Hutinger, FMM, 42.16
USMS National Record (previous record: 42.96)

100 SC Meter Back:
Paul Hutinger, FMM, 1:33.27
USMS National Record (previous record: 1:33.58)