Rick Colella
Courtesy of: Rick Colella
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, May 10. MASTERS swimmers took aim at short course yards records on the second day of competition at the U.S. Masters Swimming national championships, breaking 12 national records in eight events.

Laura Val was responsible for three of those records today. She became the oldest woman to crack the 30-second barrier in the 50 backstroke with a 29.72 today to break her own national record of 30.00 in the 60-64 age group, then followed it up with a 2:06.55 in the 200 freestyle to break her record of 2:07.35. Val completed the hat trick with a 2:24.30 in the 200 butterfly to lower another of her own records, which had stood at 2:24.56 for about a year.

Olympian Rick Colella set the first record of the meet, swimming a 4:31.69 in the 400 IM to break his own record of 4:33.96 set 11 months ago in the 60-64 age group. But that wasn't his only big swim of the day. He was back for the 50 breaststroke and got under Bob Strand's national record of 29.32 with a 29.26.


Strand would get some revenge for losing his 50 breast record in the 60-64 age group with a 30.53 in the 65-69 age group, breaking his own mark of 30.56 from last November. This meet marks Strand's first short course yards nationals since undergoing prostate cancer surgery in 2011. Strand's return to form was chronicled in the April issue of Swimming World Magazine.

Andrew Elliott had a blazing fast swim in the men's 50 backstroke, posting a 22.33 to break Eugene Godsoe's record of 22.60 in the 18-24 age group that was set in January 2012. Elliott completed his collegiate eligibility for Ohio State University in 2012, setting school records in the 100 and 200 backstrokes. Also setting a national record in the 50 backstroke was 80-year-old Clarke Mitchell, whose 34.56 shattered his own mark of 35.29 in the 80-84 age group that he swam this past January.

Leslie Livingston, who nearly set a short course meters world record in the 50 backstroke earlier this year, eclipsed her own yards national record of 27.24 in the 50 backstroke for the 50-54 age group today with a 27.04.

Jill Hernandez broke a Laura Val record today, posting a 1:58.53 in the 200 freestyle to erase the 1:59.55 Val swam in 2002 in the 50-54 age group. Just missing out on a record today was Diane Uustal, whose 2:24.58 in the 65-69 age group just missed Carolyn Boak's record of 2:24.31.

The women's 50 breaststroke saw a national record fall in the 60-64 age group, as Melinda Wolff swam a 35.09 to break Ginger Pierson's record of 36.30.

David Costill celebrated a big accomplishment today in the 200 fly, becoming the oldest man to break the three-minute barrier in the short course yards version of the event with a 2:59.30 in the 75-79 age group, smashing Bumpy Jones' mark of 3:05.76.