Laura Val
Courtesy of: Peter H. Bick
SAN MATEO, California, July 16. IN preparation for next month's U.S. Masters Swimming nationals, Laura Val and Richard Burns decided to break three world records at last weekend's Pacific Masters long course championships.

Val, 62, swam a 2:44.38 in the 200 backstroke, a four-second drop on her current world record of 2:48.78 that she swam in 2011 in the 60-64 age group. She followed that up with a 2:47.99 in the 200 IM, crashing through the 2:50 barrier for the first time after setting the world record of 2:50.00 last August. She nearly captured a third world record with a 5:01.09 in the 400 free, just off her world record of 4:59.82.

Burns set one world mark in his first long course meet in the 70-74 age group. The 70-year-old posted a 1:16.40 in the 100 backstroke, breaking the world record of 1:16.64 held by New Zealand's Barry Young since 2009. He just missed out on two other world records in the 50 back and 100 fly, but will be aiming for those when the Masters national championships begins August 7.


The host team likely celebrated the swim by its foursome of Alex Navarro, Carlos Sanchez, Michael Kiedel and Evan Navarro in the men's 800 freestyle relay for the 100-119 age group. Though the relay's time of 8:05.07 eclipsed the existing world record of 8:26.92, San Mateo will not claim the world record. FINA rules stipulate that members of a Masters world record-setting relay must be 25 years or older. Evan, 19, and Alex, 23, are not yet old enough to break Masters world records.