10 World Records Fall on Day 4 of US Masters Nationals: Gary Hall, Jr., Men’s 90 & Over Relay Among the Record-Setters

By Phillip Whitten

MISSION VIEJO, Calif., August 14. THE assault on the world and US Masters record books picked up where it left off yesterday. Another 10 world and 13 US Masters marks were wiped out on this fourth of five days of competition at the USMS Long Course National Championships. That brings the total to 39 world and 64 US records broken here in Mission Viejo.

The long course national championship has attracted 1108 swimmers from 153 clubs. According to Meet Director Mark Moore, “the turnout is the fourth largest in the 33 years since long course Masters Nationals have been held.”

Among the world record-breakers this day was three-time Olympian Gary Hall, Jr., who swam butterfly in competition for the first time in his career and broke Brian Alderman’s WR for men 30-34, 25.16, with a powerful, fluid 24.91. Hall and his dad, Dr. Gary Hall, Sr., also a three-time Olympian, chatted with other participants, signed autographs and promoted their Masters swim camp in Islamorada, Florida.

Other records set today:
200-meter breaststroke

David Guthrie, 45 of The Woodlands Masters (TX) glided to a 2:34.14 for the men’s 200m breaststroke, setting a world record in the 45-49 division. Sweden’s Glen Christiansen had the old record of 2:35.11 set in 2002, while Ron Schaefer had the American record of 2:37.81, also set in ’02.

Brazilian Olympian Maria Lenk-Zigler set the other global standard in the 200 breast. Lenk-Zigler, 90, of NMMS, took a whopping three-and-a-half minutes-plus off the women’s 90-94 record with her 6:57.76. The old mark was 10:39.50 by Del Rowley of Australia in 1995.

50-meter butterfly
No records were broken in the 100-meter backstroke, but three world and four USMS marks fell in the 50-meter fly.

Richard Abrahams demolished the men’s 60-64 world and American records when he ripped a 27.92-second lap of butterfly despite having his goggles break while he was standing on the blocks. The US record set by Keefe Lodwig stood at 29.23 while Spaniard Josep Claret set the world record at one-hundredth of a second faster last year. But Abrahams not only broke both marks, he crashed through the 29-second and 28-second barriers.

In the 80-84 age group, Santa Barbara’s Frank Piemme corralled yet another world mark with his 40.92, more than four-tenths under the global standard of 41.36 by Holland’s Max van Gelder set last year. The former USMS record – Andrew Holden’s 41.89 – had lasted for six years.

Ashley DePaul set her fourth USMS mark in the women’s 18-24 age group with an impressive 28.68 destroying Heather Skaggs’ 29.53 from 2003.

200-meter freestyle
The 200 free produced no fewer than four world and six USMS national records. Jim McConica, Ventura County Masters, set another world record for men 55-59 by racing through the four-lapper in 2:08.30 (1:03.53 – 1:04.77). The time broke the world record of 2:10.90 by Terry Downes of South Africa set just last year, as well as the national mark of 2:11.66 by Tod Spieker from 2003.

Cav Cavanaugh completed his sweep of the 50/100/200 freestyle records in the 70-74 age group with a cool 2:28.37, just under Graham Johnston’s 2:29.23 from 2001. Cav split 1:10.68 for his first 100, and then came home in 1:17.69.

Karlyn Pipes Nielsen, 43, lowered her own global standard in the women’s 40-44 age group, touching in 2:09.28, just 6-hundredths under her old mark from last year. Karlyn split 1:03.24 – 1:06.10.

Beth Knight was superb in stroking to a new women’s 45-49 record. Her 2:12.67 lopped exactly half a second from Suzanne Heim-Bowen’s old record, but to win she had to beat both Jill Hernandez (2:13.85) and Heim-Bowen (2:17.91).

Frank Piemme and Carolyn Boak each set USMS records. Piemme’s 3:04.65 broke the men’s 80-84 mark of 3:09.70 set by Ray Taft, but was about a second shy of the world record. Boak split 1:17.71 on her way to a 2:39.47, erasing Jackie Marr’s 2:41.27 from 2003, but it just missed the global standard of 2:38.99 by Germany's Christel Schultz.

200-meter freestyle relay
Only one record fell in the 200-meter freestyle relay, but it was one of the soaring highlights of the meet as the Coast Masters’ “A” team – how’s that for optimism? — slashed the world record in the 360-399 age group in half.

The team of Dick Westerfield, 90 (1:08.00), Walt Pfeiffer, 92 (55.82), Robert Christiansen, 90 (1:01.84) and Wood Bowersock, 92 (40.69!!) clocked 3:46.65. The previous WR was 7:38.44 by North Carolina Masters, set in 2003.

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