GROSELLE, HANSEN SHINE ON A STAR-STUDDED DAY
By Phillip Whitten
Minneapolis, MN – Fifteen more world and 23 American records fell on the third day of the U.S. Masters Swimming National Championships, being held at the University of Minnesota Natatorium in Minneapolis. In all, some 47 world and 69 U.S. Masters records have bitten the dust in the first three days of competition.
In perhaps the most spectacular swim of the meet, OHIO's Jack Groselle destroyed a very tough record in the 100m freestyle for men 45-49. Groselle's time of 53.90 (25.45 split) broke the old mark of 55.66, set by South Africa's Terry Downes in 1994. Earlier Groselle had set world marks in the 200 free and 100 breast.
North Carolina's Joe Rhyne smashed the men's 40-44 standard in the 400m freestyle held by Hess Yntema when he clocked 4:15.86. He had already set WRs in the 200 and 800 free.
Wenke Hansen, of Ojai-Santa Barbara, completed her hat trick went she blasted an eleven-year-old mark in the 50m breaststroke for women 30-34. Hansen swam 33.84 for the one-lapper, eclipsing the 34.56 set by Britain's Margaret Hohmann in 1988. With her win today, Hansen completed her sweep of all three breaststroke world marks in her age group.
Bill Specht continued his relentless assault on the men's 40-44 record book when he lowered the global mark in the 200m backstroke. His 2:15.49 broke the 2:16.40 time he had put up last year. Second place finisher, Scott Shake, of Arizona, who was closing fast in the final 25 meters, clocked 2:16.09, also well under Specht's old mark.
Forty-nine year old Jim McConica of Ojai-Santa Barbara, who two days ago had lowered the WR in the 800m freestyle for men 45-49, did the same in the 400, as his 4:21.16 erased Tim Broderick's 4:24.37. Remarkably, McConica's records have come in his final year in the age group; he ages up next year.
Drury Gallagher added another notch to his well-notched belt, shaving 11-hundredths off Graham Johnston's WR in the 60-64 men's 400m freestyle. Gallagher, who earlier had set four other records, clocked 5:04.45.
In the women's 40-44 distance freestyle events, TERA's Suzanne Heim-Bowen is in a class by herself. She added an exclamation point to that fact today when she swam 4:39.82 for the 400m freestyle, almost three seconds faster than the WR she set last year.
In the oldest women's age group contested here, 90-94, Julia Dolce of Golden State Masters, clocked 11:44.11 for the 400 meters, just under Aileen Soule's listed record of 11:45.66.
Tom Wolf lowered the men's 45-49 200m backstroke record held by Eddie Riach, when he hit the pads at 2:21.66, a second faster than the Brit swam at last year's World Championships in Morocco.
Rich Burns, of Tamalpais, did the same in the 55-59 division, his time of 2:37.14 a mere two-hundredths better than New Zealand's Barry Young swam five years earlier. Imagine how fast Burns would swim if he shaved his beard!
In the 80-84 age group, Ray Taft, San Mateo Marlins, swam 3:31.36 for the 200m dorsal event. That was nine seconds faster than the previous global mark set by Japan's Goro Kobayashi last year.
Only one world mark fell in the women's 200 meter back, but it fell with a loud crash. Garden State's Doris Steadman clocked 3:39.41, almost 18 full seconds under the listed 75-79 record held by Britain's Jane Drake-Brockman. Steadman owns the 200 back, having set the world record in the 60-64, 65-69 and 70-74 age groups.
Gail Roper, Rohnert Park Masters, added another WR to her extensive collection when she swam 1:19.94 for the 100m freestyle, some one-and-a-half seconds better than the previous record for women 70-74, held by Clara Walker.
Two world records were set leading off the medley relay. In the 40-44 division, 1976 Olympic silver medalist, Peter Rocca, clocked 28.69. In the 45-49 age group, Tom Wolf became the first man to break 30 seconds, touching in 29.85 seconds.
Seven additional records were broken in Minneapolis today and one was tied:
Men's 85-89 200 m. backstroke. 4:32.50 Jim Triolo, LAM old record – 4:43.49, Jim Penfield.
Women's 80-84 100 m. freestyle 1:42.56 Rita Simonton, GWSC old record – 1:43.45, Marjorie Sharpe
Men's 55-59 50 m. breaststroke 0:33.75 Peter Anderson, Illinois old record – 34.20, John Kortheuer
Men's 60-64 50 m. breaststroke 0:35.61 Tom Winters, Arizona old record – 35.91, John Kortheuer
Men's 75-79 50 m. breaststroke 0:42.99 Barton Greenberh, Omaha old record – 43.61, Bennett Allen
Men's 80-84 50 m. breaststroke 0:46.37 Max Von Isser, Arizona old record – 46.99, Bennett Allen
Women's 40-44 50 m. breaststroke 0:36.89 Melinda Mann, WMAC old record – 37.02, Alice Wright-Belknap
Men's 65-69 100 m. freestyle 1:05.09 Ron Johnson, Arizona ties record – 1:05.09, Graham Johnston