NOCHMAN, DURSTON ROCK AT MASTERS NATIONALS
By Phillip Whitten
Minneapolis, MN – Seventy-five year-old Lois Nochman and 85-year-old Jean Durston led the way with two world Masters records apiece on the fourth day of competition at the US Masters Swimming Long Course National Championships, being held at the University of Minnesota Natatorium in Minneapolis. Fifteen world and 17 US records were set on Day Four of the five day aquatic extravaganza, bringing the meet total to an amazing 62 world and 86 national records.
The meet concludes tomorrow with the 1500m freestyle.
Nochman (Michigan Masters) completed a perfect six-for-six sweep–five of them in world record time–as she won the 200 IM and the 200 fly for women 75-79. In the medley, the former teacher clocked 4:08.03, almost five seconds better than the 1996 WR set by Canada's Catherine Kerr.
She breezed through the four laps butterfly, touching in 4:19.81, some 35 seconds faster than the 4:54.79 record established by Maxine Merlino 11 years ago.
Durston (Walnut Creek) set records in the same two grueling events for women 85-89. In the medley she swam 5:20.81, breaking Merlino's 1997 record of 5:27.56. In the fly she finished in 5:49.75, 46 seconds faster than Merlino's 6:35.26 set just last year.
Drury Gallagher (Empire) finished the Nationals with five WRs for men 60-64, his final win coming today in the 200 IM where his 2:41.73 bettered the 2:43.81 set earlier this year by New Zealand's Barry Young.
Jack Groselle (OHIO) finished his sweep of the men's 45-49 freestyle sprints when he swam the 50 in 24.94, erasing the 25.18 South Africa's Terry Downes established five years ago. Tracie Moll set her third WR of the competition when she won the women's 35-39 50 free in 26.66, nine-hundredths faster than the existing record she set a year ago. The 36-year-old Goldcoast Masters swimmer had hoped to swim 26.59, qualifying her to compete at next year's Olympic Trials.
Gail Roper (Rohnert Park) notched another women's 70-74 WR when she won the 50 free in 35.28. The old record, 36.13, was set by Hall-of-Famer Clara Walker in 1996.
Suzanne Heim Bowen (TERA), who earlier had set WRs in the 200, 400 and 800 free, demonstrated her versatility when she took down Laura Val's global mark in the 200 fly of 2:32.59. Heim-Bowen's time was 2:32.14.
Tom Wolf (Plano Wildcats) made it a sweep of the men's 45-49 backstroke world records when he won the 100m dorsal event in 1:03.72, almost a full second under Great Britain's Eddie Riach's time from last year's World Championships.
Rich Burns (Tamalpais), who yesterday cracked the world mark for men 55-59 in the 200 back, added the 100m event to his collection with a time of 1:10.53. The old record, 1:11.39, was set by Burns last year.
1952 Olympic backstroke champion, Yoshi Oyakawa (Greater Ohio) lopped a second off his own WR in the men's 65-69 100m backstroke, stopping the clock in 1:16.78.
San Mateo Marlin Ray Taft won the men's 80-84 100m backstroke in 1:35.36, lowering the WR of 1:36.95 set last year by Japan's Goro Kobayashi.
Doris Steadman (Garden State), who earlier had set WRs for women 75-79 in the 50 and 200m backstroke, annexed the 100m event as well. Her time of 1:39.06 was more than seven seconds better than Bunny Cederlund's 1997 global standard.
Finally, the Illinois Masters women's 200+ freestyle relay team of Cynthia Stonesi, Catherine Quill, Irene David and Cynthia Jones clocked 2:08.35, lowering the record set by Los Altos in 1994 by 61-hundredths of a second.
Jim Sorsensen (Badger Dolphins) set an American record in the 200m individual medley for men 40-44. His 2:17.26 lowered Hess Yntema's 2:17.64 from 1995.
In the 100 back for men 85-89, Dave Malbrough (Florida) swam 2:04.83, half a second better than the old American record of 2:05.27 he set last year. Imagine that: 86 years old and still getting faster!