1999 USMS Long Course Championships: Day 5


By Phillip Whitten

Minneapolis, MN – The USMS National Long Course Championships ended today as they began four days earlier–with a bang–as three world Masters records were set in the 1500m freestyle. Interestingly, all three records were recorded by older swimmers. In all, some 65 world and 89 U.S. Masters marks were set during the five-day meet held at the University of Minnesota Natatorium in Minneapolis.

Gus Langner and Julia Dolce, two of the three record-setters, also shared another distinction: becoming the oldest man and woman, respectively, ever to complete the 1500m freestyle.

Langner, 96, of Connecticut Masters, swam the 30-lap distance in 47:30.40. He now holds the world record in the 95-99 age group in every freestyle event, from 50 through 1500m.

Dolce, 90, Golden State Masters, completed the distance in 50:26.49. Earlier in the meet, she set women's 90-94 world records in both the 200 and 400 free.

In the women's 85-89 division, rampaging Jean Durston, who gathered a whole basketful of records in her five days of competition in Minneapolis, added the 1500 to her collection. The 85-year-old, who swims for Walnut Creek Masters, stroked the metric mile in 36:42.40. The old mark, 38:20.39, had been set in 1997 by Maxine Merlino.

No one could ever accuse Durston of swimming wimp events. She set five world records in Minneapolis: 100 and 200 fly, 200 and 400 IM, and 1500 free.

A total of 128 teams competed in Minneapolis. In the combined (men's and women's) race, Florida Maverick Masters emerged the winner in the small team division with 713 points, followed by Team Texas (569) and St. Petersburg (558).

New England Masters was the medium team champion with 815.5 points, ahead of Arizona (778.5) and Michigan (752.5). The host team, Minnesota, won the large team title with 1823 points, followed by Illinois with 1776.

In the women's team competition, Arizona won the small team crown with 337 points, 30 points ahead of San Diego (307) followed by the Plano Wetcats (299.5). Walnut Creek took the medium team title with 435, edging Michigan (417) and Missouri Valley (394). Illinois upended Minnesota in the large team category, 703 to 650, followed by New England with 514.

The men's team competition saw St. Petersburg win the small team crown with 282 points, just four more than The Olympic Club (278), with Oregon (270) close behind. Florida Maverick Masters men won the medium team title with 519, followed by Team Texas (481) and North Carolina (387). Minnesota took the large team battle 965-933 over Illinois.


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