PLEASANTON, California, April 19. ANDY Grant continued to make his mark on the United States Masters Swimming record books at the Pacific Masters short course yards championship with five individual records, while Celeste Miller and Laura Val each clocked multiple national records.
Grant, 25 years old and swimming unattached, broke five short course yards national records in the 18-24 age group last November. Now in a new age group, Grant began his assault on several longstanding and revered records. His most impressive swim was likely the 200 freestyle, in which he swam a 1:33.86 to break a two-month-old record set by Nicholas Brunelli of 1:37.04. Grant's time would have placed him in the final of the 200 free at this year's NCAA Division I championships. Notably, Grant was an multi-All-American for Stanford in that event.
Grant's record-setting ways continued in the 100 free with a 42.58, breaking Stanford colleague Sabir Muhammad's record of 42.91 set in 2004. Grant came back to break a nine-year-old record in the 500 free with a 4:20.82. Lionel Moreau had held the record with a 4:26.87. Grant's final two records came in the 100 fly and 100 back. Grant's time of 48.07 in the 100 fly broke Matthew Marshall's 2008 record of 48.36, and his 100 back time of 49.17 erased Andy Gill's record of 49.83, which had stood since 1992. Grant's record did not last long, as Adam Mania posted a 45.95 in the event at the YMCA nationals in Fort Lauderdale on the same day.
Celeste Miller, 60 years old representing Sierra Nevada Masters, broke three national records in the 60-64 age group. She started with the 1000 freestyle, swimming a 12:18.20, breaking Barbara Dunbar's record of 12:38.75. What was remarkable was that she set this record on the way to a new mark in the 1650 freestyle. Miller's time of 20:24.14 shattered Dunbar's mark of 20:59.38. For good measure, Miller set a new mark in the 500 free with a 6:04.62, two seconds faster than Dunbar's previous record.
Laura Val, one of Swimming World Magazine's Masters Swimmers of the Year for 2009, was responsible for two individual national records. The only non-breaststroke record she did not own in the 55-59 age group in short course yards was the 1650 freestyle, but she can lay claim to it now with an 18:56.04. She wiped out Dunbar's mark of 19:32.61. One record is never enough for Val, who lowered her own mark in the 200 IM with a 2:23.37, just dipping under her record of 2:23.50.
Bonnie Bilich of Tri Valley Masters also joined in on the record-setting party with a 2:16.65 in the women's 200 backstroke for the 50-54 age group. She lowered her own record from 2:17.40.
Cokie Lepinski of Marin Pirates Masters set a new mark in the 200 breast for the 50-54 age group. Lepinski, 50, swam a 2:37.95 to wipe out Jenny Cook's mark of 2:39.92.
Five relay national records were also set:
The Olympic Club in the women's 18+ 400 medley relay with a 4:01.13 (old record: 4:03.73);
Walnut Creek Masters in the men's 75+ 400 medley relay with a 5:49.57 (old record: 6:01.79);
Tri Valley Masters in the mixed 25+ 400 freestyle relay with a 3:23.66 (old record: 3:26.90);
Tamalpais Masters in the mixed 55+ 400 freestyle relay with a 3:59.27 (old record: 4:09.90);
Walnut Creek Masters in the mixed 75+ 400 freestyle relay with a 5:55.27 (old record: 6:30.80).