Best Masters Fall Classic Ever?

By Dick Sidner

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 16. ACCORDING to some, this year’s GRIN Fall Swimming Classic may have been the best ever.

More than 150 swimmers competed in the 17th Fall Classic and Great Lakes Zone Masters Championship. The IUPUI Natatorium, set up for short course meters, measured up to its incredible reputation by providing one of the fastest venues and, by many accounts, the greatest competition pool anywhere.

A few highlights: Plamen Alexandrov from Champaign, Illinois set a world record (Men 40-44) in the 100-meter breaststroke of 1:05.97 and a national record (29.90) in the 50-meter breast.

Olympic gold medalist breaststroker, Bill Mulliken (Rome 1960), joined him in competition. Bill pointed out that Plamen’s new Masters mark in the 100 meters was a full 10 seconds faster than his own Olympic performance of 40 years ago. How ‘times’ have changed!

Ed Shea (M 85-89) broke his own national record in the 200-m backstroke set last year, clocking 4:12.99.

Our foreign competitors also fared well with Henrik Cleverdal (M25-29) setting a national mark of 5:00.38 in the 400m IM for his home country, Sweden.

Indiana records were not safe either, with 22 new women's marks and 25 new men's marks recorded.

Besides the great attendance and performance levels, we noted that swimmers from 21 teams and 12 states joined us. Our incredibly professional officials and timers expressed how much they enjoy running the Masters Fall Classic and state meets because they have never heard thanks and expressions of appreciation from swimmers before. However, they noted that sometimes the Masters are as bad as kids when it comes to being at their heats on time.

Special thanks from the organizers and swimmers go out to the officials and timers from Avon and Noblesville swim clubs.

Ed Shea (87) takes a breather after improving his backstroke mark set last year

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