Dr. Ron Strikes Again, Sets 5 Masters World Marks

By Phillip Whitten

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., December 8. WHAT do you do after you've just set four Masters world records? Go out and celebrate? Chug down a few brewskis? Call up your mom?

If you're 36 year-old Dr. Ron Karnaugh, the answer is: "(D): None of the above." After all, you've got a second day of competition to look forward to. You need to get home, have a nutritious dinner and get a good night's sleep.

That's just what the doctor ordered, and what this good doctor did as he looked forward to an encore.

The result: five — count 'em, five — world records in the men's 35-39 age group for Dr. Ron on Day Two of the Colonies Zone Short Course Meters Championships, held at Rutgers University.

Karnaugh's first event was the 200m breaststroke, one of his favorite events. "I held back a little because I wanted to save something for the remaining four events," Karnaugh said afterward. One wonders what he might have done if he hadn't saved up, because when he hit the wall, the clock read 2:17.96 — three seconds faster than Wally Dicks' old standard of 2:20.90 set two years ago.

The 50m fly was next, and despite a "bad finish," Dr. Ron just dipped under the old record of 25.44 with his 25.41. The victim in this race — as he was in two other events today — was Maine Masters' Jim Harvey, who set the old mark last year.

After Karnaugh's 2:00.34 in the 200m back yesterday, it was a foregone conclusion he'd take the 100 record away from Harvey today. That record was 58.20, also set last year, but when Karnaugh lit up the scoreboard, the new record stood at 56.93.

Next came the 50m breast — perhaps Karnaugh's biggest challenge. Wally Dicks owned the very formidable world standard of 28.82 set in 1998. His American record stood at an even faster 28.77. (FINA doesn't accept times swum in non-Masters competition for world record consideration, but USMS allows them for national record consideration.)

No more. Dr. Ron blazed a 28.75, just a finger nail's length ahead of Dicks' pace. Dicks, 39, swam a superb 29.4 today and is taking dead aim at the 40-44 records next year.

Four down and one to go. That remaining record was in the 100m IM, and stood at 58.36. Once again, it belonged to Jim Harvey. Karnaugh, swimming for the newly-formed Team Triton, lowered it by six-tenths of a second to 57.76.

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