ORLANDO, Florida, October 15. OLYMPIANS, USA national team members and first-time Masters swimmers mingled at the Orlando YMCA Aquatic Family Center last weekend at the fourth-annual Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic, where 14 Masters world short course meters records were broken.
Three people were each responsible for three of the individual world records. Jean Troy wasted no time in starting off her record-setting campaign with a new standard in the meet's first individual event, the 400 IM. Troy, representing Florida Maverick Masters, swam a 10:13.73 in the distance IM, dropping the world record in the 85-89 age group by five seconds. The previous record belonged to American Lois Kivi Nochman. In the 100 IM, Troy posted a 2:09.72 to erase Russia's Olga Kokorina's record of 2:11.95, then Troy finished her meet with a 1:43.97 in the 100 free. That time was faster than American Margery Meyer's 1:46.95.
Betty Lorenzi of the Florida Aquatic Combined Team, also took down three records in the 85-89 age group. She swam a 30:51.51 in the 1500 free to take almost a minute off Rita Simonton's 31.44.50 world record. Then, she broke two backstroke world records. Her first was in the 50 back with a 51.75 to take almost five seconds off Sweden's Kerstin Gjores' mark of 56.46. Finally, Lorenzi became the oldest women to dip under the two-minute barrier in the 100 back with a 1:52.21. The previous record belonged to Israel's Edith Thein with a 2:02.71.
Erika Erndl, a former member of the USA Swimming national team and a 2012 Olympic Trials semifinalist, set three world marks in the 30-34 age group. The T2 Aquatics sprinter posted a 1:02.52 to barely get under Hitomi Matsuda's world record of 1:02.55. Then, she swam a 54.75 in the 100 freestyle, getting under Alena Popchanka's standard of 55.11. And leading of T2's mixed 800 freestyle relay, Erndl swam a speedy 2:00.58, erasing Matsuda's world record of 2:02.60. Erndl just missed a fourth world record when she swam a 1:00.34 in the 100 butterfly, two tenths slower than Denmark Olympian Mette Jacobsen's 1:00.11.
Rich Abrahams, no stranger to Masters world records in his lengthy swimming career, was able to lower one of his own world records. Leading off the Blu Frog 200 freestyle relay, Abrahams split a 25.62, faster than his previous world mark of 25.82 in the 65-69 age group.
Abrahams was also part of three of Blu Frog's world record-setting relays. His leadoff leg in the 50 free helped the team that also consisted of Marc Middleton, Lucky Meisenheimer and Ross Bohlken swam a 1:43.21 to take down the former world record o1:49.69 held by Gold Coast Masters in the 240-279 age group. That same foursome also set a new mark in the 400 free relay with a 3:56.97, erasing the former mark of 4:07.34 set by Ventura County Masters. His third record teamed him with Sheri Hart, Danielle Chance and Middleton for a time of 1:57.65 in the mixed 200 medley relay for the 200-239 age group.
Two Olympic medalists helped Blu Frog earn one more relay world record. Tracey McFarlane (1988 Olympian) and Brooke Bennett (1996 and 2000 Olympian) partnered with Chance and Cathy Shonkwiler for a new record in the 400 medley relay in the 160-199 age group with a time of 4:36.25. The former record stood at 4:47.76.
Other Olympic medalists attending the meet included the event's namesake Rowdy Gaines and 1992 200 back champion Martin Zubero. Gaines chased his world record of 51.61 in the 100 free in the 50-54 age group with a 52.74. Zubero posted quick times in all three backstroke distances (27.14, 58.65, 2:09.24) and was a part of Blu Frog relays that chased world records.