By Ed Gendreau
PORTSMOUTH, NH, March 2. FAST Freddy Schlicher lived up to his name today.
The New England Masters swimmer swam his first meet as a "FINA 55 year-old" and made an immediate impact by lowering the 200 meter fly short course world record by nearly 6 seconds, to 2:22.73. The previous mark was Robert Poiletman’s 2:28.52, set in 2001.
The stage was set for an exciting race: Schlicher was seeded next to Greg Shaw, 50-54 world record-holder for the 50 and 100m short course fly events. Greg was out quickly, and held a 5.36 second advantage at the 100. However, Fred’s even pacing paid off, as he nipped Greg by .04 seconds at the finish.
Schlicher followed the 200 fly with impressive swims in the 200 IM and 100 free. Schlicher’s 200 IM time, 2:27.94, was just outside John Calvert’s 2:27.19 world mark. And, to finish a good day, Schlicher swam a sub-minute 100 free – 59.86. Fred’s 200 IM was a New England 55-59 record, eclipsing the previous mark set by Dan Rogacki – who is the world record holder for the 100 IM.