WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vermont, October 28. B.J. Bedford isn’t the only swimmer of note in her family. Though she has an Olympic gold medal to her credit, her older brother, Fritz, has two FINA short course meters Masters world records to his credit. Like his sister, he is on top of the world in backstroke.
At last weekend’s UVAC Leaf Peepers Masters meet, Bedford swam a 59.91 in the 100 backstroke, taking down Steve Wood’s world mark of 59.92 that was set in 2011. Bedford, 50, has been under the 1:00 barrier before, posting a 59.86 in 2011 as a 48-year-old.
About 90 minutes later, Bedford broke his second world record with a 27.39 in the 50 backstroke, beating another Wood record, this time 27.71. It’s the fastest time he’s posted in Masters swimming, with a 27.40 previously to his credit from 2011.
Bedford also has talent in other strokes. He previously held the world record in the 45-49 age group in the 50 short course meters butterfly with a 25.74, which still stands as the U.S. Masters Swimming national record. He also owns the 50 free national record with a 23.80.
Though he did not have as prestigious a career as his sister B.J., Fritz Bedford was an NCAA All-American while at St. Lawrence University in the 1980s in freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.
Special thanks to Barbara Hummel for contributing to this report.