Hernandez Wipes Out Two World Records at Masters Nationals

By Phillip Whitten

MISSION VIEJO, Calif., August 13. JILL Hernandez set two world records in the women’s 45-49 age group, 44-year-old Dennis Baker swam the fastest 400 free in any age group and Rich Abrahams continued to amaze on Day 3 of the USMS Long Course National Masters Championships in Mission Viejo, California.

Nine world and 15 U.S. national Masters records were broken, bringing the three day total to 29 world and 51 American records.

400-meter freestyle

Dennis Baker, Oregon Masters, clocked an amazing 4:12.26 to blast the 400-meter freestyle record for men 40-44. Brett Phillips had the old mark of 4:15.57 set in 2001. Baker, who set a WR in the 400 I.M. two days ago, split 2:04.78 – 2:07.48. Jim McConica called the swim – which bettered fellow Oregonian Don Schollander’s winning time at the 1964 Olympics – the “swim of the meet.”

McConica also had an awesome 400 free, as his 4:25.34 chopped over 13 seconds from Tod Spieker’s 4:38.81 set two years ago.

100-meter butterfly

Rich Abrahams, who already had devastated the WRs for 50 and 100-meters freestyle for men 60-64, added the 100 fly to his collection. Splitting 29.08 at the 50 – under the 50 WR of 29.22 – he touched in 1:03.03, more than three seconds under Robert Poiletman’s former mark of 1:06.63 set in 2003. It also betters by almost a second his own 55-59 record of 1:03.90.

Jill Hernandez, Chico Masters, swam to a WR 1:07.30 for 100 fly for women 45-49. The previous record was 1:08.02 by Laura Val in 1998.

Two national records were also set in this event. Dick Stewart, NOVA, lowered Ron Johnson’s 1998 standard of 1:16.85 for men 65-69, as he flew to a 1:15.42 clocking. Ashley De Paul, 20, UCI, notched her third 18-24 standard with her 1:03.23, smashing Sarabeth Schweitzer’s 1:04.67 from 2000.

50-meter backstroke

Ninety-six year-old Julia Dolce set the only world record in the 50 back, but she did it in style, hacking more than 15 seconds off the former mark of 1:57.79 for women 95-99 set by Canada’s Mary Anderson in l998. The Garden State Masters matriarch sped to a 1:42.07 clocking.

Arizona’s Dave Rollins notched his third 18-24 USMS national mark with a very strong 26.91 effort. The previous standard of 27.43 by David Lawson had stood for ten years.

200-meter I.M.

Santa Barbara’s Frank Piemme set the first of three world records in the 200 I.M. when he utilized a devastating back half to clock 3:34.94, more than eight seconds under Ray Taft’s 80-84 standard of 3:43.19.

1996 Olympian Allison Wagner, 28, just squeaked under the 25-29 record of 2:22.00 by British Olympian Sharon Davies of five years ago when she touched in 2:21.98. The old U.S. mark of 2:25.45 by Sara Shand, had stood since 1989. Wagner still holds the short course WR for 200m I.M., set at the FINA World Championships in Spain in 1990.

Jill Hernandez notched her second WR of the day in the 45-49 age group with a swift 2:32.46. Collette Crabbe held the previous standard of 2:35.74 set in 2003.

Arizona’s Dave Rollins set his second 18-24 USMS record of the day – and his fourth overall – with an excellent 2:09.30. In the women’s 60-64 division, The Woodlands’ Carolyn Boak scored her third national record with a 3:02.04, seven-plus seconds faster than Jackie Marr’s 3:09.34 from 2003. The world record-holder, Canada’s Bonnie Pronk, was second.

200-meter mixed freestyle relay

The Tamalpais Masters team of Rich Burns, Ed Cazalet, Nancy Ridout and Laura Val laid waste to the 240+ WR of 2:02.81 by The Heart (England) in 2003, with a stunning 2:00.60. Second-place Gold Coast Masters was also under the old standard with a 2:01.53, while third-place San Diego bettered the previous domestic mark of 2:06.10 by another San Diego team four years ago, touching in 2:04.55..

In the 72-99 age group, Arizona Masters clocked a USMS mark of 1:47.33, taking down the 1:48.50 by USF in 1992.

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