LAS VEGAS, December 22. LADY Luck must have been perched on Jeff Farrell's shoulders last weekend, as the 1960 Olympic champion set five Masters short course world records last weekend at the 10th Annual Holiday Invitational/Southwest Zone Short Course Meters Masters Championships in Las Vegas.
Two other Masters world marks were set during the three-day meet that attracted only 150 swimmers. Despite the disappointing turnout, the level of competition was outstanding. The final day was also highlighted by a surprise appearance by the King — Elvis, himself.
Farrell, 65, was an equal opportunity record-breaker, taking down records that belonged to four different men in the 65-69 age group, sprinters and distance guys alike.
In the 50 and 100 meter freestyle events, Farrell's times of 27.05 and 1:01.36 (splits: 29.61 – 31.74) broke the standards of 27.68 and 1:02.41 set by Cav Cavaanaugh in 2000.
Graham Johnston's 2:22.07 from 1997 was Farrell's victim in the 200 meters freestyle, as the Ojai-Santa Barbara ace clocked 2:18.71 (splits: 1:06.79 – 1:11.92).
Farrell's 1:12.51 for the 100m IM swept away Ron Johnson's standard of 1:15.61 set six years ago. His 2:46.35 for the 200m IM destroyed the 1996 record of 2:49.10, set by Spain's Roberto Alberiche in 1996.
Jim McConica and Danielle Ogier, each set a Masters world record in the 50-54 age group, and came very close to setting others.
McConica, 52, of Ventura Masters, clocked 2:22.04 to take the 200m IM mark away from South Africa's Tim Shead, who had swum 2:22.23 earlier this year. McConica also just missed setting global standards with his efforts in the 200m back (2:20.86) and 200m fly (2:21.86a).
Ogier, 50, swimming unattached from the Gulf area, became the first woman over 50 to crack thyree minutes for the 200 meters breaststroke. Her 2:59.48 was precisely one-and-a-half seconds faster than Germany's Christiane Heren, who set the old mark in 1999.
Ogier also swam the second-fastest times ever in hera ge group in the 50 (38.08) and 100m breast (1:23.53). Her 1:13.42 was just three-tenths off her own 100m IM mark, while her 200m IM time here — 2:39.81 — was about two seconds slower than the global standard she already owns.
There were many other superb performances turned in during the three-day meet at the UNLV pool. Among them:
Louise Martin, 33, PSC Masters: Women's 30-34 100 and 200m breaststrokes in 1:15.68 and 2:46.72.
Marika McCue, 39, Sun Devil Masters: Women's 35-39 100 free (1:01.76), 50 back (30.92) and 100 back (1:09.14).
Mike Shaffer, 37, Ventura Masters: Men's 35-39 200m free (1:56.42), 100 fly (57.77) and 200 fly (2:07.86).
Paul Smith, 43, Rocky Mountain Masters: Men's 40-44 50m free (24.33), 100m free (53.69) and 200m free (1:58.05).