MESA, Arizona, April 19. NEXT week’s Arena Grand Prix meet in Mesa, Ariz., will feature many athletes registered as members of U.S. Masters Swimming, and they will now be able to set Masters world records in their swims.
A request by Swimming World Magazine World Masters Swimmer of the Year David Guthrie set the gears in motion to get a dual sanction for the meet, making it officially sanctioned by USA Swimming and U.S. Masters Swimming. Some meets throughout the country get this dual sanction, but must be requested by an athlete, coach or official to make it happen. This will be the first Arena Grand Prix to get a dual sanction.
Masters world records can only be set in meets sanctioned by a Masters organization. Otherwise, the only record-setting that could be done by a Masters swimmer at a USA Swimming meet is a USMS national record. USMS does not require a meet to have a Masters Swimming sanction for swims to count for national records.
Guthrie will be just one of several swimmers who could set long course world records next week. He’s been on a record-setting tear so far this year, breaking all three short course yards national marks in the 50-54 age group. He’ll be looking to lower his year-old marks in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes next week. Cynthia Lewis, 38, will be chasing Katie Glenn’s mark of 1:12.34 in the 100 breast for the 35-39 age group, and likely the 2:35.40 by Hitomi Matsuda in the 200 breast.
Olympic champion Darian Townsend has been setting numerous Masters world records in the past year, and FINA rules setting a Masters swimmer’s age as of December 31 of the current year means the 29-year-old will be able to break some records in the 30-34 age group next year. Townsend turns 30 on August 28, and he could own Masters world records in freestyle and IM races four months before he officially turns 30.
Nathan Adrian, Anthony Ervin and Tom Shields are just a few swimmers who signed up as Masters swimmers this year in order to compete at the USMS short course nationals in Santa Clar beginning May 1. Their membership gives them the ability to set some freestyle world records in Mesa. Adrian would set his in the 25-29 age group, while Ervin’s would be in the 30-34 division.
Unlike the USMS nationals, Masters swimmers will need to actively seek out officials in Mesa to make their world records official. FINA allows 60 days from the date of the swim for the paperwork to be filed.