By Phillip Whitten
Eleven world Masters records fell the last two weekends in short course meters meets held in northern California.
Competing last Saturday, October 16, at the Healdsburg 1500m meet, Ray Taft (San Mateo Marlins Masters) and Tod Spieker (The Olympic Club) both established new world marks in the metric mile. Competing in the men’s 80-84 division, Taft, 80, obliterated the record of 26:41.69 set by Aldo da Rosa (USA) in 1998 with a time of 25:50.60.
Spieker, 52, clocked 17:36.51 for his mile, erasing the 17:40.00 time he had established precisely a year earlier at the same meet.
At the Pacific Masters Short Course Meters Championships held in Walnut Creek October 9-10, Taft and Spieker were joined in a festival of record breaking by Gail Roper.
Taft added four more global marks to his extensive collection, clocking 3:00.63 for the 200m free, 13:30.62 for the 800m free, 43.47 for the 50m back and 1:35.40 for the 100m back. Aldo DaRosa was the former record holder in both the 800 free (14:24.53) and the 100 back (1:36.41). Taft’s 200m free time just edged the old mark of 3:01.42 set by Japan’s Hikoji Ueki in 1995, while his 50 back was 19-hundredths faster than the old mark established by William Rowe in 1997.
Taft finished off a productive weekend with American records in both the 100 IM (1:37.83) and 200 IM (3:37.04).
Gail Roper (Rohnert Park), 70, notched three women’s 70-74 world marks in Walnut Creek. Her 1:37.56 for the 100m fly sliced almost three seconds off June Krauser’s 1996 standard of 1:40.20. Krauser lost both her 100 IM (1:38.73) and 200 IM (3:31.93) world marks to Roper as well, as Roper stroked 1:32.89 and 3:30.92, respectively.
Spieker lowered teammate Tim Birnie’s global mark in the 200m free, clocking 2:06.51 to Birnie’s 2:06.76 from 1996. In the 200m back, Spieker’s 2:21.29 was more than half a second faster than the record of 2:21.88 he set last year.