SARASOTA, Florida, June 7. WITH Tropical Storm Andrea blowing out into the Gulf of Mexico, sunny skies returned to Sarasota and the Pan American Masters swimming championships today. As a result, the first three Masters long course world records of the meet fell at the Selby Aquatic Center on the third day of competition.
Bumpy Jones continues to make the most of turning 80 years old this year, breaking his first Masters long course world record in the 80-84 age group today in the 200 backstroke. Jones, who broke seven short course yards national records on his birthday weekend in April, notched a world record time of 3:16.22 in the event today in Sarasota, dipping under the world record of 3:16.82 set in 2004 by Japan's Keijiro Nakamura. Jones obliterated the U.S. national record of 3:28.97, set last year by Clarke Mitchell. Mitchell managed to beat his national record today, posting a 3:27.80 but settling for second behind Jones.
A few heats later, Brazil's Eduardo Marocco, 45, broke the world record in the 200 back for the 45-49 age group with a 2:11.56. Rich Saeger, a 1984 U.S. Olympian, set the world record of 2:13.37 last summer. Marocco's time was the fastest among all age groups in the competition today.
Matt McGinnis, who will be remembered for taking out the field in the 200-yard freestyle under American record pace at the 2008 NCAA championships before fading to third, set his first Masters world record of his career with a 50.45 in the 100-meter freestyle, breaking the 13-year-old record held by Nick Shackell at 50.74 in the 25-29 age group. McGinnis, an All-American at the University of Texas, has a lifetime best of 49.21 from the 2008 Olympic Trials, when he likely wore a full-body technical suit.
After narrowly missing out on a world record in the 50 freestyle yesterday, U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier Erika Braun fell short of another record in the 100 freestyle in the 40-44 age group. Braun's time of 58.50 just missed out on Maria Doelger's 58.43 from 2003. Dara Torres' national record of 53.78 stands as a tall order, the swim being done at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Torres' swim did not count as a world record because it was not done in a sanctioned Masters meet.
Keefe Lodwig also missed out on a world record in the men's 100 free today, posting a 1:05.95 in the 70-74 age group to just fall short of Cav Cavanaugh's 1:05.40.