By Stephen J. Thomas
ADELAIDE, South Australia. THE 29th Annual AUSSI Masters Swimming championships were held 29 March to 4 April in the South Australian capital producing some quality swims – nineteen individual records. Pity about the timing for some, as the meet was held slap bang in the middle of the Olympic trials in Sydney.
Two swimmers each posted three national long course records.
Eighty-six year-old Alma Brecknock made the best of her hometown advantage to chip just under half-a-second off her own 100 breaststroke record in the 85-89 age group to touch in 2:45.83 then over three second off her 200 mark in 5:45.49 and finished with 2:36.01 in the 100 backstroke to take over 20-seconds off the previous best.
On the men’s side 71-year-old West Aussie Dieter Loeliger claimed two national records in the 70-74 medley events – taking over four seconds off the 200 mark clocking 3:12.20 and then carved over thirty seconds off the 16-year old record over twice the distance in 6:57.96. Loeliger also posted 3:29.63 for the 200 breaststroke to beat the old record by nine seconds.
John Crisp, 69, from the Miami club in Queensland (the home of Grant Hackett) showed he has been training in some fast water with new national marks in the 65-69 age group over the 400 and 800 freestyle – clocking 5:26.02 and 11:15.47 respectively. Sydneysider David Lawler from the Manly club took the identical pair of records in the 75-79 age group in 6:13.41 and 12:53.11.
Allan Dufty, 75, from the Seaside Pirates club Sydney was another that set two new national marks clocking 8:27.87 in the 400IM and 2:01.09 in the 100 fly in the 75-79 age group.
Bobbie Lea took over eleven seconds off her own record for the 200 fly (70-74 age group) set just last year at the Australian Masters Games to touch in 4:49.67.
Three Aussie records fell to women in the 200 backstroke, all lowering their own previous marks. Victorian Helen Whitford (35-39) trimmed 0.08 of a second off her time to clock 2:34.45. West Aussie Sally Bell (40-44) took over two seconds off her previous best to touch in 2:38.29 and Queenslander Julie Gunthorp (55-59) improved just over one second to record 3:05.95.
Two records were posted by Sydneysiders in the 50 freestyle. John Harvey (40-44) clocked 25.75 to tie Ross Clarke’s standard set in Sheffield back in 1997 and Cathy Codling (40-44) went 28.28 to slash over half-a-second off her own record set in Christchurch in 2002.
Finally at the younger end of the spectrum, Adelaide based Catherine Howland, 21, clocked 36.40 to take 0.04 of a second off Natalie Hamilton’s old standard in the 50 breaststroke (20-24).
Link to full results: