The most venerable record in Masters swimming, which had remained untouched for almost 21 years, was finally broken on July 25. Swimming at the Maryland Masters Long Course Championships at UMBC, Clay Britt clocked 27.76 for the men’s 35-39 50m backstroke. The old mark, set by 1964 Olympic champion Thompson Mann on August 26, 1978, was 28.04.
Britt’s new record lasted just seven days. On August 1, he lowered the time to 27.60. He also blasted Bill Specht’s record for the 100m backstroke, clocking 1:00.13.
With the fall of Mann, the honor of holding the oldest record in the books goes to 1976 Olympic gold medalist Jim Montgomery, who swam 51.25 for the men’s 25-29 100m freestyle on August 14, 1981. The oldest women’s record was set by Gail Roper on August 20, 1985, when she clocked 35.29 for the 50m fly for women 55-59.
Joanne Leilich set another WR at the Maryland Championships, when she touched home in 3:23.62 for the women’s 60-64 200m breaststroke.