COLLEGE PARK, Maryland, July 28. THE psych sheets for next month’s U.S. Masters Swimming long course nationals will feature a long list of Masters swimming greats taking to the pool at the University of Maryland.
The five-day meet, set for August 13-17 at the Eppeley Recreation Center, will come a week after the conclusion of the FINA Masters world championships in Montreal, giving those attending nationals the opportunity to know how fast they need to go to lead world rankings.
Darian Townsend has signed up for six events at the meet, but if he qualifies to swim at the Pan Pacific championships at the end of August, he’ll be unable to race in Maryland. Townsend became a U.S. citizen last week and is eligible to qualify for Team USA roster spots.
David Guthrie, who made the Swimming World Magazine list of the World Masters Swimmers of the Year for the first time last April, will swim all three breaststrokes. He’ll be looking to lower his own marks substantially in the 50-54 age group. A few other recent world record breakers are scheduled to swim in Maryland. Jack Groselle, Glenn Gruber and Hubie Kerns have been swimming very well in 2014 and could wrap up their long course seasons with even faster times.
Rick Colella, who was on the Swimming World Magazine World Masters Swimmers of the Year roster in 2013, will swim all three breaststroke events, both individual medleys and the 100 free. He currently holds the world marks in the 100 and 200 breast as well as both IMs in the 60-64 age group.
A name on the nationals roster that hasn’t been seen for a while is Clay Britt. The former NCAA backstroke champion for the University of Texas hasn’t swum at nationals since the 2012 short course nationals, and hasn’t raced long course since 2011. Britt will be going after Steve Wood’s world records in the sprint backstrokes for the 50-54 age group.
Three Olympians round out the top names on the men’s side. Bumpy Jones, a 1952 Olympian, will race in six events in the 80-84 age group. Chris Stevenson, a 1984 Olympian for Greece, just turned 50 and will be looking for top times in the 50-54 age group. And making his U.S. Masters Swimming racing debut will be Canadian Olympian Tobias Oriwol. The 2008 and 2012 Olympian is just swimming the 200 IM, so we won’t see much of him swimming backstroke, the stroke that brought him international success.
The roster of names on the women’s side doesn’t match the number of talented men in Maryland, but Olympic silver medalist Allison Wagner nearly makes up for it. Wagner was second in the 400 IM at the 1996 Olympics, but she’s scheduled for just the 100 breast and 200 IM at nationals. Diann Uustal made the Swimming World Magazine World Masters Swimmers of the Year list last year, and will look to get her name on the record books in the 65-69 age group.