Paul Smith, Rich Abrahams, Charlotte Davis and Carolyn Boak Each Snare Two National Marks on Day Two of US Masters Nationals

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, May 20. THE swimming was hot but national records continued to be elusive on Day Two of the 2005 USMS Short Course National Championships in Fort Lauderdale. Still, 17 marks fell in the 12 events contested — eight women’s, seven men’s and two in the 200-yard medley relay.

Carolyn Boak, Charlotte Davis, Paul Smith and Rich Abrahams accounted for more than half of the 15 individual records as each swam away with two national marks. Boak just missed setting a third record.

Here are the day’s highlights:

Women’s Events

50-yard breaststroke: Two records fell in the women’s 50 yard breaststroke. In the 35-39 age group, 1992 US Olympian Susan van der Lippe, 39, sprinted a 29.94, just under Caroline Krattli’s standard of 30.08 set in 2001. Van der Lippe ages up next year, where she’ll find that Krattli holds the 40-44 mark at…29.94.

Maria Lenk-Zigler became the meet’s oldest record-setter when she slashed 14 seconds off the record in the 90-94 age group. Lenk-Zigler, 90, touched in 1:17.70, erasing Jewel Cooke’s 1:31.63 that had stood for six years.

In the 75-79 division, Nan Bohl’s winning 47.18 was well under the listed mark of 48.53. However, three other women have bettered the old standard four times this season, with Sylvia Eisele’s 44.36 the new time to beat.

Two other women just missed setting records in their age groups. Kasey Harris, OHIO, took the 25-29 race in 29.84, just outside Kelli King-Bednar’s 29.78. In the 60-64 division, Carolyn Boak, WMST, touched in 37.12, 24-hundredths off Jayne Bruner’s nine year-old standard.

100-yard butterfly: All the 100 fly records withstood the day’s challenges, but in four age groups it came down to the final stroke or two.

In the 60-64 age group, Suzanne Dills was well in front of the 1:18.64 record set nine years ago by Jayne Bruner. Splitting 35.77 at the 50, she was on record-setting pace until the proverbial piano landed on her back.

Laura Val’s 45-49 record of 59.82 was tested by two women: Suzanne Simpson, whose strong second 50 gave her a 1:00.50 and Traci Granger, a stroke behind at 1:00.84.

Val challenged her own 50-54 mark of 1:01.26 before settling for a decisive win at 1:02.84. In the 19-24 division, McCall Dorr, TOC, touched in 56.35, just off 2004 Olympian Rachel Komisarz’s 55.67.

200 yard backstroke: The pickings were slim in the 200 back, with former Tennessee star Pam Hanson the event’s only record-setter. Swimming for Georgia Masters, Hanson went out in 58.79 and came back strong to touch in 2:00.57, seven-tenths under Diane Graner’s 14 year-old standard of 2:01.29 for women 25-29.

50-yard freestyle:: The meet’s quickest event saw two age group records fall. In the 60-64 division, Carolyn Boak touched in 28.56 to take down Jayne Bruner’s 28.79, which had lasted 10 years. Former USMS president Nancy Ridout was a strong second at 29.25.

Ridout’s 55-59 record of 27.48 set in 1998 was lowered today by PNA’s Charlotte Davis, who touched in 27.20.

Brigitte Heuer just missed Penny Noyes’ 45-49 standard of 24.88, set in Y2K, when she finished in a swift 52.03.

200 yard individual medley: Walnut Creek Masters’ Kasey Harris and GAJA’s Pam Hanson both had a go at the 25-29 standard of 2:05.62 set by Chinese Olympian Liu Limin, representing Sierra Nevada Masters, four years ago. Harris emerged the winner and new record-holder with her 2:04.40, with Hanson following at 2:06.35.

A similar situation prevailed in the 60-64 age group with Jackie Marr’s record of 2:48.80 on the line. Suzanne Dills held the lead through the halfway mark before Carolyn Boak came rushing on to grab the lead on the breaststroke leg. At the wall, both women were under Marr’s year-old standard, but it was Boak who emerged the winner in 2:43.09. Dills followed in 2:48.22.

Charlotte Davis devastated her opposition in the 55-59 age group, smashing Barbara Dunbar’s record set just one year ago in the process. Davis notched her second national record of the day, clocking a swift 2:29.14 to win her race by 10 seconds.

200-yard medley relay: A dozen years ago, Walnut Creek Masters set the national record for women 75-79 at 3:47.25. It took all that time for another quartet to swim faster. Today FACT’’s “A” team of Bunny Cederlund, Joan Campbell, Nancy Durstein and Edna Gordon, washed the Creek’s mark away with an impressive 3:41.46.

Men’s Events

500 yard freestyle: Manatee Aquatic Masters' Jim Clemmons set the only record in the men’s 500 free today and, once again, Tod Spieker was the victim. Clemmons touched in 5:12.40, a scant two-tenths of a second under Spieker’s old mark for men 55-59 set last year.

There were close calls in both the 40-44 and 45-49 divisions. Jeff Erwin won the 40-44 race in 4:44.72, less than three seconds off Joe Rhyne’s 4:41.83 from 1999. One age group up, Kirk Anderson touched in 4:49.58, three seconds shy of Jim McConica’s 4:46.63 set five years ago. Swimming today in the 50-54 division, McConica was out-dueled by Mike Mann, 4:58.90 to 5:00.87.

50-yard breaststroke: There were three close calls, but every men’s record in the 50 breast survived today.

In the 45-49 age group, Jon Blank’s 27.75 was exactly one-tenth of a second off Lee Rider’s record. Pete Anderson won the 60-64 race in 31.09, 23-hundredths off his own 30.86 from last year.

Bob Brown’s 41.41 just missed breaking Frank Piemme’s 41.08 for men 80-84 from February of this year.

100-yard butterfly: The two baddest boys in all of Colorado strutted their stuff today, beginning with the 100-yard fly.

In the 45-49 age group, Paul Smith split 24.15 on his way to a 51.53 time, just one one-hundredth of a second under Bill Specht’s old standard set just last year.

Rich Abrahams had an easier time of it in the 60-64 age group. Splitting 25.38, he jammed the pads in 54.92, well under Robert Poiletman’s 59.19 from last year and his own pending mark of 55.5. With a winning margin of 10 seconds, Abrahams was swimming in some flat water today.

To put the record in perspective: When Poiletman clocked 59.19 last year he became the first man over 60 ever to break one minute. In one year’s time, Abrahams – who also owns the 55-59 standard at 54.39 – has taken the mark below 55 seconds. Among men 60 and over, only Abrahams and Poiletman have cracked the one-minute barrier.

200-yard backstroke: As with the women, the men set only one record in the 200 back. North Carolina’s Fritz Lehman swam a controlled first half, splitting 59.05, then came home strong to touch in 1:59.19, just under Bill Specht’s old standard of 1:59.30 for men 45-49 from 2003. Specht was second today in 2:01.76.

So Specht, one of Masters swimming’s most “spechtacular” swimmers, lost two national records today by the combined total of 12-hundredths of a second.

There were two other notable winning swims. In the 60-64 division, Rich Burns clocked 2:19.53, two seconds off his own standard of 2:17.33, but more than 12 seconds in front of his nearest challenger.

Bumpy Jones was even more dominant in the 70-74 age group where his 2:30.82 – 2.7 seconds off his own national standard of 2:28.11 – was more than 18 seconds ahead of his closest pursuer.

50-yard freestyle: The Four Tops had the right idea with their golden oldie, “it’s the same old song…”

Just a different event for the Rocky Mountain sprint kings. Yes, it was Paul Smith and Rich Abrahams setting the pace once again, this time in the 50 free.

Tall Pall sprinted the two-lapper in 21.78 seconds, taking down the old mark of 21.86 held jointly by Jack Groselle and Steve Allbritton.

Abrahams slashed almost a full second from Olympian Jeff Farrell’s 23.28 from 1997 with his 22.30. He now has the distinction of being the only man to hold the national scy record in the same event in three different age groups simultaneously. Abrahams’ records stand at 21.73 for the 50-54 division and 21.82 in the 55-59 age group.

Todd Pace came close to setting a record in the 35-39 age group, but his 20.96 was 23-hundredths off Kevin DeForrest’s 20.73 from 1994.

200-yard individual medley: In the 50-54 age group, two swimmers battled each other as both laid pursuit to Greg Shaw’s two year-old standard of 2:04.97. Another Colorado swimmer, Michael Mann came away with the mark with his 2:03.99, while Tom Reudy was a couple of strokes back at 2:05.79

200-yard medley relay: Last year, North Carolina Masters set a USMS mark of 1:40.79 in the 200 medley relay for men 45+. This year, with three out of four members of the record-setting relay returning, the Carolinians were aiming to lower that mark. And they did, clocking 1:40.61.

Only thing was, a quartet from Colorado went even faster. Paul Smith (back, 26.00), Stu Waterbury (breast, 27.84), Jim Lilley (fly, 24.20) and Rich Abrahams (free, 21.65) lit up the scoreboard with a new national record of 1:39.69.

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