Records Continue to Fall on Final Day of Masters Short Course Nationals

By Phil Whitten

SANTA CLARA, May 20. The red-hot times in the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara seemed appropriate today, the final day of competition at the USMS National Short Course Championships, as temperatures were expected to soar to the 100-degree mark.

As they have on the previous three days of this semi- annual celebration of adult fitness and robust health. Here are the record-breaking swims and some of the other highlights.

How do you spell "fast"? Well, if you're in the 50-54 age group, you spell it "M-C-C-O-N-I-C-A" — and spell that with a smile, pardner.

Until today, no man 50 or over had ever swum the 500 free in under five minutes. Now there is one: Jim McConica. And he didn't just break the five minute barrier — he crashed through it like it was paper. No asterisk next to his name. McConica clocked 4:47.57, taking more than 14 seconds off Jim Clemmons' mark of 5:01.81 set only last year. Clemmons was second today in 5:03.98.

Another barrier-breaker was Graham Johnston, who added the 500 to his records set here in the 200, 1000 and 1650 free, and the 200 and 400 IM. Johnston became the first man over 70 to break six minutes in the 500, touching in 5:51.37. Bill Phillips held the old mark at 6:12.46, from 1998.

Yann de Fabrique, a two-time French Olympian swimming for Santa Clara, lowered the 25-29 record to 4:28.69. The old record of 4:30.25 was set by Chip Hobson in 1994.

Tim Birnie set the fourth USMS record in the 500, lowering Jack Geoghegan's 1997 record of 5:22.70 to 5:18.42. Earlier, Birnie set national marks in the 1000 free and 200 back.

In other fine swims, Paul Smith took the 40-44 race in 4:46.07, ranking him second all-time, though well behind Joe Rhyne's standard of 4:41.83. Mike Shaffer's winning 35-39 time of 4:39.03 boosts him to third on the all-time list.

Only one men's record fell in the 50 back, and it was one of the toughest: Bill Specht's 24.57. No matter. Ancient Mariner Clay Britt zipped to a new mark, 24.38 seconds.

Ed Shea remained untouchable in his age group. Now 86, Shea clocked 44.78. Only his record swim of 43.90 is faster.

In the 30-34 age group, Andrew Bohlman clocked 23.42 seconds to edge Mike Kanner at 23.67. They now rank third and fourth all time.

The women managed exactly twice as many records in the 50 back as the men. In a hard-fought battle, Tamalpais' Shirlet Cazalet touched in 32.63 seconds, just ahead of Jan Miller (32.70) and Charlotte Davis (32.86). Cazalet's time wiped out Betty bennett's 1994 standard of 32.66. Miller's time is third fastest in history while Davis's ranks fifth.

Move up one age group to the 55-59ers, and Betty Ann Barnett stroked an event faster two-lap dorsal sprint. Her 32.32 removes Betsy Jordan's 32.97 from 1993 from the books.

Lisa Van Pelt-Diller, another Ancient Mariner, clocked 28.24 to win the 40-44 division. Only Laura Val's 27.91 from 1992 is faster.

El Segundo's Mary Edwards won the 25-29 age group in 26.36, just ahead of Jessica Tong in 26.71. Edwards holds the record at 25.98 from 1999. Tong now has the #2 time all-time. However, Angel Martino's 25.73 in the 30-34 age group, is the fastest-ever Masters time.

Three impressive national records were posted in the men's 100 breast.

Bob Strand completed his trifecta, sweeping all three breaststroke records for men 55-59. Today he took the 100 in 1:03.22, wiping out Dru Gallagher's 1:06.67 that had stood for six years.

in the 40-44 age group, Team Texas's David Guthrie scored with a 58.97-second performance. The time erased Seth Bretscher's mark of 59.10 set last year.

Lee Rider won the 45-49 division in 1:00.74, snapping the 1:01.18 Jack Groselle had established last year. Stu Corliss finished second in 1:01.36, moving him to third all-time.

Wally Dicks won the 35-39 division in 57.02. Several weeks ago, at the Colonies Zone meet, he crackd 56 seconds with a 55.8 clocking, breaking his own mark of 56.64.

Bob Patten won the 65-69 division, posting a time of 1:14.74, third fastest ever in the age group. In the 19-24 division, Eric Wyles' 57.70 was also third all-time.

Only one record fell in the women's 100 breast today. In the 25-29 age group, New England's Andrea Packard put up a 1:05.51 on the scoreboard, squeezing her past wenke Hansen, who owned the old mark of 1:05.53. Hansen, howevcer, holds the 0-34 record at 1:03.69.

Dean Ann Joslin swam 1:09.23 to win the 40-44 age group, a time only she has beaten. Likewise, Susan Jones Roy won the 50-54 division in 1:15.38, which only she has beaten.

Ginger Pierson won the 55-59 age group in 1:19.25, ranking her second all-time. And, once again, Ann HIrsch was frustrated in her record attempt, clocking 1:32.58 to win the 70-74 division, just a tad behind June Krauser's record time of 1:32.12.

Olympian Chris Cavanaugh joined his dad, Cav, as the only father-son duo to set national records at the USMS Nationals. Chris, 38, sprinted the 100 IM in 52.57 seconds, erasing the 35-39 national record of 52.79 set by Bob Placak in 1994.

In the very next age group, 40-44, Clay Britt notched another national standard, clocking 53.41. Paul Smith held the old mark of 54.07 set last year.

Five records fell in the women's 100 IM, in an orgy of record-smashing.

Liu Limin began the proceeding by obliterating the 25-29 mark of 58.34 seconds set by Mary Edwards in 1999. The former Chinese star stroked a blistering 56.76.

Virginia Masters' Beth Baker sliced almost as much time off the women's record of 1:02.91 held by 1972 Olympic star, Sandy Neilson-Bell. Baker touched home in 1:01.22.

Two women smashed Jayne Bruner's nine year-old record of 1:12.56 in the 55-59 age group. Carolyn Boak was the winner in a blistering 1:10.04, with Betty Ann Barnett at 1:10.51.

In the 75-79 division, Florida Masters' Flo Carr clocked 1:37.03, well under Lois Nochman's 1:41.96 set last year.

Finally, Maria Lenk-Zigler was the terror of the 85-89 age group, as her 2:11.44 just nipped Jean Durston's 2:11.93 set last year.

Bobby Patten held the 25-29 record in the 200 fly at 1:49.21 for 11 years. Not anymore. Two-time French Olympian, Yann DeFabrique, swimming for Santa Clara cruised home in 1:48.25.

The 45-49 record drew ever closer to the two-minute barrier when two swimmers dipped under the national mark of 2:02.26 set by Jim O'Connor last year. HOTS' Dave Vandam was hot, clocking 2:00.90, just ahead of Sandy MacDonald at 2:01.62.

In his final appearance in the 65-69 division, Ron Johnson, Arizona Masters, clocked 2:41.63, just under Charlie Moss's 2:41.99 from 1993.

The indomitable Jesse Coon keeps doing what no one has done before. Today the Team Texas stalwart became, at 90, the oldest person ever to swim a 200 yard fly, finishing the eight-lap event in 7:56.02, a new 90-94 record.

No female Masters swimmer had ever broken two minutes in the 200 yard fly. Siera Nevada's Liu Limin changed all that today when she posted a sterling 1:57.84, for her fifth win and fifth USMS record of the meet. When Wendy Knox set the former mark of 2:02.33 last year, she snapped a record that had stood for 13 years.

Beth Baker erased Laura Val's 40-44 record of 12:11.08 set in 1992, when she powered home in a cool 2:09.63.
Susanne Simpson was also under Val's mark when she touched a stroke behind Baker in 2:10.34.

Val, now 49 and at the top of the 45-49 age group, came hom in 2:11.12, more than two seconds faster than the record 2:13.34 she set two years ago. That will give Baker and Simpson something to shoots for when they age up in five years. Meanwhile, Val's 2:11 makes her the only woman over 45 under 2:20!

Inspired by his son Chris, Goldcoast Masters' Cav cavanaugh dropped the men's 65-69 100 yard free mark down to 55.97, breaking Peter Powlison's 56.24 that had stood for 14 years.

Chuck Baldwin of Team Texas had already won several events here, each time posting the second fastest time in history in the 70-74 age group. In his final event of the meet, Baldwin scored his first national record here, taking down onme of the most impressive records in the books: Frank Piemme's 1:00.80, set in 1995. Baldwin hit the pads precisely two-tenths of a second quicker, in 1:00.60.

Tamalpais Masters' Laura Val finished up a prodigious meet with her fifth USMS record of the weekend, a 53.27 posting in the 100 yard freestyle for women 45-49. The time wiped out her own record of 54.21 set last year.

The 100 free record for women 55-59 had belonged to USMS president Nancy Ridout at 1:01.79 since 1998. Today, two women dipped under it, with Ransom Arthur Award winner Carolyn Boak the winner in 1:00.49. Diana Todd, SCAQ, placed second in 1:01.35.

Florida Masters' Flo Carr became the first woman 75 or older to crack 1:20 for 100 yards, as she hit the pads in 1:19.38. Margery Meyer had held the previous record at 1:20.83 since 1998.

For full results and splits visit the
real time results
section of the United States Masters Swimming web site or click the events below. Remember to keep checking back here for the latest stories from our reporters at the meet.

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