Rich Abrahams, 90+ Women Soar as Nine World Records Fall on Day One of U.S. Masters Nationals

By Phillip Whitten

MISSION VIEJO, Calif., August 11. NINE world and 17 U.S. national Masters' records were broken today, the first day of competition at the USMS Long Course National Championships in Mission Viejo, Calif. Two of the world records were by women over 90.

Ninety-six-year-old Julia Dolce, Golden State Masters, was the oldest record-setter. Her 1:17.53 for the 50-meter freestyle for women 95-99 hacked half a minute off the former mark of 1:47.20 by Betty Jones of Australia in 2004.

Ninety-year-old Maria Lenk-Zigler, a 1936 Brazilian Olympian, clocked 3:12.89 for the 100-meter breaststroke. The time erased the women’s 90-94 world standard of 3:21.95 by Germany’s Maria Gottschalk from 1999. The old U.S. mark was 3:49.99 by Eva Muller in 2003. Lenk-Zigler split 1:32.47 – 1:40 42.

Perhaps the most impressive world mark was the 25.54 50-meter free turned in by Colorado’s Rich Abrahams. The swim, only one-hundredth slower than Abraham’s 55-59 mark set three years ago, wiped out the USA’s Jeff Farrell’s 26.70 set in 1999.

Gail Roper, Arizona Masters, set a women’s 75-79 world record in the 50 free. Roper, 76, sprinted to a 37.38 clocking, slicing a tenth of a second from Jean Troy’s 37.48 in 2002.

One age group up, Flo Carr, unattached, took the 80-84 standard down to 40.45 seconds. The former American record stood at 42.29 by Margery Meyer in 2002, while the old global standard stood at 40.89 by Jane Drake-Brockman set five years ago.

Jim McConica, Ventura County Masters, took the 200-meter backstroke mark for men 55-59 below the 2:30 barrier with a perfectly-split 2:25.89. McConica, a collegiate star at USC went out in 1:12.95 and came back in 1:12.89. Tod Spieker, USA, held the previous record at 2:30.82, which he set two years ago.

The final individual world record was set by Bumpy Jones, 72, who broke his own two-year-old standard for men 70-74 of 2:56.59 in the 200 back with a swift 2:55.19. Jones split 1:25.00 for his first 100 meters.

Two world relay marks were also set. In the 200+ age group, the San Diego “A” team went 2:02.32, destroying New England’s 2:07.56 from 2001. Tamalpais “A” dismissed the 240+ record of 2:17.78 by Heart Swim Club in England last year, with a 2:14.03 effort.

Eight additional American marks bit the dust today:

** Dave Rollins, 21, Arizona Masters, men’s 18-24 100-meter breaststroke, 1:05.76. Old record: 1:06.61.

** David Guthrie, 45, Woodland (TX) Masters, men’s 45-49 100-meter breaststroke, 1:09.76. Old record: 1:10.27.

** Ken Frost, 61, Tamalpais Masters, men’s 60-64 100-meter breaststroke, 1:18.60. Old record: 1:18.63.

** Frank Piemme, 80, Santa Barbara Masters, men’s 80-84 100-meter breaststroke, 1:45.54. Old record: 1:45.99

** Diane Stowell, 71, Hawaii Masters, women’s 70-74 100-meter breaststroke, 1:44.40. Old record: 1:44.91.

** Frank Piemme, 80. Men’s 80-84 50-meter freestyle: 33.62. Old record: 33.88.

** Carolyn Boak, 60, Woodland (TX) Masters, women’s 60-64 50-meter freestyle: 32.38. Old record: 32.77.

** Arizona Masters, 72-79 mixed medley relay, 1:59.04. Old record: 2:02.81 (set in 1992)

The meet continues through August 15.

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