FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., May 23. THE 2005 USMS Short Course National Championships ended the final day of competition the way it began: with double national records by Colorado Masters’ Richard Abrahams and Paul Smith.
To boost the Rocky Mountain swimmers even higher, they wound up winning the women’s and combined team titles and finishing second in the men’s division. In the combined race, Colorado (CMS) amassed 2138 points, 250 more than Gold Coast Masters (GOLD) Masters with Florida Aquatic Combined Team (FACT) third with 1510.
CMS captured the women’s crown with 905 points to 767 for FACT and 547 for the Illinois Masters.
GOLD was golden in the men’s contest with 1221 points, followed by CMS with 1048 and FACT with 623.
Abrahams and Smith
Abrahams completed a perfect six-for-six effort, with blazing new marks in the 50 fly and 200 free for men 60-64. His 24.46 for the two lap fly dropped the record from 26.23, set just last year by Keefe Lodwig. Demonstrating he is more than just a sprinter, Abrahams followed with a 1:56.69 for the 200 free, well under the 1:59.22 by Olympian Jeff Farrell in 1997. No other man over 60 beside Abrahams and Farrell has ever broken two minutes.
Not to be outdone, Smith, who is facing shoulder surgery this fall, sped through the 50 fly in 23.37 seconds, breaking Bill Specht’s record of 23.48 for men 45-49. Specht was second today in 24.15. Smith negative split his 200 free to dip just 3-hunderedths under the old mark of 1:45.96 by Jack Groselle in 2002. Smith’s splits: 53.23 – 52.70).
Blank Breaks a Minute for the 100 Breast
North Carolina’s Jon Blank became, at 45, the oldest man to break the magical one-minute barrier for the 100 breast. Splitting 28.35 at the 50, Blank came back strongly to touch in 59.70, almost a second under the former 45-49 record of 1:00.63 set last year by Greg Oxley.
Three other Masters records were set in the 100 breast. Arizona’s Kim Bernard blasted the men’s 60-64 standard of 1:08.20 set last year by Stanford’s Dave Gildea with a 1:07.68 (split: 31.64).
Carolyn Boak and Nan Bohl each set women’s records in the four-lap breaststroke event. Boak notched her fourth record of the meet with a 1:20.19 effort, more than a second under the old standard for women 60-64, Joann Leilich’s 1:21.55 from 2000. Bohl, who won her race by over 23 seconds, scored her mark in the 75-79 age group with her 1:45.95. Gertrud Zint set the former mark of 1:49.55 twelve years ago.
Three Marks Fall in the 400 IM
Kasey Harris of Walnut Creek Masters had the honor of breaking the oldest record during the four-day meet. Swimming the 400 IM in the women’s 25-29 age group, Harris clocked 4:21.52, smashing the 4:28.40 set by Sara Shand way back in 1991.
PNA’s Charlotte Davis completed a brilliant, four-record nationals by breaking the women’s 55-59 standard of 5:26.82 set last year by Barbara Dunbar. Davis, who set marks in all three IMs and the 100 free, touched in 5:24.43.
Colorado’s Michael Mann set a national mark for men 50-54 as his 4:25.29 was almost five seconds under Jim McConica’s 4:30.10 set four years ago. McConica, 54, was second today.
Manatee Aquatic Masters’ Jim Clemmons showed he’s no manatee when it comes to racing, as he zipped through the grueling 16-lap test in 4:40.84, slicing 2.3 seconds off Fast Freddy Schlicher’s 4:43.14 from last year.
Fritz Lehman closed the individual record-breaking by lowering his own standard, shared with Bill Specht, in the 100 back for men 45-49 with a 54.06 second effort. The former mark was 54.24.
Four Relay Records Ripped
The potent 45+ Coloradans set two new relay standards while two Florida teams accounted for two more. In the men’s 200 yard free relay, the CMS 45+ team touched in 1:27.96 – an average of 21.99 – to destroy Illinois Masters’ 1:30.12 from last year. The mixed medley in the same age group fell to Colorado as well, as their 1:49.43 dropped more than a second off Hawaii Masters’ 1:50.54 from 2002.
In the women’s 200 free relay, FACT’s 75+ squad clocked in at 3:00.73, devastating the 3:17.13 by DC Masters in 1999.
Florida Marlins Masters’ mixed 75+ team zipped through the medley relay in 2:55.59, more than two seconds faster than the former record of 2:57.98 by Ojai Masters in 1999.