INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, May 12. THE U.S. Masters Swimming nationals came to an exciting conclusion today, as 18 new short course yards national records fell at the IU Natatorium. Rick Colella made it 6-for-6 in national records to highlight the competition.
Rick Colella, a two-time Olympian and bronze medalist in the 200 breast at the 1976 Games, claimed his fifth and sixth national record of the meet in the 200 breast and 200 IM. He swam a 2:18.40 in the 200 breast to shatter his own mark of 2:21.01 from April 2012, then made it a clean sweep of the 60-64 age group records in Indy with a 2:03.73 in the 200 IM. The record in that event didn't stand a chance, as it was a 2:08.77 that Colella swam in 2012.
Laura Val nearly had a perfect record-breaking weekend, setting a record in the 100 back and just missing out on her own mark in the 100 fly. First, she posted a 1:03.72 in the 100 backstroke to drop her own record of 1:06.08 from last year. She followed it up with a 1:04.51 in the 100 fly, just off her record of 1:04.27.
Jill Hernandez had a busy day, breaking three national records in Indianapolis. She kicked off the day with the only national record in the women's 500 free, posting a 5:14.56 to break Suzanne Heim-Bowen's record of 5:16.88 from 2009 in the 50-54 age group. By a very slim margin, Hernandez was also able to break the only record in the women's 200 IM, swimming a 2:14.40 to break Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen's mark of 2:14.64 in the 50-54 age group. Hernandez, 52, wasn't done, closing out the meet with a 1:00.17 in the 100 fly to nearly become the oldest woman under the 1:00 barrier in the event. Her time broke Traci Granger's record of 1:00.28 from 2009, and gave Hernandez a total of four national records at the meet, breaking the 200 freestyle record on Friday.
No relay national records had been broken until today at nationals, and two of them fell in the men's 200 medley relay. The Buckeye Masters team of Andrew Elliott, Elliott Keefer, Lincoln Farhbach and Steven Springer — all Ohio State University swimming alumni — swam a 1:28.85 in the 18+ age group, breaking the record of 1:30.47 held by Georgia since 2010. At the other end of the age spectrum was the foursome of Allan Charlton, Joel Lockwood, Ray Martin and Albert Morley in the 75+ age group, posting a national record of 2:25.95 to beat San Diego's record of 2:31.71 from 2009.
Hugh Wilder made a bit of history in the men's 100 backstroke, becoming the oldest man under the 1:00 barrier with a winning time of 59.62 in the 65-69 age group. He lowered his own record of 1:00.58 from last year. Wilder, 65 years old, broke the national record in the 200 back yesterday. Clarke Mitchell also took down one of his records in the 100 back, swimming a 1:18.31 to erase his national record of 1:18.61 in the 80-84 age group.
Diann Uustal wrapped up a successful meet with a record in the 100 backstroke today to complement the record she lowered yesterday in the 200 back. Her time of 1:11.27 smashed her own record of 1:13.64 from 2011 in the 65-69 age group. Uustal made it two records for the day, posting a 28.94 in the 50 freestyle to erase Carolyn Boak's 2011 record of 29.11.
Also breaking a record in the women's 100 back was Abigail Anderson, who swam a 55.82 in the 18-24 age group to take down Emile Ewing's 2010 record of 55.90. Leslie Livingston missed her national record of 1:01.29 in the 50-54 age group by the slimmest of margins, posting a 1:01.30. Livingston would find some revenge in the 50 freestyle, posting a 24.67 to break her own mark of 24.86.
Elliott Keefer, who will likely be racing for a spot on the world championship team in the 200 breast this summer after missing out on the U.S. Olympic team last year, posted a 1:57.33 in the 200 breast for the 18-24 age group to break Gary Marshall's 1:58.34 from 2006. Keefer's best yards time is a 1:54.13 from 2010.
David Sims, who had become the oldest person to break the two-minute barrier in the 200-yard fly earlier in the year, broke the 100 fly record today with a 51.73 to lower Paul Carter's national mark of 51.93 from 2008 in the 50-54 age group. Carter exacted some revenge in the 55-59 age group with a 53.90 to break Greg Shaw's record of 54.09 from 2009.