PHOENIX, Arizona, October 15. WE had numerous world records broken in the past few days around the world, and you might think we would choose Ruta Meilutyte’s 100 breast short course meters world record as the Performance of the Week. As impressive as her 1:02.36 was at the World Cup, many swimming fans might have expected her to break that world record eventually, given her meteoric rise in the sport in the past year or so.
The swim that really perked up our ears this past weekend took place at the Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic in Orlando, Florida. Among the eight Masters world records that fell at the meet was the 1:46.52 in the 200 short course meters freestyle by 28-year-old Adam Ritter. If you’ve been following swimming in the United States for the past six or seven years, you probably know that name. Adam was NCAA champion in the 200 IM in 2007 and was a semifinalist in the 200 free at the 2008 Olympic Trials. Just last year, he placed 15th in the 100 breast at Trials.
So, why was Adam’s 200 free the top swim of the week? The time broke the second-oldest Masters swimming world record in existence. Before this past weekend, John Keppeler had held the world record with a 1:48.81 in the 25-29 age group since 1995. Think about that. That’s 18 years of withstanding a lot of challenges, including the two years of the techsuits in 2008 and 2009. Many talented freestylers have taken a crack at that record over the years, but it was Adam Ritter who finally took it down.
And for good measure, Ritter also broke the world record in the 100 IM with an amazing 54.10. It’s great to see Adam back in competition, and we’re certain to see him continue to put his name in the Masters record book. Congratulations, Adam, you’ve won our Performance of the Week.