By Phillip Whitten
HONOLULU, May 16. THE surf rolled in, the sun shined brightly, the trade winds blew gently, and the records continued to tumble on the third day of competition of the USMS National Short Course Championships in Honolulu. Twenty-five individual records bit the dust today, plus an additional two relay marks.
The day was also brightened by the appearance of Aileen Riggin Soule, an original inductee in the Hawaiian Sports Hall of Fame. Soule. a 1920 and '24 Olympian and the first athlete ever to win Olympic medals in both swimming and diving, celebrated her 97th birthday with her appearance, which precipitated a prolonged ovation from the 1100 swimmers and several hundred spectators present.
Arizona Masters’ Ron Johnson led the today with three national records in the men’s 70-74 age group, bringing his total haul to four wins and four national marks thus far. Johnson began his assault by becoming the first man over 70 to dip under the 30-second mark in the 50 fly. His 29.49 time smashed Frank Piemme’s 30.21 from 1998.
Johnson, the Sun Devil coach, then slashed three seconds from the 200 breaststroke record, clocking 2:55.34. John Kortheuer had set the old mark at 2:58.39 last year.
Finally, Johnson and the 70-74 age group’s other superstar, Graham Johnston, fought through eight laps of the 200 IM before Johnson emerged the winner at 2:34.91. Johnston’s 2:36.62 was also under the old record of 2:38.83 he had set last year.
Three other swimmers set two USMS records this day.
Arizona Masters’ Ron Karnaugh – who still competes at the highest levels of international competition – took the men’s 35-39 record down to 4:33.97 in the 500 free, then lowered the standard in the 200 IM to 1:50.96. Danish Olympian Franz Mortensen had held the 500 record at 4:36.80, while Canadian Olympian Cam Reid was the former record-holder in the IM at 1:56.47.
Laura Val, Tamalpais Masters, broke two sprint marks for women 50-54 formerly held by Diana Todd In the 50 fly, Val clocked 27.81, besting Todd’s 28.64 from 1994; in the 50 free, Val touched in 25.30, well ahead of Todd’s 27.65 from 1997, Also bettering the old mark was New England’s Joel Feldmann, at 25.72.
Jeff Farrell, Ojai-Santa Barbara, was unstoppable in the men’s 65-69 age group. The 1960 Olympian clocked a blazing 23.66 in the 50 free, erasing Cav Cavanaugh’s 24.76 set last year, then came back to win the 200 IM in 2:24.24, just under Dave Costill’s year-old standard of 2:24.52.
50 yard fly
The only record to fall in the 50 fly came in the men’s 55-59 age group. Rocky Mountain Masters’ Richard Abrahams touched in 24.59 seconds, well under his own standard of 24.89 set two years ago.
200 yard breaststroke
Colette Crabbe, a Belgian Olympian now swimming for Oregon Masters, blasted the 200 yard breaststroke standard for women 45-49 with her 2:35.43. Karen Melick’s 2:37.18 was also under the old record of 2:38.38 by Susan Roy, a US Olympian.
Diane Stowell set the 200 breast mark in the women’s 65-69 division, as her 3:15.83 just beat out Ann Hirsch’s 3:15.88 from 1999.
100 yard backstroke
Five USMS marks fell in the 100 yard backstroke, with women accounting for all of them.
Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen took the 40-44 age group mark down to 59.36. The listed record had been Laura Val’s 1:01.38 from 1996, but a few weeks ago, Vibeke Swanson became the first woman over 40 to break a minute.
PNA’s Barb Gundred lowered the 50-54 standard to 1:06.44, well under Jonelle Schmidt’s 1:10.30. Susan Halfacre (1:07.18) and Joel Feldmann (1:09.14) also bettered the old mark.
Hawaii Masters’ Bettyann Barnett-Sallee rushed to a 1:07.52 performance in the 100 back, easily besting her own women’s 55-59 standard of 1:09.92 set last year.
In the 65-69 division, San Diego’s Betsy Jordan clocked 1:19.85, easing Clara Walker’s 1:21.36, set back in ’94, from the record books.
Finally, Bunny Cederlund, Space Center Masters, blasted 10 seconds from the 80-84 record with her 1:39.36. Marjorie Sharpe had held the record for five years with her 1:49.26.
50 yard freestyle
In addition to Val’s and Farrell’s swims, three other age groups saw the 50 free record changed hands. Flo Carr, Florida Maverick Masters, clocked 34.10, well under her women’s 75-79 standard of 34.78 set last year.
John Smith, Team TYR, whizzed to a 21.08 clocking for men 40-44, besting Paul Smith’s 21.46 from two years ago.
In the men’s 70-74 age group, The Olympic Club’s Don Hill touched in 25.99. Frank Piemme owned the old mark at 26.70.
200 yard IM
Karnaugfh, Farrell and Johnson all set men’s records in the 200 IM, but there were two women’s marks as well.
In the 45-49 age group, Robin Parisi became the first woman to go under 2:20, as the Multnomah Ace touched in 2:19.91. Danielle Ogier had set the old mark of 2:20.o08 in 1999.
June Krauser notched another standard in the 75-79 age group, as her 3:33.30 hacked 10 seconds from Flo Carr’s 3:43.63 set last year.
200 yard Mixed Medley Relays
USMS records were set in the 200 yard mixed medley relay by Hawaii Masters in the 45+ age group (1:50.54) and San Diego Swim Masters in the 65+ division (2:14.70).