MISSION VIEJO, California, August 10. THE fourth day of competition at the U.S. Masters Swimming long course nationals featured a few more world record-setting performances across multiple age groups, with a shocking disqualification preventing one swimmer from an unprecedented record sweep.
In the 17th of 18 heats in the men’s 200 breaststroke at the Marguerite Aquatic Center, David Guthrie was aiming to break the world record in the 50-54 age group for the fifth time in three months and make it 3-for-3 in breaststroke world records at nationals this week. When he touched the wall, it appeared he had broken his own mark of 2:27.91 from late July with a 2:27.24. But later Guthrie, 53, was notified that he was disqualified for performing the dolphin kick during the underwater pull while not moving his arms. Guthrie appealed the call, but the DQ was upheld.
But the men’s 200 breast was not without a bright spot. Olympian Clark Burckle blitzed through the final heat of the event with a 2:11.78 to break American Gary Marshall’s world record of 2:16.70 from 2008. It was, however, not good enough to erase BJ Johnson’s national record of 2:11.47 that was swum at the 2012 Olympic Trials. As previously mentioned, registered Masters swimmers can only break Masters world records at sanctioned Masters meets, but U.S. Masters Swimming recognizes swims done in any sanctioned meet for national records. Thus, some USMS records are faster than the world records. The time, though, is the fastest 200 breast ever swum in a sanctioned Masters competition, but far from Burckle’s lifetime best of 2:09.11 from the Olympics. Burckle is set to attend graduate school at Stanford University this fall.
The first world record of the day was set by Jill Hernandez in the women’s 400 IM. Competing in the 50-54 age group, the 53-year-old posted a 5:30.32 to beat Canadian Lynn Marshall’s world record of 5:32.26, as well as Laura Val’s 11-year-old national mark of 5:42.80.
Brian Jacobson, the second-oldest male to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials, was the only world record setter in the 50 freestyle. The 40-year-old swam a 23.60 to break Massimiliano Gialdi’s mark of 23.86 from 2008, as well as David Boatwright’s 10-year-old national record of 24.14. Jacobson swam the 50 free at last year’s Olympic Trials as a 39-year-old, posting a 23.35 for 82nd place.