By Michael Collins
MUNICH, Germany – Day 2 of the World Masters Championships saw only two
events contested, the 200 Breast and 400 Free. Still the meet began at 7am
and concluded about 10:40pm. The 200 Breast took over 8 1/2 hours to
complete, while the 400 was only 7 hours due to the two-per-lane swimming.
Men went first on this day of competition. They are alternating which sex
goes first each day. It will be tough for the women going from the 400 Free
to the 400 IM first off the next morning.
200 BREAST – MEN
Olympic Medallist, Nick Gillingham, 33, from Great Britain, set the fastest
time of the meet by over 5 seconds posting an impressive 2:21.03. Karl
Hauter of Germany set a new World Record in the 75-79 age group by going
3:33.08 eclipsing his own recrd by .24. Hiromu Yoshimoto of Japan destroyed
Harold Perry's world record of 4:36.86 set in 1996 by going 4:22.99.
Americans to do well included Aldo da Rosa, first in the 80-84 (4:11.67),
Barton Greenberg, from Omaha Masters placed 3rd in 75-79 (3:45.06), Robert
MacDonald won the 70-74 in 3:38.02. Manuel Sanguily was third in the 65-69
(3:19.32). USA showed good depth in the 55-59 with Ken Frost, Tegze
Haraszti, and Jim Pelissier finishing 3-4-5 (2:56.58-3:04.95-3:05.29).
Robert Strand showed why he is a several time World Champion and record
holder when he kept his composure despite being behind for the first 185
meters of the race. Pacing smartly, and making up a lot of ground on the
underwater pull-downs he overtook Gerhard Preiner of Germany with just 15
meters to go to win in 2:45.97.
In the 45-49 age group Dale Korner from OHIO Masters placed second in
2:44.02. In the 30-34 Jens Beck from Alaska Masters placed 2nd in 2:31.88,
and USA Masters Head Coach, meet reporter, and swimmer, Michael Collins,
won his heat from lane 8 to move up from 35th to 20th (2:49.14).
200 BREAST – WOMEN
In the women's 200 Breast the fastest time was posted by Nathalie Elorrieta
of France on her way to winning the 25-29 (2:45.98). Silvia Neuhauser of
Austria set a new World Record in the 70-74 age group with a 3:51.31. The
previous record was 3:53.55 set by Gail Roper in 1999.
The American women proved to be fairly weak in this event as only three
women placed in the top 3. The highlight was Violetta Schlesinger of
Virginia Masters winning the 30-34 age group in 2:54.80. Hilda Buel won the
85-89 division in 9:31.42 (as the only competitor). Dea Ann Joslin was the
only other American in the top 3 with her 2:56.24 to place second in the
40-44 age group.
400 FREE – Men
Italian Andrea Marcato was the overall champion in 4:17.68 to take home the
gold in the 25-29.
American men had many excellent showings. However things got off to a
surprising start when Ray Taft was beaten handily by Domei Suzuki of Japan
(6:49.80-6:57.77). Richard Smith from Walnut Creek Masters was third in
Frank Piemme took revenge for Ray Taft and the USA by crushing Jiro
Kobayasho of Japan (6:19.80-6:31.82) and setting a USMS record in the
process. Leland Arth placed third for the USA (6:37.31). Robert Beach from
St. Pete took third in the 70-74 (6:19.36)
Graham Johnson served Cav Cavanaugh his first defeat of the meet taking the
65-59 age group in 5:14.55 to 5:28.14. Bob Coale, from Daland Masters was
third in the 60-64 division (5:21.36), while Don Davis of Walnut Creek just
missed the podium with a 5:07.22 to finish fourth.
Olympic Club member, Tod Spieker, took care of business and the 50-54 age
group winning in 4:37.57, while team-mate Mike Keck led the 40-44 age group
for over 300 meters only to be blown away, by over 5 seconds, with the
phenomenal last 100 of Daniel Machek from the Czech Republic
(4:21.56-4:27.39), but easily stayed ahead of third place finisher Andreas
Seibt from Illinois Masters (4:33.76).
Greg Larson of the Olympic Club served up a good race in the 30-34 age group
but came up a touch short of Alesandro Moreno of Mexico (4:21.30-4:21.58).
Coach, swimmer, reporter, Michael Collins, finished a respectable 10th
(4:32.55) moving up from an 18th seeding going in.
400 FREE – Women
The fastest swim came from German Chris Weigland, 25-29, who finished in 4:35.89. The second and third fastest times came from Americans, Charlotte Petersen of St. Pete, and Laureen Welting of Georgia, who had an epic battle in the 35-39 age group. The two swam close together the entire race, with Nuala Muir-Cochrane of Great Britain carrying a slight lead most of the way, but the three turned dead even with a 50 to go. Petersen opened up a ferocious kick to take the victory in 4:38.39 with Welting holding on to second (4:40.19), just ahead of the early leader Muir-Cochrane (4:40.68).
Other Americans to do well included Rita Simonton, first in 80-84 (8:37.49). Petey Smith and Florence Carr went 1-2 in the 75-79 (7:43.59-8:00.87). June Krauser spanked her age group by over 17 seconds despite having to swim in the last heat at 10:30pm because the meet organizers failed to include her in the seedings. (Note: She even came back to swim the 400 IM the next morning before 8am and won her age group there too!) Diane Stowell from Humu was second in the 65-69 (6:22.66), while Marcia Barry of Gold Coast Masters and Jeannette Bauer of Daland did the 2-3 punch in 50-54 (5:33.51-5:41.21).
1972 Australian Olympian, Shane Gould swam a 4:44.33 which was short of the 4:39.82 world record held by Susanne Heim-Bowen last year.