ORLANDO, Florida, October 14. THE fifth running of the Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic at the YMCA Aquatic Center was arguably its best yet, as eight world records fell in short course meters competition, including one of the few world records remaining from the 1990s.
Adam Ritter, an NCAA champion and Olympic Trials semifinalist, wowed the crowd with a stunning 1:46.52 in the 200 freestyle, breaking the 18-year-old world record of 1:48.81 set in 1995 by John Keppeler in the 25-29 age group. Ritter, 28 years old and representing Columbus Sharks Masters, split 24.76, 26.88, 27.06, 27.82 in his historic race. Only two other short course Masters world records remain from the 20th century: Bill Specht’s 2:02.97 in the 200 fly in 1998 for the 40-44 age group and Gus Langner’s 3:33.98 in the 100 IM for the 95-99 age group, also set in 1998. Kevin DeForrest still owns the oldest Masters world record with his 22.59 in the 50 long course free from 1983 for the 25-29 age group.
Ritter set another world record when he touched in 54.10 in the 100 IM. That erased the 55.13 swum by Japan’s Yuta Shoji in 2010. Ritter just missed out on three other records, swimming a 27.71 in the 50 breast, missing the world record of 27.60. He posted a 48.94 in the 100 free to fall short of the world mark of 48.58, and was a fingernail short of the 1:59.70 world record in the 200 IM when he swam a 1:59.79.
David Guthrie continued his amazing year in the pool, resetting all three of his breaststroke records in the 50-54 age group. The 53-year-old who swims for Texas Longhorn Aquatics swam a 30.11 in the 50 breast to lower his record by five tenths, a 1:05.61 in the 100 breast to drop his mark by seven tenths and a stunning 2:23.20 in the 200 that was 2.5 seconds faster than his previous world record.
Todd Torres of Blu Frog, who is entering Masters swimming competition many years after a swimming career that included representing Puerto Rico on the international level, broke the world record in the 100 breast for the 45-49 age group with a 1:04.39. That swim erased the 1:04.62 that Italy’s Rico Rolli swam in 2011. Torres, 45, missed the 50 breast world record of 28.87 by the slimmest of margins, posting a 28.88.
Also getting in on the world record-setting action was Georgia Masters’ Diann Uustal, who posted a 34.53 in the 50 butterfly to break her own world record of 35.06 in the 65-69 age group from 2011.
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