Cesar Cielo and Darian Townsend Break Records In Masters Meet Held In Honor Of Former Swimmer

Photo by Joao Marc Bosch

MESA, Arizona, September 27. CESAR Cielo made his debut as a Masters swimmer in fine fashion, setting two short course meters Masters world records in the sprint freestyles at the Jamina Winston Invitational.

The meet was hosted by Mesa Aquatics, Cielo’s base in the United States. He’s training with Scott Goodrich in the final stages of preparation for December’s short course world championships, and today’s meet gave him two more racing opportunities.

Cielo won the 50 and 100 freestyles in times of 21.54 and 48.34, respectively. Neither were as fast as the 20.68 and 46.08 he swam three weeks ago at the Jose Finkel Trophy meet to put himself on Brazil’s worlds team. On the Masters front, however, they are mind-blowing times.

While Cielo managed to break Darian Townsend’s Masters world record of 22.08 in the 50 free for the 25-29 age group, the 27-year-old Cielo fell just shy of Townsend’s world record of 48.29 in the 100 free. Cielo’s 100 free is comfortably the second-fastest time done in Masters competition by a swimmer 25 years and older.

Townsend attended the meet as well, and etched his name into the record books for the 30-34 age group. Townsend made it public last week that he had qualified for the Pan American Games team a month after securing American citizenship, and the South African native showed his form with four swims today.

He started off with a 1:46.12 in the 200 free, beating the Masters world record of 1:46.52 by Germany’s Stefan Herbst. Next up was the 100 IM and a 53.75 that demolished Herbst’s record of 55.00. Townsend raced next to Cielo in the 50 free and posted a solid 22.15 that nearly beat Nick Brunelli’s 21.98 from 2011. Townsend’s final event was the 100 free, where he out-touched Cielo with a 48.08. Germany’s Stephan Kunzelmann had held the Masters world record with a 49.04 since 2008.

That means Townsend’s world record in the 30-34 age group is faster than the world record of 48.29 he set last year in the 25-29 age group.

Also attending the meet was Ivan Nechunaev, a multiple NCAA Division II finalist for Grand Canyon University. Before heading across the ocean to begin a job with JP Morgan in London, he scored his first U.S. Masters Swimming national record, posting a 24.84 in the 50 butterfly. Nechunaev beat Alexander Aceino’s four-month-old record of 24.86 in the process.

In the middle of the fast swimming was a silent auction to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of Winston, a Mesa Aquatics Masters swimmer who passed away earlier this year from the disease. According to meet director Erin Shields, the silent auction netted $1,700. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Mesa donated $500 as well.


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    DIdn’t know he was training in AZ. Great swims!