Darian Townsend Leads Masters World Record Charge at Ron Johnson Invitational

TEMPE, Arizona, November 24. DARIAN Townsend showed up at the Ron Johnson short course meters invitational for one day and left with three Masters world records to go along with the five he set three weeks ago in his Masters swimming debut.

Townsend, an Olympic champion from the 2004 Olympics in the 400 free relay, posted a 23.53 in the 50 fly to break Daisuke Abe’s mark of 23.66 in the 25-29 age group that had been around since 2009. Townsend, 29, capped off his day with another individual world record, this time in the 100 free with a stunning 48.29. Stephan Kunzelmann of Germany had held the record of 48.58 since 2005.

In between those swims, Townsend teamed with three of his former teammates from the University of Arizona to post a remarkable 3:43.64 in the men’s 400 medley relay as members of Tucson Ford Masters. Townsend swam backstroke, while NCAA All-American Marcus Titus handled breaststroke duties. Tyler DeBerry, an NCAA All-American in freestyle events, stepped up for butterfly while Carl Miller swam freestyle. The foursome broke the record of 3:49.80 in the 100-119 age group set by Brazil in 2011. Notably, Townsend’s backstroke leadoff of 54.32 just missed the 25-29 age group’s world record of 54.23 held by Brazil’s Leonardo Sumida.

Noriko Inada, a three-time Olympian for Japan, one-upped Townsend with four Masters world records. Inada, 35, posted a 50 back world record time of 28.13 for the 35-39 age group, as well as a 1:00.60 in the 100 back. Both swims broke records formerly held by American Sheri Hart since 2009, including a 28.68 in the 50 and 1:02.36 in the 100.

Inada’s records were set as leadoff swims on the world record-setting mixed medley relays representing Phoenix Swim Club. Inada joined Swimming World’s Jeff Commings, as well as NCAA All-Americans Erin Campbell and Jan Konarzewski, to post a 1:47.51 in the 200 medley relay to shatter the record of 1:52.32 set by Japan’s Team Dash in the 120-159 age group in 2009. The same foursome obliterated the world mark of 4:06.60 — also by Team Dash — in the 400 medley relay with a blazing 3:56.24.

In the final event of the meet, the mixed 800 freestyle relay, DeBerry got his second world record by teaming up with Ford Aquatics teammates Tim Gendler, Meghan Bullock and Erin Morrison to post an 8:31.00 in the 100-119 age group. The previous world record was 8:34.10 from October 2012 featuring the Trafford Metro team from Great Britain. Notably, the four missed out on the U.S. Masters Swimming record of 8:29.16 by New England Masters from 2006. FINA began recognizing world records in the 400- and 800-meter relays in 2009, which would explain why the national record is faster than the world record.

Rich Abrahams came to the meet from Colorado and just missed out on two world records in the 65-69 age group. Abrahams posted a 1:06.91 in the 100 fly, a second off Josep Claret’s record in the age group. Abrahams also swam a 25.91 in the 50 free, missing his own record of 25.62.

All records are still considered unofficial until and unless FINA elects to ratify them.

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