Gail Roper, Paul Carter and Scott Lautman Lower Masters World Records in Long Beach

By Phillip Whitten

LONG BEACH, Calif., December 19. SOUTHERN Pacific Masters short course meters meets on successive weekends at the Belmont Plaza Pool in Long Beach, Calif., produced seven Masters world records as well as a slew of other very fast times.

At the Southwest Zone Chmapionships, held December 4-6, Paul Carter was the sole record-breaker. Carter, 47, representing NOVAquatics Masters eased just under a second from the 4:57.31 global standard for men 45-49 set by Greg Dozer in 2002.

Carter raced home in 4:56.40. His splits: 1:03.45 – 2:22.42 – 3:48.85 – 4:56.40.

A week later at the 12th annual Holiday Classic, held Dec. 10-12, six world records were washed away with the indomitable Gail Roper, swimming despite several injuries, responsible for four of them herself. In addition, she contributed to the lone relay mark set.

Swimming in the women's 75-79 division, Roper, 75, lowered her own 50m free mark of 37.60, set last February, to 37.24. In the 200 free, she bettered Jean Troy's 3:11.99 from 2002 with an evenly-split 3:10.70, but she has a pending 3:09.71 from September.

Displaying her versatility, Roper slashed her 50m fly standard of 46.14 by almost two full seconds, hitting the pads in 44.18. She completed the record-breaking with a 1:38.11 for the 100 IM — well under the official standard of 1:45.44 by Austria's Sylvia Neuhauser from last year, and also just under her own pending 1:38.29.

She then hooked up with three Arizona Masters teammates to carve six seconds off the 200m medley relay in the 280+ division. The team of Nancy Kinney (back, 49.55), Carol Taylor (breast, 50.45), Roper (fly, 44.87) and Sally Bolar (free, 36.57) clocked 3:01.44, well under the global standard of 3:07.77 by a Japanese team from earlier this year.

That same Arizona Masters women's squad clocked a US record 2:44.58 for 200 meter freestyle, missing the world record by two seconds.

Pacific Northwest's Scott Lautman accounted for the final world record, as he lowered his own standard in the 200 meter fly for men 50-54 from the 2:18.69 set almost precisely one year ago, to 2:18.02. Lautman swam a beautifully-paced race, splitting 1:07.30 – 1:10.02.

Arizona's Carol (Penny) Taylor took her own American records for women 75-79 down in both the 100 and 200m breaststroke. Taylor stroked 1:57.13 (old mark, 1:58.91) and 4:14.09 (old record, 4:18.63).