Hawaii Wins Combined Team Crown at USMS Nationals; 25 More Records Fall

By Phillip Whitten

HONOLULU, May, 17. THERE was no let-up at all on the final day of the USMS National Short Course Championships at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Twenty-five individual and two relay national records were washed away on this warm Friday, highlighted by several barrier-breaking performances.

Hawaii Wins Team Title
Hawaii Masters won the large team combined team title with 2011 points, edging a determined Rocky Mountain Masters (RMM) squad that finished with 1885.5. Walnut Creek Masters (WCM) was third with 1577.5.

Hawaii also won the men’s crown with 1097.5 points to RMM’s 947.5, with WCM again third (797.5). Rocky Mountain won the women’s title with 766 to Hawaii’s 722.5, with Pacific Northwest (PNA) third with 683.

In the medium team competition, The Olympic Club (TOC) totaled 1258 points to win the combined title. PNA had 1099 and San Diego, 943.

TOC also won the men’s crown with 672.5, with Arizona Masters second (471) and New England Masters third (411). The women’s title went to San Diego (505), followed by TOC (449.5) and Oregon Masters (426).

City of Las Vegas Masters was the surprise winner of the combined crown with 407.5 points, a tiny half-point ahead of Ojai-Santa Barbara (407) with Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC) a close third (393)

Las Vegas took the men’s title with 329.5, as the men’s winner in each division also emerged as the combined champion. Finishing second in the men’s division was Ventura County Masters (291.5), followed by Illinois (265). DC Masters took the women’s crown with 279 points followed by MAC (252) and Pirate (225).

Dolce Swims a Sweet 500
Ron Karnaugh, Ron Johnson, Jeff Farrell, Karlynn Pipes-Neilsen and Laura Val continued their winning ways, all breaking two national records this day. But it was 92 year-old Julia Dolce who stole the show.

Dolce, swimming for Garden State Masters, took almost two full minutes off the women’s 90-94 500 yard freestyle mark set ten years ago by Anna Bauscher at 15:48.03. Dolce touched in 13:51.00, to notch her second national mark of the meet.

Dr. Ron Operates, Gets Two More
Karnaugh turned in what many here regard as the performance of the meet when he exploded off the blocks, split 23.42 at the 50, then stroked his way to a 50.45 clocking in the 100 yard individual medley. The old mark, 52.57, was held by Olympian Chris Cavanaugh, who finished second.

Dr. Ron earned his second record of the day, and fifth overall, when he swam the 200 back in 1:50.11, just bettering the 1:50.83 mark set by Canadian Olympian Sean Murphy in 1999.

Coach Ron Notches Two, Too
Ron Johnson added two more USMS records to his collection, giving him a perfect six-for-six for the meet.

In the 100 IM for men 70-74, the Sun Devils Masters coach clocked 1:08.82, easing Chuck Baldwin’s 1:09.33 set last year from the record books. He then flew to a 1:09.63 performance in the 100 fly, hacking more than five seconds from Win Wilson’s five year-old mark of 1:14.73.

Johnson just missed setting a seventh record when he led off Arizona’s 45+ mixed free relay in 26.05, just six-hundredths shy of the 25.99 mark Don Hill set yesterday. Had Johnson not dived so deeply, he almost certainly would have dipped under 26 seconds.

Farrell Notches Two
Win some, lose some. Just two heats after setting the 100 IM mark in the 70-74 age group, Ron Johnson lost his four year-old record in the 65-69 division. Jeff Farrell, Ojai-Santa Barbara, sped to a 1:03.54 mark, two seconds under Johnson’s 1:05.65.

Farrell, who set the 65-69 50 free mark yesterday at 23.66, breaking Cav Cavanaugh’s standard of 24.76, added the 100 today. Once again, Cavanaugh was the victim, as his 55.97 set last year fell to Farrell’s 54.43.

Karlynn Also Scores a Double
Karlynn Pipes-Neilsen completed her aging-up celebration by setting two more women’s 40-44 records, giving her a perfect six-for-six record in Hawaii.

In the 100 fly, the San Diego Swim Masters star clocked a lifetime best 57.02 seconds, battering Beth Baker’s 58.89 from last year. Karlynn’s 50 split, 26.73, would have won the 50.

Baker was the victim again in the 200 back, as her 2:11.40 set last year was erased by Pipes-Neilsen’s 2:06.35.

Val Is Doubly Valiant
Tamalpais Masters’ Laura Val duplicated Pipes-Neilsen’s feat in the 50-54 division, setting two marks today to complete a six-for-six sweep. In the 100 fly, Val devastated a 10 year-old mark with her 1:01.26. Ardeth Mueller had owned the record for a decade at 1:05.69.

In the 100 free, Val again dismissed a Mueller mark, as her 54.38 easily shattered Mueller’s 59.05 from 1993.

100 yard IM
New England’s Joel Feldmann slashed a second off the women’s 50-54 100 yard individual medley standard with her 1:06.43. Olympian Susan Jones-Roy had the old mark with her 1:07.74 set in 2000.

100 yard butterfly
San Diego Swim Masters’ unheralded Adam Conway broke the 100 fly mark for men 19-24 with his fine 49.37-second swim. Oswaldo Quevedo, a 2000 Olympian from Venezuela, had set the mark at 49.80 last year.

Rocky Mountain Master’s Rich Abrahams completed his sprint fly sweep when he lowered his own 55-59 mark from 54.49 to 54.39.

In the 60-64 division, two men whomped Dave Costill’s 1:03.09 standard from 1997. Hawaii’s Cappy Sheeley dropped 10 seconds from his seeded 1:11.90 to win in 1:01.94, just beating out Alan Cartwright’s 1:02.59.

50 yard breaststroke
Susan Jones Roy lost her second national mark of the day when SCAQ’s Karen Melick clocked 32.73 for the 50 breast. Roy’s standard for women 45-49, set in 1994, was 32.82.

Hawaii’s Regula Steiger then added insult to injury when she bettered Roy’s record of 34.45 for women 50-54. In all, three of Roy's national marks fell this day. Steiger’s 34.10 was just under the year-old mark.

Multnomah’s Ginger Pierson added the 50 yard breaststroke to the 100 breast mark for women 55-59 she set two days ago. Pierson's 35.06 carved a tenth of a second from Jayne Bruner’s 11 year-old standard.

200 yard backstroke
Barb Gundred completed her hat trick by chopping five seconds off the women’s 50-54 200 yard backstroke mark. The PNA ace touched in 2:28.10, well ahead of Jonelle Schmidt’s 2:33.23 set last year.

In the very next age group, hometown heroine Bettyann Barnett-Sallee took her own 200 back mark down from 2:33.59 to 2:28.55, giving her an impressive sweep of all three 55-59 dorsal records.

In the women’s 65-69 division, Betsy Jordan added the 200 record to the 100 yard mark she set yesterday. The San Diego Swim Masters ace finished in 2:51.56, more than four seconds better than Lavelle Stoinoff’s 2:56.66.

Finally, in the 80-84 age group, Space City Masters’ Bunny Cederlund, added the final touch to her sweep of the three backstroke records, when she touched in 3:41.49.

100 yard freestyle
The men’s 40-44 age group saw the Battle of the Smiths. Paul Smith, Rocky Mountain Masters, had won the 200 in a record 1:43.06. Team TYR’s John Smith took the 50 free in 21.08. Now the Smiths would meet at the intermediary distance – 100 yards – with Paul Smith’s USMS mark of 47.00 at stake.

John Smith, the pure sprinter, emerged the winner, as both men broke 47 seconds. John touched in 46.25 to Paul’s 46.90. George and Ringo did not finish the race.

The 70-74 race was an even bigger history-maker. Coming into this meet, no man over 70 had ever broken a minute. Last year Chuck Baldwin took Frank Piemme’s mark down a hair to 1:00.60. At this year’s Southwest Zone meet, Ron Johnson, swimming what he called “a poor race” lowered it to 1:00.13. But Baldwin wasn’t here and Johnson had already swum his allotment of six events.

Not to worry. The race not only saw its first sub-minute swim by a septuagenarian, but two men cracked 59 seconds. In another classic sprinter vs. distance guy dual, the sprinter won again. The Olympic Club’s Don Hill turned in 28.61, just a hundredth of a second ahead of South Texas’ Graham Johnston. Surprisingly, it was the sprinter who had more left in his tank on the back half, as he roared back to finish in 58.35, with Johnston second in 58.86.

Mixed freestyle relays
Rocky Mountain Masters put together an awesome 35+ 200 yard mixed freestyle relay to break the USMS record of 1:33.86 set by Colonials 1776 in 1997. The team of Paul Smith (21.57), Kathy Garnier (24.60), Mike Gonzales (22.69) and Collette Sappey (23.81) touched in a brilliant 1:32.67.

In the 65+ division, San Diego took two seconds off Gold Coast Masters’ 2:02.20 from 1995. The team of Bob Best (28.55), Betsy Jordan (32.67), Jeanne Little (32.62) and Bill Earley (26.47) breezed to a new USMS mark of 2:00.31.