Hubie Kerns, Glenn Gruber, Willard Lamb and David Radcliff Set Masters World Records in Oregon

OREGON CITY, Oregon, March 11. FOUR Masters short course meters world records fell last weekend at a three-day short course meters meet in Oregon in the middle of the short course yards season.

Willard Lamb, who already has six short course meters world records in the 85-89 and 90-94 age groups, broke his own mark in the 400 freestyle in the 90-94 age group with a 7:46.30. Lamb, 92 years old and representing Oregon Masters, previously swam a 7:51.96 at the same meet last year. Though he was far off the world record of 3:59.25 by Japan’s Goro Kobayashi in the 200 backstroke, he set a new U.S. Masters Swimming record of 4:29.29 last weekend.

David Radcliff just turned 80 and wasted no time in obliterating a world record in the 80-84 age group in the 400 free. Swimming for Oregon Masters, Radcliff posted a 5:39.27 to take down the 5:56.77 swum in 2011 by Spain’s Roberto Alberiche. Radcliff also took aim at Alberiche’s 200 free world record of 2:45.24 but fell short with a 2:48.49. Radcliff’s time was a USMS record, shattering Graham Johnston’s mark by nine seconds. This is Radcliff’s first short course meters world record in the 80-84 age group, though he leaves behind six in the 75-79 age group.

Two swimmers from Ventura County Masters in southern California made the trip north and were rewarded with one world record each. Hubie Kerns, 65, posted a 2:35.67 in the 200 IM to beat Richard Burns’ 2:38.42 that had stood as the world and USMS record since 2009 in the 65-69 age group. Kerns has been a part of world record-setting relays for Ventura County Masters, but this marks his first individual world record.

Glenn Gruber also set his first individual world record with a 4:55.10 in the 400 freestyle in the 65-69 age group. Gruber shaved a few tenths off Tom Landis’ seven-year-old world record of 4:55.56 in the process.

Gruber, 65, told Swimming World that he began using the Ultra-Short Race Pace Training program in September with the explicit goal of breaking the record.

“USRPT is all about race pace,” Gruber said. “It makes sense to me to train at the speed you are going to race. All I kept saying behind the blocks before the race was, ‘Do what you do every day in practice.’”

The result was not only a world record, but Gruber’s fastest swim in the 400 free since 2010.