Jim McConica Employs Negative-Split Strategy To Break Three Masters World Records

Photo Courtesy: Michelle McConica

Jim McConica, a six-time member of the Swimming World Magazine World Masters Swimmers of the Year list, made a case to be a part of next year’s group with three short course meters world records last week at the Ontario Provincial Championships.

McConica represented Ventura County Masters in his trip north of the border, and made some history in the process. McConica doesn’t turn 65 until December, but FINA rules stipulate that a person’s age at a short course meters or long course meters meet is their age as of December 31 of that year. So, McConica got a head start on the 65-69 world records, beginning with the 1500 freestyle. His time of 18:53.75 shattered Tom Landis’ world record of 19:32.78 from 2007, and it gave McConica the world record in the 1500 freestyle for four consecutive age groups. McConica employed a negative-split strategy for his mile, splitting 9:29.12 at 750 meters then blasting a 9:24.63 for the last half of the race.

Event 8 Men 65-69 1500 SC Meter Freestyle
=========================================================================
WORLD: W 19:32.78 18/02/2007TOM LANDIS, USA
NATL: C 21:52.88 21/04/2006KARL DONOGHUE
ONT: O 22:18.28 25/03/2011DOUG BISHOP
Name Age Team Seed Finals Points
=========================================================================
1 Mc Conica, Jim 65 Other 19:05.66 18:53.75W 20
35.84 1:13.63 (37.79)
1:51.65 (38.02) 2:29.41 (37.76)
3:07.67 (38.26) 3:45.51 (37.84)
4:23.54 (38.03) 5:01.65 (38.11)
5:39.93 (38.28) 6:18.41 (38.48)
6:56.45 (38.04) 7:34.59 (38.14)
8:12.90 (38.31) 8:50.93 (38.03)
9:29.12 (38.19) 10:07.19 (38.07)
10:45.54 (38.35) 11:23.80 (38.26)
12:02.04 (38.24) 12:39.95 (37.91)
13:17.96 (38.01) 13:56.04 (38.08)
14:34.05 (38.01) 15:12.10 (38.05)
15:49.97 (37.87) 16:27.57 (37.60)
17:05.13 (37.56) 17:42.28 (37.15)
18:18.81 (36.53) 18:53.75 (34.94)

Next for McConica was the 400 free, and he chopped more than seven seconds off Dan Kirkland’s five-month-old world record of 4:53.17 with a 4:45.88. McConica negative split this world record swim as well, going out in 2:23.58 at 200 meters then posting a 2:22.30 for the final 200 meters. McConica still owns the world record in this event in the 50-54 age group with a 4:07.99 from 2000.

Event 28 Men 65-69 400 SC Meter Freestyle
=========================================================================
WORLD: W 4:53.17 06/12/2014DAN KIRKLAND, USA
NATL: C 5:27.04 30/04/2005KARL DONOGHUE
ONT: O 5:38.22 18/05/2008PAULL LEAMEN
Name Age Team Seed Finals Points
=========================================================================
1 Mc Conica, Jim 65 Other 4:53.17 4:45.88W 20
33.42 1:09.66 (36.24)
1:46.67 (37.01) 2:23.58 (36.91)
2:59.86 (36.28) 3:36.31 (36.45)
4:11.81 (35.50) 4:45.88 (34.07)

Negative splitting was working well for McConica, so he used that strategy again to great effect in the 800 freestyle. He became the oldest swimmer under 10 minutes with a 9:53.06, knocking more than 10 seconds off Kirkland’s record of 10:05.03. With a 5:00.46 split at 400 meters, McConica had plenty in the tank to fire off a 4:52.20. His final 400 meters was so fast, it beat Kirkland’s former world record at that distance.

Event 46 Men 65-69 800 SC Meter Freestyle
=========================================================================
WORLD: W 10:05.03 15/11/2014DAN KIRKLAND, USA
NATL: C 11:15.41 30/04/2005KARL DONOGHUE
ONT: O 11:53.50 19/05/2008PAULL LEAMEN
Name Age Team Seed Finals Points
=========================================================================
1 Mc Conica, Jim 65 Other 10:05.03 9:53.06W 20
35.60 1:13.31 (37.71)
1:51.46 (38.15) 2:29.60 (38.14)
3:07.59 (37.99) 3:45.67 (38.08)
4:23.35 (37.68) 5:00.86 (37.51)
5:37.85 (36.99) 6:14.98 (37.13)
6:52.14 (37.16) 7:29.22 (37.08)
8:06.01 (36.79) 8:42.53 (36.52)
9:18.72 (36.19) 9:53.06 (34.34)

As mentioned above, McConica is no stranger to world records. He spent a chunk of his Masters swimming career as an open water swimmer and was part of the historic Ventura Deep Six relay team that swam 202 miles down the California coastline that was the longest relay open water swim in history.

2015 Ontario Provincial Masters Championships – Results

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Author: Jeff Commings

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Jeff Commings is the Senior Writer for SwimmingWorld.com and Swimming World Magazine. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism and was a nine-time NCAA All-American.

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