National Record Onslaught at U.S. Masters Swimming Nationals

SANTA CLARA, California, May 2. THE best of the best are battling it out at the U.S. Masters Swimming Short Course Nationals at the beautiful Santa Clara Swim Club this week. Today, the first full day of multiple-event competition, featured a bunch of records taking a tumble.

Plenty of 400 IM records took a tumble today. Jill Hernandez, 53, keeps getting better with age as she popped a 4:44.38 in the women’s 50-54 400-yard IM to smash her previous national mark of 4:46.15 set back in 2012. Sergey Mariniuk, 45, aged up nicely with a 4:13.02 in the men’s 45-49 400-yard IM. That swim upended Dennis Baker’s 4:14.17 set back in 2010. Another swimmer aging up, Darren Phelan, 50, clocked a 4:16.57 in the men’s 50-54 400-yard IM. That swim crushed David Sims’ 2013 time of 4:21.91.

Jim Sauer, 57, clipped the men’s 55-59 400-yard IM record with a 4:28.66. That effort just edged Michael Mann’s 2010 mark of 4:28.69. Rick Colella followed in the men’s 60-64 400-yard IM with a 4:24.24. That time blasted his previous record of 4:31.69 from a year ago. Alek Shestakov, 65, then clocked a 4:57.17 in the men’s 65-69 400-yard IM to become the first man older than 65 to break 5:00. He blitzed Richard Burns’ 2010 record of 5:12.42 by a wide margin.

After the 100 fly swims did not feature a national record, the illustrious Laura Val, 62, kept on keeping on as she posted a 26.56 in the women’s 60-64 50-yard free. That time nipped her previous record in the event of 26.57 from 2012.

The 50 frees featured some big names, including Nathan Adrian ripping off an 18.78 in the men’s 25-29 50-yard free. That swim was short of Fred Bousquet’s record of 18.67 from 2010. Anthony Ervin, however, did pick off a national age group mark as the 32-year-old posted a 19.33 in the men’s 30-34 age division. His swim beat Nick Brunelli’s 2012 mark of 19.65. Josh Davis, another big name at 41 years of age, posted a 20.82 in the men’s 40-44 50-yard free. That effort beat Micheal Ross’ record of 20.84 from 2009.

Bonnie Bilich, 56, took care of business in the women’s 55-59 200-yard back with a 2:19.94. That time obliterated Val’s 2010 mark of 2:21.27. Richard Burns, 70, hit the wall in 2:23.68 in the men’s 70-74 200-yard backstroke finale to lower his own mark of 2:25.77 set in January of this year.

A pair of swimmers surpassed the women’s 35-39 100-yard breaststroke record of 1:03.46 set by Cynthia Lewis in 2012. Katie Glenn, 37, clocked a 1:02.34, while Lewis, 38, posted a 1:02.82 as both beat 1:03 tonight. Steve West, 42, bettered his own men’s 40-44 100-yard breast record of 55.79 with a 55.61 today, winning the age division against USMS Executive Director Rob Butcher, who clocked a 59.29 for second at 41 years of age.

Colella cracked his second record of the night with a 1:02.62 in the men’s 60-64 100-yard breast. That swim beat his previous mark of 1:02.97 from last year. Bob Best, 81, powered his way to a 1:30.27 in the men’s 80-84 100-yard breast, beating Robert MacDonald’s 2009 record of 1:30.70.

Adrian and Ervin returned in the mixed 200 free relay to help crush the national record. Adrian (19.16), Katherine Raatz (23.06), Katie Kastes (23.69) and Ervin (18.85) powered to a 1:247.6. That swim blitzed the previous 18+ mark of 1:29.18 set by the Auburn Masters in 2010.

Kastes and Raatz were right back in action in the women’s 18+ 200-yard medley relay as Fiona O’Donnell-McCarthy (27.44), Katy Houston (30.25), Kastes (25.58) and Raatz (23.07) chased down the record with a 1:46.34. That time beat the 2012 record of 1:47.44 set by the Chicago Masters. The Oregon foursome of Joy Ward (38.41), Janet Gettling (38.87), Sandi Rousseau (35.54) and Peggy Whiter (40.42) posted a 2:33.24 to lower the women’s 65+ 200-yard medley relay record. The Virginia Masters previously set that mark with a 2:35.40 in 2005.

Adrian and Ervin combined again in the men’s 200-yard medley relay for another huge drop in a national record. Andrew Saeta (23.22), Nolan Koon (24.12), Adrian (20.49) and Ervin (18.88) clocked a 1:26.71 to blast the men’s 18+ 200-yard medley relay national mark. Buckeye University Masters had held the mark with a 1:28.85 from last year.

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