Steve West Breaks Own Masters World Record in 100 Breast

Steve West 2012 Olympic Trials
Steve West at the 2012 Olympic Trials. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Steve West continues to break Masters records and defy his age.

Swimming for Irvine Novaquatics, the 47-year-old West broke his own Masters World Record in the 100-meter breaststroke (LCM) during the weekend at the Los Angeles Invitational.

He swam the race in 1:04.77, breaking his own record of 1:04.84 set in June for the 45-49 age group. He finished sixth overall at the Los Angeles Invitational. Hank Poppe, 20, won the event in 1:03.01.

Since 2012, West has continued breaking Masters world records, and he just missed qualifying for Olympic Trials in 2016, missing the cuts by less than two tenths in both the 100 and 200 breast. In May, Steve West broke the 45-49 world record in the 100 breast with a 1:04.99 before he broke it in June.

He also holds the 200 breast LCM records in the 40-44 age group (2:18.57) and 45-49 age group (2:19.44).

West’s best time in the 100 breast was all the way back in the 2000 US Olympic Trials at 1:03.39 at the age of 28. He has been as quick as a 1:03.81 from the 2015 Los Angeles Invitational. West still has some more room to go if he is to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials. The time standard for Omaha next year is a 1:03.29.

West’s last appearance at the Olympic Trials was in 2012 when he placed 61st in the 100 breast and 62nd in the 200.

If West were to qualify for Trials, he would swim in Omaha at 48 years old, crushing his old record as the oldest male swimmer to ever race at that meet. He would also break Dara Torres’ record (45) for oldest Trials swimmer male or female.

West admits that racing in his late-40s presents some challenges. As he gets older, he has to work constantly to maintain flexibility. He can’t just will himself to swim his fastest times whenever he wants.

“Because of age or whatever, I might be on the rhythm on a given day and things just line up. when I was 28, these times, I can just dial them up pretty easy. Now, it’s not quite like that,” Steve West said. “Sometimes it hurts a little more than the other times.”

Check out more on the USMS here.


  1. Stephen Paul

    love Steve west dude is a freaking LEGEND! keep showing us what is possible dude