Ventura County Masters, Kohei Kawamoto Set Masters World Records In Mission Viejo

Ventura County Masters 2015 relay
Photo Courtesy: Glenn Gruber

Last weekend’s Southern Pacific Masters Swimming Zone Championships in Mission Viejo, Calif., featured some major names braving the intense southern California heat for three days of racing. Ventura County Masters left the meet with three new Masters relay world records, while Japanese standout Kohei Kawamoto was able to break a record of his own in the 50 butterfly.

Ventura County Masters enjoy getting a group together to chase relay world records, and that continued in Mission Viejo. In the 240-279 age group, the first world record came in the 800 freestyle relay. With a 2:23.35 from Jim McConica to start, the team’s splits got faster from there. Glenn Gruber kept it rolling with a 2:21.22 followed by a 2:17.81 from Michael Blatt. Mike Shaffer closed it out with a strong 2:08.56. The overall time for the four men — all 60 years and older — was 9:11.24, beating the former world record of 9:15.37 set last year by Sarasota Masters.

Next was the 400 free relay. Hubie Kerns stepped in for McConica as leadoff and did his part with a 1:07.07. Gruber (1:03.13), Blatt (59.93) and Shaffer (57.74) wrapped up the swim with a 4:07.77, smashing Oregon Masters’ world record of 4:13.13.

The final world record for Ventura County Masters came in the 400 medley relay. The team already owned the world record with a 4:46.32 from 2010, so the race was to show their dominance in this relay age group. Kerns (1:19.27, backstroke) and Blatt (1:22.06, breaststroke) were behind record pace through the first 200 meters, but Shaffer’s 1:00.67 butterfly leg put the team back in contention. Gruber kept the momentum going with a 1:02.58 on freestyle to break the record with a 4:44.58.

Kawamoto, looking for a spot on next year’s Japanese Olympic team, made a return to Masters swimming after a few years away and posted a world record in the 50 fly for the 35-39 age group. The 36-year-old posted a 24.14, beating South African Ryk Neethling’s three-year-old record of 24.69.

Koheil Kawamoto breaks 50 fly Masters world record

2015 Southern Pacific Masters Swimming Zone Championships – Results


  1. Gardner Howland

    Shaffer- tough and ageless competitor

  2. avatar
    Mike Shaffer

    LOL…I just turned 50!! My teammates are all over 60…Hubie & Glenn (66), Jim (65) and Mike B. (60).

    Mike Shaffer

  3. avatar

    This exhibition juxtaposes Burkhardt’s work with contemporaneous reviews and rare archival documentation spanning more than six decades. Included are important paintings shown in his first solo exhibition at the Stendahl Gallery, and his first museum exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1945, which the L.A.