Though U.S. Masters Nationals began on Thursday, Friday was the beginning of competition for most athletes with Thursday’s lineup including just the distance freestyle races. But a talented field showed up in full force on day 2, with athletes smashing 15 different American records.
The meet takes place through Sunday in Santa Clara, California. Live results are available here.
The brunt of the damage to that national record book came in the very first event, the 400 IM. It’s a daunting race even for athletes in their physical prime, but the Masters field attacked it with vigor, shattering a collective 6 records in that event alone.
53-year-old Jill Hernandez got the first one of the day, going 4:44.38 to win the 50-54 age bracket. That took almost two seconds off Hernandez’s own record in the age group from 2012. She would later go on to give her own 100 fly record a run, but fell about a second short at 1:01.31.
The men’s 400 IM was a hit parade for record-breakers. Every age group from 45 up to 69 saw its record go down. In the 45-49s, Sergey Mariniuk, 45, went 4:13.02 to knock a second off the record. One age group up, it was 50-year-old Darren Phelan who took down the record with a first-place 4:16.57. In the 55-59s, Jim Sauer went 4:28.66 for a new American record at 57 years old. 62-year-old Rick Colella broke the first of his two records on the day, going 4:24.24 to win his age bracket, and Alek Shestakov joined the party with a 4:57.17 that gave the 65-year-old a new 65-69 record.
Olympian and former world record holder Dave Wharton won the 40-44s of that event, going 4:27.19.
The 50 free was an exciting collection of big names. As covered earlier today, Nathan Adrian went 18.78 to win the 25-29s, Matt Biondi won the 45-49 title with a 21.48 and Anthony Ervin (19.33) and Josh Davis (20.82) each broke a national record. Davis, who has been very public in his support of Ultra-Short Race Pace Training, which he now uses as his training guide, also won the 200 back (1:56.24) and 100 fly (51.83) in the age group.
Davis wasn’t the only former Olympian to win a 100 fly title. 1980 U.S. Olympian David Sims won the 50-54 group with a 52.55, 2004 Olympian Dana Kirk won the women’s 25-29s with a 54.03 and Brazilian Olympian Philip Morrison went 49.99 to win the 25-29 men.
Tom Shields was slated to swim in the 18-24s, but scratched the event.
In the women’s 50 free, 62-year-old Laura Val was the lone record-breaker, going 26.56 to take .01 off of her own American record.
One men’s and one women’s record went down in the 200 backstroke – Bonnie Bilich put up a 2:19.94 to take the 55-59 record while Richard Burns won the men’s 70-74 division with a record 2:23.68.
Two women got under the same record in the women’s 35-39 100 breaststroke. In a great race, Katie Glenn topped Cynthia Lewis for the national title, with both women going under the old national record. Glenn’s 1:02.34 will stand as the new mark while Lewis’s 1:02.82 becomes the second-fastest of all-time in the event.
For the men, some big names took home wins – former Cal Bear Nolan Koon won the 18-24 division with a 54.56, while one age group up, U.S. National Teamer BJ Johnson went 53.34 for the title, though neither was a record.
Three records did fall, though. Steve West went 55.61 to win the 40-44 division and claim the age record. Rick Colella broke his second record in the 60-64 group, going 1:02.61, and Bob Best took down the 80-84 mark with a 1:30.27.