95-Year Old Swimmer Sets National Record in 1650 Free at USMS Nats


The largest U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) Spring National Championships to date kicked off with a whisper on Thursday at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Only 2 of the 44 events that will be raced across the 4-day meet were held on distance day, with the men’s and women’s 1000 and 1650 yard freestyle events for all ages kicking off at 7:30 AM and continuing throughout the day.

We caught 2 National Records broken on the first day, mostly in the oldest age groups. This is not a surprise, given some of the legendary masters distance swimmers that have torn through these record-books in the last few years, like Heidi George, Laura Val, and Karlyn Pipes.

Among the record-setters was 95-year old Willard Lamb from Oregon. Already the National Record setter for the 90-94 age group with a swim done in 2013, Lamb aged up and is now attacking records in the 95-99 age group. On Thursday, he swam a 30:38.15 in the men’s mile, which doesn’t break, but rather sets, the USMS record: they don’t currently maintain a record, implying that nobody has swum this race at a record-qualifying meet in that age group.

Christie Hayes from New England Masters took a huge chunk out of the women’s 70-74 record in the 1650 free. The old mark was a 23:45.69, which Hayes has been very close to with a seed time of 23:47.37. On Thursday, she dropped her age-group best time by 40 seconds to win in 23:07.57, and take 38 seconds off Lavelle Stoinoff’s 2004 National Record.

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Hint of Lime
3 years ago

Incredible! Major kudos for the gumption of swimming a mile at 95.

Reply to  Hint of Lime
3 years ago

Almost a mile

Coach John
Reply to  Markster
3 years ago

almost a century old

3 years ago

Youth is Wasted on the Young! – Congratulations Willard!!!

3 years ago

He aged up. I love that.

3 years ago

Fantastic swimming and thanks to swim swam for covering. These masters are heros.

3 years ago

I’d poop myself I tried to do that

Coach John
3 years ago

is Mel in Indy for this this weekend? I would relish the chance to give this guy a legit SwimSwam interview. Hell, even a Coleman’s carpool on scooter’s would suffice with a brunch at Denny’s after!

JP input too short
3 years ago

He broke the age group record in the 100 back by 50 seconds today, too.

Reply to  JP input too short
3 years ago

I hope we can all make it to that age group. Mr. Lamb is my hero.

3 years ago

Thank you for covering Masters swimming. More coverage of Masters swimming in the future would be great!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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