US Masters Nationals began on Wednesday in Minneapolis, and 95-year old Willard “Wink” Lamb wasted no time obliterating a record that had been in place since 1999.
In the first event of the meet, the 1500 LCM free, Lamb broke the previous age 95-99 world record by over ten minutes with his time of 37:06.82. Better yet? He set national records along the way at the 100, 200, 400, and 800 marks. His 200, 400, and 800 were also world records. Here’s the “sweep” breakdown:
|200||4:21:57||National & World Record|
|400||9:11:20||National & World Record|
|800||19:20.86||National & World Record|
|1500||37:06.32||National & World Record|
Lamb clearly went in with a game plan: after taking his first five 100s out under 2:30, he settled in with remarkably steady 2:31s and 2:32s before bringing his last 100 home in a 2:24.83.
His sweep is reminiscent of Laura Val’s epic record-breaking swims. In 2011, she broke the 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 masters world records for the 60-64 age group in one swim. In 2016, she broke the ages 65-69 records in the 200, 400, 800, and 1500.
As for his current workout routine, Lamb works out in a 32-yard pool. Monday-Thursday he swims 14 laps of freestyle, then 16 more, then 14 again, then finally another 16 laps with 30 second breaks in-between segments for a total of 60 laps. On Fridays, he swims 60 laps of freestyle straight through. He follows that up with a six backstroke, then two laps of sprint free with 30 seconds rest in-between, then two more cool-down. The whole workout takes him about 50 minutes, and he’s kept up this routine for the past five years.
A member of Oregon Masters Swimming, Lamb swam in high school then fought in World War II. He was a member of the famed 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Congrats, Willard! We can all only hope to be in as great shape when we’re pushing a century.