A 4-for-1 deal: 80-year-old David Radcliff breaks 4 American Masters records in the same swim

It’s still a bit of a swimming novelty when an athlete breaks two records in the same swim. But 80-year-old David Radcliff took that even a few steps further.

On the first day of Master’s Nationals in Santa Clara, Radcliffe broke not one, not two, not three, but four different American records in the same single swim.

Competing in the 80-84 age bracket of the 1650 free, Radcliffe went 21:54.87 to smash the previous national record by nearly 90 seconds. On the way there, the Oregon swimmer took down records in the 200, 500 and 1000 freestyles as well.

Here’s a quick look at his splits along the way, with the previous records in parentheses:

  • 200 yards: 2:30.66 (2:33.31 – Graham M Johnston, 2011)
  • 500 yards: 6:27.81 (6:52.87 – Burwell Jones, 2013)
  • 1000 yards: 13:10.14 (14:24.73 – Burwell Jones, 2013)
  • 1650 yards: 21:54.87 (24:12.69 – Burwell Jones, 2013)

Radcliff also owns each of these records at the 75-79 level, which he swam in up til this year. He also holds the 100 mark in that age group, having set the 100, 200, 1000 and 1650 on the same day in 2009. He also broke the 500 free just two days earlier.

Master’s Nationals continues through Sunday, with live results available here. Radcliff is also entered in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyles with chances to add to his already-substantial record haul.

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how do these times compare to what he was going throughout the previous age group


Wow, really impressive. And who knows, maybe he can go under 6 in the 500 individually.

80 years old? Yeah right. The guy is a highlander.



About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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