Atlanta, GA – A name synonymous with United States Masters Swimming (USMS) women’s sprinting threw down three Masters World Records at the St. Nicholas Invitational/Dixie Zone Short Course Meters Championships over the weekend. Erika Braun, who swims for the Raleigh Area Masters (RAM) squad from North Carolina Masters Swimming (NCMS) broke new ground in the women’s 40-44 age group 50m freestyle and 100m freestyle records, while also partaking in a relay world record with her fellow RAM teammates.
Braun’s 50m freestyle time of 26.02 was enough to overtake her own previous world record mark of 26.07 set back in March 2014. Along with her third fastest time of 26.22, Braun now owns the top three times ever in the world in this event for her age group.
The women’s 40-44 age group 100m freestyle world record was Braun’s next victim, as she tore down the old mark of 57.55 set by USA’s Susan Von Der Lippe in November 2008. Braun clocked the new record at 57.08, bettering her own best time of 57.58 she achieved twice previously.
Braun’s stellar 100m freestyle time was set as the lead-off of her team’s 400m freestyle relay – a relay which broke a world record of its own. Braun, Henry Stewart, Sue Walsh (member of the boycotted 1980 Olympics team), and Jon Klein put together a phenomenal 3:56.10 to set a new mark for the Mixed Relays for age group 200-239 (Note – Masters relay records are based on the collective ages of its members). The NCMS team narrowly broke the previous time of 3:57.16 set by Blue Frog Masters team members Charles Lydecker, Eney Jones, Cathy Shonkwiler, and Ambrose (Rowdy) Gaines in October 2011.
Reflecting on her record-breaking weekend, Braun says “I’m so fortunate to have incredible teammates and friends who are incredibly supportive, in addition to my amazing hubby, Eric.” In true team spirit, she continues, “The best was breaking the 400m free relay with my buds, Henry Stewart, John Klein, and Olympian Sue Walsh.”