Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Colella Crushes U.S. Masters Record


Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

It was a textbook under-the-radar blueseventy Swim of the Week this week from Rick Colella at U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals.

The men’s 200 IM was overshadowed by Olympian and all-around celebrity Ryan Lochte, who competed in the 30-34 division and won in a blazing 1:44.21 (in short course yards). That was 8 seconds faster than any other age group winner.

But Colella had his own historic swim in the 65-69 age class, going 2:03.63 to smash the Masters national record by a whopping 12.5 seconds. He won his age bracket by almost 20 seconds, and would have placed highly in a number of other age classes in the same meet. Here’s a look at where Colella’s time would have placed in each bracket:

  • 18-24: 3rd
  • 25-29: 15th
  • 30-34: 7th
  • 35-39: 6th
  • 40-44: 2nd
  • 45-49: 2nd
  • 50-54: 3rd
  • 55-59: 1st
  • 60-64: 1st

Colella, a 1972 and 1976 Olympian, is proving that he can still get it done 41 years after winning Olympic bronze in Montreal.



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I am a 44yr old masters swimmer and i have a hard time going sub 240 in this event. Maybe there’s still hope I can get a little bit faster. Lol.


Keep working at it Hank!


What’s amazing is that he went a second and half faster then he did at age 56 when he got 2nd at master’s nationals. Personally, I think his 1:52 200 free was even more impressive, coming at the end of the last day of a brutally hot meet, and after he had swum his full complement of events PLUS relays. I’m younger, swam shorter distances and no relays, and I was completely fried by the end of day 3. He’ll be even more impressive this summer in LCM.

Kirk Nelson

And he skipped the 400 IM this year. Wanted to give the other guys a chance, I guess 🙂

Also quite remarkable is he swam a 5:05 500 free in April, unshaved and presumably unrested. That broke the old National record for the 65-69 age group by 24 seconds!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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