2019 USMS SPRING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
After 8 National Records went down on Friday at the U.S. Masters Swimming Spring National Championships, Saturday saw 9 new national marks broken.
That includes a pair by Arizona Masters’ Jeff Commings in the 45-49 age group.
First he broke the 200 backstroke record, swimming a 1:52.23 to break Nicolas Granger’s 2016 record of 1:53.97. In the process, he beat 5-time Olympic medalist Josh Davis, who is himself a big of a Masters legend, for the title. Davis placed 2nd in the age group in 1:57.57.
Later in the day, Commings also broke the 50 breaststroke record, swimming 25.66. That beat the old record of 26.05 set in 2017 by Steve West (who, incidentally, is a World Record holder in long course). Commings is now a perfect 4-for-4 in individual events so far at the meet. Also on Saturday, he split a 22.20 on Arizona Masters’ winning 200 yard free relay in the 45+ age group.
Commings isn’t the only swimmer who is piling up records at this meet. Richard Burns of Tamalpais Aquatics Masters broke 2 more national records on Saturday, in the 200 backstroke (2:27.48) and 100 fly (1:07.46) for the 75-79 age group. Those added to his 50 back record (30.90) from Friday to give him 3 so far in the meet. His 200 backstroke crushed the old record of 2:31.41, set in 2010 by Burwell Jones; Burns also holds the 70-74 national record in the event.
In the 100 fly, he broke his own record of 1:10.58 that was set in February. The next-best swimmer in the age group’s history is more than 5 seconds behind him now. He, too, is a perfect 4-for-4 in individual event wins at the meet.
Other Saturday National Record Breakers:
- Katarzyna Wilk of Las Vegas Masters swam a 22.00 in the 50 yard freestyle, which breaks the National Record for the 25-29 age group. The old record was hers as well, set last year in 22.45; only Dara Torres (swimming in the 40-44 age group in 2007) has been faster in Masters competition at 21.91. Wilk is a three-time Polish Olympian who is still actively competing at the international level, and this 22.00 was just .04 shy of her all-meets lifetime best of 21.96 set in November.
- Daniela Barnea of Stanford Masters broke her 2nd National Record of the meet by swimming a 3:14.61 in the women’s 200 IM. That breaks the 75-79 age group National Record of 3:18.40 that was set in 2005 by Gail Roper: who was a 1952 U.S. Olympian in the 200 breaststroke and is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
- Carlo Travani doubled down on Saturday as well, winning the men’s 55-59 50 yard breaststroke in 26.32. That broke his own record, set last May, of 26.72. The swim also gives him a rare “age group jump,” as it’s faster than the 50-54 National Record as well.
- Traci Granger of Los Angeles Peninsula Swimming won the women’s 60-64 100 fly in 1:03.59. That broke the old record of 1:04.27 set in 2012 by one of history’s most-accomplished Masters swimmers: Laura Val. She’s 4-for-4 at this meet, including a 26.29 in the 50 free for her first win of the day on Saturday.
- The Arizona Masters Swim Club Inc mixed relays struck again on Saturday. After taking out the National Record in the 200 free relay on Friday, they swam a 4:17.52 in the 200 medley relay on Saturday: also a new National Record.
- U.S. Olympian and World Record holder Matt Grevers added a 2nd win to his tally in his final individual event of the meet on Saturday. We’re used to seeing him swim mostly backstroke, with the occasional freestyle and butterfly race mixed in; but on Saturday, he swam a 24.39 to win the men’s 30-34 50 breaststroke. That was the fastest time of the day in any age group.
- Former Florida Gator and 2012 Polish Olympian Marcin Cieslak swam a 46.62 to win the men’s 25-29 100 fly. That, shockingly, is not the National Record: Davis Tartwater swam a 45.32 in Masters competition in 2012. Cieslak also won the 50 free in 20.24.