Kelly Palace Breaks Masters National Record in 500 FR and Swims 2nd All-Time Fastest 1,000

2023 SwimRVA Blast Off

  • October 6-8, 2023
  • Collegiate Aquatics Center — Richmond, VA
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: SwimRVA BLAST OFF

62-year old Masters swimmer Kelly Palace broke the U.S. Masters’ record in the 500-yard freestyle for the 60-64 age group on Sunday at the 2023 SwimRVA Blast Off. Palace swam 5:38.86, breaking the former record by .14 seconds. The old mark was a decade old, set by masters legend Laura Val at 5:39.00.

On Friday of the same meet, Palace scared the 1,000 U.S. Masters’ record, missing the mark by 0.21 seconds. She hit 11:41.10, which now stands as the 2nd fastest time in history for her age group.

The 500 record isn’t Palace’s first U.S. Masters’ national record. She is the current U.S. Masters’ national record holder in the 1,000 free for the 55-59 age-group, which she set at 11:19.85 as a 55-year-old.

For Sunday’s 500 free record Palace was out in 1:04 for her first 100, and her last 100 was a 1:07. She paced the race fairly consistently, splitting 33s or 34s for all her 50s. “I’ve had my eye on that record for three years in this age-group and missing the 1,000 on Friday by the blink of an eye, really motivated me.” Palace said after her race. “I was relieved to see a sub 5:39.”

Several masters swimmers participate in both masters and USA meets, allowing more opportunities for racing. “I love the USA meets because the kids and parents are so supportive. On the last 100 of my record breaking 500 free I could see and hear the kids screaming for me. That was awesome and it really helped,” Palace said.

Palace is coming off a busy summer long course season where she went five-for-five on individual titles at U.S. Masters Nationals in Sarasota, Florida. She swept the freestyle events in her age group, going 1:08.02/2:26.34/5:09.05/10:31.29 in the 100/200/400/800 freestyle. In addition, she won the 200 breaststroke (3:20.05).

Palace swims for the Swim Melbourne Masters in Melbourne, Florida, but has been training in Richmond, Virginia with SwimRVA for the last 2 months.

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grizzled bastard
4 months ago

Congrats. I love the eyeing the record for years… i’m in the same boat.

Rick Walker
6 months ago

Great swimming Kelly! it ain’t easy…

6 months ago

awesome.. I’m 46 and would love to train with her. I have nobody to train with around my area.

Reply to  Chris
6 months ago

I’m with ya Chris. What state are you in ?

6 months ago

Great job, Kelly! That’s smoking fast!

6 months ago

Congrats, Kelly! We have so enjoyed having you at SwimRVA!

6 months ago

Such a Superstar!!! Congrats Kelly!!

6 months ago

She’s still got the mojo! Right on Kelly

Can’t kick can’t pull
6 months ago

some real weapons through the ranks of masters. Kelly is one of them

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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