Kelly Palace Sets Two Masters Nationals Records, Leads Off WR Relay At Rowdy Gaines Classic

15th Annual Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic Meet

  • October 13-15, 2023
  • Rosen Aquatic Center
  • Orlando, Florida
  • SCM (25 meters)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: 15th Annual Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic

Courtesy: Mark Palace

After breaking the national record in the 500-yard free last weekend, 62-year-old masters swimmer Kelly Palace broke her second and third national records in the 60-64 age group at the 15th Annual Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic. Friday evening Palace obliterated the 800 free record by over 14 seconds swimming a 10:07.03, formerly the 12-year-old record was held by masters legend Laura Val at 10:21.67. Palace also broke the 1500 record by eight seconds.

After her 800 free individual record, later in the same session, Palace led off the Swim Melbourne Masters women’s 4×200 Free Relay, which crushed the world record in the 240-279 age group by over 10 seconds in a time of 10:09.82. The world record was formerly held by the Tokyo Beans Japanese team at 10:20.47. Palace led off that relay with a 2:22.02 (2nd all-time fastest 200 free in the 60-64 age group), followed by Zena Courtney (2:36.61), Karen Torres (2:39.00) and Joan Wheeler (2:32.19).

On Sunday the 1500 free was contested where Palace swam a new national mark by an eight-second margin in 19:27.09, beating the former record held by Suzanne M. Heim-Bowen at 19:35.32. Palace’s split at the 800 was faster than the former 800 national record at 10:19.26. In the 1500 she split her 500s in 6:24, 6:30, and 6:32, bringing home the last 100 in 1:15.46.

Additionally, Palace swam on 10 Swim Melbourne Relays (five setting zone records), and on Saturday Palace posted the all-time second-fastest 400 free for her age group with a time of 4:56.90.

Swim Melbourne Masters, located in Melbourne, Florida, won the overall team title for the second year in a row in dominant fashion, winning the combined points team total by over 2,000 points. 43 Swim Melbourne Masters team members participated.

“The Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic is a meet our team has targeted the last few years. The supportive team atmosphere is so much fun. We did 58 relays this year.  It’s a well-run meet, in a fast pool and we always love seeing Rowdy at the meet!” Palace said.

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5 months ago


Bob Colyer
Reply to  Robb
4 months ago

Masters swimming is conducted over three pool courses: SCM [Snort Course Meters], LCM [Long Course Meters], and SCY [Short Course Yards]. There are sets of records for all age-groups over each pool course.

Kurt Dickson
6 months ago

Congratulations Kelly! Great swimming!

Courtney Chubb
6 months ago

Who says Masters swimmers can’t get faster as they get older? Kelly Palace! That’s who! Rockin’ it at the Rowdy Gaines meet! Wow! What an inspiration! I LOVE Masters swimming!

B+ masters swimmer
6 months ago

Fantastic job, Kelly! You had a tough lineup and crushed all of your swims!

6 months ago

“240-279” What does this mean? Do they combine ages in master’s relays?

Reply to  jablo
6 months ago


Bob Colyer
Reply to  jablo
4 months ago

Yes, for LCM and SCM. For SCY, it’s by 10 year groups [e.g. 65-74] according to the youngest swimmer on the relay team.

cynthia curran
6 months ago

Kelly kicks butt. She also did a good breaststroke time for the age group. N