Still Rockin’ – Steve West and David Guthrie Break 6 Masters World Records in SoCal

Mike Lewis
by Mike Lewis 69

December 09th, 2013 Masters, News, Video

Time and time again masters swimmers are showing swimming fast isn’t just for ‘kids’.  Steve West (41), former USA Swimming national teamer and the oldest man to have qualified for the USA Olympic trials, dropped three world records this past weekend at the Southern Pacific Masters short course meters championship in Commerce, California.  West swam a 28.55 in his 50, 1:01.44 for his 100, 2:14.36 in his 200.

David Guthrie (53), who’s grabbed a whopping 14 world records this year was 29.84 in the 50, 1:04.54 in the 100, and  2:21.65 for his 200.   Guthrie has been on fire all year long dominating in all three courses.

In this interview, Steve and David talk about this weekend’s races and how they balance the demands of family, work and swimming. For both them it’s a lot of focusing on the “little things” that make the difference. West has devoted a lot of time to flexibility, technique and race pace training.  Guthrie’s been a following a precise dry land regimen, nutrition and training with team to help him maintain his edge.

Beyond the speed and the awards, both these guys find the fun and camaraderie in masters swimming to be a central component of their swimming.

If you want to find out more about masters swimming in the US visit US Masters for a list of programs and events.

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A 53 year old man who swims every year and/or competes every year for the past 20 years: 1) breaking 30 seconds for the first time in his life; and 2) dropping 7 seconds in his 200 breast from the last year of the full body suit [“2010-2.28”] to 2.21 three years later with a 2.32 in 2011. Is it P2Life or PEDs? Until Masters Swimming drug tests-this is just laughable, a joke amongst competitors.

Dave Connell


Clearly you do not know anything about swimming and athletics in general. These two individuals are extremely talented and with age you NEVER lose your talent. you might lose some flexibility and lung capacity buut with training that can be overcome. It is not as if these two swimmers just joined swimming 3 years ago. I am pretty sure Steve was top 5 (maybe 3rd) in Olympic Trials in the 90’s………

Just because you are too lazy to accompplish something does not mean you should be jealous and accuse someone else of PED’s

Jimmy Kopp

Steve West was 3rd in the 200 Breast at 96 Olympic Trials,
barely getting out-touched by Eric Namesnick at the very end. And
he just swam 2012 Trials, where he could have been (and may have
been) tested at any point, and Steve isn’t anywhere near dumb
enough to take that chance, to say nothing about the fact that he’s
not that kind of person.


You are right about being able to maintain performance levels with talent and hard training. That said, when time progressions go up dramatically (post tech suit), then drop even more dramatically (to where you are performing far better than you did with the tech suit) over a short period of time, it does raise questions.

It’s certainly not unheard of especially when a talented athlete returns to swimming after a long lay off (like a David Sims), but to see it in someone who has been at this consistently for a long time does raise eyebrows


Wow… I heard about this thread and it’s hysterical… Get back in the water everyone and do what you are supposed to be doing – swimming – this is for fun isn’t it?… Steve’s clean, I know that for sure. He does drink Bud Light although I’m not sure how because everyone knows it’s recycled beer that’s already been processed by human kidneys once or twice. It’s awful. Dave on the other hand is working his ass off, swimming every day, working out with a trainer. Sure, he supplements but he’s probably not sitting in the back of the RV getting his daily dose of EPO… And if he is – who cares… (maybe I’d care if I was a… Read more »


BTW – I wanted to clarify something here. I did not mean to insinuate that anyone is using PED’s. Both of these guys are working hard to make happen what they are accomplishing. As with all swimmers, and athletes in general who supersede the norm, many have gifts and talents that they were simply born with that when honed make them shine like diamonds in the sky. I can see how some are frustrated that they weren’t provided these same gifts from above – but in many ways, we all have different gifts. Some of which we realize, some of which unfortunately will go unnoticed and unknown because we are too busy focusing on everyone else’s success along with our… Read more »


Maybe time to start testing a few swimmers.

Steve West

“Roger”, “Josh”, “Toby”, “Swimmer,” “Big Daddy”, etc., I don’t know who you are, and obviously you don’t know me at all. Your comments, accusations, insinuations that these recent performances are somehow tainted are extremely disappointing, and quite frankly is insulting to me and my family. Never once in my swim 35 year swimming career have these types of insinuations been thrown my way, by anyone in or out of the swimming community. If you knew me, you would realize that I am a passionate, lifelong, swimmer, surfer, bodysurfer, and all around waterman. I have been in the pool, and in the ocean since I was young, having the good fortune of being a member of a really good local USA… Read more »

John Smith


Big Daddy didn’t call you out for cheating. He commented on the state of the sport.

Sean Justice

Steve, I think that people just don’t want to realize that “old” people can still swim fast. Maybe it is because they see short comings in their own lives that they feel the need to pull others down. As an old swimmer myself, I still love to swim and compete at a high level (not as high as you). I can still score at USA sectionals and almost get top 8 in 1000 and 1650. I have to train hard, but it is worth it. I think that people are starting to realize that you can still be competitive later in life. One added bonus is that if you swim with a USA team, you can also be a mentor… Read more »

I Silver

Steve, Like you said at the beginning of your post, I don’t know you and you don’t know me but I was coming up through the system, trying to make cuts for ’96, and remember watching you swim. Let me just say that as an old breaststroker who took some time off and is fighting back, you and David have been an inspiration. I have found, as you said, that as physical barriers arise with age, they can be overcome through polishing technique. After seeing David swim two years ago and talking to him a bit I made changes to training that have paid huge dividends. PEDs can not improve technique! You and David both have a whole cadre of… Read more »

Robert Killeen

Josh-Rob Butcher came to Austin for our short course zone meet last March, in part because of the Lance controversy. Several of us had a very interesting and lively discussion with him about Lance and drugs-PEDs. Good discussion/debate. There are legitimate considerations such as cost, older athletes that need testosterone supplements, certain medications, etc. Masters Track & Field performs drug tests and has caught cheats. Since Master’s swimming is the only master’s sport that is Fina sanctioned, it would seem logical to drug test. However, until there is a viable test for HGH, as I don’t believe there is one via urine yet, [“I may be mistaken”] it may be waste of time and money. However, the flip side of… Read more »

About Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis

Mike Lewis is a freelance commercial, sport and lifestyle photographer based in San Diego.  Mike began making photos in the early 80’s and immersed himself in all aspects of the photographic arts.  Mike’s professional career in in photography began after 12 years working within the United States Olympic movement; he …

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