While competing at the 2015 Bumpy Jones Classic Masters meet in Sarasota, Florida this past weekend, United States Masters Swimming (USMS) sprinting ace, Erika Braun, teamed up with three of her North Carolina Masters squadmates to fire off three new Masters world relay records.
Along with Braun (43), who competes for Raleigh Area Masters, Hawk Masters’ Alicia Uhl (38), SwimMAC Masters Kerry Lindauer (40) and fellow RAMer Jen Stringer (39) re-wrote Masters history in the collective 160-199 age group for the women’s 800m free relay, 400m free relay and 400m medley relays over the course of the meet. This women’s lineup had already recently broken several short course Masters relay records, setting new marks in the 200y free relay, 800y free relay and 400y medley relay this past February at the Sunbelt Championships.
This time around, the women combined to conquer a new 400m freestyle Masters world record in a time of 4:06.90, smashing the previous mark of 4:17.76 held by Russia’s Team Tsunami since 2011. Registering a new mark of 4:41.71, the women knocked more than 5 seconds off of the previous 400m medley relay time of 4:47.03 held by a Japanese team since 2013. And to top off their rampage of speed, the fearless foursome laid waste to the old 800m freestyle relay record of 9:32.42 held by Edmonton Masters since 2014, earning an incredible new mark of 9:18.33. **NOTE that, due to timing pad issues reliable splits were not available at time of publication.
On the performance as a whole, Uhl commented, “it was a great experience to swim with such amazing women! Thanks to Sarasota Masters and USMS for putting on this event, and to all our families and friends for the endless cheers, support, and motivation!”
Although the plan was to also crank out new world records in the 200m freestyle relay and the 200m medley relay, the athletes fell just painstakingly shy, missing by just .89 and .09 of a second, respectively, in each event. However, that fact no doubt simply fuels the fire for the women to keep those targets in sight the remainder of the summer.