Timing Malfunction: USMS announces Nathan Adrian did not tie American record at Masters Nationals

  18 Jared Anderson | May 04th, 2014 | Masters, National, News

U.S. Masters Swimming released a statement today saying that a timing system error led to Nathan Adrian’s American record-tying swim being incorrectly given a faster final time than he actually went. Adrian’s swim in the 100 freestyle was originally listed at a 41.08, but was in actuality a 41.13, according to USMS.

In a strange quirk at a very-fast Masters National meet, the error happened because the timing system at Nationals simply wasn’t prepared for Adrian’s speed – the full USMS statement is below:

Yesterday we reported that Nathan Adrian tied his own American record of 41.08 in the 100 freestyle at the 2014 Nationwide USMS Spring National Championship. We made a mistake and the official time is 41.13. The error was due to a series of procedural issues, and we’re working diligently to prevent it from reoccurring.The truth is, Mr. Adrian swam faster than our standard timing procedures were prepared for. The pad timing system is set with a 20-second delay so that after a start, when swimmers from the finishing heat are exiting the pool and bumping the timing pads, that incidental contact won’t trip the pads and result in an error for the heat in the water. Under normal circumstances, the 20 seconds allows for the finished heat to exit the water before the current heat returns to hit the pad again. However, Mr. Adrian swims his 50s faster than 20 seconds. We should have been prepared for this and set the delay to accommodate his speed on the first 50 of his 100.

We offer our sincerest apologies to Mr. Adrian. We were honored to have him compete at the 2014 Spring Nationals and we hope our error will not prevent him from swimming at a Masters Swimming competition in the future.

Though in the grand scheme of things, an error of .05 isn’t much, it does mean that Adrian’s Masters swim will not stand as a new American record. Fortunately, Adrian already owns the record from his 2009 swim at NCAAs.

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18 Comments on "Timing Malfunction: USMS announces Nathan Adrian did not tie American record at Masters Nationals"

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Maybe it’s a California thing to mess with times. SoCal and now NorCal. Kind of scary that USA Swimming Nationals are in SoCal in a few months.

Kirk Nelson

Honestly, who cares? If they had Adrian swimming under 41 seconds this would be a story, but the erroneous time just had him matching his existing record, so it’s sort of a non-story to me.

None of this makes sense.

1) Why did they have a 20 second delay in the pads, since there were no flyover starts? Even if there was a delay built in, the timing operator *should* have reset the system before the next heat.

2) Unless I’m missing something, that .05 difference should have only affected his split on the first 50, not his final time.

3) If it did affect his final time, it should have added .05 to everyone’s time in that heat, right?


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career sixteen years and running wasn’t enough for this native Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every …

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