Two of America’s top masters swimmers will face off against each other this week at the Speedo Sectionals in Lincoln Nebraska. 50-year old Mike Irvin will compete in the 100 Free, 100 Fly, 100 Back, 200 IM and 50 Free. Irvin was an NCAA All-American and U.S. National Team Member. Earlier this year, Irvin set the M50-54 national record in the 100 yard IM (53.60) and 200 yard IM (1:58.19).
Also swimming in the meet is 46-year old Siphiwe Baleka. Baleka was the first African -American named to the All-Ivy League team and last year set masters national records in the M45-49 long course 50 meter Breast (30.10); and short course meters 100 IM (1:00.09) and 50 free (23.58). The previous record was 23.65 set in 2012 by eleven-time Olympic medalist and five-time world record holder Matt Biondi. Baleka will be competing in the 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free, 100 Breast and 200 IM.
Baleka is seeded 9th in the 100 Free and 7th in the 50 Free while Irvin’s highest seed is 14th in the 100 Free. The 200 IM looks to be the showdown, as Irvin is seeded #28 and Baleka is seeded #30. Baleka and Irvin are twice as old as the next oldest male competitor, 23- year old Samuel Stewart.
Press Release courtesy of Siphiwe Baleka.