Star Wars in Halifax - The Empire strikes back ....
                       Munificent times at Munich

The April 2000 Ontario provincial championships had to be cancelled due to
outside factors. So some of the entrants had one thing on their mind and
a chip on their shoulders. They loaded up their laser guns and headed to
Halifax for the May 2000 nationals and then they ....

smashed records to an extent that was hardly credible. (For a while I thought
I should close up the record book for good as no one would ever come close
again !).

First off there was Luke Skywalker himself (also known as Jonathan Howard).
The 24 yr old from Sudbury, Ont broke records at 200 free (1:56.70, 5 second
improvement), 400 free (4:08.40, 11 seconds) and 100 free (52.70, 2 seconds).

Jared Scheffel, from Brantford,Ont loaded up on carbohydrates and nipped the
30-34 200 free record with 1:56.54 (7/100 th), but annihilated the 200 back
record (2:05.06, by 8 seconds). He also brought down the 50 back record by
1 second, to 27.03. The 100 back, only by 4 seconds, down to 57.64 !!!

Over in the 35-39 age group, Peter McKinnon, again from Ontario only used
mental energy (also known as The Force). His club is called Swimergy.

He took John Scott's 200 free record down to 1:58.33, a 6 second gain !
He improved on his own 200 back by 2 seconds, to 2:10.63. He scratched the
50 free record to 24.70 (.15 gain). Plus his own 100 free, to 53.03. Also
took the 50 back down to 28.19. He had it already, so no one felt hurt.
Oh also the 100 back, below the minute at 59.83 (down 1.21 second).

The mental comment I made to myself upon seeing those times was that:
he kinnon do it again !  Am only now slowly recovering from the shock !

A relatively unknown Gary Davis (40-44) is from Aurora , Ont. He did rank as
an age-grouper 22 years ago. He improved 2 seconds for the 200 free record
with 2:03.07. He took 3 seconds off the 400 free at 4:27.60.
Mr Davis, you've paid your dues already !

A constant threat to the record books is Darth Vader (Dimitri Khodko).
He nipped his own 40-44 50 free record to 24.83. Same with the 100 free, 55.35.
He also stole the 100 im from Andy Ritchie (76 Olympian) with 1:03.12.

Alec Guinness was also active. The mysterious Mike Torsney swam for
Burlington, Ont and broke records at 50 fly (41.66), 100 fly (1:37.56),
400im (7:40.71). Alec/Mike sometimes hides in St-Pete, Fla. He is now 70.
He also turned in a 3:47.75 200 fly, record by 12 seconds.

Tom Verth is from Brantford. He improved on his own 50 free record with
28.48 (60-64). Also brought his own 100 back time 2 seconds to 1:17.77.
Tom was a serious contender for the 1960 Olympic Games. Some say he did
qualify .... but that is another story.

The records set by Dick Weick were not accepted as Dick is now an American
transplant. He did have some amazing times though ....

Three more Ontarians did A-ok. Robert Stoddard equalled Jack Kelso's 100 br
record at 1:16.04, 50-54. Claus Koch broke his own 200 fly record by 2 secs
down to 2:41.25. John Monne, 70-74, ATB, broke his first national records,
3:39.17 200 br, 1:38.63 100 br, both times undercutting Jacques Amyot,Que.

How about the (Mari)timers ? Graham Reynolds, NS,  50-54 swam a record
2:26.86 for 200 free (2.5 seconds). Albertans ? Mike Morrow is now 50.
He spent no time at all (well actually 4:52.25) to break the 400 free NR.
Spent another 5:26.69 for the 400 IM (16 sec improvement). And 2:48.55
over 200 breast (old rec 2:50.12 by Jack Kelso). Finally had to find
10:18.51 on his busy schedule to wrap up the 800 free record. Nearly
forgot his 2:31.95 200 im (Jack Kelso 2:33.11).

Some token efforts from BC: Karl Donoghue now 60-64 lopped 6 seconds off
the 400 free with his 5:31.97. Also his own 200 back: 2:48.53, exactly
3 seconds off his own previous record. Some guy named Peter Bell swam
3:07.72 for a national record over 200 im (65-69). That's an 11 second
improvement. Another race of his was the 200 brst. Broke Nick Templeman's
record of 3:06.13 with a 3:05.24 time. Ok, fine. It took a week before
Peter came to realize that it was a WORLD RECORD, his first ever.
Congratulations, Peter ! (It also took a while to have the record
recognised, but that is another story).

The women were nearly overshadowed during those Star Wars. Auditioning for
Princess Leila were Edie Fisher, 40-44, Ontario 2:53.78 200 fly (3 secs).
Also Yvonne Cattrall, Ont 50-54 with a fast 39.39 50 brst. Ann Urquhart
is from UNB, NB. Probably not very well-known across Canada. No more.
Not after a 55-59 200 free at 2:50.25. Stand up, Ann !

Sylvia Eisele is red-hot this year. The 70 yr old from Etobicoke set records
at 50 brst 46.99 (1.4 secs), 100 fly 1:50.86 (2 secs faster than Catherine
Kerr), 200 im 3:52.09 (1.6 faster than Catherine), 400 im 8:02.39 (18 secs
better than herself), 100 brst 1:47.17 (2 secs), 200 brst 3:53.81 (11 secs).
And she did it all so Eisely !

Jeanne Turgeon 80-84 from Quebec also set 2 national records.

We had met with Irene Adams in Montreal a few years ago. She was setting
some national records for that powerhouse DDO club. Now 85 and swimming
for Dalhousie, NS she did the following. Remember, Irene is 85.

50 free 1:08.52 (16 sec improvement), 100 free 2:43.05 (no record previously),
50 brst 1:24.82 (new record). This all epitomizes Masters swimming.

For those who think that Irene swam with no opposition, and that her times
may not be meaningful, consider this. We find her in late July in Munich
for the 2000 World Masters meet (LCM). There she placed FIRST in the world
at 100 free (2:36.94) and 50 free (1:07.32). She also won the 50 breast
(1:27.28) and placed second over 50 back (1:32.61). The Force was on her

Ian Jackson 25-29 also from Dalhousie had swam well in Halifax but did not
break any records there. At Munich he did beyond expectations (mine anyway).
He WON the 200 breast with a time of 2:26.89 ! Topped that off with a second
place over 100 brst (1:08.54). We hope to see more of him next year.

The oldest active male master is Jaring Timmerman, 90-94 of Manitoba. He
placed second in both the 100 free (2:13.79) and 200 free (5:07.98).

We think of Tom Verth as primarily a backstroker but he won a silver at 100
free (1:07.17) and a bronze over 50 free (29.12). No criticism, just wondering
(all right Tom, what's the deal ?)

Canada's Silver Lady is Sylvia Eisele who won three silvers and one bronze.
She was second over 200 br (4:04.19), 100 brst (1:50.71), 50 brst (47.37)
and third over 200 fly (4:13.06).

Fair to say that 40-44 Wieslaw Musial of Ont surprised us. While we knew
he was good, we did not know he was THIS good ! He swum a 2:22.71 200 back
for second place and a 1:06.61 100 back for third. He has a very polished

Dimitri Khodko, Ont swam 25.83 for a second-place finish over 50 free.
This is of course an intensely competive age group (40-44) and event.

Mike Morrow is the half-a-century man. He swam 2:41.81 for a 5th place
200 IM and 2:58.19 for a fifth place 200 brst. Avila Rhodes, 40-44 fom BC
was timed in 3:03.76 for 200 brst. Luckily they gave her a 4th place
instead of a ticket ! She slowed down to fifth over 100 brst (1:26.09).

Mae Waldie of Pointe Claire, Quebec is now 65. She showed 'em with a 45.36
back and a bronze. Over 100 back, she was third with 1:46.25. A former nurse,
Mae is nursing some back injury.

Jeanne Turgeon, Quebec, 80-84 was quite busy collecting medals. In the 200 im
she was 4th with 7:17.98, 5th over 200m breast with 6:58.81,
2nd over 400 IM with 16:02.05, 3rd over 100m fly with 4:50.59.