The Times, They are-a-changin' ...

So said Robert Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan, one of the all-time
great reporter of swimming times. This would have been his parting words
at the 1999 national meet in Nepean, May 14-17 (SCM).

No less than 850 entrants made it the biggest turnout so far (despite several
claims to the contrary - Eto 87, Vic 95 - Ste-Foy had 830 in 89, biggest
until 99). Particularly striking was the number of people over 50, the oldest
being 89 yr Frank Starr, formerly of Mtl, and still very fit. Cam Weir, 86,
had people clapping at all his finishes however frail he seemed to look.

The meet was extremely high-caliber. The star of the show was Jack Kelso, 60
of UBC, BC. Jack swam 4 world records, including a 1'18 100m breastroke,
and a 2'35 for 200 IM cutting the listed natl record by 25 seconds !

Jack is adding to his world record collection. He has been regularly
setting national records evry five years, starting when he was 45. He did
not make Danny Ocean's 11 but was part of Ocean Falls '4 who captured the
1965 senior team title with only 4 swimmers !

This nearly eclipsed some other fantastic swims: legendary Bruce Robertson
(second to an obscure American swimmer in 1972 in the 100 fly) who smashed
the national records in the 45-49 for 50 fly, 100 IM (WR) and 200 free. His
time for 200 free was 2'04 ! However his teammate John March was a bit of a
spoiler, breaking the back records, and also the 100 & 200 fly !

The men's 100 back records fell in 3 age groups: 45-49 by John March in 1'04"
(a WR), 35-39 by Peter McKinnon in 1:01.5, 30-34 by Barry Saretsky in 1:00.9.
Swimming in the last heat, Peter almost caught up with Barry ! That was a
made for TV event ! Earlier Barry brought the 50 record down to 28.01. He
is the breastroker-with-a-bad-knee for which a national record in the 200 brst
in Dec 97 could not be substantiated. Forward with the backstroke now !

Peter O'Brien from CMSC smashed the record for 100 back 50-54 with 1:07.30.
What's going on in this event ? That will also be a world-ranking time
for sure. Peter has held the NR for 100 back in every age group since he was
30-34. SOME things never change (contrary to what Bob Dylan said ...)

Too many records were set to be mentioned. Let's try a few. Doris McEwan
set a women's record for 50 back 75-79. This is Doris 's first WR. She also
broke the WR 100 Im record. Doris was struck by cancer at age 62....
Bill Johnson set a NR in the men's 70-74 200 fly with 4'15. Charlie Lane did
the same for 60-64 with a fast 3'23.

Making the injury list, Bob Weir (Cam's son) is nursing a broken foot, hand
and shoulder. Don't send flowers, he'll be back next year. Geoff Camp got
injured in a parking lot. Careful, those are dangerous ! And Don Clinton
meet manager, managed a deep cut in this thumb, requiring stitches.
He still swum all his events (800 free and 200 IM on the first day).

I liked Pointe Claire's Martin Levine, 28 who entered the 100 free with 59"
and 200 with 2'10. Swimming in late heats (but 2 or 3 below the fastest) he
turned in a 54" and a 2'02". In his own words, he is not fit yet ...

When she broke the women's 35-39 50 fly record, Cliodna Johnston from Calgary
became the first woman to break any record set by Lynn Marshall. I tell you,
today's kids have an attitude, (and a time a 31.63 ).

On a personal level I lost my challenge with Tony Lovink in the 400 IM (7'45
to 7'46) letting him get way too far in the breast. The last person I met
in Nepean was Wendy Cimarno. This was at the wine-and-cheese, but there was
a lot of whine 'cause the cheese was gone. Speaking of which, I came upon
Pano Caperonis, 52 year-old formerly of Switzerland. He detailed
for me the Pano index: so many pounds translate to so many seconds. Last fall
he joined the club at 270 pounds. In early spring he was 117 kg (258 lbs)
and swam 1'05 for 100 free. In Nepean he was 107 kg (235 lbs) and swam
1'01.5. His prediction: when he is 100 kg (220 lbs) he will break 60 secs.

Erda Dillinger, 58 yr old from La Salle Que has been around for 8 years.
She holds several Que records, and 2 nationals (800 and 1500). (She lost
the 800 record to Bonnie Pronk in June. Bonnie's story is coming soon to
a theatre near you).

Erda won one national title in Nepean and also placed 2nd and 3rd. When I
inquired about her age group days, she had none ! She started swimming at
age 50. What is interesting is that the 25:40 1500 that she swam in 1998
ranked her in the World Top Ten. Can you top that ? This either means that
she has superior genetics, or that the world ranking is easy (I would not
believe that), or that hard work will always be rewarded.

Enter your choice here: Genetics ____  Easy ____   Hard Work  ______