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Roeland Park Pool, Roeland Park, Kan.

Unusual Relay Meet Makes for Record Opportunities

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, a team with the MOVY Masters Swim Club broke the national record in the 400 LCM Mixed Free with a time of 4:01.36. The swimmers were Christie Fuchs, 24; Tony Diers, 29; Joy Stover, 34 and Tony Stewart, 36. The old record, 4:01.94, was set in July 1991 by Southern California Aquatics Masters.

“With the large number of relay records broken at Indianapolis at USMS LCM Nationals, I was surprised to see a 1991 record still on the USMS books,” says Bill Sherman, Records and Top 10 Chair for MOVY. Only six relay USMS records remain standing from the 1990s, the oldest is 04-14-1991 for SCY W25+ 800 Free relay.

The team was competing in the Kansas City Blazers Masters All-Relay meet at the Roeland Park Aquatic Center in Roeland Park, Kan., a unique facility allowing competition in all three pool lengths: 25 yard, 25 meter, and 50 meter.

The Blazers have hosted the annual relay meet for the past decade. The meet is believed to be the only meet in the country in which nearly all relays of all three courses are swum in the same meet, which is held in a single four-hour session. Because there are no rules in the USMS Rulebook about how many relays can be swum in one day, many swimmers find themselves swimming on five or more relays in the four-hour session.

About 300 USMS swimmers compete in the Missouri Valley LMSC, 43 of who were at the relay meet when the record was set. There were 26 local records also set. Swimmers ranged from age 24 to age 87.

The relay meet was the brainchild of MOVY Fitness Chair and USMS Director Anthony Thompson and USMS LMSC Coordinator Anna Lea Matysek, who served as Missouri Valley’s registrar and treasurer prior to joining the USMS staff. The original intent of the meet was to fill in the gaps in the Missouri Valley relay record book. Simply put, many of these relays had never been swum in the Missouri Valley LMSC, so no records existed.

The unintended consequence of the meet was that a lot of the relays made USMS Top 10, which generated more enthusiasm and grew the meet year after year. “One year, four women from Omaha drove down because they had been eyeballing a specific record on the books and were certain they could break it. They ended up making Top 10 in several relays,” says Matysek.

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