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by Author Unknown

July 19, 2000

Stays in shape and close to his peak times

Hess Yntema, 42, may be one of the best kept secrets in all of Masters swimming. The Albuquerque, N.M., lawyer, the third repeater from last year's list, rarely shows up at the big meets. But when he does, watch out!

Take the 1995 regional meet in San Antonio, for instance: When the weekend was over, Yntema had achieved nothing less than eight world marks for men 40-44. Perhaps the most impressive was the 100-meter fly, where his 59.02 chopped almost a second from the previous record. That time was less than four-tenths of a second off Mark Spitz 's best time at the same age when he was making his vaunted 1992 0lympic comeback. And he did it swimming only an hour a day. Yntema added another eight short course meters records last year, with his distance free and 400 IM times also bettering the world records for the 35-39 age group.

The Lobo A.C. swimmer is extremely modest about his accomplishments. "There's still a lot of room for improvement in Masters records. I believe these times are not even close to what's theoretically possible at this age." He attributes his success to staying with the sport. "If you stay in shape, you can hold fairly close to your peak times."

Yntema swims an hour a day, six day's a week and likes to concentrate on long sets with short rests. A typical set: 5 x 500 yards on 5:50, descending from 5:30 to 5:15.

published in SWIM magazine, March-April 1996

Hess Yntema lives in Albuquerque, N.M., and swims for New Mexico Masters Swimming.