Masters swimmer sets four national records


The Tuolumne County Aquatic Masters became high-level

players when Dick Todd of Groveland set four national records in the biennial Senior Olympics in Newport News, Va.

Todd, 61 and swimming in the men's 60-64 age group, entered the record book in the 200-yard individual medley (2:28.47), the 200 breaststroke (2:38.87), the 100 IM (1:06.36), and the 50 breast (33.45).

He broke the 200 IM record by a full two seconds and bettered the 50 breast mark by 52-hundreths. Both marks had stood since 2001. The 100 IM and the 50 breast were contested at the national level for the first time, and Todd will hold the records at least until the 2005 Games.

Todd was primed for a strong performance after six top-six finishes, including three personal bests, in the U.S. Masters Nationals in Tempe, Ariz.

"I improved a lot of my times in Temple, and I swam even faster (in the Senior Games)," Todd said.

But he didn't necessarily see all those records coming.

"I had no idea what we'd be up against. We just knew we had to do real well."

By "we," Todd was referring to fellow TCA swimmers Dave Fairfield, 63, of Twain Harte, and Karl Kleman, 62, of Sonora.

Fairfield swam personal bests in three of his four events and finished in the top six in all of them. He had a mammoth improvement of nearly 14 seconds in the 500 freestyle (6:39.55).

"It was exciting to do my best times at age 63," Fairfield said. "I did the same time in the 100 free (1:03.07) I did in high school."

That was in 1956 at El Camino High in Sacramento, and Fairfield's time, translated to roughly 63 seconds, also represented the equivalent of a golfer shooting his age.

"They say if you swim your age, you're doing good," Fairfield said.

That's an idea Todd likes as well.

"My goal is to swim my age in the 100 IM (61 seconds)," he said. "That would be a new national record."

The Union Democrat
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