Saturday, May 22, 2010

The USMS National results are so "off the hook" I question if the live results are accurate?

Extraordinary results demand careful validation and the USMS National results are so "off the hook" I question if some of the live results are correct and if they are I wonder if the bulkhead placement is accurate? These times are very significant.

What I am questioning:

In the 200-free relay, 47-year-old, Richard Hughey, was about to swim in the third position. Presumably his son, Austin Hughey, would follow and I suspect the adrenalin was pumping. With a rolling start Mr. Hughey exploded off the blocks and swam an incredible 50-free; (a personal USMS best even), stopping the clock for his split in a time of 20.15 which is about a second or more faster than his last five 50-free swims over a period of five-years. (Reference: event rankings USMS.) This is definitely probable but then the anchor of the relay, Austin Hughey, did something more extraordinary.

Austin Hughey, out of Auburn, was next up in the anchor leg and he too swam a time so fast and so incredible that he bested Cullen Jones' 22.4 in the same event finishing in a time of 17.88. He also swam faster than Cesar Cielo's 18.4 NCAA National record in that relay leg. Austin Hughey's seed time for the 50-free Sunday is 22.5.

In the Medley relay look at these times:

WMAC: 1:36.62

1) Tiltmann, Laren A - M40 - 25.22

2) Schaetz, Daniel J - M39 - 42.72 (17.50)

3) Fulbeck, Kip M45 - 59.73 (17.01)

4) Power, Michael L - M42 (36.89)

I find it unlikely that Daniel swam a 17.01 for 50-fly, and, Kip Fulbeck, swam a faster leg doing breaststroke. Obvious mistake, so are the results accurate? I think not.

Ultimately maybe the universe has changed and "Baby Boomers" are redefining middle age. Maybe middle age starts, and not ends, at 50-years old for the "Boomers." Maybe an actuary should crunch the numbers in the USMS database comparing it to muscle decline in similar age group studies. Something has happened in the last 5-years but some of these times are questionable, and if some of these times are questionable, then there could be more errors.

I hope the Live result times, will be corrected or explained and do not effect the placings. When you have two or three events where timing was skewed badly, who is to say it did not effect the placings?

I once had my placing bumped down ten spots because of a timer error in an open water event. What was even more frustrating is that the person I was behind got moved up two spots even though we finished together. We were both perplexed and I almost never did the event again.

Friend and fellow SCAQ swimmer Mark Savage's post at the USMS board was the idea behind this post.


Mark Savage said...

Actually, Richard Hughey's reported split was 20.01, but who knows how fast he actually swam.

By the way, the team Hughey swam on placed second in the event.

Here are the results for the team that placed first:

1 NCMS 'A' 1:21.00 1:18.32N
1) Brunelli, Nicholas J M28 2) Jones, Cullen A M26
3) Westby, Nelson O M22 4) Skuba, Joe M23
25.18 47.28 (22.10)
1:18.21 (30.93) 1:18.32 (0.11)

Here's another example:

Event 35 Women 35+ 200 Yard Medley Relay
NATL: N 1:48.55 5/14/2006 COLORADO
Team Seed Finals
1 CMS 'A' 1:53.60 1:52.73
1) Hart, Sheri L W39 2) Crino, Heide P W43
3) Luellen, Katie J W36 4) Speckman, Channa L W35
26.59 46.88 (20.29)
1:06.90 (20.02) 1:52.73 (45.83)

I doubt Crino swam a 20.29 breast leg. Luellen's 50 fly split probably would have beaten Crocker even at his peak. And I bet Speckman swam faster than a 45 for her free leg.

Why aren't these "real time" results being proofed and double-checked before being published?

With such sloppiness and huge errors with the timing system, can the accuracy of the final times or records be trusted 100% ?

Tony Austin said...

Mostly relays too... Not good for the swimmers who work hard and may never know their real times even if they go with the hand timer.

John Craig said...

It's not that uncommon for relay splits to get messed up like that, especially if swimmers don't hit the touchpads right.

As far as Richard Hughey's split goes, it's possible, he did tie the age group record with a 21.10 in the regular event on the fourth day of the meet, when he was presumably tired. If you use the standard seven tenths of a second spread for relay splits, that equates to a 20.40 flying start leg.

Tony Austin said...

The touch pad errors were quite frequent though.

Reiko said...

I was there, and the touch pads were having some major issues on Saturday. Luckily, they fixed them by Sunday morning, but quite a few of the splits were off on Saturday because of the timing system errors.

Tony Austin said...

Thank you for that update, Reiko. I appreciate it will accept Sundays results.

Now, this is just my opinion, Though Live Results does a great job, I wish that the Live Results would have mentioned that.

Again, thank you.

Anonymous said...


I was there and I saw the most amazing swim and this was no
clitch. Rich Abrams at age 65 went 22.10 for 50 free !!!

Dan L

Tony Austin said...

Dan, I didn't realize you were there, I will look for your times. :-D

Richard Abrahams is the Michael Phelps of Masters - he is indeed the greatest ever.

Would love to see him hand Chris Wall his bum and not tell Chris who he is! HAHAHAHA

Ahelee said...

They made us stay in the water after our relay leg... so often a swimmer accidentally hit the pads causing a mess of times as well.

Still lots of fun!