UVRays’ Bedford Notches World, National Swim Records at Leaf Peepers

Story & photos contributed by Barbara Hummel

 Leaf Peepers is a meet where world-record setters and USMS first timers hang out together on deck and in the pool. Fritz Bedford (top left) set one world and one national record in the men’s 55-59 age group.

Leaf Peepers is a meet where world-record setters and USMS first timers hang out together on deck and in the pool. Fritz Bedford (top left) set one world and one national record in the men’s 55-59 age group.

 UVRay Susan Reid helps swimmers decide which item to take from the renowned awards table filled with amazing baked goods.

UVRay Susan Reid helps swimmers decide which item to take from the renowned awards table filled with amazing baked goods.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT – Fritz Bedford set his ninth lifetime Masters World Record on October 20, 2018 at the 10th Annual Leaf Peepers Masters Mini Meet at the Upper Valley Aquatic Center (UVAC).

During the meet, the 55-year-old Bedford, a member of the UVRays masters team, launched three attacks on the record book.  In his first event, Bedford’s 28.16 in the 50-meter backstroke was half a second off the world record of 27.62, but good enough for a new NELMSC record. In the 50 butterfly, Bedford had more success. His 26.55 set a new national record in the men’s 55-59 age group and was one-tenth of a second shy of the world record. Finally, in his third event, Bedford blasted a 1:00.78 in the 100 backstroke, clipping six one-hundredths of a second off the previous world record.

 Arnold Meardon, the meet’s most senior swimmer, set two NELMSC records.

Arnold Meardon, the meet’s most senior swimmer, set two NELMSC records.

In addition to Fritz’s three records, which were automatic NELMSC records, two other swimmers set regional marks. Arnold Meardon of the UVRays set two NELMSC records in the men’s 85-89 age group: 50 fly (1:07.26) and 100 IM (2:28.79). David Vail of Maine Masters set three NELMSC records in the men’s 75-79 division: 50 back (40.88); 100 back (1:29.55); and 200 back (3:20.07).  UVRay Jim Larrick (men’s 35-39) took home “Fastest Man in the Pool” honors with a meet record 12.11 in the 25 freestyle.

 Swimmers decide who will take which leg on the Icebreaker Relay.

Swimmers decide who will take which leg on the Icebreaker Relay.

This year’s Icebreaker Relay shuffled 24 swimmers into four random teams, where everyone had to quickly become friends and choose their best relay lineup.  Relay legs included kicking with a pumpkin, swimming with apples, howling at the moon, and partnered swimming with a noodle.  

 The Icebreaker Relay begins!

The Icebreaker Relay begins!

 Mary Gentry is everyone’s FAVORITE meet director.

Mary Gentry is everyone’s FAVORITE meet director.