Impressive pool work

Swimmers Edelbaum, Jones make splash in MDI masters meet

Union woman continues to set records at 85 years old
By Staff | Jan 31, 2019
Courtesy of: Susan Rardin Bill Jones of Hope, left, and Donna Edelbaum of Union at the Mount Desert Island YMCA.

Bar Harbor — Only two Penobcot Bay YMCA swimmers competed in the United States Masters meet on Sunday, Jan. 27, but the duo still made quite a splash.

The event was Maine’s first masters meet of the year. From the Pen Bay group, Donna Edelbaum of Union and Bill Jones of Hope participated.

The 85-year-old Edelbaum continued to set records and likely will make national top-10 in all 18 short-course yards events, and certainly will be national champion in several. The short-course year is June 1 to May 31.

Edelbaum went into the MDI meet with seven Maine records, six New England records and times in seven of the 18 recognized 25-yard course events that beat last year’s national championship times. It is still early in the swim year, but, as of now, Edelbaum is ranked first nationally in all seven.

After the Bar Harbor meet, Edelbaum’s sevens could be replaced with nines.

Edelbaum won the meet’s first and last events in her 85-89 age group. Her 200 freestyle time narrowly bested the time of Joan Campbell of Florida, last year’s national champion.

Same in the grueling 1,650 freestyle in which Edelbaum set not only the Maine, but also New England record.

No other 85+ woman in the country has completed this event yet this year, but Edelbaum’s time eclipsed Cambell’s national-championship time last year. Edelbaum has nine events to go to complete the almost-impossible clean sweep. They are the short, easier events more people of older age can do.

Jones also swam the 200 and 1,650 frees in the same heats as Donna, as well as the 100 individual medley. None of the times were records, and, judging by last year’s results, only the 1,650 will result in a national top-10 rank. At the moment, though, Jones is still first in the 1,000 and 1,650 frees, and the 200 IM.

The diminished Midcoast squad was cheered by Judith Denton Jones and Susan Rardin. Rardin, the head of Swimming Saves Lives, who normally competes in the masters’ events, but the anticipation of the arrival of her first grandchild had her cheering on her teammates this meet. Rardin is ranked seventh nationally in her age group's 200 butterfly.

The individual results for the Midcoast duo at the meet included:

200 free — Edelbaum, 85/89, 4:39.33 (Maine record); and Jones, 80/84, 3:50.11.

100 IM — Jones, 80/84, 1:53.76,

1,650 free — Edelbaum, 85/89, 40:27.71 (Maine and New England record); and Jones, 80/84, 37:55.66.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at or by phone at 594-4401.

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