What eternal youth looks like: Four men try to break their 51-year-old swim record

It’s the oldest record still standing in the Northern Virginia Swimming League.

Over the decades, young swimmers in high-tech suits and year-round training regimens have shattered nearly all of those creaky old race times.

But no team has been able to match what the Four Amigos did that day in the Vienna Woods pool in 1963, swimming a 100-yard medley relay in 58.4 seconds, when the Beatles were playing on the radio and the big reward after the race was one of those 15-cent hamburgers at that new place, the McDonald’s.

Until now. Maybe.

They’d decided to gather again, these Four Amigos, 51 years later.

It was a pact they made a year ago, when they came back to the Vienna Woods swim club for a 50-year reunion and saw their record stood firm.

And when Roger Williams, 63, strolled onto the pool deck Saturday afternoon, it was clear they had a shot.

Williams has been living in California, where he played water polo in college, trained with Mark Spitz and worked on his tan. He’s tall, lean and muscular and still swims and wins in master’s events all over the country. He looks like a boomer Ken doll, if Mattel had made one.

He slices into the water and starts doing laps, a warmup that would kill others.

He’d been training all year for this.

“I feel 30, maybe 35 years old,” he tells me, in between laps.

Not everyone has been training for a year.

See The Washington Post


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