New Rochelle Math Teacher Breaks World Record In Swimming

In a Florida pool, a New Rochelle High School math teacher decided it was time to bring a rival Masters swim team to school, for a lesson on breaking records.

On November 7, Steve Newman, a Mamaroneck resident, and his Sarasota YMCA Sharks teammates set a masters world record for the 240-279 Short Course 800-meter freestyle relay. The time to beat was 9:00.30, held by a rival team, the Ventura County Masters. The Sharks’ pace was a noteworthy eight seconds faster, at 8:52.73, and was the first test of these four swimmers’ capacity as a relay team.

Here’s the relay split:

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• Jack Groselle: 2:06.81
• Rick Walker: 2:18.50
• Kevin McCormack: 2:17.08
• Steve Newman: 2:10.34

Because the Sarasota team previously held the world record before the Ventura County Masters snatched it over a year ago, Newman’s team went into the race intent on winning it back.

“We really didn’t know what to expect. Jack Groselle lives in Ohio, and Rick and Kevin live in Florida and I live in NY, so we don’t always train together,” says Newman. “Having decided that we were going to put together this relay and break this world record, we knew we had to get in the best shape possible.”

For those who might not know, masters swimming is a class of competitive swimming reserved for those 25 years and older. Newman is 53, however his age is no gauge of his fitness level. He swam competitively in college, has been nationally endorsed by Powerbar, and continues to train five days a week.

“I’ve currently ranked in the top ten 97 times by United States Masters Swimming and top ten in the world by FINA (International Swimming Federation) 14 times,” says Newman. “I’m looking to reach the milestone of ranking in the top ten 100 times in the US.”

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Of course, Newman’s coworkers and students have been nothing but supportive. When you have a record-breaking, hard-training athlete teaching your children, who wouldn’t be? However, it is more than Newman’s skills in the pool that have students (some he’s never met) congratulating him in the hallways. Newman continues to exhibit a work ethic that any parent would love for their child to adopt.

“When you want to be successful or get better at whatever you’re doing, whether it’s a volleyball or basketball player, you need to get practice and that’s also a part of being a good student,” says Newman. “You need to continue practicing and working hard in school just as you would be if you were pitching on the mound in softball.” 

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