By Sharon Robb
April 26, 2015—-Rafael Rodriguez and Alana Acevedo of South Florida Aquatic Club won their age group divisions in the LSC All-Star Challenge during the Open Water Festival this past weekend in Fort Myers.
Rodriguez won the 5,000-meter race in 1 hour, 6 minutes and 23 seconds. Teammate Leonardo Mateus was second in 1:07.16. Both competed in the 13-14 boys.
Acevedo won the girls 13-14 age group.
Kevin Porto was tenth among the 15-18 boys in 1:11.35.
Alejandro Mateus was first in the 800 meters.
Rodriguez was also second in his age group at the Crippen Mile Sunset Swim. Rodriguez finished in 19 minutes and 27 seconds to place second in the 13-14 age group.
Leonardo Mateus was fourth in 19:40 and Acevedo was 12th in the girls 13-14 age group in 24:40. The course was a 1-mile loop swim with the finish on the beach. Proceeds from the Crippen Mile benefit the Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation.
The events were held over three days during the Open Water Festival.
In the USA Swimming Open Water 5K National Championships on Sunday at Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club in Fort Myers, Haley Anderson made her move at the final turn to reel in Ashley Twichell to win her third title.
Anderson overtook Twichell and the rest of the field around the the final buoy and pulled away down the stretch to the finish line.
Anderson, who was runner-up in the 10K, finished in 1:01:51.29 seconds to qualify for the world championships later this summer in Kazan, Russia. Twichell of Triangle Aquatics finished second in 1:01:53.63 and former Clearwater swimmer and 10K champion Becca Mann of North Baltimore was third in 1:01:56.66.
Anderson last competed in the world championships in 2013 when she won a gold medal in the 5K.
“I didn’t know if anybody was close behind,” Anderson told the media after the race. “I don’t like to look behind me. I just like to keep looking forward in racing.
“Today was more about changing it up, seeing how I felt,” Anderson said. “I knew if I swam well I would get to swim the 5K at worlds, but if not I still have the 10K so there were no worries today.”
Miami-born and Bishop Verot alum Stephanie Peacock of Mission Viejo and Cape Coral was the early leader during the race lap but faded to ninth in 1:02:21.
In the men’s competition, Olympian and former 10K world champion Alex Meyer won his second consecutive 5K title in 57:43.940. Meyer had just missed making the 10K world team finishing third by .006.
“The first lap was really fast and I thought I was pretty much going to fall off the group at that point,” Meyer said. “But it kind of slowed down and it just played out to a very close finish and it was fun.
“I almost died a bit on the backstretch but I tried to stay up front. When David swam up beside me it ended up being a perfect scenario for us for the finish.”
Meyer’s Tennessee Aquatics’ teammate David Heron was second in 57:44.23. Andrew Gemmell was third in 57:44.39.
Robert Finke, 15, of St. Petersburg Aquatics won the 18-and-under national title. He was seventh overall in 57:51 ahead of Brendan Casey, second among 18-and-unders, in 57:51.19. Mann, at 17, won the girls 18-and-under national title with her third place overall in 1:01:56.
5K MEN’S RESULTS
1.Alex Meyer, Tennessee Aquatics 57:43.940, 2. David Heron, Tennessee Aquatics 57:44.229, 3. Andrew Gemmell, Nation’s Capital 57:44.393, 4. Arthur Frayler, Unattached 57:48.610, 5. Chip Peterson, North Carolina Aquatics 57:49.247; FLORIDA: 7. Robert Finke, St. Petersburg Aquatics 57:51.006, 12. Blake Manganiello, Unattached 58:06.340, 13. Joey Pedraza, RallySport Aquatic Club 58:10.864, 24. Zane Grothe, Club Seminole 1:01:52, 29. Eric Geunes, Gator Swim Club 1:02:19,
5K WOMEN’S RESULTS
1.Haley Anderson, Trojan Swim Club 1:01:51, 2. Ashley Twichell, Triangle Aquatics 1:01:53, 3. Becca Mann, North Baltimore 1:01:56, 4. Eva Fabian, Greenwood 1:02:09, 5. Christine Jennings, RallySport Aquatic Club 1:02:09; FLORIDA: 9. Stephanie Peacock, Mission Viejo 1:02:21, 15. Hannah Burns, Gator Swim Club 1:05:22, 18. Kahra Wiliams, Gator Swim Club 1:06:34, 32. Katelyn Kilpatrick, Central Florida Marlins 1:10:37.
BOYS 5K RESULTS
13-14, 1. Ivan Puskovitch 1:01:39, 2. Michael Calvillo 1:05:39, 3. Gavin Bloch 1:06.38; 15-18, 1. Logan Houck 1:01:02, 2. Riley Molina 1:01:16, 3. Nicholas McDowell 1:01:25.
GIRLS 5K RESULTS
13-14, 1. Erica Sullivan 1:07:00, 2. Isabel Ivey 1:09:51, 3. Julia Byrnes 1:12:48; 15-18, 1. Erin Emery 1:06:16, 2. Sidney Kennedy 1:08:07, 3. Flo Almanda 1:10:51.
COMBINED 2.5 RESULTS
BOYS 11-12, 1. Connor Hughes 34:58, 2. Jared Carter 35:41, 3. Byron Keller 35:54; GIRLS 11-12, 1. Eliot Kennedy 35:01, 2. Julia Heimstead 35:07, 3. Meghan Lynch 36:01.
CRIPPEN MILE SUNSET SWIM RESULTS
BOYS 11-12, 1. Mathew Tannenberger 20:42, 2. Jorge Guerra 20:51, 3. Byron Keller 21:35,
GIRLS 11-12, 1. Sydney Young 22:36, 2. Abigal Foreman 22:41, 3. Roxana Nolte 23:07.
BOYS 13-14, 1. Ivan Puskovitch 19:22, 2. Rafael Rodriguez 19:27, 3. Michael Calvillo 19:38, 4. Leonardo Mateus 19:40.
GIRLS 13-14, 1. Rachel Hicks 21:02, 2. Diana Dunn 21:25, 3. Julian Hill 21:29, 12. Alana Acevedo 24:40.
BOYS 15-16, 1. Abbott Taylor 19:04, 2. Eric Geunes 19:36, 3. Cameron Anderson 19:43.
GIRLS 15-16, 1. Sidney Kennedy 19:50, 2. Anne Norris 20:21, 3. Grace Kowal 20:36.
SENIOR MEN: 1. Jordan Wilmovsky 18:05, 2. Daniel O’Connor 18:19, 3. Kyle Nash 19:38.
SENIOR WOMEN: 1. Casey Francis 19:45, 2. Dorothy Halmy 19:46, 3. Ella Bryan 20:23.
Former Florida Swimmer Becca Mann Wins 10K Open Water National Championship
April 24, 2015—In near-perfect weather conditions at Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club, former Clearwater swimmer Becca Mann of Homer Glen, Ill. captured USA Swimming’s 10K Open Water National Championship for the second year in a row on Friday.
Mann, 17, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club outsprinted Haley Anderson of Granite Bay, Calif. in the final stretch to win the women’s title in for the 6.2-mile course.
Last year Mann won the 10K national title in Castaic Lake, California.
Under overcast skies in 75-degree weather, the race came down to a sprint between the four leaders on the fifth and final lap. Anderson was leading but Mann reeled her in to finish less than a half-body length ahead in 2:02.38.344 for 6.2 miles.
“I didn’t feel great out there,” Mann admitted. “I was really struggling the first 5K. After that 5K I sort of built into it. I found that I had enough speed at the end to finish it.”
Anderson, an Olympic silver medalist, was second in 2:02.38.709 followed by Ashley Twichell of Fayetteville, N.Y. in 2:02.39.903 and Emily Brunemann of Crescent Springs, Ky. in 2:02.45.022.
In the men’s 10K, Jordan Wilimovsky, 21, of Team Santa Monica, Calif. and junior at Northwestern, 1:54:27.928 out-touching Sean Ryan, 22, of Club Wolverine, second in 1:54:40.334 and Alex Meyer, 26, of Tennessee Aquatics was third in 1:54:40.340. The top five finishers all finished in the 1:54-range.
“I was just trying to kick as hard as I could the last little bit,” Wilimovsky said. “I’d rather just go for it and see what happens.”
Miami’s Blake Manganiello was ninth in 1:58:57.973. Former Florida swimmer Joey Pedraza, 27, of RallySport Aquatic Club was 16th in 2:02:14:042. Ben Lawless, 18, of University of Florida was 19th in 2:04:03.052. T.C. Smith, 16, of Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team was 30th in 2:07:52.921.
Mann, Anderson, Wilimovsky and Ryan will represent the U.S. at this summer’s FINA World Aquatic Championships in Kazan, Russia. The top two men and women in the 10K qualify. At the world championships the top 10 men and top 10 women finishers qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Mann, a high school senior, had already made the U.S. world team in a pool event, the 800-meter freestyle.
The open water nationals is also a selection meet for the Pan American Games and World University Games, senior and junior national teams.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com