SANTA CLARITA, California, May 19. ANDREW Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.) and Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif.) won the 5-kilometer national titles on Sunday to conclude the USA Swimming Open Water National Championships at Lower Castaic Lake.
With their victories, Gemmell and Anderson qualified for July's FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. They will join Christine Jennings (Longmont, Colo.), Alex Meyer (Ithaca, N.Y.), Becca Mann (Saint Petersburg, Ill.) and Sean Ryan (Hixson, Tenn.),who qualified for the World Championships roster on Friday in the 10K.
The men's 5K title would come down to the touch, as the top-three finishers touched within a second of each other. In the end, Gemmell was able to outreach Joey Pedraza (Borward, Fla.) and Ryan for the win. Gemmell touched in 57:22.07, while Pedraza finished second (57:22.68) and Ryan placed third (57:22.75).
“I wanted to leave it all out there in the water, and I was fortunate to touch first,” said Gemmell on the win. “It's great to get on the team, and I'm excited to be heading to Barcelona to represent the U.S.”
Anderson jumped to the front of the pack early in the women's 5K and led after the first turn. She continued to stay in the lead group of six, jostling with Eva Fabian (Keene, N.H.) and Jennings for the top spot. In the final 800m, Anderson distanced herself from the pack and won with an official time of 1:00:36.51. Mann placed second with a time of 1:00.38.04, followed closely by Emily Brunemann (Crescent Springs, Ky.), who finished in 1;00:38.38.
“I had nothing to lose so on the last lap I just went for it,” said Anderson, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist. “After a disappointing 10K on Friday, I was really happy how I bounced back today.”
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