CLEMSON, SC, June 15. ON Father's Day it is appropriate that fathers and sons do things together. This Father's Day, Rob Copeland and his 16 year-old son, Noah, celebrated by competing in the USA Swimming National 25 Kilometer Championship, in Clemson South Carolina.
Noah, swimming his first marathon, placed third with a time of 4:47.24 and Rob, a veteran marathon swimmer, touched fourth at 5:19.32.
The Copelands, from Fayetteville Georgia, are the highest placing parent-child duo ever at a National Championship. Their finish helped to propel Southern Crescent Aquatic Team of Peachtree City, GA to first place in the men's club competition.
The winner of the Men's 25K and overall champion, qualifying for a trip to the world championships in Barcelona to represent the USA, was Ryan Dvorak with a time of 4:10.43. Ryan, a 17 year old, is from Hoover, AL, and swims for the Birmingham Swim League under coach Ben Davis.
After a close first half of the race, Ryan swam a great second half to pull away from the rest of the field Ryan, an accomplished pool swimmer competing in his first Open Water marathon, discovered this sport after he accepted an invitation to the USA Swimming National Developmental Camp that was held in May in San Antonio, TX.
The winner of the Women's 25K was Tobie Smith, who will also be representing the USA at the World Championships in Barcelona. She finished with a time of 4:11.23. Tobie, a veteran Open Water and Marathon swimmer and prior Open Water national champion, was an open water gold medalist at the 1998 World Championships in Perth. She hails from Austin, TX and swims for coach Randy Reese of Circle C Swimming.
The conditions in Lake Hartwell were near ideal. The water was calm and ranged in temperature from 78 to 80.5 degrees, the skies were partly cloudily with minimal wind, and air temperature of 85 degrees. The course was a 6K swim from the starting line then twice around a 6.5K triangle, and then 6K back to the start/finish line.
1. 4:11:23 Tobie Smith, 29, Circle C Swimming, Austin TX
2. 4:20:07 Erica Rose, 20, Unattached
3. 4:35:24 Rendy Lynn Opdyeke, 19, Unattached
4. 4:36:45 Lindsay Shirley, 16, Decatur Swim Club, IL
5. 5:43:51 Cara Malandro, 19, Unattached
1. 4:10:43 Ryan Dvorak, 17, Birmingham Swim League, AL
2. 4:16:48 Chris Derks, 33, Irvine Swimmers, TX
3. 4:47:24 Noah Copeland, 16, Southern Crescent Aquatic Team, GA
4. 5:19:32 Rob Copeland, 46, Southern Crescent Aquatic Team, GA