BROADWATER, Australia, April 25. AFTER five kilometers of racing, it’s rare to find a three-man battle for an open-water championship. But, that’s exactly what transpired last week at the Australian National Open Water Championships.
In the men’s 5K race, Ky Hurst narrowly claimed first place, as he was timed in 57:42.22. Leading for the majority of the race, Hurst was passed by Brendan Capell at the final turn. Josh Santacaterina was also in the mix, but Hurst came through down the stretch and was deemed the winner by the judges. Capell and Santacaterina shared second in 57:42.69.
A day later, during the 10K final, Capell and Santacaterina had another spectacular duel, with Santacaterina edging his rival in tight fashion. Santacaterina turned in a time of 1:57:25 and was followed by Capell in 1:57:26. Capell rebounded, however, and won the 25K race with an effort of 5:13:16.
For the women, Kate Brookes-Peterson was the victor in the 5K and 10K competitions. After taking the shorter race in 1:02:37, Brookes-Peterson won the 10K in 2:03:41. The 25K crown was captured by Lauren Arndt (5:40:40).
Courtney Weigand, of the Coronado Aquatics Club, represented the United States in the competition, as the Aussie Open Water Championships offer the opportunity for international competitors to participate, provided they own a qualifying time.
A 15-year-old, Weigand shaved more than three minutes off her entry time, a strong performance considering the race kicked off her season. She was timed in 1:14:31 and placed 18th in the 15-year-old race. Involved in open-water swimming since the age of six, Weigand’s last 5K foray was in November.
“I was supposed to swim all year round in the ocean this year,” Weigand said. “But there was so much rain in San Diego, I couldn’t because you aren’t supposed to swim in the ocean until 48 hours after a rain because of pollution.”