CARMEL, Indiana, June 24. MASTERS swimmer Chris Clarke was a fixture on the pool and open water racing scene in Indiana, and on Sunday he was competing in the Indy Open Water Challenge in Indianapolis for a chance to add another win to an impressive list of accomplishments.
Clarke, 45, was pulled from the two-mile race at Eagle Creek Reservoir by medical personnel when officials noticed him not moving after he had been part of the lead pack for much of the race. He was pronounced dead at St. Vincent-Indianapolis Hospital, according to an article in the Indianapolis Star. The cause of death was not given.
Clarke was a 2009 U.S. Masters Swimming Open Water All-American and a multiple state champion in pool events while representing Indy Aquatic Masters. He also was a competitive cyclist who swam collegiately at Michigan State University. A native of South Africa, Clarke was owner of Clarke Engineering Services and Acquire Automation.
“He was such a great asset to our community,” said Ben Christoffel, program director for Indy Aquatic Masters, of Clarke. “He was a great athlete. He was out there doing what he loved to do.”
The Masters swimming community recently lost another athlete in an open water race, when Robert Matysek suffered a heart attack during a race two weeks ago.