USA Swimming Open Water Camp Produces Big Results

By Mark Gill

FORT MYERS, Fla., June 7. NO walls, no pads, no blocks ~ just water.

That was the motto of the 2004 USA Swimming National Open Water Camp held last week in Fort Meyers, FL. Sixteen swimmers from around the country were invited to participate in the camp coached by Randy Nutt, Jeremy Vail and me.

Training consisted of both pool session and ocean swims totaling five hours each day. At the end of the week of training, the athletes competed in the Open Water National Championships held as part of the Estero Island Open Water Festival.

In the 5K Nationals, camp participants dominated the awards stand, winning 10 of a possible 16 medals. In the women’s competition, Katie Swensen took second, Megan Loehndorf was third, Caren Guyett was fourth, Jamie Keily was sixth, Justine Schluntz, was seventh, Aleksa Akerfelds was ninth and Jenn Flaherty was 13th.

Women’s 5K
1 Byrum, Beth 18 KA-GU 1:06:44.00
2 Swensen, Katie 16 PS 1:07:59.00
3 Loehndorf, Megan 20 GSC 1:09:12.00
4 Guyett, Caren 14 BGCNW-MR 1:09:24.00
5 Turnadzic, Maida 14 Swim Florida-FL 1:09:25.00
6 Keily, Jaime 16 CFSC-GU 1:09:42.00
7 Schluntz, Justine 17 DUKE-NM 1:10:13.00
8 Trefzger, Eleanor 18 YS 1:11:21.00

The men camp participants did almost as well. Sweeping places third through seventh plus was Jeremy Gregory, Brooks Stovall, Mack LeBlanc, Robert and Kyle Young. Drew Seasea finished in tenth place.

Men’s 5K
1 DeMarco, Dan 23 LIAC-MR 58:13.00
2 Peterson, Charles 16 CCS 1:00:28.00
3 Gregory, Jeremy 16 TSC-PN 1:01:15.00
4 Stovall, Brooks 16 MTS-SE 1:03:48.00
5 LeBlanc, Mackenzie 16 CPSC-NT 1:04:02.00
6 Looney, Robert 15 CSST 1:05:11.00
7 Young, Kyle 17 YTO-FL 1:05:48.00
8 McLeod, Steven 25 MVN-CA 1:05:49.00

With every swimmer from camp placing in the top 15 in the 5K, excitement built as the 10K approached. In this race, only four camp attendees raced, all of them reaching the medal podium. For the women, Laura Pacheco was third and Jaime Keily was fifth. In the men’s race, Kyle Young was fourth and Robert Looney was sixth.

Women’s 10K
1 Rose, Erica 21 UN-LE-LE 2:04:56.00
2 Bergen, Briley 20 UN-FL-FL 2:05:17.00
3 Pacheco, Laura M 16 Swim Florida-FL 2:08:06.00
4 Smiddy, Rebecca 15 Miami Metro-FG 2:10:11.00
5 Keily, Jaime 16 CFSC-GU 2:16:38.00
6 Rice, Rose 30 Unattached 2:17:48.00
7 Mathery, Megan 17 YTO-FL 2:18:13.00
8 Kirsch (Widden), Lisa 24 YTO-FL 2:18:20.00

Men’s 10K
1 DeMarco, Dan 23 LIAC-MR 1:53:17.00
2 Kenny, John 23 UN-MA-MA 1:58:26.00
3 Langsett, Robert 20 FLST-FG 2:01:03.00
4 Young, Kyle 17 YTO-FL 2:01:38.00
5 Rice, Michael 19 FLST-FG 2:04:59.00
6 Looney, Robert 15 CSST 2:06:57.00
7 Drury, Elliott 23 UN-MV-MV 2:07:13.00
8 Buslepp, Brandon 22 FLST-FG 2:08:15.00

The 25K will take place on Tuesday with Sean Seaver as the only camp participant racing.

Jacque Grossman, the camp organizer indicated the selection for next year’s camp will be based on performance at sectional meets. For more information, check the USA Swimming website at

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