Alex Kostich Wins His 19th St. Croix’s Coral Reef Swim in 25th Anniversary

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Photo Courtesy: Steve Simonson

Alex Kostich Wins His 19th St. Croix’s Coral Reef Swim in 25th Anniversary

The 25th edition of the Coral Reef Swim off Mermaid Beach, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands went to a familiar winner in Alex Kostich.

Kostich won the five-mile race from Buck Island to Mermaid Beach in a time of 1 hour, 47 minutes, 49 seconds. The 51-year-old from Los Angeles won the event 19 times in the 21 years he has entered, finishing second in 2008 and 2019. He last won the race in 2017, having not competed in 2018. (The 2020 race was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)

Kostich first swam in the fourth iteration of the race in 1999. He set the event record of 1:36.12 in 2002.

Second in near perfect conditions was St. Croix native Kaeden Gleason, the 18-year-old finishing in 1:50.31. Valdivia Ricardo was third, followed by Derek Frenzel and Christian Vanderkaay, the former University of Michigan standout. Lily Jordan, 15, was the top female swimmer over five miles, finishing in sixth place overall.

The 25th edition of the race celebrated its own history, with five swimmers from the inaugural race back in the field. Among them were five-milers Todd Newman and Elizabeth Armstrong, and one-mile swimmers Kevin Hensley, Scott Hensley, Gilbert Matthew Laban, Josh Laban and Kieran Locke. Armstrong, who owns the Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort, co-founded the race in 1996 with Kim Rice Stanford.

Kevin Hensley, a Christiansted native, won the one-mile race in 25:47, ahead of brother Scott and Locke. The two-mile race was won by 13-year-old St. Croix native Daryan Maynard in 49:57. Second was Marina Falcone, followed by 14-year-old Eddie Soltis.

Full results are available here.