Ashley Twichell and David Heron Win USA National Titles in 5K Races

MIROMAR LAKES, Florida, April 29. ASHLEY Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y.) and David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif.) won the 5K Open Water National Championship in Miromar Lakes Beach and Golf Club in Miromar Lakes, Fla. Twichell swept the two National Titles being the first person to do so since Chloe Sutton in 2007.

Twichell made her move off the start as she made a beeline for the front of the pack as Christine Jennings (Longmont, Colo.) and Emily Brunemann (Crescent Springs, Ky.) would also eventually break away from the group at the 2.5K mark. After Twichell got a few body lengths lead from the two, Brunemann made her move and they battled it out for the final 500m. In the end, three-hundredths of a second separated the two with Twichell touching in 58:54.17 and Brunemann at 58:54.47. Jennings would finish third in 59:11.01.

“That's how these races go,” Twichell said about the finish. “You race really hard for 40 minutes and then you push yourself harder for the final 15 minutes.”

Alex Meyer (Ithaca, N.Y.), who finished 10th in the 10K race, took the lead from the start for the first 1500m before the rest of the main pack caught up to him. For much of the race the main pack included Meyer, Dan O'Connor (Syracuse, N.C.), Steve Sholdra (Renton, Wash.), David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif.). After the pack leaped Meyer, it was a consistent flip-flop with everyone at one point inserting their selves into the lead spot until Heron showed his powerful kicks at the finish and touched in 57:50.92. Wilimovsky (57:53.97) finished second and O'Connor was third (57:55.83). Meyer and Sholdra would come in seventh and eighth, respectively.

“I didn't know where I was at the end,” Heron said afterwards. “I just wanted to pass as many people as I could and finish in first.”

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