Cal Grad Catherine Breed Sets Monterey Bay Record in Charity Swim

Catherine Breed; Photo Courtesy: Instagram, @beyondtheblackline_

Catherine Breed completed a crossing of Monterey Bay this week in less than 13 hours, setting a record for the open-water course.

Breed’s swim started Monday night at Twin Lakes State Beach in Santa Cruz. Through water temperatures in the 50s and schools of jellyfish, Breed arrived at San Carlos Beach in Monterey Tuesday morning. She covered the 25-mile swim in 12 hours and 53 minutes, setting the record for the fastest crossing of the bay.

“I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen,” Breed told CBS affiliate KION. “I was going to be proud of myself either way. It’s a monster to cross Santa Cruz to Monterey. The cherry on top was breaking that record.”

Breed’s mother documented Catherine’s swim on Instagram at her account, beyondthelbackline_


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A post shared by Catherine Breed (@beyondtheblackline_) on

“It was such an incredible experience, being out there in pitch black and just in your own head for the whole time,” Breed said in a video.

Breed’s swim raised around $2,000 for Diversity in Aquatics, a nonprofit that brings aquatic and water safety programs to underserved communities.

Catherine Breed, 27, was a standout at the University of California Berkeley, leaving the program in 2015 with top-10 times in the three longest freestyle events. Her college career included two NCAA relay medals and five individual soring swims at NCAAs. The Pleasanton, Calif., native was a youth and senior national teamer and represented the U.S. at the 2011 Pan Am Games, earning gold in the 200 freestyle and 800 free relay.


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We did the dang thing. Full on team effort and your support is overwhelming and was crucial to get me through the dark hours. ?

A post shared by Catherine Breed (@beyondtheblackline_) on

She transitioned to open water swimming after graduating, setting four U.S. Masters national records and four open-water records.

“I just wanted to say I am so completely overwhelmed by everyone’s support,” Breed said in an Instagram message. “… All I hope is that I can be a good ambassador to the sport and inspire you guys in some way. I’m just really touched and thank you all so, so much for your support.”


    • Sean Killion

      That’s a very long & cold swim. Super impressive!