Eva Fabian and Alex Meyer Win 10K Races at USA Swimming Open Water Nationals

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, June 10. TOP U.S. open water swimmers Eva Fabian (Keene, N.H.) and Alex Meyer (Ithaca, N.Y.) each qualified for the 2011 FINA World Championships today with their wins in the 10K at the USA Swimming Open Water National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The FINA World Championships, held July 16-31 in Shanghai, China, will serve as a direct qualifier for the 10K open water event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

For much of the women's race, it was Fabian and Christine Jennings (Longmont, Colo.) alternating the leader position. The two were neck-and-neck heading down to the final sprint, with Fabian finishing in 2:18.31.26. Jennings was very close behind in 2:18.33.06, also earning a spot on the World Championships roster. At the 2009 Open Water National Championships, Fabian and Jennings finished in second and fifth, respectively, in the 10K.

"I'm very excited to be going to Shanghai and representing the United States of America," Fabian said after the race. "The water was tough but it led to an exciting race and finish."

On the men's side, Meyer, who was the 25K World Champion in 2010, remained in the lead pack from start to finish. The lead pack included Sean Ryan (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 2008 Olympian Mark Warkentin (Santa Barbara, Calif.), 2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific 10K Champion Chip Peterson (Pine Knolls Shores, N.C.) and Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.). Meyer pulled away during the final straightaway, finishing just ahead of Ryan in 2:05.36.90. Ryan finished at 2:05.38.46.

Andrew Gemmell and Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y.) each finished third in their respective races. Gemmell finished in 2:05.41.63 and Twichell touched at 2:18.36.76. The remaining spots for the 5K and 25K at World Championships, the 10K at the World University Games in August, and the 10K at the Pan American Games in October will be chosen from the top finishers in today's 10K race.

The 5K Open Water National Championship will take place Sunday in Fort Lauderdale. A live webcast of the race can be viewed at www.usaswimming.org.

In accordance with the water temperature recommendations adopted by USA Swimming this year, the site of the 2011 Open Water National Championships was moved from Fort Myers to Fort Lauderdale in April.

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