Olympic Gold Medalist Brooke Bennett Finishes Second at Swim for Alligator Lighthouse

Competitors in the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, an open-water, long-distance event, round the Florida Keys lighthouse and head to shore Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, near Islamorada, Fla. The event began in 2013 to help raise awareness about preserving the almost 150-year-old lighthouse as well as five other lighthouses off the Keys. This year’s contest attracted 461 swimmers. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY (Steve Panariello/Florida Keys News Bureau/HO)
Photo Courtesy: Florida Keys Media

Olympic Gold Medalist Brooke Bennett Finishes Second at Swim for Alligator Lighthouse

Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett finished second Saturday at the ninth annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, an open water swim in Islamorada, Florida.

Bennett finished behind another well-known swimming name in former University of Florida standout Connor Signorin. Signorin, a native of New Jersey now based in Tampa, finished first in 2 hours, 59 minutes, 44 seconds. It’s his third straight year winning the eight-mile event.

Bennett, who lives in Clearwater, was second in 3:09:06. She was well ahead of the third-place finisher, Craig Travers. More than 400 people participated in the event, with 83 solo swimmers finishing the course as well as 310 relay swimmers. 

The race, held annually in the Florida Keys since 2013, is an eight-mile swim from Amara Cay Resort out past Alligator Lighthouse and back.

Bennett had a few notable achievements in the pool. She won the women’s 800 freestyle at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, adding the 400 free title at the latter Games. She won gold at the 1998 World Championships in the 800 free. She fell shy of qualifying for a third Olympics in 2004.

Bennett finished third overall and first among female swimmers in 2021 at 3:20:19. She was fourth overall and the top woman in 2019.

Signorin won the Swim for Alligator Lighthouse in 2022 (in a time of 3:07:08) and in 2021 (3:06:34). He finished second to Michael Schultz in 2019. A captain for the Gators as a senior in 2014, Signorin was a regular on U.S. Youth National Teams, swimming at Olympics Trials in 2008 and 2014. He finished seventh representing the United States in the 10-kilometer swim at the 2011 World University Games. He was a five-time All-American at Florida, finishing as high as 11th at NCAAs in the 400 IM.

“You’re here amongst the sea life and this is your natural form of swimming — this isn’t pool swimming, this is as natural as it gets … beautiful,” the 31-year-old Signorin told the Associated Press.

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2 months ago

There were 310 swimmers total who finished the race; 83 swimmers solo swimmers finished the race, with the rest being 2, 3, and 4-person relay teams. Is there a way to have this updated to better reflect the event? Thank you!

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