Swimming World November 2021 Presents – The 2021 Open Water Highlights

Swimming World November 2021 - 2021 Open Water Highlights
James Savage swims across Lake Tahoe [Photo Courtesy: Jillian Savage]

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The 2021 Open Water Highlights

By Dan D’Addona

Although the Tokyo Olympic Games commanded the spotlight in 2021, there were many other open water highlights throughout the year.

ELIZABETH BEISEL MAKES HISTORIC SWIM, RAISES $130K
Olympic swimmer Elizabeth Beisel became the first woman to swim to Block Island, a 10.4-mile trip off the coast of Rhode Island. The Block Cancer swim, done in memory of her late father, raised more than $130,000 for cancer research and awareness via a partnership with Swim Across America.

Beisel’s swim lasted five hours, 19 minutes, departing from Matunuck Beach just after 6 a.m. on Sept. 26. She was greeted on the island by her mother, Joannie, and brother, Danny. A group of supporters also awaited her at Ballad’s Beach Resort.

“I felt amazing the first three hours,” Beisel told the Providence Journal. “I was like, ‘Ah, this is cake.’ Then the current started to pick up. The swell started to pick up. There was a bit of a (riptide) coming into Block Island, and that’s kind of when I started to get discouraged.”

The 29-year-old Beisel, who had never participated in an open-water race before, is a native of Rhode Island. She won a silver medal in the women’s 400 IM and a bronze in the 200 backstroke at the 2012 London Olympics. The former University of Florida standout also swam at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics.

Beisel’s father, Ted Beisel, died in July after a battle with pancreatic cancer. After her work commentating on the Tokyo Olympics for NBC, Elizabeth Beisel turned her attention to the Block Island swim.

“I just wish my dad was here, honestly,” Beisel said. “I know that he’s here in spirit. Everybody who has fought cancer and who’s beat cancer—this is for them.”

ERICA SULLIVAN, DAVID HERON WIN 10K OPEN WATER NATIONAL TITLES
Erica Sullivan (Sandpipers of Nevada) and David Heron (Mission Viejo) took the 2021 USA Swimming Women’s and Men’s 10K open water national titles, April 16, in Fort Myers, Fla.

Sullivan, 20, a University of Texas commit, led the women’s race from start to finish, winning in 2 hours, 2 minutes, 43 seconds. Teammate Katie Grimes, 15—the youngest American Olympic swimmer since Amanda Beard (14) in 1996 and who finished fourth in the 800 free in Tokyo—took the 18-and-under national title with her 2:05:25 fourth-place showing at nationals.

Heron, 26, held off 20-year-old Brennan Gravley in the men’s race by one second, winning in 2:05:24.

JAMES SAVAGE, 14, YOUNGEST TO COMPLETE LAKE TAHOE TRIPLE CROWN
On Aug. 1, 14-year-old James Savage of Los Banos in northern California became the youngest person to swim the entire length of Lake Tahoe—a distance of 21.3 miles.

Savage, who completed the crossing in about 12 hours, has now successfully swum all three distances of the Lake Tahoe Triple Crown: the length, the width and Vikingsholm, which transverses the southern portion of the lake, known for its pine tree-lined beaches and ski resorts. Each swim is more than 10 miles.

“I had no doubts whatsoever,” mother Jillian Savage told the Tahoe Daily Tribune after her son’s most recent accomplishment. “He’s been swimming almost every day—six, seven days a week—since he was 8. With open water, it’s just what he does. But mentally, even though it takes a whole bunch of us to make the swim possible, he’s really out there by himself.”

Savage swam the width of the lake last year at age 13, also becoming the youngest to do so. And at age 8, he swam in the San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco, achieving his very first open water goal!

To read more open water highlights of 2021,
Click here to download the full November issue of Swimming World Magazine, available now!

Swimming World November 2021 - Ana Marcela Cunha - Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year - COVER [PHOTO BY KAREEM ELGAZZAR / USA TODAY SPORTS]

 

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FEATURES

012 2021 OPEN WATER SWIMMERS OF THE YEAR
by Dan D’Addona and David Rieder
Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock both captured Olympic gold in Tokyo and repeated as the world’s elite open water swimmers in both 2019 and 2021.

014 2021 OPEN WATER HIGHLIGHTS
by Dan D’Addona
Although the Tokyo Olympic Games commanded the spotlight in 2021, there were many other open water highlights throughout the year.

018 ISHOF FEATURE: AQUATOTS MURDER CASE—THE KATHY TONGAY STORY (Part 2)
by Bruce Wigo
This is the second of a three-part story about “The Aquatots Murder Case” that first appeared in the October issue of Swimming World. It is about Kathy Tongay, a little girl whose father, Russell, had been training her almost from birth to be an expert diver and swimmer. When she died at the age of 5, her father was arrested for murdering his daughter.

022 PERHAPS OVERLOOKED…BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
by John Lohn
As we creep closer to signing off on this Olympic year, Swimming World offers a look at six athletes—all members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame—who hold a special place in history, even if they are not always at the forefront of the mind.

025 CONTINUING TO MAKE AN IMPACT
by David Rieder
Anthony Nesty’s accomplishments as a swimmer in the late 1980s and ’90s made him a national icon. But decades after that, he is still making a huge impact on the sport from a different vantage point—as a coach.

028 MENTAL PREP: BEFORE THE BEEP WITH DAVID CURTISS
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

030 NUTRITION: THE IMPORTANCE OF IRON—LOW MEANS SLOW!
by Dawn Weatherwax
Iron is a mineral that directly impacts performance.

COACHING

016 COACHING IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT (Part 1)
by Michael J. Stott
In the first of two articles, Swimming World explores how coaches and administrators coped with the recent unpleasantness of COVID-19.

036 SPECIAL SETS: AUDREY DERIVAUX—KILLER QUEEN
by Michael J. Stott
Young Audrey Derivaux of Jersey Wahoos has turned in comparable times to the 11-12 age group superstars who have excelled before her.

040 SWIMMING TECHNIQUE CONCEPTS: DISTRUST IN SWIMMING SCIENCE IS NOT A MYSTERY
by Rod Havriluk
The fact that general scientific information is routinely ignored provides some perspective about the difficulty in applying science to the sport of swimming. While a single technique element cannot guarantee success, American Lydia Jacoby’s Olympic victory suggests that using science can provide a competitive advantage.

042 SPECIAL SETS: DANIEL DIEHL—DEFINITELY DRIVEN
by Michael J. Stott
Daniel Diehl, 15, of the Cumberland YMCA Sea Otters is Maryland’s—and the nation’s—top-ranked male swimmer in the Class of 2024. In recent months, he has either broken or knocked on the door of several national age group records. In October, as the youngest male on the U.S. National Junior Team, he notched seven top 10 individual finishes at the FINA World Cup meets in Germany and Hungary.

044 Q&A WITH SWIM IRELAND’S NATIONAL PERFORMANCE DIRECTOR JON RUDD
by Michael J. Stott

045 HOW THEY TRAIN IRISH OLYMPIAN DARRAGH GREENE
by Michael J. Stott

TRAINING

039 DRYSIDE TRAINING: BACK TO BASICS (Part 2)
by J.R. Rosania

JUNIOR SWIMMER

047 | UP & COMERS: AVA BUHRMAN
by Shoshanna Rutemiller

COLUMNS & SPECIAL SECTIONS

007 THE OFFICIAL WORD

008 A VOICE FOR THE SPORT

009 DID YOU KNOW: ABOUT “DO YOU KNOW THAT….”?

032 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

048 GUTTERTALK

049 PARTING SHOT

 

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