Mann, Gemmell Win USA Swimming 10K Open Water National Championships
CASTAIC, Calif. – Becca Mann (Homer Glen, Ill.) and Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.) won the 10-kilometer titles at the 2014 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships on Friday at Castaic Lake. With their victories, Mann and Gemmell also led the U.S. qualifiers for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia, in August.
The top four finishers in the men’s and women’s 10K all earned a spot on Team USA’s roster for this summer’s Pan Pacific Championships. Joining Mann as women’s qualifiers are Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif.), Eva Fabian (Keene, N.H.) and Christine Jennings (Longmont, Colo.). Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif.), Alex Meyer (Ithaca, N.Y.) and Sean Ryan (Chattanooga, Tenn.) join Gemmell as the men’s Pan Pacs qualifiers.
In the day’s opening race, Anderson and Fabian pushed the pace of the women’s 10K over the first half of the race. Mann stayed within striking distance of the leaders before making her move on the final two laps.
“I wanted to stay with the lead pack, obviously, for the first four or five laps and then see if I had enough energy to break out and try to get ahead,” said Mann. “As long as I can keep up with the pack for the first four laps – that’s usually the hardest for me – then I can use my pool speed to get up to the front.”
The strategy worked, as the 16-year-old outkicked the field, finishing first with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes, 13.95 seconds for her first open water national title. Anderson touched second in 1:59.21.55 followed closely by Fabian’s time of 1:59:22.08. Jennings rounded out the top four with a time of 1:59:23.91.
In the men’s 10K, Gemmell started out at the back of the pack and slowly worked his way to the front. The 23-year-old took his first and only lead late, winning the national title in 1:50:45.93.
“I did a lot of things well, and it felt good to finally race a good race,” said Gemmell, who won the 5K national title in 2013 and the 10K U.S. crown in 2012. “I drafted well and conserved a lot of energy. I fed at the right time and had a lot of energy at the end.”
Wilimovsky was on Gemmell’s hip down the stretch and finished second in 1:50:49.36. Meyer and Ryan tied for third with a time of 1:51.30.28.
Action will continue with the 5K on Sunday with the men starting at 8 a.m. PDT and the women competing at 9:30 a.m. For complete results from Open Water Nationals visit the USA Swimming Open Water page.
The Pan Pacific Championships open water 10K will be held Aug. 25. For complete USA Swimming open water selection procedures, visit usaswimming.org.
About USA Swimming
As the National Governing Body for the sport of swimming in the United States, USA Swimming is a 400,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of swimming by creating opportunities for swimmers and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through clubs, events and education. Our membership is comprised of swimmers from the age group level to the Olympic Team, as well as coaches and volunteers. USA Swimming is responsible for selecting and training teams for international competition including the Olympic Games, and strives to serve the sport through its core objectives: Build the base, Promote the sport, Achieve competitive success. For more information, visit www.usaswimming.org.