Crippen, Sutton Are Open Water 10K National Championships
World Championship bronze medalist Fran Crippen (Conshohocken, Pa.) and Olympian Chloe Sutton (Mission Viejo, Calif.) became the 2010 USA Swimming National Champions in the 10K Open Water race at today's Open Water National Championships in Long Beach, Calif. The win is the first Open Water National Championship for Crippen and third for Sutton ('06, '07, '10).
Finishing second in the men's race was 2005 World Champion Chip Peterson (Pine Knoll Shores, N.C.). In the women's race, second place went to Boulder Swimming's Christine Jennings (Longmont, Colo.).
The top two finishers in each event qualified to represent the USA at the 2010 Open Water World Championships, which will be held in Roberval, Quebec, July 17-22.
Additionally, the top four finishers in each race qualified for the 2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships, which will be held August 22 in Irvine, Calif.
Third in the women's race went to 16-year-old Eva Fabian (Keene, N.H.) and in fourth was Emily Brunemann (Crescent Springs, Ky.). Both women represented the U.S. at the 2009 World Championships.
On the men's side, third place went to 2009 World Championship silver medalist Andrew Gemmell (Wilmington, Del.) while fourth place went to 2009 World Championship teammate Alex Meyer (Ithaca, N.Y.).
In both the men's and women's races, the competition came down to the final meters.
After 4K, the men's race was locked up, with the first six positions separated by less than a
half-second. Peterson, Sean Ryan and Ian Rowe led the pack, followed closely by Joe Kinderwater
Meyer, a member of the 2009 U.S. World Championship Team, made his move just past the halfway
point, advancing to the lead pack, along with University of Florida's Joey Pedraza and
Entering the final lap, four swimmers pulled away from the pack. Meyer swam in first by a
body-length with Crippen in second. Peterson held on to third place with 'Gemmel just behind.
The top four finishers were decided in an all-out sprint to the finish line.
In the women's race, three women headed the pack through the first 4K with no clear leader.
Sutton, Fabian and Jennings swam shoulder-to-shoulder ahead of the rest of the field.
Mission Viejo's Sutton broke ahead after 6K, opening up a two-second lead over Fabian and
Jennings. Meanwhile, Club Wolverine teammates Emily Hanson and Brunemann moved into
fourth and fifth position.
With 1000 meters to go, Fabian closed the gap on Sutton and the two swam shoulder-to-shoulder,
with Fabian on the inside. With a late push, Jennings slipped into second place, finishing behind Sutton and just out-touching Fabian.
Today's race also established the 2010 18-and-Under National Champions, with the women's title going to 18-year-old Sutton and the men's honor going to 18-year-old Deni Cullom.
The meet continues on Sunday with the Open Water 5K National Championship