CASTAIC LAKE, Calif. – Olympian and defending world champion Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Team Santa Monica) and fellow USA Swimming National Team member Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y./ North Carolina Aquatic Club) won the 10-kilometer national titles in convincing fashion Friday to open the USA Swimming Open Water National Championships.
With the victories, Wilimovsky and Twichell clinched berths in the 10K at this summer’s FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, as did the runners up – Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif./Unattached) in the men’s event and two-time Olympian Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif./Trojan Swim Club) in the women’s race.
Men’s 10-kilometer National Championship - Final
1. Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Team Santa Monica), 1:57:45.61
2. Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif./Unattached), 1:58:37.38
3. Simon Huitenga (Australia), 1:58:38.74
Jordan Wilimovsky: (on the start of the race): “It was a fun race. It was a little cold at the beginning, but I just tried to stay relaxed and swim within the pack the first couple of laps and then build into it and be quick the last two laps and into the finish.”
Wilimovsky (on his finish): “I was confident in my pace and that I would be able to finish pretty strong and pull away at the end.”
Wilimovsky (on qualifying for the FINA World Championships): “I’m just excited to make the team again – make Team USA – and I’ll get back in the pool Monday full training and put in some solid work before Budapest.”
Women’s 10-kilometer National Championship - Final
1. Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y./North Carolina Aquatic Club), 2:04:17.84
2. Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif./Trojan Swim Club), 2:05:10.85
3. Rachele Bruni (Italy), 2:05:11.25
Ashley Twichell: (on taking a commanding lead midway through the race): “It felt really good – definitely not what I was expecting. It wasn’t my strategy going into it, and kind of like with open water, it doesn’t go as planned. An Italian girl took off, and I followed her and looked behind me and was kind of surprised to see that we had a 10-15 meter lead and I just went with it.”
The competition continues over the next two days with Saturday’s first-ever Open Water Junior National Championships 5-kilometer event beginning at 8 a.m. and Sunday’s senior-level 5K national championship at 8 a.m. A live webcast of each race will be available online at usaswimming.org.