TEMPE, Ariz. – National Team members David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Tennessee Aquatics) and Erica Sullivan (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada) won the 5-kilometer national titles on Sunday to close the USA Swimming Open Water National Championships at Tempe Town Lake.
In the final junior-level race of the weekend, Chase Travis (Newark, Del./Nation’s Capital Swim Club) and Ivan Puskovitch (West Chester, Pa./Episcopal Academy Aquatic Club) claimed the 7.5K national titles.
1. Erica Sullivan (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada), 58:18.168
2. Hannah Moore (Cary, N.C. /Wolfpack Elite), 58:42.418
3. Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Northern Kentucky Clippers), 58:53.438
• Sullivan earns her first senior-level open water national title after placing third in the 10K on Friday.
• Sullivan led from the start, carried a 30-second lead onto the final lap and cruised to the victory.
Erica Sullivan (on adjusting mentally after finding herself with a big early lead): “At that point in this sport you have to learn to adjust really quickly. As soon as I realized I was alone I just kind of switched gears a little bit and was like, ‘well, this is new game plan let’s role with it and see what happens.’”
1. David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Tennessee Aquatics), 54:29.921
2. Eric Hedlin (Canada), 54:30.944
3. Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada), 54:32.866
• Heron earns his second straight and third career national title in the 5K. He also won in 2017 and 2012.
• Heron, who also placed second in Friday’s 10K, was swimming outside the top three going into the final lap and surged down the stretch to win by just over a second. All three podium finishers touched within 3 seconds of one another.
David Heron: (on his race plan): “My plan was to draft as much as possible the first two laps, take it easy and then that last lap see if I could get ahead of everyone toward the end. It was a bit quicker than I was expecting, but in all it went well.”
1. Chase Travis (Newark, Del./Nation’s Capital Swim Club), 1:36:02.779
2. Leah DeGeorge (Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles School Sharks), 1:36:12.259
3. Liberty Williams (Mentone, Calif./Riverside Aquatics Association), 1:38:17.517
• Travis held the lead throughout much of the race, carried it onto the final lap and posted a 10-second victory.
• Travis and DeGeorge earned the right to be nominated for the U.S. roster for the 2018 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships in the 7.5K.
Chase Travis (on whether the race when according to plan): “I had a different plan going in, but a lot of things happen in a race and you just adjust … My plan was to not be in the lead the first three laps and then take the lead the last two laps but that didn’t really turn out … I just felt better than expected.”
1. Ivan Puskovitch (West Chester, Pa./Episcopal Academy Aquatic Club), 1:31:33.482
2. Ethan Heasley (Hillsboro, Ore./Hillsboro Swim Team), 1:31:43.283
3. Noah Brune (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores), 1:31:56.143
• Puskovitch had a lead he would not give up heading onto the fourth of five laps of the 7.5K event.
• Puskovitch and Heasley earned the right to be nominated for the U.S. roster for the 2018 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships in the 7.5K.
Ivan Puskovitch: (on qualifying to represent the United States this summer): “I qualified to represent the U.S. at World Juniors two years ago in Amsterdam, Netherlands, so my main mission coming into this meet was to re-qualify. I really just wanted to make sure I could go represent Team USA again, and I’m just really proud that I have that opportunity.”