USA Swimming News

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Open Water Talents Head to Las Vegas for Shot at Open Water U.S. National Team

Open Water Talents Head to Las Vegas for Shot at Open Water U.S. National Team

Many of the nation’s most decorated open water swimmers are entered to compete this weekend at the Las Vegas Open Water Champions Cup. The competition will take place October 8-10 at Lake Las Vegas. 

Twelve races are on the bill for the three-day meet, including the men’s and women’s elite 10K, which takes place October 8 and will put the top-5 finishers in each gender on the 2021-22 Open Water U.S. National Team. The upcoming Open Water U.S. National Team will be active from November 1, 2021 to April 30, 2022, and will hold share National Team titles with Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 competitors, Haley Anderson (Granite Bay, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores), Ashley Twichell (Fayetteville, N.Y./TAC Titans) and Jordan Wilimovsky (Malibu, Calif./Kswim).

Vying for those Open Water National Team titles will be a pair of 2020 Olympians in Katie Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada) and Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University). The duo comes into the event having already made the National Team in pool events, and now will be trying to add another accolade to their open water resumes that already feature a 2019 Open Water World Championships medal for Brinegar and a 2021 junior open water national title for Grimes.

Like Grimes, David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif/Mission Viejo Nadadores), Ilya Karun (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada) and Jacob Pishko (Raleigh, N.C./TAC Titans) will compete this weekend following strong showings at April’s Open Water National Championships. Heron’s outing in April included titles in both the 5K and 10K, marking the first time in his 10 years of competing at Open Water National Championships that he claimed both titles at the same competition. For Kharun and Pishko, they touched first in the junior 5K and 7.5K, respectively, to give each of them the first national title of their careers. 

Also entered to compete in the meet, and the elite 10K, are current male Open Water U.S. National Team members Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./University of Florida), Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev.), T.C. Smith (Bradenton, Fla./University of Louisville), Joey Tepper (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./University of Tennessee). 

On the women’s side, Juli Arzave (San Diego, Calif./Tritons Aquatic Club), Blair Stoneburg (Jensen Beach, Fla./Treasure Coast Aquatics) and Cadence Fort (Estero, Calif./Gulf Coast Swim Team) are all expected to swim as well. 

For more information on the 2021 Las Vegas Open Water Champions Cup, visit

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