Open water offers change of pace
Local swimmers compete at the 2012 Del Valle Open Water Festival
Swimmers entered Del Valle Reservoir's 67 degree water early both days last weekend for the annual Del Valle Open Water Festival hosted by the Tri-Valley Masters.
"It was fun to take a break from the walls and the pool," said Jordan Reznick, a swimmer from Tri-Valley Aquatics.
In years past, the festival was a one-day event featuring the 3/4 Mile and 2.5K races. This year, in addition to the traditional events held Sunday, swimmers were given the opportunity to participate in 5K and 10K races on Saturday.
"In 2008, the 10K became an Olympic event. Two years ago I had this vision for creating the 10K at our Del Valle Open Water Festival during the 2012 Olympic year," recalled Tri-Valley Masters swimmer and race director Bill McCracken.
With the inclusion of the 5K and 10K races on Saturday, the event attracted more than 600 swimmers affiliated with US Masters and USA Swimming. Among them were professional marathon swimmer Heidi George and Barton Wells, Stanford swim alum and founder of Athletic Director.
"It was definitely a record turnout. The overall interest in the open water swimming community has increased tremendously over the past 10 years," said McCracken.
"There really aren't too many opportunities for swimmers to swim the 5K and 10K in open water," said Adam Conway, Tri-Valley Masters board president. "This year we had five different states represented during the weekend's races."
"It's a great opportunity for a change of pace. Every year I enjoy seeing so many members of the swimming community come together to swim side-by-side," continued Conway.
Medals were awarded to the first three finalists in each sex/age division. Swimmers from local USAS and USM teams were represented in all of the weekend's races.
"Overall it was a fun event. It was inspiring to be able to swim alongside all of the older swimmers. I liked seeing how they were able to keep swimming a part of their lives. It was definitely fun to be a part of such a big event," said Nate Borchers, a Tri-Valley Aquatics swimmer and first place finisher in the Boys 15/16 3/4 Mile and third place finisher in the Boys 15/16 2.5K races on Sunday.
Top local 5K finishers
Pleasanton Seahawks: Eva Chung; Thomas Neufeld; Jeffery Tang; Regis Lachance; Hanna Bergh; Bernadine Martin; Natalie Wong
Tri-Valley Aquatics: Maria Carlson; Natalie Tang; Sydney Wagner; Julian Wagner
Tri-Valley Masters: Devon Farmer; Markus Paene; Jorge Angel; Bill McCracken
Top 10K finishers
Pleasanton Seahawks: Rachel Knowles
Tri-valley Masters: Mary Ann Nygren; Janet Kaehms
Top 3/4 Mile finishers
Pleasanton Seahawks: Danielle Zacharias; Shawn Kim
Tri-Valley Aquatics: Thomas Gjerde; Jason Lau; Nate Borchers
Tri-Valley Masters: Jonathan Malapira; Karin Laberge; Bill McCracken; Ron Emhoff
Top 2.5K finishers
Pleasanton Seahawks: Michael Martin; Andrew Seitz
Tri-Valley Aquatics: Nate Borchers; Julian Wagner
Tri-Valley Masters: Vicki Espiritu; Mary Ann Nygren; Karin Laberge; Ron Emhoff