Swimmers Flock to Open Water Championships
The 2011 North Carolina Open Water Championships took place Friday and Saturday in Seven Lakes.
The two-day sporting event, hosted by the Sandhills Sandsharks, kicked off Friday with the 400-yard Splash and Dash.
Saturday’s spectators saw a full slate of swimming from the dam looking out on Lake Echo, as more than 600 swimmers took to the water for five events. Included in that lineup was the 5K, described by race director Taylor Cooper as the “premiere event” of the championships.
Since its inception in 1998, the N.C. Open Water Championships have drawn some of the best open water swimmers in the world.
Past champions have included Chip Peterson, a 2008 member of the U.S. Olympic open water team, and Olympic bronze medalist and former American 1,500-meter freestyle record holder Chris Thompson.
The 2011 field of swimmers was no exception to this rule.
Along with a full roster of Sandhills Sandsharks swimmers, this year’s competitors were comprised of top N.C. pre-collegiate swimmers — many heavily recruited by college programs — and NCAA All-American swimmers.
In an effort to make the event more fan friendly, placement of the N.C. Open Water Championships triangular course was reconfigured this year.
As a result, spectators had multiple opportunities to view the swimmers in action, especially during the longer races involving multiple laps.
Along with the 5K, other open competitor races contested Saturday were the 3K, 2K and 800-meter.
Making its N.C. Open Water Championships debut this year was a one-mile swim. Back for a second year was the Poseidon Award, which went to all swimmers who consecutively completed the 5K, 3K and 2K.
The results of the 2011 N.C. Open Water Championships were not available by press time.
For a complete recap of all the action, see Wednesday's edition of The Pilot.
Contact F.W. Manning II at email@example.com.
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