16-year-old Becca Mann was perfectly patient in winning the 10K national title at the U.S. Open Water National Championships in Castaic Lake, CA.
Mann, an accomplished pool and open water swimmer at a young age, went 1:59:13.952 swimming away from the field late to take home the national title. That win also sends Mann to the Gold Coast of Australia this summer as the leader of the U.S. Open Water delegation for the Pan Pacific Championships.
Mann, a recent transfer from Clearwater Aquatics in Florida to Bob Bowman‘s North Baltimore Aquatic Club program, won the race by just over 7 seconds.
London Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson led briefly near the end, and though Mann ultimately swam past her, Anderson hung on for second place in a tight battle with Eva Fabian. Anderson’s 1:59:21.552 garnered her second place, and Fabian also booked a trip to Australia by finishing third, despite dealing with some swim cap difficulty late. Fabian, a Yale Bulldog, went 1:59:22.081 competing for Greenwood Swimming.
The final Pan Pacs spot went to Rally-Sport Aquatics Club’s Christine Jennings, a University of Minnesota graduate. Jennings wound up just trailing Anderson and Fabian, coming in at 1:59:23.905.
Emily Brunemann, who led right off the bat, held on for a strong race, going 1:59:27.568 to take home fifth, which should land her a national team roster spot this year. Also on that national roster will be Ashley Twichell of the Seal Innovation Team, who went 1:59:29.529 for sixth.
Three more swimmers got under two hours on the day, which boasted near-perfect swimming conditions on Castaic Lake. 14-year-old Isabella Rongione went 1:59:35.909, followed by Indiana Hoosier Lindsay Vrooman (1:59:52.010) and Megan Rankin (1:59:54.579), a rising junior at the University of Florida.
18-year-old Regan Kology, a recent high school graduate committed to Harvard for next fall, rounded out the top 10, going 2:00:03.393.
This year’s nationals are serving as the selection meet for several major international competitions, including Pan Pacs, Junior Pan Pacs and Junior Worlds. The Junior Worlds roster selection procedures have yet to be announced. The Junior Pan Pacs selection procedures call for the top 3 finishing girls who are between 13 and 18 and have not competed at Long Course Worlds, Pan Pacs or the Olympics. With Mann qualifying for the 2014 Pan Pacs, she won’t be eligible to swim Junior Pan Pacs as well, so the roster spots will fall to fall to Rongione, Kology and Ohio State rising sophomore Lindsey Clary, who took 13th overall.
Though results haven’t yet made their way online, you can see a shot of the first page of the finish lists on our Instagram here.