Claire Weinstein And Ryan Erisman Secure Junior 7.5k Titles At Open Water Nationals


The 2023 U.S. Open Water National Championships is now in the books, with the Junior National 7.5km event (16-17 age group) finishing things off in Sarasota, Florida. Claire Weinstein captured the title for the girls, while Ryan Erisman dominated in the boys’ event.

Weinstein already earned herself a spot on the 2023 Open Water National Team with her performance in the 10k earlier in the meet, but Erisman’s victory lands him on the Open Water National Junior Team as he did not compete in the 10k.



Top 8 Finishers:

  1. Ryan Erisman (Laker Swim) – 1:26:12.04
  2. Luke Whitlock (Fishers Area Swimming Tigers) -1:26:29.88
  3. Luke Brennan (Peddie Aquatic Association) – 1:26:37.55

17-year-old Ryan Erisman of Laker Swim dominated the final lap of the boys’ race to take home the title. Erisman stayed near the front for the whole race, but surged ahead on lap four to open up a commanding lead. He touched first in 1:26:12.04, 17 seconds ahead of runner-up Luke Whitlock.

“I didn’t expect it, no, but I just wanted to get out fast and have a strong race,” Erisman said. “I know most of the guys here. I’ve been to a lot of camps with them, so I’ve really come to know a lot of them. It was really nice to race them today.”

Whitlock earned 5th in this event last year. He was also the only swimmer of the top three to compete in the 10k on Friday, where he took 14th overall.

It was an extremely tight finish for 3rd that came down to the touch between Luke Brennan and Gabriel Manteufel. Brennan ultimately got his hand on the pad in 3rd, edging Manteufel by just two tenths of a second.


Top 3 Finishers:

  1. Claire Weinstein (Sandpipers of Nevada) – 1:34:00.42
  2. Claire Stuhlmacher (NOVA of Virginia Aquatics) – 1:34:16.56
  3. Lolly Milbaum (Sarasota Sharks) – 1:34:38.41

For much of the race, Claire Weinstein and Claire Stuhlmacher swam side-by-side. It wasn’t until the final straightaway that Weinstein made a move and took control of the race. Weinstein ended up finishing at 1:34:00.42, beating Stuhlmacher by 16 seconds as she took 2nd for the second year in a row.

“I just wanted to help out my own teammates in the race. I didn’t really feel like swimming the 5K since I just swam the 10K but the 7.5K sounded fun. I really just wanted my teammates to do well,” Weinstein said. On making the National Team from her 10k performance, she added: “It feels good. It’s always nice to open more opportunities. I’m excited for the future.”

Both Weinstein and Stuhlmacher competed in the 10k event on Friday where they finished 3rd and 14th, respectively.

Coming in 3rd was Sarasota’s Lolly Milbaum, who finished in 1:34:38.41, putting her over 30 seconds ahead of  Sianna Savarda in 4th.


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1 year ago

I just swam against Ryan Erisman. Man is he fast!

1 year ago

The Sandpipers of Nevada:

10 k
5 k
7.5 k jr

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 year ago

Is there anything they can’t do? Phenomenal!

Reply to  Weinstein-Smith-Ledecky-Sims
1 year ago

What’s your point? That the team entered the events offered? Brilliant! Or that pool World Championship swimmers can do well in OW?

Sherry Smit
1 year ago

Claire Stuhlmacher had such a great swim. Not taking away from weinstein, who swam a tremendous swim, but Stuhlmacher has been really showing her name in the open water scene lately. She’s not exactly the best pool swimmer at the moment, but forth in the world juniors in the 7.5 K, and then swimming second to weinstein, and it wasn’t a easy second, it was very very close throughout the race. Huge congratulations, I can’t wait to watch this pure open water swimmer develop.

Reply to  Sherry Smit
1 year ago

Especially impressive as the back half of a tough double after swimming the 10k on Friday