Cunha Wins Women’s 10K, Twichell The Top American At Open Water Nats


In what was a tightly contested race through all six laps, Brazilian Ana Marcela Cunha came away with the victory in the women’s 10K at the U.S. Open Water National Championships in Miami.

Cunha was up at the front of the lead pack throughout, along with a large group that was originally 13 and tailed off to 11 prior to the halfway mark. She held the slight lead ahead of Haley Anderson and Erica Sullivan heading into the final lap, and after no one was able to break away down the stretch, it was a wild sprint between five swimmers down the finishing chute.

In the end, it was Cunha barely holding off American Ashley Twichell for the win, with Anderson touching third and Sullivan fourth.

Hannah Moore of Wolfpack Elite was up with this lead pack as well, but was given her second yellow flag on the fifth lap and thus disqualified. Officials were unable to get her attention during the race, so she finished before finding out about the DQ. An official protest was filed, but the disqualification was upheld.


  1. Ana Marcela Cunha, Brazil, 2:00:00.17
  2. Ashley Twichell, Tac Titans, 2:00:00.67
  3. Haley Anderson, Trojan Swim Club, 2:00:01.10
  4. Erica Sullivan, Sandpipers of Nevada, 2:00:06.00
  5. Katy Campbell, Team Santa Monica, 2:00:13.55
  6. Becca Mann, Unattached, 2:00:14.65
  7. Mariah Denigan, Northern KY Clippers, 2:00:45.38
  8. Kensey McMahon, University of Alabama Swim Club, 2:01:10.10
  9. Chase Travis, Nation’s Capital Swim Club, 2:01:58.07
  10. Brooke Travis, Nation’s Capital Swim Club, 2:02:16.93

Since Cunha is Brazilian, Twichell will be named the National Champion, giving her three straight victories. Cunha is a nine-time World Championship medalist, including three gold that all came in the 25K event (2011, 2015, 2017).

As the top two Americans, Twichell and Anderson both qualify for the U.S. World Championship team in this event, just as they did in 2017. In the 10K in Budapest, Anderson was sixth and Twichell tenth.

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Interesting. I’ve watched the video a dozen times and it doesn’t appear to me that the first swimmer to cross the line (presumably Cunha) actually touched the board. She may have but I can’t tell. I’m not that familiar with OW rules, so a question. If a swimmer does not touch the board how is the finish adjudicated?


She didn’t touch but I don’t think you have to. Can someone confirm the rules?


Pretty sure you have to touch. At leas that’s what I heard during the race briefing this morning.

Emily B Klueh

You have to touch per the rules and you can see her finger tips touch the black bottom part of the board. It is def better to get your whole hand on the board so it is clearly visible but yes you have to touch the board.


Thanks for the clarification. And now I do see that her fingers appear to graze the bottom of the board. Just barely.


Doesn’t matter how, just touch it, that’s so simple.


you need to touch. it’s so strict that even if a wave wasn’t in your favor at the finish (ie the down curve of the wave) and you couldn’t reach the board and another swimmer were to pass you and touch it they would beat you.


She definitely touched it at about 8 secs of the video.

Ricardo Ratto

To touch the finish means that the swimmer has to have contact with it. And if you deeply observe, her fingers touch the finish wall on the below edge of it, so it’s a valid finish.


Heartbreaking DQ for Hannah Moore.

CT Swim Fan

What did she do to get 2 yellows flags?


When are we getting men’s results?

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

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