West Coast Open Water Championships
- Oct 17-18, 2020
- Lake Las Vegas, Henderson NV
- Hosted by Sandpipers of Nevada
The country’s largest open water race of the year occurred last weekend in Lake Las Vegas. Several open water Olympians, National champions, and US National Team members competed at the event.
Men 10k Elite Open Water
2016 Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky won the race by over 30 seconds, hitting the pad in a final time of 1:34:58.89. Wilimovsky is the only male swimmer already qualified to compete at the 2021 Olympic Games in this event, as he finished 5th overall at last year’s World Championships.
The race for second was much tighter behind Wilimovsky. World Championship team member David Heron touched in second place (1:35:05.38), about two seconds ahead of US National Teamers James Brinegar (1:35:07.01) and Brennan Gravley (1:35:06.71).
American record-holder Kieran Smith finished in 7th place, with a final time of 1:38:31.92.
Women 10k Elite Open Water
Unlike the men’s race, the women’s race came down to a tight battle for first place between the country’s top two open water swimmers. In the end, Haley Anderson narrowly out-touched Ashley Twitchell for the victory 1:42:05.45 to 1:42:06.94. Both swimmers will be competing in the 10k in Tokyo via top-10 finishes at the 2019 World Championships.
14-year-old Kathryn Grimes surprised the field, finishing in 3rd place with a time of 1:44:00.69. Her teammate Abby Dunford, who is also only 14, touched in fourth (1:44:20.20).
US National Teamer Erica Sullivan was originally slated to compete in this event, but she did not appear on the start-list. Sullivan swims with the Sandpipers, who hosted the meet.
Men 5k Elite Open Water
James Brinegar managed to take the victory over John Gallant by a judge’s ruling, finishing in a time of 54:44.26. Dylan Gravely finished close behind in third place, touching in 54:46.86.
All three swimmers finished several minutes ahead of the remainder of the field, which was led by 17-year-old Joshua Brown, who is committed to swim for Villanova in the fall.
Women 5k Elite Open Water
In a field of only 6 swimmers, 2018 FINA Open Water World Junior Championship 10k gold medalist Chase Travis managed to take the win over her older sister Brooke. The two finished extremely tight, touching in times of 57:37.23 and 57:39.28, respectively. 2017 Open Water World Championships competitor Cathryn Salladin followed closely behind the pair of sisters, swimming a time of 57:42.72.
Sullivan, who was also slated to compete in this event ended up scratching again, along with National Jr. Teamer Claire Tuggle. Earlier in the weekend, Tuggle competed in the Junior 2.5k, where she finished second.