Ron Aitken and Cory Chitwood Head Up U.S. Open Water Worlds Coaching Staff

USA Swimming has announced the finalized the staff and team heading to next month’s World Aquatic Open Water Championships. The Open Water events take place from July 15-20 (14-19 in the U.S) at Seaside Momochi Beach Park in Fukuoka, Japan.

Open Water Events Schedule (Japan dates)

Date Event
July 15 Women’s 10K
July 16 Men’s 10K
July 18 Women’s 5K, men’s 5K
July 20 Mixed 4x1500m Relay

Ron Aitken, head coach and executive director of the Sandpipers of Nevada, will head up the coaching staff. Joining him is Cory Chitwood, who’s been a part of Indiana’s coaching staff for the last four years.

This is the second year Aitken and Chitwood have been on the open water coaching staff as they were also part of the 2022 team. That was Chitwood’s first experience on a World Aquatics Championships coaching staff, while Aitken made his open water worlds debut after serving as coaches for the 2022 pool team.

“Coach Aitken and Coach Chitwood bring extensive experience in the sport and international competitions. In the last several years, both Ron and Cory have proven their ability to work with our Open Water National Team Athletes and I am extremely confident in their ability to set the team up for some successful swims in Fukuoka. We’re looking forward to seeing the hard work put in by our athletes when they take the water in Japan,” said USA’s Swimming’s National Team Open Water Director Bryce Elser in the press release.

In addition, both Aitken and Chitwood were on the coaching staff for May’s Open Water World Cup in Italy, where the U.S. open water roster was set. Since then, Dylan Gravley has been added to the roster. At that meet, Gravely finished second amongst Americans in 1:49:06.2 (21st overall) in the 10K and participated in the mixed 4x1500m relay.


The 10K and 5K are the only two individual open water events, as the 25km event was dropped from the schedule this year. All the athletes named to the Open Water roster are eligible to participate in the relay.

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11 months ago

Let the sour grapes begin.


Former Big10
11 months ago

Wonder why my comments keep getting selectively removed, yet Andrew is still able to troll.

James Beam
11 months ago

Cory is doing a fantastic job at IU.
One could make the argument Aiken belongs on the pool deck and the beach for Worlds!

11 months ago

Chitwood LMFAO

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Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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