Tempe Set To Host 2018 U.S. Open Water Nationals

USA Swimming announced Tuesday that the 2018 U.S. Open Water Nationals will take place in Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, Arizona, scheduled for May 4-6.

This is a major change after the championships have recently been at either Castaic Lake in California or Miromar Lakes in Florida. Tempe Town Lake is actually a reservoir on the dry bed of Salt River. Like both Castaic and Miromar, it is man-made.

Three distances will be contested, with the 10k National Championship on Friday, the Junior National 5k on Saturday, and the National 5k and Junior 7.5k on Sunday. Spots on the 2018 Pan Pac and Junior World Championship rosters will be up for grabs, as well as positions on the 2018-19 Open Water National and Junior National teams.

“Tempe Town Lake has hosted a number of events, and our athletes and coaches will enjoy a tremendous venue for the 2018 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships,” said Bryce Elser, USA Swimming National Team Open Water Program Director. “We are excited to extend the Junior National Championships format in 2018, which will not only provide a great competitive opportunity, but will serve as the qualification for FINA Open Water World Juniors.”

After the addition of the Junior 5k in 2017, the 7.5k will be contested in 2018 and 2020 to mirror the event program at the Open Water Junior World Championships.

For an idea of the water temperature, Tempe Town Lake was recorded at 73 degrees Fahrenheit in May of 2015. It is also the host of the swim at Ironman Arizona, so the venue has experience hosting a large scale event.

Qualification information can be found here for the Open Water National Championships and here for the Junior Open Water National Championships.

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Tempe Town Lake is disgusting!


I am always down for Hep- C


Yes it is gross AF! Is it like the Salt River or is it also hot AF?


Really surprised they’re moving it from Miromar Lakes. That is a great location with really nice water. Airport is like 10 minutes away, too. Any word if this is just for 2018 and they’ll go back to the Ca-FL rotation starting in 2019, or is this the beginning of a shift to holding it at different locations each year?


What is the issue with Tempe Town Lake? Just asking for personal reasons? Seems like a perfect place for this type of event, but then I’ve never been to the other man-made lakes. Thanks


Nothing really. There are nicer, more scenic lakes in Arizona but the whole downtown Tempe thing may be a draw. Tempe is close to the airport. TTL can get hot and the week they are planning should be about the last week you would want to swim there. April would be better in my opinion. June through September there is too warm. Ironman Arizona is one of the most successful urban triathlons. I have dozens of open water and triathlon races there. Only one got cancelled with too much rainfall, resulting in runoff, and increased coliform count.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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