(Pictured above: Eva Fabian on the left, Alex Meyer and Sean Ryan on the right.)
USA Swimming has published their 2011-2012 Open Water National Team roster, which was determined based on the 10k race at the Open Water National Championships that were held in Ft. Lauderdale on June 10th.
To make the National Team, swimmers had to finish in the top 6 of the race and be within 10 minutes of the winner. To make the Junior National Team, swimmers had to finish amongst the top 3 swimmers 18 & under who finished within 15 minutes of the top finisher. This year, all 18 roster spots were filled.
The women’s Champion was 17-year old Eva Fabian, who currently trains out of New Hampshire and will begin swimming at Yale in the fall. The men’s champ was Alex Meyer, who in 2010 was the World Champion in the 25k.
As for those who will get a chance to swim at this summer’s World Championships:
USC junior-to-be Haley Anderson and Gator Swim Club’s Claire Thompson will swim the women’s 25k. Eva Fabian is the only woman swimming two races, with entries in the 5k and 10k. Christine Jennings of Mission Viejo will join Fabian in the 10k.
The interesting name to me is Ashley Twichell, who recently completed her eligibility at Duke and is currently training at Mission Viejo with Christine Jennings and former open-water (and current pool-water) superstar Chloe Sutton. Twichell is a real newcomer to the elite level of this sport, but thanks in no small part to her training group in Mission Viejo (that Sutton recently raved about in a Universal Sports blog) is shooting to the top of the heap.
On the men’s side, Alex Meyer will swim the meet’s two long events – the 10k and 25k. Michigan’s Sean Ryan will swim the 5k and 10k – he swept the Big Ten Championships in the distance freestyles as a freshman last year.
Andrew Gemmell‘s decision to leave the University of Georgia last season paid off with a spot in the World Championships in the 5k. As of yet, USA Swimming has not announced a second swimmer in the men’s 25k race.
The striking part of this roster is how young it is. Open water swimming is a relatively young sport (only earning Olympic status in 2008), which might be a big reason for this trend. Other than 31-year old Mark Warkentin, the entire senior National Team is made up of swimmers in their late-teens and early-twenties.
The University of Michigan is responsible for two swimmers on the men’s team: Sean Ryan and Ryan Feeley. The other teams with multiple swimmers on the roster are Mission Viejo, as we discussed with Twichell and Jennings, and not surprisingly the FAST National Center of Excellence, which is the current training home of Gemmell and Emily Brunnemann. Brunemann, interestingly, also used to swim at Michigan, which makes for a strong Wolverine connection on this squad.
Men’s National Team
Women’s National Team
For full Open Water National Team rosters and details, click here.