3 years ago I decided that Open Water Swimming was a great way for athletes to finish their season and to score some recognition. Simply, Open Water swimming is not everyone's cup of tea... even distance swimmers... some people just don't like it. Enter your tough kids - the athletes that are willing to scrap and be uncomfortable to compete for a placing rather than a time. In Ontario, there is even a Championship meet with no entry standard - just show up and duke it out for the title of Provincial Champion. I figured that it would serve to finish these athlete's season well with a sense of real accomplishment (top 10 finish at a Provincial Championship) and excite and focus them on the next season.
I was not wrong. My club became one of the largest at the championship and even held their own Open Water meet this June. I have been told that this is a niche sport, but have found that it is a great way to empower an athlete (or a club) that hasn't quite found their niche.
Congrats to everyone that competed today (especially all of the HHBF and OAK swimmers). HHBF results can be found here. Congrats to medalists Britney Dortona, Lauren Monhemius & Michael Jans. Sorry I couldn't be there to take the picture (below) myself.
Full results can be found here.