SwimmingOpen Water National Championships Set to Kick Off in Sarasota

Open Water National Championships Set to Kick Off in Sarasota

National champion titles, as well as slots on the Open Water National Team, National Junior Team and several international teams will be on the line April 21-23 at the 2023 Open Water National Championships. The three-day event will be held at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Florida.

More than 240 athletes from across the country, as well as competitors from Spain, Sweden and Japan are scheduled to compete. Swimming begins Friday with the 10K National Championship, followed by the 5K Junior National Championship on Saturday, and concluding with the 7.5K Junior National Championship and 5K National Championship on Sunday.

Five women currently on the Open Water National Team have registered to compete, including last year’s national champion Katie Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada). Grimes also won last year’s Junior 7.5k event and will swim in the women’s 5k and 10k events this year. 2020 Olympian Ashley Twichell (Cary, N.C./TAC Titans) also makes her return to open water competition in the 10k less than a year after giving birth to her first child.

All six men on the Open Water National Team have registered to compete, including top American finishers in the 10k from last year’s championships, Brennan and Dylan Gravley. Brennan (Las Vegas, Nev./University of Florida) finished second overall, as well as winning his first national title in the 5k event. His brother, Dylan (Las Vegas, Nev./Arizona State University), finished third in the 10k race. Both brothers will compete in the men’s 5k and 10k events.

Last year’s Junior world champion and Junior national champion in the 5k Claire Weinstein (White Plains, N.Y./Sandpipers of Nevada) will once again compete in the 5k race, but this time she’s graduated up to the women’s division, as well as swimming in the women’s 10k race.

Before racing kicks off, here are five things to look for in Sarasota:

  • The Road to Paris: This race isn’t a qualifier but the first domino in the process to qualify for Paris as team spots will be on the line for those who advance to compete at the upcoming World Aquatics (formerly FINA) Open Water Championships in 2023 and 2024.
  • Team Selections: The importance of this event, in order to continue competing at the highest levels of open water, cannot be stressed enough; including serving as a qualifying event for those looking to make the 2023 U.S. Open Water National Team. The top-six finishing men and top-six finishing women in the 10K will be named to the 2023 U.S. Open Water National Team. The meet will also serve as part of the selection process for the 2023 World Aquatics Championships Team, 2023 Pan American Games Team and LEN Open Water Cup. Open Water team selection procedures can be found here.

    This competition will also be an important one for junior talents as the top-three finishing junior males and top-three finishing junior females in the 10k will qualify for the 2023 U.S. Open Water National Junior Team. The best-placing male and female finishers from the 7.5k will also qualify. Junior Team selection procedures can be found here.

  • Grimes at it Again: At just 17-years-old, Grimes has proven she’s a threat in the pool and in open water. She earned a historic fifth-place finish in her 10k debut at the 2022 FINA World Open Water Championships. Her finish was the second highest ever for an American athlete at the FINA World Championships. She went on to win gold in the 7.5k Junior Open Water World Championships last year. Look for another strong finish from her in Sarasota.
  • Gravley Getting it Done: In addition to Grimes, Brennan Gravley was the only other athlete to stand on the podium twice at last year’s Nationals. With even more experience under his belt, look for strong finishes from him. Both athletes were also winners of last year’s USA Swimming Open Water Swimmers of the Year awards.
  • They Grow Up So Fast: The stage has been set for new junior talents to rise to the top as many of the top young athletes from last year’s Junior Nationals to the National Championship. The top-finishing returner in the junior boy’s 5k is Colin Jacobs, who finished in fifth place last year.

The start list for this weekend’s competition can be found here. For a complete schedule and timeline, click here. All action from Sarasota can be viewed at www.usaswimming.org/watch. For results, water quality and more, visit the meet information page.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with USA Swimming. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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