Niagara District was well represented in mid August when our contingent ventured north to Lake Placid’s Mirror Lake to compete in the annual Betsy Owens Memorial 1 and 2 mile cable swims. With one more chance to wear the infamous and now banned tech suits three individual and two relay records were established by Niagara swimmers.
Contrary to the chaos of some open water swims where more than a thousand swimmers start simultaneously in a thrashing sea of elbows and kicking feet, at the Betsy Owens heats of 10 are started at interval. There is much more order and manner as the swimmers negotiate the course marked by a submerged and suspended cable; hence the name “cable swim”.
District president Neil Brophy captured the 1st place posicle stick, winning the one mile, two lap event, ahead of fellow Niagarites Dana (2nd) and Bruce (3rd) Gianniny. All three lowered existing national records.
Bernard Russell teamed with Neil and Bruce to set a national mark in the Men 45+ relay while Kim Skomra joined with Neil and the Gianninys for a national mark in the Mixed 35+ relay.
Many swimmers, including tough guys Neil, Tim Ryan, Bernard Russell, Jerry Firlik and Rich Testa competed in both events, starting the two mile event less than an hour after the conclusion of the one mile. President Neil allowed ADMS’s Dennie Swan-Scott to strategically draft for most of the 2 miles and out sprint our man at the line giving him a first and a second on the day.
Competitors vie for the open water supremacy and the coveted loaves of whole grain bread that are awarded the age group winners; a yearly feature. No wall plaques here.
Put next August on your calendar as the Betsy Owens has been designated the 2011 Two Mile Cable National Championship race. Join the large turnout that typically heads to Mirror Lake whenever it hosts the Nationals. Compete for the loaf.
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