Tulius beats Mays in Beach-to-Beach nail-biter

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Another thrilling finish highlighted Saturday's 11th annual Beach-to-Beach Power Swim on St. John.

The Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park race is gaining steam as one of the premier open water swim events in the world.

"First thing is first, everybody was safe, which is the most important thing, and we're always thankful for that," race director Joe Kessler said. "We had another dynamite finish, which was great."

Long course male winner Rex Tullius of St. John beat Matthew Mays of St. Croix by just 9 seconds, finishing in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 43 seconds.

In all, 257 racers showed up for the race, and 248 swimmers finished. Nine relay teams also finished.

A Virgin Islander also won the long course for women, as St. Croix's Jamaris Washshah finished in 1:21.23.

Other event winners included Martyna Pospieszalska of St. Thomas (short solo women, 24:12); Brennan Kelly of New York, N.Y. (short solo men, 22:01); Amanda Loshbaugh of St. Thomas (short assisted female, 25:21); James Miller of St. John (short assisted male, 25:33); Jennie Bucknell of South Yarra, Australia (intermediate solo female, 52:18); Jonathan Thomas of St. Croix (intermediate solo male, 48:08); Mindy Michtner of St. John (intermediate assisted female, 54:03); Ken Wild of St. John (intermediate assisted male, 1:05.35); Holly Stein of St. John (long assisted female, 1:34.03); Matthew Rassmussen of St. John (long assisted male, 1:22.08).

Twenty-nine states were represented in the race, in addition to competitors from Washington D.C., the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Australia, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

"It was an international event, it was well attended and it was well received," Kessler said. "I can't ask for anything more than that."

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