Mays sets record at Beach-to Beach
Published: May 30, 2011
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ST. JOHN - Perfect swimming conditions and a nonchalant approach helped St. Croix native Bryson Mays set a time record at the eighth annual Beach-to-Beach Power Swim on Sunday.
The 16-year-old Good Hope School junior finished the 3.5-mile open-water swim from Maho Bay to Hawksnest Beach in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 32 seconds. Mays repeated as overall champion and was followed by USVI triathlete Morgan Locke and ultra-marathon swimmer Jamie Patrick.
"I was trying to go for the record last year but this time around, I wasn't even thinking about it," said Mays, who beat the old record set in 2005 by a little over a minute. "Maybe the conditions were a little calmer this year. That definitely helped."
Mays got off to a fast start, rounded the first buoy and never looked back.
"I like getting out in front," said Mays, who has only swum the long course each of the last two years. "I sprinted out and I figured Morgan would stay with me. He did, and then I started to pull away around the second mile."
Only a month removed from his appearance at the St. Croix 70.3 Ironman Triathlon, Locke took second in 1:16:40 and Patrick, a California native, finished in 1:19:36 and was third.
The top women's finisher was Barbara Crowder (1:21:04), who trimmed nearly six minutes off her first-place time from 2004, which was the first year of the race. Crowder also took second in 2007, when she was runner-up to Annie Myrvang, who still holds the women's course record.
"Seems like there was more of a current today then those past years," said Crowder, who swims five times a week near her home in North Carolina but visits St. John up to three months a year. "This is our vacation home and will be our retirement home one day. We love coming here and we love this race."
Crowder topped runner-up Maria Simonetti (1:24:32) while Juliana DeHaas (1:27:11) took third among the women.
Joe Kessler, the race director and president of the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, said 204 swimmers registered for the race and 178 competed Sunday morning in calm waters and under overcast skies.
"Today we had great conditions and everything ran very smoothly," Kessler said. "In open-water swimming, conditions are important. When you get swimmers of this caliber with the winds and waves, it's almost like they're surfing out there."
When Kieran Locke - Morgan's older brother - set the old course record six years ago, Kessler said the winds were very strong and made for fast times. The wind Sunday came out of the east and was somewhat mild.
Sen. Craig Barshinger, one of nine swimmers who have competed in every Beach-to-Beach race, won his third straight long course assisted title in 1:25:17, while Alexandra Viele (1:30:14) won the same course for the women.
Youth definitely prevailed in the unassisted relay race as 12-year-olds Nick Dascher, Ariel Sanes and Matthew Mays rolled to the relay team title in a time of 1:21:22, nearly 40 minutes faster than the next closest squad.
Sanes won the St. Thomas Kids Triathlon the day before at Magens Bay and all three swimmers compete together on the St. Croix Dolphins swim team.
"The swim program on St. Croix has produced so many great swimmers," Kessler said. "With the exception of probably two years, the overall winners have been from that program and these boys proved that tradition will remain strong for years to come."
Ativa Roberts, Janaka Hobbs and Jamie Cail combined forces to take the assisted relay title in 1:44:12.
The Nemo Award for the youngest swimmer went to 6-year-old Malena Del Olmo, who swam the mile alongside the Neptune Award winner, Manny De La Torre, who just turned 69.
Anne Wheelock and Warren Duryea each made the trip from Honolulu, Hawaii and shared the Magellan Award as all the post-race awards were original glass art provided by Maho Bay Camps.
- Contact sports writer Aaron Gray at 774-8772 ext. 352 or email email@example.com.
Beach-to-Beach Power Swim Results
St. John, Sunday
Long Solo Male
Bryson Mays 1:10:32 (*new course record)
Morgan Locke 1:16:40
Jamie Patrick 1:19:36
Long Solo Female
Barbara Crowder 1:21:04
Maria Simonetti 1:24:32
Juliana DeHaas 1:27:11
Long Assisted Male
Craig Barshinger 1:25:17
Rick Nielsen 1:46:32
Stephen Madden 1:47;11
Long Assisted Female
Alexandra Viele 1:30:14
Ashley Vomberger 1:31:50
Emily Dulack 1:31:58
Intermediate Solo Male
Tory Lane 52:51
Carlos Alvarez 58:44
Eric Bauman 1:04:48
Intermediate Solo Female
Kristen Grandonico 58:02
Elizabeth Conklin 58:50
Anne Wheelock 59:09
Intermediate Assisted Male
John Jordan 1:01:45
Intermediate Assisted Female
Kay Reddy 1:00:07
Barbara Gail-Warden 1:09:50
Linda Villafranco 1:22:08
Short Solo Male
Bryan Edington 25:28
Sean Callan 26:02
Warren Duryea 26:07
Short Solo Female
Betsy Jessup 28:27
Jane Kwilecki 28:30
Karen Daranowski 28:54
Short Assisted Male
Austin Krye 22:35
Michael Todd 23:35
Brad Douglas 24:30
Short Assisted Female
Jane Fielding 26:10
Francesca Grandonico 27:30
Kate Swan 27:40
Long Relay Unassisted
N. Dascher, A. Sanes, M. Mays 1:21:22
Long Relay Assisted
A. Roberts, J. Hobbs, J. Cail 1:44:12
Source: race director Joe Kessler