Eva Fabian, the dynamo 16-year-old from Keene, New Hampshire, was awarded the Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year Award at the United States Aquatic Sports Convention in Dallas, Texas tonight.

2010 was truly a breakout year for the go-for-it-from-the-start open water star who moves constantly at a 95 strokes-per-minute pace. She began the year by traveling to South America and the Caribbean and will have traveled to Asia, Canada and the Middle East by the time 2010 is over.

John Dussliere, the 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim coach in Beijing, introduced Eva at the awards ceremony, “In recent years it may have been easy to guess who the recipients of this award would be. We were competing well, but had no a clear standout male and female performer. Now with four or five American women regularly earning medals on the world stage in open water, the decision becomes much more difficult to make.”

Winning the team competition by getting the gold and silver in the women’s 10K race at the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships and finishing second as a team at the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Championships in Canada with multiple medals, our team is showing an increasing momentum towards London.”

Eva is at home tonight training for the upcoming 10K World Cup series that is in China next week and also stops in Hong Kong, Mexico and ends in October in the United Arab Emirates. So forgive her for not being here tonight.”

Her open water swimming advisor Gerry Rodrigues says of Eva, “She is tenacious with a high athletic IQ. When I saw her at the water’s edge at the Tiburon Mile, standing toe-to-toe with some of the fastest men in the world – coming up to their elbows – but not giving in an inch, I knew she was something special. It has been a joy working with her and her father. They really understand and study the sport and endeavor to do what it takes to improve.”

From what we have observed, Eva constantly wants to learn about the sport, seeking knowledge about tactics and specific training sets in the pool that she can do on a daily basis that precisely prepare her for 5K and 10K races including regularly doing POW workouts (Pool Open Water workouts).

Not only did Eva win the gold medal in the World Championships in Quebec, Canada, but she also earned a silver in the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 10K in California and had top finishes at the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup (silver in Quebec, Canada, third in Viedma, Argentina. She got third in the USA Swimming National 10K Championships and second in the 5K Championships. She also traveled the world plying her trade and building up the requisite experience necessary to compete with the world’s best: she won the Nike Swim Miami 10K in Florida, won the 2K race and 10K relay in Puerto Varas y Santiago, Chile in 14°C (57°F) water, set a mile record at the Flowers Sea Swim where she beat a handful of pool swimming Olympians en route and won a handful of invitational races at the Desafio Internacional Puerto Varas de Aguas Abiertas in Chile.

Eva won the award that was established in 1985 as the Open Water Swimming Committee Award and was later changed in 2005 to the Female Open Water Swimmer of the Year Award. Eva follows in the footsteps of the following individuals: Clarence Ross (1985), John York )1986), David Gray (1987), Bill Damm (1988), Penny Lee Dean (1989), Tobie Smith (1990), Amy Dunleavy (1991), Pete Hulsveld (1992), Chuck Wiley (1993), Bambi Bowman (1994), Kari Lydersen (1995), Rosemary Freas and City of Indiatlantic Florida (1996), Chuck Wiley (1997), Megan Ryther (1998), John Kenney (1999), Regan Schreiber (2000), Steven Munatones (2001), Ron Van Pool (2002), City of Ft. Myers Florida, Swim Florida and Lee County Parks and Recreation (2003), Dianne Limerick (2004), Sara McLarty (2005), Erica Rose (2006), Chloe Sutton (2007), Chloe Sutton (2008) and Emily Brunemann (2009).

What is undoubtedly one of Eva’s greatest strength is her profound understanding that open water swimmers have to Expect The Unexpected. At the world championships, she was leading going into the last turn when she and another athlete inadvertently went the wrong way around an intermediate buoy and was immediately red-carded. Disappointed, frustrated and saddened, Eva dried herself off and accepted the decision with the maturity and optimistic outlook of a true champion. She was not bitter, she was not discouraged. She understood the situation, turned on a smile the next day and then went on to win the gold medal in the 5K a few days later.

She does not always win, but she learns from each racing experience and becomes better each time she hits the open water (as seen as she chases Christine Jennings at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships):

Another trait that Eva demonstrates is intelligence (she home schools herself in calculus as one example) and other land-based abilities, including an amazing virtuoso performance that opened up the 2010 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships:

Her sweet personality that shows her respect for her competitors and the sport is genuine. Eva’s interview after her 5K world championship victory at the 5K world championship is below:

The future is bright for America’s 2010 Female Open Water Swimmer in the Year.

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association