Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

123 lb. Stanislas Raczynski traveled a long way from his native Leudon en Brie in north-central France to Lone Star Lake in Kansas.

The freshman freestyler is now studying Computer Information at Emmanuel College in Georgia and soon found himself standing on the shoreline of a lake in the middle of America at the inaugural College Swimming Coaches Association of America National Collegiate Open Water Championships.

But Raczynski did not waste any time in proving his competitiveness and grit to his new collegiate coach, Allen Gilchrest. The French native led the entire race from start to finish over the field of 33 athletes.

Raczynski was pushed by Marcelo Figueiredo of Carson-Newman University as they swam shoulder-to-shoulder until Raczynski surged ahead at the finish. Raczynski did not make it easy for himself as he made a wrong turn at the first buoy before readjusting and regaining the lead. “I’ve already swam some open water events, so I kind of knew how it would go. I missed a few buoys, that was my mistake, but the water was really good, the race really interesting. I was happy because I won, but I used a lot of effort when I missed the buoys to try to come back and not get behind. I was really exhausted [at the end].”

The Cincinnati Bearcats earned the men’s team title as each school’s top three swimmers contributed to a combined team time.

The Cincinnati Bearcats captured the team title over second-place Carson-Newman with a time of 3 hours 9 minutes 29 seconds, claiming four individual medalist honors. Bearcat swimmer Chris Bready was third overall in a time of 1:01:42.76. Saint Louis University placed third in the team results with three individuals sprinkled evenly among the top 14 competitors at a combined 3:14:46.

Seven-time women’s world marathon champion Shelley Taylor-Smith, who swam at the University of Arkansas, presented the awards and addressed the competitors at the event, which was a first attempt at open water swimming for many of the participants.

It was really exciting to see,” Taylor-Smith said. “I spoke to competitors and asked them how was it today, and they went, ‘You know, it hurt,’ but then they smiled and said it was quite enjoyable and fun. That’s what it’s about, because it is a different experience. There is no black line, so you’re really dealing mostly with your head. The mindset is what’s paramount in open water swimming.

It was really nice to see the camaraderie between the teams. A lot of people say swimming is a solo sport, but I really believe that it’s a team sport and when you see the teammates that aren’t competing come down, it makes for a great event. This is the impetus that needs to go forward for the NCAA.”

5 km National Collegiate Championship results:
1. Stanislas Raczynski (Emmanuel College) 1:01:06.43
2. Marcelo Figueiredo (Carson-Newman Universities) 1:01:07.28
3. Chris Bready (University of Cincinnati) 1:01:42.76
4. Din Selmanovic (University of Cincinnati) 1:03:26.01
5. Tyler Guist (Saint Louis University) 1:04:16.62
6. Tyler Jones (University of Cincinnati) 1:04:20.07
7. Justin Crew (University of Cincinnati) 1:04:21.74
8. Josh Winn (Carson-Newman Universities) 1:04:26.16
9. Scott Street (Saint Louis University) 1:04:26.59
10. Dominic Byrne (Colorado School of Mines) 1:04:27.56
11. Alex Mundt (Oklahoma Baptist University) 1:04:30.07
12. Felipe Ramirez (Oklahoma Baptist University) 1:05:09.64
13. Jeremy Goodison (Saint Louis University) 1:05:58.74
14. Maclean Robertson (Albion College) 1:06:03.18
15. Kristijan Stunkovic (Oklahoma Baptist University) 1:06:04.02
16. Isaiah Williams (Saint Louis University) 1:06:47.91
17. Jon Lancaster (Carson-Newman Universities) 1:07:10.03
18. Carson Knox (Carson-Newman Universities) 1:07:30.27
19. Jonathan Stewart (Oklahoma Baptist University) 1:07:41.38
20. Nick Belecanech (Saint Louis University) 1:09:20.49
21. Brennan Mays (Colorado School of Mines) 1:09:38.90
22. Chacne Dodds (Colorado School of Mines) 1:09:41.97
23. Nick Jessee (Saint Louis University) 1:09:42.15
24. Jonathan Donehower (Colorado School of Mines) 1:09:47.98
25. Greyson Goodwin (Ohio Weslyan University) 1:10:00.03
26. Kyle Harvey (Albion College) 1:11:13.24
27. Sebastian Tostado (Albion College) 1:11:37.39
28. Josip Miskovic (Oklahoma Baptist University) 1:13:23.74
29. Marcus Tonsman (Colorado School of Mines) 1:13:48.70
30. Josh Graber (Colorado School of Mines) 1:15:32.62
31. Loki Hondorf (Colorado School of Mines) 1:15:50.35
32. William Paull (Ohio Weslyan University) 1:17:32.37
33. Ryan Walker (Oklahoma Baptist University) 1:18:05.06

Men’s Team Scores:
1. University of Cincinnati: 3:09:29 (Chris Bready; Din Selmanovic; Tyler Jones)
2. Carson-Newman Universities: 3:12:43 (Marcelo Figueiredo; Josh Winn; Jonathan Stewart)
3. Saint Louis University A: 3:14:46 (Tyler Guist; Scott Street; Maclean Robertson)
4. Oklahoma Baptist University A: 3:16:28 (Alex Mundt; Felipe Ramirez; Kristijan Stunkovic)
5. Colorado School of Mines A: 3:23:48 (Dominic Byrne; Brennan Mays; Chacne Dodds)
6. Saint Louis University B: 3:25:07 (Isaiah Williams; Jon Lancaster; Jonathan Donehower)
7. Albion College: 3:28:49 (Jeremy Goodison; Kyle Harvey; Josip Miskovic)
8. Colorado School of Mines B: 3:39:09 (Jessee, Nick; Tonsman, Marcus; Josh Graber)
9. Oklahoma Baptist University B: 3:39:10 (Belecanech, Nick; Sebastian Tostado; Ryan Walker)

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