Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In the early 21st century, USA Swimming asked Rick Walker, Denny Ryther and Dave Thomas to put together an elite training camp for its best potential open water swimmers. The camps were held in Lake Placid, New York and Fort Myers, Florida.

Between June 6th and 10th, the USA Swimming annual Open Water Select Camp will be held for the 11th time where athletes are given the opportunity to transition seamlessly from top pool swimming competition to the international open water swimming world.

National Open Water Select Camp plays a key role in strengthening Team USA’s open water team at the international level,” said USA Swimming Club Development Managing Director Pat Hogan. “Elite distance swimmers already have the swimming ability, but this camp encourages athletes to explore open water swimming as an additional option to their current pool training to potentially represent the U.S. in international competition.”

In the early years, we introduced Pool Open Water Swimming, pacing, positioning, drafting, feeding and acclimatization techniquest to the agenda,” recalled Steven Munatones. “There is an entire generation of world champions and Olympians from the U.S. who have come through this pipeline.”

Eight men and eight women were selected based on fast 1500m times of the year, while four others (both male and female) were selected based on the results of the 2016 5 km USA Swimming National Open Water Championships.

The 2017 National Open Water Select Camp Staff members include head coach Grant Holicky of RallySport Aquatics and assistant coaches John Payne of TAC Titans [shown above], Nick Graves of Dynamo Swim Club, Michele Lowry of Swim Utah, and Julie Wessler of Lemont Park District Dolphins, and managers Aaron Mahaney of Buffalo and Kaitlin Pawlowicz of Arlington Aquatic Club.

The swimmers include:

* Mary Margaret Banick, Tennessee Aquatics
* Mckenzee Gordan, Scottsdale Aquatic Club
* Matti Harrison, Phoenix Swim Club
* Daniella Hawkins, Pleasanton Seahawks
* Miranda Heckman, Pleasanton Seahawks
* Alicia Mancilla, Gulliver Swim Club
* Ana Pozder, TAC Titans
* Cathryn Salladin, FAST Swim Team

* Makayla Sargent, University of Florida
* Kaitlynn Sims, Magnolia Aquatic Club
* Stephanie Su, Los Alamitos Swordfish Swim Team
* Haley Yelle, Mansfield Aquatic Club
* Karl Bishop, Cheshire Y Sea Dog Swim Club

* Andrew Brady, University of Florida
* Aidan Burns, Unattached
* Arthur Conover, Indiana Swim Team
* Ross Dant, Hickory Foundation YMCA Seahorse Swim Team
* Liam Gately, Loveland Swim Club
* Jared Graham, Penguin Aquatics
* Matthew Haigh, Ridley Area YMCA Stingrays
* Matthew Hrabchak, Gator Swim Club
* John Hubbuch Indiana Swim Team
* Tyler Jones, Team Santa Monica
* Will Roberts, Naval Academy Aquatic Club

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