Courtesy of @USASwimLive on Castaic Lake, California.

It is not often that a team in the middle of a desert develops a strong open water swimming program and mindset, but the Sandpipers of Nevada are being pushed and motivated by coach Ron Aitken.

All the long hours and miles and months of hard work paid off today.

Erica Sullivan of the Sandpipers of Nevada won the women’s 5 km USA Swimming Junior National Open Water Championships with a dominating time of 1:05.19.9.

Nicole Salladin of FAST Swim Team finished second with a 1:06.05.2 and Mackenzie Arens of Academy Bullets grabbed third overall with a 1:06.29.1.

Girls Results:
1. Erica Sullivan (Sandpipers of Nevada) 1:05.19.9
2. Nicole Salladin (FAST Swim Team) 1:06.05.2
3. Mackenzie Arens (Academy Bullets) 1:06.29.1
4. Shayla Erickson (Irvine Novaquatics) 1:07.25.6
5. Reese Hazan (Sandpipers of Nevada) 1:07.28.4
6. Maddi Johnson (Mako Swim Team)1:07.34.7
7. Rachel Sabotin (Club Olympia) 1:07.56.0
8. Alexandra Crisera 1:08.06.9 (Beach Cities Swimming)

Meanwhile on the boys’ side, Noah Brune of the traditional open water swimming powerhouse Mission Viejo Nadadores, coached by USA Swimming Olympic marathon swimming coach Bill Rose, outlasted a pair of Sandpipers of Nevada swimmers Brennan Gravely and Joseph Gutierrez.

Boys Results:
1. Noah Brune (Mission Viejo Nadadores) 1:01:27.1

2. Brennan Gravely (Sandpipers of Nevada) 1:01:42.6

3. Joseph Gutierrez (Sandpipers of Nevada) 1:01:43.7

4. Thomas Bretzmann (North Carolina Aquatics) 1:02:27.8

5. Danny Berlitz (Parkland Aquatic Club) 1:02:28.1

6. Connor Daniels (Davis Aquadarts Racing) 1:03:35.5

7. Brandon Samaniego (Irvine Novaquatics) 1:03:37.3

8. Alexander Webster (Sarasota YMCA Sharks) 1:04:15.4

9. Stefan Cooley (Scottsdale Aquatic Club) 1:04:16.3

10. Ryan Staunch (Swim Florida) 1:04:48.1

11. Christopher Mykkannen (Irvine Novaquatics) 1:06:04.0

12. Nico Hernandez-Tome (Sarasota YMCA Sharks) 1:09:34.4

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