Photos and reporting courtesy of Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau.

More than 300 athletes competed in an 8-mile ocean swim Saturday in Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

The second annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse was staged as a college scholarship fundraiser for Keys students interested in competitive swimming, but also to raise awareness of a need to preserve Alligator Reef Lighthouse and five other aging lighthouses off the Florida Keys.

After standing more than 150 years, the structures are taking a beating in the harsh marine environment.


The event was conceived by Islamorada resident Larry Herlth, known locally as Lighthouse Larry who is an artist whose metal sculptures and scaled replicas of Keys lighthouses symbolize his passion to preserve the historic beacons.

Yoelvis Pedraza of Fort Lauderdale won overall honors, turning in the fastest time of 3 hours 35 minutes while 52-year-old Julie Salvetti of Venice, Florida won the overall women’s title in 4 hours 51 minutes.

Jack Ellis, Henry Urquidi, Nicki Urquidi and Brooke Ellis – all from Miami – won the four-person relay division in 4 hours 2 minutes. Can Datca and Tyler Magarity from Cooper City, Florida won the two-person division in 4 hours 47 minutes.

Virginia residents Nicole Johnson and Olympic silver medalist Jeremy Linn placed second in the two-person division, but their swim took on a special memorable twist with plenty of drama. Reaching the halfway mark at Alligator Lighthouse, Johnson accepted Linn’s marriage proposal.

For complete race results, visit here.

Solo Swim Results:

1. Yoelvis Pedraza 3:35:05.91
2. Craig Travers 4:05:01.39
3. Diego De Los Rios Orozco 4:27:46.17
4. Victor Mestre 4:28:13.42
5. David Jacobson 4:37:59.33
6. James Jacobson 4:44:23.68
7. David Morgan 4:48:11.33
8. Julie Salvetti 4:51:48.28 (1st woman)
9. Carlos Lloreda 4:52:04.88
10. Gene Fober 4:58:21.20
11. Alex Harling 5:00:38.14
12. Tony Brazzale 5:05:43.35
13. Sydne Didier 5:08:48.20 (2nd woman)
14. Taylor Cook 5:11:59.40 (3rd woman)
15. Andrea Roach 5:13:23.21 (4th woman)
16. Christopher Blatcher 5:15:31.12
17. Danielle Maham 5:17:06.57 (5th woman)
18. Kelsea Volland 5:17:06.97 (6th woman)
19. Lisa Bennett 5:21:23.73 (7th woman)
20. Heather Roka 5:23:52.17 (8th woman)
21. Bryan Hiller 5:24:36.41
22. Sandra Carosi 5:28:47.45 (9th woman)
23. Evan O’sheehan 5:30:31.19
24. Frank Dittrick 5:33:05.48
25. Peter Thomson 5:36:56.19
26. Julio Rodriguez 5:37:04.49
27. Wayne Hannum 5:44:25.24
28. Claudio Geleroff 5:45:45.50
29. Aras Zygas 5:53:24.69
30. Jonathan Leuchs 5:53:47.12
31. Luis Prieto 5:56:44.10
32. R J Lakhani 6:14:31.91
33. Jacqueline Brown 6:17:14.51 (10th woman)
34. Larry Herlth 6:19:27.22
35. Rob Dixon 6:26:17.63
36. Kristin Larson 6:28:59.60 (11th woman)
37. Julio Vargas 6:43:38.55
38. John Brackett 7:30:06.81
39. Thomas Krasner 7:45:05.13
40. Lino Tapias 8:11:07.53

Two-person Relay Results:

1. Fish Scents (Can Datca + Tyler Magarity) 4:47:46.9
2. Cumming Strong (Nicole Johnson + Jeremy Linn) 4:50:32.6
3. O’heffernan Clan (Katie Heffernan + Dave Heffernan) 5:06:47.9
4. Crowe Crew (Marcy Crowe + Andy Crowe) 5:17:06.7
5. Sara And Eddie (Sara Kirchner) 5:25:30.8
6. Team Corc (William Hanifin + Stephen Corcoran) 5:38:55.2
7. Sftl Duo (Andia Chaves Fonnegra + Cynthia Henley) 5:56:06.1
8. Dos Bros (Mark Rafals + Bryan Tuedell) 6:21:55.1
9. Weston Acuatics (Karin Meyerfreund + Romulo Vallejo) 6:25:00.2
10. Madeleidys & Orlando (Sougoy Orlando + Deltoro Madeleidys) 6:33:41.2
11. The Thirsty Marlins (Cyle Sage + Mandy Zipf) 4:32:39.5
12. Bash & Proctor (Rachel Bash + Irankie Proctor) 5:19:04.8

Four-person relay results:

1. Jellyfish Bait (Jack Ellis + Brooke Ellis + Niki Urquidi + Henry Urquidi)
2. Swim Gym
3. Last-Minute Manatees
4. Exit 98
5. Le Diables
6. Boca Raton Swim Crashers
7. Ready To Drown
8. Four Seasons Multisport Club
9. Bikini Slammers
10. Fueled By Full Circle Coaching
11. Fighting Manatees
12. The Mermaids
13. Lionfish Ladies
14. Buckeye Barracudas!
15. C Renas
16. Weston Piranhas
17. Swat Fit 3
18. Coral Shores
19. Team Wahoo
20. Sink Or Swim
21. Jellyfish Jambalaya
22. 2 Gringos A Chick And A Cuban
23. Foot Landing Scallop Stew
24. Blue Runners
25. Barracuda Aliens
26. The Stingrays
27. Thumbs Up
28. C Renas II
29. Macalvian
30. Fighting Manilows
31. Swat Fit 2
32. Foot Landing Tarpon Treats
33. Floatin’ Coasties
34. Shark Pirates
35. Swim For The Light
36. Weird Fishes
37. Team #2 Foot Landing Alligator Appetizers
38. Aquamotion Swim Team I
39. Silky Sharks
40. Cool Running
41. Shark Bait
42. Full Circle Coaching
43. Happiest
44. Fast Fukrs
45. Water Cheetahs
46. Swat Fit
47. Latitudes Of Attitudes
48. Aqua Lungs

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