Courtesy of University of Kansas, Lone Star Lake, Kansas.

University of Kansas will host 72 athletes at the inaugural College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) National Collegiate Open Water Championship at Lone Star Lake outside Lawrence this coming Saturday.

The 38 women and 34 men will race 5 km where teams of three athletes will compete for a team title. University of Kansas head coach and event organizer Clark Campbell says, “This Saturday’s event will be the culmination of hard work by Kansas Athletics, the CSCAA and Douglas County to turn an idea to introduce open water swimming to the collegiate ranks into a national event.

Getting open water swimming into collegiate competition has always been a goal. Now is an opportunity to act on it
. The 72 athletes here will make history; the first ever collegiate open water championship. To see it go from just an idea to seeing all those athletes cross that finish line will be a dream come true for me.”

Participating schools include the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Albion College, Carson-Newman University, University of Cincinnati, Colorado School of Mines, Emmanuel College (Georgia), University of Kansas, University of North Florida, Ohio Wesleyan University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Rice University, and Saint Louis University.

When we did this we had absolutely no idea what kind of response we would get,” Campbell said. “My goal was 30 on both sides and we’re a little bit over that, which is good. Combining all of the divisions has been a fun thing. We’re thrilled. The University of Alaska-Fairbanks definitely gets the award for traveling the most miles. We have a lot of teams, diverse teams, it’s been interesting to see the response. We hope it’s a great experience for the coaches and student-athletes and is something they want to do again next year.”

Competitors will race along a two-loop course with an in-the-water start and finish, just like the FINA and Olympic races. Seven-time women’s professional marathon swimming champion Shelley Taylor-Smith, who began her open water swimming career at the University of Arkansas, will serve as the guest starter.

Locals have their eyes on University of Kansas sophomore Libby Walker who has placed in the top 30 at the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships this past April. “Libby is our open water queen, she is really amped up for it,” Campbell said. “She has the most open water experience but she’s only done 10K [marathon swims], she’s never done a 5K. So this will almost be a sprint for her. She is pretty excited to only have to race for an hour instead of two.”

Another Kansas freshman Jenny Nusbaum may turn heads. Along with Walker, she competed at the USA Olympic Swimming Trials over the summer. “This will be Jenny’s introduction to open water swimming, she’s never done it before,” Campbell said. “She’s never learned how to sight-breathe or anything like that, so we taught her some of the basics. I just want her to go out there and have a really good effort, have fun and enjoy it. I think she is going to find success in open water swimming. This will be a good first experience. It’s always exciting to be in your first event with a Jayhawk on your cap.”

Female Entrants:
*Leah Allen, Carson-Newman Universities
*Lexy Raybon, Carson-Newman Universities
*Nancy Smith, Carson-Newman Universities
*Margaret Stansberry, Carson-Newman Universities
*Regina Zipperer, Carson-Newman Universities
*Hana Knaebel, Colorado School of Mines
*Carrie Kralovec, Colorado School of Mines
*Mia Wood, Colorado School of Mines
*Anne Edwards, Ohio Weslyan University
*Suzanne Afchain, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Miriam Avila Martinez, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Amanda Buckwalter, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Juliana Cifuentes, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Juana Mafla, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Jocelyn Martinez, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Faith Moss, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Victoria Peskova, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Carleigh Sullivan, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Sydney Franzen, Rice University
*Hanna Huston, Rice University
*Sarah Nowaski, Rice University
*Claire Therien, Rice University
*Mina Glenesk, Saint Louis
*Elaine Mahon, Saint Louis
*Olivia Wanasek, Saint Louis
*Cassidy Heaton, Univeristy of Alaska-Fairbanks
*Sierra Kinworthy, Univeristy of Alaska-Fairbanks
*Laura Johnston, University of Cincinnati
*Rocky Laabs, University of Cincinnati
*Caroline Sheehan, University of Cincinnati
*Sara Wanasek, University of Cincinnati
*Breonna Barker, University of Kansas
*Haley Bishop, University of Kansas
*Jenny Nusbaum, University of Kansas
*Cassaundra Pino, University of Kansas
*Libby Walker, University of Kansas
*Kiana Albert, University of North Florida
*Shelby Panter, University of North Florida

Male Entrants:
*Kyle Harvey, Albion College
*Maclean Robertson, Albion College
*Sebastian Tostado, Albion College
*Marcelo Figueiredo, Carson-Newman Universities
*Carson Knox, Carson-Newman Universities
*Jon Lancaster, Carson-Newman Universities
*Josh Winn, Carson-Newman Universities
*Dominic Byrne, Colorado School of Mines
*Chacne Dodds, Colorado School of Mines
*Jonathan Donehower, Colorado School of Mines
*Josh Graber, Colorado School of Mines
*Loki Hondorf, Colorado School of Mines
*Brennan Mays, Colorado School of Mines
*Marcus Tonsman, Colorado School of Mines
*Stanislas Raczynski, Emmanuel College
*Greyson Goodwin, Ohio Weslyan University
*William Paull, Ohio Weslyan University
*Drew Dickson, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Josip Miskovic, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Alex Mundt, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Felipe Ramirez, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Jonathan Stewart, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Kristijan Stunkovic, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Ryan Walker, Oklahoma Baptist University
*Nick Belecanech, Saint Louis
*Jeremy Goodison, Saint Louis
*Tyler Guist, Saint Louis
*Nick Jessee,Saint Louis
*Scott Street, Saint Louis
*Isaiah Williams, Saint Louis
*Chris Bready, University of Cincinnati
*Justin Crew, University of Cincinnati
*Tyler Jones, University of Cincinnati
*Din Selmanovic, University of Cincinnati

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association