Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.Micha Shaw (née Burden) won the USA Swimming national open water swimming championships in 2008, upsetting eventual two-time Olympian Chloe Sutton and a number of other top American swimming stars.
“The first time that I saw Micha train at Golden West College under coach Rick Graves, I thought she had ‘it’,” recalled Steven Munatones.
“The second time that I saw Micha compete in the Huntington Beach Pier Swim, I knew she had it. She had a deep-seated tenacity and profound sense of purpose and drive – as well as a beautiful, efficient freestyle stroke and an extremely high navigational IQ while racing in the ocean.”She initially made the 2007 USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Team in the 25 km marathon swim.
And then she won the 2008 USA Swimming Open Water World Championship Trials in the 10 km with a sprint in the finish chute – but she was passed over in a coach’s choice to represent the USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics 10 km qualification swim.
Munatones remembered her upset victory – and its aftermath, “Her victory at the national championships in Fort Myers was strategically classic – but completely unexpected – except for her coaches. They knew she was world-class: her positioning, her drafting and her pacing were spot on – and she outraced the field to win her first national championship at the most opportune time.
Creator of the WOWSA Awards, World Open Water Swimming Association, the Daily News of Open Water Swimming, Oceans Seven, Open Water Summit, Openwaterpedia, KAATSU Global and KAATSU Research Institute. Inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, recipient of the Poseidon Award and Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, and a member of the Ice Swimming Hall of Fame, and former FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee member, Technical Delegate with the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and 9-time USA Swimming coaching staff.