David Alleva Wins 1989 Atlantic City Around The Island Swim

A victorious David Alleva

On the morning of August 13th 1989 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, David Alleva had a good suspicion that he was going to have a good race in the Around The Island Swim.

The 25-year-old from Indiana University following in the wake of fellow Hoosier alumni John Kinsella and James Kegley won the 38 km race around Absecon Island in 8 hours 5 minutes 27 seconds. “I thought that I had a good chance to win this, but thinking about winning and then going out and doing it are totally different. This is the first time I’ve ever won a [professional marathon swimming] race.”

This race is 70-80% mental and I thought I did a good job of handling that today. That [oncoming] riptide [located nearly at the end of the race] was a big obstacle for me, though, because I did not expect it. When that happened, I just tried to forget about the pain.”

Alleva, who is now focused on developing a COVID-19 vaccine as a researcher and biopharma scientist, touched first in front of the Trump Castle Hotel & Casino.

Alleva won US$7,450 [worth US$15,616 today] in front of favored Paul Asmuth and Rob Schmidt. Michelle Boisvert was his feeder-trainer in his rowboat that was powered by Joe Haney and Mike Ruley.

Irene van der Laan was the only woman in the race. “In other swims I was always between 10th and 15th so it’s a big surprise to be in the top 10. It helped to know that I would be getting those bonuses [winning US$2,500] anyway, but when you’re getting tired, you aren’t thinking about money.

All you can think about is getting out of the water as soon as possible.”

With hundreds of spectator boats following Alleva at the finish where nearly 1,000 fans were cheering, Donald Trump deboarded his Trump Princess yacht and greeted Alleva at the finish.

Results:
1. David Alleva (USA) 8 hours 5 minutes 27 seconds
2. Paul Asmuth (USA) 8 hours 13 minutes 57 seconds
3. Rob Schmidt (USA) 8 hours 15 minutes 10 seconds
4. Claudio Plit (Argentina) 8 hours 32 minutes 55 seconds
5. Diego Degano (Argentina) 8 hours 34 minutes 52 seconds
6. James Kegley (USA) 8 hours 37 minutes 41 seconds
7. Fernando Fleitas (Argentina) 8 hours 42 minutes 3 seconds
8. Mohammed El Messiry (Canada) 9 hours 22 minutes 58 seconds
9. Irene van der Laan (Netherlands) 9 hours 25 minutes 21 seconds – first woman
10. Ray Schalley (USA) 9 hours 33 minutes 37 seconds
11. Jaime Lomelin (Mexico) 9 hours 34 minutes 39 seconds
12. Marek Abramowicz (Poland) 9 hours 40 minutes 9 seconds
13. Peter Elmore (USA) 9 hours 43 minutes 37 seconds
14. Ayman Saad (Egypt) 9 hours 59 minutes 49 seconds
15. Michael Hanus (USA) 10 hours 1 minutes 20 seconds
16. Joze Tanko (Yugoslavia) 10 hours 17 minutes 21 seconds
17. Alejandro Larriera (Argentina) 10 hours 31 minutes 6 seconds
DNF Diego Fleitas (Argentina)
DNF Sultan Kigab (Sudan)
DNF Vojislav Mijić (Yugoslavia)


Photos and quotes courtesy of The Press of Atlantic City.

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