Chris Labianco Wins Another U.S. Masters Championship

Chris Labianco Wins Another U.S. Masters Championship

Chris LaBianco and Abigail ‘Abby’ Nunn won the U.S. Masters Swimming 2-mile Cable Open Water National Championship in Chris Greene Lake in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday.

It was a day for the record books.

Chris not only won his second national open water championship this year, but he also obliterated the men’s 35-39 year age-group record of 41:11.49 with a 39:59.99, one of the very few times in the history of the event that a sub-40 was achieved.

Abby (shown on left) defended her title from 2009 while setting the women’s 18-24 year national record in a blazing 40:07.05, taking second overall to Chris and breaking her own record of 40:39.67. 49-year-old Eney Jones destroyed the old 45-49 year old record of 45:43.3 with a very impressive 43:04.92, a time so fast that it would have also set the record for the 40-44 age group. Larry Wood also dropped the men’s 55-59 year old national record from 44:35.5 to 43:40.6.

I took it out fast and my training has been going well [up at altitude in Colorado Springs], so I felt good. It’s fun and I am glad to be able to travel and see everyone,” said Chris whose time was the fifth fastest ever recorded on the measured course since 1977.

While International Marathon Swimming Hall of Famer James Kegley still holds the oldest record on the U.S. Masters Swimming’s books, a 38:22 record set in 1988, Chris nudged his way onto the all-time Top 10 swims in the Chris Greene Lake Swim course:

1 James Kegley, 38:32.00 in 1988 (done at the age of 30)
2 Austin Ramirez, 38:34.00 in 1999 (21 years)
3 Michael Fuller, 38:53.00 in 1999 (20 years)
4 David Alleva, 39:59.00 in 1989 (25 years)
5 Christopher Derks, 40:09.00 in 2001 (31 years)
6 Andrew Wren, 40:32.00 in 1986 (25 years)
7 Robbie Allen, 40:47.35 in 1999 (33 years)
8 Chris Stevenson, 41:03.05 in 2009 (44 years)
9 James Stewart, 41:27.37 in 1999 (42 years)
10 Robert Geise, 41:36.94 in 1998 (34 years)

This year’s national championship was held on the Chris Greene Lake Swim course that was established in 1977. Because the cable swim is measured and surveyed annually to precisely 440 yards, the one and two-mile cable distances are the only open water events in which U.S. Masters Swimming maintains national records.

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Steven Munatones