Connor Signorin, Brooke Bennett Win Swim for Alligator Lighthouse

Connor Signorin, Brooke Bennett Win Swim for Alligator Lighthouse

Andy Newman from Islamorada in theFlorida Keys reported that over 460 swimmers competed in the clear ocean waters during the 8-mile Swim for Alligator Lighthouse on September 10th.

29-year-old Floridian Connor Signorin emerged from the Atlantic Ocean as the fastest swimmer in 3 hours 5 minutes – faster than he previously won the 2-person relay in 2018 over the same course. The top female finisher was 41-year-old 3-time Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett of Clearwater, Florida who finished in 3 hours 19 minutes.

Tampa residents Andrew Lashlee and Robert Skaggs posted the fastest two-person relay time in 4 hours 3 minutes. Michelle Dalton, Sara McLarty and Misty Bacerra, all of Clermont, Florida, won the three-person division in 4 hours 15 minutes. The winning four-person team was a mixed relay of male and female competitors from Fort Lauderdale, Florida including Tim Shead, Harold Wagner, Serge Wenzel and Ann Kilpatrick that posted a time of 3 hours 34 minutes.

The athletes swam to Alligator Reef Lighthouse off Islamorada, rounded the beacon, and swam back to the start and finish points at Amara Cay Resort.

Founded by Florida Keys artist Lighthouse Larry Herlth, the annual race is staged to raise awareness about the need to preserve the almost 150-year-old Alligator Lighthouse and five other aging lighthouses off the Florida Keys. The event also raises college scholarship funds for Keys students interested in competitive swimming.

Recently, the Islamorada community-based organization that hosts the annual swim was approved to take ownership of the lighthouse under the National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act. Restoring it is likely to take five to seven years and cost up to US$9 million, according to organizers. Fundraising efforts have already begun at savealligatorlighthouse.org.

Constructed to warn ships away from the Florida Keys reef tract, the lighthouses are no longer maintained, as their function has been replaced by modern Global Positioning System navigation.

Competitors head to Alligator Reef Lighthouse, four miles off the Florida Keys, and back to shore. The event began in 2013 to help raise awareness to preserve the almost 150-year-old lighthouse as well as five other lighthouses off the Keys.
Photo courtesy of Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau
Photo courtesy of Steve Panariello/Florida Keys News Bureau

Top 25 8-Mile Finishers

1.Connor Signorin 3:05:38
2. Michael Schultz 3:16:56
3.Brooke Bennett 3:19:21
4. Alison Hayden 3:43:51
5. Henry Miles 3:47:16
6. Henry Longmire 3:53:14
7. Seth Huston 4:00:25
8. Natalie Rochette 4:01:36
9. Venessa Herring 4:04:54
10. Tasha Camps 4:09:00
11. Casey Vantassell 4:09:24
12. Tom Jackson 4:19:08
13. Nick Degenstein 4:21:17
14. Juan Gonzalez 4:21:47
15. Mike Stephens 4:22:24
16. Dave Ebersole 4:27:57
17. Matthew Littlemore 4:28:32
18. Dannon Weisner 4:29:03
19. Jesse Morenus 4:33:14
20. Tom Rich 4:34:36
21. Maggie Regan 4:36:27
22. Hue Lien Duxbury 4:37:00
23. Giancarlo Bertozzi 4:28:12
24. Kristin Harmon 4:38:34
25. Eduardo Alvarez 4:45:25

Photo courtesy of Steve Panariello/Florida Keys News Bureau

For more information and results of the event, visit www.swimalligatorlight.com.

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