Las Vegas Open Water Champions Cup Kicks Off Today In Lake Las Vegas
Ron Aitken has always been ahead of the curve.
Similar to a handful of USA Swimming coaches from Mark Schubert of the Mission Viejo Nadadores in the 1970s and 1980s to Bill Rose and Siga Rose of the Mission Viejo Nadadores in the 2000’s and 2010’s, Tyler Fenwick of the University of Tennessee, and Dave Kelsheimer of Team Santa Monica, Aitken has encouraged his distance swimmers to also compete in open water swimming competitions.
It is no wonder why Aitken’s Sandpipers of Nevada are consistently one of the top age group pool and open water swimming powerhouses in the United States.
For decades among American pool swimming coaches, it was accepted dogma that open water swimming has a negative impact on the times and potential of pool swimmers. But Olympic swimmers like Jordan Wilimovsky, Ashley Twichell, and Haley Anderson help dispel that thinking.
Meanwhile, Aitken never accepted that dogma and continued to push his swimmers both in the open water and pool. The results were increasingly obvious.
His long-time efforts and dedication to all forms of swimming – both in the pool and open water – resulted in grand success at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games where his female distance specialists Erica Sullivan (silver medal in the 1500m), Katie Grimes (4th in the 800m freestyle, and Bella Sims (silver medal in the 800m relay). “This trio alone looks like the future of American women’s open water swimming team on the international level over the next two Olympic quadrennials,” predicted Steven Munatones. “And Ron has plenty of other swimmers all training hard.”
Aitken has always had to travel to Southern California, Florida and other locations for his club swimmers to compete. But this year, he started the Las Vegas Open Water Champions Cup in Lake Las Vegas that runs from October 8th – 10th.
Prize money will be awarded to athletes who compete in both the Elite 10 km and 5 km races. Prizes will be awarded as follows to the top four male and female with the fastest combined 10 km and 5 km times: 1st receives US$3,000; 2nd receives US$1,500; 3rd receives US$1,000; and 4th receives US$500.
The 2021-2022 USA National Open Water Swimming team will be selected from theLas Vegas Open Water Champions Cup. The roster will be active from November 1st 2021 to May 1st 2022. The USA team includes the 3 American swimmers who competed in the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Tokyo, plus the top five men and women from today’s 10 km race.
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