The Lead Up To A Fast Pan Pacific 10K

The Lead Up To A Fast Pan Pacific 10K

At the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, many open water swimmers made their moves in the pool – that may give hints as to what to expect in the 10K on Sunday.

In the men’ 1500-meter freestyle, the American men – not including open water stars Fran Crippen and 2005 world champion Chip Peterson – put down some fast times with Chad La Tourette doing a 14:54.48 for silver, Sean Ryan a 15:06.34 for fourth, Andrew Gemmell a 15:07.51 for fifth, Arthur Frayler a 15:12.89 for seventh and Alex Meyer (shown on left) a 15:23.64 for 15th.

They were all ahead of Olympic gold medalist in the event, Ous Mellouli who finished in 16th with a very slow (for him) 15:24.74.

Apparently, Ous has not been training well since February which sort of dials down the potential excitement of his participation in the 10K. Ous, with his proven speed and endurance, has the potential to dramatically alter the landscape of the sport – just as David Davies did in 2008. But it does not appear to be in the cards in 2010.

Andrew Gemmell, the 10K silver medalist in the 2009 world championships, looked good in the morning heats. “I felt real strong in warm-ups. I had something [illness] and was trying to get back to 100% over the last few days. That was my best time, so I have a couple of days to recover and focus on the 10K.”

Alex Meyer, the 2010 world 25K champion, similarly exuded confidence for the upcoming 10K. “That was my best time over the last few years. It was a good swim and now it’s time for the 10K.”

Throw in the Pan American 10K gold medalist Fran Crippen and the 2005 10K world champion Chip Peterson, 2009 FINA World Cup series second-place finisher Allan do Carmo – and it is going to be one extremely fast and furious race in Long Beach this Sunday.

On the women’s side, Chloe Sutton finished second in 8:24.51 to clearly demonstrate her speed. Melissa Gorman finished fourth in 8:30.45 and Haley Anderson finished eighth in 8:35.33. “That was good,” said the ever-smiling Melissa. “It was my best time since the 2006 Commonwealth Games. I am excited [for the 10K].”

The local excitement is building for the 10K despite the water temperatures in Marine Stadium that are historically low (below 60.8°F or 16°C by the official lifeguard thermometer). But the elite athletes are going to swim fast whether the water is 16°C or 26°C.

The local press that follows Chloe most closely calls the water just right for Chloe with its “The Colder The Better For Sutton prediction. The national media is also predicting big things for Chloe Sutton – who reportedly pulled out of the 1500 to focus on the 10K – when the USA Today referred to her as a doyenne (i.e., a person uniquely skilled as a result of long experience in a certain field).

Doyenne, a great word that is rarely applied to open water swimmers, but we like the colorful description.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones