World champion Grothe wins 5-miler in St. Croix Coral Reef Swim
A former world champion swimmer took top honors in the longest event Sunday at the 26th annual St. Croix Coral Reef Swim.
Zane Grothe, 30, of Auburn, Ala., won the five-mile unassisted swim from the Buck Island National Monument to the Buccaneers Beach and Golf Resort’s Mermaid Beach.
Grothe, who earned a gold medal as part of the U.S.A.’s 800-meter freestyle relay team at the 2016 FINA World Short-Course Championships, finished the five-miler in 1 hour, 43 minutes and 28 seconds.
Grothe’s winning time was more than six minutes ahead of defending champion Alex Kostich of Los Angeles. The 52-year-old Kostich, who has won the Coral Reef Swim a record 19 times, was second in 1:49:37.
The top U.S. Virgin Islands swimmer was 15-year-old Kaeden Gleason of St. Croix, a member of the USVI National Swim Team and St. Croix Dolphins, who was third overall in 1:51:21.
Rounding out the top five were 12-year-old Derek Frenzel of Tacoma, Wash. (1:55:52), and David Allsop, 48, of Durham, N.C. (2:04:39). Kyla Hallam, 23, of Westminster, Colo., was the top finishing female swimmer in the five-miler, coming in sixth overall in 2:06:46.
Other division and age-group winners in the St. Croix Coral Reef Swim were:
• John Enquist, 60, of Sugarloaf Key, Fla., won the five-mile assisted division title in 2:30:42, finishing more than five minutes ahead of St. John’s Robert Tutton, 51, whose time was 2:34:52. Rounding out the field were Terra Flynn, 65, of Hazlet, N.J. (3:22:02) and Kenneth Sweigart, 71, of The Villages, Fla. (3:54:45).
• Aidan Brown, 19, of Wayne, Pa., won the two-mile unassisted overall title in 55 minutes, 23 seconds, finishing just over a minute ahead of 27-year-old Michael McGean of Cambridge, Mass. (56:24). Ginny Jordan, 30, of Tampa, Fla., was the top finishing female, coming in third overall in 57:00.
Rounding out the top five were Thomas Waniewski, 52, of Penn Valley, Pa. (1:01:54) and Jonathan Jordan, 32, of Tampa (1:02:27).
• Age-group winners in the two-mile unassisted race were Brown (19-under male), St. Croix’s Charlotte Halk (19-under female), McGean (20-29 male), Morgan Jones of Logansville, Ga. (20-29 female), Jonathan Jordan (30-39 male), Ginny Jordan (30-39 female), St. John’s Tory Lane (40-49 male), Elizabeth Avore of Littleton, Colo. (40-49 female), Waniewski (50-59 male), Bethamy Aronow of New Canaan, Conn. (50-59 female), St. Croix’s John Hourihan (60-69 male), Nancy Saipe of Westport, Conn. (60-69 female), and Anne Grams of Port Orange, Fla. (70-79 female).
• Brent Lambert, 61, won the two-mile assisted race in 1:04:07, nearly 1½ minutes ahead of St. Croix’x Jan Tawakol, 51, who was second in 1:05:33. Rounding out the top five were St. John’s Karen Hauer, 43, and the top female finisher (1:15:33); St. Croix’s Ned Jacobs, 71 (1:28:46), and St. Croix’s Geoffrey Campbell, 38 (1:56:04).
• St. Croix teenager Daryan Maynard, a member of the USVI National Swim Team and St. Croix Dolphins, won the one-mile unassisted swim. The 14-year-old Maynard finished the event in 24:34, nearly four minutes ahead of 18-year-old Charlie Han of Hixson, Tenn. (28:13). Daryan’s brother, 12-year-old Teague Gleason, was third in 28:17. Rounding out the top five were the top female finishers – 13-year-old Kyleigh Rychlik of Maple Valley, Wash. (28:19), and St. Croix’s Diella Maynard, 12 (28:21).
• Age-group winners in the one-mile unassisted race were Daryan Maynard (19-under male), Rychlik (19-under female), Luke Mail of Miami, Fla. (20-29 male), Meagan Currie of Cambridge, Mass. (20-29 female), Matthew Kazmier of Atlanta, Ga. (30-39 male), Sarah Foster of Hutto, Texas (30-39 female), Shad Schiffern of Charlotte, N.C. (40-49 male), Sheena Frederick of Southwest Ranches, Fla. (40-49 female), St. Croix’s Manuel Gutierrez (50-59 male), Kathleen Wright of Perry, Ga. (50-59 female), St. Croix’s Barry Armstrong (60-69 male), Hilary Hunter of Gatlinburg, Tenn. (60-69 female), and Thomas Benoit of Lafayette, La. (70-79 male).
• Kelly Johnson, 39, of St. Thomas won the one-mile assisted race in 34:53, just over a minute ahead of the top male finisher, St. Thomas’ Andy Johnson, 38 (36:08). Rounding out the top five were Brooke Bessert, 54, of Wilton Manors, Fla. (42:17), Jaime Higgins, 46, of Peru, Vt. (43:35), and St. Thomas’ Gabrielle Goulet, 37 (51:43).