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Swim: Canyons to host open water event

Posted: February 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 13, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The 2013 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships, to be hosted by Canyons Aquatics Club at Castaic Lake in May, will be used to choose the 2013 national team, USA Swimming announced this month.

Open water swimming is a style of competitive swimming in which participants race in open bodies of water, such as oceans or lakes.

The top six finishers in the 10K event, held on May 17, will qualify for the team if their times are within 10 minutes of the first-place finisher.

“It really means to us that we have to run the best show they’ve ever seen,” said Canyons Aquatics Special Events Coordinator Ron Mita. “Our club has a long history of doing swim meets, and we’ve done really well. We’ve never done open water like this.”

Mita said the club has hosted sectional championships in the past, but this will mark the biggest open-water event the club has hosted.

And that could have a positive impact on an already thriving local swimming community.

“Anytime you bring a national championship to a community like ours, it’s impressive,” Mita said. “Open-water swimming is growing nationally and is an Olympic sport now. We have 100 or more (at Canyons Aquatics) who are deeply involved.”

The weekend event will feature two races, the 10K on May 17 and a 5K on May 19, which will be used to select the junior national team, according to Mita.

The event will take place on Castaic Lake’s lower lake.

“The people from USA Swimming loved the upper lake, but it has a lot of wild cards to it,” said Mita, who included environmental factors such as wind in his assessment. “There’s a lot more certainty to the lower lake.”

According to Mita, part of the reason Castaic Lake was chosen, after two straight years of the event being held in Florida, was because of the Santa Clarita Valley’s climate.

That climate more closely resembles the location of the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, to be held in Barcelona, Spain from July 19 to Aug. 4.




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