Owls Swim Long Island Sound for Charity

Posted August 5th, 2014 at 10:31 am.

On August 2, five members of the Bryn Mawr swim team took the plunge in the 27th Annual SWIM Across the Sound Marathon, sponsored by St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation to raise money for cancer prevention, education, and assistance programs. The team—Ruth Logan ’14, Phoebe Jordan ’15, Rebecca Craig ’16, Angela Mastrianni ’16, and coach Nikki Whitlock—faced a dual challenge: training for their first open-water swim and raising $9,140 in pledge commitments.

Images from the slideshow can also be viewed in this online gallery.

Training for a swim across Long Island Sound meant fewer repetitions of longer distances, and the team logged a lot of miles in the Schwartz Gymnasium pool over the summer.

“Conditioning-wise I think I was ready,” explains Phoebe Jordan, “but training in a pool really doesn’t prepare you for the reality of being out on the water.”

It didn’t help that, on race day, the wind was kicking up a chop on Long Island Sound. Still, the swimmers were game and, attended by an escort boat, dove in at Port Jefferson, New York—their sights set for Bridgeport, Connecticut, 15.5 miles away in Black Rock Harbor.

The Bryn Mawr team was one of the five University Challenge teams and assigned to swim in relays. Logan was first off the mark, followed by Jordan, Craig, and Mastrianni.

But conditions worsened, and with waves reaching up to five feet, race officials called the event. The swimmers were ferried to Black Rock Harbor, where they raced a shorter course in the much calmer waters. It was a disappointing turn of events but, everyone knew, the right decision.

As Phoebe explains, “That’s the thing about open water events: You have to be prepared for every possibility—and safety always comes first.”

Still, she adds, it was “a wonderful experience” that brought the team closer together and inspired her to keep giving to others—and to keep on swimming.

“I will definitely be back to the Sound,” she concludes, “maybe someday to swim the whole thing myself.

Filed under: athletic events,athletics,community outreach by Alyssa Banotai

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