The Seattle University swim team members who participated in Swim Across America last Saturday, Sept. 8, were successful in both fundraising and competition, helping raise money and awareness for cancer research.
As a group, the swimmers raised $4,920.01, the most of any college organization within the Seattle event, earning the group the College Cup. Besides the 15 members of the Redhawk swim program, the group received fundraising help from the Lasley family (Jack, Mary, Matt, and Scott).
In the two-mile race, Douglas Pizac (Salt Lake City, Utah) won the event with a time of 42:01, with James Gilmore (Eugene, Ore.) finishing in third place in 42:13, Tomas Mendez-Beck (Hillsboro, Ore.) finishing in fifth in 42:35, and team captain Joe Wertz (Richland, Wash.) finishing in sixth place with a time of 42:37.
Kyle Moline (Mercer Island, Wash.) finished in 14th place with a time of 44:22, followed by Ali Abadi (Edmonds, Wash.) in 18th place in 45:16 and Kieran Schaefer (Sweet Home, Ore.) in 27th place in 47:31.
Among the women who competed, Whitney Dean (Campbell, Calif.) finished in fifth place with a time of 46:22, with Nicole Doi (Pleasanton, Calif.) finishing in eighth place in 47:53 and Karla Ruff (Seattle, Wash.) touching home in ninth place in 47:54. Kevlyn Richards (Gig Harbor, Wash.) placed 11th in the women's division in 48:12 and Allison Grubb (Kalispell, Mont.) was 12th in the women's event with a time of 48:25.
Other members of the Seattle U women's swim team who participated in the two-mile race included Megan Kelley (Las Vegas, Nev.) with a time of 50:28, Caroline Van Maren (Bellevue, Wash.) with a time of 50:31, and Rachel Leighter (Eugene, Ore.) with a time of 50:33.
"It was great to see people of different ability levels doing what they can to not only swim two miles but to raise money for such a great cause. There were incredibly fast people and some not so fast, but everyone was there to raise money to fight cancer, and that was a really great thing to see. We had an awesome day of swimming, and we won the "College Cup" which is given to the college that raises the most money. I am incredibly proud of my team raising as much money as we did in about 14 days. We have a great team this year and it truly shows," Wertz said.
The Seattle University swim teams reported to campus Tuesday, Sept. 11, and will begin workouts Wednesday, Sept. 12, to prepare for the 2012-13 campaign.