Jayhawks set to host second annual CSCAA Open Water Championships
As the morning fog rolls in Saturday, September 16, at Lone Star Lake, so will 96 athletes from across the United States. A total of 19 different schools will have collegiate swimmers partaking in the second annual College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) National Open Water Championships.
From the success of this event last year, seven additional schools will be joining this race, consisting of 54 female and 42 male swimmers. The race is an impressive 5,000-meter swim (approximately 3.1 miles) that the women will conquer at 8:30 a.m., followed by the men at 10:30 a.m. Each race will have one individual awarded as the 2017 CSCAA National Champion, along with teams competing for a team title.
The participating athletes will swim a course that will start near the Lone Star beach and finish in the water after fulfilling the task of two full laps around the main body of water at Lone Star Lake.
“Last year was our first time doing it,” sophomore Jenny Nusbaum said. “I think there were maybe 30 female swimmers then and this year I think there is close to 50. We don’t normally race like this, and it is fun to race different swimmers and teams we don’t normally compete against in season. It’s exciting!”
Three Kansas swimmers will be participating in Saturday’s race. Nusbaum and junior Haley Bishop will be undergoing this event for the second time after Bishop tied for first (1:05:48.32) and Nusbaum placed third (1:05:48.85) individually overall at last year’s competition. Lauryn Parrish will be representing the freshmen on the team as she plunges in this competition for the first time.
“I think it’s exciting,” Bishop said. “We are a small team, but we are a really strong team. We are able to represent KU on that high level in a different environment then we are used to. I think there are a lot of challenges and exciting things that come with a race like this and I think that will show a lot for the team.”
With Jenny’s first open water experience at last year’s race, it will be exciting to see what she can accomplish now that she knows the drill.
“I had never actually swam in a lake before, so I had to learn how to sight, breathe and go around buoys,” Nusbaum said. “This year it’s a lot better because I know all that stuff and we actually practiced in the lake, which is helpful to get the lay of the course before we actually swim it.”
Much like Nusbaum last year at this time, Parrish will be having her first collegiate swim this Saturday.
“(I would tell Parrish) to take it all in because it’s definitely different having your first race be an open water race,” Nusbaum said. “It’s kind of nice because now she’ll get the first race out of the way, and maybe some nerves that she might have. Honestly, she’s been training really well so she definitely doesn’t have anything to worry about.”
Admission is free and fans are encouraged to come out and support. Parking will be available in the lot above the beach. Access to the shoreline and road will be nearby using the staircase.
For more information, visit KUAthletics.com/OpenWater
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