22 men entered the 2008 USA Swimming Open Water National Championships in Lake Harriett, Minneapolis.
Fran Crippen of Mission Viejo Nadadores won in 1:58:41 over Deni Cullom, also of Mission Viejo, and Josef Kinderwater of WSY Swimming, in an extremely close race.
A lead pack of 9 played cat-and-mouse with each together for most of the race until Crippen took off with 800 meters to go on the final loop. 4 men were able to respond to Crippen's challenge. Josef Kinderwater was included in the chase pack and received a yellow card for intentional contact about 700 meters from the finish. Deni Cullom, Crippen's Mission Viejo teammate who hung back in the third row of the pack for the entire race, suddenly caught fire and made a move on Crippen in the last 30 meters moving up on Crippen's right side in clear water around a very tight 3-wide to take second.
Just like the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim hopefully will be, the three-wide of Kinderwater, Kiminski and Ryan was a tough, physical, but clean, battle that came down to a very close video finish.
Both the men's and women's races had a disqualification for feeding station violations. The swimmers intentionally held onto the feeding station, they were red-carded.
The top 5 male and female swimmers below were named to the 2008 USA Swimming National Open Water Team:
1. Fran Crippen, Mission Viejo Nadadores: 1:58:41.4
2. Deni Cullom, Mission Viejo Nadadores: 1:59.11.6
3. Joseph Kinderwater, Wsy Swimming: 1:59.13.1
4. Matthew Kaminske, Sarasota YMCA Sharks: 1:59:13.3
5. Sean Ryan, Scenic City Aquatic Club: 1:59:13.6
1. Kirsten Groome, First Colony Swim Team: 2:03.25.6
2. Eva Fabian, Greenwood Memorial Swim Club: 2:03:37.8
3. Christine Jennings, Minnesota Aquatics: 2:05:15.0
4. Ashley Whitney, Excel Aquatics: 2:05:21.1
5. Brittany Massengale, Rice Aquatics: 2:05.30.9
Photo of Fran Crippen provided by TYR.
Copyright © 2008 by World Open Water Swimming Association