Saturday, September 19, 2009

USA Swimming Awards Its Best In Open Water

Jay Thomas, a long-time USA Swimming and FINA open water swimming official, received the prestigious Glen S. Hummer Award at the US Aquatic Sports annual convention in Chicago on Friday night.

Jay has officiated at FINA World Swimming Championships, USA Swimming national open water swimming championships and local open water and pool events. He serves on the USA Swimming Rules Committee and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Board as well as develops, trains and certifies open water swimming officials.

Upon receiving the award, Jay said, "I can’t tell you how honored I am to be chosen as the recipient of this award. I look forward to the future and stand ready to help out in any way to continue to raise the bar in the open water world. Thank you."

Emily Brunemann, a senior at the University of Michigan, who won the 2009 USA Swimming 10K national championships and was 9th at the World Swimming Championships 5K and 24th in the World Championship 10K this year in Rome, was awarded the USA Swimming Open Water Female Swimmer of the Year.

Emily, who has just begun to tap her open water swimming potential, will be featured in next week's Open Water Wednesday on SwimNetwork.

"I had a mix of emotions when I found out. I was surprised, happy and honored all at the same time. I want to thank everyone in USA Swimming for the support and want to thank my coaches and team for this past summer and standing by me," said Emily.

The USA Swimming Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year was deservingly shared by USA open water swim team captain and world championship 10K bronze medalist Fran Crippen of Philadelphia and 2009 world championship teammate and 10K silver medalist Andrew Gemmell of the University of Georgia.

Fran, an inspirational leader among the young American open water swim team, won both the 5K and 10K at the USA Swimming National Open Water Championships and was third in the NYC Pro Swim and 7th in the world championship 5K. He is currently in Trinidad & Tobago for an open water swim and will head to China next week to participate in additional FINA World Cup events.

Andrew, a strong up-and-coming athlete originally from Delaware who is known for his tough workouts, was third in both the 5K and 10K USA Swimming National Open Water Championships and was fifth in the world championship 5K in Rome.

A great year for all three recipients with many more years of success yet to come.