Rough Water Swim lives up to its name

True to its name the 79th annual La Jolla Rough Water Swim saw conditions that got in the way for some, but the rip currents and big waves weren’t enough to stop the 2,038 who finished their races.

Lifeguard Jimmy Canale, who oversaw aquatic safety for the event, told veteran rough water swimmer Anne Cleveland, that there were about 60 rescues. He reported a strong 4- to 6-foot northwest groundswell with 7- to 8-foot faces at times.

At times, waves were breaking all the way across the Cove, with the set of the day at the start of the 3-mile Gatorman event.

Cleveland, who coaches many who swam in the race, said Canale told her the swimmers gathered on the beach waiting for the race to begin all cheered.

Among the group was Deni Cullom of Dana Point, who won the men’s Gatorman event, finishing in 1:00:03, with Alex Kostich of Los Angeles hot on his tail at 1:00:08. La Jolla’s Todd Robinson, who recently set a Catalina Channel Crossing men’s record and won the Maui Channel Swim earlier this month, finished third in 1:01:25.

The women’s Gatorman title went to Dawn Heckman of Pasadena in 1:02:58. Second-place finisher was Lynette Lim of Rancho Mirage with Jaqueline Corcoran of Los Angeles in third. Stacy Peterson of La Jolla finished fifth.

La Jollans Corrie Falcon and Ben Weston captured the master’s events over a 1-mile course. Jake Frese of Coronado and Vanessa Brown of La Mesa took top honors in the 250-yard juniors event for 12-under and Mita Riley of Stevenson Ranch and Samantha Harding took the 1-mile Amateur event for 12- to 18-year-olds.

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