We did an article earlier this year on the speedy Salisbury Swim Team; now some of the teams’ members have decided to take their talents out of the pool and into a much larger body of water. This past weekend members of the varsity swim team participated in the Nanticoke River Swim and Triathlon, including three mile or 1.8 mile swim events as part of a full triathlon. ShoreBread caught up with the swimmers from SU to hear about their training routines, thoughts leading up to the race and of course, the results.

Sophomore, Kathryn Adams was looking forward to completing her first river swim. Adams excitedly told us, “I’m really excited just to be able to say that I did it!” However, she did have some worries over the water temperature, “I’m really nervous though because it’s my longest distance in open water and it’s COLD!”

Sophomore, Nicki Schult, prepared for her swim by “training at the pool a couple times a week.” She was motivated to do the event as a way to build camaraderie; “I’m really excited to do an open water swim with the team because I think it will be a fun activity for us to do together.”

Freshman, Layne Gable, was also inspired to do the race as a fun event to do with team mates, “I am nnanticokeswimmost excited about finishing the race with Nicki.” While ShoreBread would rather do a nice jog around the block for exercise, Gable was interested in the race “for the experience and to stay in shape.”

While it was the female swimmers first go-round in the Nanticoke, Senior, Chris Franklin, had previously mastered the river. Franklin told us “I was motivated to do this because I just finished my college swimming career and felt it was time to find a new way to push my boundaries and try new things outside of swimming.”

And push boundaries he did; Franklin had to quickly learn how to not get lost among the waves. “Out in the water my biggest concern was making sure I knew where the buoys were! It gets pretty hectic with the waves from the current blocking your view of where everyone is and where the buoys are so that was a real concern.” Franklin was also surprised by the “lonely factor” of open water swimming; “One thing I was not expecting was how alone you are out in the water. You cannot see many other competitors around you so you actually get the feeling that you are way behind the pack, or going in the wrong direction even when you are not. That is a definite mental hurdle to get over.”

In the end, every Salisbury swimmer’s voyage in the Nanticoke turned out successfully.  Two of the swimmers “got awards for finishing top 3 in their age group in the 3 mile swim, and Adams also got one for the 2 mile swim,” Franklin told us, post-race. The brave swimmers who competed in the full triathlon event also had a great race. Franklin commented “As far as the triathletes, we all finished! It was fun since the course had a lot of turnaround points we were all able to see each other at random points during the race and yell some words of encouragement.”

Franklin also found inspiration in one of the other competitors. “I did see one woman doing the bike and run while pushing and pulling her disabled son, and that definitely gave me a lot of motivation to keep going, if she could do it I had to.”

Just as we predicted, the water temperatures were less than ideal; “I will say that the water was pretty cold (somewhere between 59-63) and I was more than happy to hop out after the quick triathlon swim.” But overall, it sounds like we should be jumping in head first and following Franklin’s advice, “after having done the events, I would say the triathlon and swim are terrific experiences, challenging but definitely doable and I would recommend either of them to anyone.”