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New Year, Same Result - Sandpipers Bring Home Hardware at 2019 Open Water Nation
New Year, Same Result - Sandpipers Bring Home Hardware at 2019 Open Water Nationals
 
The Sandpipers of Nevada traveled with 14 teammates to Miami, Florida for the 2019 Open Water National Championships over the Cinco de Mayo weekend. In what is becoming routine at this competition, the Sandpipers made their presence felt in all six races that were contested. Team scores have not officially been announced, but SAND will be at or near the top of the table in all categories. Race recaps are detailed below.
 
Congratulations to all of our teammates who have embraced the hard work and grit that it takes to excel in the Open Water format. Open Water swimming is not for the faint of heart and our team has shown we are willing to do whatever it takes to excel in all areas of our sport. From the twenty second races to the five-hour races, you can expect a Sandpiper to step up and give the race 100% effort.
 

Race Recaps
 
Women's 10K National Championship ( SwimSwam Recap)
A battle from the start, Erica Sullivan battled familiar foes for all two hours of the race, taking over the lead several times. Amid a controversial finish, Sullivan finished in 4th place overall, the 3rd place American and top 18-U in the field. With her finish, Sullivan earned a spot on Team USA to compete at the World Championships this summer in the 25K.
4) Erica Sullivan (18-U National Champ)
 
Men's 10K National Championship
Similar to Sullivan, Brennan Gravley found himself racing neck and neck with the same competitors from the 2018 Open Water Nationals. In a field loaded with experience, including World Champion Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri, Gravley hit the finish pad in 6th place overall, the 4th place American and fastest 18-U in the race.
 
Joseph Gutierrez and Sawyer Grimes came in five minutes behind Gravley, finishing 3rd & 4th respectively amongst all 18-U. With those finishes, Gutierrez and Grimes should be named to the US National Junior team later this year.
6) Brennan Gravley (18-U National Champ)
18) Joseph Gutierrez
19) Sawyer Grimes
30) Dylan Becker
36) Nick Becker
 
Women's 5K Junior National Championship (SwimSwam Recap)
In the 16 and Under Championships, the Sandpipers picked up where they left off from the day before. Katie Grimes maneuvered her way through the field from as far back as the mid-twenties, all the way to 2nd place. Katie would hold on to take the National Runner Up title... and she's just 13-years old! Rounding out the podium was Paige Kuwata taking 8th place overall, her second top 8 finish in as many years in the event.
2) Katie Grimes
8) Paige Kuwata
22) Arabella Sims
 
Men's 5K Junior National Championship (Swimming World Recap)
It was in the boy's 16 and Under Championship that the Sandpipers depth was on full display. The Sandpipers placed FOUR teammates in the top 9 in the hour-long race. The field was paced by Dylan Becker, who put the hammer down on the runner up in the final lap to take home the National Champion crown. Becker was followed by Caleb Gould taking bronze and improving on his 8th place finish in 2018. Making the podium for the first time and taking 5th place was Dylan Gravley. Rounding out the top 10 was Brice Barrieault who grabbed the 9th place spot.
1) Dylan Becker (Swimming World Interview)
3) Caleb Gould
5) Dylan Gravley
9) Brice Barrieault
12) Gavin Gould
52) Thomas Miller
 
Women's 5K National Championship
The final day of racing featured the Senior edition of the 5km race and saw Erica Sullivan once again neck and neck with fellow National Teamers. When the dust settled, Sullivan finished in 5th place overall, 3rd amongst Americans, and again, the top 18-U finisher.
5) Erica Sullivan
17) Katie Grimes
23) Paige Kuwata
29) Arabella Sims
 
Men's 5K National Championship (Swimming World Recap)
The closing race of the 2019 Championships was one to remember. Brennan Gravley found himself in a physical race with the three Italians in the field and fellow Vegas native Zane Grothe. Overcoming the physicality of the race, Gravley punched his ticket to Korea for World Championships with his 5th place finish. This is Gravley's first Senior International team qualification.
5) Brennan Gravley (Swimming World Interview)
12) Sawyer Grimes
22) Joseph Gutierrez
24) Nick Becker
35) Dylan Becker
36) Tyler Edlefsen
37) Caleb Gould
42) Brice Barrieault