October 7, 2008
TIBURON MILE: FABIAN
FINISHES 5TH in the Women and 16th out 900 overall; THELEEN SIXTH
IN AGE GROUP
KEENE, N.H. 10/7/08 — It’s back to the pool for Eva Fabian and Dan Theleen. The two recently returned from San Francisco, where they competed in Sunday’s RCP Tiburon Mile, considered one of the most competitive and prestigious open-water swims in the world.
Fabian and Theleen, both first-time competitors, called the event an unbelievable experience. “It was amazing and fun,ý said the 15-year-old Fabian, a Keene resident and the daughter of KSC swim coach Jack Fabian. “I had never competed in that type of race.ý
“Having the opportunity to compete against world-class athletes was incredible,ý said Theleen, a sophomore at Keene State and a Southbury, Conn., native. “You can’t imagine the adrenaline rush at the start of the race.ý
Despite the competition, the pair turned in some impressive performances in the race that goes from Angel Island in San Francisco Bay to Tiburon and includes over 700 competitors. Fabian, a member of the U.S. Open Water National team, finished 16th overall and fifth among women with a time of 22:00. She competed in the elite class and bested such world-class athletes as Chloe Sutton, the two-time defending champ who raced at this year’s summer Olympics in Beijing. Theleen, the top Owl men’s distance swimmer, placed a very respectable sixth in his 19–29 year old division with a time of 24:21.
Both said the hardest part of the race was just getting into the water. “People were swimming over each other and getting knocked around,ý said Theleen. “You have to fight your way through it.ý
“I was a little bit nervous watching her,ý said Fabian’s father. “She’s usually in the water with just women. The guys can be pretty rough.ý
The race also presents some other obstacles. Competitors must quickly adapt to the 63-degree water temperature and set their line to the finish while gauging the waves and the current. “You don’t want to fight it, but use it to your advantage,ý said Fabian.
Theleen felt a huge relief when he reached the shore. “The race takes so much out of you, but it’s a great feeling of accomplishment,ý he explained.
After the race, the swimmers get to kick back and enjoy the food and the music. “It’s like a big holiday celebration,ý said Fabian. “It’s an enormous party.ý
Both Fabian and Theleen said they learned a lot from the experience and hope to return to the event next year. In the meantime, they are back training at KSC’s Spaulding Gym Pool. Theleen is getting ready for the Owls’ season, while Fabian is preparing to compete with the U.S. National Junior national team in Guam in January.
“I’m a little sore,ý said Theleen. “It will be nice to get back in the pool. It’s a little easier.ý