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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chip Peterson Finishes Pan Pacs With A Flourish

Chip Peterson, the 2005 world 10K champion, is back. Turning on his jets like he did way back in 2005, Chip won the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 10K race and is obviously back on track for the second half of the 2012 quadrennial season.

"I felt good," smiled the always humble University of North Carolina graduate. "It's all about timing."

And his timing could not be better - both in the middle of the race and at the end in the cool, but glassy smooth, waters of Marine Stadium in Long Beach, California.

Early in the race, Chip picked up the pace after the men's pack slowed to a crawl with its leaders alternately doing backstroke and slow-pace freestyle. "It was getting a bit cold," said Chip who finally left the field around the 6K mark and opened up a quick 20-meter lead. While the rest of the men seemed content on pack tactics, Fran Crippen of the USA and Richard Weinberger of Canada just simply chased after Chip's aggressive move. Chip turned up his speed for a gentle 70 stroke-per-minute pace to a powerful 84 stroke-per-minute pace - yet his kick was light and feathery.

After his decisive surge with Fran and Richard in chase, only Allan do Carmo of Brazil, Ivan Enderica of Ecuador and Arthur Fraley of the USA were even within shouting distance. The rest of the men quickly fell off the end.

Chip continued to push the pace until the last 2K loop when he shut down his engine and let Richard pull him and Fran along. As Chip downshifted, Richard sped past him (shown on left in white swim cap) and Chip (shown on right without swim cap) fell wisely right in the middle of his wake.

This change in leadership allowed Allan, a 2008 open water Olympian, to gradually inch up to the leaders. by the last turn buoy, the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships last event became a four-man race to the finish.

With 300 meters to go, the race came down to three men swimming shoulder-to-shoulder giving it their all with Allan hanging off the back. At 150 meters to go, Fran made a surge to build up a half-body lead - exactly the same move as he did at the USA Swimming national championships where he beat Chip. It was deja vu - or so it seemed. However, this time Chip was patient and waited. But time and course were running out. Suddenly in the blink of an eye, Chip shifted to his trademark 8-beat kick and bolted past Fran. Within 50 meters, Chip went from being half a body behind to a one-body length lead that he sustained to the finish.

After years of fighting different illnesses, Chip is back on track. Additionally, Chip is bolstered by a recent move to Southern California where he decided to train under Jon Urbanchek, the renowned Olympic coach who has trained over 50 Olympians to gold and international success. Smiling, confident and now more experience, these changes have enabled Chip to turn back to his renewed ability to turn to his blazing fast kick after 9,900 meters.

In 2005, Chip surprised the open water swimming world as an upstart 18-year-old when he beat Thomas Lurz at the world championships. Years wiser, thicker around the shoulders and training in a new environment, Chip's stars now seem to be lining up for an excellent 2011 and beyond.

The final results and 2K split times are as follows:

1. Chip Peterson (USA), 1:56:00.0 (24:03, 47:14, 1:10:15, 1:33:19, 1:56:00)
2. Frances Crippen (USA), 1:56:02.7 (24:13, 47:19, 1:10:19, 1:33:25, 1:56:02)
3. Richard Weinberger (CAN), 1:56:02.9 (24:00, 47:31, 1:10:11, 1:33:15, 1:56:02)
4. Allan do Carmo (BRA), 1:56:04.6 (24:07, 47:42, 1:10:23, 1:33:24, 1:56:04)
5. Arthur Frayley (USA), 1:58:23 (24:10, 47:39, 1:10:23, 1:33:26, 1:58:23)
6. George O'Brien (AUS), 1:59:19.6 (24:01, 47:52, 1:11:41, 1:35:31, 1:59:19)
7. Christopher Ashwood (AUS), 1:59:24.7 (24:06, 47:59, 1:11:42, 1:35:31, 1:59:24)
8. Sean Ryan (USA), 1:59:26.1 (24:15, 1:11:32, 1:35:36, 1:59:26)
9. Michael Kleuh (USA), 1:59:26.2 (24:08, 1:11:44, 1:35:36, 1:59:26)
10. David Browne (AUS), 1:59:26.6 (24:05, 47:55, 1:11:36, 1:35:23, 1:59:26)
11. Aimeson King (CAN), 1:59:32.1 (24:03, 47:49, 1:11:34, 1:35:31, 1:59:32)
12. Rhys Mainstone (AUS), 1:59:38.6 (24:01, 47:51, 1:11:38, 1:35:31, 1:59:38)
13. Ivan Enderica (ECU), 2:00:28.3 (24:07, 47:44, 1:10:28, 1:33:29, 2:00:28)
14. Zack Chetrat (CAN), 2:02:45.1 (24:04, 47:59, 1:11:45, 1:35:52, 2:02:45)
- Andrew Gemmell (USA, DNF
- Alexander Meyer (USA), DNF
- Chad La Tourette (USA), DNS

Photo shows Fran Crippen, Chip Peterson and Richard Weinberger.

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones

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