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Friday, June 13, 2014

Becca Mann Moves To The American Front

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

16-year-old Becca Mann swam a brilliantly tactical race this morning in Castaic Lake, California to win the 2014 USA Swimming National 10 km Open Water Swimming Championships.

Swimming smoothly and very controlled throughtout the entire race, Mann simply turned on her pool speed over the last 400 meters and powerfully and easily pulled away from a very veteran field including Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson who finished second.

"I wanted to stay with the pack during the first four laps," explains the open water swimming protege from the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. "The first four laps is always difficult for me. But I think I learned so much from the (last) World Championships. I hardly knew what I was doing, but if you really love something - like I do with open water swimming - you learn."

Mann has been a quick study whose potential may be globally understood in 2016. She deservedly earned a spot to represent the USA at the 2014 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships along with Anderson who finished second. "I am excited to go to Australia. Over the first four laps, there was a lot of physical contact. But that will always happen. I was swimming pretty relaxed. I picked up the pace right as I was going past the last feeding station on the last lap. I felt good."

Second-place Anderson was similarly satisfied with her swim. "I felt really good and strong. I have been swimming faster than ever in workouts."

With these two women leading the American charge in Australia this August, the team is looking very strong. And both Mann and Anderson have something more than a talent in the open water. They both like the individual medley.

"I have a favorite IM and freestyle set where I go 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 mixing up individual medley and freestyle getting about 15-20 seconds rest. Then I come back down doing the same with only 5 seconds rest," explains Mann.

Anderson, now a professional swimmer after a stellar career at USC, also has a thing for the other strokes. "I will continue to swim distance freestyle events in the pool, but I really like the 400 IM. When I get tired of freestyle, I enjoy doing the 400 IM."

The two, a powerful pair of Americans, will know how to mix it up in Australia at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

Full race results are here.

Upper photo shows Becca Mann after her victory. Lower photo shows Haley Anderson with her USC and Trojan Swim Club coach Catherine Vogt.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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