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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Polson Bay’s Water Daze

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Polson Bay makes up southern end of Flathead Lake in northwest Montana, the largest natural fresh water lake west of the Mississippi. Tucked away over 1,000 miles away from well-known open water swimming venues like Coney Island, New York and Aquatic Park in California, this little-known lake has become a regional destination for open water swimming.

Like the Lakeside Lighthouse Loop in July, this month's 1.1-mile 12th Annual Polson Bay’s Water Daze is an indication that the Big Sky Country of Montana has created its own open water swimming culture.

The new Mission Valley Aquatic Center is directly responsible for our increased numbers this year,” explained race director Mark Johnston who placed ninth. “We’ve never cracked more than 75 swimmers, but this year we had 91. We’re hoping to break the century mark in next year's race.” The community built a US$8-million indoor aquatic facility in 2013, leading to many more people in the area swimming year-round and, as a result, venturing into open water swimming in the spectacular lake.

None more so than the Brundage family.

Patrick Brundage (47) and his daughter Maia Brundage (18) [both shown above] took home the overall men’s and women’s titles in Polson Bay’s Water Daze while Patrick’s other daughter, Zara, proved that she’ll be a future force to reckon with by winning the Kid’s Race. Anyone was allowed to participate in the event from seasoned open water veterans to first-timers. Several made this a family event, like the Brundage family, who travelled from Arizona.

The event's swimmers ranged from 8-year-old Hannah Simpson and 71-year-old Roger Smith. “The conditions turned ideal this morning. Last night, we had 40+ knot winds, but they calmed this morning and made for an excellent crossing,” continued Coach Mark. “I woke up in the middle of the night to the wind, and I was concerned we’d have to cancel.”

But, fortunately, cancellation was not in the cards.

In addition to the local beauty, Flathead Lake is also recognized as one of the cleanest lakes in the world. Incoming water comes directly from Glacier National Park, about 20 miles away from Lakeside. The theme of this year’s event was “I Clean Water” as race organizers are trying to call attention to the environment around the lake.

New for 2014, the Water Daze Pool Tune-Up meet was added on Friday night with 75 swimmers competing in standard pool events. Next year, the goal is to add a longer open water swim on Saturday morning and additional open water activities on Sunday making it a true Water Days weekend.

Polson Bay’s Water Daze is just one of several open water competitions around Flathead Lake this season. Two weeks ago, there was the four-race-three-day “Flathead Lake Open Water Swim Series” based out of Big Arm State Park with 50 swimmers. And on July 12th, 25 athletes competed in the Lakeside Lighthouse Loop. "Look for more races in the future with unique themes including a 12-mile Grizzly Bear Challenge which will trace the course set by a Grizzly Bear in 2010 from west to east across the lake," said Coach Mark.

12th Annual Polson Bay’s Water Daze results:

1. Patrick Brundage (47) 23:06.0
2. Maia Brundage (18) 25:48.0
3. Tim Radle (39) 25:54.4
4. Jacob Butler (16) 26:04.0
5. Jacob Copley (34) 26:06.0
6. Daniel Novinski (17) 26:08.0
7. Jack Tuholske (60) 26:17.0
8. Edie VanBuskirk (51) 26:22.0
9. Mark Johnston (53) 26:43.0
10. Calamity Seeley (43) 27:03.0
11. Ali Bronsdon (30) 27:06.0
12. Craig Jordanaise (54) 27:10.0
13. Emilie Thane (20) 28:20.0
14. Casey Jo Robinson (22) 28:35.0
15. Amy Mack (55) 28:36.0
16. Dale Wisely (61) 28:55.0
17. Laura Balis (20) 29:30.0
18. Tana Seeley (40) 29:33.0
19. Caroline Stephens (25) 29:47.0
20. Kyle Watson (28) 29:48.0
21. John Ehricks (57) 29:50.0
22. Karen McGlone (37) 29:59.0
23. Gayle Phillips (66) 30:10.0
24. Kyle Hopkins (22) 30:48.0
25. Aja Starkey (18) 31:22.0
26. Nick Windauer (16) 31:58.0
27. Lindsay Thane (22) 32:02.0
28. Chad Fero (40) 32:35.0
29. Lewis Yellow Robe (44) 32:47.0
30. Audrey Fero (13) 32:52.0
31. James Lapotka (33) 33:25.0
32. Deanna McElwee (39) 33:30.0
33. Mike Windauer (45) 33:42.0
34. Patti Waterman (63) 33:45.0
35. Carole Novinski (46) 34:25.0
36. Mark Sandry (50) 35:17.0
37. Gabe Mergenthaler (12) 35:25.0
38. Ben Montgomery (34) 35:31.0
39. Mark Savage (59) 36:08.0
40. Jaime Young (20) 36:20.0
41. Pat Lake (50) 36:25.0
42. Cooke Thompson (34) 36:27.0
43. Shea Carlson (30) 36:41.0
44. Nayeli Windauer (12) 36:47.0
45. Mitch Young (50) 37:14.0
46. Isaac Stene (12) 37:57.0
47. Hannah Lumpry (25) 38:21.0
48. Elyssa Crist (13) 38:25.0
49. Greg Hesler (36) 38:29.0
50. Micah Hill (40) 38:32.0
51. Helen Montgomery (36) 38:46.0
52. Kate Sheridan (29) 38:49.0
53. Ellen Judd (26) 40:39.0
54. Jenna Reitt (28) 41:08.0
55. Mesa Starkey (21) 41:15.0
56. Kevin Detweiler (58) 41:27.0
57. Anna Young (15) 41:47.0
58. Marcella Sandry (50) 42:21.0
59. Joe Piedalue (64) 42:36.0
60. Dave Lake (51) 42:53.0
61. Malia Seeley (14) 44:13.0
62. Cheryl Ward (70) 45:04.0
63. Diane Savage (59) 45:36.0
64. Greg McCormick (64) 46:22.0
65. Rachel Maddy (16) 46:43.0
66. Molly Sitter (12) 47:13.0
67. Bonnie Doerfler (59) 47:17.0
68. Dante Piedalue (12) 47:54.0
69. Gwen Seeley (12) 48:06.0
70. Aja Simshaw (11) 49:47.0
71. Mark Murphree (50) 50:01.0
72. Bonnie Klein (27) 50:41.5
73. Roger Smith (71) 50:55.0
74. Laura Brain (28) 52:43.0
75. Peggy Shrives (57) 52:45.0
76. Laura Miskimins (28) 52:46.0
77. Eva Horne (28) 53:06.0
78. Laurie Gregory (61) 53:08.0
79. Bill Starkey (57) 54:09.0
80. Co Carew (52) 54:46.0
81. Krista Gage (33) 56:28.0
82. Ryan Gage (33) 56:34.0
83. Hannah Simpson (8) 58:26.0
84. George Simpson (34) 58:35.0
85. Sue McCormick (66) 59:07.0
86. Brad Graeter (57) 59:57.0
87. Eric Palmer (13) 1:00:23.0
88. Zachary D'Eon (14) 1:00:28.0
89. Jane Devlin (59) 1:01:30.0
90. Mary Ellen Miller (60) 1:08:32.0
DNF Sean Murphree (9)

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association

1 comment:

  1. I was lucky to first stumble across this swim in 2009 and was happy that I was able to get back there again this year. This is a GREAT swim in one of the country's most beautiful lakes. The folks at Mission Valley Aquatics put on a great EVENT - great swim course, perfect water, awesome family-friendly bar-b-que afterwards and the best, freshly-picked cherries you'll find anywhere. I cannot wait to get back here again.


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