James Hammond, Lilla Felix top divisions at eighth annual Beaufort River Swim

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.comJune 1, 2014 

Participants in the Beaufort River Race make their way through the water at the start of the race at the Port Royal Landing Marina on May 31, 2014.

THEOPHIL SYSLO — Theophil Syslo Buy Photo

After some of the most intense practices they will face all year, Hilton Head Aquatics swimmers enjoyed a break Saturday.

Only three miles in the open water of the Beaufort River instead of three hours of laps.

"Forty-five minutes is cake," H2A coach Mike Lane said.

Seventeen-year-old James Hammond finished the fastest, winning the eighth annual Beaufort River Swim in 46 minutes, 7 seconds. His H2A teammate, Lilla Felix, climbed out of the water first among the women, finishing in 47:58.

Both swimmers are likely to become NCAA Division-I swimmers -- Hammond has interest from Indiana, Duke and others; Felix has drawn attention from all the Ivy League schools, Georgia Tech, Georgia and N.C. State. They swam 50,000 yards during team practice before taking on the River Swim.

The victory was Hammond's second. He also won in 2012.

"I pretty much knew the course," Hammond said. "They help you out if you're off track."

Race organizer Rick Simonds, the Wardle Family YMCA's program director, expected 150 to 175 swimmers to navigate the 3-mile route, with the tide, that started at the Port Royal Landing Marina and ended adjacent to the Beaufort Downtown Marina.

The chip-timed race draws a variety of racers, including young swim team members, local Masters swimmers and those vacationing in the area. Proceeds from the race go to the YMCA's Learn to Swim programs, which received $4,500 from the event last year.

H2A swimmers filled the list of top finishers, much like the previous year, when the Bluffton Fins used the open-water swim as practice and 16-year-old John Evans won.

Only a handful from H2A came out in 2012. Lane convinced close to 20 to sign up this year after registering himself, dispelling fears of sharks and other possible catastrophes.

"The kids are bringing in newspaper articles saying 'Look, this guy caught three bull sharks in one week,'" Lane said.

Felix swam the event for the first time, drawing on her experience from a Clemson open water swim years ago.

"I just tried to follow whoever was in front of me and not get lost," she said.

The rising Hilton Head Island High School senior has qualified for the USA Swimming AT&T Winter National Championships, which will be held in Greensboro, N.C., in December.

Hammond will swim at the Speedo Winter Junior Nationals, also in December.

The team has a regular season meet at Georgia Tech and will race at U.S. Sectionals at the end of July.

"It's really kind of a good base swim to get their base up and going," Lane said. "Next weekend we'll start focusing on speed."

Follow assistant sports editor Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.

8th annual Beaufort River Swim

Overall results

1. James Hammond 46:07

2. Noah Corbitt 47:23

3. John Evans 47:29

4. Tristan Cummings 47:54

5. Lilla Felix 47:58

6. Mike Malik 48:01

7. Yorlliry Moreno 48:12

8. Noah Cormier 48:25

9. Sam Meighan 48:41

10. Nick Brittis 49:21

11. Will Bootle 49:49

12. Ryan Naddy 49:51

13. Michael Lane 50:05

14. Clayton North 50:05

15. Lily Kerr 50:08

16. Victoria Gill 50:11

17. Sarah Reamy 50:17

18. Mike Reid 50:48

19. Cheryl Reinke 50:53

20. Camille Felix 51:44

21. Ellen Vanagel 52:21

22. Chris Read 52:38

23. Rick Williams 52:49

24. Erek Nelson 54:08

25. Lynnette Hennessey 54:13

26. William McLoud 54:22

27. Elliott Gayken 54:23

28. Clayton Boyles 54:32

29. Bryson Cummings 54:32

30. Bethany Byrne 54:39

31. Charles Michael 54:40

32. Heather Bruner 55:23

33. Ashley Weaver 55:43

34. Karah Kurtz 55:44

35. William Guenther 55:49

36. Josh Parker 55:54

37. Grant Heatherington 56:40

38. Kyle Griffith 56:50

39. Jamie Wilson 56:54

40. Carsyn Bostwick 57:06

41. Claire Cuda 57:08

42. Peter Wyman 57:14

43. Joseph Barras 57:16

44. Richard Westerkamp 57:32

45. Jennifer Donaldson 57:49

46. Tod Trousdell 58:25

47. Mark Schuette 58:34

48. Bud Martin 58:45

49. Madeleine Gray 58:53

50. Will Van Pilsum 59:14

51. Courtney Humes 59:24

52. Jackson O'Dell 59:27

53. Marshall Shook 59:33

54. Allan Crawford 59:44

55. Nick Felix 59:53

56. Davis Lentz 59:56

57. Doranne Hipp 1:00:17

58. Kevin Yates 1:00:27

59. Gianfranco Esteves 1:00:36

60. Quinn Fleming 1:00:44

61. Sarah Avera 1:00:44

62. Anne Tuckwiller 1:00:44

63. Maya Bostwick 1:00:45

64. Jeff Waddle 1:00:50

65. Sacha Moreno 1:01:01

66. Timothy Daly 1:01:03

67. Kevin Green 1:01:16

68. Shannon Short 1:01:33

69. Kevin Green 1:01:37

70. Kent Berry 1:01:37

71. Heidi Taylor 1:01:46

72. Dwayne Schalles 1:01:47

73. Larry Bishop 1:01:48

74. Kelsey Krusen 1:01:50

75. Bill Haselden 1:02:17

76. David Luce 1:02:32

77. Tom Ruyle 1:02:50

78. Suzanne Porush 1:03:03

79. Scott Graber 1:03:20

80. James F. Vaughn 1:03:25

81. Tom Kunkle 1:03:38

82. Cory Fleming 1:04:01

83. Stephen Ralston 1:04:41

84. Laura Fromdahl 1:04:48

85. Suzanne Reamy 1:05:21

86. Sandra Cathey 1:05:41

87. Carl Pearl 1:05:56

88. Jessica Andrzejewski 1:06:03

89. Jonathan Rothwell 1:06:38

90. Mando Garcia 1:07:26

91. Richard Wood 1:07:34

92. Jessica Chapman 1:07:37

93. Kelley Luikey 1:07:49

94. Jack Cunningham 1:08:12

95. Jeff Beck 1:08:44

96. John Steman 1:08:44

97. Jim Carroll 1:08:50

98. Meg Conger 1:09:03

99. Kris Helke 1:09:13

100. Robert Neal 1:09:45

101. Bernadette Kreisel 1:09:47

102. Klaus Pless 1:09:55

103. Wayne Rosa 1:10:15

104. Martha McDuff 1:10:42

105. Heath Johnson 1:10:47

106. Michelle Wood 1:10:53

107. Wayne Ricottilli 1:11:00

108. Fred Kuhn 1:11:14

109. Michael Ward 1:11:17

110. Ricardo Pecora 1:11:50

111. Jennie Gentry 1:12:42

112. Alyson Fudge 1:13:02

113. Mary Duffy 1:13:17

114. Mary Palazzo 1:13:19

115. Rachael Warne 1:13:48

116. Ralph Moore 1:13:59

117. Lori Holland 1:14:05

118. Demetri Spyropoulos 1:14:23

119. Laura Richardson 1:14:24

120. Jeannie Bishop 1:16:40

121. Wallace Thomas 1:17:56

122. Dennis Glaves 1:17:59

123. Anslee Cannon 1:18:16

124. John Boyles 1:18:49

125. Marci Cannon 1:19:08

126. Daniel Eickhoff 1:19:10

127. Lori Malijenovsky 1:21:32

128. Paul Sommerville 1:21:44

129. Timothy Andrepont 1:22:13

130. Patricia Etheredge 1:24:33

131. James Blankenship 1:31:20

132. Ginnie Kozak 1:49:35

133. Christina Wooten 1:49:47

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