published Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Former McCallie swimmer Ryan wins Ryan 5k swim national title

FORT LAUDERDLAE, Fla. — Former McCallie School swimmer Sean Ryan easily won the men’s 5-kilometer race at the USA Swimming Open Water National Championships on Sunday, leading from start to finish, while Ashley Twichell narrowly avoided a mistake at the end to win the women’s event.

Ryan, who lost by just two seconds in Friday’s 10-kilometer race, took advantage of the calm waters to widen the gap between him and the rest of the pack with each lap. The 18-year-old from Chattanooga beat out Chip Peterson and Ryan Feeley by more than a minute, winning in a time of 53 minutes, 11.79 seconds.

The 21-year-old Twichell, from Fayetteville, N.Y., passed teammate Christine Jennings just after the halfway point and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way, but she came close to giving away the race when she almost missed the finishing chute entirely.

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