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Craig grad completes English Channel swim

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Gazette staff
August 20, 2009

Sam Simon has done it.


The 19-year-old 2008 Janesville Craig High School graduate swam the 21-mile stretch of the English Channel from Shakespeare Beach, Dover, England, to Cap Gris Naz, France, in 13 hours, 10 minutes, 45 seconds Monday.


Simon joins more than 1,400 swimmers who have crossed the Channel since 1875.


“It was a great swim, a great day,” Simon’s father, Paul said in a phone call from Dover to The Gazette on Wednesday morning.


Simon began her Channel quest when she swam the 24-mile Tampa Bay Marathon 8:59.12 in June of 2008.


The 5-foot, 4-inch, 115-pound Simon, who will begin her sophomore year at St. Thomas University in Minneapolis in September, continued training as a member of the Tommies’ women’s swim team, averaging 7,000 yards per day.


Last March, Simon completed a six-hour swim in 57-degree water off Santa Barbara, Calif., to fill an English Channel Association requirement to swim six hours in water 60 degrees or less.


Last June, Simon secured a boat captain to plot the most favorable course for the 21-mile challenge.


The middle two weeks in August are considered the best time to swim the Channel because the water is warmer and the currents are more favorable.



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