A pair of teen sensations are back to defend their titles in the 22nd running of the Skaha Lake Ultra Swim on Sunday.
A sold-out field of 100 swimmers will plunge into the waters of Skaha Lake at 7 a.m. for the start of the 11.8 km open-water swim, which concludes at Christie Park beach in Okanagan Falls.
Last year, 17-year-old Casey Riess of Edmonton splashed to the finish line first in 2 hours, 26 minutes and 55 seconds.
Chantal Jeffrey, a 17-year-old from Salmon Arm, came second overall and won the women’s race in 2:33:54, with local teen Haley Berrisford of Summerland third at 2:46:59.
Both Riess and Jeffrey established new records in the men’s and women’s 14-19 age groups.
Jeffrey broke her own record of 2:35:03 that she set in 2017 when she won the Ultra Swim outright in its return after not being held since 2004. Berrisford, who is not registered for this year’s race, finished second overall in 2:50:55.
Riess and Jeffrey have a chance to challenge the long-standing course records held by Serge Score (2:21:44 in 1997) and the women’s mark of 2:30:04 set by KC Emerson in 1991.
Among the notable local participants this year is Ultra520K record holder Dave Matheson, now 47.
This year will also see a pair of 13-year-old swimmers – Isabelle Grecoff and Abigail Jerome – competing.
The oldest swimmer registered is 78-year-old Albert Dykstra.
The cutoff time for the event is 1:30 p.m. (6.5 hours). Last year, 80 swimmers completed the race.
The Ultra Swim started in 1985 and there was no race in 1999, as well as from 2004-16.
To learn more, visit www.skahalakeultraswim.com