June 18, 2006
FORT MYERS, Florida - Mark Warkentin qualified for the World Championships of Open Water Swimming by winning the 25k at the USA Open Water Championships on June 6, 2006. At the 8k mark of the distance event he was three min ahead of the next swimmer and finished the race at a time of 5:01.34, beating out 9 men for the position. The grueling race was the third swam by Warkentin at the USA Open Water Championships. He placed third in the 5k on June 2, 2006 out of 96 men, and third again in the 10k on June 4, 2006 out of 36.
"The water was a balmy 84 degrees and the weather that day was perfect," according to Head Swim Coach Gregg Wilson who accompanied Warkentin to the race. Coach Wilson provided provisions for Warkentin during as he raced via kayak.
"Mark led the pack from the beginning in the 25k" sated Coach Wilson. "His tempo never slowed, he made it look easy."
The four time All-American had been intensely training at UCSB for the past two months for these open water events in Florida, the first race of this kind in his career. After a disappointing Spring Nationals Warkentin decided to take a new direction: open water swimming, and it seems to be going very well for him.