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Tim Siciliano, Karen Schultz Win Semana Nautica 6-Mile Ocean Swim

Tim Siciliano runs up the beach after finishing first in the Semana Nautica 6-mile swim from the Goleta Beach Pier to Hendry’s Beach. Click to view larger
Tim Siciliano runs up the beach after finishing first in the Semana Nautica 6-mile swim from the Goleta Beach Pier to Hendry’s Beach. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

The Big 10 Conference made its mark at Sunday’s Semana Nautica 6-mile ocean swim.

Tim Siciliano, a Michigan man, and Karen Schultz, Minnesota alum, were the winners of the race from the Goleta Beach Pier to Hendry’s Beach.

Siciliano, making his 6-mile debut, was the overall winner in 2 hours, 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Schultz, the women’s champion in 2015, won for the second time in 2:07.00. She was second overall.

Moby Coquillard, last year’s overall winner, came in third in 2:08.51; former champion Ed Smith was fourth (2:12.28); Sierra Kinworthty, from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, placed fifth (2:13.26); Abby Bergman, who is preparing for an English Channel swim, was sixth (2:13.38) and Jessica Jones seventh (2:13).

Fifty-six swimmers started the race and they had near ideal water conditions.


Women’s champion Karen Schultz, and Siciliano cheer for the other finishers. Click to view larger
Women’s champion Karen Schultz, and Siciliano cheer for the other finishers. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

“It was absolutely fantastic, you couldn’t ask for better conditions, said Siciliano, 37, a three-time NCAA champion in the 400 individual medley. “It was calm water and there was no current, really.”

Siciliano was an assistant swim coach at UCSB for four years and worked with the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol. He now works as a technician at Cottage Hospital.

Siciliano is training for the Trans-Tahoe Relay in Lake Tahoe later this month. He did the Semana Nautica 1- and 3-mile ocean swims last weekend.

“I figured if I’m doing the one and three I might as well do the six,” he said. “I wanted to be in better shape (for the relay) and this was a good way to see if I am in shape.”

Siciliano and Schultz train with the Santa Barbara Masters swim team at Los Banos del Mar pool.

Sunday’s swim was the longest Siciliano has ever done.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said, “The three mile was cold, but it was an eye opener to race that long. This one was really fantastic, I really enjoyed it. My support guy, Scott Devore, did an awesome job. He did a great job supporting me and keeping me right in line.”

Schultz and her paddler, Nancy Kaplan, got separated in traffic early in the race. Kaplan asked other paddlers if they’d seen Schultz and they told her “she was way up front.” She eventually found her and it was smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Schultz, a regular Semana Nautica and Reef & Run Series participant, did all of the ocean swim events of the summer sports festival — the two Reef & Run mile swims, the Mullen & Henzell 1-miler, the 3- and 6-milers.

Phil Morreale set a goal to do all the races before turning the milestone age of 60 next week. He accomplished the feat by finishing his first 6-mile swim. He placed 24th in 2:31.20

“It was fun, a great day,” he said. “I wanted to do the one mile, three mile and this for my 60th birthday. I used to do stuff like this when I was a lifeguard back in the mid-70s but not since then.”

He credited his paddler, Dan O’Meara, for helping him make it. “Dan is a guy I swim with at Los Banos and at Reef & Run, and he’s done this times eight times.”

Morreale said the game plan was go “slow and steady. I pretty much did that the whole way through.”


Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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