Santa Barbara Swim Club member and Olympian Mark Warkentin, who won a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team on May 4, earned a silver medal in the men’s 25-kilometer open water race at the FINA Open Water World Championships in Seville, Spain.

Warkentin swam the race, made up of five laps around a 5K course, in 5:04:01.6, just shy of earning a gold medal. Team USA finished fourth.

Warkentin confirmed his intention to swim the grueling 25K event on Thursday. “As he approached me after our daily team meeting,” SBSC head coach and USA Team staff member John Dussliere said, “I was unsure how the conversation was going to go about his intentions regarding the 25K. I had kept the subject quiet between us prior to the 10K as that was the ultimate focus of this competition. It was such a great surprise to hear Mark tell me that he had done what he needed for himself in the 10K, and the 25K was an opportunity to get a medal for the team.”

Warkentin’s best 25K to date was done in 2006 in Florida. He finished that race in a little more than five hours. The course conditions in Seville are ideal and the competition is world class.

“Mark had a chance to take on the best 25K swimmers ever assembled at a world championship and came out a silver medalist,” Dussliere said.

John Dussliere is head coach of the Santa Barbara Swim Club and Santa Barbara Masters.