June 13, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. – The University of Notre Dame’s Chris Zeches (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic H.S.) was the overall winner of the two-mile Dam-to-Dam Swim in Tempe Town Lake yesterday. The sophomore-to-be finished the event, in which swimmers covered the entire length of the lake, in a time of 39:34, which was 25 seconds quicker than the rest of the 91-person field.
The race was part of Tempe Town Lake’s annual open water swim series, and it featured more than twice as many participants as in 2003. Swimmers were ferried to the starting line aboard tour boats used to cruise the lake and took off for the far dam at the sound of the gun.
Zeches, representing Tucson’s Ford Aquatics club team, finished 25 seconds ahead of David Purlsey of the Brophy East Swim Team, who was second in 40:01.
In his first collegiate season, Zeches established himself as one Notre Dame’s top distance freestylers. His season-best time of 15:48.77 in the 1,650-yard freestyle was good enough for second on the team. It came in a runner-up finish at the Notre Dame Invitational behind North Dakota’s Rodrigo Cintra, who went on to finish second in the NCAA Division II Championships in the race. Zeches was 15th in the BIG EAST Championships in the event, scoring two points to help Notre Dame to its highest-ever score in the meet en route to a runner-up finish. Zeches also ranked third on the team in the 1,000 freestyle (9:36.97) and fourth in the 200 backstroke (52.47). He scored 132 points in individual events, which ranked fifth among the talented 11-member Irish rookie class.
The Dam-to-Dam Swim was sponsored by DCB Extreme Adventures, and full results can be found at http://www.dcbadventures.com/main/results/FTT/r1/2mswim_overall.htm.