Crystal Lake Central sophomore Carley Frisch is used to doing miles in the pool as a competitive water(1)

However, hitting the open waters of Crystal Lake in a competition was a new experience for her. With no clock to check her pacing, Frisch got caught up in the excitement of the Crystal Lake Open Water Race on Saturday and went out in a quicker pace than she intended. Despite going out quicker than she wanted, Frisch was able to capture first in the mile race’s division for 19 and under females.

“It was a lot different racing,” Frisch told the Northwest Herald. “In training, I would take it out slower.”

Frisch’s time of 25:55 was the fifth best overall. A member of the Crystal Lake co-op swim team, Frisch had prepared for her first open-water swim by training in the lake with teammates Gabby McElroy and Morgan Dahlke.

Frisch, who is used to swimming 1,650 yards (0.93 mile) in a pool, said the open-water mile was a vastly different experience.

“In the 1,650, you get to rest on the turns,” Frisch said. “Here, you have to keep that momentum because there are no turns.”

McElroy finished eighth overall in 26:31; and Dahlke was 11th in 26:51.

The three Crystal Lake Central swimmers were three of the youngest participants as the average age of swimmers in the one-mile race was 40. The average age of participants in the two-mile race was just shy of 46.

Grant Dahlke, 52, who coached his daughter, who will be a freshman at Central in the fall, and other co-op team members in the event, took fourth overall in 25:36. He said there is more socializing at open-water events than pool meets.

“In pool swimming, there isn’t much time to talk,” he said. “(At the open-water race) people were staying ’til the very end to applaud.”

He said Saturday’s warm temperatures and calm waters made for ideal race conditions.

“This was fantastic,” Dahlke said. “This is the best water we’ve had all summer. It was a great day for open-water swimming.”

David Gibson, 54, of Bloomington won the one-mile race in 23:49, followed closely by Abigail Duke, 21, of Schaumburg, with a time of 23:54.

Gibson said he always tries to swim his own race, but knew that Duke was close behind.

“I knew she was back there,” Gibson said. “I have more than 30 years on her. Experience over youth.”

In the two-mile race, Kelly Perry, 36, of Geneva won the event in 44:58. Paul Reader, 39, finished second in 45:03.

Noted local finishers in the one-miles race included:

  • Sheri Gartner of Lake in the Hills who took first in the female 50-54 division. Her time of 29:52 was also good for 17th overall.
  • Julie Dunn of Algonquin who was second in the female 45-49 division. Her time of 28:05 was good for 14th overall.
  • Michael Czarnik of Cary who was second in the male 40-44 category with a time of 32:38.
  • Steven Fetherston of McHenry who was second in the male 55 and over division with a time of 30:09.


Top local finishers in the two-mile race included:

  • Jake Komosa of Woodstock who was second in the male 30-34 category with a time of 1:00:29.
  • Megan Ivers, also of Woodstock, who was second in the female 30-34 division in 1:05:57.
  • Lex Pegues of McHenry who was second in the male 50-54 division with a time of 52:46.
  • Kevin Scanland of Oakwood Hills who was second in the male 55 and over category, and fifth overall, with a time of 47:42.