Americans sweep open-water golds at Pan-Pacific

Updated: August 21, 2006, 4:58 PM ET
Associated Press

VICTORIA, British Columbia -- American teenagers Chip Peterson and Chloe Sutton won the 10-kilometer open water swimming competition at the Pan Pacific Championships on Monday.

Peterson, the 18-year-old world champion from Chapel Hill, N.C., swam the Elk Lake course in 1 hour, 54 minutes, 26.68 seconds.

Fran Crippen of Philadelphia earned a silver, finishing in 1:54:50.46. Travis Nederpelt of Australia was third in 1:55:16.89.

"The conditions were very nice, perfect temperature. The setup was great," Peterson said. "The lake is great. I love how it's shared by all the swimmers and the rowers and the boaters and by people going to the beach."

Sutton, a 14-year-old swimmer from Ashburn, Va., won the women's race in 2:04:25.

"I kept on feeling my muscles starting to give out a little bit at the end, but I held in there," she said.

Sutton crossed just in front of teammate Kalyn Keller, who was timed in 2:04:29. Tanya Hunks of Canada took the bronze in 2:05:01.

Sutton changed up her strategy after the race began.

"I was planning on trying to stay maybe second or third throughout and then sprinting at the end," she said. "But I felt uncomfortable staying behind so I just took off and tried to stay in first the whole way."

Open water swimming will be held at the Olympics for the first time in 2008.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press