RESTON, Va. – Gallaudet University rising junior Faye Frez-Albrecht (Canton, Conn.) completed the Jim McDonnell Lake Swim two-mile open water race this past Sunday here at Lake Audubon. Frez-Albrecht, who is deafblind, completed the race in one hour, 13 minutes and 10 seconds to place third in her age group.
Gallaudet men's and women's swimming and diving head coach Larry Curran and graduate assistant Katie Giles '15 accompanied Frez-Albrecht. The trio finished at the same time and placed third in their respective age groups. Former Bison women's swimming great and Gallaudet Athletics Hall of Famer Stephanie Danner '05 also swam the two-mile course and finished in 49 minutes, 22 seconds, to place third in her age group.
Coach Curran, who has completed the Jim McDonnell Lake Swim (JMLS) several times, suggested open swimming to stay in shape during the offseason to his team this spring. Frez-Albrecht expressed interest in swimming in the JMLS and has been training the past few months while staying on campus for summer class.
"Swimming together was new as we didn't have an opportunity to practice before the event and that proved challenging. Open water racing is a contact sport and each swimmer needs to defend their space with other swimmers," said Curran. "With three of us together, Faye in the middle, Katie and I were able to keep Faye in the right position. The water was a perfect 78 degrees and the sun-filled day made it ideal to swim this race."
The Jim McDonnell Lake Swims are hosted by Reston Masters Swim Team and held each year on Memorial Day weekend since 1988. With over 700 swimmers, JMLS is the largest open water event in the region.
Pictured left to right: Faye Frez-Albrecht, Katie Giles, Stephanie Danner, Larry Curran