Liz de Vry
OLYMPIAN Jessica Roux and Christopher Reid took top women’s and men’s honours in the Spar River Mile at Sundays River yesterday.
The event took place in perfect weather conditions with 427 men swimmers and 327 women swimmers. The youngest swimmers were Chloe Lingham, 7, and the oldest Mally Richards at 80.
The women’s race started off in windy conditions, but once Port Elizabeth’s Olympic open water swimmer Jessica Roux got into her stroke and rhythm there was no catching her.
Although she led from start to finish, it was a closely contested race by the top three swimmers.
Roux came first in a time of 16 minutes 59.10 seconds, Megan van Wyk second in 17:01.70 and Jessica Liss third in 17:03.40.
In the men’s race, Christopher Reid started the event well and never looked back. He finished in a time of 14:12.10 with Byron Lockett second (14:27.70). Alard Basson was third in 14:42.80.
As in the women’s race, the male race was also dominated by the top three swimmers.
Richards, who took part in the male race, was not just the oldest participant, but this was his 60th River Mile. He first swam the River Mile in 1947.
The top women’s team was the Port Elizabeth Amateur Swimming Club grouping of Tarryn Els, Hannah Haswell, Kaley Gouws, Ashley Green and Nepo Ntsono.
Port Elizabeth Amateur Swimming Club finished as the leading men’s team thanks to Alard Basson, Alaric Basson, Nizaam Kafaar, Greg Kotze and Dylan Smith.
The top girl’s school team was Collegiate with Megan van Wyk, Jessica Liss, Genna Greevelink, Tarryn Els and Jamie Lee Engelke showing the way while Reid, MC Burri, Luke Stevenson, Greg Kotze and Nicolas Adam won the boys’ title for Grey High.