Farrell still going strong in the water

Reef and Run ocean-swim winners, from left, Jon Clark (mile), Grant Schroeder (1k) hang out with 1960 Olympic gold medalist Jeff Farrell and his son, Marco, at East Beach. (Photo by Randy Weiss)

At 74 years young, Jeff Farrell can swim faster than many people.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist finished ahead of 20 swimmers in the 1-kilometer ocean swim at the Reef and Run Series Tuesday night at East Beach. Farrell placed 16th in the field of 36 with a time of 21 minutes, 30 seconds.


Farrell swam the anchor legs on the U.S. gold-medal winning 4×100 medley and 4×200 freestyle relays at the 1960 Olympics in Rome.  At the time, he was one of the fastest 100 freestylers in the world. Unfortunatley, an appendectomy just before the Olympic Trials ruined his chance to qualify for the 100-meter freestyle — he missed qualifying by .01 seconds.

He would win the 200 free — a non-Olympic event then — and that earned him spots on the relay teams, which went on to set world records in Rome.

On Tuesday, Marco Farrell finished just two seconds behind his father.

Youth prevailed in the 1k swim as 16-year-old Grant Schroeder won the event in 15:16.  Schroeder is preparing for the water polo season at Dos Pueblos High. The first woman finisher was Lani Seaman in 16:34.

In the 1-mile swim,  Jon Clark, 50, finished first in 19:31. Tina Hill (21:20) was the first woman, edging out Lauren Capone (21:22).

Jason Cocklin won the 5k run in 24:28.

In the swim-run duathlon, Johannes Walcher won in 40:20.  The top woman was Priska Lammler in 45:44.