Valente, Warkentin top large field at Reef & Run

Thursday’s Reef & Run event at East Beach saw 72 complete the 1-mile ocean swim, making it the strongest turn-out since the season-opener in June.

Alex Valente recorded the fastest time in 19 minutes and 54 seconds. Valente was closely followed by Mark Warkentin, a former Olympic swimmer who now coaches Valente, 15, at Santa Barbara Aquatics Club.

Greg Gaitan, Aaron Goldschmidt and Jim West rounded out the top-five in the mile swim. Becca Wrench won the women’s race in a time of 24.37.

Reef & Run also times a 500-meter and 1000-meter swim.

Neil Wood won the 1000-meter distance with a time of 14.51. Sarah Owens, only 11 years old, was the fastest female and came in third overall.

Caitlyn Robinson, still younger at nine years old, was tops in the 500-meter swim in front of Florence Hu and Cara Egan Williams.

For complete results from all events, follow this link.