Gabriel wins first biathlon, Glusac reclaims title

Once he hit the water, no one was going to catch Cuyler Gabriel in Saturday’s Semana Nautica 5-mile biathlon at East Beach.

The Santa Barbara High senior-to-be was in third place after the 4-mile beach run. He passed the two competitors ahead of him at the first buoy of the mile ocean swim and never looked back, finishing comfortably in first place in 46 minutes, 9 seconds.

Runner-up Steve Hunt came in at 50:03 and Ed Smith took third in 51:51.

Becky Glusac, Smith’s fiancé, won the women’s title in 55:52. Her time was seventh overall. Chelsea Jones (1:00.17) and Whitney Bruice (1:00.30) were second and third, respectively.


Gabriel was confident he could overtake the two run leaders.

“I knew I was going to able to catch them when I saw they were taking a little bit longer to get going,” he said.

Gabriel admitted he wasn’t feeling great as he entered the water.

“I felt pretty bad, too, when I got in the water but I caught up with them pretty fast.”

Even though he doesn’t run much, Gabriel, a standout for the SBHS swim team, wasn’t at all intimidated by the biathlon.

“Once I saw the biathlon was an event I can do, I definitely saw myself getting a win here for Semana Nautica,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve done it, so I’m grateful I got to place first right away. It was a lot of fun.”

Glusac, who won in 2012, considers the biathlon her best Semana Nautica event. She was determined to win it this year after finishing second last summer.

“I was hoping to be able to win again, depending on who showed up,” she said. “I feel like this is my best race. I feel I have a good chance every year.”