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Saturday, September 18, 2021

NEK Swim Week continues to draw athletes from across US

DERBY — Sixty swimmers from all over the United States and an equal number of kayakers took part in the eighth annual NEK Swim Week.

Swim Week consists of events on 8 lakes over 9 days, for a total of 46 miles.

Some swam one lake, one swam all.

Ryan Pope, 31, of Fitchburg, MA, with his wife, Erin, paddling by his side swam all 46 miles.

Pope came in second in the 5-mile Willoughby Race, behind a young star bursting on the scene, 14-year-old, Mathew Church of Marblehead, MA, who finished the Willoughby five-mile race in a time of 1:49:00.

Church participated with his mom and his dog on kayak guiding the way.

Winning Willoughby among the women was Jenny Wolf, 38, of Concord, MA, with the fastest non-wetsuit time of the day at 2:13:22.

Among the non-wetsuit men, Ben Merrick, 59, of South Burlington, took home a winning time of 2:35:24.

This summer, over 50 volunteer kayakers signed on to support swimmers.

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