Familiar faces return to the winner’s circle at 56th Annual Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim in Manhattan Beach
By David Rice, contributing reporter
MANHATTAN BEACH >> The seaside waters teeming with early-morning competitors, the 56th Annual Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim drew its biggest field ever Sunday
More than 1,300 racers swam the 2.2 miles of open ocean from the Hermosa Beach Pier to the Manhattan Beach Pier, one of the marquee events of The International Surf Festival, the annual five-day celebration of seaside life in Manhattan, Redondo and Hermosa beaches.
Ryan Bullock, 34 – a Fort Smith, Arkansas native who now resides in Hermosa Beach – won his third straight Pier-to-Pier overall title. Bullock finished in 39 minutes, 13 seconds –almost two minutes faster than second place finished Kevin Fink, 22, of San Pedro. Alex Kostich, 48, of Los Angeles finished third.
“Living in Hermosa, with this race being in your back yard, it is always fun to come out and make a good showing,” said Bullock, who has won the race four out of six years. “The water was great. It was a little bit choppy and it was warm. It feels great every time you win it.”
On the women’s side, 25-year old Kelsey Cummings of El Segundo repeated as the women’s champion, her third title in four years. Her 41:41 time was also good enough for fifth place overall.
“I love doing it every year,” said Cummings, an El Segundo High alumnus. “It was great conditions. I just try to keep up with the boys. I caught a wave, which was awesome.”
Among younger competitors, 13-year old Nicholas Jones, a San Pedro resident who swims for the Zenith Aquatic Program and coach Shari Twidwell, finished ninth overall and was the top finisher in the 14-and-under boys division.
“It felt good to do so well,” said Jones a seventh-grader at Holy Trinity Catholic School. “I was just trying to keep up with the leaders.”
Amy Dantzler, 54, of Los Angeles was second in the women’s division and 14th overall.
“I swim here every weekend, work out here,” said Danztler, who’s competed in the race for 15 years. “It’s my home turf course.It’s big, it’s fun, all my friends do it.”
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More information: www.surffestival.org/