UH's Boehm eases to Cholo win
By Mike Tymn
Special to The Advertiser
Never having competed in an ocean swim before, Kurt Boehm swam cautiously for the first half of Cholo's 2000 (meter) Swim at Waimea Bay yesterday morning.
About 15 minutes into the race, Boehm, a 22-year-old University of Hawai'i junior from Germany, took off and left the rest of the field in his wake, running across the finish line on the beach in 28 minutes, 37.3 seconds.
"I had no idea how to start the race or pace myself, so I just stayed behind until I felt confident," said Boehm, who specializes in the 200 butterfly and 400 individual medley in the pool.
Dustin Fukuda, a 14-year-old Mililani High School sophomore, won the battle for second place, recording 29:28.6, as Rick Heltzel, 45, edged Matt Seymour, 18, for the third spot in 29:31.2.
The women's race, which followed the men's, was won by Elizabeth-Rose Hanohano, a 14-year-old Kamehameha freshman, in 31:59.0. Jennifer Baker, 16, was second in 32:53.5, while Emily Bresser, 23, took third in 32:54.0.
"I had no idea I was leading," said Hanohano. "I couldn't see anything."
The race was the third of four races in the North Shore Swim Series. Series leaders Noa Sakamoto and Ashley Swart did not compete as they are focusing on the western sectional pool championships in Phoenix next week.
With 180 entrants, the men's race got underway at 9 a.m. Heltzel set the pace with Fukuda, the Seymour brothers, Matt and Chad, and Boehm in close tow.
"I was sort of daydreaming when he (Boehm) just took off and went by me," said Heltzel. "But even if I had been alert, it wouldn't have made any difference. He was too strong."
With about 300 meters remaining in the race, Boehm did a few strokes on his back to check out the rest of the field, then about 40 yards behind.
"It was a whole new environment for me," said Boehm. "It was strange not having to make turns (as in the pool)."
Fukuda, Heltzel, the Seymour brothers, and Bob Momsen were closely bunched in the battle for second. Year-for-year, Momsen, a 55-year-old Kona resident, may have had the best performance of the day. He finished sixth in 29:45.9.
Hanohano took command of the women's race, which had 140 entrants, early and began to pull away with about 800 meters remaining.
"I just put my head down and swam," she said. "I didn't know I was going to win until I was on the beach."
The best age-class performance was turned in by Betty Ann Barnett-Sallee, 56, who finished 13th in 35:17.5.
The final event in the series, the Surf & Sea Cup will take place on Aug. 3 in Hale'iwa.
See results in For the Record