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Duke Orthopaedic Surgical Tech, Heidi Williams, CST-IV, swims way to national championship

Awards and Recognition

We would like to congratulate our very own Duke Orthopaedic Surgical Tech, Heidi Williams, CST-IV, who was recently featured in The Herald Sun for winning a United States Masters Swimming national championship at the 2017 USMS Open Water National Championships, otherwise known as the Chattanooga Swim Fest. The three-day Swim Fest consisted of:

Friday, June 2: 1 mile fun swim
Saturday, June 3: 2.4 mile swim, 2017 USMS 1-3 mile OW National Championship
Sunday, June 4: 9.2 mile swim, 2017 USMS 9+ mile OW National Championship

According to Heidi, towards the end of the first swim:

"...I could see the chute with bouys on both sides. As I approached them, I saw pink caps closing in on me. I held my line and it worked! I finished 12th overall, 6th female, 1st in my age group in my fastest time ever…13:27."

On Day 2, 223 participants were taken from the finish line to the start on the Chattanooga Riverboat, the Southern Belle. Heidi explained, "I thought I was doing well…until the finish. I finished and saw WAY too many people already done." Still, she finished with her fastest 2.4 mile finish at 36:30.

Finally, on day 3, the swimmers started about 1000 yards up-river from the kayaks at the GPS dock where they had started the 1-mile swim on Day 1. Once all the kayaks were in position, the swimmers were given a 1-minute warning. They entered the water and “held position” during the countdown. From the very beginning until the very end, there was no stopping Heidi. 

"I swam under the chip reader and crawled out of the water…literally. The very rocky and slippery bottom required an army-man crawl to get to the carpet they had put out. I looked around…not too many people out yet, I must have done well. I ended up 17th overall, 5th female finisher, and 1st in my age group. The often elusive, highly-coveted National Championship Patch was mine!"  

Heidi's final time was 2:15:55. You can read more about Heidi and her experience in The Herald Sun by clicking here.