FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Sean Ryan (Chattanooga, Tenn., University of Michigan) claimed the top spots in the 2011 5K Open Water National Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. For both swimmers, it’s their first open water national title.

The men’s race started with Ryan making a straight beeline alongside the markers to take the early lead. Ryan never looked back touching the finishing structure in 53:11.79. At one point, he stretched his lead to one minute and 42 seconds. Chip Peterson (Pine Knolls Shores, N.C.) and Ryan Feeley (Rye, N.Y., University of Michigan) battled all morning for the second and third spots. Peterson eventually prevailed in a time of 54:42.73 with Feeley touching half a second behind in 54:43.29.

“I really wanted to get out ahead from the start and take it around the first turn,” Ryan said. “Once I saw that I had a break between myself and everyone else I knew I couldn’t slow down and I had to continue my lead.”