Bullock, Cummings ISF Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim era extended another year

The lead pack drafts past the Manhattan Beach pier. Photo by Ray Vidal

Brian Bullock, as he passed the Manhattan Beach pier, on his way to winning the Men’s Open division in the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim. Photos by Ray Vidal

 

Kelsey Cummings, as she passed the Manhattan Beach pier, on her way to winning the Women’s Open division in the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim. Photos by Ray Vidal

 

Lining up for the Hermosa Beach pier for the start of the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim swimsuit division were 585 men and 314 women. Photos by Meghan Jacob

 

by Meghan Jacob

Ryan Bullock, of Redondo Beach, 37, and Kelsey Cummings, 28, of El Segundo, continued their multi-year domination of the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim on Sunday. Bullock’s time of 36:33 earned him his fourth consecutive Pier-to-Pier victory, and his fifth in six attempts. 

Cummings’ time of 39:36 earned her a fourth consecutive Pier-to-Pier victory. 

Sunday was Bullock’s and Cummings’ second top finish during the weekend’s 58th International Surf Festival. 

Saturday evening, the two Los Angeles County Southern Section Lifeguards swam on the winning Judge Irvin Taplin Medley Relay team. The relay consists of four swimmers, four paddlers and four dory teams.

Sunday’s Pier-to-Pier was the first competitive distance race either had competed in since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

“I think the pandemic hindered my training in some ways,” Bullock said. “I knew, though, we would come out of it, and this race would be occurring again, once it was over, so it gave me something to look forward to.”

“Those two miles are really grilling, but I put a lot of hard work into training for these races, so I always expect a good showing in how I place,” said Bullock, who swims with the Los Angeles Peninsula Swimmers (LAPS) swim club.

Cummings expressed similar thoughts.

“Especially after the quarantine, staying physically active and participating in races like these give us a goal to work towards,” Cummings said. “It’s important to stay excited about life, and races like these are so great for that.” The former El Segundo High swimmer qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in 2008 and 2012.

Cummings said this year’s race was more difficult than in previous years because she was unable to draft behind other swimmers.

“I swam it alone instead of with a pack, so during the swim I was getting a little worried,” Cummings said. “But once I finished and knew I won, I was so happy.”

Finishing second in the men’s division was Markus Rogan, of Los Angeles, a two-time Olympic silver medalist (Greece, 2004), and former 200 meter backstroke world record holder. Rogan’s time of 38:20 was just six second ahead of third place finisher Zachary Yakubik, of Manhattan Beach. In May of this year, Yakubik helped the Mira Costa High swim team win the Bay League Championship tournament.

In the women’s division, open ocean swimmer Amy Dantzler, 57, was second in 41:56; followed by Miko Baron, 15, of San Diego, in a time of 42:16.

In addition to men and women divisions, the race is broken into swimsuit and wetsuit divisions. Of the 1,113 swimmers who finished the race, 230 were in the wetsuit division. 

Race director Gary Crum said he expects the number of swimmers to increase in future years.

“The swimmers this year were just so thankful for the volunteers and everyone involved in making sure we could have the race again,” Crum said. “They were excited to get out of their basement, and be physically active after quarantine.” ER

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