NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Earlier this month future Bulldog Eva Fabian won the 2011 10k Open Water National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Fabian finished first among her female competitors in rough conditions and will now race in the 10k at the Open Water World Championships in Shanghai, China, at the end of July. If she finishes in the top 10 in Shanghai she will qualify for the event at the 2012 Olympics in London. At the moment Fabian is assessing the specific open water training and travel she will need to do to compete at this level and accordingly she may defer enrollment at Yale for one year.
Fabian clocked in at 2:18:31.26 to win the 10k National Championship on June 10. Fabian's seed time leading up to the race was the third-fastest and indeed she was towards the front of the field for most of the race. After four 2.5k laps it was Fabian who came through the chute first in a relatively close finish, with only about five seconds separating the top three finishers after more than two hours of swimming.
Fabian, a New Hampshire native, swims for Greenwood Memorial Swim Club. The club itself is based in Massachusetts, so Fabian trains out of Keene State College in her hometown of Keene, N.H., where she is coached by her father, Jack Fabian. Fabian began swimming at age six and started competing in open water races at the age of 11. She did her first open water 10k at age 14 and in the space of two years she would go on to finish second in the 10k at the 2009 Open Water National Championships. That same summer she finished 10th in the 25k and 27th in the 10k at Open Water Worlds. Just one year later she had moved up to the winner's circle in two of the sport's premier competitions, winning a silver medal in the 10k open water event at the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships and winning a gold medal in the 5k at the 2010 Open Water World Championships in Roberval, Canada.
Open water swimming has seen a rise in popularity ever since it became an official event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. The sport will return to China in one month's time as Shanghai plays host to the 2011 FINA World Championships. Seven open water events will be contested from July 19-23, the first of which will be the women's 10k on Tuesday, July 19. If Fabian finishes in the top 10 in this event she will earn a bid to the 2012 Olympics.
"She has a lethal combination of sheer determination, excellent work ethic and a happy-go-lucky personality which will not only elevate our game here at Yale, but also inspire her teammates," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Head Coach of Swimming and Diving Cristina Teuscher.
Named the USA Swimming Open Water Female Swimmer of the Year in the fall of 2010, Fabian plans to continue her long-distance swimming habits while at Yale. When she finally arrives in New Haven she is sure to join the ranks of Yale swimming greats like Marilee Kiernan '09, who set a women's American record last June for crossing the Straight of Gibraltar, and made the 23-mile swim across the English Channel one month later.
Report filed by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity