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14-Year-Old Swimmer Sets Lake Tahoe Record

James Savage is the youngest person to swim lake's 21.3-mile length
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 11, 2021 3:16 PM CDT
14-Year-Old Swimmer Sets Lake Tahoe Record
This Aug. 1, 2021 image provided by Jillian Savage shows James Savage, 14, of Los Banos, Calif. at Lake Tahoe on Aug. 1, 2021 as leaves the water after completing a swim of the entire 21.3-mile length of the alpine lake from South Lake Tahoe, California to Incline Village, Nevada.   (AP Photo/By Jillian Savage)

(Newser) – A 14-year-old California boy has become the youngest person to swim the entire 21.3-mile length of Lake Tahoe and complete the alpine lake’s coveted Triple Crown. James Savage of Los Banos completed the trip across the scenic lake, which straddles the California-Nevada line, in 12 hours on Aug. 1, the AP reports. He earlier swam the other two legs of the Lake Tahoe Triple Crown, all 10 miles or longer. Savage and his mother, Jillian, agreed the physical training was a lot easier than the mental endurance it takes to complete such a long-distance swim. The trip across the lake started in South Lake Tahoe, California, and ended in the Nevada town of Incline Village. She said she knew after the first mile that he would get the job done.

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"I had no doubts whatsoever," Jillian Savage told the Tahoe Daily Tribune. "He’s been swimming almost every day, six, seven days a week since he was 8. With open water, it’s just what he does. But mentally, even though it takes a whole bunch of us to make the swim possible, he’s really out there by himself." James Savage said he enjoys swimming in pools, but they’re pretty much "all the same." "Open water, you can swim in oceans, lakes, and you get to travel around," he said. Last August, at age 13, Savage became the youngest to complete the 12-mile "true width swim"—also known as the Godfather swim because it starts on Tahoe's west shore at the site of a mansion in featured in The Godfather: Part II. At age 8, he swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco.

(Read more swimming stories.)

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