Last year we published a 2018 rankings of the top ranked North American teams. Here now is the 2019 edition, highlighting the five most consistent top team performers from the four US-based ÖTILLÖ Merit Races: SwimRun Lake James, Odyssey Casco Bay Islands, Odyssey Orcas Island and SwimRun North Carolina.
And 2020 will likely be even more exciting with new teams coming in.
Rankings were calculated, curated and hosted by Marc Blake at Pacific Multisports with weighting criteria found here and a full rankings list here.
The designated award for the top getters in each category will be Gold (1st place), Silver (2nd place) and Bronze (3rd place) race bibs to be worn at each of the 2020 ÖTILLÖ Merit Races.
The winning men's team was Team Orca / Gu Crew with 8347 points. Marcus Barton and Caleb Baity were consistently near the top all year coming out on top at the hotly contested SwimRun North Carolina on October 27th.
Jonathan Story and Tim Ferguson of It be me me me and Timothy turned in consistent finishes at each of the four races to earn the runner-up spot with 7878 points and will be rewarded in 2020 with special Silver colored race bibs.
The Swimming Gazelles Art Chasovskykh and Jose LoMonaco secured the third spot on the men's side with 4930 points.
Honorable mention in fourth place were Amine and Kamal Maghri from Team SwimRunHub with 3808 points.
Rounding out the men's podium in fifth was California SwimRun 1 with Sean Coetzee and Phil Saenkov with 3649 points.
No team across any category dominated quite like the Mixed category winners Bronwen and Gregory Dierksen from Boston Wet Sox with 6895 points. The married duo tallied wins at Casco Bay Islands and SwimRun North Carolina and also became the first-ever American team to podium at an ÖTILLÖ World Series event with their third place in June at Isles of Scilly (though that result did not net them any points in this ranking).
Second place mixed went to Therese Nasman and Patrik Rung from Team Motvind with 5962 points. The Swedish teammates made it known they were on the hunt to collect points for a run at the ÖTILLÖ World Championships in 2020.
In a close battle with another San Diego-based team, Kelsie Baker and Mike Lyle from Lyle Fitness earned third place with 4205 points.
Honorable mention in fourth place was the other aforementioned San Diego team California SwimRun 2 with Caroline Wolek and Andy Hewitt at 4048 points.
Fifth place in the mixed were Shannon Florea and Jonathan Feddock from the Mongolian Death Worms with 3862 points.
Top ranked in the Women's division were Brooke Lindsley and Annie Molsberry from Quest / SwimRun Labs with 4403 points.
Runner up on the women's side went to the swift swimming Emily Boerger and Heather Westerman of Shark Bait with 3361 points.
Another team of speedy swimmers, Perfect Strangers, with Sydne Didier and Jenny Wolf, secured third place on the women's side with 3252 points off a solid showing over the run-heavy SwimRun North Carolina course.
Honorable mention in fourth place for the women was Run Hard Put Away Wet with Katie Malone and Abby Russell earning 3190 points.
In the closest battle of all the podiums, fifth place on the women's side went to the Tacoma Sea Stars Alison Deem and Melissa Nordquist with 3170 points.
That leaves the 2019 swimrun season in North America done and dusted putting a cap on the fourth year this fast growing sport has been available on this side of the great pond.
The sport that originated in Sweden out of a crazy-ass beer bet among four friends, eventually becoming the original ÖTILLÖ race, now includes hundreds of events and thousands of athletes competing each year throughout Europe.
ÖTILLÖ is still the most prestigious and competitive producer with their eight-race World Series offering automatic qualifying spots into their World Championship, for those wanting to tackle a mammoth 75k excursion each Labor Day crossing 24 islands in the Stockholm archipelago, 10k of which is open water swimming in the Baltic Sea and 65k of multi-surface running.
This sport advanced outside of Sweden for the first time in 2014 with the mountainous ÖTILLÖ Engadin in Switzerland and the first mass participation events in North America soon followed in 2016. Fast forward four years and new events are forming, participation is increasing, and gear innovation and training and race strategy is all leading to stiffer competition.
2020 should see a further bump here in the US with ÖTILLÖ’s expansion outside of Europe with their World Series Catalina taking place on the Southern California island on March 1st. It will be the first swimrun race in the US in which we should see a sizable European racing contingent on the starting line, offering American teams a chance to see how they stack up against the best.
2019 SwimRun ranking USA
1. Team Orca / Gu Crew (Marcus Barton and Caleb Baity) - 8347 points
2. It be me me me and Timothy (Jonathan Story and Tim Ferguson) - 7878 points
3. Swimming Gazelles (Art Chasovskykh and Jose LoMonaco) - 4930 points
4. Swimrunhub (Kamal Maghri and Amine Maghri) - 3808 points
5. California SwimRun 1 (Sean Coetzee and Phil Saenkov) - 3649 points
1. Quest / SwimRun Labs (Annie Molsberry and Brooke Lindsley) - 4403 points
2. Shark Bait (Emily Boerger and Heather Westerman) - 3361 points
3. Perfect Strangers (Sydne Didier and Jenny Wolf) - 3252 points
4. Run Hard Put Away Wet (Katie Malone and Abby Russell) - 3190 points
5. Tacoma Sea Stars (Alison Deem and Melissa Nordquist) - 3170 points
1. Boston Wet Sox (Bronwen Price-Dierksen and Gregory Dierksen) - 6895 points
2. Team Motvind (Therese Nasman and Patrik Rung) - 5962 points
3. Lyle Fitness (Kelsie Baker and Mike Lyle) - 4205 points
4. California SwimRun 2 (Caroline Wolek and Andy Hewitt) - 4048 points
5. Mongolian Death Worms (Shannon Florea and Jonathan Feddock) - 3862 points