Swimming for a cause: 18th annual event held at Teal Lake

Lucas Hetzel crosses the finish line first at 49 minutes and 15 seconds at the Teal Lake Swim event on Saturday, and was followed by Taryn Aho, who came in 49 minutes and 49 seconds. The two laughed about how they swam alongside one another for a majority of the 2.25-mile distance. (Journal photo by Katie Segula)

MARQUETTE — On Saturday morning, swimmers, event coordinators and spectators for the Teal Lake Swim bustled to and from both sides of the lake to participate in the 18th annual event.

The event featured swimmers from a variety of age groups, with prizes handed out afterward by coordinators. The traditional 2.25-mile race, which usually launches from the Negaunee side of the lake, launched from the Ishpeming side for the second year in a row due to wind conditions.

The swimmers were encouraged to have their own volunteers signed up to keep them safe along the route.

“The Marquette County Sheriff’s Office patrols the lake for us, too, just to keep everyone more safe,” said Coordinator Kristen Cambensy of the U.P. Diabetes Outreach Network.

Local residents who wanted to support the cause without getting in the water had the opportunity as well.

Terri and Brayden Dunston volunteered to kayak for the race Saturday morning. The mother and son heard about the event through the National Honor Society newsletter and decided to take part.

“I thought it was going to be cold and rainy and super wavy and hard to paddle,” said Terri Dunston. “It was a little bit wavy, but the swimmers did great and we were just there to make sure the swimmers were safe.”

Some competitors were also looking to support the cause, while also improving their personal records.

“I know people that are avid swimmers and had done it a few times, and so every time I drove by Teal Lake I thought, ‘You know what, I am going to swim that lake one day,'” said Marquette native Chris Swanson. “So now this is about the fifth time I’ve done it. I am just going for the fun of it, but I want to better my (swim) time.”


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