Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

7-Year-Old Swims From Alcatraz to S.F.
AP on Yahoo News ^ | 5-22-06

Posted on 05/22/2006 9:31:10 AM PDT by Yossarian

SAN FRANCISCO - A 7-year-old Arizona boy on Monday became one of the youngest ever to swim from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco.

Braxton Bilbrey, a second-grader from Glendale who has completed several short-scale youth triathlons, completed the estimated 1.4-mile swim early Monday. His coach and two other adults joined him in the chilly waters of San Francisco Bay.

"I think it's pretty cool," Braxton said shortly after his father grabbed him under the arms and lifted him out of the water at Aquatic Park. He was greeted on the beach by reporters, photographers and well-wishers.

His mother, Stacey Bilbrey, wasn't originally sold on the idea, but accepted it once the boy proved he was dedicated, she said.

"For a 7-year-old to be that motivated and stick with a goal that long is amazing," she said. "Any time a 7-year-old has that strong of a desire, as long as it's a good desire, you should support it. He's worked hard for it."

Alcatraz, once a notorious federal prison that housed some of the nation's infamous criminals, including Chicago mobster Al Capone, is now a tourist site that attracts about 1 million visitors a year. It also draws a fair share of swimmers who attempt the crossing as part of the annual Escape from Alcatraz triathlon.

The Arizona second-grader got the idea when he saw a magazine story about a 9-year-old boy who made the swim. Johnny Wilson, a fourth grader from Hillsborough completed the swim in 53-degree waters last October in under two hours.

When Braxton asked his swim coach, Joe Zemaitis of Scottsdale, if he thought he could do it, Zemaitis said he thought the second-grader could, thinking he meant some time before he turned 9.

"If you were to ask me if a 7-year-old is old enough to do it, I'd say maybe one out of 10 million," Zemaitis said. "But he's that one."

Braxton trained two hours a day four times a week. He also swam in several Arizona lakes and in San Francisco Bay last month.


TOPICS: Education; Local News; Outdoors; Sports; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: alcatraz; braxtonbilbrey; swimming
This kid is a second grader!

I've done this swim - it was the toughest mile and a half in my life! Cold, briney, brackish water - and there are no buoys to guide you in - you have to stare out a mile and half, adjust for currents, pick a point out, and keep on swimming to it.

Yesterday was a cold, windy, and hence (I'm guessing) choppy day. Ugh. Hat's off to Braxton!

(By the way - just who would name their kid "Braxton"?!?!?)

1 posted on 05/22/2006 9:31:11 AM PDT by Yossarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Yossarian

(By the way - just who would name their kid "Braxton"?!?!?)

Early labor pains?

http://www.allaboutmoms.com/allaboutmoms/bh.htm


2 posted on 05/22/2006 9:37:33 AM PDT by poobear (The most critical job that Americans will not do (just illegals): Vote for Democrats!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Yossarian
(By the way - just who would name their kid "Braxton"?!?!?)

According to the Social Security name database Braxton was in the list of 1000 most popular male baby names for the last 20 years and the top 500 since 1994. In 1998 it was 323; in 1999 it was 330. It may have peaked in 2004 at 220, before going down to 251 last year.

3 posted on 05/22/2006 9:46:40 AM PDT by Celtjew Libertarian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: poobear

Hope his middle name isn't Hicks.


4 posted on 05/22/2006 10:10:18 AM PDT by ladyjane
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Yossarian

That is incredible!! And just think, he is from a state that is nor really known for it's high water content. Remeber, Arizona is a desert climate....


5 posted on 05/22/2006 12:11:22 PM PDT by amxfan2002 ("Over, Macho Grande??....I'll never be over Macho Grande!!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson