Powers, Simmons Ready for Sunday's Alcatraz Escape

July 17, 2014

By Jason Clay

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State distance swimmers Danielle Powers and Kelly Simmons will be participating in Sunday's 34th annual Alcatraz Escape from the Rock Duathlon in San Francisco.

The duathlon course combines the mile-and-a-half swim from Alcatraz with a seven-mile run to Fort Point and back to the Aquatic Park in San Francisco.

For the two Bulldogs, they are looking forward to the opportunity to push themselves in ways they haven't before.

"I love swimming more than anything and it's been a great experience to swim in college," Simmons said. "In high school I would have never had the endurance or strength to do this and now we both do, so it's kind of exciting to get to do something other than just swim in a pool."

"I think it's cool because we are going to be around a lot of people that are elite athletes, like triathletes that do things like this on a regular basis," Powers added. "So it kind of broadens our horizons a little bit and gets us out of the box that we swim in every day into a different aspect of the sport."

The idea to participate in the Alcatraz Escape from the Rock started with Powers and her mother, Catherine, who will be joining the two Bulldogs in the event. The Powers' had talked about doing it together when Danielle was younger because she was always interested in it.

"She said when she was 50 and I was 20 we would do the Escape from Alcatraz and then this year it just happened that it was the duathlon," Danielle Powers said. "Then I asked Kelly if she wanted to do it and we signed up."



For the two they feel that the swimming leg of the duathlon won't be the hardest part, it's the seven-mile run that will provide the greatest challenge. They noted that last season between September and February they swam roughly 720 miles in the pool, so they are confident they will be able to knock out the mile-and-a-half swimming leg in the cold waters of the bay.

"The swimming aspect of it, we've all just done [the training] in practice," said Powers, who noted they will be in wet suites for the swim. "We've been running a lot more this summer."

They anticipate that the swim will take roughly 30-45 minutes and the run about an hour.

The duo, who will be entering their junior year's this coming 2014-15 season believe an event like this will benefit them in the pool. It also serves as a bonding experience between the friends.

"We've trained harder this summer together than we ever have," Simmons said. "We're the only two distance swimmers that have been here for a while, so we've pushed each other this whole year. It's exciting to come in next season ready to go."

"The last two seasons being here it took us a little bit longer to get ready than it should have, so it will be nice to come in knowing we're prepared and have a good season ahead of us," Powers added.

More information on the Alcatraz Escape from the Rock duathlon can be found here by clicking on this link.

Results and reactions from Powers and Simmons will be posted on Fresno State's social media forms on Sunday.

"Be Bold" - Stay connected to Fresno State Athletics through Facebook (www.facebook.com/fresnostateathletics), Twitter (@FSAthletics) and Instagram (@fresnostateathletics).

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