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Publish date: Jun 23, 2011

Baruch swimmers take Manhattan by sea

Two current Baruch men’s swimming student-athletes and four former Bearcat swimmers teamed up to swim around the island of Manhattan on June 18 to raise money for NYC Swim Free, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health through swimming.


Swimmers were accompanied by supervisors in boats and kayaks to ensure safety.

The Bearcats stroked by landmarks ranging from the Williamsburg Bridge, the 59th Street Bridge and Yankee Stadium to Battery Park South Cove. In all, the Baruch group logged 28.5 miles and raised more than $9,000 for NYC Swim Free.

Each member of the Baruch group took turns. The first part of the journey involved swimmers going from one location to the next, while the remainder of the course was completed in timed segments to ensure safety. Swimmers were accompanied by boats and kayakers to add safety and guidance.

The Baruch contingent featured:

  • Gabriel Yanez, a junior who swam legs from Battery Park South Cove to Williamsburg Bridge (3.17 miles), Spuyten Duyvil to Hudson River Opening (30 minutes) and Hudson River, Entrepid Museum (30 minutes).
  • Patrick Campbell, a junior who swam legs from Williamsburg Bridge to 59th Street Bridge (3.29 miles), Hudson River (30 minutes) and Hudson River (10 minutes).
  • R. Michael Shiwnath, a May 2011 graduate who swam legs from the 59th Street Bridge to Harlem River Footbridge (2.19 miles), Hudson River, George Washington Bridge (30 minutes) and Hudson River (Pier 25) to Finish at South Cove (15 minutes).
  • Annelie Gregor, a 2009 graduate who swam legs from the Harlem River Footbridge to 140th Street (45 minutes) and Hudson River (30 minutes).
  • Jessica Penaherrera-Kang, a 2010 graduate who swam legs from 140th St. to Yankee Stadium (45 minutes) and Hudson River (30 minutes).
  • Benjamin Chu, a May 2011 graduate who swam legs from Yankee Stadium to Spuyten Duyvil (45 minutes) and Hudson River (30 minutes).

Baruch swimmers (left to right) Annelie Gregor, Benjamin Chu, Jessica Penaherrera-Kang, Gabriel Yanez, R. Michael Shiwnath and Patrick Campbell looped New York City for charity.

“It was an amazing experience and my body is sore, but I am one of the few who can say they swam around large parts of the Island of Manhattan while at the same time raising money for a good community cause,” said Shinwath, who was named this year’s male swimmer of the year in the City University of New York Athletic Conference.

Gregor, the 2008 CUNYAC female swimmer of the year, echoed that sentiment.

“Sharing this unique experience with my fellow Baruch College teammates and circumnavigating this amazing city we all love so much was incredible,” she said. “The reason we did so well is because we had the combination of a strong team spirit, a positive attitude and immense support from our family.”