Erica Rose and Steven Munatones on Open Water Swimming

Video and profiles courtesy of Steven Munatones –

Erica Rose developed a passion for swimming as a young child when her parents enrolled her in learn-to-swim lessons. By the age of 6, she was competing for her local summer club, the Forest Hills Swim Club in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

At age 7, she began swimming year round for the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins, one of the most prominent age group swim teams in the country. Erica progressed through the various levels of competition, starting at the Zone Championships and working her way to Junior Nationals and then on to the Senior National level.

She represented Hawken School in the Ohio High School State Championships, winning several individual and team state titles over the course of her four years. In 1997, she qualified for the USA National Junior Team and was ranked 3rd in the world in the 1500-meter freestyle.

About the same time, Erica entered her first open water race in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Jerry Holtrey, her Hawken and LESD coach, had been an open water swimmer and encouraged his swimmers to try the ocean race.

Erica placed second and instantly loved the freedom of the sport, the lack of lane lines and the challenge of ever changing conditions. One year later, at age 15, Erica became the first ever World Champion in the Open Water 5K.

About Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones has served as the USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Team coach at the 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 World Swimming Championships and 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 national team camps.

He has written several cover stories for Swimming World Magazine, U.S. Masters Swimming SWIMMER Magazine and Competitor Magazine. He is an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee and board member. He created and manages the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website.

He is a member of the FINA Technical Open Water Swimming Committee and USA Swimming Open Water Swimming Committee where he drafted many of the rules, guidelines, protocols and regulations currently used in the sport. He was the 1982 World Long Distance Swimming Champion (25K in Lake Windermere, England), did five unprecedented solo swims over 30K in Asia and several professional marathon swims in Canada, Mexico and Atlantic City.

He was the NBC Olympics’ Commentator for the 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim in Beijing. He created the Open Water Swimming Dictionary, World’s Top 100 Open Water Swims, America’s Top 50 Open Water Swims, the World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year, the World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year, Open Water Wednesday, the Pyramid of Open Water Success, Ocean’s Seven and the Open Water Almanac.

He has prepared open water swimming materials used by NBC, USA Swimming, Beijing Olympic Committee, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Public Radio and National Geographic Magazine.

He serves as the Technical Delegate for the Special Olympics and 2011 World Games and as an adviser to race directors in the USA, from California to New York, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Greece, Mexico and Japan.

He is a member of the board of directors of Swim Free and was the race director for the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, USA Swimming National Open Water Swimming Championships, the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships 10K and the Distance Swim Challenge.

He wrote the script for Out of the Box, USA Swimming’s 90-minute educational DVD on open water swimming and The Tactics and Techniques of Open Water Swimmers.

He has kayaked, paddled, escorted and coached several swimmers in numerous channels and lakes around the world including the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Japan, South Pacific and the Hawaiian Islands.

He created The Daily News of Open Water Swimming, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website, 10Kswim, Virtual Swim, Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming, Water Polo Hair and SwiMetrics.

He created and hosted the first Global Open Water Swimming Conference.

He is a contributing writer to The Science of Swimming and is an adviser to the American Swimming Coaches Association’s Journal of Swimming Research.

He wrote Open Water Swimming, a comprehensive tome on open water swimming that will be published in 2011 by Human Kinetics. He received the Irving Davids / Captain Roger Wheeler Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

He was born and raised in Southern California and currently resides in Huntington Beach, California where he coaches, researches, writes and promotes open water swimming and water polo.