Gannon University Alumnus to Swim Lake Erie
Posted: July 22, 2014
Gannon University undergraduate alumnus and current graduate
student, Elliot Spaeder '06, set out to swim the distance of Lake
Erie Tuesday, July 22.
After 10 months of training, Spaeder departed from Long Point,
Canada around 6 a.m. for a more than 20-mile swim across Lake Erie
to North East, Pa. However, as captain of both the swim team and
water polo team while at Gannon, Spaeder has become accustomed to
the physical demands that swimming entails.
While his initial purpose for the feat may have been for the
achievement of accompanying a list of under 20 individuals able to
swim across Lake Erie, Spaeder's swim has achieved much more.
Through partnership with the Downtown YMCA, where Spaeder first
learned to swim, he was able to raise more than $10,000 in
donations toward the Downtown Y's programming.
Not only has he made a monetary impact, but Spaeder has also
contributed to faculty research at Gannon University through
collaboration with sport and exercise science assistant professors,
Suzanne Kitts Ph.D., and Kory Stauffer, Ph.D. The Gannon professors
have guided Spaeder's nutrition during his training, while also
researching various projected levels associated with the duration
and length of the swim. Spaeder wore a heart monitor while on the
trip across Lake Erie, which Kitts and Stauffer will use to analyze
their projections and actual outcomes.
The Gannon University community provided support for Spaeder
throughout his journey. Additional Gannon graduates paddled
alongside Spaeder in kayaks during his open-water training, and his
former water polo coach, Don Sherman, offered messages of
encouragement along the way. The Gannon community continued that
support and encouragement while welcoming Spaeder back ashore after
his triumphant accomplishment.
You can follow Spaeder's progress here.