Jim McConica

From Openwaterpedia
The Deep Enders, including Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, and Stacey Warmuth swam 112.8 km (70.1 miles) between San Nicolas Island and the California mainland, escorted by Greg Elliot and supported by Theo Schmeeckle and observed by Lynn Kubasek and Jax Cole, were nominated for the 2015 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year for their 33 hour 37 minute relay
Jim McConica, nominee for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year. Photo courtesy of David Balch)
The Ventura Deep Enders included Jim McConica, Tom Ball, John Chung, Zach Jirkovsky, Tamie Stewart, and Stacey Warmuth who swam 70.1 miles (112.8 km) in 33 hours 37 minutes on 12-13 October 2015
World record setting relay Ventura Deep Six with Tom Ball, Kurtis Baron, John Chung, Jim McConica, Jim Neitz and Mike Shaffer

Jim McConica ((born 19 December 1950)) is an American pool and open water swimmer from Ventura, California and an International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame inductee as an Honor Swimmer in the Class of 2008. He is a lifetime member of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association and remains one of the fastest swimmers across the Catalina Channel. He has completed two of the Southern California Eight and was a member of the Ventura Deep Six record-setting relay team that was honored as the 2010 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

He is the namesake of McConica Cove on Catalina Island, named informally in 1989, and a member of The Deep Enders.

World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year Nomination

McConica's record-breaking channel swim and year-round leadership in the pool and open water led to a nomination for the 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year.


Pool Swimming

  • McConica was team captain of the men's swim team at the University of Southern California in the late 1960s.
  • He won multiple NCAA titles.
  • He was part of a world-record setting 800 freestyle relay in 1971.
  • He was the second man in history to break 1:40 in the 200-yard freestyle (behind Mark Spitz).
  • He has been named one of the world's top masters swimmers several years running by Swimming World Magazine.
  • Be won two gold medals at the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia, including the 400m freestyle and the 4x200m freestyle relay, and a silver medal in the 200m freestyle.
  • He holds the U.S. Masters Swimming records for the Hour Postal Swim in the 50-54, 55-59, 60-64 age groups.

Open Water Swimming

Ventura Deep Six

Ventura Deep Six are six men from the Ventura County Masters Swim Club including Tom Ball, Kurtis Baron, John Chung, Jim McConica, Jim Neitz and Mike Shaffer set the longest non-stop ocean relay record when they swam 202 miles from Ventura to San Diego along the California coast in 2010. The effort took 4 days 5 hours 39.53 minutes and was a logistical extravaganza and open water swimming operational milestone.

Ventura Deep Six Documentary Teaser

Ventura Deep Enders from San Nicholas Island to San Pedro

Courtesy of Lynn Kubasek of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association
The Deep Enders relay swam from San Nicolas Island to San Pedro, California on 12-13 October 2015 on an unprecedented 112.8 km crossing of 33 hours 37 minutes 26 seconds. Coached by Theo Schmeeckle, the team comprised of Zach Jirkovsky, Jim McConica, John Chung, Stacey Warmuth, Tom Ball and Tamie Stewart. Escort kayakers and support crew included Allen Ball, Jill Ball, Bob Howell, Patty Howell, Pam Jirkowsky and Carol Lacy. The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association observers were Lynn Kubasek and Jax Cole. The swim was guided by Bottom Scratcher with captain Greg Elliott, Craig and Danny.

Fastest Catalina Channel Crossings in History

1. 7:15 by Penny Lee Dean, USA, MC in September 1976
2. 7:27 by Grace van der Byl, USA, CM in October 2012
3. 7:37 by Pete Huisveld, USA, MC in August 1992
4. 7:41 by John York, USA, MC in September 1978 (first leg of a 2-way)
5. 7:43 by Karen Burton, USA, CM in October 1994
6. 8:05 by Todd Robinson, USA, CM in August 2009
7. 8:07:03 by Hank Wise, USA, CM in October 2010
8. 8:07:37 by Hank Wise, USA, MC in June 2015
9. 8:14 by Chad Hundeby, USA, CM in September 1993
10. 8:20 by Gemma Jensen, Australia, CM in August 2006
11. 8:27 by Jim McConica, USA, CM in October 1983
12. 8:28 by Rendy Lynn Opdycke, USA, CM in August 2008
13. 8:31 by John York, USA, MC in October 1977
14. 8:32 by John York, USA, CM in October 2000

Anacapa Channel Swim

Santa Barbara Channel Half Century Club Members

Of the 53 official solo swims governed by the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, 24.5% of the swims have been accomplished by these swimmers of the Half Century Club:

Catalina Channel Half Century Club

1. Jim Clifford (USA), 62 years 11 months, CM in 9:49 on 28 September 2014
2. Bob West (USA), 62, CM in 15:49 in 1998
3. Gary Greenwood (USA), 62, CM in 13:08 in 2004
4. Pat Gallant-Charette (USA), 60, CM in 14:11 in 2011
5. Mo Siegel (USA), 60, CM in 13:08 in 2011
6. Scott Lautman (USA), 60 CM in 12:09 in 2013
7. Bob Needham (USA), 58, CM in 13:10 in 2011
8. Tom Hecker (USA), 57, CM in 10:45 in 2009
9. Richard Knepper (USA), 56, MC in 11:56 in 2005
10. Barbara Held (USA), 56, CM in 9:36 in 2010
11. Mark Smitherman (USA), 56, CM in 11:52 in 2014
12. Carol Sing (USA), 55, CM in 10:38 in 1997
13. Bill Hoehn (USA), 55, CM in 12:57 in 2005
14. Kevin Murphy (Great Britain), 54, CM in 15:23 in 2003
15. Roger Finch (South Africa), 54, CM in 9:45:02 in 2012
16. Dave Van Mouwerik (USA), 54, CM in 12:09:07 in 2012
17. Ned Denison (Ireland), 54, CM 8:50:04 in 2012
18. Peter Tanham (Australia), 54, CM in 10:07 in 2014
19. Anthony McCarley (USA), 54, CM in 13:00.3 in 2014
20. Nick Almos-Lau (Mexico), 53, CM in 12:40 in 1999
21. James Fitzpatrick (USA), 53, CM in 14:59 in 2008 (to Newport Beach)
22. Jim McConica (USA), 53, CM in 10:19 in 2004
23. Douglas McConnell (USA), 53, CM in 12:41:13 in 2012
24. David Cooper (USA), 52, CM in 13:19 in 2005
25. Dan Richards (USA), 52, CM in 10:10 2008
26. Chris Burke (USA), 52, CM in 11:22 in 2014
27. Alan Bell (USA), 51, CM in 9:28 in 2001
28. Chris Palfrey (Australia), 51, CM in 10:30 in 2009
29. Lynn Kubasek (USA), 51, CM in 15:53 in 2009
30. Daniel Robinson (USA), 51, CM in 9:57 in 2008
31. Ron Collins (USA), 51, CM in 10:05 on 10 September 2013
32. Antonio Argüelles (Mexico), 50, CM in 10:25 in 2009
33. William Newbern (USA), 50, CM in 12:48 in 2005
34. Ray Meltvedt (USA), 50, CM in 15:25 in 2010
35. Suzie Dods (USA), 50, MC in 18:36 in 2010
36. Dale Petranech (USA), 50, CM in 13:28 in 1985
37. John Hill (USA), 50, CM in 19:15 in 1985
38. Frank Reynolds (USA), 50, CM in 10:34 in 1987
39. Jim Barber (USA), 50, CM in 8:43 in 2010
40. Sue Free (USA), 50, CM in 11:23 in 2012
41. Bridgette Hobart Janeczko (USA), 50, CM 11:27:16 in 2012
42. Hendrik Meerman (USA), CM, 50, 12:48:30 in 2012
43. Scott Tapley (USA), MC, 50, 17:43:12 in 2014

San Nicolas Island Swim Video

Courtesy of Lynn Kubasek of the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association

USA Long Distance International Championships

McConica competed for the American relay team at the 1984 USA Long Distance International Championships which was the first race across the Catalina Channel since the Wrigley Ocean Marathon in 1927.

2015 World Masters Swimmer of the Year

Swimming World Magazine recognized McConica as one of its 2015 Top 12 World Masters Swimmers of the Year.

External links