“I usually do all of my training in the pool, but I love open water,” Mann told Swimming World TV from the deck of the Orlando Grand Prix. “I think that it’s a lot of fun, and you don’t have the black line to guide you to the other end. You have all the different conditions, like the weather could be stormy, there could be huge waves. I mean I just like that, and you can see wildlife. I really enjoy open water.”
At just 15 years old, Mann has accomplished quite a bit as an open water swimmer. When she was 10 years old, she became the youngest swimmer to cross the Maui Channel. The 9.9-mile swim from Maui to Lanai took her six hours, 26 minutes and 46 seconds.
More recently, Mann was named to the 2012-2013 Open Water Junior National team. In 2012, she won gold in the 10K at the Junior Pan Pac Swimming Championships. She finished second in the 5K at the 2011 Open Water Nationals, and she finished 19th in the same event in 2009.
Though she is young, Mann has plenty of experience she hopes to put to use at the 2012 Open Water Nationals.
She’ll take that experience with her to the 2013 World team trials, as well. In the pool, Mann swims distance freestyle events.
Last summer, she turned heads at the Olympic Trials when she broke a 31-year-old national age group record in the 800-meter freestyle. In that race, she finished fifth in a time of 8:28.54. The previous 13-14 NAG record was held by Sippy Woodhead, who went on to win gold in the same event at the 1984 Olympic Games.