September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Three friends swim across Lake Tahoe 30 years after swimming together at Lincoln High School

Local News

STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) – Thirty years after swimming together at Lincoln High School, three friends completed a marathon swim across Lake Tahoe last week.

Video shows three lights cutting across Lake Tahoe’s surface early Thursday morning last week.

The lights belong to Curt Worlund, Kevin Jeffery and Todd Chappell.

“We’re just doing our best to stay stroke for stroke, alongside each other,” Worlund recalled Wednesday.

Starting at 4 a.m., the three men began their marathon swim across the true width of the lake.

As dawn turned to daylight they would eat and hydrate every 30 to 45 minutes to complete the 12-mile endurance swim. 

“The idea during the swim is to really focus on those, you know 30-minute increments and, you know, when your next Twinkie is coming,” Chappell explained.

The three men had originally planned a series of open water swims throughout the country.

“And then COVID happened,” Jeffrey explained.

The trio have been best friends since their days swimming laps at Lincoln High School in Stockton. 

Due to the pandemic, they came up with a new plan to swim across Lake Tahoe. 

The three all live in different states and they trained separately, kept logs of their swims and updated each other through group chats. 

“It was just a fantastic opportunity to reconnect,” Chappell said.

They stayed together throughout the swim and reached the beach in under six hours within seconds of each other. 

“Technically Kevin won,” Worlund said.

The swim was a celebration ahead of their 50th birthdays coming up.

The trio said the Lake Tahoe swim won’t be their last swim together and they’re already planning to swim the length of Lake Tahoe next. 

“I’m up for it. How about you, Kevin?” Chappell said.

“I’m game. Let’s do it,” Jeffrey responded.

“I’ll start working on the spreadsheet,” Worlund added

“The gauntlet is thrown,” Jeffrey declared.

Despite the early hours, long training, and sore muscles the trio say it was worth it to reach the shore together.  

“Like it was just a nice distraction, and gave us something to focus and rally behind,” Worlund explained.

“Just a blessing to have these guys in such a fulfilling way to kind of cap off that year,” Jeffrey said.

“Great feeling of accomplishment and then to do it with these guys, you know, I could not think of anybody better be doing this with,” Chappell added.

If the three decide to go forward with swimming the length of Lake Tahoe, that will be a 21-mile, overnight swim. 

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