Beaufort River Swim + 5K a success despite Covid-19

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Skyler Bruner, 15, repeats as women’s champ, claims overall title

By Mike McCombs

When then-14-year-old Skyler Bruner won the women’s title in the 2019 Beaufort River Swim, she was 8 seconds or so behind the overall and men’s winner, her then-16-year-old older brother Cohen Bruner.

“I’ll catch him next year,” Skyler Bruner said that Saturday morning.

She didn’t beat her brother Saturday – he wasn’t in the field. But she beat everybody else, turning in a time of 50:39.8 and claiming the overall and women’s title in the annual 3.2-mile race.

“It might be safe to say she has the Olympic genes,” Beaufort-Jasper YMCA Healthy Living Program Director and race organizer Denice Fanning said.

Cohen and Skyler’s father, Carlton Bruner, swam for the United States in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Michael Wendt, 58, was the runner-up and men’s winner with a time of 52:59.8. Yorlliry Moreno, 29, was the overall biathlon champion with a time of 1:18:14.5. Meredith Anderson, 34, was the top women’s finisher with a time of 1:25:18.4.

Fanning said the race, originally scheduled for May before being postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic, matched last year, as far as the number of registrations – there were 141 swimmers and 32 runners this year.

The YMCA raised more than $15,000 for the Y Learn To Swim program last year.

“We exceeded our goals by even having (the race) and not having it canceled altogether,” Fanning said. “I couldn’t be happier.”

For complete race results, go to

Mike McCombs is the editor of The Island News and can be reached at

Above: Friends and supporters line the sea wall at the boat ramp of Henry C. Chambers Watefront Park on Saturday for the 14th annual Beaufort River Swim. Photo by Bob Sofaly.