August 10, 2017

Photo provided
Key West High cross country coach Terence White, left, stands with Bill Welzien after he completed his 93rd swim around Key West on Tuesday.

Photo provided Key West High cross country coach Terence White, left, stands with Bill Welzien after he completed his 93rd swim around Key West on Tuesday.

The Key West High cross country season is just about to get underway, but before the Conch harriers take to the course their coach Terence White accompanied his father-in-law, Bill Welzien, around the island — via kayak — during Welzien’s 93rd swim around Key West on Tuesday.

Welzien, who is hoping to reach the century mark this year, finished his most recent 12.5-mile circumference, coming off the full moon, in 6:03.43.

The duo began the day at 8:05 a.m., from Smathers Beach with much more favorable conditions that the 92nd swim that Welzien called an “arduous endeavor.” Instead on Tuesday, they were met by an air and water temperatures that at its peak was four degrees less than the previous swim’s low, along with much more favorable water conditions.

Welzien would average 31 minute miles around the course, taking a total of 9,894 strokes (27 per minute).

Now with just seven left to go until reaching the century mark, Welzien’s next swim is planned for Monday, Aug. 21, two weeks before White and the cross country team open its season on Sept. 9 with the Key West XCursion at the Key West Golf Club.

jwcooke@keysnews.com