Wallace will compete alongside current and former Olympians in 10k open swim June 12 in Grand Cayman Focus, determination and ten practices a week filled with demanding strength training and grueling distance swims have paid off for local swimmer Maggie Wallace. The tenacious 17-year-old has been selected to represent the USA in the 2017 Union Americana De Natacion (UANA) Open Water Swimming Championships, taking place June 12 in Grand Cayman.“The word ‘excited’ can’t begin to describe how I feel right now,” said Wallace, who swims for Ocean City High School and the Egg Harbor Township Seahawks and will begin her senior year this fall. “This is everything I’ve been working for. I’m honored and thrilled to compete in a field loaded with some of the most elite athletes in the Western Hemisphere.”In the Open Water Nationals, held this past May in California, Wallace placed 16th overall in an international women’s field of 58 swimmers ranging in age from 14 to 24. She was the 8th American finisher, and the 4th finisher under 18, earning her a spot on the US National Junior Team and a place in the UANA Open Water Championships.Wallace will compete in the 10k open-water swim off Grand Cayman, a location event organizers call an idyllic location for open water swimming thanks to clear waters, flat calms seas and some of the world’s best conditions for longer swimming distances. Wallace will be competing against elite swimmers from Canada, Cayman Islands, Peru, St. Kitts & Nevis, and additional UANA member nations.“Maggie will be the very first Seahawk in my coaching career to represent the USA,” said Brian Elko, head coach of the EHT Seahawks. “Maggie has a tremendous work ethic and dedication to our sport. I am so proud of her effort and that she is representing the US in this competition.”No stranger to pool competitions, Wallace enjoys the autonomy of open-water swims.“I actually like that it’s just me out there. The freedom, peace and solitude make it a very different type of competition. Team swimming is great, but there is something about being in total control of my race as an individual that I find I really enjoy.”About the UANAThe UANA is a sports organization with the purpose of organizing, supervising and controlling, in the Western Hemisphere, the amateur aquatics activities of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, master and open-water swimming. Learn more by visiting www.uana-aquatics.org.