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Swimmers Cross Sound for Cancer Patients

Six teenage boys braved jellyfish, swells and tides to swim 16 miles across Long Island Sound on Saturday. Wilton's Stephen Holmquist, 13, and Mason Molina, 15, were among the teens who swam in the 23rd annual St. Vincent's SWIM Across the Sound Marathon fundraiser. The team also included Westport's Gannon Davis and Weston's Jordan Berger.

The swim starts in Dansford's Marina at Port Jefferson, N.Y., and ends at Captain's Cove Marina in Bridgeport. The boys were part of "The Fifteenagers" team, which had six swimmers with an average age of 14. The team, which finished third out of 52 teams, was the youngest team to ever participate.

The boys boarded the ferry at 5 a.m. to take them to Long Island. After meeting their boat captain and motoring out of the harbor, the teams arrived on the beach at 9:30. One swimmer is in the water at a time, and they swim in 15-minute intervals. Each member swam four times, or about 3.5 miles each. The teen's team finished in less than six hours.

Stephen, an eighth-grader at Middlebrook, and Mason, a sophomore at Wilton High School, have done open water swims before. Both boys are members of the Wilton Y Wahoos, where they swim year round. Mason is also part of the WHS swim team.

SWIM is one of the largest open water events in the U.S. SWIM services provide support to families and patients with cancer by raising funds to cover care that health insurance companies don't pay for. Last year, SWIM raised more than $2.65 million, and it is hoping to surpass that amount.

From left in the photo are Stephen Holmquist of Wilton, Matt Luther of Oxford, Jordan Berger of Weston, Thomas Szilagyi of Ridgefield, Gannon Davis of Westport and Mason Molina of Wilton.

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