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MH boy ‘escapes’ from Alcatraz

Published in the November 11-24, 2015 issue of Morgan Hill Life

VERT-Simon-Alcatraz-swim-(2)Photo courtesy Raymond Blanchard

Morgan Hill Makos Swim Team member Simon Blanchard, 8, set a record Sunday Nov. 1 as the youngest male to ever complete the treacherous Alcatraz Island to San Francisco’s Aquatics Park swim. He finished the 1.5-mile crossing in 52 minutes. That was four minutes faster than his dad’s, Raymond Blanchard’s, time.

The Morgan Hill boy participated with about 100 other swimmers in the 4th annual Alcatraz Swim for Sight benefiting the nonprofit organization That Man May See to raise money to eliminate eye diseases and blindness.

A KRON TV news reporter interviewed him following his feat.

“I think it’s important for me to do it because it’s good to help people and I want to help them,” he said for the report. “I do this because I’ve been doing swimming for one and a half years and I’m pretty good at swimming now and so I’m doing this.”

His dad told Morgan Hill Life: “On the way back to the car, Simon asked me, ‘So this is what you meant that there are certain things you can’t teach me?’ Yes! He was giddy happy once the experience set in and he realized what he accomplished.”