Youngest Athlete to Complete Alcatraz Swim Goes After New Record

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An 8-year-old Arizona boy who is the youngest swimmer to conquer the 1.5-mile stretch between Alcatraz and San Francisco will be trying for another record over the Labor Day weekend.

Braxton Bilbrey, of Glendale, Ariz., plans to swim the Alcatraz crossing and then a day later dive into the treacherous waters beneath the Golden Gate Bridge as he bids to become the youngest to compete in an inaugural 1.5-mile swimming event.

"I think he's strong enough to do it," said Bilbrey's coach, Joe Zemaitis, of Scottsdale's Swim Neptune.

Swimming alongside Zemaitis as he did in May, Bilbrey on Saturday will join the Fourth Annual Alcatraz100 Swim of the Centurions — athletes who have made the estimated 1.4-mile crossing at least 100 times.

On Sunday, Bilbrey will join Zemaitis in the first Roper Invitational Golden Gate Swim, hoping to become the youngest swimmer to complete that challenge.

Zemaitis, a triathlete, said Bilbrey told his parents he should do the back-to-back swims so he "wouldn't have to decide between the two."