Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Ramsey's notes: Channel swimmer Wahl saw victory in French shore

By David Ramsey Published: July 12, 2013

Danielle Wahl's favorite moment from her triumphant crossing of the English Channel did not come when she took a slippery walk along the rocks on the shores of France.

The moment that will bring a smile to her face for decades arrived when she first saw France in the distance. She had two hours left of swimming in the frigid water.

But she knew success was just ahead. She was completely sure she would conquer the channel.

"The feeling that most people have when they get out of the water, I had that feeling two hours out," Wahl said Friday, a week after her successful swim. "When I could see the shore, that's when I was most excited."

Wahl, a former Cheyenne Mountain High swimming star, swam the channel in a traditional Speedo swimsuit. Rules, which are detailed and strict, prohibit a swimmer from wearing a wetsuit.

Wahl, 20, has no trouble selecting her favorite moment from her England-to-France crossing, which took 9 hours, 48 minutes.

She also quickly picks the worst moment. About halfway through the swim, she encountered a large group of jellyfish. The youthful jellyfish can be seen on the surface, she said. The adults are lurking below.

"You can see the small ones," she said. "You can't see the big ones."

One of those big ones found her right arm, leaving Wahl in severe pain. She had been told how much one of the stings hurt.

She still was surprised by its intensity.

"It felt like an electric whip," she said. "It feels like you're being shocked."

She had nearly five hours to go, but she never lost focus. She never lost hope.

With two hours left in her quest, she felt overpowering joy. She knew she would succeed.

And she did.

Marshall Henderson and Air Force

Marshall Henderson of Ole Miss seized national attention during the NCAA Tournament with his outside shooting and outrageous behavior. He's one of the most unpredictable and colorful characters in recent college basketball history.

He drops shots from absurd distances. He also has a tendency to flip off fans.

He was suspended by Ole Miss this week for drug issues. His future, once so full of promise, is now hazy. He's already bounced around four colleges. One of those was Utah.

In February 2010, Henderson, then a freshman, traveled with the Utes to Clune Arena to face Air Force. He scored 16 points, dropping shots from everywhere. Henderson and BYU's Jimmer Fredette are the only Mountain West players I've seen who were threats to launch shots - and make shots - as soon as they crossed halfcourt.

After Henderson dropped 3s, and he dropped many during his one year in the MWC, he acted as if he were shooting six-shooters. When he visited Clune, he boasted a stupendously awful haircut. At the time, he was a big, happy kid.

At this time, he is a big, lost kid.

Twitter: @davidramz

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