Westbrook woman oldest to traverse Lake Ontario

Westbrook’s Pat Gallant-Charette set another marathon age swimming record this week.

Gallant-Charette, a 66-year-old retired nurse and grandmother of three, became the oldest woman to swim Lake Ontario last Wednesday, completing the 31.4-mile swim across Lake Ontario in 24 hours, 28 minutes. At 66 years, 209 days, she broke the record held by Colleen Shields (62 years, 325 days), set on Aug. 8-9, 2014.

The swim was organized by the Solo Swims of Ontario club, which had officials at the starting point (a small U.S. town called Niagara-on-the-Lake) and the end (Marilyn Bell Park in Toronto) to verify the swim.

“It was a very challenging swim,” said Gallant-Charette. “Of all the swims I’ve done, that was among the most three challenging.”

Gallant-Charette has set six world records. She is the oldest woman to swim the Tsugaru Strait in Japan, the North Channel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, the English Channel and the Molokai Channel in Hawaii. She had held the world record for the Catalina Strait off the California Coast, but it was recently broken.

Gallant-Charette left Niagara-on-the-Lake Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. She struggled with cold pockets of water and suffered a mild case of hypothermia but carried on. Her lone crew was her sister-in-law, Jean Charette.

Gallant-Charette said she was surprised by a large crowd awaiting her in Toronto.

“I didn’t know anybody there,” she said. “It was just Canadian citizens coming to congratulate me. That was heartwarming.”


EASTERN LEAGUE: Jeremy Barfield blasted a three-run homer, his fourth in the past three games, and Trey Ball pitched six innings as the Portland Sea Dogs opened their final series of the year with a 7-2 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field.

New Hampshire (58-79) went up 2-0 in the second, but the Sea Dogs (64-73) took the lead in their half of the inning when Jordan Procyshen hit a two-run double and then scored on a single by Deiner Lopez.

Henry Urrutia added an RBI single in the sixth and Barfield hit his 27th homer in the seventh. Ball allowed two runs and four hits.


WORLD CUP QUALIFYING: U.S. hopes of an eighth straight World Cup berth are in peril after the Americans gave up two goals to Marco Urena in a 2-0 loss to Costa Rica on Friday in Harrison, New Jersey.

Urena spun around defender Tim Ream, then caught Tim Howard leaning and beat the goalkeeper to the far post in the 31st minute. Urena, the lone forward in a 4-5-1 formation, doubled the lead in the 82nd with a shot from 18 yards after David Guzman intercepted a poor pass by Geoff Cameron.

The Americans have lost two home games in a World Cup cycle for the first time since 1957.


NHL: The Columbus Blue Jackets signed restricted free-agent Alexander Wennberg to a six-year, $29.4 million contract. The 22-year-old Swede had career highs last season with 13 goals and 46 assists.


NBA: The New Orleans Pelicans will receive the draft rights to overseas professional Ater Majok as part of a trade sending veteran small forward Quincy Pondexter, a second-round draft choice and cash to the Chicago Bulls.