13-year-old completes 12-mile swim across Lake Tahoe

National News

LAKE TAHOE (CNN) – A California teenager has become the youngest person to complete what’s known as the “Godfather” swim across Lake Tahoe.

James Savage completed the 12-mile swim, from Cave Rock to the Grand Avenue Dock, in less than seven hours.

“One day my boat pilot took me across Lake Tahoe, and I have liked swimming there, so I thought of doing lengths and stuff across it, and I have done two out of three now,” James said.

Lake Tahoe isn’t James’ only feat.

“He does Golden Gate Bridge every year, he does Alcatraz every year, there is a little 1-miler in Lake Tahoe that he does every year,” James’ mom, Jillian Savage said.

Savage says she doesn’t know what made James fall in love with long-distance swimming. She also says his accomplishments don’t happen without a lot of practice and determination.

“Usually we start up slower, like on Mondays, we’ll start with two to three miles, just if he has had the weekend off, we will give him a couple of miles,” Savage said. “And then as the week progresses it gets more and more, and then Fridays are his big day, where he has a 10-mile perimeter loop of the lake. We just follow the shoreline and do the entire perimeter.”

James’ swim partner is always right by his side.

“I follow him in a kayak every day, yes, we don’t like to send him out alone,” James’ mom said.

James already has his eyes set on a new goal. He wants to swim the perimeter of Coronado, a city on a peninsula in San Diego, which would be another 12 miles.

“He gets these bright ideas, we kind of call them his stupid ideas, and we roll with it,” Savage said. “If that’s what he wants to do, then we will do what we can to make it happen. He could be doing a lot worse at 13.”

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