Jul 18, 2010 2:55 AM by Laura Wilson
POLSON - Emily Von Jentzen completed a 50K swim across Flathead Lake at 10:49 p.m. Saturday night, making her the first woman to ever swim the length of the lake.
She joined elite company as just two other men have ever achieved what Von Jentzen has-Paul Stetler in 1988, and Ron Stevens in 2005.
But it was not fame that pushed Von Jentzen across the finish line. "It was Karmyn," Von Jentzen said after she finished her race.
The Swim Coach and Triathlete swam across Flathead Lake to raise money for a little girl named Karmyn. The three-year-old girl was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year, and her story inspired Von Jentzen to find a way to help.
Von Jentzen set up an account earlier this year at Missoula Federal Credit Union, called 50K for Karmyn, for people to donate money to her cause.
The two met in person for the first time shortly after Von Jentzen reached shore Saturday evening. Von Jentzen was also greeted by friends, family, and even strangers who were out to support her cause.
Her swim began in Somers and ended in Boettcher Park in Polson, taking 18 hours and 26 minutes to complete.