13-year-old becomes youngest to swim across Lake Tahoe

U.S. & World

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

And he completed the 12-mile swim in less than seven hours.

“We still say that every day, ‘He did what?’ That seems like a daily occurrence with him. He did what?” says mother Jillian Savage.

James Savage swam the true-width of Lake Tahoe last week from Cave Rock to the Grand Avenue dock near Florida Lock on the west shore.

All 12 miles of it.

“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 2 out of 3 now,” he 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,” Jillian says.

These long-distance swims don’t happen without a lot of practice and determination.

“Usually we start up slower, like on Mondays, we’ll start with 2-3 miles, just if he has had the weekend off, we will give him a couple of miles. 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,” said Jillian.

James already has his eyes set on a new goal.

“Right now, my next goal is the perimeter of Coronado, which is 10 miles, eh, 12 miles,” he said.

“He gets these bright ideas, we kind of call them his stupid ideas, and we roll with it. 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,” Jillian said.

After finishing the swim, James took an hour long nap and then spent several hours riding his bike.

Up next, he will start training for a 21 mile swim with the goal of becoming the youngest person to complete the Tahoe Triple Crown.

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