Cunha Wins Third 25K Open Water Gold Medal; UM Diver Dinsmore Advances To Saturday Final At FINA World Aquatics Championships

By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 21, 2017—In the last and most grueling of six open water races, defending champion Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won the women’s 25K open water race for her third world title on Day 8 of the 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships Friday at Lake Balaton.

Cunha, who has frequently trained in South Florida and won the Fort Lauderdale Roughwater event, finished in 5 hours, 21 minutes and 58 seconds, a two-second margin of victory.

She is only the second woman to win three world golds. Dutch swimmer Edith van Dijk won four.

Cunha also won gold at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and 2015 in Kazan. Cunha has two silver medals and four bronze medals from past world championships. She has made the podium in every individual open water event.

“When it starts, I think of nothing, but toward the end I knew I was the only one in the leading three that had done the 25K course before,” Cunha said. “So I know the pain that would arrive at the end. This experience made the difference.”

Olympic 10K gold medalist Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands was second in 5:22:00. Arianna Bridi of Italy took the bronze in 5:22:08.

American Becca Mann, a former Clearwater (CAT) swimmer, was seventh in 5:27:06.

France continued its dominance in open water with Axel Reymond winning the men’s 25K by just 6/10ths of a second.

Swimming for more than five hours, the Frenchman defeated Matteo Furlan of Italy (5:02:47).

“When there are 200 meters left, all you think about is touching the board,” Reymond said.

Russian Evgenii Drattcev took bronze in 5:02:49. American Chip Peterson was fifth in 5:03:43.

There were 44 finishers in the race. Five were unable to finish the race. Warm temperatures were also a challenge. The water temp was 75 degrees.


University of Miami redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore finished fourth in men’s 10-meter platform semifinals to qualify for Saturday’s final for Team USA.

Dinsmore, the NCAA national platform champion as a freshman, scored 483.10 points to qualify for his first worlds final.

Dinsmore is ranked behind Aleksandr Bondar of Russia (509.10), Tom Daley of Great Britain (498.65) and Chen Aisen of China (488.55) and will be in the medal hunt on Saturday.

“It’s really exciting,” Dinsmore said. “Last time I had a good meet but there was tough competition and it didn’t work out. Especially this year after the Olympic year, I wanted to come out and dive as best I could and things worked out.”

At the 2015 World Championships, Dinsmore finished 15th in the semifinals. Earlier in the week, Dinsmore earned a bronze medal in the mixed 3-meter/10-meter team event with Krysta Palmer.

Fort Lauderdale’s Jordan Windle finished 26th in the 10-meter prelims in his first worlds competing in an individual event.

Olympic gold medalist Shi Tingmao led China to a one-two finish in the women’s 3-meter springboard final. Shi, the defending champion and Monday’s 3-meter synchro winner, finished first with 383.50 points followed by teammate Wang Han (359.40) to capture China’s ninth consecutive gold medal in the event and seventh in 11 diving events in Budapest. Canadian Jennifer Abel took the bronze medal with 3:51.55 for the second worlds in a row.

“I need to work harder in order to achieve a higher score and win more gold medals,” Shi said.

Chinese divers have won 20 of the last 21 Olympic and world titles in the 3-meter springboard since 1986.

The last two diving finals are scheduled for Saturday.


Russia won the team free title winning its sixth gold medal. Twelve teams were in the final. Russia has been the title holder of the team title since 2007. Russia scored 97.300 points. China took the silver and Ukraine took bronze.


The U.S., Italy, Hungary and Greece all advanced into the women’s quarterfinal round. Italy has won three straight games and earned an automatic berth.

In the men’s tournament, Croatia reached the quarterfinals as expected. Croatia has beaten the U.S., Russia and Japan.


In the medal tally, China leads with 16 total medals including seven golds, Russia has 13, Italy had 8 and France has 7. The U.S. has 5 medals including only one gold.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

French Capture Third Gold In Open Water Swimming At 17th FINA World Championships

By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 20, 2017—France won its third gold medal in open water swimming on Day 7 of the 17th FINA World Aquatic Championships Thursday at Lake Balaton.

The French won the mixed 5K event with two men and two women each swimming 1.25K in a new relay format. In the last world championships it was only two men and one woman.

Aurelie Muller and Marc-Antoine Olivier have now won two gold and three medals overall. They were joined by teammates Oceane Cassignol and Logan Fontaine on the winners’ podium.

Olivier clinched the win with the second fastest anchor leg. The winning time was 54:05.90. France, turning heads in open water swimming the past week, have now won five medals in open water with the 25K races still to come.

The U.S. team, with a strong anchor leg from Jordan Wilimovsky, took the silver just 12 seconds behind first in 54:18.10. Wilimovsky (12:05) was three second faster than Olivier (12:08) on the final leg.

Wilimovsky was joined by teammates Brendan Casey, Ashley Twichell and Haley Anderson.

Italy finished just ahead of Great Britain for the bronze in 54:31.00 with Federico Vanelli, Mario Sanzullo, Rachele Bruni and Giulia Gabbrielleschi. Defending champion Germany was eighth.


Xie Siyi gave China its sixth diving gold medal in men’s 3-meter springboard scoring 547.10 points ahead of Patrick Hausding of Germany (526.15) and Russia’s Ilia Zakharov (505.90). Olympic champion Cao Yuan of China faded to tenth with 453.70 points. With two days left in diving, China has six of ten diving golds.


Russia’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko won her fourth gold medal of the world championships in the duet free final with partner Alexandra Patskevich. The pair totaled 97.000 finishing ahead of the teams from China and Ukraine.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Defending Champion South Florida Aquatic Club Heads FGC Junior Olympics Field, Going For Record Eight In A Row

By Sharon Robb

July 20, 2017—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers are ready to make a little more history.

The defending champion will compete in the 14&Under Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics this weekend with a target on its back. But they wouldn’t want it any other way.

Swimmers and coaches are going after their eighth consecutive JO team title and ninth overall in the club’s 18-year history. In March, SOFLO won the short course team title and are looking to win back-to-back JO titles.

“It is more difficult each time,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said. “I thought winning the first JO title was going to be the best, but I am not so sure that is the truth now because of the target on our backs. Our team continues to improve and so do the other teams in the FGC which makes it harder.”

The meet begins Friday at Sailfish Splash Waterpark in Stuart, where the annual FHSAA High School Swimming and Diving Championships are held.

It is the second consecutive long course JO meet held at the venue. Martin County Swimming and North Palm Beach Swim Clubs are co-hosting the event.

SOFLO, defending champions in the combined and boys’ divisions, heads a field of 43 teams and more than 600 swimmers. North Palm Beach is defending girls’ champion.

The top six finishers in each JO event qualify for the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team.

SOFLO qualified 68 individual swimmers for 357 events. SOFLO also has 40 relays competing in 21 relay events.

Among SOFLO’s top seeds are:

Kayla Cunningham, 14, 200-meter backstroke, 2:25.81; 100-meter backstroke 1:06.67.

Molly Golding, 14, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:16.81; 200-meter breaststroke 2:43.52.

Alessandro Pereira, 10, 400-meter freestyle, 5:05.95; 200-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle 2:24.66; 100-meter backstroke, 1:19.86; 200-meter individual medley, 2:45.49; 50-meter backstroke, 37.86; 100-meter freestyle, 1:08.35.

Other SOFLO swimmers who qualified are:

Sarah Acevedo, 13; Ryan Alfonso, 14; Michael Arias, 14; Kaitlyn Barrios, 11; Samuel Bullen, 12; Kyana Castro, 14; Mariann Catalasan, 11; Alexis Christensen, 11; Javier Colmenares, 11; Juan Colmenares, 13; Kerry Cunningham, 11; Daniela Curbelo, 14; Mark Andre De Gracia, 13; Katrina Del Vecchio, 14; Luna Delgado, 11; Fiorella Di Salvo, 9; Hashan Ekanayake, 10; Marvan Ekanayake, 10; Mia Escudero, 13; Nathaniel Garrick, 12; Logan Gonzalez, 12; Andrea Guerrero, 14; John Paul Handal, 14; Zackary Harris, 12; Christopher Hau, 12; Derek Hau, 9; Luca Hincapie, 10; Kalin Hubbard, 13; Ava Kuznik, 11; Paige Lane, 14; Sebastian Lares, 13; Jie Hoon Lee, 14; Jena Legaspi, 13; Lance Lesage, 14; Ty Lezotte, 14; Reagan Lowe, 11; Brandon Lozano, 7; Jonathan Lozano, 10; Anastasia Lutz, 10; Michelle Marinheiro, 14; Alejandro Mateus, 12; Alessio Mazzi, 10; Stefano Mazzi, 9; Yannai Michael, 13; Nicolas Munoz, 14; Sebrina Osorio, 12; Sofia Osorio, 12; Leah Pando, 11; Giada Porven, 9; Lucas Porven, 11; Sara Quintero, 13; LeeAnn Ranalli, 14; Enrique Rodriguez, 12; Moises Rodriguez, 13; Javier Roman, 13; Nicolas Rossi, 14; Mallory Schleicher, 13; Natalia Sibug, 11; Owen Smith, 10; Samantha Solis, 12; Christian Tijero, 11; Victoria Torres, 12; Emma Twombly, 13; Valerie Vank, 11; Christian Vasquez, 14; Sarah Vasquez, 9; Marcos Vasquez, 14; and Aldo Zepeda, 12.

“We are tough to beat when it comes to championship meets,” Anderson said. “It really matters to the coaches. They want it as much as the kids.”


What: 14&Under Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics

When: Friday-Sunday

Schedule: Friday, prelims, 9 a.m.-2:10 p.m., finals 6-8:53 p.m.; Saturday, prelims 9 a.m.-2:11 p.m., finals 6-9:12 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 9 a.m.-4:08 p.m., finals 6-7:33 p.m.

Where: Sailfish Splash Waterpark, 931 SE Ruhnke, Stuart

Defending champions: Combined team title, South Florida Aquatic Club; Boys team title, South Florida Aquatic Club; Girls team title, North Palm Beach.

Of note: Admission is $3 per session. Heat sheets for prelims $5 per session and finals $3 per session. Martin County Swimming and North Palm Beach Swim Club are co-hosting the meet. Results are available on Meet Mobile or For more information call Jim McCombs, 772-485-3239.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ashley Twichell Wins First Gold For U.S. At 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships

By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 19, 2017—Ashley Twichell made history Wednesday at the 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Lake Balaton.

Twichell won the women’s 5K open water title and at age 28 became the oldest American to win an open water world title and oldest to win an individual world gold medal since Jenny Thompson in 2003.

Twichell is also the first American to win a gold medal at these world championships.

Twichell won the 3.1-mile race in 59 minutes and 7 seconds to knock off 10K women’s champion Aurelie Muller of France by 3.5 seconds. It was the U.S. team’s third consecutive open water 5K world title and Twichell’s third world championship medal in open water swimming. She won bronze in the 5K and gold in the team pursuit event in 2011.

“The goal here was to get on the podium,” Twichell said. “I’m really excited to get on the podium for the United States.”

Brazilian Ana Marcela Cunha, who has trained and competed in South Florida, took the bronze medal, just 4.4 seconds back. It was her eighth career world open water medal.

Olympic gold medalist Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands and American Haley Anderson, the 2013 and 2015 world champion, were fourth and fifth respectively.

Twichell, a 2011 Duke alum, was coming off a disappointing tenth place finish in Sunday’s 10K race.

“I didn’t feel awesome during the 10K so I took two days in between to really try to recover and get my mind back straight,” Twichell said.

Twichell made her surge on Muller with 700 meters to go and never relinquished the lead.

“Having drafted for the first bit, I felt like I had something left,” said Twichell, who shook off a sore shoulder and lasting effects of an injury she has had in the last few years. “I didn’t feel like I used up everything, so that last straightaway I tried to bring in the legs which I typically don’t use. We swam at a perfect pace, and I left the others at the right moment close to the end.

“I really didn’t know how far behind me anyone was so I didn’t want to look back and waste any time. I just tried to put my head down as much as I could and go as hard as I could those last 240 meters.”


Jun Hoong Cheong of Malaysia upset gold medal favorite and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ren Qian of China to win the gold medal in a thrilling women’s platform final.

Cheong, 27, who took a bronze medal in the 10-meter synchro event earlier in the week, won with 397.50 points, clinching her gold on the final dive by 1.5 points.

It was Malaysia’s first-ever world title not only in diving but the entire world championships.

Cheong was flawless, picking up four 10s on her reverse 2 ½ somersaults.

“My God, I am a world champion,” said a stunned Cheong. “Of course, it is a dream come true. It is the first gold medal at world championships in diving for Malaysia. It’s unexpected and unbelievable.

“I hoped for a medal, but I didn’t think I could beat the Chinese divers,” Cheong said. “I have focused only for myself and I watched the scoreboard after the last dive so I realized my win only at that moment.”

China teenager Si Yajie, 18, took the silver with 396.00 and Ren the bronze with 391.95 points. Ren, 16, was attempting to become the first diver to win three gold medals at a World Championship. Ren also lost in the 2015 final.

Four of the nine titles have been won by divers from other countries which means China will not match its total of 10 out of 13 accomplished in 2015.


Russian Svetlana Kolesnichenko won the women’s solo free title and her third gold medal of the world championships.

The 23-year-old won with 96.1333 points for her technical and rhythmed routine and 95.500 points in prelims. It was Russia’s first win in the event since 2009.

“I’m the Amazon in my free solo routine,” Kolesnichenko said. “So I kind of fight for gold in the true sense of the word. I like this program very much. I executed a very good performance in the final. I did the best I could and will continue to pursue this standard in the future.”

The duet free final is Thursday morning.

The U.S. team qualified for the team free final by placing 12th in Wednesday’s prelims. Russia was first with 96.800 points followed by China and the Ukraine. The team free final is Friday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Dutchman Ferry Weertman Edges American Jordan Wilimovsky For Gold At 17th FINA World Championships

By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 18, 2017—In a thrilling finish, Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands sprinted to win the gold medal in the men’s 10K open water swimming race on Tuesday at Lake Batalon.

Weertman, the 2016 Olympic champion, won in 1 hour, 51 minutes and 58.5 seconds, finishing just 1/10th of a second ahead of American and defending champion Jordan Wilimovsky, a 2016 U.S. Olympian from Malibu, Calif, who took the silver medal after an incredible swim.

“Last year after my victory at the Olympics, I needed a big rest and many people asked me whether I would continue swimming or not,” Weertman said. “The answer was yes since I love swimming. I worked very hard for this result.

“In the last part of the race I realized that Marc, Jordan and Jack (Burnell) were in the first three places. But I was relaxed knowing that I have a very strong finish.”

Wilimovsky worked his way from 49th place and 31 seconds behind the leader. In the final 2.5, he moved into sixth place and was within seven seconds of the leader.

In the final 200 meters of the race, Wilimovsky was swimming side by side with Weertman and Saturday’s 5K winner Marc-Antoine Olivier of France.

Wilimovsky finished in 1:51:58.6. Olivier took the bronze in 1:51:59.2. Brendan Casey of Santa Monica, Calif., the other American in the field, was ninth in 1:52:18.6.

“I cannot complain about my swim,” Wilimovsky said. “I tried everything I could. There are plenty of very good swimmers in the 10K, so the silver medal is all right.”

A field of 65 swimmers competed in the choppy, warm lake water. The 5K women’s race is Wednesday.

Wilimovsky and Casey qualified for worlds finishing one-two at the U.S. Open Water National Championships at Castaic Lake in May.


The U.S. got its first medal in the mixed 3-meter/10-meter event. In her first international diving competition Nevada grad assistant coach Krysta Palmer and her partner David Dinsmore, a redshirt sophomore at University of Miami, took the bronze medal after scoring 395.90 points. “This event is very new to a lot of eyes,” Palmer said. “To have the opportunity to participate was incredible. We didn’t have many expectations coming into this, but we did it.” The last time Palmer qualified for the world championships was in 2010 in another sport, trampoline. She was unable to compete because of a torn ACL.

China has won five out of seven gold medals. Most recent winners are Chen Aisen and Yang Hao in the men’s 10-meter synchronized platform with 498.48 points. Shi Tingmao and 15-year-old Chang Yani won the women’s 3-meter synchro springboard.

European champions Laura Marino and Matthieu Rosset of France won the first diving title for their country in the mixed team event. The pair came from behind on their final dive to win with 406.40 points for the combined platform and 3-meter event.


Defending champion U.S. women defeated Spain, 12-8, to remain unbeaten. Maddie Musselman and Kiley Neushul each scored three goals. Goalkeeper Gabby Stone had 11 saves. The U.S., Olympic champion and winner of every major competition since the 2013 world championships, leads Group B with maximum points for two games. In other games, New Zealand defeated South Africa, 8-6, and Canada edged China, 9-8…

In men’s water polo, Croatia knocked off the U.S. in its opener. Croatia, which had just beaten the U.S. in a four-match series in California, won 12-7.


Giorgio Minisini and Manila Flamini earned Italy its first world gold medal in the mixed duet technical competition. The edged the Russian duo by 0.034 of a point with 90.2979 points. “Doing 90 in this competition is something unbelievable,” Minisini said.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Have Big Finish On Final Day Of FGC Area 3 Championships; Next Up FGC Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb

July 16, 2017—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers turned in another successful day of swimming at the Florida Gold Coast Area 3 Long Course Developmental Championships Sunday at Academic Village Pool.

The three-day meet served as both a tuneup and qualifier for this week’s Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics (July 21-23) at Sailfish Waterpark.

SOFLO had 35 swimmers post qualifying times or better their JO times during the area meet.

SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson praised the efforts of the team’s performance, emphasizing the team’s long course training. Anderson also praised meet officials, volunteers, coaching staff and Comets Booster Club for a smooth-running meet that featured more than 500 swimmers and 26 teams.

SOFLO dominated the final day of competition.

Among SOFLO’s thirteen winners were:

Alana Acevedo, 15, 100-meter freestyle, 1:06.44, 0.79 drop; 100-meter butterfly, 1:15.57, double winner.

Valentina Carrion, 15, 200-meter breaststroke, 3:18.04; 50-meter breaststroke, 40.53, 0.79 drop, double winner.

Alexis Christensen, 11, 100-meter freestyle, 1:08.57, 3.90 time drop; 50-meter backstroke, 38.01, 2.09 drop; 200-meter backstroke, 2:54.97, triple winner.

Luna Delgado, 11, 100-meter butterfly, 1:20.07, 3.61 drop.

Emily Lezotte, 17, 50-meter backstroke, 37.95.

Natalia Sibug, 11, 50-meter breaststroke, 41.90, 2.20 drop.

Kellie Wilcox, 16, 200-meter backstroke, 2:55.50.

Luca Hincapie, 10, 100-meter freestyle, 1:18.38, 3.99 drop.

Nathaniel Garrick, 12, 100-meter freestyle, 1:08.75, 0.84 drop.

Ty Lezotte, 14, 50-meter backstroke, 31.97.

Mark Andre De Gracia, 13, 50-meter breaststroke, 37.56, 0.44 drop.

Matthew Kim, 12, 200-meter backstroke, 2:53.74.

Logan Gonzalez, 12, 1500-meter freestyle, 21:15.20, 37.17 drop.

SOFLO girls swept the top three spots in the 11-12 50-meter breaststroke with Natalia Sibug, 11, (41.90), Kaitlyn Barrios, 11, (42.16) and Kathia Jaramillo, 12, (43.03). All three were best times and Jaramillo cracked 50 seconds for the first time.

SOFLO girls also won the 11-12, 13-14 and 15-18 200-meter medley relays.

SOFLO boys won the 7-10, 11-12 and 13-14 200-meter medley relays.

Other top three SOFLO finishers were:

Leah Pando, 11, second, 200-meter breaststroke, 3:23.15, best time, 1.69 time drop.

Ava Kuznik, 11, second, 50-meter backstroke, 38.78, best time, 5.01 drop.

Sara Quintero, 13, second, 100-meter butterfly, 1:12.68, 2.56 drop; second 200-meter backstroke, 2:41.60, 7.16 drop.

Kaitlyn Barrios, 11, second, 50-meter breaststroke, 42.16, 1.00 drop.

Mariann Catalasan, 11, second, 200-meter backstroke, 2:58.40.

Kalin Hubbard, 13, second, 50-meter breaststroke, 41.41, 1.19 drop.

Samuel Bullen, 12, second, 50-meter backstroke, 39.13, 1.34 drop.

Matthew Kim, 12, second, 50-meter breaststroke, 43.27, 1.19 drop.

Sophia Bedoya, 15, third, 200-meter breaststroke, 3:21.67.

Sabrina Osorio, 12, third, 100-meter freestyle, 1:09.56.

Moises Rodrigez, 13, second, 200-meter backstroke, 2:32.97, 10.58 drop; third, 50-meter backstroke, 33.49, 1.43 drop.

Wyatt Jennessee, 17, second, 200-meter backstroke, 2:40.83.

Owen Smith, 10, third, 100-meter butterfly, 1:36.65.

Chris Vasquez, 13, third, 100-meter butterfly, 1:08.93, 4.22 drop.

John Paul Handal, 14, third, 200-meter backstroke, 2:35.32, 3.04 drop.



200-meter breaststroke: 11-12, 1. Sophia Grubbs, FFSC; SOFLO: 2. Leah Pando 3:23.15, time drop, 5. Kathia Jaramillo 3:26.65, 7. Mariann Catalasan 3:32.79; 13-14, 1. Chloe Gonzalez, Miami Swimming 3:19.14; 15-18, 1. Valentina Carrion, SOFLO 3:18.04; SOFLO: 3. Sophia Bedoya 3:21.67, 4. Rebekah Ling 3:21.68.

100-meter freestyle: 7-10, 1. Anais Gedeon, Miami Swimming 1:16.60; SOFLO: 6. Fiorella Di Salvo 1:20.04, time drop, 18. Sarah Vasquez 1:28.47, 31. Abigail-Marie Natino 1:36.19, 35. Samira Borges 1:40.65; 11-12, 1. Alexis Christensen, SOFLO 1:08.57, time drop; SOFLO: 3. Sabrina Osorio 1:09.56, time drop, 4. Victoria Torres 1:10.00, time drop, 5. Kaitlyn Barrios 1:10.71; 13-14, 1. Ysabella Farias, ASC 1:04.80; SOFLO: 4. Sara Quintero 1:05.98, time drop, 5. Kalin Hubbard 1:07.39; 15-18, 1. Alana Acevedo, SOFLO 1:06.44, time drop; SOFLO: 4. Sophia Bedoya 1:10.22.

50-meter backstroke: 7-10, 1. Elyse Wood, Gulliver 42.18; SOFLO: 6. tie, Abigail-Marie Natino and Fiorella Di Salvo, 44.28, 25. Sarah Vasquez 51.05, 32. Samira Borges 54.34; 11-12, 1. Alexis Christensen, SOFLO 38.01, time drop; SOFLO: 2. Ava Kuznik 38.78, time drop, 5. Natalia Sibug 39.40, time drop, 6. Mariann Catalasan 40.55, 7. Kaitlyn Barrios 40.99; 13-14, 1. Andrea Guerrero, Unattached 34.17; SOFLO: 8. Kalin Hubbard 39.72; 15-18, 1. Emily Lezotte, SOFLO 37.95.

100-meter butterfly: 7-10, 1. Paola Negrin, Flying Fish 1:27.63; SOFLO: 5. Anastasia Lutz 1:40.44; 11-12, 1. Luna Delgado, SOFLO 1:20.07, time drop; SOFLO: 4. Kailey Smith 1:25.61, time drop; 13-14, 1. Andrea Guerrero, Unattached 1:09.28; SOFLO: 2. Sara Quintero 1:12.68, time drop, 8. Jena Legaspi 1:18.09, time drop; 15-18, 1. Alana Acevedo, SOFLO, 1:15.57.

50-meter breaststroke: 7-10, 1. Corina Wong, MAC 48.45; SOFLO: 10. Abigail-Marie Natino 52.81, time drop, 13. Sarah Vasquez 56.07, 29. Samira Borges 1:05.51; 11-12, 1. Natalia Sibug, SOFLO 41.90, time drop, 2. Kaitlyn Barrios, SOFLO 42.16, time drop, 3. Kathia Jaramillo, SOFLO 43.03, time drop; 13-14, 1. Angelic Hernandez, Gulliver 40.92; SOFLO: 2. Kalin Hubbard 41.41, time drop; 15-18, 1. Valentina Carrion, SOFLO 40.53, time drop; SOFLO: 2. Sophia Bedoya 41.84, time drop, 5. Emily Lezotte 49.04.

200-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Alexis Christensen, SOFLO 2:54.97; SOFLO: 2. Mariann Catalasan 2:58.40; 13-14, 1. Andrea Guerrero, Unattached 2:40.06; SOFLO: 2. Sara Quintero 2:41.60, time drop; 15-18, 1. Kellie Wilcox, SOFLO 2:55.50.

1500-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Natalie Gembicki, Gulliver 21:19.34; 13-14, 1. Angelic Hernandez, Gulliver 21:01.28.

200-meter medley relay: 7-10, 1. City of Miami 2:45.90, 2. SOFLO A 2:47.02 (Fiorella Di Salvo, Anastasia Lutz, Abigail-Marie Natino, Sarah Vasquez); 11-12, 1. SOFLO B (Alexis Christensen, Sabrina Osorio, Luna Delgado, Ava Kuznik) 2:27.14, 2. SOFLO A (Kaitlyn Barrios, Victoria Torres, Mia Escudero, Samantha Solis) 2:34.78; 13-14, 1. SOFLO A 2:22.68 (Jena Lesgaspi, Sara Quintero, Kalin Hubbard, Emma Twombly), 2. City of Miami 2:29.04; 15-18, 1. SOFLO A 2:27.63 (Kellie Wilcox, Sophia Bedoya, Alana Acevedo, Rebekah Ling).


200-meter breaststroke: 11-12, 1. Marco Cancio, CM 3:15.11; 13-14, 1. Nikita Efimov, OSC 2:47.97; SOFLO: 5. Mark Andre De Gracia 3:02.40; 15-18, 1. Zach Schechter, Hurricane 2:55.71.

100-meter freestyle: 7-10, 1. Luca Hincapie, SOFLO 1:18.38, time drop; SOFLO: 4. Alessio Mazzi 1:20.92, 11. Stefano Mazzi 1:23.81, 21. Benjamin Kim 1:29.82, time drop, 22. Connor Jimenez 1:31.59, 37. Lorenzo Laurentys 1:40.06, time drop, 41. Mason Jimenez 1:44.06, time drop, 47. Matthew Jimenez 1:52.93, 49. Aryav Thakur 2:02.52; 11-12, 1. Nathaniel Garrick, SOFLO 1:08.75, time drop; SOFLO: 8. Yanjun Wang 1:12.65; 13-14, 1. Nick Rodriguez, MAC 1:01.84; 15-18, 1. Pedro Serrano, MAC 59.16; SOFLO: 5. Casey Moya 1:01.25, time drop, 6. Gabriel Quiros 1:01.36, time drop.

50-meter backstroke: 7-10, 1. Leonardo Lopez-Casula, Hialeah 42.44; SOFLO: 3. Stefano Mazzi 43.35; SOFLO: 6. Alessio Mazzi 43.92, 17. Joseph-Blake Natino 48.51, 21. Lorenzo Laurentys 50.31, 26. Matthew Jimenez 51.18, 28. Connor Jimenez 51.80, 40. Mason Jimenez 57.93, 45. Aryav Thakur 1:00.87; 11-12, 1. Ronny Rueda, MLB 35.45; SOFLO: 2. Samuel Bullen 39.13, time drop; 13-14, 1. Ty Lezotte, SOFLO 31.97; SOFLO: 3. Moises Rodriguez 33.49, time drop; 15-18, 1. Juan Pablo Pineda, MLB 32.31; SOFLO: 7. Roberto Garrido 35.43, time drop.

100-meter butterfly: 7-10, 1. Joshua Barreto, Unattached 1:30.44; SOFLO: 3. Owen Smith 1:36.65; 11-12, 1. Ronny Rueda, MLB 1:15.21; 13-14, 1. Juancamilo Rivero, Unattached 1:08.69; SOFLO: 3. Chris Vasquez 1:08.93, time drop, 4. Ryan Alfonso 1:10.39, time drop; 15-18, 1. Michael Sanchez, ASC 1:05.48.

50-meter breaststroke: 7-10, 1. Derek Hau, Unattached 49.36; SOFLO: 6. Benjamin Kim 51.42, 8. Stefano Mazzi 51.51, time drop, 9. Joseph-Blake Natino 51.99, 11. Owen Smith 54.20, 28. Connor Jimenez 1:01.25, 29. Matthew Jimenez 1:02.60, 32. Mason Jimenez 1:03.67; 11-12, 1. Ronny Rueda, MLB 39.38; SOFLO: 2. Matthew Kim 43.27, time drop, 4. Nathaniel Garrick 43.49, time drop; 13-14, 1. Mark Andre De Gracia, SOFLO 37.46, time drop; 15-18, 1. Juan Pablo Pineda, MLB 33.68.

200-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Matthew Kim SOFLO 2:53.74; SOFLO: 3. Yanjun Wang 3:12.16, time drop; 13-14, 1. Daniel Quijada, Hialeah 2:28.07; SOFLO: 2. Moises Rodriguez 2:32.97, time drop, 3. John Paul Handal 2:35.32, time drop, 4. Ty Lezotte 2:35.92, 5. Alex Golding 2:38.12, time drop; 15-18, 1. Osmany Rivero, Blue Marlins 2:34.54; SOFLO: 2. Wyatt Jennessee 2:40.83, 4. Roberto Garrido 2:42.94, time drop.

1500-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Logan Gonzalez, SOFLO 21:15.20, time drop; 13-14, 1. Sebastian Pacheco, MAC 19:12.38.

200-meter medley relay: 7-10, 1. SOFLO A (Benjamin Kim, Joseph-Blake Natino, Luca Hincapie, Owen Smith) 2:58.48, 2. Atlantis 3:16.65; 11-12, 1. SOFLO A (Logan Gonzalez, Samuel Bullen, Yanjun Wang, Aldo Zepeda) 2:25.46, 2. City of Miami 2:25.64, 3. SOFLO B (Matthew Kim, Nathaniel Garrick, Diego Nazario-Vazquez, Matthew Mendieta) 2:40.51; 13-14, 1. SOFLO B (Alex Golding, Yannai Michael, Chris Vasquez, John Paul Handal) 2:07.83, 2. SOFLO A (Moises Rodriguez, Mark Andre De Gracia, Ty Lezotte) 2:11.70; 15-18, 1. Metro Aquatics 2:04.36, 2. Atlantis 2:09.69, 3. FLA 2:19.33.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Open Water Swimming Takes Spotlight At 17th FINA World Championships; French Sweep In First Two Races

By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 16, 2017—Despite choppy waters in Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier of France won the men’s five kilometer open water swimming race to take center stage at the 17th FINA World Championships.

Olivier won in 54:31.40, just .7 seconds ahead of Italy’s Mario Sanzullo (54:32.10).

It was a European sweep with Great Britain’s Timothy Shuttleworth taking the bronze medal, (54:42.10), 10.7 seconds behind the winning time.

“My goal was to win the gold medal after finishing third in last year’s Olympics in Rio,” Olivier said. “The first 3,000 meters weren’t perfect, but I changed tactics and managed to finish first.”

It was the first world championship medal for all three swimmers.

Top American finisher was David Heron placing tenth in 54:48.20, 16.80 minutes out of first. U.S. teammate Andrew Gemmell, among early leaders, faded to 17th in 54:59.30, 27.90 minutes out of first.

A field of 62 swimmers competed in the first of seven open water events. The women’s 5K is July 19th.

In the women’s 10K event, Frenchwoman and defending champion Aurelie Muller won the gold medal in 2:00:13.70, 3.30 ahead of Ecuador’s Samantha Arevalo in 2:00:17.00.

There was a tie for the bronze medal in 2:00:17.20 between Italy’s Arianna Bridi and Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, who has trained and competed in South Florida in past years.

Top American finisher was Haley Anderson placing sixth in 2:00:25.90, 12.20 out of first. Teammate Ashley Twichell was tenth in 2:00.41.30, 27.60 off first.


St. Andrew’s Swimming aquatics director and head coach Sid Cassidy was honored by FINA for his contribution in open water swimming. Cassidy received the Gold Pin from FINA for his work in international open water swimming.


Four-time champion U.S. women’s team opened worlds with a 24-2 rout of South Africa. Jamie Neushul scored a game-high six goals. Italy defeated Canada, 10-4, China beat Brazil, 11-4, and Spain topped New Zealand, 10-2.


Four University of Miami divers are competing at the FINA World Championships.

Redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore, alum and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sam Dorman and senior Briadam Herrera are representing the U.S. Junior diver Marcela Maric is competing for her native Croatia.

Longtime USA Diving and UM coach Randy Ableman is coaching the divers.

On Saturday, Olympic silver medalists Michael Hixon and Dorman placed sixth in the 3-meter synchro event with 409.05 points. In prelims, they qualified third with 410.10. On Sunday, Hixon finished fifth in the 1-meter springboard finals with 439.15. China’s Peng Jianfeng won gold with 448.40. Aussie Maddison Keeney won the women’s 1-meter title and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilia Zakharov won the men’s 3-meter synchro title.

Former local diver Kassidy Cook, a 2016 Olympian, was scheduled to compete in 3-meter synchro but withdrew from worlds because of a shoulder injury.

Chinese teenagers Ren Qian and Lian Junjie won the gold medal in the mixed 10-meter platform. The pair of 16-year-olds won with 352.98 in the first final of the worlds. Ren is the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the women’s 10-meter platform event.

China also won the women’s 10-meter platform synchro with Ren and Si Yajie with 352.56 points.


Russia’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko, 23, won the first gold medal of the World Championships synchronized swimming competition. She finished the solo competition with 95.2035 points performing to the theme Solveig song. She made history by winning Russia’s 50th medal in the sport’s history at worlds.

Sharon Robb can be reached at