Emily Kopas Makes Junior National Cut Time, SOFLO Continues To Dominate CSSC Invitational

Emily Kopas Makes Junior National Cut Time, SOFLO Continues To Dominate CSSC Invitational


June 26, 2010

CORAL SPRINGS—The South Florida Aquatic Club continued its domination on Day Three of the Florida Gold Coast Coral Springs Invitational Saturday night.

The electric atmosphere of the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex helped to spark the host team’s outstanding performances that included a junior national cut time, fifteen individual and relay victories and thirty-five career-best times.

SOFLO newcomer Emily Kopas, 13, seeded first in the 13-14 100-meter breaststroke in 1 minute and 15.32 seconds, not only won the event but qualified for the Aug. 9-13 Junior National Championships in Irvine, Calif. in a career-best time of 1:14.09.

Kopas turned it on in the final 40 meters to distance herself from the field and bring it home.

Kopas was a member of STAR Swimming’s 2010 Summer Speedo Championship team in Buffalo, N.Y. before her family relocated to South Florida. She is swimming unattached according to Florida Gold Coast team transfer rules.

Kopas was also second in the 200 IM in another career-best 2:26.82.

It was a SOFLO sweep in the 100 breaststroke with Jillian Alexander, 13, second in a career-best 1:21.41. Emma Lincoln, 14, was third in a career-best 1:23.78.

Lincoln also swam back-to-back personal bests in prelims (1:09.85) and finals (1:07.83) to finish second in the 100-meter butterfly. Her previous best was 1:10.49.

Maria Lopez, 14, was third in the 100 butterfly in 1:09.05. She bettered her previous best of 1:09.75 in prelims with a 1:08.67.

Heading into the fourth and final day, SOFLO has an insurmountable lead with 1,250 points. The Davie Nadadores’ unattached team is second with 313.5 and St. Andrew’s Swimming, led by the Florida Gold Coast record performance of Quinn Cassidy in the 100 breaststroke, is third with 270 points.

Cassidy, 14, swam 1:08.76, breaking SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s 100 breaststroke record of 1:09.20 set in 2005. 

SOFLO national head coach Michael Lohberg has been pleasantly surprised at the team’s performance particularly the Texas Senior Circuit swimmers competing in back-to-back meets and fighting off fatigue to swim best times.

“The atmosphere at this pool is pretty appealing,” Lohberg said. “People like to come here, people like to race here.

“I am mostly surprised about the people who swam last week in Texas. They swam pretty well there and they come back and do it again. That is pretty remarkable. It seems to me they get more confident the more they race and drop times.”

SOFLO swept the top three spots in the girls’ 10-and-under 50-meter backstroke. Eden Cooke, 10, enjoying an outstanding meet, won the event in a career-best 37.02. Her previous best was 37.52.

“I was happy because I didn’t slip off the wall this time,” Cooke said. “I’m not sure why they’re slippery, I think they oil them to make us go faster. I am really happy with all my dropped times. I didn’t expect to do this good. This gives me a lot of confidence. There’s going to be some faster people in the next meet.”

Cooke also finished second in her 100-meter butterfly debut in 1:31.84 and led off the winning 200 freestyle relay with Kelley Heron, Catharine Cooper and Bianca Monti in a best time 2:11.11.

“I was happiest with the 100 fly today because I never swam it before and I am just glad I could do it,” Cooke said. “I wanted to swim it because I have been getting better at it.”

Catharine Cooper, 10, was second in the 50 backstroke in a career-best 41.41. She was seeded 29th with a previous best of 49.89.

“When I started I slipped off the wall, it was an accident,” Cooper said. “I don’t know why, I just slipped. In the race I saw the girls ahead of me on my left and I tried kicking and doing my best.

“I have been training really hard,” said Cooper, a Ramblewood Elementary School fourth grader who has been swimming since she was 4 in Swim America. “I was pretty nervous about the meet but my dad always tells me to be confident and I just go with that.

“Every meet is actually my goal,” Cooper said. “I am training for JO’s. I love swimming. It’s my main sport.”

Bianca Monti, 10, was third in the 50 backstroke in a best time 42.01, bettering her previous best of 46.30.

Steph Campo, 12, added two more victories to her collection over the past three days. In front of a small fan club of family and friends, Campo won the 11-12 50-meter backstroke in back-to-back best times of 34.74 in prelims and 33.57 in finals. Her previous best was 35.07.

Danielle Ginzburg, 12, also swam back-to-back best times of 37.14 (prelims) and 36.46 (finals) to finish third. Her previous best was 38.01.

Campo also won the 200-meter individual medley and bettered her previous best time of 2:44.38 in prelims (2:42.38) and finals 2:36.01.

“For the 50 backstroke and 200 IM my legs were shaking because I was so tired from the whole weekend,” Campo said. “But once I got in the water it stopped and I just did it.

“I was really happy with my 200 IM,” Campo said. “I dropped two seconds in the morning which I thought was good. I thought I would drop another second tonight but I dropped 8, so that was a lot.

“I am so tired, my body is aching but I am very happy with the time drops. It means Michael is doing a good job with me. This helps me know what to do and what to work on so the next meet will be perfect.”

Marco Hosfeld, 14, had another good night for the boys’ team. For the second consecutive night he was a double winner capturing the 13-14 200-meter IM in a career best 2:21.12 and 400 freestyle in 4:21.96. He also led off the winning 200-meter freestyle relay of Dylan Sell, Blake Kelley and Joshua Cutter in a best time 1:52.52.

“I guess I was going after it (200 IM) but I wanted to go under 2:20,” Hosfeld said. “I set the goals high. I’ve been training hard and I’m not rested. I’m going fast because Michael’s a good coach.”

Other top performances for SOFLO were:

Florida Atlantic graduate Elle Weberg, 25, first in the 15-and-over 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.89, bettering her previous best of 1:13.76.

Kelley Heron, 10, first in the 10-and-under 100 breaststroke in a career-best 1:31.76, bettering her previous best of 1:39.17. She was also second in the 200 IM in 2:53.74, bettering her best time of 3:04.66.

Courtney Marx, 18, was third in the 15-and-over 100-meter butterfly in 1:06.89, bettering her best time of 1:07.27.

Kylie Herman, 12, was third in the 11-12 100 butterfly in 1:16.85, bettering her previous best of 1:21.54.

Alex Rodriguez, 19, was second in the 15-and-over 100 breaststroke in 1:07.12 and Matthew Bellew was close behind in third place in 1:07.33.

The meet, that features more than 600 swimmers and 26 teams including Bermuda and Puerto Rico, concludes today with prelims at 8:30 a.m. and finals at 4:30 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com



Phelps Has Rollercoaster Opening Day in Paris

Phelps Has Rollercoaster Opening Day in Paris


June 26, 2010

Michael Phelps rode an emotional rollercoaster on the opening day of the Paris Open.

The 14-time Olympic champion easily won the 200-meter butterfly before ending the opening day by finishing last in the 100-meter freestyle.

Phelps, who turns 25 at the end of the month, led from start to finish in the 200 butterfly to win in 1 minute and 55.70 seconds, fourth best in the world. He was the fastest qualifier in morning prelims in 1:57.88.

Frenchman Christophe Lebon edged fellow countryman Jordan Coelho to finish second in 1:59.01.

Thirty minutes later, Phelps got off to a slow start and finished last in the 100 freestyle. He was the seventh fastest qualifier after morning prelims in 49.44.

Swimming in Lane One next to world champion Cesar Cielo of Brazil, Phelps finished in 49.70 in finals. Freshman Fabien Gilot won in 48.65.

Olympic champion Alain Bernard of France failed to qualify for the 100 freestyle, finishing 18th in the heats in 50.44.

“I was very tired,” Bernard said. “And when you are tired, there is nothing you can do. This is a result of my training for the European Championships [in August in Budapest, Hungary]. This meet was not a milestone in my preparations.”

Bernard swam in the same heat as Phelps.

“I think as a whole, for the day, it’s not terrible,” said Phelps, who was coming off high altitude training in Colorado Springs. “I’m more happy with my fly. I think there is still a lot of work to do.”

Phelps competes in the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley on Sunday. He is using the meet as preparation for nationals in August which is a selection meet for the Pan Pacific Championships.

“I will try to recover as much as I can,” Phelps said. “It’s going to be a tough day.

“I am disappointed with the 100. It just shows where we stand right now. I know I should be a lot faster than that.”

American Mark Gangloff won the 50 breaststroke in 27.81.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com



SOFLO’s Girl Power Rule Day Two At FGC Coral Springs Invitational, SOFLO Leads With 747 Points

SOFLO’s Girl Power Rule Day Two At FGC Coral Springs Invitational, SOFLO Leads With 747 Points


June 25, 2010

CORAL SPRINGS—Eden Cooke was all smiles around the pool deck Friday night at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

The bubbly 10-year-old led an impressive girls’ contingent of swims for the South Florida Aquatic Club at the Florida Gold Coast Coral Springs Invitational.

Cooke swam back-to-back personal best times in prelims (2:31.44) and finals (2:29.02) to win the 10-and-under 200-meter freestyle event to highlight the night’s action. Her previous best time was 2:32.40.

SOFLO teammate Kelley Heron, 10, was the top seed after morning prelims swimming a career-best 2:30.99 (2:38.46 previous best).

The two pushed each other in finals.

“It helps when you have someone pushing you, it helps you swim faster,” said Cooke, second fastest after morning prelims. “It helped me go faster and pace myself with her.

“I felt good in the water,” Cooke said. “I was excited at the beginning of the race and hoping I would win. I didn’t know if I was going to though. Kelley was really fast. I just knew either way it would be pretty good because she is on the same team as me.”

Heron finished second in 2:29.97, another career-best.

Cooke won two other events and led off SOFLO’s winning 200-meter medley relay team of Heron, Quinn Reeves, 10, and Catharine Cooper, 10, that won in 2:39.07.

Cooke won the 50-meter freestyle in 31.28, again lowering her previous career-best of 32.29 in prelims (32.11) and finals. Heron was second, also swimming back-to-back best times of 32.88 in prelims and 32.74 in finals.

“I set a goal of 31.33 and I got a 31.28 so I was happy,” Cooke said.

Cooke said she surprised herself winning the 100-meter backstroke, again with back-to-back best times in prelims (1:23.05) and finals (1:21.78). Her previous best was 1:24.72.

Heron was second in 1:23.59. Heron bettered her best time of 1:23.58 in prelims in 1:21.56.

“I set goal times for every event except the backstroke because I wasn’t sure how I would swim it,” Cooke said. “I knew that was my stroke so I tried hard.

“I definitely was tired and almost out of breath at the very end but I pushed myself,” Cooke said. “I am very happy. I feel like I am getting faster and my kick is better. I think it’s because I am training harder.

“This is a pretty big meet for me. I guess nationals was the most important meet for me so this would be the second most important.”

More smiles and more best times from Steph Campo, 12, and Linea Cutter, 16.

After winning the 400-meter freestyle on Thursday night, Campo continued her winning ways and time drops in the shorter events.

Campo won the 11-12 200-meter freestyle in a career-best 2:17.49, bettering both her seed time 2:20.56 and prelim time of 2:18.65.

Campo also won the 100-meter backstroke in back-to-back best times of 1:12.89 in prelims and 1:12.21 in finals. Her previous best was 1:14.89.

Campo also led off SOFLO’s winning 11-12 200-meter medley relay with Audrey Mason, 12, Kylie Herman, 12, and Carly Swanson, 12, in a best time 2:22.15.

“My 200 freestyle was really good, I dropped a lot of time from before,” Campo said. “This is just a practice meet. We are trying to see where we are. It helps show us what we need to work on in practice and hopefully get better. Hopefully, at zones, I will have some great races.

“I was happiest with my 100 back,” Campo said. “I didn’t think I would go 1:12 because I practice at a 1:16. I just gave it all that I had in the water. I like to race.”

Cutter, a home schooler who swims for Douglas, turned the corner in the 50-meter freestyle when she broke 28 seconds for the first time in the girls’ 15-and-over event.

Cutter was SOFLO’s top finisher in the event, placing third and more importantly dipping below 28 in 27.71. As soon as Cutter touched the wall, her age group coach Chris Jackson yelled out a cheer and Cutter broke into a wide grin.

Cutter bettered her previous best of 28.24 in prelims with a 28.12.

“I am happy that it’s finally broken,” Cutter said. “I was trying to break it last year but I wasn’t that close. This morning I got closer and so I was happy to break it tonight. Chris told me to just try to break 28 and I tried my hardest.”

Cutter was pushed by a fast field that included SOFLO teammate Tiffany Oliver and Davie Nadadores’ Isabella Arcila and Eunate Garro.

“I was just trying to race and trying my best,” Cutter said. “I’m not sure how many breaths I took. I was trying not to breathe.

“It’s nice to see this result because I have been training hard. I would like to get lower in 27 and do a 26 eventually. I think this is the highlight so far for me.”

British teenager Leonie Davies, 13, coming off the Texas Senior Circuit Meet and Fort Myers Festival Open Water championships, continued to push the envelope. Davies won the 13-14 200-meter freestyle in a season-best 2:17.23. She was also fifth in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:16.22

“I am a little tired but it’s just mental, you can do whatever you think you can,” Davies said. “If I come back tomorrow with the same mind I had today I think I can do good. I started feeling the Texas meet on Tuesday. Practice was really hard on Tuesday. I thought about not coming to this meet but why not? Even if I came and didn’t swim best times it would still be a good experience.

“My 200 was a season-best and it was a win so I contributed to my team,” Davies said. “It felt good.”

Emma Lincoln, 14, another one of SOFLO’s youngest swimmers coming off the Texas Circuit Meet, is using this weekend’s meet as a training gauge for zones in Atlanta.

Lincoln was pleasantly surprised with her swims. She was second in the 13-14 50-meter butterfly with back-to-back career-best swims in prelims (30.91) and finals (30.74). Her previous best was 36.31. She was the fastest qualifier in prelims.

Lincoln was also sixth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 3:07.52 and eighth in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:17.78.  She anchored SOFLO’s wining 13-14 200-meter medley relay team of Davies, Kayla Moodie and Maria Lopez in 2:16.37.

“I am happiest with my 400 IM (swum Thursday night) because I finally dropped and I don’t normally swim that,” Lincoln said. “I’m also pretty happy with my 50 fly because I finally got a time where I am supposed to be. My fly has been feeling pretty good lately. I haven’t swam it in two years.

“This meet is mainly for us to work on our starts and turns, pace and see what else we need to work on,” Lincoln said. “I am really tired but I am happy. Basically, if I am this tired and dropping my times I believe when I am tapered I am going to do a lot better than my times are now.”

SOFLO newcomer Emily Kopas, 13, is fitting in nicely after only a week of training. She won the 13-14 200-meter breaststroke in 2:40.20 after swimming 2:43.90 in prelims. Teammate Jillian Alexander, 13, was second in 2:54.07.

Highlighting SOFLO’s boys’ action was double winner Marco Hosfeld, 14, with back-to-back best times. He won the 13-14 200-meter breaststroke in 2:42.24, bettering his prelim time of 2:43.99. His previous best was 2:51.79.

Hosfeld also won the 200-meter freestyle in 2:03.47. In prelims he bettered his 2:03.76 seed time in 2:02.71. Hosfeld swam second leg on SOFLO’s winning 200 medley relay of Kyle Desrosiers, Blake Kelley and Dylan Sell in 2:11.49.

Other top boys’ finishers:

Alfredo Mesa Jr., 11, was second in the 11-12 200-meter freestyle in 2:23.29 and Raphael Mora, 12, was third in 2:23.66, both swimming best times.

In the 10-and-unders 200 freestyle, Ricardo Roche, 10, was second (2:32.46), Kevin Porto, 10, third (2:34.98) and Jorge Depassier, 10, fourth (2:35.38), all best times.

Zain Qali, 22, was third in the 15-and-over 50-meter butterfly in 26.17. Gustavo Valery, 12, was third in the 11-12 100-meter backstroke in 1:18.75, a career-best.

SOFLO coaches got to show off in the sprint events.

Olympians Biggi Lohberg, Swim America Director for the Coral Springs Swim Club, and Josh Laban, age group coach at Mullins Park, competed in 50-meter events.

Lohberg, 44, was the fifth fastest qualifier in the 50-meter butterfly in 30.25. She scratched from finals to rest for her remaining events.

Laban, 27, finished sixth in the 50-meter freestyle in 24.74 off his seed time of 23.12 but bettering his prelim time of 25.11.

The four-day meet, featuring more than 600 swimmers, continues Saturday with prelims at 8:30 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com