Lacourt Flirts With World Record At LEN European Swimming Championships

Lacourt Flirts With World Record At LEN European Swimming Championships


August 12, 2010

Frenchman Camille Lacourt came close to becoming the first swimmer to set a world record in the post high-tech bodysuit era Thursday night at the LEN European Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Lacourt won the men’s 50-meter backstroke and broke his own meet record in 24.07, just off Liam Tancock’s world record of 24.04 set at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy.

Lacourt moved to second on the all-time event list, moving from his No. 3 ranking time of 24.30, then a meet record set earlier in the meet.

It was France’s fourth gold medal of the meet. Lacourt won the 100 backstroke on Tuesday in a European record 52.11, the first record set since the high-tech bodysuits were banned in January.

Tancock was second in 24.70 and Guy Barnea of Israel was third in 25.04.

Also at the Alfred Hajos Pool Complex in front of a partisan crowd, fans were on their feet when Hungarians Katinka Hosszu and Daniel Gyurta won gold in the 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter breaststroke.

Hosszu won the women’s 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.09 while teammate Evelyn Verraszto was second just 0.01 seconds behind in 2:10.10. Britain’s Hannah Miley was third in 2:10.89.

Gyurta, the world champion, won the men’s 200-meter breaststroke in a meet record 2:08.95, ahead of Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen who finished second in 2:09.68. Frenchman Hugues Duboscq was third in 2:11.03.

“Daniel is king of the 200-meter breaststroke,” Dale Oen said. “He was so strong and simply unbeatable today. I have to train differently for the 200 to get faster. The 200 is always a beast for me.”

The Hungarian women’s 800-meter freestyle relay had the fans standing on their feet again when it nipped France in a thrilling finish for the gold medal, 7:52.49-7:52.69. The relay team of Agnes Mutina, Ezster Dara, Katinka Hosszu and Eveyln Verraszto gave Hungary another gold to cheer about to end a perfect night of swimming.

Earlier, Great Britain won its fourth gold medal when world champion Gemma Spofforth of the University of Florida won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.80 finishing ahead of teammate Elizabeth Simmonds in 1:00.19. Jenny Mensing of Germany was third in 1:00.72.

“It was a hard race but it’s good to come out the best,” Spofforth said. “I would have preferred two golds, but you’ve got to share them.”

Poland won it first gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly when defending champion Pawel Korzeniowski won in 1:55. Russia’s Nikolay Skvortsov was second and former champion Ioannis Drymonakos of Greece was third.

Danish world champion Lotte Friis won the women’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:23.27.

“Today I was as fast as when I won bronze in Beijing (8:23.03) and that after the return to textile suits,” Friis said.

Ophelie Cyrielle Etienne of France was second in 8:24.00 and Federica Pellegrini was third in 8:24.99. Teenager Grainee Murphy, 17, of Ireland was fourth in a career-best 8:25.04, just missing out on a medal.

In her first final of the week, British Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington was a surprising seventh in 8:27.48.  Adlington said she is focusing more on the Commonwealth Games in India in October.

“It was an amazing swim, to finish fourth in my first Europeans is just incredible,” Murphy said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. I was just going in there to go as well as I could.”

Swim Ireland has not had a swimmer in the final of the European Championships in more than a decade.

Swim Ireland High Performance Director Peter Banks said it was “one of the greatest performances by a young Irish athlete” and has become an inspiration to top juniors in Ireland.

“It’s the best performance by an Irish swimmer in years because you had the Olympic champion and world champion in the race as well as other world record holders,” Banks said. “It should be a real inspiration to all.”

Annika Saarnak, a University of Miami senior swimmer and Estonia national record holder, was 26th overall in the 100-meter butterfly heats. She finished in 1:01.34.

Earlier in the week, Saarnak finished 22nd in the 50-meter butterfly in 27.69 and was 52nd in the 100-meter freestyle 58.82. Saarnak’s final event will be the 50 freestyle on Saturday.

A record-high 591 swimmers from 43 European countries are competing for 61 titles in the championships that end on Sunday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Oliver Competes Friday On Final Day Of Speedo Junior Nationals

SOFLO’s Oliver Competes Friday On Final Day Of Speedo Junior Nationals


August 12, 2010

Florida-State bound Tiffany Oliver will compete in her last race of the Speedo Junior National Long Course Championships on Friday in Irvine, Calif.

“I want to finish with a good race, I was disappointed with my 100,” said Oliver, seeded 27th in the 50-meter freestyle 26.63.

SOFLO CEO Chris Anderson would also like to see her finish well before she heads off the college.

“It’s been a good experience for our swimmers to be here,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I want the athletes to progress forward.

“It’s been a good learning experience in this kind of environment at the national level,” Anderson said. “Athletes are swimming here for the first time without float suits. We want them to get something positive out of this meet even if they have had not-so-great swims.”

A week after making her ConocoPhillips Long Course National Championship debut, SOFLO’s Melissa Cooper competed in the 100-meter breaststroke on Thursday.

Seeded 19th out of 116, the 18-year-old Cooper finished 55th in 1:14.63. Her splits were 35.40 and 39.23

Cooper will also swim the 50-meter freestyle on Friday. She is seeded 91st in 27.21.

In Thursday night’s championship finals, Jasmine Tosky, 16, of Palo Alto Stanford won her third event of the meet in the women’s 200-meter freestyle in a meet record 1:58.54. Tosky beat Missy Franklin’s meet record of 1:58.67 set last year.

Lauren Driscoll, 16, of Fort Lauderdale Aquatics finished seventh in 2:01.98.

It was one of four meet records that were broken.

Lakeview’s Clay Youngquist, 17, broke the men’s 200-meter freestyle record in 1:49.37. The previous mark was 1:49.87 set by Kyle Whitaker last year.

Vlad Morozov of Swim Torrance set a meet record in the 100-meter backstroke in 55.46. The previous record was 55.61 by Patrick Murphy in 2008.

Led by Tosky, Palo Alto Stanford’s women’s 800-meter freestyle relay also set a meet record along with Camille Cheng, Ally Howe and Maddy Schaefer in 8:12.97. The previous record was 8:15.24 set by North Baltimore last year.

Other champions were Allison Gargalikis of the Terrapins in the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:09.84; Wilton Y Wahoos’ Christian Higgins in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.95 and Indiana’s Taylor Wohrley in the women’s 100-meter backstroke in 1:01.55.

Among the team competition, Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics remains in the lead of the women’s team rankings with 208 points. Parkland Aquatic Club is second with 110. Fort Lauderdale Aquatics is 17th with 47 points.

SwimMAC Carolina continues to lead the men’s team rankings with 148 points and City of Plano Swimmers is second with 135. Sarasota YMCA is third with 106 points. Metro Aquatics is 17th with 40.

Other Florida Gold Coast results:

Women’s 200-meter freestyle: 7. Lauren Driscoll, 16, FLA 2:01.98; 26. Lindsey McKnight, 16, Unattached 2:05.08; 72. Damaris Iriondo, 17, FLA 2:07.25; 87. Clara Smiddy, AK Sharks, 2:07.82.

Women’s 100-meter breaststroke: 60. Lindsey McKnight 1:14.85.

Women 100-meter backstroke: 18. Lauren Driscoll, FLA 1:04.26; 24. Chelsea Britt, 15, FLA 1:05.37.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: 99. Lukas Grabl, 18, FLA 1:57.13; 166. Ryan Rosenbaum, 15, FLA 2:01.69.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: 129. Asher Garcia, Metro Aquatics 1:10.10; 130. Ryan Rosenbaum, 15, FLA 1:10.46.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: 65. Lukas Grabl, 18, FLA 1:00.32; 122. Michael Christian, Jupiter Dragons 1:02.02.

Individual Speedo Junior National champion winners were:

Women’s 200-meter freestyle: Jasmine Tosky, 16, Palo Alto Stanford 1:58.54, meet record.

Women’s 100-meter breaststroke: Allison Gargalikis, 16, Terrapins Swim Team, 1:09.84.

Women 100-meter backstroke: Taylor Wohrley, 18, Indiana University, 1:01.55.

Women 4×200 freestyle relay: Palo Alto Stanford (Cheng, Tosky, Howe, Schaefer), 8:12.97, meet record.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Clay Youngquist, 17, Lakeview Aquatic 1:49.37, meet record.

Men 100-meter breaststroke: Christian Higgins, 17, Wilton Y Wahoos, 1:02.95.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: Vladimir Morozov, 18, Swim Torrance, 55.46, meet record.

The meet, which ends on Friday, is serving as a selection meet for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships held later this month in Maui, Hawaii (Aug. 26-30) and the USA Swimming Youth Team. is broadcasting the prelims and finals on a live webcast that will also include athlete interviews on deck.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Salama Motivated More Than Ever After Masters Nationals Ends In Puerto Rico

SOFLO’s Salama Motivated More Than Ever After Masters Nationals Ends In Puerto Rico


August 12, 2010

With every race, Evelyn Salama makes progress.

“This is the beginning for me,” said the Pembroke Pines mother of two after the U.S. Masters Long Course Nationals came to a successful end  Thursday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

In front of family and friends, Salama, 37, walked off with two silver and five bronze medals in only her second national meet since taking up competitive masters swimming two years ago with masters coach Rose Lockie at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

After swimming five career-bests in her short course national meet debut in Atlanta in May, Salama swam six career-bests and even better, started her swimming medal collection.

“This is it, this is my first real foray into anything physical that I dedicated myself to,” Salama said. “I think that’s why I took this meet so seriously the whole time.

“I did debate in school and have some trophies but not like this. I am starting to get it now. I am still learning and will always learn something at every meet, but at least now I am beginning to get it.”

On Thursday, the fourth and final day of the meet that attracted 632 swimmers, ages 18 to 87 from throughout the U.S., Salama took a silver medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in a career-best 41.67, dropping from 42.73 and bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle in 1:15.78, with a big time drop from 1:19.33.

Earlier in the week, she took silver in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:36.23 and bronze medals in the 50-meter butterfly in 37.92, 200-meter breaststroke in 3:25.86, 400-meter freestyle in 5:56.76 and in her relay debut.

Salama loved having her husband, kids and parents with her at the meet.

“I was able to relax and have fun,” Salama said. “I think that maybe it allowed me to swim better. My parents came to every single race. It was just awesome. I met some amazing people.”

Having her family with her helped not having her masters coach with her.

“I missed Rose not being here, she calms me down, I really needed her here,” Salama said. “Thank God for technology. I ran up her phonebills texting her all the time but it helped. She has been so amazing with me from the very beginning. A lot of what I wanted to do here was for her.”

Salama was impressed with the meet atmosphere and the fact swimmers were laughing and joking around and still swimming fast.

“They were laughing and having a great time just seconds before they got up on the block,” Salama said. “And here I am in my corner focusing on my race. Then I remembered how Rose told me these people have been swimming their entire life.

“I am still learning. I tried to soak it all in. I would watch the heat before mine and then the championship heat. I tried to pick up anything I could I learn at the meet. That was my way of having fun. I like to be prepared.”

Salama was particularly pleased with her 400-meter freestyle especially after her seed time was incorrectly submitted as 5:45.01 instead of 6:09. Lockie was just hoping she would break 6 minutes. She finished in 5:56.76.

“I was most pleased with my 400 free because I didn’t think I could do it,” Salama said. “It was a mental thing. But I improved. That was my goal right there.

“I am really happy with the meet. I feel like I relaxed more and had fun. I still have those whacky moments where I get in the zone but I am feeling more comfortable with every race. I just have to keep saying in my head, ‘I am racing myself, I am racing myself.’”

Salama plans on competing in a sprint triathlon on Aug. 28 at CB Smith Park in Pembroke Pines. She may also compete in the Aug. 21 Last Chance Masters Meet at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Salama had shelved her triathlon plans last year after breaking her wrist. Now she has resumed the three-sport event and is fitter than ever because of swimming. “I am starting to place and I think my swimming has helped me,” Salama said. “I like doing triathlons but swimming is my first love.”

Other SOFLO (Comets and Coral Springs Swim Club Masters) finishes: Nadine Day, 40, of the Comets Swim Team won the 40-44 200-meter butterfly in 2:40.03. Leticia Castro, 50, was fourth in the 50-54 200-meter butterfly in 2:57.69 and Celia Devanney, 53, was sixth in 3:18.03. In the 100-meter freestyle, Castro was eighth in 1:11.64 and Devanney was tenth in 1:13.12. Becky Willman, 58, was seventh in the 55-59 100-meter freestyle in 1:23.63.

Next year’s dates for Masters Nationals are April 28-May 1, short course spring nationals at Kino Aquatic Complex in Mesa, Ariz. and Aug. 3-6 long course summer nationals at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.

Other GOLD results:

400-meter freestyle: 25-29, 2. Andres Miyares, 27, 6:08.21; 30-34, 1. Robert Rivera, 32, 4:30.50; 35-39, 2. Luis Comulada, 35, 4:34.94; 4. Roger Stoudt, 36, 4:40.16; 5. Brian McGloin, 39, 5:07.19; 40-44, 5. David LeClair, 43, 4:48.97; 75-79, 3. Alan Rapperport, 77, 7:06.11.

Mixed 200-meter freestyle relay: 120-159, 5. GOLD (McGloin, Navas, Stewart, Welch) 1:54.76; 160-199, 1. GOLD (Rivera, LeClair, Sargeant, Comulada), 1:50.13; 200-239, 3. GOLD (McDonnell, Hughes, Grzeszczak, Stoudt), 1:59.39; 7. GOLD “B” (Cole, Castro, Willman, Beggs), 2:09.76; 240-279, GOLD (Protzman, Cavanaugh, Painter, McIntyre), 2:11.02.

50-meter breaststroke: (Women) 50-54, 3. Debbie Cavanaugh, 52, 40.48; 55-59, 4. Peggy McDonnell, 55, 41.94; (Men) 18-24, 6. JC Mejia, 24, 35.86; 25-29, 2. Corey Welch, 27, 30.09; 30-34, 5. Carlos Montero, 34, 36.25; 35-39, 4. Luis Comulada, 35, 33.03, 11. Mauricio Henao, 38, 44.16; 45-49, 3. Andrew Cole, 47, 37.44; 50-54, 8. John Grzeszczak, 52, 37.57; 70-74, 6. David McIntyre, 73, 49.11.

100-meter freestyle: (Women) 40-44, 5. Ann Stewart, 40, 1:14.79; 55-59, 2. Pat Sargeant, 57, 1:08.70.

50-meter backstroke: (Women) 30-34, 4. Nicole Navas, 32, 39.03; 40-44, 3. Ann Stewart, 40, 36.46; 50-54, 2. Debbie Cavanaugh, 52, 37.28; 55-59, 2. Maureen Hughes, 57, 37.11; (Men) 35-39, 1. Roger Stoudt, 36, 30.46; 45-49, 3. Mark Beggs, 46, 36.41, 4. Andrew Cole, 47, 36.76; 50-54, John Grzeszczak, 52, 32.51; 70-74, 1. David McIntyre, 73, 39.17; 75-79, 3. Alan Rapperport, 77, 45.78.

Sharon Robb can be reached at