|WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
December 4, 2010
Emily Kopas of the South Florida Aquatic Club made a lasting impression at her first senior nationals.
The 14-year-old made “C” finals and broke a club record twice on the third and final night of the AT&T Short Course National Championships Saturday night in Columbus, Ohio.
Kopas broke the 200-yard breaststroke club record in morning prelims in a career-best time of 2:17.12 to qualify for “C” finals and came back in finals to break it again in 2:16.02, another best time.
Kopas, the youngest swimmer in the field, finished 26th among a field of 68 breaststrokers.
“It is fun that she is in any night swim,” said SOFLO coach Michael Lohberg.
“I would say it is surprising if I had thought about it from the very beginning because first time at seniors things can go wrong so you don’t expect it right away,” Lohberg said. “I didn’t expect her to be in the finals against the top swimmers in the country. She barely had the cut.
“She stepped up and had a great swim to get into the “C” final. A, B or C, I don’t care. She swims at night at nationals which is absolutely great. She deserves this, she worked hard for it.”
SOFLO’s Brittney Phelan, 18, a freshman at Indiana, was 43rd in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:19.04.
It was a good final day for SOFLO with four swimmers in the A, B or C finals.
Two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov, despite being sick since the Asian Games, is more than ready for the Dec. 15-19 World Short Course Championships in Dubai.
Polyakov, coming off a career-best swim in the 100-yard breaststroke, came back with a third place finish against a fast field in the 200-yard breaststroke in the “A” final in 1:52.92.
Michael Alexandrov, 25, of Tucson Ford broke his second American record in 1:51.73. The previous record of 1:51.74 was set by Brendan Hansen in 2006.
SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 19, of Seton Hall was 54th in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:08.12.
Venezuelan Olympian Arlene Semeco and Jessie Alcaide both made the 100-yard freestyle “B” final. Alcaide was 18th in 50.36 and Semeco was 19th in 50.59.
SOFLO’s Kevin Bandy, 19, of University of Louisville was 36th in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 15:48.68.
Also on Saturday night:
Missy Franklin, 15, of the Colorado Stars won women’s high point award with 118 points. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, 26, of Daytona Beach edged Matt Grevers for men’s high point award, 94-92.
Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, 21, of University of Southern California won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:51.45.
Jessica Hardy, 23, of Trojan Swim Club won the 100-yard freestyle in 47.81.
Stephanie Proud, 22, of Gator Swim Club won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:52.62.
Haley Anderson, 19, of the University of Southern California won the 1,650-yard freestyle in a meet record 15:48.64.
Robert Margalis, 28, of FAST won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:42.49.
Matt Grevers, 25, of Tucson Ford, won the 100-yard freestyle in a meet record 41.35.
Michael Klueh, 23, of Longhorn Aquatics won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 14:40.62.
University of Southern California won the men’s 4×100-yard freestyle relay in 2:51.58 with Vladimir Morozov, Dimitri Colupaev, Emmett Walling and James White. Florida Gold Coast swimmer Brendon Andrews (Lake Lytal) led off Louisville’s ninth place relay that finished in 3:00.65. University of California won the women’s relay in a meet record 314.50 with Erica Dagg, Hannah Wilson, Natalie Lindborg and Liv Jensen. FGC Sarah Andrews (Lake Lytal) anchored Louisville’s seventh place relay that finished in 3:21.14.
SOFLO TIME TRIAL RESULTS
WOMEN: 50-yard freestyle: 1. Jessie Alcaide 23.08; 100-yard breaststroke, 2. Brittney Phelan, Indiana University 1:04.88; 200-yard breaststroke, 1. Julie Stupp 2:12.12; 200-yard individual medley, 16. Emily Kopas 2:12.16, 17. Brittney Phelan, Indiana University 2:17.73; MEN: 100-yard breaststroke, 6. Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Seton Hall 59.06; 100-yard breaststroke: 2. Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Seton Hall 58.93.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org