Vanderkaay Wins On Opening Day Of Speedo Champions Series

Vanderkaay Wins On Opening Day Of Speedo Champions Series


March 17, 2011

Training in Gainesville seems to agree with two-time Olympian Peter Vanderkaay.

Vanderkaay, 27, swimming unattached after moving out of the Michigan cold, won the 800-meter freestyle on opening day of the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone Southern Sectional Championship Thursday at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

Vanderkaay topped a field of 62 swimmers to win in 8 minutes, 15.62 seconds ahead of William Silva, 18, of Gator Swim Club (8:16.12) and Alexander Hamilton, 15, of New York Athletic Club (8:23.13).

The three-time Olympic medalist in Athens and Beijing and U.S. national team member moved from Michigan, where he swam for the Wolverines and trained with post-grads for nine years, to Gainesville to train with Ryan Lochte and U.S. Olympic and Florida coach Gregg Troy at the University of Florida’s Gator Swim Club.

“I needed to shake things up,” Vanderkaay said. “I felt like I needed to get out of my comfort zone. There’s something to be said for a change of scenery, especially nearing the Olympic year.”

The top local finisher was Pine Crest Swimming’s Thomas Veale, 17, fourth in 8:23.84, well under the Junior National cut time (8:35.59).

Most of South Florida Aquatic Club’s 30-swimmer contingent competes in Friday’s prelims including Olympian Vlad Polyakov and Olympic hopeful Julie Stupp.

Other Day One winners were:

Miyam Castaneda, 21, of Jalisco topped a field of 59 swimmers to win the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:36.37. The top local finisher was FLA’s Damaris Iriondo, 17, sixth in 17:17.66.

ANV-ZZ “A” relay of Sharon Rodriguez Rivera, Eva Castello Bello, Daniela Gomez Barrientos and Martha Aleja Beltran Sanchez won the women’s 200-meter medley relay in a season-best 2:02.56 ahead of Fort Lauderdale Aquatics in 2:02.90.

Davie Nadadores “A” relay of Vinicus Kleinert, Genaro Prono, Ismael Ortiz and Daniele Tirabassi won the men’s 200-meter medley relay in 1:45.57.

Davie Nadadores “A” won the women’s 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:48.76.

Davie Nadadores “A” won the men’s 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:35.57 and its “B” relay finished second in 1:38.43.

After six events on Day One, Davie Nadadores lead the men’s team standings with 138 points followed by Fort Lauderdale with 127 and Pine Crest with 126.

Davie also leads the women’s team standings with 123 ahead of Bluefish Swim Club with 114.


What: Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone Southern Sectional Championship

When: Friday-Sunday.

Schedule: Friday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals; Saturday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals; Sunday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals.

Where: Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, 501 Seabreeze Blvd.

Admission: $6 per session including heat sheet. For information call 954-468-5590.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Kuczynski, Moodie Compete On Day One Of NCAA Women’s Championships

Kuczynski, Moodie Compete On Day One Of NCAA Women’s Championships


March 17, 2011

SOFLO’s Natasha Moodie and Caroline Kuczynski both saw opening day action at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.

Moodie, a senior at Michigan, finished 17th in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.33.

In Thursday morning’s prelims, Arizona State’s “A” 400-yard medley relay finished ninth in 3:33.76 with Kuczysnki swimming butterfly leg. The time bettered its seed time of 3:33.87.

Other members were Kelli Kyle, Rebecca Ejdervik and Shannon Landgrebe.

ASU’s relay came back at night to finish 12th in the “B” final in 3:35.15.

Arizona State’s “A” relay finished 20th in a season-best 1:30.97, bettering its 1:31.31 seed with Kuczynski swimming anchor leg. She was joined by Landgrebe, Kathryn Haron and Ejdervik.

The Sun Devils were all swimming on their first NCAA meet relays for the first time together.

After six events, Georgia leads the team standings with 129 points followed by Southern California, 122, Stanford, 116, Cal Berkeley, 115 and Arizona, 99. Arizona State is 25th with 10 points.

Defending champion Florida is tenth with 53 points. University of Miami is 16th with 18.

Opening night champions were:

Cal Berkeley “A” relay of Hannah Wilson, Colleen Fotsch, Erica Dagg and Liv Jensen won the 200-yard freestyle in a pool record 1:27.36.

Georgia junior Allison Schmitt won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:34.20.

Southern California junior Katinka Hosszu won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:53.39.

Auburn’s Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.38.        

Cal Berkeley finished out the meet winning another “A” relay, the 400-yard medley relay in 3:28.53 with Cindy Tran, Caitlin Leverenz, Amanda Sims and Liv Jensen.

Minnesota’s Kelci Bryant won the women’s 1-meter diving title with 349.65 points. Miami’s Bianca Alvarez of Ohio State was fourth with 325.15 points. University of Miami’s Carri Dragland was eighth with 314.85 points. UM teammate Brittany Viola was tenth with 313.05 points.

In another note, SOFLO’s two-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson is pictured on the cover of the 2011 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships program. In her final year at Texas A&M, Atkinson won an NCAA title in the 200-yard breaststroke. She has now graduated and is training for the 2012 London Olympics.

Sharon Robb can be reached at