SOFLO’s Dara Torres, Thirty-Two Teammates Compete At Plantation Aquatic Complex Meet

SOFLO’s Dara Torres, Thirty-Two Teammates Compete At Plantation Aquatic Complex Meet


May 12, 2011

After weeks of training, racing will take center stage this weekend for South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers.

Five-time Olympian Dara Torres heads a thirty-three swimmer SOFLO contingent entered in the Friday Night Sprint Night and IM Xtreme Challenge meets Friday through Sunday at the Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.

“We are getting in some racing, it’s a practice meet for us,” said SOFLO co-head coach Bruno Darzi.

On Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m., men’s and women’s racing in the 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke and 50-meter freestyle will be held.

The IMX Challenge is Saturday and Sunday with two sessions each day.

IMX is one of several programs USA Swimming promotes to help swimmers reach the next level in swimming. The series is designed to help various age group swimmers compete in multiple events and gauge their progress.

Swimmers, ranked based on power points accumulated in the meet’s individual events they compete in, will get to see how they stack up not only against teammates but the rest of the nation.

SOFLO’s Academic Village Pool site hosted an IMX meet for SOFLO, Coral Springs and Comets swimmers and visiting  Nu-Finmen club team from New York in late April.

Nineteen men and fourteen women will represent SOFLO this weekend.

Torres, 44, will swim the 50-meter freestyle Friday night. She holds the American record in 24.07 which she swam at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

It will be her third meet since the 2009 Rome World Championships and reconstructive knee surgery.

The five-time Olympian bettered her 2012 Olympic trials qualifying time of 25.90 she swam at the Feb. 19 Missouri Grand Prix, where she swam prelims and finals in her signature event two weeks ago at the Gulf Coast Swim Team Spring Masters Meet in Fort Myers where she swam 25.68.

After extensive rehab and dryland training, Torres is getting back into race shape. She will also compete in the Mare Nostrum Series meet in Rome in June and Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships according to SOFLO co-head coach Bruno Darzi.

SOFLO’s girls entered are: Kristina Brennan, 15; Jenna Deal, 13; Philomena Fiorenzi, 15; Emily Greenwood, 16; Allison Kopas, 12; Emily Kopas, 14; Anne Kuczynski, 16; Emma Lincoln, 15; Tyla Martin, 13; Lindsey McKnight, 17; Kristina Nork, 16; Natasha Payamps, 15; and Julie Stupp, 25.

SOFLO’s boys entered are: Nawaf Al-Wazzan, 24; Leo Andara, 24; Gianpaolo Barelli, 18; Matthew Bellew, 26; Keegan Boisson-Yates, 15; August Charni, 14; Kyle Desrosiers, 15; Brandon Goldman, 16; Mauricio Hidalgo, 17; Marco Hosfeld, 15; Tomas Kloosterman, 15; Derek Maguire, 17; Robert O’Gorman, 16; Bryce Pierce, 14; Valerio Rasi, 18; David Stoddard, 13; Hazem Tashkandi, 18; Loai Tashkandi, 20; and Luke Torres, 16.


What: Friday Night Sprint Night and IM Xtreme Challenge

When: Friday-Sunday

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second St.

Schedule: Friday, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sessions 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets. For more information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Oliver, Polyakov, Sell Take On Charlotte UltraSwim Field; Kuwait Swimmers Continue Streak

SOFLO’s Oliver, Polyakov, Sell Take On Charlotte UltraSwim Field; Kuwait Swimmers Continue Streak


May 11, 2011

Two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov, Tiffany Oliver and Tyler Sell will compete against most of the nation’s top swimmers at the 27th annual Charlotte UltraSwim Thursday through Sunday at the Mecklenburg  County Aquatic Center in downtown Charlotte.

Polyakov, 27, is seeded fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.03. Mark Gangloff is seeded No. 1 in 1:00.21. He is also fifth seed in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:12.38. Eric Shanteau is seeded No. 1 in 2:10.09.

Oliver, 18, is seeded 47th in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.89; 58th in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.07; and 88th in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:06.71.

Sell, 18, is seeded 31st in the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:12.97; 84th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:07.51; and 118th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:56.85.

Oliver and Sell, Florida State’s Rookies of the Year, will get in some great racing against tough competition during the four-day meet.

Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin along with ten other U.S. Olympic gold medalists head the star-studded field.

Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones and Josh Schneider, teammates at SwimMAC Carolina, will compete in a 50-meter freestyle swim-off on Thursday night to determine the final spot on the U.S. roster for the 2011 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Shanghai, China. They had tied for second place at the 2010 ConocoPhillips USA Swimming National Championships.

Timed finals in the women’s 1,500 freestyle and men’s 800 freestyle begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday with the 50 swim-off at 6:20 p.m. Prelims and finals beginning at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. respectively will be Friday through Sunday.

Race footage of both prelims and finals will be webcast live by USA Swimming at

Other SOFLO swimmers entered are:

Kentucky’s Kevin Bandy, 20, swimming unattached, 800-meter freestyle, seeded 27th  in 8:33.30; 800-meter freestyle; 400-meter freestyle, seeded 116th in 4:28.83 yards seed time; and 1500-meter freestyle, seeded 49th in 16:25.60.

West Virginia’s Kyle Bandy, 20, swimming unattached, 200-meter butterfly, seeded 107th in 1:51.71 yards seed time and seeded 125th in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:00.74.

Indiana’s Nick Schwab, 20, swimming for IUCP-Ind. In the 200-meter individual medley, seeded 81st in 2:11.57; 400-meter individual medley, seeded 69th in 4:42.38; and 200-meter freestyle, seeded 68th in 1:55.04.

The meet is the sixth stop of the seven-meet in USA Swimming’s Grand Prix Series. Prize money totaling $50,000 for the Wendy’s Carolina Classic held within the Charlotte Grand Prix is added incentive for swimmers. Nearly every event features an Olympic swimmer, either U.S. or international.

SOFLO’s Kuwait Trio Still Shining

Abbas Qali won his third event Wednesday in a local club meet in Kuwait.

Qali, 18, who already won the 50-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley earlier in the meet, added the 100-meter butterfly in 57.7.  Zain Qali, 23, was second in 58.4.

In the 400-meter individual medley, Zain Qali won in 5:00 and Abbas Qali was second in 5:03.

In the 200-meter freestyle, Jaafar Qali was fourth in 2:01.

Sharon Robb can be reached at