AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 40: Phelps Foundation A Success In Fort Lauderdale; U.S. Olympic Swim Trials Tickets Go On Sale Saturday

AQUATC NOTEBOOK, Issue 40: Phelps Foundation A Success In Fort Lauderdale; U.S. Olympic Swim Trials Tickets Go On Sale Saturday

June 24, 2011


The Broward County Boys & Girls Club in Fort Lauderdale and swimming superstar Michael Phelps have something in common.

The Michael Phelps Foundation announced the expansion of its signature IM program through Boys & Girls Clubs of America, now making it available to sixteen clubs across fourteen states this summer.

Fort Lauderdale was one of six cities where the pilot program was successfully launched in 2010.

The IM program was developed in partnership with and the Michael Phelps Swim School. It offers water safety lessons, recreational aquatic activities, health and wellness and goal-setting instruction.

The program is based on the same basic techniques and principles that Michael Phelps has implemented throughout his swimming career.

The Michael Phelps Foundation developed the IM program to promote the sport of swimming and encourage a healthy, active lifestyle especially among children.

It was designed in 2009 and launched in 2010. The IM program is named in recognition of Phelps’ signature event, the Individual Medley and as an abbreviation to the self-affirming “I am.”

It consists of five separate areas of focus: IM Bubbles, IMsafe, water safety instruction; IMfun, recreational aquatic activities; IMfast, structured and organized swimming; IM healthy, health and wellness; and IMsuccessful, goal-setting education.

Participants earn medals as they advance through the curriculum with the opportunity to earn eight medals upon completion of the entire program. Phelps won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“I was first introduced to the sport of swimming through water safety,” Phelps said. “I hated to get my face wet so I began to learn how to swim on my back, but with proper instruction I learned to be comfortable and confident in the water. My passion for swimming grew with each visit to the pool.”

In addition to developing the IM program, the Michael Phelps Foundation provides each club with financial support to assist with overall program costs including staffing, training, supplies and equipment, pool access and maintenance, and administrative expenses as well as official IM posters, medals, member handbook and assorted prizes.

In addition to Fort Lauderdale, the program is also in Baltimore, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Toledo, Ohio, Portland, Maine, Bronx, N.Y., Hulburt, Fla., Knoxville, Pasco, Wash., Milford, Nacogdoches, Tex., Pryor, Okla., Taunton, Mass., Omaha and Little Rock.

Trials Tickets Go On Sale Saturday

Tickets to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials go on sale at 12 noon a.m. on Saturday, one year out from the biggest U.S. swim meet of the quadrenium.

Tickets are available through any Ticketmaster outlet including Visa, an Olympic sponsor, is the only credit card USA Swimming is accepting.

Only all-session tickets for the June 25-July 2 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb. will be available for purchase on Saturday.

Ticket prices are $525, $425 or $325 for the fifteen sessions, which include seven prelims and eight finals.

An added addition this year is 140 fans will enjoy the view of a lifetime through a limited number of 1,000 tickets, which each offer a seat directly on the pool deck.

More than 1,200 swimmers are expected to compete in Omaha including several from South Florida Aquatic Club including five-time Olympian Dara Torres, who has already qualified in he 50-meter freestyle, her signature event.

A record 160,000 people attended the 2008 trials in Omaha. Organizers expect ticket demand to be much higher for 2012. For more information, go to

Subirats Suspended For One Year

Venezuelan swimmer Albert Subirats was suspended for one year for failing to notify FINA’s anti-doping authorities of his whereabouts three times within eighteen months.

Subirats has 21 days to appeal the decision by the sport’s international governing body.

Subirats won the 50-meter butterfly in a meet record at the world short course championships in Dubai last year.

If the suspension stands, Subirats will miss both next month’s world championships and Pan American Games later this year.

Runner’s Depot Hosts Ask The Expert Series On Saturday

Runner’s Depot in Davie will host its “Ask The Expert Series” on Saturday from 12 noon until 4 p.m.

The free informational session is offered each Saturday at one of the Runner’s Depot Stores. Medical professionals are invited for questions regarding running and general fitness injuries and prevention.

On Saturday, Dr. Jeffrey Berard, clinical director for the Spine & Sport Rehab Institute in Plantation will be the guest expert at the Runner’s Depot store in Davie, located at 2233 S. University Drive. Those interested are invited to stop by any time between noon and 4 p.m. to meet this week’s expert who is also a triathlete, marathon runner and cyclist. For more information call 954-474-4074.

Diving Nationals To Be Televised On NBC Sports

NBC Sports and Universal Sports will broadcast the 2011 AT&T National Diving Championships.

The broadcast will feature six hours of live television coverage of the championships which will be held Aug. 9-14 in Los Angeles.

Three hours of live coverage will air on both Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13-14.

Several local divers will compete including University of Miami alum Brittany Viola.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Eszter Bucz Wins First Hungarian National Breaststroke Title

SOFLO’s Eszter Bucz Wins First Hungarian National Breaststroke Title

June 23, 2011


Eszter Bucz, one of South Florida Aquatic Club’s newcomers, won her first national title Thursday at the Hungarian Long Course Nationals in Debrecen, Hungary.

Bucz, 20, won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.

On the opening day of nationals on Wednesday, Bucz warmed up by taking a bronze medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in a career-best 33.68.

Also at the Hungarian Nationals, Olympian Laszlo Cseh won three events.

Cseh broke the Hungarian national record in the 100-meter butterfly in 51.98, fifth fastest time in the world this year. He broke his own record of 52.49 set in 2009.

Cseh also won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:50.36 and 50-meter backstroke in 26.12. He was also a member of the winning 400-meter freestyle relay.

At the 2008, Cseh was in Michael Phelps shadow winning three silver medals and hopes to break out of that shadow at next month’s world championships and 2012 London Olympics.

For Bucz, it was her biggest international victory of her young career. Domestically, she is a Sun Belt Conference champion and school record holder at Florida Atlantic University.

Bucz has been training with SOFLO at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines since completing her second year of collegiate swimming in Boca Raton. She is an NCAA Division 1 qualifier, Sun Belt Conference Swimmer of the Week several times over two seasons and holder of a 15-event win streak.

Bucz broke a 17-year-old record in the 200-yard individual medley previously held by former FAU swimmer and Olympian Noemi Lung,  coached by SOFLO’s six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg at Mission Bay. She also broke a 23-year school record in the 400 IM held by Laurence Bensimon.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Opens Strong On Opening Day Of Coral Springs Swim Club Invitational

SOFLO Opens Strong On Opening Day Of Coral Springs Swim Club Invitational

June 23, 2011


The SOFLO girls ruled the pool on opening day of the Coral Springs Swim Club Invitational Thursday at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Emily Kopas, 14, won the 13-14 400-meter individual medley in 5 minutes, 17.28 seconds, more than four seconds ahead of Megan Moroney of St. Andrew’s Swimming.

Kopas, training for nationals, has six events remaining over the next three days. She admitted she didn’t have her legs because of heavy training.

“I just wanted to go into the race and do my best because right now I am not feeling that great,” Kopas said. “I hoped to do as well as I could.

“I swam the IM because I am trying to make another bonus cut for nationals. It’s great to open with a win. I always like to get best times so it’s a little disappointing but I am happy with it.

“My training has been going good. Bruno went to Rome and I got out of it and now I am back on track and ready to go.”

Also in the 13-14 400 IM, SOFLO’s Audrey Mason, 13, finished seventh in a career-best 5:41.65. Her previous best was 5:59.57.

SOFLO’s girls 15-and-over 400-meter freestyle relay won in 4:02.78 with Tiffany Oliver, back from Florida State for the summer; Jessie Alcaide, coming off the Santa Clara Invitational; two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson, coming off the Sette Colli meet and Courtney Marx. Bernal’s Gators was second in 4:04.97.

SOFLO’s Leonie Davies, 14, was second in the girls 13-14 800-meter freestyle in a career-best 9:46.50. Her previous best was 9:52.74. She was the top Florida Gold Coast finisher. Julimar Avila of Bernal’s Gators won in 9:30.73.

SOFLO teammate Hannah Doyle was sixth in a career-best 10:55.39, bettering her previous best time of 11:01.82.

The top SOFLO boys’ individual finisher was Jordan Colon, 14, third in the 400-meter individual medley in a career-best 5:29.45. His previous best time was 5:45.46.

SOFLO’s 13-14 boys 400-meter freestyle relay was second in 4:19.28 with William Perry III, Teddy Sandoval, Edward Kon and Gustavo Valery.

In the boys 13-14 1500-meter freestyle, Gustavo Valery, 13, was fourth in a career-best time of 18:42.52 bettering his previous time of 19:14.55.



400-meter individual medley: 13-14, 1. Emily Kopas, SOFLO 5:17.28; SOFLO: 7. Audrey Mason 5:41.65; 15-and-over, 1. Katia Alyabyeva, Davie Nadadores 5:09.29; SOFLO: 22. Kristina Nork 5:52.92.

400-meter individual medley: 13-14, 1. Bernal Gators “A” 4:15.24 (Amanda Graf, Ava Meyer, Lexi Blickman, Julimar Avila); SOFLO: 4. “A” 4:44.83 (Leonie Davies, Andrea Melendez, Hannah Doyle, Vivi Calero); 15-and-over, 1. SOFLO “A” 4:02.78 (Tiffany Oliver, Jessie Alcaide, Alia Atkinson, Courtney Marx).

800-meter freestyle: 13-14, 1. Julimar Avila, Bernal’s gators 9:30.73; SOFLO: 2. Leonie Davies 9:46.50, 5. Andrea Melendez 10:42.48, 6. Hannah Doyle 10:55.39; 15-and-over, 1. Casey Francis, Pine Crest 9:15.56; SOFLO: 13. Brittany Williford 10:43.12, 16. Gabriella Fawaz 11:24.32. 


400-meter individual medley: 13-14, 1. Jordan Wheeler, TBAY 5:01.92; SOFLO: 3. Jordan Colon 5:29.45, 5. Teddy Sandoval 5:40.04, 6. Edward Kon 5:42.66; 15-and-over, 1. Castro Robles, Davie Nadadores 4:31.00; SOFLO: 7. Marc Rojas 4:57.39, 15. Mike Franco 5:08.56, 16. Mauricio Hidalgo 5:09.68, 21. Tomas Kloosterman 5:21.04.

400-meter freestyle relay: 13-14, 1. Bernal’s Gators “A” 4:06.44 (Greg DeMatteo, Michael Xiao, Christopher Lee, Matt Hrabchak); SOFLO: 2. “A” (William Perry III, Teddy Sandoval, Edward Kon, Gustavo Valery); 15-and-over, 1. Bernal’s Gators “A” 3:39.60 (Hao Luong, Harrison Haines, Jack Blyzinskyj, Ed Angjeli).

1500-meter freestyle: 13-14, 1. Matt Hrabchak, Bernal’s Gators 16:59.54; SOFLO: 4. Gustavo Valery 18:42.52, 8. William Perry III 19:19.30; 15-and-over, 1. Harrison Haines, Bernal’s Gators 16:45.55;


What: Coral Springs Swim Club Invitational

When: Friday-Sunday.

Schedule: Friday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 4:30 p.m.

Where: Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, 12441 Royal Palm Boulevard.

Admission: $3 per session, $2 heat sheets per session. For information

call 954-345-2121.