WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NOTEBOOK, Issue Seven: Twichell Takes Bronze For U.S. In Open Water 5K

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS NOTEBOOK, Issue Seven: Twichell Takes Bronze For U.S. In Open Water 5K

July 22, 2011


U.S. open water swimmer Ashley Twichell is making a name for herself at the XIV FINA World Aquatic Championships in Shanghai, China.

The Duke graduate and All-American reached the medal podium for the second time in two days after taking the bronze medal in the women’s 5K open water event on Friday at Jinshan City Beach.

Twichell of Fayetteville, N.Y. finished in 1 hour, 40.2 seconds, just 5/10ths of a second behind gold medal winner Swann Oberson of Switzerland. Aurelie Muller of France took the silver in 1:00:40.1.

“I knew it was going to be a close race,” Twichell said. “I also knew there was really a big pack behind me so I just tried to maintain the speed I had and about the last 100 meters I gave it everything I had, put my kick in and just tried to touch the finish pad as quick as I could.”

It was her second medal of the world championships. Twichell helped the U.S. win the gold medal in the 5K open water team pursuit.

“I’m more comfortable towards the front,” Twichell said. “It kind of stresses me out to be toward the back, so I just tried to stay up with the lead pack which was actually pretty big.

“I’m new to the sport so the turns are still a little rough for me, so I tried to get as good positioning as I could in the turns. Those were still pretty congested and little rough. I got a little beat up on those.”

Teammate Eva Fabian, who won the world 5K title last year in Roberval, finished 12th in 1:00:50.

Thomas Lurz of Germany won the men’s 5K race in 56 minutes, 16.6 seconds. It was his seventh consecutive 5K world title victory. Greece’s Spyros Gianniotis finished second in 56:17.4. Evgeny Drattsev of Russia took the bronze in 56:18.5.

Andrew Gemmell was the top American male with a fifth place finish in 56:24.8. Teammate Sean Ryan was 11th in 56:30.1.

“I would have liked to come away with a medal,” Gemmell said. “World Championship medals are pretty hard to come by. I came pretty close but didn’t have it at the end. It was a really rough race. That was probably the most physical race I’ve ever been in.”

Due to the safety concerns of swimmers and coaches over the water temperature, the men’s 25K originally scheduled for 7 a.m. Saturday was moved back to 6 a.m. and the women’s 25K was moved to 6:15 a.m. The Netherlands has already withdrawn its team from the field. Americans Alex Meyer, reigning world 25K champion, Haley Thompson and Claire Thompson will compete.


China continued its domination of the diving competition with its eighth consecutive gold medal at the Oriental Sports Center.

China’s He Chong won his second world title on the men’s 3-meter springboard. He, 24, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist, scored an impressive 107.25 points on his final dive, a forward two and a half somersault with three twists, to finish with 554.30 points.

He is the first male diver to successfully defend his world title since Russian Dmitry Sautin did it in 2001.

“I was exhausted after the prelim and semifinal yesterday so the gold medal is really satisfactory,” He said.

Russians Ilya Zakharov (508.95) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (493.55) took the silver and bronze medals. China’s Qin Kai, in gold medal contention for most of the event until slipping on the board and missing his forward four and a half somersault badly, was fourth with 481.90. It was the first time the Chinese did not finish 1-2.

China has now won eleven diving medals and its chance to sweep the gold medals for the first time at worlds remains on track with two events remaining.

Water polo

Devon Diggle scored five goals to lead Canada’s men’s water polo team to a 13-9 victory over China and into the playoff round of the world championships. Canada plays the U.S. in the elimination round for a berth in the quarterfinals. Brazil drew eighteen penalties and had three players ejected.

Hungary, Serbia, Croatia and Italy won their groups to advance straight into the quarterfinals. Italy edged Germany, 7-6 to win Group D; Croatia beat Japan, 18-7, to win Group C; Hungary edged Spain, 12-11 to win Group A; and Serbia beat Australia, 12-9, in Group B in the 16-team tournament.

The women’s elimination rounds are Saturday.

Synchronized swimming

Natalia Ishchenko, known as “the Michael Phelps of her sport” won her fifth gold medal when she combined with Svetlana Romashina to win the duets free title.

Ishchenko, 25, also won both solo titles and was a member of the winning team. The duo also won the duets technical title.

Ishchenko now has fifteen world titles and her five gold medals at a world championships topped her previous best medal haul of four.

The duet won with 98.410 points for their routine. Russia has dominated the world competition. Russia has won all six title with the team free competition remaining on Saturday.

Taking the silver were China’s Jiang Tingting and Jiang Wenwen with 96.810 points and Spain’s Andrea Fuentes and Ona Carbonell took the bronze with 96.500 points.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

FGC Senior Championships, Fast Swimmers At Coral Springs; Masters Swimmers Race In Fort Lauderdale

FGC Senior Championships, Fast Swimmers At Coral Springs; Masters Swimmers Race In Fort Lauderdale

July 21, 2011


Two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson heads the field for the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships that get under way Friday at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Atkinson, 22, who represents Jamaica in international competition, is training for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico later this fall.

Atkinson will compete in five events: 50-meter breaststroke, 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley. She is seeded No. 1 in the 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter breaststroke.

Venezuelan Arlene Semeco, also training for the Pan Ams, is among top women in the field. She is entered in the 100-meter freestyle which she is seeded No. 1 in followed by SOFLO teammates Jessie Alcaide and Tiffany Oliver, Florida State’s Rookie of the Year.

Leading SOFLO’s male contingent is Keegan Boisson-Yates, 16, seeded No. 1 in the 100-meter backstroke.

A field of more than 600 swimmers will compete during the three-day meet, the last major long course FGC meet of the summer. Only the Southern Zone Championships in North Carolina and Senior and Junior Nationals in California remain before the fall high school and club season.

At 12, Allison Kopas is the youngest swimmer in the field. Older sister Emily, preparing for senior nationals in Palo Alto, Calif. will not compete.

Fort Lauderdale Aquatics is defending champion in the combined and women’s team competition. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami is defending men’s champion.

Last year SOFLO finished second in the combined team standings and third in the men’s and women’s competition in the club’s first year of existence.

Davie Nadadores is sending its largest team with 96 swimmers. SOFLO has 62 swimmers entered.

Other top swimmers entered are Lauren Driscoll, Chelsea Britt and Ryan Rosenbaum of FLA, Thomas Veale and Jeffrey Raymond of Pine Crest Swimming, Daniela Victoria and Nicholas Manousos of Davie Nadadores and Daniel Spas of Heritage Aquatics.

SOFLO’s five-time Olympian Dara Torres is entered in the 50-meter freestyle despite breaking her toe. She has been wearing a protective boot during dryland training.

SOFLO age group coach and two-time Virgin Islands Olympian Josh Laban, 28, will compete in the men’s 50-meter freestyle.

SOFLO females entered are: Jessie Alcaide, 26, Dania Banks, 17, Kristina Brennan, 15, Leysha Caraballo, 14, Melissa Cooper, 19, Linea Cutter, 17, Leonie Davies, 15, Philomena Fiorenzi, 15, Gina Gautieri, 18, Emily Greenwood, 17, Dana Hatic, 21, Ashley Hicks, 19, Amber Hunter, 15, Anne Kuczynski, 16, Emma Lincoln, 15, Maria Lopez, 15, Marcella Marinheiro, 16, Melissa Marinheiro, 14, Tyla Martin, 14, Courtney Marx, 19, Lindsey McKnight, 17, Taylor McKnight, 18, Lucia Morris, 17, Bianca Muniz, 19, Kristina Nork, 16, Tiffany Oliver, 18, Natasha Payamps, 15, Victoria Sage, 17, Kennedy Sanes, 15, Hallie Stupp, 19, Julie Stupp, 25, Brittany Williford, 18 and Haley Wright, 14.

SOFLO males are: Leo Andara, 26, Brian Arnaud, Roger Capote, 15, Joshua Coote, 15, Joshua Cutter, 15, Kyle Desrosiers, 15, Anthony Fermin, 21, Benjamin Fruitman, 16, Matthew Gonzalez, 16, Mauricio Hidalgo, 17, Marco Hosfeld, 15, Tomas Kloosterman, 15, Jonathan Lubic, 18, Derek Maguire, 17, Javier Menchaca, 16, Les Moore, 19, Darryl Perez, 16, William Perry III, 15, Alex Rodriguez, 20, Marc Rojas, 17, Teddy Sandoval, 14, Derek Schwab, 18, Gustavo Valery, 13, and Jacob Walters, 15.


What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships.

When: Friday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals.

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

Admission: $3 per session, $2 heat sheets per session. For information call 954-345-2121.

June Krauser Summer Splash Masters Meet

Some of the top masters swimmers from the Florida Gold Coast will compete in the two-day meet including Todd Pace, a former nationally top-ranked swimmer for the now defunct Fort Lauderdale Swim Team. Pace will compete for GOLD, one of the top teams in the field. Pace, 43, is seeded No. 1 in the 50-meter freestyle in 24.95 and 50-meter butterfly in 27.90.


What: Sixth annual June Krauser Summer Splash.

When: Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. timed finals.

Where: Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, 501 Seabreeze Blvd.

Admission: $3. For information call 954-828-4580.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 48: Kuczynski Tunes Up In Opening Event At Canadian Nationals

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 48: Kuczynski Tunes Up In Opening Event At Canadian Nationals

July 21, 2011


SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski, looking for a shake loose race before her signature event on Saturday, was fourth in prelims and finished eighth in the 50-meter butterfly Thursday at the Canadian Summer National Championships in Pointe-Claire, Quebec.

Kuczynski, 20, was fourth fastest qualifier in the morning’s opening event in 27.48, just off her seed time of 27.27.

She came back at night to place eighth in 27.61. Noemie Thomas of UBC Dolphins won the event in 26.94.

The native Canadian has Friday off to relax with her dog Winnie before competing in the 100-meter butterfly on Saturday.

The national championships are also serving as the 2011 Pan American Games qualifier.

Gators Land 22 On CSCAA Scholar All-America List

University of Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were recipients of the 2011 College Swimming Coaches Association of America’s Scholar All-America Team Award.

Twenty-two student-athletes from swimming and diving were recognized by the CSCAA in its 2011 poll.

In order to receive the team scholar award, a college or university swim team must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in both the fall semester and semester of the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships.

Florida was the only Top 10 program to appear on both the men’s and women’s Division I Scholar All-America Team Awards. The women’s team had a 3.36 GPA and men’s team had 3.0 cumulative GPA.

The list includes five three-time honorees in Teresa Crippen, Anna-Lisa Pold, Lily Ramirez, Shara Stafford and Mike Joyce.

NCAA Approves New Rules

Several new rules were rules were recently approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel for the 2011-12 season for college swimming and diving.  

The NCAA has implemented the “no-recall false start.” Unless a false start is blatant the race will continue without the swimmers being recalled for a clean start. The disqualification for a false start would be enforced as soon as the race is over.

 The NCAA also approved the implementation of a disqualification for the use of an illegal swimsuit in competition. The swimmer in violation will be disqualified from the race. The swimmer will be allowed to finish the meet as long as he or she changes into another suit in compliance with NCAA rules.

 The track-style starting block has been approved for use in college compete. The blocks are not required for competition but will be allowed to be used if the facility has them.

 Swimmers may also wear tape during competition if it does not give the swimmer a competitive edge. The swimmer must give the referee a letter from a doctor or certified athletic trainer that the tape is necessary for a medical purpose.

Sharon Robb can be reached at