SOFLO’s Kuczynski Wins Relay Gold, Phelps Swims World Best At Canada Cup

SOFLO’s Kuczynski Wins Relay Gold, Phelps Swims World Best At Canada Cup

July 3, 2011


Canadian Caroline Kuczynski walked away with a gold medal at the Canada Cup in Montreal.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was a member of Pointe-Claire’s winning 400-meter medley relay that won in 4:13.76. She was joined by club mates Samantha Cheverton, Ashley McGregor and Alyson Ackman.

Her splits were 28.67 and 1:01.75.

Kuczynski was also fifth in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.32.

Kuczynski, 20, tweeted “Swam 100 fly this morning at prelims, 1:01.60, not too bad, kinda hurt the last 25, haha….400-meter medley relay won gold, yayyy!! Not too great of a finals swim, 1:01.32, fifth place, exactly ten seconds slower than PhelpsTheFish (51.32).

Olympic superstar Michael Phelps stole the show on the final night of competition by winning the 100-meter butterfly in 51.32, fastest time in the world this year.

It was just the confidence-booster Phelps, 26, competing for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club was looking for heading into the FINA World Championships later this month in Shanghai, China.

Phelps time bettered the previous world best of 51.65 swam by Benjamin Starke last month. He said he is beginning to feel like his old self.

“I’m really happy with that and I know I need to do more training in the 200-meter races,” Phelps said.

“It’s races like these that I think help me more mentally than anything else. Being able to still see that I can pop a good race here and there gives me a little bit of confidence.”

Other winners were Canadian Katerine Savard in the 100-meter butterfly in 58.68, her third victory of the meet; Matthew Swanston in the 50-meter backstroke in 26.64; Gabrielle Soucisse in the 50-meter backstroke in 29.77; Scott Dickens in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:15.70; Ashley McGregor in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:31.29; Brent Hayden of Vancouver, one of Canada’s top swimmers, in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.59; and Ann Fittin in the 50-meter freestyle in 25.61.

Carter, McLeod Win Gold On Final Day Of CCCAN

Dylan Carter, 14, of Trinidad and Tobago won a gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly and broke a national and CCCAN record in 25.35 on the sixth and final day of the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.

Teammates Joshua McLeod, 20, won the 50-meter freestyle in 23.25 and 100-meter backstroke in 59.81.

Trinidad and Tobago finished third among countries with 622 points and a record 22 gold medal haul. Puerto Rico won with 1,029.50 and Mexico was second with 997.50.

Trinidad and Tobago also earned the respect of fellow swimmers after the adversity the team went through during the weeklong meet.

The swim team had to be relocated twice during its stay in Puerto Rico. When they originally arrived on Sunday, the accommodations were poor and the team was relocated to a hotel. They were located again when the hotel was booked for the weekend because of July Fourth, forcing them to relocate to Cecader.

Ironman Record Broken

Marino Vanhoenacker won Ironman Austria in a world record time, beating the previous 14-year-old mark by nearly four and a half minutes. Vanhoenacker, 35, finished in 7 hours, 45 minutes and 58 seconds to break the record set by his Belgian countryman Luc Van Lierde in 1997 (7:50.27). American Mary Beth Ellis won the women’s race in a course record 8:43.34 and fastest Ironman debut in history. Race weather, 75 degrees and partly cloudy, was ideal race conditions.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Swims Career-Best, Michael Phelps Fine Tunes At Canada Cup

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Swims Career-Best, Michael Phelps Fine Tunes At Canada Cup

July 2, 2011


Canadian Olympic hopeful Caroline Kuczynski of the South Florida Aquatic Club swam back-to-back career-best times and just missed a medal Saturday night at the Canada Cup in Quebec.

Kuczynski finished fourth in the 50-meter butterfly in a career-best 27.32, bettering her previous best of 27.61, third fastest time in morning prelims.

Canadian Katerine Savard won the butterfly event in a national record time of 26.49. The previous record was 26.71 set by Victoria Poon in 2009.

Kuczynski tweeted after morning prelims “pretty excited” about her time.

After finals, she tweeted, “decent fly at finals, not such a great race, bad touch, but the time was good, fourth place though, pissed about that.”

It was also hard to figure out whether she was more excited about her time or getting a great photo taken with Michael Phelps, who is also competing in the meet to fine tune for the upcoming world championships in China.

“But to make things better, I saw PhelpsTheFish swim his 200 free and got a picture. He’s my herooo.”

Kuczynski, 20, and Phelps will compete in the 100-meter butterfly on Sunday.

Phelps, who turned 26 on Thursday, won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:47.46. Phelps led from start to finish. Phelps is the former world record holder (1:42.92) and Olympic gold medalist in the event.

“I didn’t feel like I could really step on it the first hundred,” Phelps said. “I felt kind of weird. I usually have easy speed the first hundred, that bit of the race is a bit smoother for me. I tried to step on it and I just didn’t have it. Hopefully, it’s something we can fix.”

The meet, being held at the Olympic Pool in front of 1,500 fans, one of the world’s fastest pools, is being used as a tuneup for the World Aquatic Championships that begin July 16 in Shanghai which itself is a huge test heading into the 2012 London Olympics.

Other winners in the men’s competition were Scott Dickens of Canada in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.72 and Matt Hawes of Canada in the 100-meter backstroke in 55.73. Chris Brady won the 50-meter butterfly in 23.81.

On the women’s side, Canadian Tera Van Beilen finished first in the 100-meter breaststroke. Julia Wilkinson won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.33. Barbara Jardin won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:59.01.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Cielo, Three Other Brazilian Swimmers Fail Doping Test, Get Off With A Warning

Cielo, Three Other Brazilian Swimmers Fail Doping Test, Get Off With A Warning

July 1, 2011


Reigning Olympic and world champion Cesar Cielo and three other Brazilian swimmers tested positive for a banned substance in May but got off with a warning from the Brazilian swimming federation.

In a statement released on Friday, the Federation said Cielo, who won the 50-meter freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and other three swimmers tested positive for the diuretic Furosemide, better known as Lasix, at the Maria Lenk Trophy meet in Rio de Janeiro.

Furosemide is used to help lose weight and also can mask the presence of other banned drugs. The World Anti-Doping Agency put it on the banned list of drugs because of its masking agent qualities.

The Federation chose to give the four swimmers a warning. The other swimmers are Nicholas Santos, Henrique Barbosa and Vinicius Waked.

The Brazilian doping control panel determined that only a warning was necessary after taking into consideration each athlete’s prior history of negative drug tests as well as the claims that the drug did not enhance performance at the meet.

However, Cielo was stripped of the five gold medals and one silver he won at the Rio de Janeiro meet. The three other swimmers lost a total of twelve medals.

Since it was the swimmers’ first violation, they will be headed to Shanghai, China later this month for the July 19-31 FINA World Championships and Pan American Games this fall.

Cielo addressed the controversy in a letter written in Portuguese posted on his website. He said the drug Furosemide came into contact with his normal supplements through cross-contamination. He wrote that he takes every precaution to know the types of drugs he takes and said “I consider myself an exemplary athlete in this regard.”

Cielo, whose father is a doctor, also said he took a blood test at the recent Paris Open and was recently informed of his negative drug tests at the Eric Namesnik Grand Prix in Michigan. He has been tested five times this year.

“Out of respect for their trust in me and I note that the Brazilian community and the sport of swimming, I am explaining the situation,” Cielo wrote.

Trickett Misses Out On World Championships

Three-time Olympic champion Libby Trickett of Australia failed to grab a spot on her country’s world championship relay team during her competitive return from retirement.

Trickett, 26, came out of retirement last September but was unable to compete in the Australian world trials in April because she needed to be registered for dope testing for nine months.

Trickett was given an extra chance in a race-off for a place on the 4×100-meter freestyle relay team. In her first race in two years, Trickett swam 55.68 and finished sixth.

Ryan Lochte, Ed Moses Get A Reality Show

Just what America needs, another reality show. However, this one is centered around two of swimming’s funniest personalities so it should be entertaining and enlightening. A new reality show featuring Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Ed Moses entitled Stroke Kings will make its debut on Universal Sports on July 11 at 7:30 p.m. The Stroke Kings preview on YouTube has been removed for copyright reasons but should be back up shortly to promote the show. Mojo Marketing and Media has teamed with Universal for the reality show that follows the pair’s path to swimming greatness. Presented by Speedo in partnership with USA Swimming, the series follows the friends as they try to make the Olympic team again while showing the struggle and personal sacrifices they are forced to make for swimming.

USA Swimming Names 2011-12 Open Water Teams

Current 10K national champions Alex Meyer and Eva Fabian are among 12 open water swimmers (six men and six women) named to the USA Swimming Open Water National team.

Among other swimmers named were Christine Jennings, Sean Ryan, Ashley Twichell, Andrew Gemmell, Mark Warkentin, Arthur Frayler, Ryan Feeley, Haley Anderson, Claire Thompson and Emily Bruneman.

The team was selected based upon their finish at the 10K open water nationals held recently in Fort Lauderdale.

Jack Fabian and Tim Murphy were selected U.S. coaches for the world championship team.

The junior open water team features Janardana Burns, Evan Pinion, Drew Ledwith, Hali Flickinger, Gillian Ryan and Becca Man.


“It’s a long way down when your hopes are as high as mountains.”—SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski, who will represent Canada at the World University Games, Aug. 12-23 in China.

Sharon Robb can be reached at