SOFLO’s Cooper Wins First Event Of Season, Florida Sweeps Florida State

SOFLO’s Cooper Wins First Event Of Season, Florida Sweeps Florida State

SOFLO’s Cooper Wins First Event Of Season, Florida Sweeps Florida State

November 2, 2011


Florida State sophomore Melissa Cooper won her first 100-yard breaststroke race of the season on Wednesday during a battle of in-state swim rivals.

Cooper, who transferred from Texas A&M and overcame shoulder surgery to return to top form, won in 1:03.99, her fastest time of the season.

Cooper’s victory was one of the highlights for Florida State which had its women’s team eight-win streak broken by University of Florida, 176-119, at the Stephen O’Connell Center in Gainesville.

The Gator men also topped the Seminoles, 175-121.

Cooper’s time was one of ten season-bests turned in by FSU swimmers. Cooper was also ninth in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.48.

Cooper along with SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver was also part of the runner-up 200-yard medley relay that finished in 1:42.86 behind Florida’s winning team of Elizabeth Beisel, Hilda Luthersdottier, Sarah Bateman and Kaitlin Frehling in 1:42.67. Cooper’s split in the 50 breaststroke was 29.12 in the 200-yard medley relay.

Oliver was second in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.25, a Winter National qualifying time and third in the 100-yard freestyle in 50.52, another Winter National cut time. Oliver also was a member of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay that won in 3:25.55. Oliver’s splits were 24.86 and 51.01.

Ashley Hicks was third in the 100-yard backstroke in 56.81 and fifth in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:04.11.

“It was a hard-fought meet,” FSU coach Neil Harper said. “We swam tired. I thought our kids came in here and really battled.”

In the men’s competition, SOFLO’s Alex Rodriguez was a member of the Seminoles’ runner-up 200-yard medley relay that finished in 1:32.84.

Rodriguez was fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.19 and Doug Ramos was eighth in 1:02.88. Rodriguez was also fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:08.36. Ramos was eighth in 2:16.48.

FSU will next compete at the Nov. 18-20 Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta. The Gator women head to Michigan to take on Stanford and the Wolverines. The Gator men will remain home to train.


Five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe said not to expect too much when he returns to competition on Friday in the FINA/Arena World Cup Series stop in Singapore. After a four-year retirement, the 29-year-old is in the midst of a comeback in an attempt to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. The former world record holder will swim the 100-meter butterfly and individual medley. “Just don’t judge too quickly,” the Aussie said. “I’m coming off a pretty heavy training program. My body feels good and it’s slowly dawning on me that I’m about to race again, but at the same time I’m nervous because I just don’t know what to expect.”…

Swimmers Lara Jackson and Marcus Titus and divers Christina Lukas and Chris Colwill were recipients of the Eleanor Garatti-Saville Memorial grants, the International Swimming Hall of Fame announced on Wednesday. The grant was created to help young Olympic hopefuls achieve their dreams. Garatti-Saville was an Olympic gold medalist in 1928 and 1932 and ISHOF Hall of Famer…

Sweden named its first two swimmers to its 2012 Olympic team. World record holders Therese Alshammar and Sarah Sjostrum were selected with “A” qualifying times.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Region Meets Final Step To FHSAA State High School Meet In Orlando

Region Meets Final Step To FHSAA State High School Meet In Orlando

November 2, 2011


The final step to next week’s high school state meet in Orlando begin on Thursday with the first of four region meets featuring South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers.

The Region 4-3A Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas, opens the region meet schedule on Thursday at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex with prelims and finals.

Two more region meets are scheduled for Friday including the Region 4-1A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

The meet is arguably one of the fastest in the state and considered a “mini-state meet.” Only defending state 1A champion Jacksonville Bolles region is faster.

American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons, Pine Crest, St. Andrew’s, Gulliver Prep and University School have some of the state’s fastest swimmers in the field.

Last year SOFLO’s Luke Torres was a member of American Heritage’s winning 200-yard medley relay. American Heritage has the top-ranked 200-yard medley relay this season in 1:37.09 with Yousef Alaskari, Torres, Digby Nothard and Daniel Spas.

Individual winners automatically qualify for next week’s state meet. The remaining qualifiers are determined after the final region meet on Saturday. The state psych sheets will be available on Sunday at

Thursday, Region 4-3A: (Defending boys and girls champion, St. Thomas Aquinas), Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second St., prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m. (Teams: American, Braddock, Columbus, Cooper City, Coral Gables, Coral Reef, Cypress Bay, Dr. Krop, Ferguson, Flanagan, Goleman, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Lourdes, McArthur, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Killian, Miami Palmetto, Miami Sunset, Mourning, North Miami, Nova, Northeast, Reagan, South Broward, Southwest Broward, South Dade, South Plantation, Southwest Miami, St. Thomas Aquinas, Varela, West Broward, Western.

Friday, Region 4-1A: (Defending boys and girls champion Pine Crest), Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m. (Teams: American Heritage Delray, American Heritage Plantation, Calvary Christian, Cardinal Gibbons, Chaminade, Coral Shores, Carrollton, Coral Springs Charter, Coral Springs Christian, Doctor’s Charter, Doral Academy, Grandview Prep, Gulliver Prep, Miami LaSalle, Mast Academy, Miami Pace, Island Christian, King’s Academy, Miami Country Day, North Broward Prep, Pine Crest, Pope John Paul II, Posnack, Ransom Everglades, Sagemont, Somerset Academy, St. Andrew’s, South Florida Heat, St. Brendan, Terra Institute, University School, Westminster Academy, Westminster Christian, Zion Lutheran.

Friday, Region 3-3A: (Defending boys champion Boca Raton and girls champion Spruce Creek), Lake Lytal Aquatic Complex, 3645 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m. (Teams: Atlantic, Boca Raton, Boyd Anderson, Centennial, Coral Glades, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, DeLand, Douglas, Dwyer, Fort Pierce Central, John I. Leonard, Jupiter, Melbourne, Monarch, Palm Beach Central, Palm Beach Gardens, Park Vista, Plantation, Santaluces, Seminole Ridge, Spanish River, Spruce Creek, Taravella, Vero Beach, Vierra, Wellington, West Boca Raton.

Saturday, Region 4-2A: (Defending boys champion, Miami Belen Jesuit and defending girls champion, Riviera Beach Suncoast), Florida Gulf Coast University, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m. (Teams: Archbishop McCarthy, Barron Collier, Belen Jesuit, Cypress Lake, Dillard, Dreyfoos, East Lee County, Estero, Forest Hill, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gulf Coast, Hialeah Miami Lakes, Hollywood Hills, Ida Baker, Jensen Beach, Key West, Lely, Martin County, Mater Academy, Naples, North Fort Myers, Okeechobee, Olympic Heights, Palmetto Ridge, Pembroke Pines Charter, Pompano Beach, Riverdale, South Fork, South Fort Myers, Stranahan, Suncoast.

Sharon Robb can be reached at