South Florida Aquatic Club Top Stories For 2011

South Florida Aquatic Club Top Stories For 2011

December 31, 2011


1.Coral Springs Swim Club’s six-time Olympic coach and SOFLO co-founder Michael Lohberg , 61, passed away in April after nearly a three-year battle with aplastic anemia, leaving a huge void in the swimming world.

2.For the second year in a row, SOFLO was awarded USA Swimming’s Bronze Medal Club Excellence Award for 2012. Less than two years old, SOFLO was ranked ninth overall among 97 USS national clubs and top Florida team in the Bronze Medal category.

3.Five-time Olympian Dara Torres, 44, continued her quest to make her sixth U.S. Olympic team by swimming the Olympic qualifying cut time in the 50-meter freestyle in 25.90 at the Feb. 19 Missouri Grand Prix. She bettered her time at a low key masters meet in Fort Myers in 25.68 for  the June 25-July 2 U.S. trials in Omaha, Neb. Torres is on a remarkable comeback after undergoing state-of-the art knee surgery.

4.Two-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 22, captured a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley at her biggest international meet, the Pan American Games in Mexico. It ended a 12-year medal drought by Jamaican swimmers at the Pan Am Games. She also broke five of her national records.

5.Tiffany Oliver made her first Olympic trials cut in the 50-meter freestyle (26.31) at the Charlotte UltraSwim, named Florida State’s Rookie of the Year and makes All-ACC Academic Team her freshman season.

6.Nick Schwab, 20, won first international gold medal in  record-breaking performance at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships. Representing the Dominican Republic, he won the 200-meter individual medley in a meet record and career-best 2:08.90.

7.The Coral Springs City Commission passed a resolution to name the 50-meter Olympic pool at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex after Lohberg to honor his distinguished coaching career and keeping his legacy alive.

8.SOFLO made the national spotlight in age group swimming after shattering five national age group records in the 200- and 400-meter freestyle and 200- and 400-meter medley relays for boys 11-12. Cristian Rossi, Tristan Celestin, Alfredo Mesa Jr., Julien Pinon and Juan Lucas added their names to the record book.

9.SOFLO coach Rose Lockie named ASCA Age Group Coach of the Year. In 2011, Lockie had five national age group records as a coach and coached four of the five individual national age group champion swimmers.

10.Julien Pinon, 12, broke 25-year-old Florida Gold Coast record in the 11-12 200-meter freestyle in career-best 2:04.14 at Coral Springs Invitational.

11.Tristan Celestin, 12, broke a 20-year-old Florida Gold Coast record in the 11-12 50-yard breaststroke in 29.59 at the March FGC Short Course Championships and broke it again at Winter Championships in 29.35.

12.SOFLO won its first FGC Short Course Junior Olympics, winning the combined team title with 943 ahead of FLA (895.5) and Metro Aquatics (804).

13.SOFLO won the combined and boys team titles at Speedo Winter Championships.

14.SOFLO won the girls and boys team titles at Broward County Sprint Championships.

15.SOFLO was ranked Top 40 in nation in USA Swimming Virtual Club Championships for first time.

16.Pembroke Pines police officer Jen Martin of SOFLO won six gold medals and two silver medals all in career-best times at the World Police and Fire Games.

17.Swim Miami event dedicated to SOFLO six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg. SOFLO swimmers and coaches shine in the water including winners Samuel Quintero, Alfredo Mesa Jr., Leonie Davies and Coach Megan Garland.

18.SOFLO senior Luke Torres of Plantation American Heritage signed with Division 1 University of Florida, one of the nation’s top men’s programs.

19.Barbara Protzman of SOFLO/Coral Springs Masters team played a key role in GOLD Coast Masters going five-for-five in U.S. Masters swimming Short Course Yards relay national records in the women’s 55-plus age group. It was the first time the same relay broke all the relay records for an age group for one course in the same season and just two meets.

20.Caroline Kuczynski, coming off the NCAA Division I Championships, won her first medal at a major international meet at the Canadian World Championship Trials in the 50-meter butterfly in a career-best 27.27 and qualified to represent Canada at the World University Games in China in August, her first major international meet.

21. Thirty-six SOFLO swimmers ranked among FGC IMX Top 16.

22. SOFLO launches official website ( on April 1 hoping to become a prototype for other USS clubs with daily content on its club swimmers, local, high school, state, national and international swimming scene.

For the second year, South Florida Aquatic Club continued to shine at every level of swimming and 2012, the Olympic year, will be the year it shines even brighter.

Thank you swimmers, parents, coaches and volunteers for a great year.

Happy New Year!!!

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Marcella Marinheiro Named All-County First Team

SOFLO’s Marcella Marinheiro Named All-Couty First Team

December 31, 2011


Marcella Marinheiro of West Broward High School was named to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel All-County first team for swimming and diving.

Marinheiro, a junior, trains with the South Florida Aquatic Club at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

Marinheiro was selected for the 100-yard backstroke and career-best 58.22 seconds. She was a region champion in the event and finished among the Top 10 at the State 3A meet in Orlando.

Marinheiro is coming off a full club short course season that included an appearance at the Brazilian Age Group Championships with her younger sister Melissa. She was the only SOFLO swimmer to earn first team honors.

SOFLO had six swimmers named to the All-County second team. Emma Lincoln of Cypress Bay was selected for the 100-yard freestyle (51.79); Melissa Marinheiro of West Broward in the 500-yard freestyle (4:57.53); Brandon Goldman of St. Thomas Aquinas in the 200-yard individual medley (1:54.40); Keegan Boisson-Yates of Taravella in the 100-yard freestyle (46.59); Marc Rojas of Pembroke Pines Charter in the 100-yard breaststroke (59.20) and University of Florida-bound Luke Torres of American Heritage in the 100-yard butterfly (49.30).

Marinheiro and Rojas train in Pembroke Pines and Lincoln, Goldman, Boisson-Yates and Torres train at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO girls selected to the honorable mention category were Kaitlin Armstrong and Juliann Plasencia of Archbishop McCarthy; Steph Campo of Coral Springs Charter; Emily Greenwood and Anne Kuczynski of Douglas; Kylie Herman of Posnack; Mia Fiorenzi and Ashley Monaghan of St. Thomas Aquinas; and Leonie Davies and Amber Hunter of West Broward.

SOFLO boys selected to the honorable mention category were Matthew Gonzalez of Archbishop McCarthy; Josh Cutter and Mauricio Hidalgo of Douglas; Ivan Parada of Pembroke Pines Charter; Alex Evdokimov of Taravella; and Marco Hosfeld of University School. Goldman was also listed as an honorable mention in addition to his second team honors.

Lauren Driscoll and Lindsey McKnight of American Heritage were selected Girls Co-Swimmers of the Year. Yousef Alaskari of American Heritage was named Boys Swimmer of the Year. Nobutaka Tan of American Heritage was Girls Coach of the Year and Jay Fitzgerald of Pine Crest was Boys Girls Coach of the Year.

According to the Sun-Sentinel disclaimer, the All-County team, released on Friday in its newspaper and website, was selected based on season performances and returned high school coaches’ ballots. Club coaches were not allowed to participate. The Miami Herald’s All-County team is expected to be released within the next two weeks.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 124: SOFLO Earns Second Bronze Medal Club Excellence Award

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 124: SOFLO Earns Second Bronze Medal Club Excellence Award

December 26, 2011


For the second consecutive year, South Florida Aquatic Club was awarded USA Swimming’s Bronze Medal Club Excellence Award for 2012.

SOFLO, less than two years old, is ranked ninth overall among 97 national clubs and is the top Florida team in the Bronze Medal category.

The focus of USA Swimming’s voluntary program is to identify and reward up to 200 sanctioned clubs that have attained a high level of athlete performances as well as organized success.

SOFLO totaled 6,977 qualifying points and was ranked ahead of more-established teams St. Andrew’s Swimming with6,865 and Pine Crest Swimming with 6,805. T2 Aquatics had 5,921.

“We are very excited to achieve Bronze Medal status for the second year,” said SOFLO CEO Chris Anderson. “But as a staff we are eager to develop strategies to achieve silver and gold medal status in the future!”

Sarasota YMCA Sharks was the top Florida team named in the Gold Medal category ranked seventh with 33,104. Bolles School Sharks were ranked ninth with 32,554.

Coral Springs Swim Club and Sarasota YMCA Sharks were previously designated Gold Medal Clubs for the 2009-2012 quadrennium.

SwimMAC Carolina is the nation’s No. 1 ranked club with 59,856 points. It was the first time Coach David Marsh’s club had earned the top ranking. Dynamo Swim Club was second with 50,882 and Mission Viejo Nadadores were third with 47,588.

Florida teams earning Silver Medal status were Clearwater Aquatic Team, 21,857; Fort Lauderdale Aquatics (Team FLA), 19,149; Metro Aquatic Club of Miami, (MAC) 10,218; St. Petersburg Aquatics, 9,846; Gator Swim Club, 8,669; AK Sharks, 8,553; and Tampa Bay Community Aquatics, 8,486.

SOFLO’s Atkinson Adds More FGC Records

Two-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of the South Florida Aquatic Club added five new Florida Gold Coast short course yards records for December, according to Lynda Davies, FGC records chairman.

Atkinson set the LSC and LSC Open records in the 100-yard individual medley on Nov. 17 in 55.85, credited as two open and two senior records. She also now holds the senior LSC open record in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.01, also set on Nov. 17.

In the boys record books, Tristan Celestin was one of four SOFLO swimmers credited with new records. Celestin added the 11-12 50-yard LSC breaststroke record of 29.35, set on Nov. 17.

Celestin also joined Juan Lucas, Sebastian Vargas and Carlos Rodriguez on the 11-12 200-yard freestyle relay for LSC and LSC Open record in 1:40.46 and 11-12 200-yard medley relay for LSC and LSC Open records in 1:51.77, all set on Nov. 19.

Davie Nadadores Awarded FINA Qualifier Meet

FINA, the sport’s international governing body, has approved the Jan. 13-14 Jaked Senior Invitational Meet at Nova Southeastern Aquatic Complex as an Olympic qualification meet. The Davie Nadadores will host the meet in their home pool. All events are timed finals. It is the first 2012 Olympic qualifying meet in Florida of the year and is expected to attract several top swimmers still seeking their Olympic cuts. Entries close on Wednesday, Jan. 4. FINA official Jay Thomas is meet referee and Alex Pussieldi meet director…Olympian Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia was the Swimmer of the Meet at the Pan Arab Games in Doha. Mellouli won 15 gold medals and one silver during the seven-day meet. Yousef Alaskari of Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage won five medals, three silver and two bronze and earned two Olympic “B” cuts.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 123: SOFLO’s Tashkandis Sixth At Pan Arab Games; Cutter Makes Final At Shark Invite

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 123: SOFLO’s Tashkandis Sixth At Pan Arab Games; Cutter Makes Final At Shark Invite

December 20, 2011


South Florida Aquatic Club’s Loai and Hazem Tashkandi finished sixth in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay at the Pan Arab Games Tuesday at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha.

Tunisia, with Oussama Mellouli swimming anchor, won the gold medal in 3:23.87. Algeria took the silver in 3:24.09.

Kuwait won the bronze with Abdullah Althuwaini, Yousef Alaskari, Mohammad Madouh and Salman Qali swimming anchor. It was Alaskari’s fourth medal of the Games.

Saudi Arabia finished fourth in its heat in 3:48.97 with SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi, Nather Alhamoud, Youssef Alyoussef and SOFLO’s Hazem Tashkandi. Saudi Arabia finished sixth in 3:37.09.

In the 50-meter butterfly, Mellouli won the 50-meter butterfly in 25.04. 

Mellouli won another gold in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:54.16. Yousef Alaskari of Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage was second in his heat and finished sixth overall in 4:06.02. Hazem Tashkandi was fifth in his heat in 4:15.13, ninth fastest overall.

Mellouli, who has won six gold medals overall, won gold in the 100-meter backstroke in 55.92.

Shark Invitational

Nova Southeastern freshman Linea Cutter qualified for the 100-yard freestyle championship finals by dipping under 55 seconds on the fourth and final day of the Shark Invitational at NSU Aquatic Center.

Cutter, 18, qualified in 54.29 in the prelims and finished ninth in 54.32. Her finals splits were 26.24 and 28.08.

Les Moore, 19, of University of Tampa won the “B” final and was 11th in the 200-yard breaststroke in a best time 2:11.01.

Tampa swept the team titles. The women on in 1,514 point and men with 1,369.5. Nova Southeastern was runner-up in both categories with 1,289.5 for the No. 14-ranked women and 1,205 for the No.9-ranked men.

NSU’s Erin Black of Fort Myers and Jonas Grundstrom of Sweden won the Michael D. Fish Outstanding Performer awards. Black finished with 103 points and Grundstrom with 101.

After holiday break, the Sharks return to the pool on Jan. 2 when they host Grand Valley State at NSU at 3 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 122: SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi Sixth At Pan-Arab Games

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 122: SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi Sixth At Pan-Arab Games

December 19, 2011


South Florida Aquatic Club’s Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia was sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke on Day 3 of the Pan Arab Games Monday at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha.

Tashkandi finished in a lifetime best of 1:06.45, bettering his previous best of 1:06.89. He was third in his heat in 1:06.62. Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi won the gold medal in 1:02.47.

SOFLO’s Hazem and Loai Tashkandi were members of the sixth place Saudi Arabian 800-meter freestyle relay team that finished in 8:18.01.

Hazem Tashkandi led off the relay with the fastest split of 2:00.77 and Loai Tashkandi anchored the relay with the second fastest split of 2:02.99. Hazem’s splits were 27.02, 56.87 and 1:28.55. Loai’s splits were 27.03, 58.03 and 1:29.99.

SOFLO’s Abbas Qali, 18, of Kuwait was ninth in the 50-meter freestyle in 24.08, bettering his lifetime best of 24.10. Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli, who was disqualified in the 100-meter breaststroke, won the gold medal in 23.03. He also won gold in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:02.67.

Yousef Alaskari of Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage picked up his third silver medal in as many days as leadoff swimmer on Kuwait’s 800-meter freestyle relay that finished second in 7:34.68 along with relay members Mohammad Madouh, Abdullah Althuwaini and Sooud Altayyar. Alaskari’s splits were25.89, 54.11 and 1:23.43. Tunisia, with Oussama Mellouli on anchor, won the gold in 7:28.26.

McLean High Point Winner

Two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean of Trinidad and Tobago, who trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, won the top female FINA High Point Trophy Award for the ASATT Invitational hosted by the Marlins. McLean is looking to make her third Olympic team. The Marlins won the meet with 887.50 points followed by Tidal Wave Aquatics, 783, and Emile Friedman of Venezuela with 736. Newly-formed club Titans TT was fourth with 715.50. Dylan Carter of the Marlins, who trained at Coral Springs with Keegan-Boisson Yates, was high point winner for 13-14 boys.


Despite two hard workouts and weights on Monday, Ryan Lochte and his coach Gregg Troy shot a Gatorade commercial for several hours late Monday for Gatorade at the Stephen O’Connell Center indoor pool at University of Florida…Mireia Belmonte and Aschwin Wildeboer won Swimmers of the Meet after each won nine gold medals at the Spanish Short Course Championships in Madrid.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 121: Martin, McLean Win Gold; Loai, Hazem Tashkandi Finish In Top 10

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 121: Martin, McLean Win Gold; Loai, Hazem Tashkandi Finish In Top 10

December 18, 2011


Tyla Martin, coming off an outstanding high school season debut, is taking up where she left off in club swimming.

Martin, 13, a freshman at Pine Crest, won a gold medal for Trinidad and Tobago on Day Three of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago Long Course Swimming Invitational.

Martin competes internationally for Trinidad and Tobago.

Martin won the opening event, the 400-meter individual medley in a record-breaking performance. Martin won in 5:13.69 breaking a ten-year-old national record in the 13-14 age group. She smashed the 2001 record of 5:21.47 set by Ayeisha Collymore.

Martin also took a gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:06.35 and silver in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:10.96.

Martin is no stranger to breaking records. Last year she set a national record of 1:07.46 in the girls 11-12 100-meter butterfly.

Martin was selected to the Sun-Sentinel All-County first team in the 100-yard butterfly. The team is scheduled to be announced at the end of the month.

Marlins’ Dylan Carter, 14, who trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Club with SOFLO’s Keegan Boisson-Yates, continued his winning streak in the 13-14 200-meter freestyle in 1:57.19. Carter also broke a ten-year-old record in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:10.36. The previous record of 2:10.70 was held by Nicholas Bovell. Carter won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.41.

Two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean, 26, who trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Club, won another gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:05.96.

SOFLO Swimmers Top 10 At Pan Arab Games

SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia finished sixth in the 50-meter breaststroke Sunday on Day Two of the Pan Arab Games at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha.

Swimming in Lane 1, Tashkandi finished in 29.85. He was third in his heat in 30.35. Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi won the event in 28.77.

SOFLO’s Hazem Tashkandi, also of Saudi Arabia was eighth in the 200-meter freestyle championship final in 1:55.09. His splits were 26.95, 56.28, and 1:25.44. He was fourth in his heat in 1:56.50. Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli, the top seed in 1:51.46, won in 1:48.85.

Kuwait’s Yousef Alaskari of Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage won his second silver medal of the Games. He finished second in the 100-meter butterfly in 54.00 following his opening day second in the 200-meter butterfly. Mellouli won in 53.73. Alaskari has Kuwait’s only swimming medals after two days of competition. Mellouli also won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.85

Kuwait’s Salman Qali did not show for the 100-meter butterfly, resting for his other events.

Shark Invitational

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Les Moore, 19, of Tampa was fifth in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:54.39 on Day Three of the second annual Shark Invitational at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. The time was an NCAA Division II “B” cut time.

SOFLO’s Linea Cutter, 18, a freshman, swam second leg on the Sharks’ fifth place 800-yard freestyle relay that finished in 7:52.65.

Erin Black earned NSU’s first NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season in the 500-yard freestyle. Black, a junior from Fort Myers, won in 4:54.95, 11 seconds under the “A” cut time, earning a trip to the NCAA Division II Championships, March 14-17, in Mansfield, Texas.

The meet concludes on Monday at 10 a.m. at the NSU Aquatic Center.

Women team totals: 1. Tampa 1,139, 2. Nova Southeastern 951, 3. Florida Southern 763, 4. Rollins 358, 5. Catawba 331, 6. Lenoir Rhyne 303.

Women results: 500-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Black, NSU 4:54.95, D2A; 100-yard backstroke: 1. Katia Kruglov, CATC 58.21, D2B; 100-yard breaststroke: 1. Rae-Lynn Sheffield, FSC 1:04.51, D2B; 200-yard butterfly: 1. Catherine Parker, TAM 2:04.80, D2B;

Men team totals: 1. Tampa 1,025, 2. Florida Southern 870.50, 3. Nova Southeastern 845, 4. Catawba 529.50, 5. Lenoir Rhyne 324, 6. Rollins 293.

Men results: 500-yard freestyle: 1. Oskar Nordstrand, NSU 4:29.50 D2B; 100-yard backstroke: 1. Jeb Halfacre, FSC 49.09, D2A; 100-yard breaststroke: 1. Miguel Ferreira, FSC 54.75, D2B; 200-yard butterfly: 1. Norbert Kovacs, TAM 1:46.95, D2A; 5. Les Moore, TAM 1:54.39.

 Sharon Robb can be reached at


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 120: SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi Sixth On Opening Day Of Pan Arab Games

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 120: SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi Sixth On Opening Day Of Pan Arab Games

December 17, 2011


South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia opened the Pan Arab Games in Doha on Saturday with a sixth place finish in the 400-meter individual medley.

Tashkandi, 20, finished in 4:42.22 at the Hamad Aquatic Center.

Tashkandi is also entered in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley.

Hazem Tashkandi, also of Saudi Arabia, and Abbas Qali, Salman Qali and Zain Qali, all of Kuwait, are also competing in the week-long meet.

Hazem Tashkandi is entered in the 200-, 400-, and 1500-meter freestyles.

Salman Qali will swim the 50- and 100-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle. Abbas Qali is entered in the 50-meter freestyle and Zain Qali is entered in the 50-meter butterfly.

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Yousef Alaskari of the Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage School, won Kuwait’s first medal of the swimming competition.

Alaskari, the 2011 High School Swimmer of the Year in Broward County, was second in the 200-yard butterfly in a lifetime-best time of 2:00.75, an Olympic “B” qualifying time and ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for 17-year-old age group swimmers.

Alaskari led Tunisia’s veteran Olympian Oussama Mellouli for most of the race before Mellouli came back for the gold. Alaskari is also entered in the 100 butterfly, 200 and 400 freestyle, 200 IM and three relays. Alaskari moved to South Florida four years ago to train.

The FINA event is a qualifying event for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

SOFLO’s Les Moore, Linea Cutter Compete At Nova Southeastern’s Shark Invite

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Linea Cutter and Les Moore returned home to compete in the Nova Southeastern Shark Invite in Davie.

On opening day (Friday) SOFLO/ Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Moore finished fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.69, an NCAA Division II “B” cut time.

Nova Southeastern University freshman and SOFLO’s Cutter was 18th in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.05. Cutter anchored NSU’s fifth place 200-yard medley relay team that finished in 1:51.58.

On Saturday, Cutter, 18, led off NSU’s sixth place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:40.38; was 14th in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.85 and anchored the fifth place 400-yard medley relay that finished in 3:59.27.

Moore, 19, was fourth in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:08.51, a Division II “B” cut time.

The four-day meet continues through Monday.


Team totals: 1. Tampa 342, 2. Nova Southeastern 278, 3. Florida Southern 238, 4. Rollins 98, 5. Catawba 73, 6. Lenoir Rhyne 64.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Black, NSU 10:07.42, D2B cut time; 200-yard individual medley: 1. Alexandra Hipolito, Tampa 2:05.65, D2B; 50-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Plachy, Tampa 23.84; SOFLO: 18. Linea Cutter, NSU 25.05; 200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 1:47.27; 5. NSU 1:51.58 (Devan Martin, Ashley Bransford, Lauren Chapple, Linea Cutter); 200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Tampa 1:36.36; 6. NSU 1:40.38 (Cutter, Sunyak, Aranda, Chapple); 400-yard individual medley: 1. Lisa Bero, Tampa 4:29.64, D2B; 100-yard butterfly: 1. Chelsea Kyle, Lenoir Rhyne 56.83, D2B; 24. Linea Cutter, NSU 1:02.24; 200-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Black, NSU 1:51.21, D2B; 14. Linea Cutter, NSU 1:57.85; 400-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 3:51.38, D2B; 5. NSU 3:59.27; 400-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 3:19.39, D2B.    


Team totals: 1. Tampa 292.5, 2. Nova Southeastern 262, 3. Florida Southern 241.5, 4. Catawba 136. 5. Rollins 92, 6. Lenoir Rhyne 69.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Norbert Kovacs, Tampa 9:13.38, D2A; 200-yard individual medley: 1. Jeb Halfacre, Florida Southern 1:50.18, D2A; SOFLO: 5. Les Moore, Tampa 1:55.69; 50-yard freestyle: 1. David Humphrey, Tampa 20.82, D2B; 200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 1:31.72, D2B; 200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Tampa 1:22.56, D2B; 400-yard individual medley: 1. Zane Hranac, Tampa 4:04.13, D2B; 4. Les Moore, Tampa 4:08.51, D2B; 100-yard butterfly: 1. Norbert Kovacs, Tampa 49.00, D2B; 200-yard freestyle: 1. Stephen Swan, Florida Southern 1:38.61, D2A; 

Campo Accepted To Iona

Alexandra Campo was accepted to Iona College in New York. Campo is a senior at Coral Springs Charter, where she was a member of the swim team. She is also a member of the SOFLO/Coral Springs Swim Club and teaches lessons with the Swim America program at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. “Couldn’t be happier right now…New York here I come,” Campo tweeted. SOFLO’s Justin Grigull also attends Iona and is a member of the men’s swim team.

Former CSSC Swimmer McLean Wins Gold

Two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean, who trained with the late Michael Lohberg, a six-time Olympic coach, has her sights set on the 2012 Games. Competing for the Torpedoes Swim Club at the ASATT Invitational in Trinidad and Tobago, where she also coaches, McLean won a gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle in 59.13. Marlins’ Olympic hopeful Dylan Carter, who trained with good friend and Trinidad and Tobago teammate Keegan Boisson-Yates at Coral Springs in July leading up to the Commonwealth Youth Games, won the 100-meter freestyle in 52.64 and 50-meter butterfly in 25.72. The Marlins lead the team standings with 301.50 points followed by the newly-formed Titans Swim Club with 276.50. The meet ends on Sunday for more than 400 swimmers from 25 swim clubs and eighth countries.

Ian Thorpe Top 10 Finish

Aussie great Ian Thorpe turned in his first encouraging swim after coming out of retirement on Saturday at the Italian Winter Championships in Riccione, Italy. Thorpedo was tenth in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:51.51. He was third in his heat in his first long course meet since his comeback. The Australian trials are in March. Also in the meet, Milorad Cavic won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.10. Italian Federica Pellegrini won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:08.50.

Thiago Pereira Breaks Meet Record

Thiago Pereira broke a meet record in the prelims of the 400-meter individual medley in 4:18.10 before scratching from the finals in third day action at the Brazilian Open Long Course Championships in Rio de Janeiro.

In other races, Joanna Maranhao won the 400 IM in 4:43.56; Nicolas Oliveira won the 200 freestyle in 1:49.01; Glauber Silva won the 50-meter butterfly in 23.69; Daniel Paoli Jesus won the women’s 50-meter butterfly in 27.20; and Ana Carvalho won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.66. All the winners swam faster in the prelim rounds. Sprinter Cesar Cielo clocked a 21.58 leadoff leg on the 200-meter freestyle relay.


Josh Schneider of SwimMAC won the 50-yard freestyle shootout at the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma City on Saturday. Schneider, 23, won in 19.28 ahead of 2000 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin, 30, in 19.42. It was Ervin’s national level meet since he retired in 2004. Jason Dunford was fourth in 19.94. SwimMAC teammate Andrea Georoff, 28, won the women’s 50 shootout in 22.46. Olympian Ed Moses, another comeback swimmer, was second in the 200-yard breaststroke in 1:54.99…

Ryan Lochte has signed a sponsor deal with fashion designer and mogul Ralph Lauren, who is also outfitting the entire U.S. Olympic team for the 2012 London Games. Lauren will design the official uniforms for the U.S. team to wear in the opening and closing ceremonies and also apparel and accessories to wear in the Olympic Village. “It’s a real clean-cut look and I like that,” Lochte said. “It’s definitely a different look for me but I think I can pull it off. I also like dressing up and looking nice. It makes me feel more mature. Hopefully, down the road I can still wear this kind of clothing with a little bit more of my personality.” Even better, Lochte and Lauren share the same initials. Lochte already has his own shoe line and hopes to have his own clothing line in the future…

21-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard is ranked 15th among the thirty most googled female athletes of 2011. Beard is the only swimmer on the list. The majority of the athletes are pro tennis players including Serena Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, the most googled woman athlete…Olympian Brooke Bennett, who lives and trains in Tampa and formerly trained at the Davie Pine Island Pool with then coach Peter Banks, underwent an MRI on her left knee on Saturday. Bennett, a TV sports reporter, has been training regularly and competed in the Rowdy Gaines Masters meet spurring rumors she may return for the U.S. Olympic trials.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

USA Swimming Team Builds Up Steam For 2012 Olympics; Rout Europeans At Duel In The Pool

USA Swimming Team Builds Up Steam For 2012 Olympics; Rout Europeans At Duel In The Pool

December 17, 2011


With the crowd chanting, “USA, USA, USA,” the United State’s obliteration of the European All-Stars continued Saturday at the Mutual of Omaha Duel InThe Pool.

In front of a good crowd at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta and national television audience, Team USA routed the Europe All Star Team, 181.5-80.5 and now holds a commanding 5-0 in meet history dating back to 2003.

“It’s Team USA baby, it’s the greatest country in the world,” said  Garrett Weber-Gale after the U.S. completed the two-day meet with an exciting come-from-behind victory in the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay.

The U.S. men and women broke one world record and seven American records in short course meters over two days.

“I think the whole team is in a great position to set itself up for a wonderful Olympic Games,” U.S. team coach Dave Marsh said. “We know the spotlight will be on swimming at the Olympics and this group is embracing that.”

The Olympic Countdown is now at 36 weeks.

Many U.S. swimmers, including Ricky Berens and Kathleen Hersey, who both had a breakout meet, threw their gear in the stands to appreciative swimming fans and loved ones.

The U.S. team looked just as impressive on the second day of the one-sided competition as they did on opening day.

In the individual event second-day action:

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Denmark’s world champion Lotte Friis set the tone early and led from wire-to-wire to win in 8:04.77. Chloe Sutton was second in 8:14.29 and Grainne Murphy of Great Britain was third in 8:18.03.

Men’s 800-meter freestyle: European Pal Joensen of the Faroe Islands distanced himself at the halfway mark to go on and win in 7:36.24 followed by Michael Klueh in 7:39.90 and Mads Glaesner of Denmark in 7:42.27.

Women’s 200-meter freestyle: Teenager Missy Franklin went out fast for a big lead and won in 1:53.19 to lead a U.S. sweep with Dana Vollmer in 1:53.92 and Katie Hoff in 1:54.24.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Ricky Berens won his second event of the meet dominating the 200 to win in 1:42.68 and led another U.S. sweep with Matt McLean in 1:44.26 and Conor Dwyer in 1:44.45. 

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: Two-time Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin took the lead early, being chased by Brit Lizzie Simmons who overtook Coughlin in the final 25 meters to win in 56.82. Coughlin finished in 56.92 and Franklin, still wet on the blocks from warming down after the 200 freestyle, was third in 57.49. “I kind of went for it, hoping I had a bit left on the back end,” Simmons said.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: In a tight race, Matt Grevers (49.85), Nick Thoman (50.13) and Ryan Lochte (50.65) completed another U.S. sweep moving within one point of clinching the meet. Lochte put in a 5K morning practice before competing in the afternoon. “I have to find new ways to get better and new ways to hurt myself,” Grevers said. “It’s going to be an exciting journey to the Trials.”

Women’s 100-meter breaststroke: The U.S. team clinched the meet title in this event, 138.5-46.5. Jessica Hardy went out quickly and was on world record pace early until late in the race but managed to knock off Rebecca Soni by a body length in 1:03.33. Soni, who didn’t have enough time to make up for her start in short course, was second in 1:04.53. Rikke Pedersen of Denmark was third in 1:05.50. “I did it for my entire team, it was so much fun and I am excited,” Hardy said. “That was a blast.”

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: For the second day in a row, Brendan Hansen knocked off world champion Daniel Gyurta of Hungary to sweep the breaststroke events and win in 57.47. Gyurta was second in 57.62 and American Mike Alexandrov was third in 57.81. “I need more of this, getting on the blocks, in the water and racing  the best in the water,” Hansen said. “That’s what fun is about in this sport and makes this summer that much more fun.”

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: Hometown crowd favorite Kathleen Hersey set her first career American record in 2:03.49. She opened up a solid lead in the final 25 meters. Elaine Breeden moved into second in 2:04.98 and Martina Granstroem of Sweden was third. “I never swam short course meters so to be able to do this is perfect and my favorite scenario,” Hersey said. “Every event, every meet is a stepping stone. To do this six months before the Olympics I am so excited. I also know it’s going to fuel the fire for a lot of people. I did things well in that race but I have things to work on.”

Men’s 200-meter butterfly:  Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh overtook early leader Davis Tarwater to win in 1:51.18. Tarwater faded in the end but still broke an American record to finish second in 1:51.90 among the small five-swimmer field. Hungary’s Bence Biczo was third in 1:55.26. American Tyler Clary was forced to scratch from the meet with an inflamed left rotator cup. Clary will be forced to take time off to rehab which will affect his training.

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: With three great starts, European swimmers swept the event’s top four places. Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands won in 23.43 followed by Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands in 23.61 and Britain’s Francesca Halsall in 23.73. Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia was fourth in 24.13. Hardy, Coughlin and Amanda Weir faded to the last three places.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: American Nick Brunelli, who turns 30 on Sunday, won a close race at the end in 21.28. Russia’s Vladimir Morozov was second in 21.29 and Matt Grevers was third in 21.38. Only 6/10ths of a second separated the top eight swimmers.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Caitlin Leverenz pulled away from the field to win in 2:04.91, an American record and just 3/10ths off the world record. It was the fastest time in the world this year by two seconds. Liz Pelton was second in 2:07.27 and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu was third in 2:07.64.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: In an exciting race, world record holder Ryan Lochte built up a good lead and held on for his third win of the meet in 1:52.98, scoring 16 points overall for the U.S. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh was second in 1:53.31 and Austria’s Markus Rogan was third in 1:53.93. “It’s my time, all the hard work and training I have been doing is paying off,” Lochte said. 

Women’s 400-meter freestyle relay: Europe finishes the meet with its first relay win in 3:27.53, a world best. The time does not count as a world record since the swimmers (Jeanette Ottesen, Halsall, Herasimenia and Kromowidjojo) were from different countries. For the U.S., Coughlin led off and touched second. Hardy trailed by a half body length after her leg. Dana Vollmer, despite a great start, was still trailing when she touched. Missy Franklin took off with a poor start and was body length behind and had too much room to make up. Still, the U.S. finished second in an American record of 3:28.46.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle relay: Grevers gave the U.S. a slight lead (47.0) for second leg swimmer Garrett Weber-Gale who kept the U.S. close (46.9 leg), trailing by 5/100ths of a second. Third leg Nick Brunelli was still behind (47.0) when anchor leg Ricky Berens, after a great start, took unleashed a 46.1 split and pulled away for the U.S. to end the meet with a victory. “I had no idea where the guy (Europe anchor Krisztian Takacs) was,” Berens said. “I put my head down and kicked out and swam as fast as I could.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 119: U.S. Rules The Pool In Duel Against Europeans

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 119: U.S. Rules The Pool In Duel Against Europeans

December 16, 2011


The United States started off with a world record in the women’s 400-meter medley relay and never let up Friday night at the fifth Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool in Atlanta.

The U.S., looking stronger than ever despite swimmers being in different phases of training leading up to the Olympic trials, took a commanding 93.5-28.5 over Europe on the opening night of the two-day meet.

The U.S. women lead, 41-20, and U.S. men lead, 52.5-8.5.

The Europeans appear to be on their way to their worst beating in the history of the meet which prompted TV announcer and swimming great Rowdy Gaines to comment that he was “disgusted” with the way the Europeans have started the meet.

The two-day meet concludes Saturday with eight more events including the 50-meter freestyle and will be televised live on NBC at 2:30-4:30 p.m.

“I am surprised by the lead we have,” U.S. coach Dave Marsh said. “I was looking at a 20-point lead going into tomorrow so I am thrilled the way we are doing. We have a team synergy in every event and it’s building.”

The U.S. synergy started off with a world record in the women’s 400-meter medley relay by Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer and Missy Franklin in 3:45.56. 

The previous world and American short course meter record was 3:47.97 set December 2009 in Manchester, Great Britain.

Coughlin led off in the backstroke with a 55.97 split breaking her own American record. Soni took over on the breaststroke and gave the U.S. a body length lead, three seconds under world record pace seconds under world record) with Vollmer on butterfly and Franklin on freestyle anchor leg.

“All of us knew with the four of us there was definitely a shot at the world record, it was a good way to start off the meet,” Coughlin said.

“It was an amazing way to start off the meet and start off the next races,” Vollmer said.

“To break a world record was really fun,” Soni said.

“It is absolutely amazing, this is definitely my favorite relay of all time,” Franklin said. “These girls are great and it’s such an honor swimming with them.”

The U.S. men made it a 400-meter medley relay sweep winning in 3:23.55 with Nick Thoman leading off followed by Brendan Hansen, Tyler McGill and Matt Grevers to give U.S. an early 14-0 lead.

In the individual events:

Women’s 400-meter individual medley: Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu caught Caitlin Leverenz in the final meters to win in 4:24.37. Leverenz was second in 4:24.62 and University of Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel was third.

Men’s 400-meter individual medley:  In an exciting two-man race, Ryan Lochte chased down early leader Tyler Clary to win in 3:59.52. Lochte, in the midst of heavy training, wore a racing suit unlike nationals two weeks ago. Clary had the early lead and was swimming on world record pace (by 1 ½ seconds) and finished second in 4:00.35. Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh was third in 4:02.91. The U.S. increased its lead, 26-6. “The crowd was unbelievable, every time I breathed I could hear them, I owe it to the fans,” Lochte said. “They make the meet a little bit easier.”

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Europe picked up eight points finishing one-two with Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands in 51.87 and Francesca Halsall of Great Britain in 51.95. Coughlin was third in 52.40. “It was a really good race, I am happy I got some points for Europe even though I missed the last turn,” Kromowidjojo said.  The U.S. held on to the lead, 27-14 overall but Europe pulled ahead 13-12 in the women’s standings.

Men’s 100-meter freestyle: Ricky Berens turned it on in the final stretch to overtake early leader Garrett Weber-Gale to win in 46.60. Weber-Gale was second in 46.79 and Vladimir Morozov of Russia was third in 47.21 to give the U.S. a 35-15 lead.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: With her family watching from the stands, the 16-year-old Franklin won her second event. Trailing Elizabeth Simmons of Britain by 2/10ths of a second after the first 100, Franklin turned it on in the last 50 to win in 2:00.14, second fastest time ever, just off her world record. Simmons was second in a European record time of 2:00.83. Elizabeth Pelton was third in 2:02.16. “I definitely tried to pace that race and wanted to get off that last wall,” Franklin said. The U.S. increased its lead, 41-18.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: Lochte, the defending Olympic champion in the event, had no problem winning the event, taking the race out fast and holding on for his second event win in 1:48.90, less than 30 minutes after the 400 IM. Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki was second in 1:50.12 and Tyler Clary was third in 1:51.22. The U.S. led 47-21.

Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: Soni, the world record holder in the event, led a U.S. sweep to rack up nine points for the U.S. women. Soni won in 2:17.69 followed by Olympian Amanda Beard in 2:19.72 and Caitlin Leverenz in 2:19.84. “It was definitely a fun race but a tough race,” Soni said. “This reminds me of my college days where points mean everything.”

Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: In a showdown between Brendan Hansen and world record holder and two-time world champion Daniel Gyurta of Hungary, Hansen turned it on at the final turn to pull off the biggest upset of the night winning in 2:03.62. Gyurta, who shortened up terribly at the finish, was second in 2:03.64 and Mike Alexandrov third in 2:05.08. It was the 30-year-old Hansen’s career-best time. Mark Gangloff was disqualified for a double dolphin kick off the start. “I kind of played his game, I knew he was going to be strong the second half, I really played off the crowd,” Hansen said. “It’s been a long time since I had a lot of fun in swimming.” The U.S. extended its lead, 62-24. 

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: Natalie Coughlin, swimming in her third event, surprised the field to win a tight race in a personal-best 56.23. Jeanette Ottesen of Denmark was second in 56.24. Favorite and world champion Dana Vollmer, also swimming in her third event, was third in 56.27. “This is really fun, this is all about representing Team USA and working on the little things,” Coughlin said. 

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: Matt Grevers, who scratched from an early event  to rest for the fly, went out fast to lead from wire-to-wire to win in 50.54. Tyler McGill was second in 50.56 and Konrad Czerniak of Poland was third in 50.70.

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: Chloe Sutton, who led midway through the race, outkicked Katie Hoff in the final eight meters to win in 3:58.07. Hoff was second in 3:58.21 and Denmark’s Lotte Friis was third in 4:00.88.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: Michael Klueh came on strong in the back half to win in 3:40.05. Conor Dwyer was second in 3:40.66 and Matt McLean third in 3:42.11 to lead a U.S. sweep.

Ian Thorpe Is Tested

Aussie great Ian Thorpe, competing in his first long course race in more than five years, finished 16th in the 100-meter freestyle in 50.84 Friday at

the Italian Winter Open Long Course Championships in Riccione, Italy. His lifetime best is 48.56 in 2004. Luca Dotto won the race in 48.78. George Bovell of Trinidad and Tobago was 14th in 50.72.

Two notable swims were Milorad Cavic of Serbia who trains in Italy, winning the 50-meter butterfly in 23.94. World champion Federica Pellegrini won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:56.79 and anchored the winning 400-meter freestyle relay with a 54.51 split.

Cielo Impressive In Prelims

At the Brazilian Senior/Open Winter Championships, Cesar Cielo swam 21.97 in the 50-meter freestyle prelims and then scratched from the finals, citing fatigue from heavy training. It was the eighth time he has dipped under 22 seconds. Bruno Fratus won the final in 22.34 after going 22.16 in prelims. Flavia Delaroli won the women’s 50-meter freestyle in 25.42.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 118: SOFLO’s Atkinson Finalist For Jamaica’s National Sportswoman Award

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 118: SOFLO’s Atkinson Finalist For Jamaica’s National Sportswoman Award

December 15, 2011


South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson is among six finalists for the 2011 National Sportswoman of the Year award in Jamaica.

Atkinson, 22, was runner-up for the honor last year.

Other women finalists are boxer Alicia Ashley, WBC junior featherweight world champion; track stars Kaliese Spencer, the 400-meter hurdle Diamond league champion, and Veronica Campbell-Brown; world track silver medalist Melaine Walker; and cricket player Stefanie Taylor, the ICC Women’s Cricket Player of the Year.

Atkinson is coming off one of her best seasons in swimming that includes a silver medal at the XVI Pan American Games in Mexico, ending a 12-year drought for Jamaica in major international swimming medals. 

During the Pan Am Games, the two-time Olympian won a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:14.75, her fifth national record time in four days.

It was the SOFLO swimmer’s first major international medal at a major meet and Jamaica’s first medal in swimming since 1999.

In June, Atkinson won her first gold medal at a European meet at the Sette Colli International Open in the 50-meter breaststroke in a career-best 31.06, moving her to seventh place in the world rankings, her highest career ranking.

Among the men Sportsman finalists are track superstar Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, World Championships gold medalist.

The winner will be announced during a gala awards ceremony on Jan. 20 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

USA Heavy Favorite For Duel in the Pool

Ryan Lochte, Brendan Hansen, Natalie Coughlin, Rebecca Soni, Amanda Beard, Dana Vollmer and Missy Franklin will lead the heavily-favored U.S. team when it meets the Europe All-Stars in the Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool that begins on Friday.

The meet will be held at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center just two weeks after the nationals were held at the same venue in Atlanta.

Olympic 14-time gold medalist Michael Phelps is not competing, choosing instead to train and compete in a local meet last weekend.

Europe is led by former world championships medalists Gemma Spofforth and Fran Halsall of Great Britain. They are among six British swimmers.

Also on the European team are Denmark’s Lotte Friis, world silver medalist in the 800-meter freestyle; Aliaksandra Herasimenia, Jeanette Ottesen and former world 400-meter individual medley champion Katinka Hosszu.

Brits Robbie Renwick, Adam Brown and Marco Loughran will join Hungarians Laszlo Cseh, a four-time Olympic  medalist, Daniel Gyurta and Gergo Kis and Markus Rogan of Austria.

The European All-Star team is coached by British Swimming head coach Dennis Pursley, a former U.S. national team coach.

“This is going to be an exciting encounter for everyone involved whether you are a swimmer, a coach or one of the thousands of spectators,” Pursley said.  “We’ve got a great opportunity to see many of the sport’s biggest and best going head-to-head. The event is another outstanding opportunity for the athletes of all countries to hone their race skills in preparation for their respective Olympic trials and Games themselves.

“We have a very strong European team this year and we intend to give the Yanks a run for their money.”

The U.S. hasn’t lost this every-other-year meet since it started in 2003 as a way to build interest in swimming during the non-Olympic years.

“It’s hard for me to believe we can lose the way this team feeds off each other,” Hansen said. “When we start rolling at a meet like this, it’s a slippery slope. The meet is over a lot sooner than you think, then we’re just racing each other.”

Hansen recently signed with Wright Entertainment and Sports Management that features Fort Lauderdale-based rep Shawn Zenga. Hansen was formerly with Evan Morganstein.

The Americans beat Australia at the first three duels, and last year routed the European team, 185-78 two years ago.

“Everybody wants to beat the Americans,” Rogan said.

Swimmers on both teams are in various stages of preparation, some are rested and shaved and others are in the midst of heavy training.

The entire competition will be broadcast live. The Friday session will be on Universal Sports at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s session on NBC at 2 p.m. and re-broadcast again on Universal Sports.

Cielo Stars At Brazilian Senior Open

Cesar Cielo, in the midst of heavy training, won the 100-meter freestyle in 48.42 on the opening day of the Brazilian Senior Open and Senior Championships in Rio de Janeiro, the official Olympic qualifying meet for the Brazilians.

Henrique Barbosa broke his own meet record in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:09.82. Thiago Pereira was second in 2:00.19.

Henrique Rodrigues won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.79, an Olympic qualifying cut time.

Daniel Orzechowski won the 50-meter backstroke in 24.88 after going 24.79 in prelims.

Lucas Kanieski won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:28.56.

Fabiola Molina won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.25, just missing the meet record.

Larissa Oliveira won the 100-meter freestyle in 55.87.

Michele Schmidt won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:37.20 after going 2:36.19 in prelims.

Joanna Maranhao won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:14.96.

The senior races are being held at night while the open races for Olympic hopefuls are being held in the mornings.


Florida Gulf Coast women’s team  was ranked ninth in the second CSCAA/College Mid-Major Division I Swimming Poll. FGCU (5-1) is the only team in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association ranked in the Top 25. San Jose State is ranked No. 1. FGCU will host is first home meet of the season on Jan. 7 against ACC member Georgia Tech, North Dakota and CCSA team Liberty at the FGCU Aquatics Center at 11 a.m…

Aussie great and five-time Olympic champion Ian Thorpe, 29, in the midst of a comeback, will swim his first long course meet since coming out of retirement on Friday at the Italian Long Course Open Winter Championships in Riccione.  Thorpe, who has been training in Switzerland, will swim the 100- and 200-meter freestyles. Also in the meet is Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell, only his second meet back since a horrific car accident in August…  

Aussie triple Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice underwent arthroscopic surgery on her right shoulder Tuesday to repair a torn tendon and is expected to be back in the pool next week to prepare for the Australian Olympic trials on March 15-22.

Sharon Robb can be reached at