SOFLO’s Alcaide Makes Olympic Trials Cut; Marinheiro, Goldman, Greenwood Go Best Times At Purdue Invitational

SOFLO’s Alcaide Makes Olympic Trials Cut; Marinheiro, Goldman, Greenwood Go Best Times At Purdue Invitational


March 30, 2012

It was a big night for South Florida Aquatic Club at the Purdue Invitational at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center Friday in West Lafayette, Ind.

Jessie Alcaide, at 27 one of the most experienced swimmers on the team, had reason to celebrate after making her first Olympic Trials cut in the 50-meter freestyle.

Alcaide, who has been close several times, finished third in the championship finals in personal-best time of 26.19 seconds, under the 26.39 qualifying standard.

“I did it, yeah,” Alcaide said.

Alcaide is enjoying one of her finest meets. She came in with a 26.71 seed time and bettered that in morning prelims in 26.41, just missing the cut. She said she knew she would get the cut in finals.

“I feel good,” Alcaide said. “I was frustrated I kept coming close so many times. I just kept making the little mistakes. My strokes are there, my muscle memory is there and my training is there. I feel I am in the best shape possible.

“It’s just those little mistakes like gliding into my butterfly finish and looking up at the turn in my 100 freestyle.

“My plan was to get the 50 tonight,” Alcaide said. “I really like this meet. This pool is so much cooler, open, airy and well-lit.”

Alcaide was happy with her morning swim and knew what to improve on.

“My 50 was near-perfect,” she said. “I started trying too hard instead of doing what I know. I was a little tight. I knew I just needed to relax and be faster.”

In the 100-meter freestyle, Alcaide finished second in a career-best 57.28, bettering her previous best of 57.32 she swam in morning prelims. She was just off the Olympic Trials standard of 57.19. Alcaide was also fourth in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:02.33, just off her prelim time of 1:02.23, both bettering her previous best of 1:03.08.

Up-and-coming swimmer Marcella Marinheiro had a big breakthrough in her 200-meter backstroke. She had a big time drop in the event finishing 20th in personal best time of 2:23.89 after swimming 2:28.96 in prelims.

Her seed time was 2:05.62 in yards.

Marinheiro was just as excited as Alcaide after swimming her best time at a big meet.

“That was so good,” Marinheiro said after her race. “I was really happy because I have been trying to drop for a while. Then I dropped two seconds and was hoping for more. Since I am 17 it’s hard to drop so many seconds. I felt really good at the moment and I just went for it.

“I have been training a lot,” Marinheiro said. “This is a high quality meet. My first races were okay but my 200 back was really good. I like this meet. I like travelling to meets like this. You get a lot of experience, meet new swimmers and get better.”

Brandon Goldman, despite being sick, won the “B” final of 200-meter backstroke in a personal-best time of 2:09.86 after first lowering his best time of 2:10.36 in prelims. His previous best was 2:11.29.

Goldman was forced to scratch from the 400-meter individual medley because of a lingering illness.

Emily Greenwood turned in another stellar swim in the 200-meter backstroke, finishing sixth in the “C” final and 22nd overall in 2:29.89. She first bettered her best time in prelims in 2:30.21. Her previous best was 2:32.27.

Luke Torres was fifth in the “C” final and 21st overall in the 50-meter freestyle in 24.63 after going 24.49 in prelims. His seed time was 21.89 in yards.


Women’s 200-meter freestyle: 15. Melissa Marinheiro 2:08.48, 23. Marcella Marinheiro 2:12.42, 26. Emma Lincoln 2:13.54.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: 34. Keegan Boisson-Yates 2:05.17, best time, previous best 2:06.62.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: 22. Marcella Marinheiro 2:28.96, 24. Emily Greenwood 2:30.21 best time, previous best 2:32.27, 26. Melissa Marinheiro 2:39.39.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: 10. Brandon Goldman 2:10.36, best time, previous best 2:11.29.

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: 3. Jessie Alcaide 26.41, 9. Sharntelle McLean 26.98, 23. Mariangela Macchiavello 27.62, 34. Emma Lincoln 28.00, best time, 28.04 previous best, 55. Maria Lopez 28.94, best time, previous best 29.52, 56. Emily Greenwood 29.09, 57. Marcella Marinheiro 29.48.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: 22. Luke Torres 24.49, 35. Keegan Boisson-Yates 25.47.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Breaks National Record, Torres Finishes Sixth At Indianapolis Grand Prix

SOFLO’s Atkinson Breaks National Record, Torres Finishes Sixth At Indianapolis Grand Prix


March 30, 2012

Two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson of the South Florida Aquatic Club shattered the Jamaican national record in the 50-meter freestyle to highlight action Friday night at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Atkinson, 23, tied for second in the “C” bonus final in a career-best 25.90 seconds, to break the previous national record of 26.08 held by former SOFLO teammate and 2008 Olympian Natasha Moodie.

Atkinson, a silver medalist at the Pan American Games, now holds eight national records.

Swimming in Lane One, Atkinson had a quick start off the blocks (second fastest reaction time 0.73) and stayed with the leaders for the entire race in one of her off-events.

On Saturday, Atkinson will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke, one of her strongest events.

Five-time Olympian Dara Torres of the Coral Springs Swim Club finished sixth in the championship final of the 50-meter freestyle, her signature event, in 25.47 seconds, slower than her prelim time of 25.36, the second fastest morning swim.

Swimming in Lane 5, Torres, two weeks shy of her 45th birthday, was

slow reacting off the blocks (0.74 reaction time, second slowest) and was unable to work her way back in the race. Torres was not rested and just looking to get in more racing under her belt before the Trials her coach Bruno Darzi said.

Torres, the American record holder, is coming back from reconstructive knee surgery and preparing for the Olympic Trials at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Madison Kennedy, 24, of SwimMac Carolina won the sprint event in a career-best and meet record 24.49. Top-seed Christine Magnuson, 26, of Tucson Ford was second in 25.17. Florida’s Sarah Bateman, 21, was third in 25.31. In the “B” final, Jessica Hardy won in 25.04, a meet record before Kennedy’s swim.

“I have been waiting to break 25 since I was 14,” Kennedy said. “This builds my confidence for Trials.”

SOFLO’s Nick Schwab was third in the “C” final and 19th overall in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:53.95, slower than his morning prelim time of 1:53.80, a career-best bettering his previous best of 1:54.95.

On Saturday, SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov, a two-time Olympian for Kazakhstan, will try and make his third Olympic team when he goes after his Olympic qualifying standard in the 100-meter breaststroke.

In other USA Swimming Grand Prix championship finals where six meet records were broken:

Women’s 400-meter individual medley: Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, 22, of Trojan Swim Club led from start to finish to win in a meet record 4:32.83. Caitlin Leverenz was second in 4:36.46. Both were coming off NCAAs. “I am tired after all the training I have been doing,” said Hosszu, already qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. “I was just looking for a steady race to fine tune the little things like my walls.”

Men’s 400-meter individual medley: World and American record holder Michael Phelps led after the butterfly, fell behind Tyler Clary on the backstroke a full second, regained the lead on the breaststroke. Phelps held off Clary on the freestyle in the last 25 meters to win in a meet record 4:12.51, a half second ahead of Clary (4:13.01) and nearly 9 seconds off his best of 4:03.84. “That didn’t feel so fun right now but I am very happy,” Phelps said. “Long course shows you what kind of shape you’re in, you can’t fake that event. I would like to think this helps my other events. This is one of my mom’s favorite races. I don’t know if I am going to swim it at Trials.”

Women’s 200-meter freestyle: Missy Franklin and Dana Vollmer were the early leaders after the opening 100 meters but it was Allison Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club coming back in the second 100 to win in a meet record 1:56.79. “I knew they would be out fast,” Schmitt said. Franklin was second in 1:57.97.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: South African Darian Townsend of Tucson Ford held off countryman Jean Basson in the final 20 meters to win in a personal-best 1:47.46. Basson was second in 1:47.94. “I am very happy with my time,” Townsend said. “We are 18 days out of our Olympic Trials so I am very encouraged. I just wanted to come here and race the guys next to me. Obviously, that was a quality deal there.”

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: Missy Franklin, 16, of Colorado Stars coming off a training camp in Islamorada, swam her best time of the year to win in 2:07.97, just 15 minutes after swimming the 200-meter freestyle. “I am thrilled,” Franklin said. “Right now I am focusing on the little things and tough competition for Trials.”

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: Germany’s Yannick Lebherz, 23, overtook early leader Ryan Lochte to win in his fastest time in three years in a meet record in 1:57.52. The German Olympic trials are in six weeks and Lebherz is a favorite for the team. Sixteen-year-old Ryan Murphy of Jacksonville Bolles was second in 1:57.82. Lochte finished fourth in 1:59.34.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: Nathan Adrian, 23, of California Aquatics, the nation’s fastest sprinter, won going away in a meet record 21.88, out-touching Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell, a former Bolles swimmer, in 21.89. Anthon Ervin, 30, was third in 22.24. “21.8 and no suit rip, I will take it,” Adrian said.

King Aquatics won the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:30.03 ahead of Dynamo Swim Club in 8:31.30. Dynamo won the men’s relay title in 7:41.91. King Aquatics was second in 7:51.56.

The three-day meet concludes on Saturday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The meet will be broadcast by Universal Sports at 6-8 p.m. and webcast on

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Shines At Purdue Boilermaker Invitational With Nine Career-Best Times

SOFLO Shines At Purdue Boilermaker Invitational With Nine Career-Best Times


March 29, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Melissa Marinheiro had all the motivation she needed Thursday night at the Purdue Invitational at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Ind.

With a freshly-baked hotel cookie on the line from the Marriott Fairfield, Marinheiro swam back-to-back best times in the 400-meter freestyle to highlight action on the opening day of the three-day meet.

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson told her she could only have a cookie if she dropped time in the final.

Marinheiro finished fifth in the “B” final and 13th overall in 4:25.52,

dropping nearly four seconds off her morning prelim time of 4:29.11. Her previous best coming into the meet was 4:29.27.

“She got her cookie,” Anderson said.

In the 100-meter freestyle, SOFLO’s Jessie Alcaide finished second in a career-best 57.28, bettering her previous best of 57.32 she swam in morning prelims. Her seed time was 57.42. She was just off the Olympic Trials standard of 57.19.

SOFLO teammate Sharntelle McLean, a two-time Olympian for Trinidad and Tobago, was seventh in the 100-meter freestyle in 59.71, bettering her prelim time of 59.80.

Alcaide was also fourth in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:02.33, just off her prelim time of 1:02.23, both bettering her previous best of 1:03.08.

Both Alcaide and McLean compete in Friday’s 50-meter freestyle.

University of Florida-bound Luke Torres was eighth in the 100-meter butterfly in 57.07, off his prelims time of 56.99, both best times bettering his previous best of 57.23.

More than 300 U.S. and international swimmers are competing in the meet created to accommodate the overflow of entries from the USA Swimming Indianapolis Grand Prix being held simultaneously at IUPUI Natatorium.


Women’s 100-meter freestyle: 2. Jessie Alcaide 57.32, best time, 24. Sharntelle McLean 59.80, 27. Emma Lincoln 1:00.00, best time, 35. Mariangela Macchiavello 1:00.35, 42. Melissa Marinheiro 1:01.46, best time, 45. Marcella Marinheiro 1:01.80.

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: 12. Melissa Marinheiro 4:29.11, best time, 18. Emma Lincoln 4:36.46, best time.

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: 3. Jessie Alcaide 1:02.23, best time, 19. Maria Lopez 1:06.04, 26. Emma Lincoln 1:06.78.

Men’s 100-meter freestyle: 25. Luke Torres 53.48, 36. Keegan Boisson-Yates 54.68.

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: 8. Luke Torres 56.99, best time, 23. Keegan Boisson-Yates 1:00.05.


Celtics pajamas and Texas slippers to bed 🙂 Feeling safe and cozy. —Keegan Boisson-Yates

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Polyakov, Atkinson, Schwab Race On Day One Of Indianapolis Grand Prix

SOFLO’s Polyakov, Atkinson, Schwab Race On Day One Of Indianapolis Grand Prix


March 29, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Olympians Alia Atkinson and Vlad Polyakov, seeking to make their third Olympic teams, finished among the Top 11 in the 200-meter breaststroke Thursday at the Indianapolis Grand Prix.

Polyakov, 28, of Kazakhstan, seeded third after morning prelims, finished fifth among a stacked field in 2:14.01.

Swimming in Lane 3 between U.S. national team swimmers Brendan Hansen and Clark Burckle, Polyakov looked strong in the first 100 meters. Polyakov turned with Burckle after the first 50 meters and broke the surface first but dropped back to third after 100 meters and faded in the final stretch.

Burckle, 24, of Tucson Ford won in 2:10.56 after breaking the meet record in a career-best 2:09.72 in morning prelims.

“I wanted to get out and race the field and fine tune my racing skills,” Burckle said. “This morning I was still in shock factor but tonight I could feel it and it hurt more.”

Atkinson, 23, a two-time Olympian for Jamaica, qualified tenth in morning prelims in 2:31.41. Her splits were 34.76, 39.07, 38.58 and 39.00. Her first 100 was 1:13.83.

In the “B” final, Atkinson finished third and 11th overall in 2:31.19 but

her first 100 was faster in 1:11.69. Her splits were 33.87, 37.82, 39.49 and 41.01.

Top morning qualifier Micah Lawrence, 21, of SwimMac won the 100-meter breaststroke in 2:24.85, holding off a charging Caitlin Leverenz, 21, who finished second in 2:25.63. Lawrence broke her own meet record of 2:25.77 that she set in morning prelims.

“I felt the pressure from Caitlin,” Lawrence said. “I knew she always finishes strong. I was just waiting for it.”

Swimming in Lane 1, SOFLO’s Olympics-bound Nick Schwab, 21, of Indiana University was 19th in the 400-meter freestyle in a career-best

4:00.47 in the “C” final. Schwab had first bettered his time in prelims in 4:03.22. His previous best was 4:03.77.

Schwab finished 26th in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:22.23, another

best time. His previous best was 2:24.60. Schwab was recently named to the Olympic team for the Dominican Republic.

In other championship finals:

Women 100-meter freestyle: Dana Vollmer, 24, of California Aquatics won in a meet record 54.21. Missy Franklin, 16, of Colorado Stars was second in 54.62. Allison Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club was third in 54.72. It was the first of two wins for Vollmer who also broke three meet records, in the prelims of both events and finals of the 100 freestyle.

Men 100-meter freestyle: In one of the more exciting races of the night for more than one reason, top morning qualifier Nathan Adrian, 23, of California Aquatics, touched first at the 50-meter mark at 23.07, 3/10ths faster than his morning time and went on to win in a meet record 48.62. Michael Phelps was second in 48.74 and South African Darian Townsend, 27, of Tucson Ford was third in 49.14. If Adrian was feeling a draft on the medal podium, it was because he split his suit on the blocks before his race. Adrian took it good-naturedly, quickly wrapping a towel around him when he excited the pool. One swimmer tweeted he joined the Bare Bottom Club. “That was a first,” Adrian said. “I’m glad the timers were paying attention to the strobe light and not what was going on on the blocks. I was on the blocks bending over. What could I do? It was near take your mark. I’m not going to stop.” Natalie Coughlin tweeted from California, “Heard you gave the audience quite a show today.”

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: Allison Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club overtook early leader Katie Hoff, 22, of Naples-based T2 Aquatics in the final 50 meters to win in 4:06.94. “I needed to race because I knew Katie was right there,” Schmitt said. Hoff was second in 4:07.00 and Gillian Ryan, 16, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: Early leader Tyler Clary, 23, of Fast Swim Team won in a lifetime-best 3:49.91. Teammate Michael Klueh, 25, was second in 3:50.66 and Conor Dwyer, 23, of Lake Forest was third in 3:51.59. “I am happy that I ended up being faster than this morning,” Clary said. “Now I just have to keep doing what I am doing leading up to the Trials.”

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: Olympian Dana Vollmer, 24, of California Aquatics turned it on in the last 50 meters to win by a body length in 57.73 ahead of Claire Donahue, who has been training at SOFLO’s Academic Village Pool. Donahue, swimming next to Vollmer, went out fast and led after the first 50 meters in 27.07 ahead of Vollmer (27.21). Vollmer sprinted back in 39.52 ahead of Donahue (32.36) who finished second in 59.43. Caitlin Leverenz was third in 59.56. ”I am still working on the little things, the underwaters and hitting the walls right,” Vollmer said. “I used everything I had coming home.”

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: Kenya’s Jason Dunford went out fast in 24.32 but faded fast as Michael Phelps turned it on in the last 50 in 27.41 to win in 52.23. “There are still small things I have to do between now and Omaha,” Phelps said. Ryan Lochte won the “B” final in a career-best 52.32. Phelps coach Bob Bowman seemed disappointed with the day’s races. He wasn’t happy with Phelps’ prelim swims and called his 100 butterfly final finish “terrible.” “I can’t stand finishes like that and he’s got to start marking that important,” Bowman said. “We’re at a point where details are important and we can’t just keep blowing them off until later. It’s later.”

In the 400-meter freestyle relays, Colorado Stars, with Missy Franklin swimming third leg, won in 3:50.20 and West Virginia won the men’s title in a best time 3:29.52.

The three-day meet continues on Friday with Dara Torres competing in the 50-meter freestyle. Torres is not rested for the meet. The meet will be broadcast by Universal Sports Friday and Saturday, 6-8 p.m. and webcast on



200-meter breaststroke: 10. Alia Atkinson 2:31.41.


200-meter breaststroke: 3. Vlad Polyakov 2:14.98, 26. Nick Schwab 2:22.23 best time, 2:24.60 previous best; 400-meter freestyle: 25. Nick Schwab, Indiana University 4:03.22, best time, 4:03.77 previous best; 200-meter butterfly: 91. Kyle Bandy, West Virginia 59.51.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 141: Olympic Swimming Trials Tickets Go On Sale Friday

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 141: Olympic Swimming Trials Tickets Go On Sale Friday


March 29, 2012

Want to watch ageless Dara Torres go after her sixth Olympics?

Spectator tickets for the June 25-July 2 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Nebraska go on sale Friday.

The daily tickets will be sold through TicketMaster. The daily tickets will provide admission for prelims and finals on that specific day.

Prices are $80, $65 and $50 for tickets through July 1. Prices for tickets on July 2 (finals only) are $55, $45 and $35.

All-session tickets and four-day packages will still be available after March 30, but those interested must call the box office at the CenturyLink Center to place orders for those special types of tickets.

Torres turns 45 on April 15th. She competed in the 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games. She has qualified for the trials in the 50-meter freestyle, her signature event. 

Speedo Suits Not A Hit Down Under

Several Australian Olympic swimmers are unhappy with the new official Speedo suits. Many are calling the suit too slow and say they feel heavy in the water.

There was concern raised during the Aussie selection trials for the London Olympics. Even though Speedo sponsors the Australian team several swimmers refused to wear them. Several British swimmers have also had problems with the suit.

The Australian Olympic Committee extended the deadline for swimmers on the Olympic team to apply for an exemption from having to wear the official Speedo suit from January 27 to April 16.

Officials said Speedo is also trying to alleviate the concerns raised by swimmers mainly over the new Elite Fastskin Pro suit and called it a global problem not just in Australia and Great Britain.

Subway System Honors Phelps

The subway system in London has renamed its stops in honor of several Olympians for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The Transport for London’s Olympic Legends Map features 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps as one of its stops. Phelps and boxer Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) were called two of the greatest Olympians of all time and given choice locations along the subway line. The map has changed the names of 361 stations to celebrate Olympic athletes. Phelps got the honor of being the main Olympic spot which is usually known as Stratford. Swimmer Mark Spitz and diver Greg Louganis were also among the athletes selected.

Nyad Is Back Training

Long distance swimmer Diana Nyad is back at it training on her “Xtreme Dream” in St. Maarten’s Simpson Bay in the Caribbean for another attempt to pursue her dream of swimming 103 miles from Cuba to Florida, a feat that could take perhaps 60 non-stop hours of continuous swimming. She has made two attempts, lasting 39 and 41 hours before Mother Nature intervened. The 62-year-old Nyad was followed by 1.3 million Twitter fans during her journey. This summer she will try one last swim from Cuba to Florida. Nyad, a former Pine Crest swimmer, is blogging about her training sessions on her Xtreme Dream website.

Leverenz Awarded Honda Sports Award

Caitlin Leverenz of the national champion California Bears won the Honda Sports Award for Swimming, the Collegiate Women’s Sports Award program announced. She is now in contention to win the Honda-Broderick Cup as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Leverenz was the top performer at both the Pac 12 and NCAA Championships and is now training toward a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. The junior plans to compete in the 200- and 400-meter individual medley and 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Ready To Compete During Busy Weekend Of Swimming

SOFLO Swimmers Ready To Compete During Busy Weekend Of Swimming


March 28, 2012

From Pembroke Pines and Plantation to Indianapolis, South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will be busy for the next four days.

SOFLO Olympians Alia Atkinson, Dara Torres and Vlad Polyakov will compete in the Indianapolis Grand Prix at the IUPUI Natatorium.

Polyakov, a two-time Olympian for Kazakhstan will be looking for Olympic cut times in the FINA-approved meet in the breaststroke events.

Atkinson, a two-time Olympian for Jamaica, is also looking for her Olympic cuts in the breaststroke and individual medley events.

Torres, a five-time U.S. Olympian, already has her U.S. Olympic trials cut in the 50-meter freestyle, her signature event. She is looking for some good racing and another test for her surgically-repaired knee.

The Grand Prix is the fifth stop of the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series and one of the last meets before the London Olympics four months from now.

The Grand Prix meet will feature most of the nation’s top swimmers including 14-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Amanda Beard, Jessica Hardy and Missy Franklin.

Prelims will start 8:30 a.m. and finals begin at 6 p.m. Universal Sports will broadcast the finals on Saturday and Sunday 6-8 p.m. USA Swimming will also provide a live webcast of the meet.

Because of the popularity of the meet and entry cap filling up quickly, the March 29-31 Purdue Invitational was created for the surplus of swimmers shut out of the Grand Prix.

SOFLO has entered twelve swimmers in the meet at Purdue which has a faster pool than IUPUI. The swimmers are Jessie Alcaide, Keegan Boisson-Yates, Brandon Goldman, Emily Greenwood, Emma Lincoln, Maria Lopez, Mariangela Macchiavello, Marcella and Melissa Marinheiro, Sharntelle McLean and Luke Torres. Atkinson may also compete in the meet.

The meet will serve as a gauge for swimmers coming off high altitude training camps in Mexico and Utah.

Open Water Challenge

The SOFLO/Comets Swim Team and Booster Club will host the Florida Gold Coast Open Water Challenge on Saturday morning at 9 at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

The 50-meter heated Olympic outdoor pool will be re-configured with buoys to resemble a safe, controlled open water circuit.

The distances are 1K, 3K and 5K and will serve as a tuneup for local triathlons and April 21 Nike Swim Miami.

SOFLO has 75 swimmers from the Academic Village pool training site competing including Kelley Heron, Michelle Marinheiro, Stephanie Mlujeak, Jack Davies, Nicolas Rossi and Leonardo Mateus.

From the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex training site, SOFLO’s Isabella Pittinger and sisters Megan and Sarah Schimansky will compete.

Short Course Last Chance Meet

SOFLO is sending eight swimmers to the Florida Gold Coast Short Course Last Chance Meet at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex Saturday and Sunday.

The 25-yard short course meet is a final chance for swimmers to improve their short course times before the long course meters season. The timed final meet begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

SOFLO swimmers competing are Leonie Davies, 15; Amber Hunter, 16; Daniela Jimenez, 16; Evelin Jimenez, 16; Roger Capote, 16; Edward Kon, 15; William Perry III, 15; and Jacob Walters, 16.

Also competing is Christian Riobo in the 100-yard butterfly and 400-yard individual medley. Riobo, 18, trained at the SOFLO/Comets’ Academic Village Pool until 2008 when his family moved to Canada.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Just Misses Olympic Spot At Canadian Trials, Takes Bronze Medal

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Just Misses Olympic Spot At Canadian Trials, Takes Bronze Medal


March 27, 2012

Caroline Kuczynski gave it her best shot Tuesday night.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer just missed making her first Olympic team after finishing third in the 100-meter butterfly in 59.66 seconds at the Canadian Olympic Swimming Trials at the Olympic Pool in Montreal’s Olympic Park Sport Center.

Kuczynski, 21, a junior at Arizona State and member of Pointe-Claire, Quebec Swim Club, was the second fastest qualifier after morning prelims in a best time of 59.65 behind favorite Katerine Savard.

Her previous long course best was 59.95.

In prelims, Kuczynski went out in 27.97 seconds and was fourth at the turn before turning it on. There were 116 swimmers in the 100-meter butterfly field.

In finals, Kuczynski was fifth at the turn in 27.94 and made up ground in the last 50 meters.

Kuczynski tweeted after her race: “No London for me, but can’t be too disappointed with a bronze medal at Olympic Trials. Look out Rio 2016. I’m looking for you. Thanks for the endless support everyone. Could not be here without my family, teammates and friends.”

The Montreal-born Kuczynski was seeded sixth going into the event and finishes as Canada’s third fastest flyer.

Eighteen-year-old Savard, the morning’s top seed, won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.45 to edge MacKenzie Downing in 58.86 and Kuczynski. She led from start-to-finish and went out in 27.22.

“It was an incredible experience,” Savard said. “I was a little disappointed with the time but it’s only going to make me work harder heading toward the Games.”

Savard, a Canadian national record holder and one of her country’s brightest young stars, was one of six swimmers to earn nominations to Canada’s Olympic team. The others were Savannah King, Scott Dickens, Alec Page, Brittany MacLean and Blake Worsley.

Several swimmers who finished second failed to make the FINA qualifying standard time.

The top two finishers in all individual events can be nominated to the Olympic team but must meet the FINA standard.

MacLean, 18, the top seed, lowered one of the longest standing national records in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:06.08. The previous mark was 4:07.32.

“I knew it was going to be a good race, I trained so hard for this day,” MacLean said. “I didn’t know it was going to be that good.”

King also qualified in the 400-meter freestyle under the Olympic qualifying standard in 4:07.02.

Dickens, a 2004 Olympian, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.43 after flirting with the national record and going 1:00.39 in prelims to earn the top seed.

“We broke down everything in my training and took a risk,” said Dickens after failing to make the team in 2008. “It was really scary at the start but it paid off. I couldn’t be happier.”

Page, 18, won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:17.78.

In a close race, Worsley won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:49.06.

“I’ve wanted to go to the Olympics since I was a little kid and I’m excited to see what I can do there this summer,” Worsley said.

Said Swimming Canada CEO Pierre Lafontaine: “You’re looking at a bunch of young, up and coming kids who are setting the tone.”

The six-day meet continues through Sunday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at




SOFLO’s Pinon, Skarie, Mesa, Rodriguez Shine On Final Day Of All-Stars Meet

SOFLO’s Pinon, Skarie, Mesa, Rodriguez Shine On Final Day Of All-Stars Meet


March 27, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Julien Pinon saved his best for last at the Florida Gold Coast-Florida Swimming All-Star Dual Meet Sunday at Indian River State College.

The 13-year-old finished second in the 1,650-yard freestyle for the Florida Gold Coast All-Stars in a career-best time of 16 minutes, 45.85 seconds in the third and final session of the two-day meet in Fort Pierce.

Pinon dropped 14 seconds off his distance swim. His previous best was 16:59.39.

Pinon was also fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.47, just off his best time of 49.34.

Jonathan Skarie, 10, was second in the 50-yard breaststroke in 37.28.

Vanessa Mesa, 9, led off the winning 200-yard freestyle relay for the Florida Gold Coast All-Stars in 1:51.48. Mesa swam a 28.81 opening split. Her teammates were Dorian Fejzuli, Alexandra Meszaros and Andrea Santander.

Rafael Rodriguez, 10, led off Florida Gold Coast’s third place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:54.01. His opening split was 28.45.

Other SOFLO swimmers turning in best times:

Annita Huang, 100-yard backstroke, 1:14.08 bettering her previous best of 1:14.09 and 50-yard breaststroke, 39.34, bettering 41.48.

Delaney Biro, 100-yard backstroke, 1:16.84, bettering 1:17.95.

Delanie Perez, 11, 50-yard breaststroke, 35.88, bettering 36.07.

Vanessa Mesa, 9, 50-yard butterfly, 33.82, bettering 36.15.

Kylie Herman, 14, 200-yard butterfly, 2:20.42, bettering 2:22.02.

Alfredo Mesa, 13, 200-yard backstroke, 2:10.94, bettering 2:12.50 and 100-yard freestyle, 52.52, bettering 53.96.

Andres Lares, 12, 100-yard backstroke, 1:05.68, bettering 1:07.53 and 50-yard butterfly 29.59, bettering 29.97.

C.J. Kopecki, 12, 50-yard breaststroke, 35.18, bettering 35.24 and 50-yard butterfly, 29.87, bettering 33.15.

Nicholas Perera, 12, 50-yard butterfly, 29.48, bettering 29.76.

Jonathan Skarie, 10, 50-yard butterfly, 32.54, bettering 32.92.

SOFLO sent 29 swimmers to the meet that was won by defending champion Florida Swimming, 714-558. Congrats to SOFLO swimmers on several good swims, best times and fun team camaraderie.



200-yard backstroke:

13-14, 1. Elise Haan, Florida Swimming 2:05.17; SOFLO: 11. Jessica Rodriguez 2:15.14.

100-yard backstroke:

10-and-under, 1. Andrea Santander, Florida Gold Coast 1:09.20; SOFLO: 6. Annita Huang 1:14.08, 8. Vanessa Mesa 1:15.28, 11. Delaney Biro 1:16.84, 18. Elise Larin 1:20.77; 11-12, 1. Abigail Wilder, Florida Swimming 1:01.38; SOFLO: 13. Isabella Pittinger 1:07.23, 15. Kelley Heron 1:08.07.

100-yard freestyle:

13-14, 1. Caroline Nava, Florida Gold Coast 52.91; SOFLO: 24. Kylie Herman 57.73, 27. Jessica Rodriguez 58.11.

500-yard freestyle:

11-12, 1. Peyton Palsha, Florida Swimming 5:07.37; SOFLO: 13. Delanie Perez 5:43.81.

1,650-yard freestyle:

13-14, 1. Katherine Mayer, Florida Swimming 17:38.84.

50-yard breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Andrea Santander, Florida Gold Coast 35.83; SOFLO: 7. Elise Larin 38.47, 10. Annita Huang 49.34; 11-12, 1. Kennidy Quist, Florida Swimming 32.66; SOFLO: 5. Kelley Heron 33.82, 16. Delanie Perez 35.88.

200-yard breaststroke:

13-14, 1. Kelly Fertel, Florida Gold Coast 2:27.72.

50-yard butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Summer Stanfield, Florida Swimming 30.07; SOFLO: 15. Delaney Biro 33.59, 16. Vanessa Mesa 33.82; 11-12, 1. Jessica Nava, Florida Gold Coast 27.27; SOFLO: 8. Isabella Pittinger 28.70.

200-yard butterfly:

13-14, 1. Allison Kopas, Florida Gold Coast 2:09.19; SOFLO: 8. Kylie Herman 2:20.42.

200-yard freestyle relay”

10-and-under, 1. Florida Gold Coast 1:51.48 (Vanessa Mesa, Dorian Fejzuli, Alexandra Meszaros, Andrea Santander), 2. Florida 1:53.09, 3. Florida 1:57.15; 11-12, 1. Florida Swimming 1:41.51, 2. FGC A 1:44.85, 3. Florida 1:44.87; 13-14, 1. Florida Gold Coast A 1:38.33, 2. Florida Swimming 1:39.15, 3. Florida Gold Coast D 1:42.09.


200-yard backstroke:

13-14, 1. William Pisani, Florida Gold Coast 1:57.99; SOFLO: 7. Gustavo Valery 2:09.42, 10. Alfredo Mesa 2:10.94.

100-yard backstroke:

10-and-under, 1. Elvis Kotikovski, Florida Gold Coast 1:09.67; SOFLO: 13. Leonardo Mateus 1:13.42, 9. Rafael Rodriguez 1:13.82; 11-12, 1. Mason Wilby, Florida Swimming 1:00.59; SOFLO: 9. Bruno Berti 1:04.58, 13. Andres Lares 1:05.68, 15. Kevin Porto 1:06.08, 16. Ricardo Roche 1:07.52.

100-yard freestyle:

13-14, 1. Alex Carson, Florida Swimming 48.07; SOFLO: 4. Julien Pinon 49.47, 17. Alfredo Mesa 52.52, 22. Gustavo Valery 53.47, 25. Jordan Colon 54.29.

500-yard freestyle:

11-12, 1. Santiago Corredor, Florida Swimming 5:08.29; SOFLO: 5. Nicholas Perera 5:21.12, 11. Ricardo Roche 5:29.22, 13. Kevin Porto 5:34.11.

1,650-yard freestyle:

13-14, 1. Eric Ordaz, Florida Swimming 16:27.13; SOFLO: 2. Julien Pinon 16:45.85, 7. Carlos Rodriguez 17:57.62.

50-yard breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Matthew Petreski, Florida Gold Coast 36.09; SOFLO: 2. Jonathan Skarie 37.28, 8. Brandon Moran 38.95; 11-12, 1. Jabari Ramsey, Florida Swimming 29.64; SOFLO: 18. C.J. Kopecki 35.18, 19. Bruno Berti 35.51.

200-yard breaststroke:

13-14, 1. Marco Leo, Florida Swimming 2:14.27; SOFLO: 8. Jordan Colon 2:24.87, 11. Alex Monti 2:27.53.

50-yard butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Trevor McGovern, Florida Swimming 30.74; SOFLO: 10. Jonathan Skarie 32.54, 23. Brandon Moran 34.66.

11-12, 1. Nicholas Hackett, Florida Swimming 26.49; SOFLO: 16. Nicholas Perera 29.48, 19. Andres Lares 29.59, 24. C. J. Kopecki 29.87.

200-yard butterfly:

13-14, 1. Luke Hanner, Florida Swimming 1:59.75.

200-yard freestyle relay:

10-and-under, 1. Florida Swimming A 1:52.67, 2. Florida B 1:53.71, 3. Florida Gold Coast 1:54.01; 11-12, 1. Florida Gold Coast A 1:40.08, 2. Florida Swimming 1:40.31, 3. Florida 1:42.84; 13-14, 1. Florida Gold Coast D 1:29.01, 2. Florida 1:29.58, 3. Florida 1:32.20.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Ready For Canadian Olympic Trials In Montreal

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Ready For Canadian Olympic Trials In Montreal


March 26, 2012

“It’s actually hitting me.”

Those were the thoughts of South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer Caroline Kuczynski as she relaxed in her hotel room in Montreal while twittering about her next swim meet.

It’s not just any swim meet. It’s her stepping stone to the 2012 London Olympics this summer.

Kuczynski, coming off her best NCAA Division I Championships, is now ready to take it to another level at the Canadian Olympic Trials at Montreal’s Olympic Pool.

Kuczynski will be among nearly 700 swimmers when the six-day meet begins on Tuesday.

While the competition will be fierce, Kuczynski is well-prepared after turning in her finest collegiate season at Arizona State, where she is a junior.

Competing in her second NCAAs, Kuczynski earned All-American first team honors with Top 8 finishes in the 400-yard medley relay and her individual event. She swam a career-best 52.27 in the 100-yard butterfly prelims and finished eighth in finals

The Canadian-born Kuczynski, who turned 21 on March 11th  will compete in the same pool where the 1976 Montreal Olympics were held.

Kuczynski of Pointe Claire Swim Club is seeded sixth in the 100-meter butterfly (59.95). Katerine Savard is top seed in 57.80.

In addition to Canadian swimmers, ten other countries are sending swimmers in an attempt to use the fast facility to achieve London qualifying standard times.

Other countries competing are the U.S., Mexico, Bahamas, South Africa, Germany, Greece, Norway, Singapore, Colombia, Macedonia, Finland and South Korea. Team selection varies in each country.

One third of all clubs in Canada will be represented which is impressive.

“One third of all our teams will be able to return to their communities, large and small, and say ‘we had swimmers at the Olympic trials.’ That’s amazing awesome,” said Pierre Lafontaine, who since being hired in 2005 has turned around the country’s national program as Swimming Canada’s chief executive and national coach.

The Trials will produce a team of about 30 swimmers for the Olympics that begin July 27th and another 35 for the Paralympics, Aug.30-Sept. 8.

Some of Canada’s Olympic hopeful favorites are Brent Hayden, Annamay Pierse and Ryan Cochrane.

The coaching staff will also be selected to work under Olympic head coach Randy Bennett of Victoria.

Canada has grown from 25,000 to 40,000 registered swimmers and built an outstanding juniors program that finished second at worlds last year.

“There is a great sense that swimming is now a sport for life in Canada,” Lafontaine said. “The Olympics is about creating dreams in a country. To get there, you work with kids, open the doors and let them blossom.”

The championship finals will be telecast live by Rogers Sportsnet at 7 p.m. Prelims are 10 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Rodriguez Leads Florida Gold Coast All-Stars In Session Two Of All-Star Dual Meet

SOFLO’s Rodriguez Leads Florida Gold Coast All-Stars In Session Two Of All-Star Dual Meet


March 26, 2012

Rafael Rodriguez of the South Florida Aquatic Club turned in some great swims during Session Two of the Florida Gold Coast vs. Florida Swimming All-Star Dual Meet at Indian River State College in Fort Pierce.

Rodriguez, 10, of SOFLO’s Bronze Group at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines, was second in the 100-yard individual medley in a career-best 1:11.18. His previous best time was 1:12.31.

Rodriguez was just out-touched by 1/100ths of a second by FGC All-Star teammate Elvis Kotikovski for the win in 1:11.17.

Rodriguez was second in the 200-yard freestyle in a personal-best time of 2:10.76. His previous best was 2:12.67.

Rodriguez was also sixth in the 50-yard freestyle in 28.66, just off his best time of 28.44.

SOFLO teammate Julien Pinon, 13, was third in the 500-yard freestyle in a personal-best 4:51.54, bettering his previous best time of 4:54.07.

In a tight relay race, SOFLO’s Kelley Heron, 12, was a member of the Florida Gold Coast “A” relay that finished second in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:55.39. Florida Swimming won in 1:55.01.

Other SOFLO swimmers turning in best times were:

Jessica Rodriguez, 13, 200-yard individual medley, 2:16.36, her previous best was 2:17.18.

Jordan Colon, 14, 200-yard individual medley, 2:09.82, his previous best was 2:11.39.

Gustavo Valery, 13, 200-yard individual medley, 2:14.97, his previous best was 2:20.62.

Delanie Perez, 11, 100-yard individual medley, 1:10.29, her previous best was 1:13.82 and 200-yard freestyle, 2:08.38, her previous best time was 2:11.47.

C.J. Kopecki, 12, 100-yard individual medley, 1:05.01, his previous best was 1:06.01.

Bruno Berti, 12, 100-yard individual medley, 1:05.05, his previous best was 1:12.31.

Ricardo Roche, 12, 100-yard individual medley, 1:08.74, his previous best was 1:10.62 and 200-yard freestyle, 2:04.41, his previous best was 2:07.25.

Leonardo Mateus, 10, 100-yard individual medley, 1:14.84, his previous best was 1:17.29; 100-yard butterfly, 1:15.80, his previous best time was 1:20.30.

Alfredo Mesa, 13, 50-yard freestyle, 24.52, his previous best was 25.00.

Kelley Heron, 12, 50-yard freestyle, 26.91, her previous best was 27.28.

Andres Lara, 12, 50-yard freestyle, 27.03, his previous best was 28.15.

Elise Larin, 10, 50-yard freestyle, 31.72, her previous best time was 32.39.

Carlos Rodriguez, 13, 100-yard butterfly, 1:02.59, his previous best time was 1:02.84 and 500-yard freestyle, 5:13.68, his previous best was 5:16.41.

Jonathan Skarie, 10, 100-yard butterfly, 1:10.95, his previous best time was 1:12.47.

Kylie Herman, 14, 500-yard freestyle, 5:21.92, her previous best was 5:22.11.

Sophia Bucaro, 13, 500-yard freestyle, 5:22.69, her previous best was 5:22.80.

Kevin Porto, 12, 200-yard freestyle, 2:01.74, her previous best was 2:03.43.

Vanessa Mesa, 9, 200-yard freestyle, 2:14.22, her previous best was 2:14.91.



200-yard individual medley:

13-14, 1. Rose Smiddy, Florida Gold Coast 2:08.35; SOFLO: 12. Jessica Rodriguez 2:16.36.

100-yard individual medley:

10-and-under, 1.  Cattie Li, Florida Swimming 1:11.03; SOFLO: 17. Delaney Biro 1:17.86, 22. Elise Larin 1:18.73; 11-12, 1. Abigail Burke, Florida Swimming 1:03.35; SOFLO: 8. Kelley Heron 1:06.65, 24. Delanie Perez 1:10.29.

50-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Andrea Santander, Florida Gold Coast 27.17; SOFLO: 5. Vanessa Mesa 28.48, 14. Annita Huang 30.32, 20. Elise Larin 31.72; 11-12, 1. Abigail Burke, Florida Swimming 25.45; SOFLO: 15. Bianca Monti 26.68, 17. Kelley Heron 26.91, 18. Isabella Pittinger 26.97; 13-14, 1. Caroline Nava, Florida Gold Coast 24.16; SOFLO: 24. Sophia Bucaro 27.83.

100-yard butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Alexandra Meszaros, Florida Gold Coast 1:06.22; S11-12, 1. Alena Kraus, Florida Swimming 59.95; SOFLO: 14. Isabella Pittinger 1:04.84, 16. Bianca Monti 1:06.73; 13-14, 1. Chloe Miller, Florida Swimming 58.10; SOFLO: 16. Kylie Herman 1:03.89, 21. Jessica Rodriguez 1:06.96.

200-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Andrea Santander, Florida Gold Coast 2:07.49; SOFLO: 5. Vanessa Mesa 2:14.22, 11. Annita Huang 2:20.47, 13. Delaney Biro 2:22.18; 11-12, 1. Peyton Palsha, Florida Swimming 1:54.57; SOFLO: 15. Delanie Perez 2:08.38.

500-yard freestyle:

13-14, 1. Katherine Mayer, Florida Swimming 5:06.77; SOFLO: 10. Kylie Herman 5:21.92, 11. Sophia Bucaro 5:22.69.

200-yard medley relay:

10-and-under, 1. Florida Gold Coast A 2:07.82, 2. Florida Swimming A 2:10.46, 3. Florida Swimming 2:12.80; 11-12, 1. Florida Swimming A 1:55.01, 2. FGC A 1:55.39, 3. Florida B 1:55.74; 13-14, 1.Florida Gold Coast A 1:51.71, 2. FGC B 1:51.82, 3. Florida Swimming 1:54.31.


200-yard individual medley:

13-14, 1. Leo Marco, Florida Swimming 1:59.39; SOFLO: 14. Jordan Colon 2:09.82, 17. Alex Monti 2:13.57, 18. Gustavo Valery 2:14.97.

100-yard individual medley:

10-and-under, 1. Elvis Kotikovski, Florida Gold Coast 1:11.17; SOFLO: 2. Rafael Rodriguez 1:11.18, 11. Jonathan Skarie 1:13.34, 14. Brandon Moran 1:13.90, 18. Leonardo Mateus 1:14.84; 11-12, 1. Brian Hodang, Florida Swimming 1:01.09; SOFLO: 12. C.J. Kopecki 1:05.01, 13. Bruno Berti 1:05.05, 24. Ricardo Roche 1:08.74.

50-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Jake Bair, Florida Swimming 28.18; SOFLO: 6. Rafael Rodriguez 28.66; 11-12, 1. Ervin Marin, Florida Gold Coast 24.77; SOFLO: 17. Bruno Berti 26.19, 26. Andres Lares 27.03; 13-14, 1. Alex Carson, Florida Swimming 22.06; SOFLO: 5. Julien Pinon 22.88, 17. Gustavo Valery 24.26, 19. Alfredo Mesa 24.52, 22. Jordan Colon 25.38.

100-yard butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Sebastian Aguirre, Florida Swimming 1:09.78; SOFLO: 5. Jonathan Skarie 1:10.95, 13. Leonardo Mateus 1:15.80; 11-12, 1. Nicholas Hackett, Florida Swimming 58.91; SOFLO: 14. Nicholas Perera 1:04.36, 20. Andres Lares 1:05.45, 23. Kevin Porto 1:07.01; 13-14, 1. Zuhayr Pigot, Florida Gold Coast 52.52; SOFLO: 8. Julien Pinon 55.79, 23. Carlos Rodriguez 1:02.59, 24. Alex Monti 1:03.77.

200-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Arik Katz, Florida Swimming 2:08.75; SOFLO: 2. Rafael Rodriguez 2:10.76, 13. Leonardo Mateus 2:223.05; 11-12, 1. Santiago Corredor, Florida Swimming 1:55.16; SOFLO: 8. Kevin Porto 2:01.74, 12. Nicholas Perera 2:03.13, 13. Ricardo Roche 2:04.41.

500-yard freestyle:

13-14, 1. Eric Ordaz, Florida Swimming 4:43.38; SOFLO: 3. Julien Pinon 4:51.04; SOFLO: 10. Alfredo Mesa 5:11.51, 11. Carlos Rodriguez 5:13.68.

200-yard medley relay:

10-and-under, 1. Florida Gold Coast A 2:09.76, 2. Florida Swimming A 2:11.86, 3. Florida C 2:13.17; 11-12, 1. Florida Swimming A 1:49.78, 2. FGC A 1:50.87, 3. Florida A 1:53.37; 13-14, 1. FGC A 1:37.85, 2. Florida A 1:40.79, 3. Florida B 1:42.77.

Sharon Robb can be reached at