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