SOFLO Swimmers Finish Well At Purdue Invitational; Alcaide Makes Second Trials Cut; Goldman Makes Juniors

SOFLO Swimmers Finish Well at Purdue Invitational; Alcaide Makes Second Trials Cut


March 31, 2012

Maria Lopez and her South Florida Aquatic Club teammates are motivated more than ever after competing in the Purdue Invitational at Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Ind.

Lopez, 16, like most of her teammates, finished on a successful note Saturday night.

In her grand prix debut, Lopez dropped four seconds off her 200-meter butterfly. She posted back-to-back best times, finishing 11th in 2:23.54 after going 2:23.94 in prelims. Her previous best was 2:27.91. She also dropped a second off her 100 butterfly time.

After a successful high altitude training camp in Mexico and quality meet at Purdue, Lopez said she is ready to take her swimming to the next level.

“When we were in Mexico we all wrote out goals on a paper,” Lopez said. “I visualized my goals and splits. I had them memorized and was thinking of the time. That really helped a lot.

“Now my goal is to train harder and work on my finish,” Lopez said. “My arms need to get stronger. I know what I need to do now. I think this meet helped me a lot. I know it helped my confidence.

“I got a cookie for swimming best times. I think our whole SOFLO team deserves a big cookie. We had fun and it was a fun, different meet.”

Lopez said her first altitude training camp opened her eyes.

“I couldn’t breathe at all when we were swimming fast but when I came back home I could breathe and when I was swimming the 200 butterfly here I could feel a difference,” Lopez said. “That was nothing compared to the 35-pound plate we carried on our back while we walked for a mile. Now that was hard.”

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson was pleased with his swimmers’ progress and races throughout the weekend.

“We had a young group break some major barriers,” Anderson said. We had a very successful meet.”

Also on Saturday, Melissa Marinheiro finished sixth in the 800-meter freestyle in 9:07.89. Her previous best time was 9:09.94.

Older sister Marcella Marinheiro, 17, posted a best time in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:07.13 in the final, lowering her prelim time of 1:07.63 and previous best of 1:07.80.

For the second night in a row, SOFLO’s Jessie Alcaide earned her second-ever U.S. Olympic Trials cut.

A night after making her 50-meter freestyle cut in 26.19, Alcaide, 27, made the 100-meter freestyle cut during a time trial in a career-best time of 57.10, under the 57.19 qualifying standard.

“It was so close that last time, I had missed it by .09, I knew I couldn’t miss it again,” Alcaide said. “I am so excited. I definitely rate this No. 1 in my swimming. All the time and energy I put into it…it was all dreams. I just had to keep going. I didn’t think this day would come. Then I think to myself I have so much more work to do.”

SOFLO’s top male swimmer of the night was Brandon Goldman. Despite being sick, Goldman swam back-to-back best times in the 100-meter backstroke and won the “B” final in 59.26, after going 59.74 in prelims to qualify for the USA Speedo Junior National Championships. Goldman dipped well below the qualifying standard of 59.39.

Luke Torres was tenth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.32 after going 1:09.88 in prelims. Torres scratched from the 200-meter butterfly finals after placing 11th in 2:09.70. Emma Lincoln turned in four best times during the three-day meet.


Women’s 200-meter butterfly: 11. Maria Lopez, 2:23.94 best time, 2:27.91, previous best.

Men’s 200-meter butterfly: 11. Luke Torres 2:09.70.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: 15. Luke Torres 1:09.88.

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: 25. Marcella Marinheiro 1:07.63, best time, 1:07.80, previous best.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: 11. Brandon Goldman 59.74 best time, 1:00.77 previous best, 21. Keegan Boisson-Yates 1:02.85.

Women’s 800-meter freestyle final: 6. Melissa Marinheiro, 9:07.89, best time, 9:09.94 previous best.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Polyakov, Atkinson Make Finals On Last Night Of Indianapolis Grand Prix

SOFLO’s Polyakov, Atkinson Make Finals On Last Night Of Indianapolis Grand Prix


March 31, 2012

Two-time Olympians Alia Atkinson and Vlad Polyakov finished among the top eight in the 100-meter breaststroke Saturday night at the Indianapolis Grand Prix at the Indiana University Natatorium.

Polyakov, 28, eighth fastest morning qualifier in 1:02.20, finished third among a stacked field that included swimmers from six different countries.

Swimming in Lane 1 next to Brendan Hansen, Polyakov led after the first 50 meters in 28.52 seconds and held on for third in 1:01.48 with a 32.96 back-half split, second slowest in the field.

Polyakov was shooting for the FINA qualifying standard of 1:00.79 to make his third Olympic team for Kazakhstan.

Marcus Titus, 25, of Tucson Ford, won in 1:00.86 and Hansen, 30, of Longhorn Aquatics was second in 1:01.04.

Atkinson, 23, tied for fourth with her second fastest time ever in 1:08.94 with Micah Lawrence, 21, of SwimMac. Jessica Hardy won in 1:06.12 and Amanda Beard was second in 1:08.50.

Atkinson was swimming in Lane 3 next to Hardy, 25, of Trojan Swim Club, the world and American record holder. Atkinson was third after the first 50 meters in 32.48. Hardy went out in 31.27 and won by nearly a body length with her fastest time in two years. Atkinson’s second split was 36.46.

“I am not rested, I am training through this meet,” Hardy said. “I wanted to see what I could do. It felt pretty good. I love to race. This stroke is my heart and soul. It’s something I just love to do.”

SOFLO’s Nick Schwab was 31st in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:08.30.

In one of the most anticipated races of the meet, Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte went head-to-head in the finals of the 200-meter individual medley with Phelps winning in a convincing fashion in 1:56.31. South African Darian Townsend was second in 1:59.28 and Lochte was third in 1:59.37.

Phelps went out fast in the butterfly (25.20) and turned with Townsend; took a slight lead in the backstroke (29.02) and then dropped Townsend in the breaststroke (34.18) and turned it on for freestyle (27.91). 

U.S. Olympic hopeful Claire Donahue, who has been training at the Academic Village Pool, won the “C” final in the 200-meter butterfly.

In other USA Swimming Grand Prix championship finals where meet records were broken on the final night:

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: Hungarian national champion Katinka Hosszu, 22, of Trojan Swim Club pulled away at the third 50 to win in a meet record 2:07.58. Kathleen Hersey, 22, of Longhorn Aquatics was second in 2:00.92 just edging top morning qualifier Dana Vollmer, 24, of California Aquatics, who led after the first 100 meters by 6/100ths of a second, and finished third in 2:09.96. The field featured four U.S. Olympians. “I like being back swimming long course,” said Hosszu, coming off NCAAs.

Men’s 200-meter butterfly: National champion Bobby Bollier, 22, of Stanford, coming off NCAAs, took the lead early and won in 1:56.34. Davis Tarwater, 28, of SwimMac was second in 1:58.02 and Tyler Clary, 23, of FAST was third in 1:58.12. Bolles’ Joseph Schooling, 16, was seventh in 2:03.99.  “I feel pretty confident going into the Trials,” Bollier said. “I am happy with this. I feel more confident with long course.”

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: Early leader Missy Franklin won by nearly a body length in 59.89, her fastest time this year. Stephanie Au, 19, of California Aquatics, was second in 1:01.30 and 16-year-old Kylie Stewart of Dynamo was third in 1:02.12. “I was really hoping to break a minute I don’t think I felt anything that last 15 meters I was swinging my limbs as fast as I could.” Ten minutes later she won the “B” final of the 200 IM in 2:15.82. Franklin said she planned on looking for a dress and shoes for her junior prom in two weeks before flying back to Colorado on Sunday.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: Nick Thoman of SwimMAC held off Ryan Lochte in the lane next to him to win in 53.95. Thoman was the early leader in 26.19.  David Russell, 25, of California Aquatics was second in 54.61 and Lochte tied for third with Mathias Gydesen, 23, of California Aquatics in 54.75. “We have been working a lot on speed and power, trying to get out faster than id id last year and show what I got. Everybody in thebackstroke events are swimming so fast right now.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Caitlin Leverenz, 21, won in 2:09.71, called the best swim of the meet by Universal Sports announcer Rowdy Gaines. It was the second fastest time in the world. Ariana Kukors of Bolles was second in 2:10.76 and Liz Pelton of T2Aquatics was third in 2:12.30. “I just wanted to go for it and see what I could do,” Leverenz said. “If I want to be a contender in London I need to be going a time like that now. I am not surprised by the time. I am very happy with myself.”

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Gillian Ryan, 16, of North Baltimore won in 8:32.49 followed by Kate Ziegler, 23, in 8:33.86 and Rachel Zilinskas, 17, of Germantown Academy in 8:36.70.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Matias Koski, 17, of Dynamo won in a career-best 15:09.17. Arthur Frayler, 18, of Germantown Academy was second in 15:09.27, also a best time. Mateusz Sawrymowicz, 24, of Trojan Swim Club was third in 15:19.35.

Southern Methodist won the women’s 400-meter medley relay in 4:13.70. Dynamo won the men’s 400-meter medley relay in 3:53.19.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Leonie Davies, Jacob Walters Win, Post Best Times At Last Chance Short Course Meet

SOFLO’s Leonie Davies, Jacob Walters Win, Post Best Times At Last Chance Short Course Meet


March 31, 2012

Nine South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers got another chance to swim fast in their final short course meet of the season Saturday at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Short Course Last Chance Meet.

Davies, 15, won two events and posted a career-best time and Walters, 16, won one event, finished second in another and posted two career-best times to lead the contingent.

Leonie Davies won the 200-yard freestyle in a personal-best time of 1:57.34, bettering her previous best of 1:58.35. She also won the 200-yard backstroke in 2:20.90.

Walters won the 100-yard butterfly in a career-best 54.23, bettering his previous best of 55.58. He was second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:50.98, another best time. His previous best was 1:52.35.

The three-day meet concludes at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex on Sunday at 8:30 a.m.

SOFLO Saturday Results

Women’s 100-yard butterfly

1. Amber Hunter 1:00.83, 2. Evelin Jimenez 1:01.55.

Men’s 100-yard butterfly

1. Jacob Walters 54.23 best time, 55.58 previous best.

Women’s 200-yard freestyle

1. Leonie Davies 1:57.34, best time, 1:58.35 previous best, 2. Evelin Jimenez 2:02.97, best time, 2:04.62 previous best, 5. Daniela Jimenez 2:05.56, best time, 2:05.65 previous best, 6. Amber Hunter 2:07.71.

Men’s 200-yard freestyle

2. Jacob Walters 1:50.98, best time, 1:52.35, previous best, 3. Roger Capote 1:57.81, 4. William Perry III 2:00.78.

Men’s 100-yard breaststroke

2. Roger Capote 1:09.34.

Women’s 200-yard backstroke

1. Leonie Davies 2:20.90, 4. Daniela Jimenez 2:29.39.

Men’s 400-yard individual medley

1. Christian Riobo 4:40.24.