WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
June 4, 2012
While most swimmers travel to meets around the country for one final tune-up before the U.S. Olympic Trials later this month, Ryan Lochte is staying close to home.
Lochte and a handful of world-class swimmers are competing in the Gator Swim Club Summer Invitational at the University of Florida’s O’Connell Center Pool in Gainesville.
Lochte won his first two events in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.87 and 100-meter butterfly in 54.48.
Bolles 16-year-old Ryan Murphy knocked off Lochte in the 100-meter backstroke in 54.98, just off his best time and national age group record of 54.96. Lochte was second in 55.30.
Bolles junior Santo Condorelli won the 50-meter freestyle in 23.80.
Bolles’ Ariana Kukors, world record holder in the 200-meter individual medley, won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.35. Bolles teammate Meghan Haila won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:12.20 and qualified for the Trials.
Elizabeth Beisel won the 200-meter freestyle in 2:01.13 and 400-meter freestyle in 4:15.54.
Former FAST swimmer Charlie Houchin, now swimming unattached, won the men’s race in 1:48.93 ahead of Conor Dwyer in 1:49.12 and Peter Vanderkaay in 1:51.98. Houchin also won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:50.49.
Katie Hoff, now training in Naples, won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.37 ahead of Beisel in 2:16.38.
Phelps Breaks Record In Final Tune-up Swim
Michael Phelps won three events including a pool record performance in the 200-meter butterfly Sunday night at the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invitational in Austin.
The 16-time Olympic medalist broke the pool record that was also his first world record (1:54.92) at age 15. Phelps led from wire-to-wire to win in 1:54.79 and finished ahead of China rival Wu Peng, second in 1:56.71.
“I wanted my record to stand,” Phelps said after the meet. “I wanted the pool record to stand just because that was my first world record. This is kind of where everything started going. This is a great pool for me.”
Phelps also won the 100-meter butterfly and 400-meter individual medley and was second in the 100-meter freestyle.
Also at the meet, four-time Olympic medalist Brendan Hansen won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.16.
“I couldn’t get out fast enough, which just shows that I have no speed, but that comes with rest,” Hansen said. “That’s the fun part. You just kind of hang out and enjoy getting ready for trials.”
Phelps, his coach Bob Bowman and some of his teammates returned to Colorado Springs on Monday for 20 more days of altitude training before the Trials in Nebraska.
Canadian Swimmers Shine At Mare Nostrum
Canadian swimmers won four more gold medals in Barcelona on the final night of the opening stop of the Mare Nostrum Swim Tour. Brent Hayden, Victoria Poon, Sinead Russell and Katerine Savard, all members of the Canadian Olympic team, won their events. Hayden won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.47. Poon won the 100-meter freestyle in 55.42. Russell won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:11.20. Savard won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:10.03. Mare Nostrum continues June 6-7 in Canet, France.
St. Thomas Aquinas, American Heritage Top Programs
St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale and American Heritage in Plantation were named The Miami Herald’s 2011-12 Broward All-Sports top athletic programs for Class 8A-6A and 5A-1A. The annual award is well-respected and much-anticipated in the county. St. Thomas was buoyed by its undefeated girls (15-0) and boys (15-0) swim teams that features SOFLO swimmers including Brandon Goldman. American Heritage’s undefeated girls (9-0) and boys (9-0) swim teams also contributed valuable points. SOFLO’s Luke Torres was a member of the Patriots’ team and is now headed to University of Florida this fall. Among other top-ranked large school teams featuring SOFLO swimmers were Cypress Bay (No. 2), Archbishop McCarthy (No. 3), Douglas (No. 4), West Broward (No. 5), Taravella (No. 6), Cooper City (No. 7), Pembroke Pines Charter (No. 8), Western (No. 9), Coral Springs (No. 11), Monarch (No. 12), Everglades (No. 14) and Coral Glades (No. 17). In the small school rankings, Pine Crest was ranked No. 2, University School No. 5 and South Florida HEAT No. 7.
Thanks to the local Omaha fire department and its’ fire ladder and very big hose, the portable Myrtha Olympic Trials pool has now been filled with more than one million gallons of water and will stage a test event June 8-10 with the Mutual of Omaha Swim Invitational at Century Link Center in Omaha. The U.S. Trials are 20 days away…A giant swimmer built on the grounds of the Mutual of Omaha home office complex is greeting visitors in one of the city’s busiest areas. It’s 12-foot tall, 25-feet wide and 16-foot-deep and made of 300 pounds of steel, 750 pounds of foam and 1,400 pounds of urethane. It took more than 800 work hours. When swimmers and coaches start arriving for the Trials they will be impressed.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com