AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 169: SOFLO’s Marinheiro, Polyakov Take Second; U.S. Olympic Diving Trials Underway

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 169: SOFLO’s Marinheiro, Polyakov Take Second; U.S. Olympic Diving Trials Underway


June 17, 2012

Vlad Polyakov and Sharntelle McLean of South Florida Aquatic Club wrapped up on Sunday at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Bahamas National Swimming Championships.

Polyakov, 28, a three-time Olympian for Kazakhstan finished second in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:16.18 behind Jorge Murillo, 20, of Davie Nadadores in 2:15.96. Polyakov has already qualified for London on the medley relay. He is expected to be invited in the 100-meter breaststroke.

McLean, 27, a two-time Olympian for Trinidad and Tobago, was fourth seed after morning prelims in 26.83 in the 50-meter freestyle and finished sixth in 26.76, just off her seed time of 26.75 and missing her FINA qualifying standard.

Brazilian Junior Nationals

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro took another silver medal on Sunday at the Brazilian Junior Nationals in Recife, Pernambuco.

Marinheiro, 15, was second in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:25.58. She earned the top seed among a field of 24 swimmers in Saturday’s prelims in 4:27.06.

The West Broward High School swimmer finished with three seconds and one fourth in four events over four days. She was also second in the 200- and 800-meter freestyles and fourth in the 100-meter butterfly.

U.S. Olympic Diving Trials, Day One

Gymnast-turned-diver Abby Johnston of Upper Arlington, Ohio and 2008 Olympian Kelci Bryant of Chatham, Ill. are leading the women’s 3-meter synchronized diving after two rounds on opening day of the eight-day U.S. Olympic diving trials at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Johnston and Bryant lead after semifinals with 637.80 points and former local diver and Plantation resident Kassidy Cook, 16, of The Woodlands, Tex. and Christina Loukas of Riverwoods, Ill. are second with 631.29. Miami’s Bianca Alvarez and Carrie Dragland are fourth with 524.40 among the 13-team field.

Johnston and Bryant led all five rounds of the semifinals after the scores were carried over from prelims.

“Both of us definitely have the experience and we definitely know how to handle the pressure,” Loukas told reporters.

After the opening prelims, Johnston and Bryant had 314.10 points and were closely followed by Cook, 16, and Loukas with 313.83. Deidre Freeman and Veronica Rydze were third with 258.54 and Alvarez and Dragland were fifth with 250.80.

The women’s synchro finals are Thursday. The winning team will earn an Olympic berth.

Sixteen-time national champion David Boudia of Noblesville, Ind. and Nick McCrory of Chapel Hill, N.C. lead after the men’s 10-meter synchronized platform with 919.86 points. Toby Stanley of Conway, Ark. and Steele Johnson of Carmel, Ind. are second with 805.02 and Dashiell Enos of Studio City, Calif. and Johnson are third with 782.16.

After prelims, Boudia and McCrory had an impressive lead with 463.83. Stanley and Johnson were second with 415.80 and Johnson and Enos of Studio City, Calif. were third with 387.18.

Johnson is competing with two different partners. In synchro, divers can dive with two partners if they have qualified as part of two teams.

Former Fort Lauderdale diver Jordan Windle, at 13 the youngest diver in the field, and partner Zachary Cooper finished sixth out of eight teams with 333.75 in prelims and remained in sixth with 686.16 after semis.

On Monday, prelims and semifinals in the men’s 3-meter synchro and women’s 10-meter platform synchro will be held.

Television coverage on the trials doesn’t begin until Tuesday. Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson will be a guest commentator.

For complete results go to or click on the link at USA Diving’s website. Because of NBC’s broadcast rights no live scoring is being posted.


Three swimmers from South Florida were named to the 2012 Paralympic Team that will compete in London at the end of August in the Paralympic Games. The team of 34 includes 19 off the 2008 Beijing team that brought home 44 medals. The locals are Ileana Rodriguez of Miami and Flying Fish Club (S6/SB5/SM6) and backstroke world record holder Justin Zook of Fort Lauderdale (S9/SB8/SM9) on the starting team and Rafael Castillo of Miami and Devilrays Swim Club of Homestead (S6/SB5/SM6) as an alternate. The American record holder competes with one arm and one leg…

Western Kentucky women’s team, which spends its holiday breaks training at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines, picked up a top breaststroke swimmer Amy Halligan, a junior, from the now-defunct University of Maryland swim program. She was fourth at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in 1:01.74. Her 200 breaststroke time is 2:15.81. Five other Maryland swimmers (Peter and Carolyn Fittin, John Hauser, Kyle Madley, Ryan Magee) transferred to Penn State….

Croatia won the first FINA World League water polo title defeating Spain, 18-17, after a thrilling penalty shootout which included 22 penalties with Spain’s Mario Garcia missing the decisive shot, blocked by Croatia’s goalie Josip Pavic. The game was tied 8-8 after regulation. Reigning world champion Italy took the bronze with a 7-6 win over Team USA…

Ryan Lochte is featured on the cover of this month’s Men’s Health Magazine….Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones was voted the 2012 Black Man I Can Award in the celebrity category at the inaugural BMCA Awards Sunday night.

Sharon Robb can be reached at