South Florida Aquatic Club Wins Big At FLA International Invitational

South Florida Aquatic Club Wins Big At FLA International Invitational


June 24, 2012

The South Florida Aquatic Club gave new meaning to winning big.

With more than a 1,000-point margin of victory, SOFLO turned in its finest team performance of the 2012 long course season at the FLA International Invitational that ended Sunday at rain-soaked Florida Atlantic University Aquatic Center in Boca Raton.

Rain forced the postponement of Sunday morning prelims and turned the night events into timed finals.

SOFLO was dominant in several events including the girls and boys 400-meter freestyle.

Delanie Perez, 11, won the event in a best time 4:59.28 and seven of her teammates rounded out the top eight finishers. Her previous best time was 5:09.31

Nicholas Perera, 12, won the boys event in a best time 4:48.17, bettering his previous best of 4:57.26. Six of his teammates finished in the top 13. Perera also won the 50-meter butterfly in a best time 32.14, dropping from 32.91 and 100-meter freestyle in 1:05.16.

Other SOFLO winners were:

Julien Pinon, 13, 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:28.44, dropping from 2:34.27; 100-meter freestyle in 57.89.

Melissa Marinheiro, 15, 200-meter backstroke, 2:31.90.

Maria Lopez, 16, 200-meter butterfly, 2:26.19.

Rafael Rodriguez, 10, 50-meter breaststroke, best time 43.54 dropping from 46.42; 50-meter butterfly, best time 35.59 dropping from 36.16; 100-meter freestyle in a best time 1:09.36 dropping from 1:10.83.

Delanie Perez, 11, 50-meter breaststroke, best time 41.14 dropping from 42.29.

Daytona Beach State College-bound Xavier Brown, 17, 50-meter breaststroke in a best time 38.11, lowering his previous best of 41.02.

Vanessa Mesa, 10, 50-meter butterfly, best time 36.53 dropping from 38.45; 100-meter freestyle in 1:11.17.

“They swam brilliant Friday morning, Friday night and Saturday night,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said. “I am happy with the team. It was a great confidence-building meet. The kids had a lot of fun.”

“They did a good job and felt confident. I think it’s great the meet officials finished the meet and didn’t give up on it.”



400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Delanie Perez, SOFLO 4:59.28, best time; SOFLO: 2. Andrea Bucaro 5:09.08, best time, 3. Andrea Pereira 5:14.90, best time, 4. Jennifer Rodriguez 5:16.25, best time, 5. Katherine DeBarros 5:28.56, best time, 6. Abolade Oyetunji 5:31.22, best time, 7. Lisa Strod 5:36.65, best time, 8. Zariya Harris 5:39.41, best time.

200-meter backstroke:

1.Jordan Clark, DADS 2:27.33; SOFLO: 2. Jessica Rodriguez 2:38.28, 12. Alisa Huang 3:17.75, best time; 15-16, 1. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 2:31.90; Open, 1. Daniella Yoon, DADS 2:27.64; SOFLO: 5. Marcella Marinheiro 2:29.73, 10. Daniela Jimenez 2:48.75.

50-meter breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Johanna Bruk, Jupiter 40.95; SOFLO: 2. Annita Huang 46.16, best time, 3. Isabella Di Salvo 47.83, best time, 4. Vanessa Mesa 48.23, best time, 5. Anabel Vazquez 48.66, best time, 9. Michelle Marinheiro 54.52, best time, 10. Kyana Catsro 54.77, 12. Emma Perera 56.88, best time; COMETS: 11. Sara Quintero 56.43; 11-12, 1. Delanie Perez, SOFLO 41.14, best time; SOFLO: 4. Jennifer Rodriguez 43.70, 5. Katherine DeBarros 45.10, 6. Lisa Strod 46.41, best time, 7. Alexandra Crespo 49.44, best time; 13-14, 1. Meghan Parsons, DADS 37.72; SOFLO: 2. Jessica Rodriguez 39.44, best time, 10. Alisa Huang 51.51; 15-16, 1. Tara Virginillo, DADS 37.30; Open, 1. Brenna Merrill, FLA 41.50; SOFLO: 3. Daniela Jimenez 43.24.

50-meter butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Vanessa Mesa, SOFLO 36.53; SOFLO: 3. Annita Huang 39.27, best time, 4. Kyana Castro 39.61, best time, 7. Isabella Di Salvo 43.46, best time, 8. Anabel Vazquez 43.82, 10. Michelle Marinheiro 46.94, best time, 11. Emma Perera 48.06; COMETS: 12. Sara Quintero 51.09; 11-12, 1. Karel Jimenez Flores, Jets 33.62; SOFLO: 2. Andrea Pereira 35.76, best time, 4. Abolade Oyetunji 38.82, best time, 5. Zariya Harris 39.58, best time, 6. Alexandra Crespo 42.60, best time.

200-meter butterfly:

13-14, 1. Meghan Parsons, DADS 2:41.51; 15-16, 1. Maria Lopez, SOFLO 2:26.19; Open, 1. Alexandra Buscher, DADS 2:23.53; SOFLO: 2. Evelin Jimenez 2:29.31.

100-meter freestyle

10-and-under, 1. Vanessa Mesa, SOFLO 1:11.17; SOFLO: 2. Annita Huang 1:11.81, best time, 3. Anabel Vazquez 1:15.32, 6. Kyana Castro 1:17.53, 8. Michelle Marinheiro 1:21.05, 9. Isabella DiSalvo 1:21.42; 14. Emma Perera 1:40.32, best time; COMETS: 12. Sara Quintero 1:29.01, best time; 11-12, 1. Ashley Duritsa, FLA 1:07.66; SOFLO: 2. Delanie Perez 1:07.70, best time, 3. Andrea Bucaro 1:09.68, best time, 4. Andrea Pereira 1:11.05, best time, 5. Abolade Oyetunji 1:11.30, 6. Jennifer Rodriguez 1:13.31, best time, 7. Zariya Harris 1:13.32, best time, 8. Katherine De Barros 1:13.66, best time, 10. Lisa Strod 1:15.76, best time, 12. Alexandra Crespo 1:20.02, best time; 13-14, 1. Jordan Clark, DADS 1:01.27; SOFLO: 7. Jessica Rodriguez 1:05.43, 17. Alisa Huang 1:17.12, best time; 15-16, 1. Domenique Alcala Welter, Jets 1:01.03; SOFLO: 2. Melissa Marinheiro 1:01.09, 3. Maria Lopez 1:02.30, best time; Open, 1. Jaime Miller, DADS 59.08; SOFLO: 3. Marcella Marinheiro 1:01.39, 8. Evelin Jimenez 1:04.75, 11. Daniela Jimenez 1:07.10.


400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Nicholas Perera, SOFLO 4:48.17, best time; SOFLO: 2. Kevin Porto 4:55.11, best time, 3. Samuel Quintero 5:03.45, best time, 6. Brandon Moran 5:21.86, best time, 8. Andres Arias 5:30.62, best time, 11. Sam Walters 5:42.15, best time, 13. Andre Molko 5:51.11, best time.

200-meter backstroke:

13-14, 1. Cooper Wozencraft, DADS 2:17.01; SOFLO: 3. Gustavo Valery 2:28.78, 5. Alfredo Mesa 2:31.96, equals best time, 6. Julien Pinon 2:32.71, best time, 7. Ryan Capote 2:33.64, 11. Simon Ortiz 2:49.06, best time; 15-16, 1. Ferna Sevilla Garcia, Jets 2:21.75; Open, 1. Rob Gahn, DADS 2:21.96.

50-meter breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 43.54, best time; SOFLO: 4. Leonardo Mateus 50.09, 5. John Paul Handal 53.94, 7. Derek Tom 56.15, best time, 8. Akira Huang 56.54, 9. Nicolas Drolet 58.81; 11-12, 1. Cory Stephenson, DADS 40.34; SOFLO: 2. Samuel Quintero 41.20, best time, 3. Brandon Moran 44.39, 4. Andres Arias 44.88; 13-14, 1. Oscar Jimenes Flores, Jets 36.92; SOFLO: 2. Jonathan Strod 37.07, best time, 3. Gustavo Valery 37.71, best time, 6. Ryan Capote 42.20, 7. Simon Ortiz 44.63, best time; 15-16, 1. Steven Vergona, FLA 33.41; SOFLO: 6. Roger Capote 41.21; Open, 1. Xavier Brown, SOFLO 38.11, best time; SOFLO: 2. Jacob Walters 40.71.

50-meter butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 35.59, best time; SOFLO: 2.Leonardo Mateus 38.04, best time, 4. John Paul Handal 43.98, 5. Nicolas Drolet 47.44, best time, 7. Akira Huang 50.97, best time; 11-12, 1. Nicholas Perera, SOFLO 32.14, best time; SOFLO: 3. Kevin Porto 34.79, 4. Sam Walters 39.78, best time, 8. Andre Molko 43.86.

200-meter butterfly:

13-14, 1. Julien Pinon, SOFLO 2:28.44, best time; SOFLO: 3. Alfredo Mesa 2:37.19, best time; 15-16, 1. Ferna Sevilla Garcia, Jets 2:14.91; Open, 1. Michael Miller, DADS 2:07.67.

100-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 1:09.36, best time; SOFLO: 3. Leonardo Mateus 1:16.46, 4. Nicolas Drolet 1:20.11, best time, 6. John Paul Handal 1:28.00, 8. Akira Huang 1:35.08, best time; 11-12, 1. Nicholas Perera, SOFLO 1:05.16; SOFLO: 2. Kevin Porto 1:08.18, 5. Samuel Quintero 1:09.42, best time, 7. Brandon Moran 1:12.48, best time, 9. Andres Arias 1:12.88, best time, 10. Andre Molko 1:13.09, best time, 11. Sam Walters 1:15.32, 12. Luis Bucaro 1:16.77, best time; 13-14, 1. Julien Pinon, SOFLO 57.89; SOFLO: 3. Gustavo Valery 1:00.16, best time, 4. Ryan Capote 1:01.08, best time, 7. Alfredo Mesa 1:01.63, 9. Jonathan Strod 1:02.19, 14. Simon Ortiz 1:08.28, best time; 15-16, 1. Lorenzo Loria, Jets 54.28; SOFLO: 6. Jacob Walters 58.54, best time, 14. Roger Capote 1:04.09; Open: 1. Michael Miller, DADS 54.37; SOFLO: 4. Xavier Brown 56.70. 

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Local Swimmers Torres, Alcaide, Oliver Ready For Olympic Trials Challenge

Local Swimmers Torres, Alcaide, Oliver Ready For Olympic Trials Challenge


June 24, 2012

Dara Torres is a five-time Olympian seeking history.

Jessie Alcaide is a comeback swimmer looking to leave her mark.

Tiffany Oliver is an up-and-coming collegian hoping to enjoy the journey.

The Coral Springs Swim Club and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers take center stage at this week’s U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb.

Torres, 45, needs no introduction. One of the all-time greatest swimmers in the history of the sport, Torres defies time when it comes to swimming.

The American record holder is coming back from state-of-the-art knee surgery in 2009 that many thought would end her career.

Motivated by the death of her coach, six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg, her competitive fires and her 6-year-old Tessa Grace, Torres is attempting to become the first swimmer to make a sixth Olympic team.

Torres has competed at the 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000 and 2008 Olympics. At 41, she won two silver medals in 2008 in Beijing and has a total of 12 Olympic medals.

“I love challenges and this is a huge one I’m taking on, much more than four years ago,” Torres said. “My coach and I had spoken about taking on this challenge before he passed away and I want to finish what we talked about.

“Plus, the fact that so many people come up to me and say I inspire them really gets me going. I want to still give people hope that they can do the things that they thought they couldn’t do.”

Torres is seeded eighth in 25.16 behind Jessica Hardy (24.63), Amanda Weir (24.70), Kara Lynn Joyce (24.86), Lara Jackson (24.98), Madison Kennedy (24.99), Christine Magnuson (25.06) and Dana Vollmer (25.09).

Alcaide, 27, moved from Maine to train with Lohberg at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. Alcaide had come close to making her Olympic cuts in the past year and never gave up. Then she made two at a meet in Indiana and another on the west coast of Florida since March.

“I was frustrated I kept coming close so many times,” Alcaide said. “All the time and energy I put into it. It was all about dreams. I am so excited. It feels unreal to me.

“When I moved that was my goal, to go best times and make the trials,” Alcaide said. “At the trials I would love to go three best times. I would like to go and swim my best and see what I can do because I don’t know what I can do.”

Alcaide will open the competition on Monday in the 100-meter butterfly, the first of three events she has qualified for. She will also race the 50- and 100-meter freestyles.

Alcaide is in the seventh of 17 heats for the butterfly, seeded in 1:01.68.

Oliver, 19, who grew up in the Comets’ program, will represent both SOFLO and Florida State.

Oliver, a junior-to-be in the fall at Florida State, qualified in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events. Oliver holds the school record in the 100-yard freestyle (48.93) and is also a member of the Seminoles school record breaking 400-yard freestyle relay.

Oliver is one of 18 Florida State swimmers, past, present and incoming freshmen, qualified for the trials. Oliver’s only concern is the attention that is centered around trials and that it’s just not another meet.

“I hope it will motivate me to get up and go and to not be nervous,” Oliver said. “I just have to finish the race and do my best. I’m going to try not to even think about the additional attention.”

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kevin Bandy will also compete in the trials. A junior at Louisville, Bandy will compete in the 200-meter butterfly (2:03.34).

University of Florida has 27 representatives from current collegians including Miami’s Carlos Omana, to post-grads like Ryan Lochte and Conor Dwyer and Gator alum including Torres.


AK Sharks: Austin Manganiello, Clara Smiddy, Samuel Smiddy

Coral Springs Swim Club: Dara Torres

Davie Nadadores: Emily Kopas, Nicholas Manousos, Joey Pedraza

Florida Keys: Mhyria Miller

Fort Lauderdale: Harper Bruens

Metro Aquatics: Carlos Omana

Miami Swimming: Michael Saco

Miami Hurricanes: Kelsi Hall, Brittany Selts

North Palm Beach: Connor Knight

Performance Aquatics: Kevin Bandy, Julie Stupp

Pine Crest: Alana Berrocal

St. Andrew’s Swimming: Tasija Karosas, Lindsey McKnight, Megan Moroney

South Florida Aquatic Club: Jessie Alcaide, Tiffany Oliver

Swim Fort Lauderdale: Lauren Driscoll, Ryan Rosenbaum

Unattached Florida Gold Coast: Rhi Jeffrey, Danielle Smith

Note: The local swim club with the most athletes entered in the 2012 trials is California with 140 total (71 female and 69 male). 1,829 athletes (900 female, 929 male) are entered in the Trials.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

USA Swimming Olympic Trials Begin Monday In Omaha With Drama In Every Race

USA Swimming Olympic Trials Begin Monday In Omaha With Drama In Every Race


June 24, 2012

Four years of training comes down to this week for swimmers during the U.S. Olympic Trials at the 14,300-seat Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

While Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Missy Franklin and Rebecca Soni are locks for the team, others will have to dig deep, scratch and claw their way to the wall against one of the most competitive fields ever assembled at the trials.

A field of 1,829 swimmers from throughout the country including the Florida Gold Coast will compete for 52 spots on the U.S. team over seven days. The top two qualify in each individual event.

Most of the media attention will be focused on the Michael Phelps-Ryan Lochte rivalry. Lochte is entered in 11 events and Phelps seven. Conceivably, they could race each other six times during the trials.

“If I could swim all 11, I’d swim all 11, but I don’t think my coach would allow that,” Lochte said.

Phelps, 26, winner of a record eight Olympic gold medals in 2008, will have his first race on Monday in the 400-meter individual medley, a race he insisted he wasn’t going to do in a major meet because it’s too painful but has entered.

Phelps made it official on Sunday when he shaved his mustache. He told reporters on Saturday that if he shaved his bushy mustache on Sunday, he would swim the 400 IM. He posted a photo on Twitter of a before and after photo of his face and the stache was gone.

Phelps is two-time defending champion in the 400 IM event and held the world record since 2002, breaking his own record seven times. He is coming off a six-week high altitude-training camp in Colorado Springs with his North Baltimore Aquatic teammates.

“I had always said that, and I still say and I believe it more now than I really ever have, that there comes an end to everything, and for me and my career, I never want to look back and say ‘What if I did this one way and that one way?’ I want to do everything I ever wanted to do before I retire.”

Phelps would not get into any trash-talking when asked about Lochte and his brimming confidence on social media outlets including Twitter.

“I’ve never once said anything publicly, I never will,” Phelps told reporters. “That’s not how I am. I let the swimming do whatever talking it needs to, has to, will do, whatever. That’s how I’ve been in my career and that’s how I’m going to finish it. A lot of people can talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk.”

Lochte’s favorite all along has been “this is my time.” He enjoys his rivalry with Phelps and said the focus on them is helping to increase the sport’s popularity and exposure.

“Michael is the world’s best swimmer, ever,” Lochte said. “I love racing against him. He is one of the hardest racers in the world. He will go toe-to-toe with you until the end. It’s good to have this rivalry. We could change the sport. There’s no doubt in my mind, in the Olympics, that is probably going to be one of the biggest talks.”

Added Phelps’ longtime coach Bob Bowman, “I don’t think anything he could do or not do will change his legacy. He’s the best Olympian of all-time today, and he will be after the summer.”

Lochte, 27, won five gold medals at last year’s world championships in Shanghai. He said he is capable of matching Phelp’s historic haul but hasn’t said what his medal goals for London are.

“I am going to step on the blocks and race as many times as my body can handle,” Lochte said. “I don’t know if that will be one or it could be eleven. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Depending on scratches, the six events Phelps and Lochte will go head-to-head in are:

Monday: 400 IM, Lochte seeded first, Phelps third.

Wednesday: 200 freestyle, Lochte, first, Phelps, second.

Friday: 100 freestyle, Phelps, second, Lochte, sixth.

Saturday: 200 backstroke, Lochte, first, Phelps, third; 200 IM, Lochte, first, Phelps, second.

Sunday: 100 butterfly, Phelps, first, Lochte, fifth.

The women’s field may not have the Phelps-Lochte rivalry going but is still loaded with compelling stories and talent worth watching including teenager Missy Franklin, already being called “the Michael Phelps of women’s swimming.”

Franklin was the youngest swimmer at the Olympic Trials four years ago. Coming into trials at age 17, she is the reigning world champion and American record holder in the 200-meter backstroke.

“Every time I swim I make sure that I am remembering that little 5-year-old on her summer club swim team who just loved going out there and being with her friends,” Franklin said. “And, I’m swimming for that girl. I’m swimming for the one who just loves swimming with her whole heart.”

Allison Schmitt, coached by Phelps’ coach Bob Bowman at North Baltimore, is expected to have a huge meet. The 2008 Olympian was virtually unknown four years ago but returns to trials as the American record holder in the 200-meter freestyle.

Jessica Hardy qualified for the Olympic team in several events in 2008 but tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended for a year. She has come back better than ever and is a favorite again in several events.

Rebecca Soni is expected to easily finish in the top spot in both the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events. She has been untouchable in the last four years. Her boyfriend Ricky Berens is also expected to make the team in the 100- and 200-meter freestyles.

Twenty-nine-year-old Natalie Coughlin has won 11 medals in 11 Olympic races and needs two more in London to become history’s most decorated American female Olympian. Dana Vollmer, Elizabeth Beisel, Amanda Beard are among more favorites.


Morning session: Men’s 400 IM H, Women’s 100 Fly H, Men’s 400 Free H, Women’s 400 IM H, Men’s 100 Breast H

Evening session: Men’s 400 IM F, Women’s 100 Fly SF, Men’s 400 Free F, Women IM F, Men 100 Breast SF


June 25, Monday

Prelims, 6:30-8:00pm ET, NBCSN Sports

Finals, 8:00-9:00pm ET, NBC

June 26, Tuesday

Prelims, 6:30-8:00pm ET, NBCSN Sports

Finals, 8:00-9:00pm ET, NBC

June 27, Wednesday

Prelims, 7:00-8:00pm ET, NBCSN Sports

Finals, 8:00-9:00pm ET, NBC

June 28, Thursday

Prelims, 4:30-5:30pm ET, NBCSN Sports

Finals, 8:00-9:00pm ET, NBC

June 29, Friday

Prelims, 4:30-6:00pm ET, NBCSN Sports

Finals, 8:00-9:00pm ET, NBC

June 30, Saturday

Prelims, 6:30-8:00pm ET, NBCSN Sports

Finals, 8:00-9:00pm ET, NBC

July 1, Sunday

Prelims, 6:00-7:00pm ET, NBCSN Sports

Finals, 8:00-9:00pm ET, NBC

July 2, Monday

No Prelims

Finals, 8:00-8:30pm

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Boisson-Yates, Schimansky Lead Team On Final Day Of Michael Lohberg Invitational

SOFLO’s Boisson-Yates, Schimansky Lead Team On Final Day Of Michael Lohberg Invitational


June 24, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Keegan Boisson-Yates saved his best for last Sunday night at the inaugural Michael Lohberg Invitational at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Boisson-Yates, 17, who represents Trinidad and Tobago internationally, topped an impressive field to win the 100-meter freestyle in a career-best time of 53.94 in the evening session. He bettered his previous time of 54.68.

Boisson-Yates was also second in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:19.61 during the morning session.

Megan Schimansky, 12, won the 400-meter freestyle in a career-best time of 5:07.81, dropping 10 seconds off her previous best of 5:17.85. She won by an 8-second margin.

Rain played havoc on the final day of the four-day meet honoring the legacy of six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg.

After two weather delays, morning prelims were declared time final results and events that were not contested in the morning were held at night for another timed final format.

Despite the weather interruptions, SOFLO swimmers, tuning up for Junior Olympics and Senior Championships, remained focus and turned in some outstanding swims at every age group level.

Other individual SOFLO winners were:

Brandon Goldman, 17, won the 200-meter backstroke during the morning session in 2:11.24.

Tristan Celestin, 13, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 33.92.

Jillian Alexander, 15, continued her success winning the 50-meter breaststroke in 37.48, ahead of teammate Gina Gautieri, 19, second in 38.85.

Catharine Cooper, 12, won the 100-meter freestyle in 1:03.33, just off her best time of 1:03.30.



200-meter backstroke:

13-14, 1. Kelly Fertel, Rockway 2:35.92; SOFLO: 4. Audrey Mason 2:46.43, 8. Daniela Ginzburg 2:50.90, 10. Veronica Postolski 2:52.62; 15-and-over, 1. Brenna Ruth, St. Andrew’s 2:33.21.

50-meter breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Andrea Santander, Miami Beach 40.80; SOFLO: 5. Delaney Biro 44.82, 8. Gabby Beltrano 48.12, 10. Sarah Schimansky 49.27, 14. Lydia Szakacs 50.72, 17. Treasure D’Souza 52.88; 11-12, 1. Thea McKenna, HAT 41.65; 13-14, 1. Kelly Fertel, Rockway 36.88; SOFLO: 2. Audrey Mason 39.43, 3. Rebecca Wilkerson 39.72, 8. Veronica Postolski 43.49, 9. Luisa Suzuki 43.65; 15-and-over, 1. Jillian Alexander, SOFLO 37.48; SOFLO: 2. Gina Gautieri 38.85, 10. Lindsey Sauer 42.11, 11. Selina Voelkel 42.26, 12. Emily Greenwood 43.10.

50-meter butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Emma Harvey, Bermuda 32.36; SOFLO: 4. Delaney Biro 36.46, 10. Gabby Beltrano 41.58, 16. Lydia Szakacs 44.87, 22. Treasure D’Souza 49.19; CSSC: 22. Emma Gomez 52.44; 11-12, 1. Alicia Mancilla, Miami Dade 31.60; SOFLO: 13. Daniela Gomez 39.93.

400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Megan Schimansky, SOFLO 5:07.81; SOFLO: 8. Daniela Gomez 5:56.48.

200-meter butterfly:

13-14, 1. Julia Talamo, Rockway 2:28.87.

100-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Andrea Santander, Miami Beach 1:05.78; SOFLO: 5. Delaney Biro 1:13.13, 9. Sarah Shimansky 1:20.37, 13. Gabby Beltrano 1:22.55, 17. Lydia Szakacs 1:25.70; CSSC: 22. Cara Virgin 1:28.17; 11-12, 1. Catharine Cooper, SOFLO 1:03.33; SOFLO: 8. Megan Schimansky 1:11.51, 16. Daniela Gomez 1:15.95; 13-14, 1. Hannah Burdge, Martin County 1:00.96; SOFLO: 6. Audrey Mason 1:05.31, 9. Rebecca Wilkerson 1:07.36, 10. Charlene Forti 1:07.99, 13. Luisa Suzuki 1:09.57, 20. Kristin Sauer 1:11.88; 15-and-over, 1. Brenna Ruth, St. Andrew’s 1:01.55; SOFLO: 9. Kennedy Sanes 1:09.33, 10. Bar Bogoslavsky 1:10.14, 11. Catalina Gonella 1:11.13.

200-medley relay:

10-and-under, 1. SOFLO 2:40.28 (Gabby Beltrano, Lydia Szakacs, Delaney Biro, Sarah Schimansky); 13-14, 1. Rockway 2:27.81.


200-meter backstroke:

13-14, 1. Jonathan Farah, HAT 2:28.66; 15-and-over, 1. Brandon Goldman, SOFLO 2:11.24; SOFLO: 2. Keegan Boisson-Yates 2:19.61, 5. Ben Fruitman 2:29.49.

50-meter breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Jonathan Skarie, Martin County 41.32; SOFLO: 3. Carter Carlson 46.22, 12. Joshua Hanks 52.04, 17. Alexander Meyer 53.39, 18. Andres McKeon 53.51; 11-12, 1. Bryan Quintero, Miami beach 35.53; SOFLO: 2. Guilherme Hada 40.63, 3. Christian Carlson 41.21, 5. Ricardo Roche 43.38, 13. Guy Bogoslavsky 46.10; 13-14, 1. Tristan Celestin, SOFLO 33.92; SOFLO: 12. Aaron Diener 42.75, 13. Sebastian Vargas 43.52; 15-and-over, 1. Quinn Cassidy, St. Andrew’s 33.48; SOFLO: 11. Joshua Cutter 36.16, 14. Kyle Desrosiers 37.16, 17. Bryce Pierce 38.61, 18. Austin Pillado 38.74, 20. Justin Torres 39.52, 21. Dylan Allen 39.54.

50-meter butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Jonathan Skarie, Unattached 36.15; SOFLO: 4. Carter Carlson 37.99, 8. Connor Marks 40.63, 14. Alexander Meyer 47.16, 15. Andres McKeon 47.97; 11-12, 1. Max Asnis, Blue Marlins 30.91; SOFLO: 15. Christian Carlson 38.77, 17. Guy Bogoslavsky 40.54.

400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Ervin Marin, Blue Marlins 4:42.54; SOFLO: 3. Ricardo Roche 4:51.95.

200-meter butterfly:

13-14, 1. Francisco Real, Hialeah 2:26.23; Open, 1. Shawn Warner, St. Andrews 2:13.70.

100-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Michael Fernandez, Hialeah 1:10.01; SOFLO: 7. Andres McKeon 1:17.02, 11. Connor Marks 1:18.47, 12. Alexander Meyer 1:18.87, 19. Andre McDade 1:25.49, 20. Joshua Hanks 1:27.10; CSSC: 21. Brian Gonzalez 1:31.95; 11-12, 1. Ervin Marin, Blue Marlins 59.99; SOFLO: 7. Ricardo Roche 1:07.49; 13-14, 1. Jonathan Farah, HAT 58.46; SOFLO: 4. Sebastian Vargas 1:00.48, 5. Tristan Celestin 1:00.60, 19. Collin Burt 1:07.81; 15-and-over, 1. Keegan Boisson-Yates, SOFLO 53.94; SOFLO: 16. Austin Pillado 59.71, 23. Justin Torres 1:04.06, 25. Dylan Allen 1:05.26.

200-meter medley relay:

10-and-under, 1. Hialeah 2:39.49, 2. SOFLO 2:49.48 (Andres McKeon, Joshua Hanks, Connor Marks, Andrew McDade).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Miami’s Brittany Viola Qualifies For First U.S. Olympic Diving Team

Miami’s Brittany Viola Qualifies For First U.S. Olympic Diving Tea,


June 24, 2012

Brittany Viola slowly climbed out of the pool, covered her face and began to cry.

Eight years of trials and tribulations ended for the former University of Miami diver who qualified for her first U.S. Olympic diving team on women’s 10-meter platform Sunday at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

On her third attempt to make the team, Viola, 25, is one of six new Olympians on the 11-diver team.

Her Olympic dreams fell short the first two times. In 2004, she finished second at the trials, which would have been good enough to make the team had it not been for a rule change that awarded two spots to synchro diving and only one to the winning platform diver.

In 2008, she finished fourth.

Then came two ankle surgeries and doubt whether she would return to champion form. She did and then some with the help of University of Miami Diving coaches Randy Ableman and Dario DeFazio, the first two to hug her after she regained her composure.

“Long time coming,” Ableman whispered in her ear.

“It’s unbelievable,” a beaming Viola said. “I am so thankful. I had a wonderful time. The Lord was with me. He filled me and satisfied me with everything.

“My emotions are just years of having so much love and support around me while going through adversity. It’s taken a long time to just get there and it is so worth it. All of it is worth it.

“Many times I didn’t think I would be in this sport anymore or still be here in 2012. Now I am going to London. It is unbelievable. It is a gift to be able to do what I’m doing now. For me, it’s just a miracle.”

Her dad, Frank Viola, told the Savannah Morning News, “I’m more nervous over this than pitching in a World Series. This is something she’s wanted since she was a little girl.”

Her mom Kathy, a horse breeder and trainer, was crying as much as her daughter, watching from the stands. Her dad couldn’t be at the trials because the former Mets pitcher is a pitching coach for the Mets Class A team Savannah Sand Giants. He was watching on the clubhouse television.

“I knew he would be watching every moment,” Viola said.

The former Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP has gotten special permission from the Mets’ organization to go to London.

Viola plans to train in Miami for the next two weeks before joining the team at a pre-Olympic camp.

Katie Bell of Ohio State Diving was a surprise second-place finisher after a close battle with two other divers for the second and final spot on the team. Bell finished with 1,024.40.

“I am in shock, this is unreal,” said Bell after a big bear hug from her coach Vince Panzano. “I was nervous. I knew that I needed to stay consistent and dive like I do in practice.”

Indiana University senior Amy Cozad placed third just 20.40 points behind Bell with 1,004.00.

Olympian Haley Ishimatsu of Trojan Diving was fourth. She was in the battle until missing her fourth dive.

In a thrilling finish to the men’s 3-meter springboard final, Chris Colwill of Brandon, Fla. climbed his way back from third place to win and clinch a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

Colwill, 27, of Georgia Diving, topped the 12-diver field with 1,457.45 points to make his second trip to the Olympics. He was three points down entering the final six rounds,

Going into the final round, only 2.4 points separated the top three divers.

Colwill, who is hearing-impaired, turned in a flawless list to climb his way back. Smiling and relaxed, Colwill and his longtime coach Dan Laak were emotional after the contest. “You’re going to London dude,” Laak said to Colwill.

“The scoreboard is pretty big so it was hard to miss seeing how close it was,” Colwill said with a smile. “I’m happy. I took it one dive at a time, and that took a lot of patience.

Veteran diver Troy Dumais, 32, edged his synchro partner, Kris Ipsen, to clinch the second and last spot on the men’s team. Dumais, who made his first Olympic team twelve years ago, finished with 1,448.35.

“I was more worried about this meet than the Olympics,” Dumais said. “I moved my second dive to the end of my list because I wanted to end on a dive I knew I could hit. I knew I was going to have to get 9s and 9.5s.”

Dumais’ coach Matt Scoggin called him “a warrior” after he clinched.

Ipsen, the early leader who dropped to third after missing his fifth round reverse 3 ½ tuck dive, had 1,447.10, a 1.25 margin. The first to hug Ipsen after the competition was former local diver Kassidy Cook who missed the team by a narrow margin. Ipsen was already on his first Olympic team for synchro.

“It was a pretty insane contest,” Ipsen said. “The reverse is always a dive I’ve struggled with but it’s getting better. I’m glad I ended strong. I knew it was going to come down to that last dive. I thought I’d made it.

“I’m trying to think of it as a blessing because going into international meets I get really nervous. Only doing synchro gives me just one thing to focus on. I’ll use this as a learning experience.”

Thomas Finchum, 22, competed in his final meet before retiring to devote full-time to his country music career with his band Northern Nights while attending Nashville’s Belmont University.

“After thirteen years my diving career is finally over,” Finchum said. “Now it’s time to chase some new dreams.”


1. Chris Colwill, Georgia Diving Club 1,457.45

2. Troy Dumais, Longhorn Aquatics 1,448.35

3. Kris Ipsen, Stanford Diving 1,447.10

4. Thomas Finchum, Unattached 1,255.50

5. Justin Dumais, YCF Diving 1,233.05

6. Dwight Dumais, Longhorn Aquatics 1,212.40

7. Aaron Fleshner, Alabama Diving 1,148.70

8. David Bonuchi, Mizzou Diving 1,143.65

9. Bradley Christensen, GC Diving 1,139.40

10. Bryce Klein, GC Diving 1,116.25

11. Brandon Watson, Unattached 1,116.25

12. Michael Wright, Tennessee Diving 1,105.55


1.Brittany Viola, University of Miami Diving 1,081.50

2.Katie Bell, Ohio State Diving 1,024.40

3.Amy Cozad, Indiana Diving Club 1,004.00

4.Haley Ishimatsu, Trojan Dive Club 995.65

5.Victoria Lamp, Tennessee Diving 948.25

6.Amy Korthauer, Indiana Diving 939.00

7.Samantha Bromberg, Ohio State Diving 938.45

8.Anna James, City of Midland 921.95

9. Jessica Parratto, Unattached 917.50

10.Gracia Leydon-Mahoney, Duke Aquatics 868.05

11.Laura Ryan, Unattached 860.45

12.Katrina Young, FSU Tomahawk Diving 825.10

Sharon Robb can be reached at