OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 15: Miami’s Brittany Viola Advances Into Diving Semifinals

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 15: Miami’s Brittany Viola Advances Into Diving Semifinals


August 8, 2012

With her parents looking on, University of Miami alum Brittany Viola finished 14th in the  women’s 10-meter platform preliminaries on Wednesday and moved into the semifinal round at the London Aquatic Centre.

The top 18 advanced into Thursday morning’s semifinals followed by finals at night.

Viola, 25, who still trains in Miami with longtime Miami Diving coach Randy Ableman, finished with 322.05 points in her Olympic debut.

Viola was sixth after two rounds before falling behind when she over-rotated on her fourth dive and finished with a splash on her entry.

U.S. teammate Katie Bell rallied from 24th to finish ninth.

“I greatly enjoyed myself,” Viola said. “It’s so cool to be here. I’d like to do my third and fourth dives better than I did. I know I can hit my dives.”

Frank Viola, the MVP of the 1987 World Series, was among 20 family members and friends cheering Viola on.

China’s Chen Ruolin leads the women’s point standings with 392.35 points for a five-dive list. She is the defending champion and won both the individual and synchro platform titles in Beijing when she was 15.

China has won five of the six diving golds so far in London including the women’s platform synchro with Wang Hao and Chen.

Pandelela Pamg of Malaysia was second with 349.00 and Christin Steuer of Germany was third with 341.75. Steuer was an alternate called up when teammates Nora Subshinski withdrew with a neck injury.

Water polo

Italy ended Hungary’s longtime domination at the Olympic Games, knocking off the three-time defending champions, 11-9, to move into Friday’s semifinals against gold medal favorite Serbia, 11-8 winners over Australia earlier in the day at the Water Polo Arena.

Italian leading scorer Maurizio Felugo iced the win with a long distance goal late in the fourth quarter for a two-goal margin with 58 seconds to go.

“We played against one of the strongest teams ever, we played at the highest level to beat them,” said Felugo, the team’s captain.

In the other semifinal, Montenegro, 11-9 winners over Spain, will play Croatia, who dismantled the U.S. 2008 Olympic silver medalist, 8-2. The U.S. will now play Spain and Hungary plays Australia in the classification round for places fifth through eighth.

The U.S. ended up losing three straight and lopsided matches to Serbia, Hungary and Croatia. “We never found our rhythm and probably the belief in ourselves either,” said U.S. head coach Terry Schroeder.

Serbia, which came back from an 8-5 deficit to the Aussies, is looking for its first Olympic gold medal as an independent country.

Open water swimming

The 10K open water swimming races for women is Thursday and men on Friday at the Serpentine in London’s Hyde Park. Twenty five swimmers are in each elite field. It’s only the second time open water swimming is being held at the Olympics.

Keri-Anne Payne of Great Britain, a silver medalist in Beijing and reigning world champion, is the gold medal world champion.

Italy’s Martina Grimaldi and Marianna Lymperta of Greece are also among medal favorites. Haley Anderson is the top American.

Five-time world champion Thomas Lurz of Germany, a 2008 Beijing bronze medalist, is the gold medal favorite.

American Alex Meyer is the sentimental favorite. Meyer is swimming in the memory of Fran Crippen, who tragically died in a FINA-sanctioned open water swim in United Emirates In October 2011 at age 26. Crippen was a U.S. Olympic hopeful for London.

Spyridon Gianniotis of Greece and Ous Mellouli of Tunisia, who already won the bronze medal in the 1500 meter freestyle, could also win medals. Mellouli is the first swimmer to take part in both the Olympic pool and open water events.

Olympic Notes

According to an Olympic statistician, 51 percent of the male Olympic gold medalists sang their national anthems compared to 35 percent of female winners….About 16 percent of the 129 gold medal winners so far cried during the medal ceremony. China cries the least at 7 percent…Great Britain had the most weepers with 37.5 percent…Another 16 percent either bit or kissed their medal…The U.S. Olympic swim team’s Call Me Maybe video was tweeted 745 times during the swimming competition. It already has more than one million hits on YouTube.

Olympic Tweets

“Taper time is over, time to do the little things that help keep me in shape on break like the stairs.”—Dana Vollmer, U.S. Olympic gold medalist and world record holder

“Four years ago I left Beijing to fight cancer, now I am leaving London to celebrate my gold medal.”—Eric Shanteau

“Last night I was met in the airport by family, friends and all three news stations. Then had two police escorts home from the airport. Also had a very nice lunch with the mayor, director of utilities board and director of parks and recreation. It’s been an amazing day.”—Claire Donahue, Olympic gold medalist who trains at SOFLO

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


SOFLO’s Fab Five Sweeps Girls Butterfly In Best Times On Day Three Of Senior Southern Zones

SOFLO’s Fab Five Sweeps Girls Butterfly In Best Times On Day Three Of Senior Southern Zones


August 8, 2012

In a first-of-its-kind finish, South Florida Aquatic Club swept the top five places in the championship final of the girls’ 50-meter butterfly Wednesday night at the Southern Zone Senior Long Course Championships at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.

Maria Lopez, 16, broke the 30-second mark for the first time in her swimming career to win in a career-best 29.67 seconds.

Lopez was one of five SOFLO swimmers to advance into the championship final. All five posted career-best times in the championship race.

Marcella Marinheiro, 17, was second in 29.77, also cracking 30 seconds for the first time.

Amber Hunter, 16, was third in 30.50.

Evelin Jimenez, 17, and Melissa Marinheiro, 15, tied for fourth in 30.67.

“That was cool, we have been working hard on the fly, really focusing on sprint fly,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said.

“We knew we would have some girls go under 30. I wasn’t surprised. We knew we were going to do it, that was the plan. Our swimmers are having a lot of fun with this meet.”

The Fab Five totaled 82 points in the one event to extend SOFLO’s lead in the girls’ team standings to 525.5 ahead of Team Greenville (443) after the butterfly event.

Four of the five flyers had dropped time in morning prelims. Top seed Maria Lopez, 16, dropped from 30.31 to 30.13; Marcella Marinheiro, 17, dropped from 30.29 to 30.14; Hunter, 16, dropped from 30.89 to 30.77; and Jimenez, 17, dropped from 30.98 to 30.86.

The SOFLO girls ruled the pool on another exciting night of long course swimming.

SOFLO has a commanding lead in the girls’ team standings with 631.5 points. Team Greenville is second with 475.

SOFLO boys also lead the team standings with 671.5 points followed by Team Greenville with 539.

Four of the five girls’ flyers came back to finish second in the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:49.47 with Lopez, Hunter and Marinheiro sisters.

Marcella Marinheiro, 17, won the 50-meter backstroke in a best time 31.54, bettering her previous best of 31.69. SOFLO teammate Samantha Stinemire, 14, finished second in a best time 31.70, dropping from 32.40. Melissa Marinheiro, 15, was eighth in 34.59.

Jessica Rodriguez, 13, the youngest swimmer in the championship final, finished third in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 5:20.52. She was seeded fifth after morning prelims. Her previous best was 5:23.11.

Marc Rojas, 18, swam back-to-back best times in the 200-meter freestyle. He finished second in 1:56.58, a bonus cut for next week’s Speedo Junior Nationals. Rojas had the fourth fastest time in morning prelims in a best time 1:58.26 lowering his previous best 1:58.76.

Rojas was also a member of the runner-up 800-meter freestyle relay team that finished in a season-best 8:12.34 with Carlo Morante, Alex Rodriguez and Jacob Walters.

Walters, 16, had two more personal best time swims. He lowered his time in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:05.33, dropping from 2:06.34. In the 50-meter butterfly, Walters dropped from 28.46 to 28.38 in prelims and bettered it again to win the consolation final in 27.63.

Jordan Colon, 15, won the Bonus Final in a best time in the 400-meter individual medley in 5:03.01, lowering his previous best of 5:04.08.

Former SOFLO/Comets swimmer Leonie Davies of The Woodlands turned in back-to-back best times in morning prelims and finals. Davies lowered her 200-meter freestyle time from 2:14.85 to 2:14.58 and lowered it again in the consolation final in 2:14.20.

Also in morning prelims:

Marcella Marinheiro, 17, earned the top seed in the 50-meter backstroke in 32.39 and teammate Samantha Stinemire, 14, swam the second fastest time in 32.44.

Daniela Jimenez, 17, lowered her best time in the 200-meter freestyle to 2:20.01 from 2:20.64. Also in the event, Lilli Calero, 14, swam a best time 2:25.12 bettering her previous best of 2:26.27.

Ivan Parada, 17, dropped from 28.91 to 28.27 in the 50-meter butterfly and again in finals to finish fifth in 27.56.


GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) 631.5, 2. Team Greenville 475, 3. Team FLA 410.5, 4. Plantation 378, 5. First Colony 358.5, 6. The Woodlands 332.5, 7. Mansfield 330, 8. Katy Aquatics 325, 9. Mississippi Makos 244.5, 10. Houston Cougar 216, 15. Pompano Piranhas 100.


50-meter backstroke: 1. Marcella Marinheiro, SOFLO 31.54, best time; SOFLO: 2. Samantha Stinemire 31.70, best time, 8. Melissa Marinheiro 34.59, 14. Maria Lopez 34.00.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Meagan Thompson, MAC 2:08.82; SOFLO: 36. Daniela Jimenez 2:20.01, best time, 40. Evelin Jimenez 2:20.82, 54. Lilli Calero 2:25.12, best time, 57. Carly Swanson 2:28.30.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Kristen Hepler, KATY 5:14.55; SOFLO: 3. Jessica Rodriguez 5:20.52, best time, 20. Daniela Jimenez 5:52.36.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Maria Lopez, SOFLO 29.67, best time; SOFLO: 2. Marcella Marinheiro 29.77, best time, 3. Amber Hunter 30.50, best time, 4. Evelin Jimenez, 30.67, best time and Melissa Marinheiro, 30.67, best time.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. MAC 8:46.16, 2. SOFLO “A” 8:49.47 (Marcella Marinheiro, Maria Lopez, Melissa Marinheiro, Amber Hunter), 9. SOFLO “B” 9:20.39 (Daniela Jimenez, Evelin Jimenez, Samantha Stinemire, Bianca Muniz).

BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 671.5, 2. Team Greenville 539, 3. Team FLA 436.5, 4. Plantation 408, 5. Mansfield 362, 6. First Colony 358.5, 7. Katy Aquatics 353, 8. The Woodlands 350.5, 9. Mississippi Makes 244.5, 10. Houston Cougar 216, 15. Pompano Piranhas 100.


50-meter backstroke: 1. Chad Moody, Pompano Piranhas 28.48; SOFLO: 4. Carlo Morante 30.51, 9. Ivan Parada 31.17.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Cory Loria, MAC 1:56.49; SOFLO: 2. Marc Rojas 1:56.58, best time, 24. Jacob Walters 2:05.33, best time, 31. Roger Capote 2:07.21, 58. Xavier Brown 2:17.02.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Pablo Ortiz, TG 4:40.65; SOFLO: 17. Jordan Colon 5:03.01, best time.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Pablo Ortiz, TG 26.96; SOFLO: 3. Alex Rodriguez 27.30, 4. Xavier Brown 27.44, 5. Ivan Parada 27.56, best time, 9. Jacob Walters 27.63, best time. 

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. TG 8:07.94, 2. SOFLO “A” 8:12.34 (Carlo Morante, Alex Rodriguez, Marc Rojas, Jacob Walters), 14. SOFLO “B” 8:45.77 (Ivan Parada, Edward Kon, Ryan Capote, Roger Capote).

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com