Florida Gold Coast Has First Champions At Speedo Junior Nationals, Makes World Team

August 9, 2013

Clara Smiddy of AK Sharks was at her best Thursday at the USA Swimming Speedo Junior National Championships in Irvine, Calif.

Smiddy, 17, of South Florida Heat and member of one of South Florida’s popular swimming families, won the 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 1:00.51.

Smiddy’s time is the ninth fastest time in the nation this year, third fastest in the 18-and-under rankings and 26th in the world.

Smiddy will represent her team, the United States and Florida Gold Coast at the World Junior 18-and-Under Championships in Dubai, Aug. 26-31.

She first lowered her previous best of 1:01.67 in morning prelims in 1:01.61.

Smiddy is coached by longtime Florida Gold Coast head coach and program director Lou Manganiello who was all smiles presenting Smiddy her gold medal on the awards podium.

After eleven meet records in the first three days, no records dropped in Thursday’s prelims. There were three swimmers who each qualified for two finals.

However, during championship finals, three more meet records went down.

York YMCA broke the meet record in the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:10.13, breaking the previous mark of 8:12.15 set by North Baltimore Aquatic Club last year.

In a rare occurence in the “B” final of the 200-meter freestyle, Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel, 16, broke the meet record in 1:48.64, faster than the championship winner Joseph Bentz, 17, of Dynamo in 1:49.57. Dressel’s splits were 25.17, 27.48, 27.68 and 28.31.

“I’m a little kid, gotta be a little risky,” Dressel said.
Carston Vissering, 16, of Nation’s Capital broke the meet record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.94, lowering the previous record of 1:02.29 set by Christian Higgins of New Canaan YMCA in 2009.

The other top Florida Gold Coast swimmer was Emily Kopas, swimming unattached, fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:09.94. Her previous best was 1:10.11. Kopas was ranked No. 1 in the world junior rankings in the event.

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro will swim her fourth and final event on Friday, the 1500-meter freestyle. Her seed time is 17:04.87.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Quinn Carrozza, Longhorn Aquatics 1:58.31; FGC: 22. Megan Moroney, St. Andrew’s Swimming 2:03.46, best time and 2:03.67, best time, prelims, 162. Olivia Katcher, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:08.30, 172. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 2:08.81, 178. Isabella Paez, Metro Aquatics 2:09.78.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Bethany Galat, South Bend Swimming 1:09.14; FGC: 5. Emily Kopas, Unattached 1:09.94, best time, 96. Rachael Bradford-Feldman, St. Andrew’s swimming 1:15.41.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Clara Smiddy, AK Sharks 1:00.51, best time, 1:01.61, prelims, best time; FGC: 31. Megan Moroney, St. Andrew’s Swimming 1:04.00, 108. Darby Goodwin, St. Andrew’s Swimming 1:05.93.

4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. York YMCA 8:10.13, meet record.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Joseph Bentz, Dynamo Swim Club 1:49.57; FGC: 16. Julian Ballestas, Metro Aquatics 1:53.43 and 1:52.48, best time, 100. Lance Rutkin, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:55.76, 101. Marco Hosfeld, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:55.81, best time, 114. Julien Pinon 1:55.99, 148. Kent Haeffner, Pine Crest Swimming 1:56.76.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Carsten Vissering, Nation’s Capital 1:01.94, meet record.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Ryan Harty, Greenwood Memorial 56.05.

Girls 50-meter freestyle: 1. Brenna Ruth, St. Andrew’s Swimming 27.02, best time; Girls 400-meter freestyle: 2. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 4:22.98; 100-meter breaststroke: 7. Lindsey Swartz, Pine Crest Swimming 1:16.90; 100-meter butterfly: 9. Darby Goodwin, St. Andrew’s Swimming 1:04.89, 15. Caroline Nava 1:05.26; 100-meter freestyle: 12. Julien Pinon, SOFLO 54.61; 400-meter freestyle: 20. Gage Kohner, St. Andrew’s Swimming 4:13.65, best time; 200-meter backstroke: 8. Luke Hayhoe, St. Andrew’s Swimming 2:11.96.


Louis “Dewey” Slater, 65, of Fig Garden Swim Team in Fresno, Calif. suffered a cardiac arrest while swimming the 1500-meter freestyle during the U.S. Masters Summer Nationals at Mission Viejo. He was treated on the pool deck but was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.

Clark Burckle, 25, of Arizona, who will speak at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex on Aug. 17th during the FGC Swimposium, broke a masters world record in his first event of the meet. Burckle won the 25-29 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.18, breaking the previous world record of 1:02.65 set in 2007 by Brit Christopher Jones.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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