SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Finishes Second On Final Day Of Austin Arena Pro Swim Series

By Sharon Robb

January 17, 2016—Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club finished second in her signature event on the third and final day of the Arena Pro Swim Series Sunday at University of Texas Lee & Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian, despite being broken down from heavy training, finished second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.47.

Atkinson, 27, was first at the turn and was leading by 5/100ths of a second before being overtaken by Katie Meili in 1:06.75.

Atkinson was the top seed going into the race after swimming 1:07.38 in morning prelims.

“Every meet and every race is a learning experience,” Meili said.

“It’s great we have so many amazing breaststrokers here. I am lucky to have that competition all the time.”

2012 U.S. Olympian Claire Donahue, was second in the “B” final of the 200-meter butterfly in 2:14.28.

Teenager Kathleen Golding, 15, turned in another good swim in the 200-meter individual medley which she has a U.S. Olympic Trial cut time in. Golding finished 38th in 2:21.84 in morning prelims.

In other championship finals:

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: Cammile Adams of Texas led from wire-to-wire to win in 2:08.21. “I just wanted to come out and put in a good effort into it so I am happy with that,” she said. “We are definitely putting a lot of pressure on ourselves at this meet. I need work on my start and getting out faster in the first 100.”

Men’s 200-meter butterfly: Without Michael Phelps in the field, the race was wide open. Singapore’s Quah Zheng Wen came from behind to win in. The 19-year-old is trained by former Bolles coach Sergio Lopez, now national team director for Singapore.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Andrew Wilson, 22, of Texas won a close four-man race in the final five meters in 1:00.42. “I just tried to be an animal at the wall.”

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, the third seed, held off a charging Missy Franklin, who came back from fourth place, after a poor start and dolphin kick, in 59.91. Franklin finished in 1:00.03.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: 6-foot-8 Matt Grevers out-reached Bolles alum Ryan Murphy to win in 53.35. Murphy was second in 53.46. “We are always pushing each other, we are making each other better and faster as individuals,” he said.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Hosszu, 16 minutes after winning the 100 backstroke, took a two-body length lead early in the race to win her second event of the night in 2:10.69. “I am really excited, I feel like I am ahead of where I was last year at this time,” she said. “I just tried to slow my breathing down and clear my head after the 100 back. It’s more mental than anything else.”

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Michael Phelps, 30, turned it on in the last five meters to win a close race against rival Ryan Lochte. Both were dead even for most of the exciting race. Phelps accelerated into the wall to win in 1:58.00.

“Ryan and I have had a lot of great swims with each other,” Phelps said. “I knew we were going to try and battle it out. I knew it would come down to the touch. I am very pleased with that. I am picking up the small things at meets like this like turns and underwaters. I am happy again. It’s a pretty incredible feeling. Right now I am loving life. I am enjoying it a lot more.”

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Ashley Twichell, 26, of Triangle Aquatics won in 8:41.23 in a close race against Olivia Anderson, 16, of Etobicoke in 8:41.71.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Tunisian Ous Mellouli, 31, swimming unattached, won convincingly in 15:19.94, just off his seed time of 15:18.02. Tobia Robinson, 19, of Great Britain was second in 15:22.23.

Austin was the second stop in the seven-meet series. The series offers $350,000 in prize money. Each meet winner earns $1000, runners-up $600 and third place $200. A $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the overall male and female series winners. The next series is the March 3-5 in Orlando at the YMCA Aquatic Center.



200-meter butterfly: 1. Cammile Adams, SwimMAC 2:08.21, 2. Audrey Lacroix, HPC-Ontario 2:10.14; SOFLO: 10. Claire Donahue 2:14.28.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Katie Meili, SwimMAC 1:06.75, 2. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1;07.47, 3. Molly Hannis, Tennessee Aquatics 1:07.50; SOFLO: 55. Lisa Blackburn 1:14.11.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 59.91, 2. Missy Franklin, Colorado Stars 1:00.03, 3. Kathleen Baker, California 1:00.04; SOFLO: 23. Carolina Colorado 1:03.47.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 2:10.69, 2. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg 2:12.67, 3. Sarah Henry, Aggie Swim Club 2:12.77; SOFLO: 38. Kathleen Golding 2:21.84, 55. Carolina Colorado 2:23.55, 87. Lisa Blackburn 2:31.31.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Nation’s Capital 8:06.68, 2. Becca Mann, North Baltimore 8:24.49, 3. Lotte Friis, North Baltimore 8:27.23.


200-meter butterfly: 1. Quah Zheng Wen, Singapore 1:58.07, 2. Simon Sjodin, Sweden 1:58.27, 3. Andrew Seliskar, Unattached 1:58.47.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Andrew Wilson, Longhorn Aquatics 1:00.42, 2. Kevin Cordes, Singapore 1:00.53, 3. Sam Tierney, Missouri 1:00.63; SOFLO: 50. Kile Aukerman 1:06.44.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford Dealership 53.35, 2. Ryan Murphy, Unattached 53.46, 3. David Plummer, New York Athletic Club 53.50.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Michael Phelps, North Baltimore 1:58.00, 2. Ryan Lochte, SwimMAC 1:58.43, 3. Josh Prenot, Unattached 1:59.94.; SOFLO: 54. Kile Aukerman 2:11.41.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Ous Mellouili, Unattached 15:19.94, 2. Tobia Robinson, Great Britain 15:22.23, 3. Anton Ipsen, NCS 15:17.51.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

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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