By Sharon Robb
May 12, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will begin competing Friday in the Arena Pro Swim Series at the newly-renovated Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
Three-time Jamaican Olympian Atkinson opens with the 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly.
Atkinson has the world’s 13th best time in the 100-meter breaststroke this year. Katie Meili is the top seed in the event. At last summer’s Pan American Games, Meili took gold while Atkinson settled for the silver.
Atkinson has an ambitious schedule with six events over three days. She will also compete in the 50- and 200-meter breaststroke, 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle.
Colombian Jorge Murillo and Marc Rojas swim the 100-meter breaststroke. Both are also entered in the 50- and 200-meter breaststroke events.
Atkinson and Murillo are already qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. Rojas is trying to make his U.S. Olympic trials cut.
In Thursday opening day distance action:
Marcelo Acosta, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics was top Florida Gold Coast finisher, placing third in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:05.79.
Connor Jaeger, 25, of Club Wolverine won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.49.
Ashley Twichell, 26, ofCal Aquatics won the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:11.19.
Cammile Adams, 24, of SwimMAC won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:33.79. She was also sixth in the 1500 in 16:44.84.
The field features 30 national team members and more than 500 swimmers.
A full schedule of long course events begin on Friday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.
Only three Arena Pro Swim Series meets remain including this weekend’s event in Charlotte, Santa Clara and Indianapolis.
NBC Sports Live Extra will stream Saturday’s and Sunday’s final sessions live. NBC Sports Network will air tape-delayed television coverage of the meet from noon to 3 p.m. The entire meet will also be live streamed at usaswimming.org.
1.Ashley Twichell, Cal Aquatics 16:11.19, 2. Kristel Kobrich, CHI 16:16.15, 3. Gillian Ryan, Michigan 16:32.21.
1.Cammile Adams, SwimMAC 8:33.79, 2. Verity Abel, Duke 8:49.52.
1.Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 7:54.49, 2. Zane Grothe, Badger 7:57.00, 3. Marcelo Acosta, Azura 8:05.79.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com