SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Gold At FINA Swimming World Cup In Tokyo


By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, August 4, 2019—After a slow start in the series opener, Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club bounced back to win a gold medal Sunday at the FINA Swimming World Cup.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian and short course world record holder won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.35. She won $1,500 for her first place.

Satomi Suzuki of Japan was second in 31.09 and Alina Zmushka of Belarus was third in 31.12.

Atkinson still holds the championship record in 30.26, set in November 2015. Atkinson was coming off the FINA World Championships where she finished out of the medal hunt. Her best place was fourth.

Atkinson was also ninth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.87 and 19th in the 50-meter butterfly in 27.57 in the FINA World Cup opener.

“I feel pretty good. I wanted to see if I was faster or slower than at the World Championships, and I am about the same time. So, it was okay. I think my best time is 1:05.9, so I would love to be get back to this result. For that reason, it’s a small stepping stone in that direction,” Atkinson said.

Tokyo is the first stop of the first cluster and site of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, giving Atkinson a sneak preview of the city and Olympic fever. The remaining two stops are Jinan, China Aug. 8-10 and Singapore Aug. 15-17.

Swimmers are competing for prize money. Atkinson is the only swimmer from Jamaica competing.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Schleicher, Dinehart Top SOFLO Finishers On Day Three Of USA Swimming Futures Championships


By Sharon Robb

GREENSBORO, N.C., August 3, 2019—Mallory Schleicher and Olivia Dinehart were among Top 10 finishers on Day Three of the USA Swimming Futures Championships Saturday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers each finished ninth. Schleicher was ninth in the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:22.92, dropping an impressive 5.17 and just missing a junior national cut.

Dinehart was ninth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:39.93.

Headed into the fourth and final day of racing, TAC Titans lead the men’s and Sarasota Sharks lead the women’s team standings. SOFLO is tenth among women’s teams.

SATURDAY RESULTS
MEN TEAM TOTALS:
1. TAC Titans 132, 2. Marlins of Raleigh 115, 3. Sarasota Tsunami 92, 4. Academy Aquatics 88, 5. Avon Community 73.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Sarasota Sharks 166, 2. Blue Dolfins 162, 3. Marlins of Ralegh 117, 4. TAC Titans 114.5, 5. Laker Swim 76, 10. South Florida Aquatic Club 46.

GIRLS

200-meter butterfly:
1. Ashley Worden, MOR 2:14.57.

50-meter freestyle:
1. Gabrielle Vanbrunt, GCAT 26.12; SOFLO: 19. Gaby Banks 26.97,

200-meter breaststroke:
1. Genevieve Joyce, MOR 2:33.72; SOFLO: 9. Olivia Dinehart 2:39.93, 23. Molly Golding 2:45.83.

100-meter backstoke:
1. Anna Freed, SRQ 1:02.71.

400-meter freestyle:
1. Adrianna Cera, MOR 4:20.65; SOFLO: 9. Mallory Schleicher 4:22.92, time drop 5.17, 35. Olivia Dinehart 4:32.23, time drop 27.04.

BOYS

200-meter butterfly:
1. Elliot Cooper, ACST 2:03.11; SOFLO: 41. Miguel Sierra 2:14.16.

50-meter freestyle:
1. Spencer Jyawook, NAC 23.43; SOFLO: 72. Robert Wilson 24.99, 78. Juan Mora 25.08, time drop 0.77.

200-meter breaststroke:
1. Bryar Long, ACAC 2:18.65; SOFLO: 19. Juan Pablo Pineda 2:26.41. time drop 1.19.

100-meter backstoke:
1. Erek Nelson, FINS 56.33.

400-meter freestyle:
1. Braeden Haughey, TAC 3:56.42.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding Makes First U.S. Olympic Trials Cut, Makes “C” Final At Phillips 66 National Championships


By Sharon Robb

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 3, 2019—Kathleen Golding is living her dream.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer rose to the occasion with what her coach Chris Anderson called “a spectacular swim” Saturday at the Phillips 66 National Championships at Avery Aquatic Center.

Golding, 18, competing in only her second senior national championship, made her first U.S. Olympic Trials cut in the 400-meter freestyle in morning prelims.

“This is a dream come true,” said Golding, headed to the University of Florida this fall. “It’s what you work for. I am looking forward to going to college and what’s to come.”

Golding swam a lifetime-best 4:15.31 to earn a trip to the June 2020 Trials and chance to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Her previous best was 4:18.14. She was seeded 67th going into the race. She was 24th in prelims and qualified for the “C” final. She dropped 2.83 off her previous best.

And then, to top it off she found another gear and came back at night to better her cut time in 4:14.38 and finish 21st. Her total time drop was 3.76.

“I felt really good and strong in the morning,” Golding said. “I was really surprised it didn’t hurt that bad. I was just trying to win my heat. I wasn’t focused on the time. When I touched the wall I was surprised. I didn’t think I was going to get the Trials cut. It gave me confidence for tonight.

“I tried to come back even faster and work on my back half of the race,” Golding said. “I used my confidence from the morning to swim even faster.”

Even more satisfying was the fact Golding made the Olympic Trials qualifying standard with her longtime coach.

“I’m happy I got it with Coach, he was really happy,” Golding said. “He is the reason I am as good as I am. He’s been with me every single day at practice. It means a lot to get the cut with him.

“I had a little bit of a rough spring season, but over the summer I put in a lot of hard training and had a good section meet. It built my confidence for this meet.”

Her biggest accomplishment came less than a day after getting disqualified in the 400-meter individual medley, one of her signature events. Golding has the 200-meter individual event left to swim on Sunday.

“I honestly didn’t feel like I got disqualified,” Golding said. “I was surprised when they pulled me. It does happen and I just had to put it behind me, not think about it and focus on my other races.”

In her fourth and final event at nationals, SOFLO teammate Mary Smutny, 18, was 58th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:21.28. Smutny is headed to University of Texas this fall.

In other Saturday races:

Ally McHugh surprised the field that featured early leaders Allison Schmitt and Sierra Schmidt to win the 400-meter freestyle in 4:07.08. McHugh pulled off a 29.77 on her final 50-meter split to reach the wall first after being fourth for most of the race.

Elijah Winnington won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:47.39 to complete his sweep of the middle distance freestyles.

Breeja Larson won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.78, her fastest time since 2014.

Devon Nowicki surged in the final 50 meters to win the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.69, just 1/10th of a second ahead of Craig Benson.

Amy Bilquist won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.64, the only swimmer in the final to break one minute.

Shaine Casas won the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 52.72, fifth fastest time in the world this year.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Maddie Smutny Wins On Final Day Of Southern Zone Age Group Championships; Florida Gold Coast All-Stars Finish Eighth


By SHARON ROBB

CARY, N.C., August 3, 2019—Maddie Smutny of South Florida Aquatic Club saved her best for last on the final day of the Southern Zone Age Group Championships Saturday at Triangle Aquatic Center.

The Florida Gold Coast All-Star, seeded second in the 13-14 200-meter butterfly in 2:24.81 after morning prelims, won the event in a lifetime-best 2:20.44 with a time drop of 2.06. Her previous best was 2:22.50. Her splits were 1:09.14 and 1:11.30 coming home.

It was the 14-year-old’s first victory of the meet. Smutny finished with 12 points.

SOFLO teammate Alejandro Mateus, 14, finished the meet with a fourth place in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:16.57 with a time drop of 1.70. He was also 20th in the 200-meter individual medley with an 0.14 time drop. Mateus finished with five points.

Early leader North Carolina clinched team titles in combined (944.5), men’s (456.5) and women’s (488) for the sweep. Florida Swimming was runner-up in combined with 791 points and Team Georgia was third with 745.

Florida Gold Coast Zone Team All-Stars was eighth out of 13 teams with 229 points, ninth among men’s teams with 120.5 and eighth among women’s teams with 108.5.

SATURDAY RESULTS
COMBINED TEAM TOTALS:
1. North Carolina 944.5, 2. Florida Swimming 791, 3. Team Georgia 745, 4. South Carolina 533.5, 5. South Texas Swimming 440.5, 8. Florida Gold Coast 229.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. North Carolina 456.5, 2. Florida Swimming 408.5, 3. Team Georgia 362, 4. South Texas 247.5, 5. South Carolina 211.5, 9. Florida Gold Coast 120.5.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. North Carolina 456.5, 2. Florida Swimming 408.5, 3. Team Georgia 362, 4. South Texas 247.5, 5. South Carolina 211.5, 9. Florida Gold Coast 120.5.

GIRLS

200-meter individual medley:
11-12, 1. Nicole Zettel, NCS 2:22.98; 13-14, 1. Sasha Dauletau, STX 2:25.92; 15-18, 1. Tailyn Schaufelberger, STX 2:24.13.

50-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Vivian Anderson, NTX 27.99; FGC: 4. Sidney Anton 28.52, time drop 0.26; 13-14, 1. Lillie Nesty, FL 27.24; 15-18, 1. Alexandra Wayne, GA 27.04.

50-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Kathryn Monville, NCS 30.41.

200-meter butterfly:
13-14, 1. Maddie Smutny, FGC/SOFLO 2:20.44, time drop 4.37; FGC: 8. Mariana Cote 2:31.62; 15-18, 1. Payton Smith, GA 2:23.04.

200-meter freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. North Carolina 1:53.42, 6. Florida Gold Coast 1:57.88 (Abbie Sargent, Bianca Nieto, Emma Herrera, Sidney Anton); 13-14, 1. South Carolina 1:49.86, 4. Florida Gold Coast 1:52.40 (Logan Zielinski, Mariana Cote, Nicol Bellardi, Michelle Fernandez); 15-18, 1. South Carolina 1:48.76.

BOYS

200-meter individual medley:
11-12, 1. Maximus Williamson, NTX 2:22.55; 13-14, 1. Luca Oliva, FL 2:14.94; 15-18, 1. Lucas Thomas, KY 2:08.51.

50-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Wells Cloud, SC 26.86; FGC: 6. Riley Brisco 27.44; 13-14, 1. Michael Robinson, MS 24.24; 15-18, 1. Nicholas Eunice, FL 24.30.

50-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Wells Cloud, SC 29.22.

200-meter butterfly:
13-14, 1. Anderson Brown, STX 2:09.09; FGC: 4. Alejandro Mateus 2:16.57, time drop 0.99; 15-18, 1. Conley Savage, STX 2:09.16.

200-meter freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. North Carolina 1:48.38, 5. Florida Gold Coast 1:53.44 (Giulian Martin, Julian Lezcano, Lucas Bailey, Riley Brisco); 13-14, 1. South Texas 1:40.38, 7. Florida Gold COast 1:43.16 (Dylan Smiley, Daniel Givskov, Chase Foulds, Agustin Rodriguez); 15-18, 1. Florida Swimming 1:39.92.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com