SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins; Energy Standard, Cali Condors Will Battle It Out For ISL Title

By Sharon Robb
EINDHOVEN, Netherlands, December 3, 2021—Going into the final day of the International Swimming League championship finals, it looks like defending champion Cali Condors and 2019 champion Energy Standard will battle it out for the title.

After opening day competition on Friday at Pieter van den Hoogenband Zwemstadion, Energy Standard leads with 271 points followed by the Cali Condors with 250, London Roar with 206 and LA Current with 171.

SOFLO’s five-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of London Roar won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.15 ahead of Lilly King in 29.44. It tied the fastest swim (by King) this season.

London teammate Dylan Carter, two-time Olympian for Trinidad & Tobago, was sixth in the 50-meter freestyle in 21.15.

Adam Peaty (pay issues) and Kira Toussaint (health issues) not competing hurt London’s chance of being in the hunt for the title.

A costly mistake caused the Cali Condors to get disqualified in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay with the Energy Standard winning and picking up big points. The relay was disqualified after King had a one-hand touch during the third turn of her breaststroke leg.

The Cali Condors men’s 400-meter medley relay bounced back with a win in an American record of 3:19.64 with Coleman Stewart, Nic Fink, Caeleb Dressel and Justin Ress.

Other winners were:
Former UM swimmer Kelsi Dahlia of Cali Condors won the 100-meter butterfly breaking the short course world record in 54.59. The previous record was 54.61 set by Sarah Sjostrom in 2014.

Tom Shields of LA Current won the 100-meter butterfly in 49.03, finishing ahead of well-rested Caeleb Dressel of Cali Condors in 49.23 and Chad Le Clos of Energy Standard in 49.54.

Beata Nelson of Cali Condors won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:00.33.

Evgeny Rylov of Energy Standard won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:47.88 ahead of Ryan Murphy in 1:48.12.

Lilly King of Cali Condors won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.06.

Nic Fink of Cali Condors won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:02.41. He also won the 50-meter breaststroke in an American record 25.72.

Ben Proud of Energy Standard won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.40 ahead of Kyle Chalmers of the London Roar in 20.96. It was the fastest 50 freestyle in British history.

Sarah Sjostrom of Energy Standard won the 50-meter freestyle in 23.27.

Duncan Scott of London Roar won the 200-meter individual medley in a British record 1:51.53.

Sydney Pickrem of London Roar won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:05.79.

Ingrid Wilm of LA Current won the 50-meter backstroke in 26.24.

Ryan Murphy of LA Current won the 50-meter backstroke in 22.56.

Siobhan Haughey of Energy Standard won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.80.

Tom Dean of London Roar won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:40.67.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, December 3, 2021–Not many eighth graders get the opportunity to compete at the state meet.

Sarah Vasquez, an eighth grader at Pembroke Pines Charter, did just that and enjoyed every minute of it. She earned a trip after qualifying in the 500-yard freestyle and 4×100-yard freestyle relay.

“It was a really good experience being an eighth grader and going to states to compete,” Vasquez said.

“I pretty much thought I had nothing to lose and I would have the most fun. I just wanted to have an amazing experience since it was my first time. I was with a lot of other girls competing and it was a little bit intimidating. I just kind of thought this was my first time so we’ll just see how it goes.

“I think I definitely learned something, just to keep on pushing and not worry about what your age and size is in swimming against other people.”

Vasquez, 13, has been swimming at SOFLO since she was 7. She had taken dance (jazz, tap and ballet) for five years but gave it up to focus on swimming. She followed in the footsteps of her older brother Christian. She started with Coach George and has worked her way up to Silver Group.

“I like the fact that I have my teammates with me and my coach and all of them pushing me really hard in the best way possible,” Vasquez said when asked what she likes about swimming. “I like the feel of the water as well and I love to race. It is an amazing sport.”

Between school, homework, swim practice and meets, Vasquez has learned to budget her time.

“Swimming has made me more responsible and more independent as a young swimmer,” she said. “I have to go to school, get home, do my homework and then go to practice and pretty much just repeat everything the next day.”

Her favorite stroke is freestyle and she loves to swim distance.

“I think I am really good at distance…the 500, the mile or 1,000 meters. It is a lot of mileage but I like to swim a lot. You race for such a long period of time, that you get the chance to catch up if you need to. It’s not like that in such a short race like the 100 where you only get one small minute to kind of just race where in the mile you can really think about your swimming.”

Vasquez is currently training for the 31st annual FGC Speedo Winter Championships, Dec. 9-12 in Plantation. She is a five-time finalist. The meet is her favorite, she said.

“This one I hope to perform very well,” Vasquez said. “I’m pretty excited for it. I am really hoping that I do my best and have fun.”

Vasquez would like to swim in college. For now, she is focused on improving her strokes and improving her times.

“I’m just hoping to get a lot of certain times and qualify for many things,” Vasquez said. “Honestly, I am just seeing wherever life takes me, but also trying to get my goals to set me up for my future.”

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack.

SOFLO sponsor TYR is a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies.

TYR, created by athletes, is named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology. Among its female-sponsored athletes are 2020 Olympians Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, Lilly King, Annie Lazor, Ashley Twichell and other elite swimmers Melanie Margalis, Molly Hannis and Kelsi Dahlia.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ledecky, Fratus Win; Golding, Podkoscielny Win B Finals On Day Two Of Toyota U.S. Open

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., December 2, 2021–It was a great night for Florida Gold Coast swimmers at the Toyota U.S. Open Championships Thursday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Brazilian Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus, 32, of Coral Springs Swim Club, swimming in Lane 6, won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.36. It was his first meet since the Tokyo Olympics. He was fourth fastest in prelims in 22.58. His entry time was 21.57.

World record holder Katie Ledecky, 24, swimming unattached for Florida, broke her own U.S. Open record for the second consecutive night.

Ledecky won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:00.51, breaking her record of 4:00.81 set in 2019. She was fastest off the block and by the halfway mark had a two-body length lead with a 1:59.92 split. She won the race by 15 meters.

Two Florida Gold Coast swimmers won consolation finals.

University of Florida’s Kathleen Golding, 21, of SOFLO, won the B final of the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:13.76. She won by a body length dropping 1.49 seconds. Her previous best was 4:15.25. She was 12th fastest in morning prelims in 4:17.56.

Florida commit Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming, competing in her first U.S. Open, won the B final in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:16.48, just off her best 2:16.36. She was second after the opening butterfly leg (29.37) and then moved into the lead in the backstroke (33.59) and maintained the lead in the breaststroke (41.09) and freestyle (32.43). She was ninth fastest in morning prelims in 2:17.77. Leah Smith, 26, of Texas won the event in 2:11.67.

Podkoscielny also finished 15th in the morning prelims of the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:20.46, dropping 26.39 seconds. She scratched from consolations to focus on the 200 IM.

With two Top 16 finishes, it was the first time she earned second swims on the national stage.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Julio Horrego was 22nd in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:09.18. He competes in the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday. SOFLO teammate Juan Mora scratched from the meet to take SATs on Saturday.

Top-seed Trey Freeman of Florida, won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:49.06. Two-time Olympic champion and Florida teammate Bobby Finke was third in 3:51.44.

Other notables and local swimmers in action were:

Blair Stoneburg, 17, Treasure Coast, was 16th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:20.56 and disqualified in consos. She was 27th in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.95.

The meet is being live streamed at Results can be found on Meet Mobile

400-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Unattached-Florida 4:00.51, 2. Erin Gemmell, Nation’s Capital 4:10.12, 3. Sierra Schmidt, Scottsdale Aquatic Club 4:12.53; 9. Kathleen Golding, Florida 4:13.76.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Leah Smith, Texas Longhorns 2:11.67, 2. Summer Smith, Tennessee 2:15.02, 3. Abby Hay, Louisville 2:15.45; 9. Julia Podkoscielny, Pine Crest Swimming 2:16.48.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Mallory Comerford, Cardinals 25.24, 2. Arina Openysheva, Louisville 25.33, 3. Camille Spink, Nation’s Capital 25.36.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Trey Freeman, Florida 3:49.06, 2. Hoe Yean Khiew, Malaysia 3:50.52, 3. Bobby Finke, Florida 3:51.44.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Baylor Nelson, SwimMAC 1:59.86, 2. Collyn Gagne, Simon Fraser 2:02.59, 3. Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero, Florida 2:04.49, Argentine national record.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Bruno Fratus, Coral Springs Swim Club 22.36, 2. Adam Chaney, Florida 22.37, 3. Andrej Barna, Cardinals 22.43, 20. Josiah Morales, PAQ 23.94.

Sharon Robb can be reached at