Americans Fink, White Win Gold; SOFLO’s Atkinson Swims Final Event At FINA Short Course World Championships


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 18, 2021–The U.S. team rebounded with two gold medals Saturday at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

Nic Fink, in fourth place with a lap to go, rallied to win the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:02.28 to win his first gold medal of the meet and second overall. He took bronze in the 100 breaststroke. He was just 0.08 seconds off his American record he set while competing in the International Swimming League.

U.S. teammate Rhyan White won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.58. White and Canadian Kylie Masse took turns in the lead before White came on with a 30.86 split on the last lap.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson, 33, will go after her final chance at a medal in her final career meet when she competes in the 100-meter breaststroke heats. The five-time Jamaican Olympian was disqualified in the 50-meter breaststroke semifinals. SOFLO teammate Julio Horrego, representing Honduras, has the 50-meter breaststroke on Monday.

In championship final action:

Hong Kong’s Siobahn Haughey won her second gold medal of the meet, winning the 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 50.98. She also won the 200 freestyle earlier in the meet in world record time.

Italy’s Matteo Rivolta won the 100-meter butterfly in 48.87 ahead of South African Chad le Closs in 49.04.

With American Katie Grimes out of the race because of COVID-19 protocols, China’s Li Bingjie won the 800-meter freestyle in a meet record 8:02.90.

The Netherlands won the mixed medley 4×50-meter relay in a meet record 1:36.20 ahead of the U.S., second in 1:37.04, with relay members Kira Toussaint, Arno Kamminga, Thom de Boer and Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

Also on Saturday, Olympic teammates Lydia Jacoby and Katie Grimes withdrew from the meet due to COVID-19 protocols.

Jacoby, the Alaskan who won the 100-meter breaststroke in Tokyo, was the only individual U.S. Olympic gold medalist entered in short course worlds. Grimes, the youngest athlete on the U.S. Olympic team at age 15, was fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in Tokyo.

The five-day meet continues Sunday with the pool competition and ends Tuesday.

FINA is offering a prize money pool of $2.8 million, a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There is also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

There are 943 swimmers from 183 countries competing. The swimming is part of the Aquatics Festival which includes open water swimming, high diving and diving team competition.

Final sessions of the pool swimming will be streamed on NBC Sports’ Olympic Channel. Eurovision Sport’s All Aquatics will air the heats.

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

Del Rio, Petkov Top SOFLO Finishers On Day One At Holiday Champs


By Sharon Robb
SUNRISE, December 17, 2021—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers had a good opening day at the Holiday Champs Friday at Sunrise Civic Center Pool.

The girls were led by Kaylee Del Rio, Cali Harries and Alexandra Strong.

Del Rio, 14, was third in the 400-yard individual medley in a best time 5:28.05, dropping 11.08 seconds.

Harries, 14, was fourth in the 400-yard individual medley in 5:29.22.

Strong, 13, was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 5:44.17, dropping 3.53 seconds.

The boys were led by Toma Petkov, David Valdiviezo and Michael Barber.

Petkov, 9, was third in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 6:57.21 with an impressive 1:07.55 improvement.

Valdiviezo, 12, was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 5:56.82 with an 8.71-second time drop.

Barber, 9, was sixth in the 500-yard freestyle in 7:26.14, also a best time with a 3.74 time drop.

SOFLO heads the field with 62 swimmers (35 boys and 27 girls) in 306 individual events and 12 relays.

Age group breakdown is 7-10, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-and-over. The meet is for swimmers who achieved a “B” time standard in at least one event.

In addition to SOFLO, other teams competing are Coral Springs Swim Club, Cyclones, Florida Keys, Hurricane Aquatics, Lake Lytal Lightning, Rockwood, Swim Fort Lauderdale, SwimFast, TS Aquatics, Turks & Caicos Aquatic Club and host Sunrise Swimming.

Meet organizers will be running a closed deck. Parents may sit on the south side of the pool by the bleachers. Parents are allowed to bring chairs. Swimmers will be on the north and west side of the pool.

Admission is $5 per person, cash only. Heat sheets are free and available at sunriseswimming.com or on Meet Mobile.

FRIDAY RESULTS
GIRLS

500-yard freestyle:
7-10, 1. Grace Weeks, CSSC 5:55.89, 2. Kiana Young, LLL 6:11.54, 3. Jameela Rashad, CSSC 6:13.46.
11-12, 1. Manuella Lima, CSSC 5:48.83, 2. Gabriela Campuzano, LLL 5:51.12, 3. Makayla Shepley, LLL 5:54.37.
13-14, 1. Carlin Hughes, LLL 5:29.62, 2. Sami Scope, LLL 5:36.86, 3. Adriana Lozano, SF 5:38.92; SOFLO: 5. Alexandra Strong 5:44.17, time drop 3.53, 11. Anjana Andapally 5:55.57, 12. Mikhel Martin 5:55.62, time drop 2.49.
15-and-over, 1. Kaitlyn Jorgensen, SUN 5:16.76, 2. Teresa Landron, SUN 5:24.83, 3. Olivia Wiebe, SF 5:25.27; SOFLO: 13. Isabel Schlicht 6:04.32.

400-yard individual medley:
11-12, 1. Makayla Shepley, LLL 5:20.35, 2. Gabriela Campuzano, LLL 5:24.31, 3. Lydia Wagner, LLL 5:26.03.
13-14, 1. Emma Lin, CSSC 5:00.14, 2. Mikayla Wagner, LLL 5:16.0, 3. Kaylee Del Rio, SOFLO 5:28.05, time drop 11.08; SOFLO: 4. Cali Harries 5:29.22.
15-and-over, 1. Maya Sorunmu, SF 4:49.47, 2. Anna Rosa, SUN 4:49.71, 3. Camila Garcia, LLL 4:58.13; SOFLO: 7. Judith-Alison Natino 6:03.23.

BOYS
500-yard freestyle:
7-10, 1. Will McAndrews, CSSC 6:18.53, 2. Mason Shepley, LLL 6:26.79, 3. Toma Petkov, SOFLO 6:57.21, time drop 1:07.55; SOFLO: 6. Michael Barber 7:26.14, time drop 3.74.
11-12, 1. Brian Hamiltoin, CSSC 5:20.28, 2. John Albornoz, CSSC 5:20.45, 3. Frank Vincze, SF 5:33.47; SOFLO: 5. David Valdiviezo 5:56.82, time drop 8.71.
13-14, 1. Lucas Franchak, CANE 5:02.56, 2. Piero Tordecilla, TSA 5:12.25, 3. Luke Deutschman, RSCA 5:17.56; SOFLO: 11. Kenny Paas 5:51.93, time drop 5.84, 13. Victor Valdiviezo 5:56.19.
15-and-over, 1. Patrick Doyle, SUN 4:38.36, 2. Sean Doyle, SUN 4:52.85, 3. Riley Garcia, CANE 5:11.23.

400-yard individual medley:
11-12, 1. Daniel Ella, SUN 4:55.27, 2. Christian Rodriguez, SUN 5:04.97, 3. Alex Diaz, SF 5:19.52.
13-14, 1. Lucas Young, CANE 4:30.90, 2. Rafael Landron, SUN 4:41.49, 3. Giovanni Gianfriddo, SUN 4:42.27.
15-and-over, 1. Giulian Martin, CANE 4:09.46, 2. John Lynch, CSSC 4:27.48, 3. Mateo Silva, CANE 4:31.69.

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

Dylan Carter Breaks National Record Twice In One Day At FINA Short Course World Championships


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 17, 2021–Trinidad and Tobago swimmer Dylan Carter broke the national 100-meter butterfly record twice on Friday at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

The Plantation American Heritage alum’s national record of 49.87 in semifinals fell short of advancing into the final. He was sixth in his semifinal race and finished ninth overall, missing finals by 8/100ths of a second.

Carter broke his own national butterfly record first in prelims in 50.22. His previous record was 50.70. His semifinal time was the first time any swimmer from Trinidad and Tobago cracked the 50-second mark.

Carter, 25, won a bronze medal at the World Swimming Championships in the 50-meter butterfly in Hangzhou, China, in December 2018. The two-time Olympian recently finished his International Swimming League season with the London Roar that finished third in the Final Four playoffs.

In championship final action:

Sweden’s 4×50-yard women’s medley relay tied the world record and meet record of 1:42.38 set by the U.S. in 2018. Louise Hansson broke the national 50-yard backstroke on the opening leg in 25.91. Other relay members were Sophie Hansson (29.07 breast split), world record holder Sarah Sjostrum (23.96 butterfly) and Michelle Coleman (23.44 freestyle).

“We were thinking of a medal, gold was also in the cards but never thought we could set a world record, this is fantastic,” said Sophie Hansson, who added a bronze in the 50-meter breaststroke an hour later.

American Shaine Casas, 21, who missed making the 2020 Olympic team by one spot, won his first world title in the 100-meter backstroke in 49.23, just 2/10ths ahead of Russian and former world record holder Kliment Kolesnikov.

“The only thing that was going through my mind before this race was I needed to redeem myself,” Casas said. “I kind of proved that I’m still around and I’m somebody to mess with in the future.

“Once the race started, I kind of blanked out, spinning my arms as fast as I could and by the time I realized what was going on, we were at the end of the third leg,” Casas said. “I did the dolphin-kicks, after that my legs almost stopped working and I was just going for the wall to hit it first before these guys ran me down. It’s a huge jump after the college scene. These guys are on another level, but it takes practice, some confidence and you figure it out very quickly what to do.”

Casas was third in the 100m back at June’s Olympic Trials, where the top two made the team. He was a pre-meet favorite, ranked second in the nation since the start of 2019.

China’s Yufei Zhang won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:03.01 ahead of American Charlotte Hook in 2:04.35. Hook moved from eighth to second in the back half of the race.

Ilya Symanovich of Belarus won the 100-meter breaststroke in a meet record 55.70. The previous record was 56.01 set in 2018 by South African Cameron van der Burgh.

Anastasia Gorbenko became the first woman from Israel to win a world title, winning the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.34. Top seed and world record holder Alia Atkinson of SOFLO was the gold medal favorite before she was disqualified in the semifinals.

South Korea’s Sunwoo Hwang won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:41.60. American Kieran Smith of University of Florida was a distant fifth in 1:42.29.

Sweden’s Louise Hansson won her second gold medal of the day when she won the 100-meter backstroke in a national record 55.20.

“Oh Gosh, I’m overwhelmed,” Hansson said. “Beforehand, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to swim the 100-meter back. Then I saw some progress in the ISL, so I kept it but never thought I could win it. Oh, what an evening, world record in the relay, then another gold, in backstroke… I can’t believe it.”

With an opening split from 19-year-old Josh Liendo, Canada won the mixed 4×50-meter freestyle relay in 1:28.55. He was joined by teammates Yuri Kisil 20.99, Kayla Sanchez (23.51) and Maggie MacNeil (23.11).

The five-day meet continues Saturday with the pool competition and ends Tuesday, Dec. 21.

FINA is offering a prize money pool of $2.8 million, a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There is also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

There are 943 swimmers from 183 countries competing. The swimming is part of the Aquatics Festival which includes open water swimming, high diving and diving team competition.

Final sessions of the pool swimming will be streamed on NBC Sports’ Olympic Channel. Eurovision Sport’s All Aquatics will air the heats.

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