Atkinson Just Misses 200 Breaststroke Final; Delhi Belly Going Around At Commonwealth Games

Atkinson Just Misses 200 Breaststroke Final; Delhi Belly Going Around At Commonwealth Games


October 6, 2010

Two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson of the South Florida Aquatic Club will race in her final event Thursday at the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

Atkinson, 21, representing Jamaica, will compete in her fourth and final event in the 100-meter breaststroke. She will swim in the third of six heats at the Dr. SPM Aquatics Complex in Talkatora Gardens.

On Wednesday, Atkinson just missed making her second final of the Games. She was fourth in her heat in 2:34.32 but failed to advance into the finals. She was tenth fastest among a field of 17 breaststrokers. Her splits were 36.01, 1:15.16 and 1:54.48.

Earlier in the week, Atkinson finished eighth in the 50-meter breaststroke and broke her national record twice (32.24 and 32.13). She was also 12th in the 200-meter individual medley (2:24.39).

“It’s been a pretty decent meet,” Atkinson said. “It’s kind of been up and down in terms of results. I am definitely looking forward to doing well in my last event.”

Australia’s Leisel Jones captured her third straight 200 breaststroke title in the in 2:25.38, defending her previous victories in 2002 and 2006. Aussie teammate Tessa Wallace was second in 2:25.60 and Sarah Katsoulis completed the Aussie  sweep with a third-place 2:25.92.

It was just part of the Aussies’ domination on the medal stand during the third day of finals. On Wednesday, Australia won six of the nine gold medals up for grabs including the women’s breaststroke.

Other finals:

In the men’s 50-meter butterfly, Jason Dunford became the first swimmer from Kenya to win a gold medal in 23.35 and moved into sixth place in the world rankings. Dunford and his brother David have been the only Kenyans to ever make a final in any event. Dunford is coached by Andrea Di Nino in Italy. Di Nino worked with SOFLO and six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex for more than two years and learned his lessons well working with several international swimmers and Lohberg.

Aussie Geoff Huegill, 31, who came out of retirement and battled back from depression and weight problem, took silver in 23.37. South Africa’s Roland Schoeman was third in 23.44.

In the men’s 200-meter backstroke, England’s James Goddard started off the night’s competition with a meet record 1:55.58 to win a gold medal. The previous record was 1:58.65. Lanky teenager Gareth Kean, 19, who nearly drowned when he was 2 at a school pool, won New Zealand’s first medal with a second place finish in a season-best 1:57.37. He was seeded eighth going into the final. Kean was coming off a double gold medal performance at Junior Pan Pacs. Aussie Ashley Delaney took bronze in 1:58.18.

Aussie Alicia Coutts won her second gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle. After swimming the fastest time in a textile suit in the 200 individual medley on opening day, she came back with a 54.09. Teammate Emily Seebohm took silver in 54.30 and England’s Fran Halsall took bronze in 54.57.

In the men’s 50-meter butterfly, Jason Dunford became the first swimmer from Kenya to win a gold medal in 23.35 and moved into sixth place in the world rankings. Only Dunford and his brother David were the only Kenyans to make a final. Dunford is coached by Andrea Di Nino in Italy.

Aussie Geoff Huegill, who came out of retirement and battled back from depression and weight problem, took silver in 23.37. South Africa’s Roland Schoeman was third in 23.44.

Aussie Emily Seebohm became the first woman in Commonwealth Games history to crack the minute barrier in a meet record 59.79. England’s Gemma Spofforth of the University of Florida finished second in 1:00.02 and Canadian Julia Wilkinson was third in 1:00.74.

South Africa’s Cameron Van der Burgh won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in a meet record 1:00.10. Christian Sprenger, the fastest qualifier, was second in 1:00.29 and Aussie Brenton Rickard,world record holder in a high-tech suit (58.58) was third in 1:00.46.

Australia swept the men’s (7:10.29) and women’s (7:53.71) 800-meter freestyle relays in meet records.
In the men’s ParaSport 50-meter freestyle, Aussie Matthew Cowdrey broke his own world record of 25.34 in 25.33 to win.
Australia leads in the overall medal count with 46 (21 gold, 15 silver, 10 bronze) followed by England (26), India (25) and Canada (11). In swimming, the Aussies lead with 25 total medals followed by England (10) and South Africa with five. Canada, expected to shine, has only four.

In other Games news, Delhi Belly seems to be going around the Athletes’ Village, swimming, hockey and gymnastic venues.

Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, chills and weakness. England’s contingent has been hit the hardest with about 40 athletes being stricken. Halsall, one of the team’s top swimmers and 50-meter butterfly gold medalist, was hit by the bug and nearly fainted on the pool deck after failing to qualify for the 100 meter butterfly final.

“Most of us girls have it,” said Brit swimmer Rebecca Adlington. “You don’t feel bad in itself, it’s just that I can’t eat and I am going to the toilet every couple of minutes. It could be a lot worse.”

It was worse for Aussie medal hopeful Robert Hurley who was forced to withdraw from the Games and return home because of an intestinal ailment and exhaustion.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Finishes Eighth, Competes In Third Event Wednesday At Commonwealth Games

SOFLO’s Atkinson Finishes Eighth, Competes In Third Event Wednesday At Commonwealth Games


October 5, 2010

Alia Atkinson, competing in her first championship final at the 19th Commonwealth Games, finished eighth on the second day of swimming competition in Delhi, India.

The two-time Olympian representing Jamaica finished the 50-meter breaststroke in 32.48 seconds, 1.64 seconds behind a world-class field on Tuesday at the Dr. S.P.M. Aquatics Complex in Talkatora Gardens.

On Monday, the opening day, Atkinson, 21, broke her own national record twice, in the opening heat in 32.24 and bettered it in the semifinals in 32.13 to advance.

Atkinson was also 12th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:24.39.

In the 50 breaststroke final, Leiston Pickett of Australia, blew the field away off the blocks, took the gold in an upset in 30.84. The 18-year-old and newest Aussie swim star, is ranked third in the world behind American Jessica Hardy (30.03) and Russian Yulia Efimova (30.29) in 30.57.

“It’s certainly been an experience coming to Delhi and it’s great to get a gold medal,” Pickett said. “All the girls are swimming so fast so I knew I had to go for it from the start. To come out with gold is one of my dreams come true.”

Jones, the Olympic 100-meter champion, took silver in 31.10 and Kate Haywood of England took bronze in 31.17 to prevent an Aussie sweep.

On Wednesday, Atkinson will attempt to make another final in the 200-meter breaststroke. She competes in Lane 6 of Heat 3 against two of the world’s best, Hannah Miley of Scotland and Leisel Jones of Australia.

Atkinson is attempting to become the first Jamaican to medal at a Commonwealth Games since Janelle Atkinson (no relation) took bronze medals in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles.

In other action, the Aussies and Brits took turns winning medals.

Fran Halsall of England, a world silver medalist in the 100 freestyle, shocked Aussies Marieke Guehrer and Emily Seebohm to win the 50-meter butterfly in a British national record time of 26.24.

Guehrer, the world champion and fastest qualifier, was touched out at the wall on the last stroke and finished in 26.27. Seebohm’s time was 26.29.

“It’s fantastic, I really didn’t expect to win that one,” Halsall said. “I just wanted to go out there and get a good time and see what happens. I like being the underdog. There was a lot more pressure on some of the other girls. It was really nice to see the England flag at the top and two Aussies underneath.”

England’s world champion Liam Tancock won the men’s 50-meter backstroke in a meet record of 24.62 ahead of Aussies Hayden Stoeckel (25.08) and Ashley Delaney, (25.21) the fastest qualifier for the final.

“It’s all about getting in there and racing,” Tancock said. “I felt good but not amazing. I wasn’t really aware how far in front I was.

In the Paralympic 50-meter freestyle event, South Africa’s Natalie Du Toit just missed her world record of 29.04 and won the gold medal in 29.17.

In the final gold medal event of the night, Scotland’s Robert Renwick won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:47.88, finishing ahead of Aussies Kenrick Monk (1:47.90) and Thomas Fraser-Holmes (1:48.22).

“This is a proud moment for me and for Scotland,” Renwick said. “I’m going to enjoy the moment.”

Glasgow, Scotland will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

In other news:

Australia’s top distance swimmer Robert Hurley is suffering from a fatigue-related condition and may withdraw. In his first event, he was 14th in the 400-meter freestyle on Monday. Two other teammates, Andrew Lauterstein and Patrick Murphy seem to have similar symptoms. Some doctors have suggested it is over-training and under-recovery. Hurley must first get permission from the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to leave the Games.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Makes Final On Opening Day Of Commonwealth Games In India

SOFLO’s Atkinson Makes Final On Opening Day Of Commonwealth Games In India


October 4, 2010

Two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson will go after her first medal of the 19th Commonwealth Games on Tuesday in Delhi, India.

Alia Atkinson

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer representing Jamaica qualified among a top women’s field in the 50-meter breaststroke at the Dr. S.P.M. Aquatics Complex in Talkatora Gardens.

On the opening day of the swimming competition, Atkinson advanced in the opening heat in 32.24 seconds and was seventh fastest swimmer in the semifinals in 32.13 to advance into the championship final.

Leiston Pickett of Australia was top semifinal qualifier in 30.74 after a prelims clocking of 30.57, that ranks third in the world behind American Jessica Hardy and Yuliya Efimova.

Also in the field are Kate Haywood (31.22) and Rebecca Ajulu-Bushell (31.47) of Great Britain, Leisel Jones (31.29) and Sarah Katsoulis (31.58) of Australia, Annamay Pierse (32.07) of Canada and Kathryn Johnstone (32.31) of Scotland.

“It was a good way to start off,” said Atkinson, a Flanagan High School and Texas A&M graduate. “I wanted to get into finals and focused on that. Making finals really helps my confidence,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson, ill for the first 36 hours after arriving, showed no signs of any lingering effects.

“My eating habits haven’t been the same but it didn’t seem to have any effect on me in the pool,” said the national record holder.

“I had my ups and downs in the water. I haven’t been able to get my stroke down yet but I am still hoping to find that. The pool is nice and fast and the competition is very good here.”

Atkinson was also 12th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:24.39. She will compete in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events later this week.

Atkinson is one of three swimmers representing Jamaica. Atkinson has the most international experience.

Jamaican teammate Vicky Ho of Lake Lytal Lightning made her major meet international debut by swimming her career-best time of 2:08.49 in the 200-meter freestyle, the first of three events she qualified for.

“I am really excited, I am happy with my best time,” Ho said. “The competition is so fast here. This is my first Commonwealth Games and going my best time helps my confidence.”

SOFLO CEO and Jamaica coach Chris Anderson was pleased with his swimmers’ performances.

“I was happy for Vicky going her best time in her first major international meet, it was very positive for her and her outlook for swimming,” Anderson said.

“Alia is looking better each day. She had a really nice pace in the 50 but then started to relax her strokes and lost her focus on her actual technique.

“She understands more and more what she needs to do to be successful at this level,” Anderson said. “She is moving better in the water. She knows in the back of her mind this is a big shave meet she can gain confidence in for future big meets.”

In other races on opening day:

Kylie Palmer of Australia won the first gold medal of the meet in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:57.50. Jazmin Carlin of Wales took silver (1:58.29) and Rebecca Adlington of England took bronze (1:58.47).

“I am speechless,” said the 20-year-old Palmer. “It is an awesome feeling. You can’t get any better than winning a gold medal.”

Canadian Ryan Cochrane came from behind to win the 400-meter freestyle in 3:48.48. Early leader Ryan Napoleon of Australia took silver (3:48.59). David Carry of Scotland took bronze (3:50.06).

“The 400 is a tough race and I am still learning it,” Cochrane said. “I just wanted to stay close and then go hard. I wanted to set a positive tone to start the week.”

Napoleon won an appeal last month allowing him to compete in the Games after serving a three-month ban for a positive asthma drug test after a pharmacist mislabeled a medication intended for his father.

“Ryan is a great swimmer and he just got me in the end,” Napoleon said. “I am happy to come away with the silver.”

Alicia Coutts of Australia broke the meet record to win the 200-meter individual medley in 2:09.70, fastest time ever in a textile suit. The previous record was 2:12.90. Her victory spoiled the expected showdown between Emily Seebohm of Australia and Hannah Miley of Scotland.

Seebohm, who was hoping to win eight gold medals a la Michael Phelps, settled for silver in 2:10.83 and Canada’s Julia Wilkinson took bronze in 2:12.09. Absent from the field was Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice of Australia, who underwent shoulder surgery.

“I didn’t expect to win,” Coutts said. “I have been working hard on my stroke. It’s nice to step up and show that I am capable of being a champion and being the best.”

Eighteen-year-old Chad Le Clos became the first South African to win a gold medal in Delhi and first from his country ever to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly. He won in a meet record 1:56.48, bettering the previous mark of 1:56.64. Michael Rock of England took silver in 1:57.15 and Canadian national record holder Stefan Hirniak took bronze in 1:57.26.

Australia’s Kyle Richardson, Eamon Sullivan, Tommaso D’Orsogna and James Magnussen won the 400-meter freestyle relay in a meet record 3:13.92, breaking the previous record of 3:14.97. Britain took second in 3:15.05 and South Africa was third in 3:15.21.

The Commonwealth Games, held every four years, have brought  together more than 6,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries. It’s only the second time the Games, which end Oct. 14, have been held in Asia.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Record Turnout For Comets FGC Open Invitational This Weekend, SOFLO Opens Short Course Season

Record Turnout For Comets FGC Open Invitational This Weekend, SOFLO Opens Short Course Season


September 23, 2010

An impressive mix of age group and high school, Olympians and Olympic hopeful swimmers will compete in the Comets Florida Gold Coast Open Invitational Friday through Sunday.

With 988 swimmers, the three-day meet is the largest Florida Gold Coast meet the Comets have ever hosted at the newly-refurbished Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines and largest short course meet in the Florida Gold Coast.

The first major Florida Gold Coast meet of the fall, featuring mostly south club teams, begins Friday with one session at 5:30 p.m.

Two sessions, split into 12-and-under and 13-and-over will be held Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The South Florida Aquatic Club, coming off an outstanding summer season that included a FGC Junior Olympic team title and FGC Senior Championships runner-up finish, is among favorites in the 22-team field. Davie Nadadores, Fort Lauderdale Aquatics and Metro Aquatics are also contenders.

Three new SOFLO swimmers will make their FGC meet debut. Grandview Prep exchange students, Valerio Rasi and Gianpaolo Barelli of Italy and Robert O’Gorman, whose family moved from Sweden, will compete.

Barelli, 17, and Rasi, 17, will compete in the 500-yard freestyle along with several other events.

Several of SOFLO’s elite swimmers will compete. Two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov of Kazakhstan, Olympian Arlene Semeco of Venezuela and Olympic hopeful Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia head the list of world-class swimmers.

Tashkandi, 19, a national record holder, is coming off an outstanding summer highlighted by his three-gold medal and national record-breaking  performance at the GCC Aquatic Championships in Kuwait.

Tashkandi is seeded first in the 200-yard individual medley (1:52) and 50-yard freestyle (22.00).

Keegan Boisson-Yates, 15, and Tyla Martin, 13, who compete internationally for Trinidad and Tobago, head a strong age group contingent for SOFLO that also includes sisters Emily, 14, and Allison Kopas, 12, Ann Kuczynski, 16, Linea Cutter, 17, Eden Cooke, 11, Kelley Heron, 11, Catharine Cooper, 10, Leonie Davies, 14, Marc Rojas, 16, and Carly Swanson, 13.

Several SOFLO swimmers are top-seeded in their events.

Charlotte Hartung, 17, another SOFLO newcomer, is seeded first in the 13-and-under 100-yard backstroke.

Former Florida Atlantic All-American Elle Weberg, 25, is seeded first in the 50-, 100-yard and 200-yard breaststroke events.

Polyakov, 26, training for the Nov. 12-27 Asian Games in China and Dec. 15-19 FINA Short Course World Championships in Dubai, is seeded first in the  50-, 100- and 200-yard breaststroke events.

Martin, 13, is seeded first in the 100-yard butterfly. Semeco, 26, is seeded first in the 50-yard freestyle.

Marco Camargo, 21, is seeded first in the 13-and-over 100-yard butterfly. Teammates Vlad Polyakov, Zain Qali and Carlo Morante are the next three seeds.

Gustav Valery, 12, is top-seed in the 50-yard backstroke.

Audrey Mason, 12, is seeded first in the 100-yard breaststroke.

SOFLO also has a record 40 boys and girls relays competing.

Most of the north club teams will compete in the FGC Invitational Friday through Sunday at Martin County.


What: Comets Florida Gold Coast Open Invitational

When: Friday-Sunday.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17189 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines.

Daily schedule: Friday, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. 12-and-unders, 2 p.m. 13-and-over; Sunday, 8:30 a.m. 12-and-unders, 2 p.m. 13-and-over.

Admission: $3 per session, $2 heat sheets.

For information: Call Comets Swim Office 954-538-3721 or email

Sharon Robb can be reached at


Five Points Student-Athletes Need To Know To Get Recruited By Colleges

Five Points Student-Athletes Need To Know To Get Recruited By Colleges


September 6, 2010

For swimmers and their families, the decision to participate in the college recruitment process can be overwhelming.

Swimmers are constantly worried about how to get noticed by college coaches so they can be recruited. Most don’t understand that they have to be proactive to make this happen.

Student-athletes need to evaluate both their athletic and academic performance and take the necessary steps to make sure they have a chance to pursue a college scholarship and athletic career.

Parents do not have to pay recruiting services thousands of dollars to make this happen. Instead, a little time and effort can make it happen.

Instead of paying a recruiting service that sends information to select colleges on behalf of the athlete, athletes should send their profile to schools they are interested in.

To secure a scholarship to college, athletes need to be flexible. Instead of sending information to three or four schools and limiting your options, send letters out to dozens of schools.

Athletes can go to or the NCAA clearinghouse to get a list of schools and their websites. You can go to each school’s swimming page and fill out a prospective student questionnaire.

Keep your possibilities open by sending questionnaires to Division I, 2 and 3 schools as well as NAIA schools. Students who start early have all the advantages. There are steps that can be taken as early as the freshman year to increase the chances of success. The more athletes and parents know about the process before their senior year, the better prepared they will be for getting the offer from a school they want to attend.

High school swimmers who are members of a swim club have a distinct advantage. College coaches put value in these clubs because they know that means the athlete wants to work hard and get additional training. Teams such as the South Florida Aquatic Club that have a history of athletes being recruited are a great place to start.

The recruitment process can be very confusing and frustrating for students and their parents. There are five tips that can help clear up the myths and misconceptions of the college recruitment process.

They are:

1. The recruitment process does not begin during the athlete’s junior or senior year when a student-athlete is contacted by a college coach. It can start as early as seventh or eighth grade.

2. College coaches don’t just discover talented athletes. The athlete must initiate communication and convey interest to be noticed. Even if a student-athlete is a superstar, they must be prepared to call or write coaches, ask the right questions and take initiative.

3. College coaches do a majority of their initial interest by looking at videos and meet performance times before making in-person visits to games. Student-athletes cannot expect college coaches to have the means to travel to watch swim meets, and any information provided is important for coaches to evaluate.

4. Most opportunities to compete in college athletics are not necessarily NCAA Division I programs. Many athletes and parents feel their only option for collegiate athletic scholarships are Division I schools, but there are over 1,800 colleges and universities that sponsor college athletes and are able to offer financial packages and most are not Division I programs.

5. Student-athletes and their families are ultimately responsible for connecting with college coaches. Student-athletes cannot rely solely on their high school coaches or club coaches to connect to college coaches. Most high school coaches do not have the time or resources to make sure their athletes are recruited so it is up to the athlete and their families to reach out to college coaches.

Since 2000, the National Collegiate Scouting Association has grown to be the leading college recruiting source for more than 35,000 college coaches and more than 200,000 student-athletes from across the country.

With a rate of more than 90 percent of NCSA-verified athletes succeeding to play college athletics, NCSA is the leading educational resource for parents, coaches and athletes who are involved in the recruitment process. The organization has helped more than four million athletes and parents learn the process each year.

Make sure to visit the NCAA website to find out all the rules regarding recruiting as well as the current recruiting calendar.

For more information, educational resources can be found at or

Source: National Collegiate Scouting Association and

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Dara Torres Is Back Training; Will Make Run At 2012 U.S. Olympic Team

SOFLO’s Dara Torres Is Back Training; Will Make Run At 2012 U.S. Olympic Team


September 10, 2010

At 9:43 a.m. Friday, September 10, during the nationally-syndicated Live With Regis and Kelly talk show, Dara Torres made it official.

The five-time Olympian will attempt to make her sixth Olympic team and compete in the 2012 London Olympics at age 45.

Torres, 43, of the South Florida Aquatic Club, ended months of speculation about her return to the sport after taking a year off after reconstructive knee surgery.

Torres has returned to training full-time with six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, which has been her home pool since coming out of retirement for the third time after the birth of her daughter Tessa Grace in 2005.

At 41, Torres became the oldest Olympic swimming medalist in history, the only swimmer to win a medal in five Olympic competitions and the oldest American swimmer ever.  Her 12 career Olympic medals ties her with Jenny Thompson for the most by an American female athlete. She owns eight relay medals and four individual medals from her 24-year Olympic career.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she lost a gold medal by just 1/100ths of a second in the 50-meter freestyle, an event she still holds the American record in.

“If Jack Nicklaus can win a Masters at 46 and Nolan Ryan can pitch a no-hitter at 44, why can’t a 41-year-old mom compete in the Olympics? Torres said at the time. “I had the experience. I knew what to expect. I knew how to handle certain situations and young kids don’t have that.”

Still, the idea that someone could swim in the Olympics at 45 is inconceivable to most but not those in the swimming world who have grown up with Torres and understands her steely determination.

“Never underestimate Dara Torres, never count her out,” said U.S. national team head coach Mark Schubert. “Age is not a factor with Dara.”

Torres is excited about the prospect of trying to make her sixth Olympic team. The only question was whether her body was up to the challenge and if her quality of life would improve.

Since the end of 2008, she has had thumb surgery, three knee operations and shoulder procedure and surgery. She’s had more than 15 orthopedic surgeries.

Torres was out of the pool for a year recovering from a state-of-the-art reconstructive and cartilage transplant surgery on her left knee.

The operation was a success and five weeks ago Torres returned to the pool and is “back training with the kids again.”

Looking tan and healthy on the morning talk show, Torres exchanged playful banter with guest co-host Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, a frequent visitor to South Florida to watch daughter Lola show horses at the Wellington show jumping events.

“She is one of the few women that can rock a swim cap,” Ripa joked.

After talking about Ripa’s hair turning green when she swims, the high-tech suits and shaving to swim faster, Ripa asked Torres “why does Michael Phelps’ suit show the tiniest bit of butt crack.”

“I never noticed that,” Torres replied with a laugh. “It is amazing how fast Michael goes. He is unbelievable and makes it look so easy.”

Cooper then asked Torres about her age.

“A lot of people made the fact that my age was such a big deal and I think that completely worked to my advantage,” Torres said. “I surrounded myself with good coaches and trainers. I knew what to do about nutrition. The thing about any elite athlete is they have to be so careful about what they put in their bodies because of drug tests. I especially get tested all the time. It’s scary, I can’t use Visine.”

And then Cooper asked about the “big announcement.”

“I am 43 years old,” Torres said, “but that’s not the announcement. The announcement is that I just started training for the 2012 Olympics.

“I wanted to get back into swimming on my terms,” Torres said. “I just started training with the kids again and they are all giving me grief and teasing me. I have huge goggles and they asked me if windshield wipers come with them.

“It’s going to be fun being back again,” Torres said. “It depends on what my body dictates. I know that I am more susceptible to injury. Now that I’m a little bit older, it’s going to be even harder than when I was 41.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at




September 10, 2010

South Florida Aquatic Club, the newest team in the Florida Gold Coast, will host a Meet and Greet With Coaches on Saturday, September 11 at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

The Nike-sponsored club is a result of the merging of the Coral Springs Swim Club and Comets Swim Team, two of the most well-respected USA Swimming clubs in the nation.

The team combines more than 450 swimmers including five-time Olympian Dara Torres of Parkland and two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov, and 20 employees including two world-class coaches.

Six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg is the club’s head coach and Chris Anderson is CEO.

The two-hour social, scheduled for 5-7 p.m., will give parents an opportunity to meet their child’s coach and talk about the club and its plans for the future.

The entire coaching staff is expected to attend.

It will also give SOFLO a chance to show off the latest renovations and additions at the Academic Village Pool, located just 10 minutes away from the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

“I think we have a great tradition in swimming and now we will develop something new together and maintain that tradition,” Lohberg said.

“We are working together at all levels–coaching, administration and booster club levels. We will learn and benefit from each other. It will be exciting for everybody.”

All parents at every age group level is welcome to attend.

Drinks and appetizers will be served. The pool is located at 17191 Sheridan St.


Five-time Olympian Dara Torres, who recently returned to the pool after a year off to rehab her reconstructed knee, will appear on Regis and Kelly on FOX, Channel 7 at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 10. Anderson Cooper will fill in for Regis Philbin as guest co-host. Kate Gosselin will also be a guest. Torres is currently in New York with her sister taking in the U.S. Open along with other business commitments. Torres will be texting on her Twitter account before and after the popular morning talk show. “I can’t wait,” Torres twittered Thursday night. “I am hitting the hay. I am on the 23rd floor of my hotel, just high enough not to hear the street noise.” Torres is expected to make a run at a 2012 Olympic berth.


The seven-meet FINA World Cup kicks off on Saturday, September 11 in Rio de Janeiro. Finals sessions will be broadcast live streaming on beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Registration to watch for both days is $3.99.

Each of the seven meets are short course meters. The U.S. will be represented by Randall Bal and Peter Marshall. Other top names competing are Brazilian Cesar Cielo and Therese Alshamar of Sweden. The swimmers will earn points at each stop and prize money.

Sharon Robb can be reached at