Emma Lincoln SOFLO’s Top Finisher In Career-Best Swims On Day Three Of Southern Zone Championships

Emma Lincoln SOFLO’s Top Finisher In Career-Best Swims On Day Three Of Southern Zone Championships


Two years ago, Emma Lincoln went to her first USA Swimming Southern Zone Championships for experience.

This time around the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was looking for more. The 14-year-old got just that on Thursday.

Lincoln swam back-to-back career-bests and made her first zone final in the 100-meter freestyle on Day Three of the Southern Zone Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

Lincoln swam a career-best 1:00.96 in morning prelims, bettering her previous best and seed time of 1:02.41 to qualify for the championship final. She came back and swam faster in finals to better her career-best in 1:00.29 and finish eighth among a fast field.

The Florida Gold Coast All-Star zone team member was SOFLO’s top finisher during a fast night of swimming.

“This is really a big stepping stone for me,” Lincoln said after the race. “Hopefully, my next step will be junior nationals and nationals.”

Unlike many of her teammates, Lincoln was tapered for the meet but even she was surprised with her swims.

“I didn’t really expect to make finals,” Lincoln said. “Before I swam I tried to find a psych sheet to see what I was seeded and to see how fast I had to swim but I couldn’t find one.

“I went in there knowing I would have to drop a lot of time to get into finals,” Lincoln said. “I wanted to try and get as close to 59 to make it in. I swam my best in prelims and I dropped enough time to get in.

“For finals I was excited. The adrenalin got me going. I am extremely happy. It is really cool to make it into finals.”

Having the experience of one zone meet under her belt, helped Lincoln’s confidence.

“I knew what to expect,” Lincoln said. “This time I really wanted to make finals and go best times. This time I was also tapered like it was my big meet for the season.

“Two years ago, it was JOs that was my big meet and I just went to zones for fun. I wasn’t on my game as much back then. This meet I was a lot more prepared. Michael (Lohberg) had me nice and prepared.”

The six-day meet features some of the fastest swimmers in the region and is the last major long course meet before junior and senior nationals in Irvine, Calif. next month.

“The competition is extremely fast,” Lincoln said. “There are so many fast times being set. It is really difficult to make finals. You really have to swim fast to make finals.”

Lincoln has the 50- and 400-meter freestyle events and open water swim left to swim.

Lincoln is a natural athlete. She has been swimming since age 8. A former basketball and soccer player, ballet and tap dancer, Lincoln discovered that her passion is swimming.

“I do get motivated when I do well,” Lincoln said. “I think my hard work got me here and I know if I work even harder I can possibly make nationals eventually.”

Lincoln plans to take two weeks off to visit family and friends in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before returning to her Weston home to get ready for school at Cypress Bay and high school and club swimming.

“This has probably been one of my bigger meets,” Lincoln said. “I made finals at a really fast meet and I am happy with my performance. It’s really been a fun meet. Everyone is getting along great.”

Five other SOFLO swimmers also swam career-best times. Other SOFLO finishers were:

Marco Hosfeld, 14, 11th in the 13-14 100-meter freestyle in a career-best 56.43, bettering his previous best of 56.65.

Steph Campo, 12, 13th in the 11-12 400-meter freestyle in a career-best 4:47.47, bettering her previous best of 4:49.86. She was also 15th in the 11-12 50-meter backstroke in 33.75.

Luke Torres, 16, 20th in the 15-18 100-meter freestyle in a career-best 55.51. His previous best was 55.62. His swam the first 50-meters was 28.51.

Brandon Goldman, 15, 21st, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:18.35.

Tyla Martin, 13, 22nd, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:33.02.

Diego Rodriguez, 12, tied for 41st in the 11-12 50-meter backstroke in a career-best 37.59. His previous best was 38.00.

Anne Kuczynski, 15, 45th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:03.63, career-best. Her previous best was 1:04.53.

The Florida Gold Coast All-Star Zone team won another individual event on Thursday night. Daniel Spas, 15, won the boys’ 15-18 100-meter freestyle in 52.77, his second career-best of the day. He was the fastest qualifier in morning prelims in 52.86, bettering his previous career-best of 53.55.

Individual Southern Zone champions were:


Michelle Turek, 13, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 58.43, career-best.

Kaitlyn Dressel, 17, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 58.65, career-best.

Asia Seidt, 12, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 32.00, career-best.

Ashley Leclair, 14, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:20.25, career-best.

Lily Tang, 15, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:19.32, career-best.

Carly Straight, 12, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:34.27, career-best.

Caty Hulsey, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:02.01, career-best.

Savannah Napier, 17, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:57.84, career-best.


Gunnar Bentz, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 53.46, career-best.

Daniel Spas, 15, Gold Coast, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 52.77, career-best.

Ethan Young, 12, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 29.75, career-best.

Alex Katz, 14, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:09.38, career-best.

Thomas Nguyen, 18, 15-18-meter backstroke, 2:08.14, career-best.

Preston Padden, 12, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:24.96, career-best.

Gunnar Bentz, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 4:34.78, career-best.

Christian Carbone, 16, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:32.65, career-best.

Other Florida Gold Coast All-Star finishers were:

Samuel Smiddy, 16, second, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:36.52, career-best.

Rose Smiddy, 11, third, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:38.97, career-best.

Quinn Cassidy, 14, third, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:11.82, career-best.

Nicolas Medina, 12, fourth, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:27.62, career-best.

Megan Moroney, 13, fourth, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:22.60, career-best.

Michael Christian, 17, fourth, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:09.42, career-best.

Evandro Silva, 18, sixth, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:41.32.

Andrew Smiddy, 18, ninth, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:48.44.

Austin Manganiello, 17, ninth, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:13.82, career-best.

Quinn Cassidy, 14, 10th, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 57.86.

Zoie Balthazar, 14, tenth, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 1:01.12.

Arianna Noya, 13, 11th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:18.94.

Boleck Depawlikowski, 14, 12th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 4:56.23, career-best.

Isa Paez, 14, 13th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:21.57.

Andres Reyes-Capo, 16, 13th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 54.95.

Jessica Nederlanden, 17, 13th, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:26.61.

Brittany Hammond, 15, 16th, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 5:20.64.

Namilla Sanchez, 12, 16th, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:50.35, career-best.

Alex Cronin, 12, 16th, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:54.21, career-best.

Boleck Depawlikowski, 14, 16th, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:21.09.

Vicky Ho, 17, 18th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:00.84.

Jessie Randolph, 15, 19th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:00.86, career-best.

Hannah Vandersluis, 15, 19th, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 5:26.07.

Jonathan Farah, 12, 19th, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 34.12.

Alejandro Vassallo, 14, 19th, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:22.58.

Alexa Rivera, 11, 20th, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 34.07, career-best.

John Floyd, 14, 22nd, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 58.03.

Michael Christian, 17, 24th, 100-meter freestyle, 55.60.

Dashley Reyes, 15, 25th, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 5:56.72.

Alejandro Vassallo, 14, 25th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:11.23.

Luis Santiesteban, 14, 25th, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 58.37, career-best.

Tanner Fuller, 12, 26th, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 5:06.10, career-best.

Dashley Reyes, 15, 27th, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:43.33.

Jessica Nederlanden, 17, 29th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:01.70.

Hank Contich, 12, 31st, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 35.55, career-best.

Zoie Balthazar, 14, 33rd, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:38.48.

Fatimah Westbrook, 11, 39th, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 38.86 career-best.

Julio Horrego, 11, 41st, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 37.59.

Sivan Fraiman, 15, 41st, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:03.25, career-best.

Annie Valls, 14, 41st, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 1:04.22, career-best.

Amanda Montesino, 17, 43rd, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:03.28.

Digby Nothard, 14, 48th, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 1:02.32.

Hannah Vandersluis, 15, 59th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:05.53, career-best.

The six-day meet continues today with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. Friday events are 200-meter butterfly, 50-meter butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter medley relay.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com.



Luke Torres Top SOFLO Finisher, FGC Sweeps On Day Two Southern Zones Championships

Luke Torres Top SOFLO Finisher, FGC Sweeps On Day Two Southern Zones Championships


Luke Torres was the top finisher for the South Florida Aquatic Club Wednesday night in the Southern Zone Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

Torres, 16, a member of the Florida Gold Coast All-Star Zone Team, was touched out by FGC teammate Evandro Silva, 18, in the 100-meter butterfly in a career-best swim of 56.38.

Torres, the top seed after morning prelims, finished second in 56.78, off his career-best of 56.66 accomplished at last week’s Senior Championships.

Torres was leading at the 50-meter mark, 29.56-29.97.

It was an Florida Gold Coast sweep with Andres Reyes-Capo, 16, placing third in 57.83, also a career-best.

Other SOFLO swimmers turned in career-best times in the biggest meet of their young careers. The field features most of the fastest swimmers in USA Swimming’s southern zone.

Marco Hosfeld, 14, finished sixth in the boys’ 13-14 200-meter freestyle in a career-best 1:58.84. He first bettered his previous best of 2:01.37 in morning prelims in 1:59.22 and came back to swim faster in finals.

Steph Campo, 12, was eighth in the girls’ 11-12 200-meter freestyle in a career-best 2:14.78. She bettered her previous best time of 2:17.49 in prelims in 2:15.07 and swam faster at night.

Anne Kuczynski, 15, was ninth in the girls’ 15-18 200-meter breaststroke in 2:47.41. Kuczynski bettered her previous career-best of 2:49.54 in morning prelims in 2:46.58.

SOFLO’s Emma Lincoln, 14, finished 12th in the girls 13-14 200-meter freestyle in a career-best 2:11.71 and was second alternate for the finals. Lincoln was also 23rd in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:08.58.

Also in the 200 freestyle, teammate Tyla Martin, 13, was 14th in a career-best 2:12.19. Her previous best was 2:14.22. It was her second age group meet competing as a 13-year-old after aging-up.

Brandon Goldman, 15, was 49th in the 15-18 100-meter butterfly in a career-best 1:03.15.

Also in the 100 butterfly, FGC All-Stars Daniel Spas, 15, and Austin Manganiello, 17, were both disqualified in their heats.

Individual Southern Zone champions were:


Carly Straight, 12, Tennessee, 11-12 200-meter freestyle, 2:11.54, career-best.

Michelle Turek, 13, Florida Swimming, 13-14 200-meter freestyle, 2:06.17, career-best.

Lillian Gordy, 17, North Carolina, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:06.37, career-best.

Alicia Finnigan, 12, Gulf Coast, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:05.15, career-best.

Taylor Weiss, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:02.90, career-best.

Angela Algee, 15, Florida Swimming, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:03.20, career-best.

Annie Kyriakidis, 11, SES Southeast, 11-12 50-meter breaststroke, 35.11, career-best.

Sydney Pickrem, 13, Florida Swimming, 13-14 200-meter breaststroke, 2:39.86, career-best.

Ashley Reid, 17, Florida Swimming, 15-18 200-meter breaststroke, 2:39.48, career-best.


Preston Padden, 12, West Virginia, 11-12 200-meter freestyle, 2:08.95, career-best.

Jimmy Yoder, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 200-meter freestyle, 1:54.88, career-best.

Ty Rocca, 15, Florida Swimming, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 1:55.18, career-best.

Christian Lam, 12, North Carolina, 11-12 50-meter breaststroke, 33.86, career-best.

Gunnar Bentz, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 200-meter breaststroke, 2:23.56.

Walter Loop, 18, Louisiana, 15-18 200-meter breaststroke, 2:23.86, career-best.

Tyler Silver, 12, North Carolina, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:01.03, career-best.

Jimmy Yoder, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 58.49, career-best.

Evandro Silva, 18, Florida Gold Coast, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 56.38, career-best.

Other Florida Gold Coast All-Star finishers were:

Quinn Cassidy, 13, second, 13-14 200-meter breaststroke, 2:29.57, career-best.

Isa Paez, 14, second, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:04.26, career-best.

Digby Nothard, 14, third, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 59.16, career-best.

Megan Moroney, 13, fourth, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:04.53, career-best.

Nicolas Medina, 12, fourth, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:06.07, career-best and sixth, 11-12 200-meter freestyle, career-best 2:08.95.

Austin Manganiello, 17, seventh, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 1:58.71.

Vicky Ho, 17, eighth, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:08.88, career-best.

Carlotta Verita, 12, ninth, 11-12 50-meter breaststroke, 36.52, career-best.

Andrew Smiddy, 18, ninth, 15-18 200-meter breaststroke, 2:29.25, career-best.

Rose Smiddy, 11, 11th, 11-12 200-meter freestyle, 2:16.38.

Annie Valls, 14, 11th, 13-14 200-meter breaststroke, 2:52.72, career-best.

Boleck Depawlikowski, 14, 11th, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:02.30.

Evandro Silva, 18, 11th, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 1:59.04.

Gaby Garcia, 16, 11th, 15-18 200-meter breaststroke, 2:47.90.

Isabela Reyes-Capo, 12, 11th, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:10.90, career-best.

Namilla Sanchez, 12, 13th, 11-12 200-meter freestyle, 2:17.61, career-best.

Michael Christian, 17, 15th, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:00.37, career-best.

Namilla Sanchez, 12, 16th, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:11.61.

Megan Moroney, 13, 18th, 13-14 200-meter freestyle, 2:13.42.

Fatimah Westbrook, 11, 18th, 11-12 50-meter breaststroke, 39.30.

Luis Santiesteban, 14, 18th, 13-14 200-meter breaststroke, 2:49.71.

Arianna Noya, 13, 19th, 13-14 200-meter breaststroke, 2:57.59.

Brittany Hammond, 15, 20th, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:11.26, career-best and 27th, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:08.58.

Gaby Garcia, 16, 20th, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:08.87.

Derek Chait, 15, 20th, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:00.68, career-best.

Hannah Vandersluis, 15, 21st, 15-18 200-meter breaststroke, 2:53.74.

Michael Christian, 17, 22nd, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:00.54, career-best.

Alexa Rivera, 11, 24th, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:12.86, career-best.

Sivan Fraiman, 15, 28th, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:08.59, career-best.

Daniel Spas, 15, 28th, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:01.82.

Zoie Balthazar, 14, 29th, 13-14 200-meter freestyle, 2:16.15.

Tanner Fuller, 12, 29th, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:16.04.

Derek Chait, 15, 29th, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:01.38, career-best.

Alex Cronin, 12, 30th, 11-12 200-meter freestyle, 2:20.29 and 30th, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:16.06.

Carlotta Verita, 12, 30th, 11-12 100-meter butterfly, 1:14.28.

Annie Valls, 14, 31st, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:10.84, career-best.

Alejandro Vassallo, 14, 31st, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:06.36, career-best.

Jessica Nederlanden, 17, 31st, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:09.82.

Zoie Balthazar, 14, 32nd, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:10.87, career-best.

Andrew Smiddy, 18, 33rd, 15-18 100-meter butterfly, 1:01.64, career-best.

John Floyd, 14, 39th, 13-14 100-meter butterfly, 1:07.96 career-best.

Amanda Montesino, 17, 45th, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:14.48.

Sivan Fraiman, 15, 46th, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:14.56, career-best.

John Floyd, 14, 48th, 13-14 200-meter freestyle, 2:14.30, career-best.

Dashley Reyes, 15, 52nd, 15-18 200-meter freestyle, 2:18.28, career-best.

Digby Nothard, 14, 53rd, 13-14 200-meter freestyle, 2:15.28, career-best.

The six-day meet continues today with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com



Two-Year Olympic Countdown Begins Today

Two-Year Olympic Countdown Begins Today


July 27, 2010

Let the 2012 Summer Olympic Games countdown begin.

Tuesday marks the two-year (730-day) countdown for South Florida Aquatic Club athletes and coaches training for Olympic glory at the 2012 London Games.

The $14.5 billion extravaganza will feature 10,500 athletes including 575 Americans from 205 nations competing in 26 sports and 300 events.

The motto for the July 27-August 12 event is “Live As One.”

A two-year Countdown Clock will launch on Tuesday on the homepages of TeamUSA.org alerting fans on a continual basis to the remaining days, hours and minutes until the start of the Games.

London is celebrating the milestone on Tuesday by starting a search for Olympic volunteers and opening some of the venues to local athletes. They will test facilities where they will be competing after the Opening Ceremonies on July 27, 2012.

Former Olympic track champion Michael Johnson will sprint on a temporary track in the 80,000-seat main stadium. British cyclist Sir Chris Hoy will try out the velodrome and former NBA player John Amaechi will shoot some hoops at the basketball arena.

Closer to home, SOFLO head coach Michael Lohberg and SOFLO CEO Chris Anderson will start their planning phase for the club’s Olympic hopefuls.

Lohberg sent eight athletes to the 2008 Beijing Games—Dara Torres, Vlad Polyakov, Anne Poleska, Leo Andara, Arlene Semeco, Sharntelle McLean, Erin Volcan and Josh Laban.

Anderson coaches Jamaican Olympians Alia Atkinson, a two-time Olympian and Natasha Moodie.

Lohberg said the “countdown” mentality is already on athletes’ minds.

“The people that are, think or believe they are candidates for Trials and want to swim faster are definitely getting into the mode,” Lohberg said. “Let’s say maybe not 100 percent yet because this is the end of the season but when they walk in the door on Aug. 16, Julie, Vlad, Leo, Arlene, Dara, they are ready.

“Right now, I am not pushing the concept because you want to give them a chance to recover and recuperate, that’s why Vlad was on a month’s vacation,” Lohberg said. “That’s why we gave Julie a half a year to do something else from swimming. We give Dara time to rebuild and so forth. When they come back then it really starts. It’s going to be a long stretch.”

Lohberg said for him as a coach, the planning begins next week.

“The planning is the key,” Lohberg said. “Not just the workouts, but the whole concept of where and when the meets are. With the international swimmers we have I need to build their meets into the program. They have a different agenda than the U.S. swimmers do. Meets like the Pan Pacific Games and Pan American Games next year are important to them, too. It all has to be incorporated into the plan but the ultimate goal is definitely to make the team.”

Lohberg said he is getting excited about the Olympic Countdown.

“I know as soon as I take my piece of paper to start penciling in things, the excitement will start building from that point on,” Lohberg said.

Two-time Kazakhstan Olympian Vlad Polyakov has been swimming in some fun races during his relaxation time. At 26, it may be his final Olympic journey and he wants to enjoy every minute.

“This is about the time where all the elite swimmers will sit down with their coaches and make a plan. I do feel like this is the time swimmers will be serious about training again.

“I am really excited but I am trying to take it step by step,” Polyakov said. “I want to see how I am improving and getting better. The first step is going to be the Asian Games in November in China. Michael and I have set some high goals for that meet. We are trying to re-establish ourselves in the world. That’s why it is so important to swim well at every meet we set our mind to.”

Polyakov is also thankful Lohberg, who missed the 2008 Games after being diagnosed with aplastic anemia the week before he was scheduled to leave, is back on the deck coaching full-time.

“It is amazing the old Michael is back,” Polyakov said. “To be honest, I haven’t seen this Michael since 2007. Olympic year he was busy but you could tell he was getting sick. I am very happy he is back. I feel this comeback Michael and I planned are for both of us. It was so awesome at Mare Nostrum when I went 2:12. We hugged each other. It was the feeling of ‘finally, we did something.’ It was a great start.”

SOFLO’s Elle Weberg, an All-American at Florida Atlantic University, is a 2008 Olympic hopeful. After a two-year layoff, she is back in the pool motivated more than ever. Lohberg changed her breaststroke five months ago and she is still adapting.

“I am ready to go. I already took two years off, I am not taking any more time off,” Weberg said. “I am excited about being here. I call Michael my magical wizard. He knows everything. It’s scary.

“I am excited we are two years out from the Olympics,” Weberg said. “That’s why I am here. I am 25. I am not doing this to pay for college any more or for my parents. I am here because I want to be.”


The Aquatics Centre will be the venue for Swimming, Paralympic Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming, Water Polo and the Aquatics discipline of Modern Pentathlon.

Location: South-east corner of the Olympic Park
Capacity: 17,500 for Swimming and Diving events; 5,000 for Water Polo
New or existing?: New, permanent venue, with temporary extension during the Games.
The Aquatics Centre will be the ‘gateway’ to the Olympic Park, with more than two-thirds of spectators expected to enter the Olympic Park over a vast bridge that runs over the top of part of the venue.
The venue was designed by acclaimed international architect Zaha Hadid. It features a spectacular wave-like roof that is 160-meters long and up to 80 meters wide, giving it a longer single span than Heathrow Terminal 5.

During the Games

The majority of spectators will be seated in two temporary wings that will be taken down after the Games.
It will have a 50-meter competition pool, a 25-meter competition diving pool, a 50-meter warm-up pool and a ‘dry’ warm-up area for divers. The Water Polo competition will be held next to it in a temporary 5,000-seat venue with competition and warm-up pools.
A new riverside environment alongside the Aquatics Centre has been created for visitors by widening a 550-meter stretch of the river to the south-west of the venue by 8 meters.
The two venues will be close to each other in one of the most compact areas of the Olympic Park. To make the best use of the space available, some back-of-house facilities, such as space for broadcasters, catering and security will be shared between the two venues so they run as efficiently as possible.
After the Games

The Aquatics Centre will be transformed into a facility for the local community, clubs and schools, as well as elite swimmers. The two temporary wings will be removed, leaving 2,500 seats – although it will be possible to increase the capacity to 3,500 for major competitions.
The Aquatics Centre will also have a creche, family-friendly changing facilities and a cafe alongside a new public plaza in front of the building.

Getting ready for 2012

2008: Construction of the Aquatics Centre begins two months early.

2011: Construction of the Aquatics Centre due to be completed and a test event is scheduled.

2012: More test events; London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Source: www.london2012.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com



SOFLO Well-Represented at Southern Zone Championships in Atlanta

SOFLO Well-Represented at Southern Zone Championships in Atlanta


The South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented by eight talented swimmers when the USA Swimming Southern Zone Age Group Championships begin Tuesday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

Zone championships feature top regional swimmers at the age group levels who qualify for these meets within the four designated Zones: Eastern, Central, Southern and Western.

SOFLO’s girls contingent are Stephanie Campo (11-12), Emma Lincoln (13-14), Tyla Martin (13-14) and Anne Kuczynski (15-18).

The boys team is Diego Rodriguez (11-12), Marco Hosfeld (13-14), Brandon Goldman (15-18) and Luke Torres (15-18).

“This meet is for kids that are almost at junior national level,” said SOFLO head coach Michael Lohberg. “It gives them an opportunity to travel and to race against really good kids from other parts of the country.

“We feel it is an important meet and if people have a chance to go we want them to go. It’s prelims and finals and in a good pool. It’s a very good opportunity.”

The swimmers had an early wakeup call for a 6 a.m. flight out of West Palm Beach on Monday. The team arrived safely in Atlanta and headed to the team hotel at the Marriott Courtyard Georgia Tech for lunch before a tour of the CNN building.

SOFLO swimmers and the other members of the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team got the chance to shake loose in the Georgia Tech Pool before a team dinner.

The five-day meet begins Tuesday with distance events timed finals in the 13-18 800- and 1500-meter freestyle events at 2 p.m. The full schedule of events gets underway at 9 a.m. with prelims. Finals are 6 p.m.

The meet also gives SOFLO swimmers the experience of being on their own on a road trip. Tyla Martin has the most experience in that department, travelling with her parents to two major Caribbean age group events this past year representing Trinidad and Tobago.

“It is a very good opportunity where we can send the kids basically away with somebody else so they get used to swimming on their own or with somebody else and not the protective environment that they have with their club team,” Lohberg said. “It’s a step outside.”

Illustrating the importance of the zone meet, SOFLO swimmers competed in limited events in both the Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics and Senior Championships to focus on the zone meet.

“You either support the Florida Gold Coast and this concept or you don’t,” Lohberg said. “You can’t send them to this kind of meet unless they are ready to race. It would be unfair to get them too tired in other meets. That’s really not the point.

“This is the first time they enter new territory and we want them to have a positive experience,” Lohberg said.

It’s also a time for the swimmers to shine at the end of the long course season.

“This meet is all about team and good performances,” Lohberg said. “You have to swim relatively fast to make it into finals. That’s the idea–make it to the finals and then score as high as you can in your good events. This is their first step into the real world.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com



SOFLO Ends “Spectacular Summer” At FGC Seniors Championship

SOFLO Ends “Spectacular Summer” At FGC Seniors Championship


CORAL SPRINGS—The South Florida Aquatic Club ended what head coach Michael Lohberg called “a spectacular summer” Sunday night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships.

With a few exceptions, swimmers will take a well-deserved three-week break before resuming workouts.

For the second week in a row, SOFLO put together another impressive “big meet” performance.

SOFLO, despite competing without several swimmers because of this week’s Southern Zone Championships in Atlanta, finished second in the combined team standings with 1,526.50 points at the rain-soaked Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO finished third in the men’s (745) and women’s (771.50) team standings.

Fort Lauderdale Aquatics won the combined and women’s team titles with 2,017.50. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami was third in combined with 1,270 and won the men’s title.

SOFLO’s Nicholas Schwab, 19, was among high point winners in the men’s 17-and-over division, fifth with 72 points. Tyler Sell, 18, tied for eighth with 64 points and Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 19, was tenth with 61 points.

A field of more than 600 swimmers from 40 teams competed over three days producing some outstanding career-best swims including SOFLO’s Brandon Goldman, Luke Torres, Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Elle Weberg, Emily Kopas, Vlad Polyakov, Brittney Phelan, Nicholas Schwab and Alex Rodriguez.

“We had several outstanding swims over the three days,” Lohberg said. “We had some really nice swims, a lot of dropped times and breakthrough swims. We had quite a few actually who did well. I am very happy with the meet. When it comes to the results, kids who were suppose to swim fast and we hoped would swim fast definitely came through.

“We are very happy. If you put together the Junior Olympics and this meet it was awesome results. It couldn’t be better.”

It was the last major Florida Gold Coast meet of the summer. Only the Southern Zone Championships in Atlanta, Junior and Senior Nationals in Irvine, Calif. remain before the fall high school and club season.

“This is it for a while,” Lohberg said. “We will offer practices for kids who already went on vacation but let’s say for instance my group is on a three-week vacation now.

“It was a long year,” Lohberg said. “They need to recharge. They need to get fresh. They need to be anxious to train when they come back.”

On the third and final night of competition that was delayed by bad weather, SOFLO won three individual events and three relays.

Olympic hopeful Elle Weberg, 25, despite being sick during the meet, won the 100-meter breaststroke in a career-best 1:09.86. She bettered her previous best of 1:11.89 in morning prelims in 1:09.92 and against a strong field that included four other SOFLO swimmers, came back stronger in the final.

“I felt ready but I know I could have done better, I wanted to do better,” Weberg said. “I just didn’t feel on. I felt tired. The first 25 felt good and the last 25 I was just dead.

“Michael created a whole new stroke for me and I have had about five months to start over. I am just not ready to race it yet.

“I know what I am capable of,” Weberg said. “I took two years off and I want it now. I am ready to have it now. It’s just my expectations but I know I have plenty of time to work on it.”

The women’s 100-meter breaststroke final looked more like the SOFLO Invitational with four swimmers sweeping the top four spots and another finishing seventh.

Emily Kopas, 13, was second in a career-best 1:13.17 followed by Melissa Cooper, 18, 1:13.24 and Brittney Phelan, 18, career-best 1:14.78. Gina Gautieri, 17, finished seventh in a career-best 1:18.84.

SOFLO’s Florida State-bound swimmers Tiffany Oliver and Tyler Sell were individual winners and left a lasting impression in their final home meet before they go off to college.

Oliver, working her way into championship form before the Aug. 9-13 Junior Nationals in Irvine, Calif., looked strong in the water during her victory in the 50-meter freestyle. Oliver, 17, seeded second, won in 27.23. Her best time is 26.63.

After competing in five events and relays, Sell, 18, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:25.25. His career-best is 15:36.29. Sell was the only SOFLO swimmer in the mile event.

Sell will compete in both the Aug. 3-7 Senior Nationals and Junior Nationals, both in Irvine, Calif.

SOFLO swept the men’s and women’s 200-meter medley relays.

The women’s relay of Ashley Hicks, 18, Elle Weberg, 25, Courtney Marx, 18, and Tiffany Oliver, 17, won in a season-best 2:01.09. Its seed time was 2:02.73.

SOFLO’s “B” women’s team finished third with Melissa Fernandez, 17, Melissa Cooper, 18, Maria Lopez, 14, and Linea Cutter, 16, in a season-best 2:06.05.

SOFLO’s men’s relay of Marco Camargo, 21, Vlad Polyakov, 26, Zain Qali, 22, and SOFLO age group coach Josh Laban, 27, won in an impressive season-best 1:47.54. The relay’s seed time was 1:51.74.

SOFLO’s “B” team of Carlo Morante, 17, Alex Rodriguez, 19, Tyler Sell, 18, and Justin Grigull, 18, was tenth in 1:55.13.

SOFLO also won the men’s 400-meter medley relay to finish out the meet on a winning note. The relay of Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 19, Vlad Polyakov, 26, Luke Torres, 16, and Josh Laban, 27, won in another season-best of 3:57.96. The relay’s seed time was 3:59.36. SOFLO’s “B” team of Carlo Morante, 17, Alex Rodriguez, 19, Tyler Sell, 18, and Marc Rojas, 16, was ninth in 4:15.67.

SOFLO’s women’s 400-meter medley relay of Ashley Hicks, 18, Melissa Cooper, 18, Courtney Marx, 18, and Tiffany Oliver, 17, was second in 4:37.09. SOFLO’s “B” team of Melissa Fernandez, 17, Brittney Phelan, 18, Maria Lopez, 14, and Linea Cutter, 16, was fourth in 4:38.59.

After his last relay swim, Torres went home to pack for his 6 a.m. Monday flight out of West Palm Beach to Atlanta for the Southern Zone Championships that begin Tuesday with the distance events.

Torres will be joined by SOFLO teammates Steph Campo, Diego Rodriguez, Emma Lincoln, Tyla Martin, Marco Hosfeld, Anne Kuczynski and Brandon Goldman on the FGC team roster. The eight swimmers all swam limited events during senior championships because of zones.

For SOFLO, the back-to-back JO and senior meets served as a good litmus test for the merger of the Coral Springs Swim Club and Comets Swim Team.

“This merger has turned out nicely,” Lohberg said. “The coaches working together and the kids being together was better and better and better. It is more and more fun so people have reached the level of comfort with each other and that opens doors. It was fun to watch. We had two weeks of fun.”

Other top SOFLO finishes were:

Marc Rojas, 16, second, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:08.80.

Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 19, second, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:06.22.

Luke Torres, 16, second, 50-meter butterfly, career-best 26.50.

Alex Rodriguez, 19, third, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:06.61.

Linea Cutter, 16, third, 50-meter freestyle, 28.07.

Brittany Williford, 17, third, 1500-meter freestyle, 18:23.78.

Matthew Bellew, 25, fourth, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:07.09.

Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 19, fourth, 200-meter individual medley, 2:11.26.

Melissa Cooper, 18, fifth, 50-meter freestyle, 28.09.

Keegan Boisson-Yates, fifth, 50-meter freestyle, 25.54.

Nicholas Schwab, 19, sixth, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:08.43.

Katie Brennan, 16, sixth, 1500-meter freestyle, 18:35.93.

Jenna Moodie, 15, seventh, 50-meter freestyle, 28.60.

Nicholas Schwab, 19, seventh, 200-meter individual medley, 2:15.72.

Tiffany Oliver, 17, ninth, 50-meter butterfly, 30.57.

Nicole Schein, 17, tenth, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:20.49.

Mariangela Macchiavello, 19, tenth, 50-meter freestyle, 28.44.

Zain Qali, 22, 11th, 50-meter butterfly, 26.71.

Tiffany Oliver, 17, 11th, 200-meter individual medley, 2:33.78.

Bianca Muniz, 18, 14th, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:24.02.

Linea Cutter, 16, 14th, 50-meter butterfly, 31.62.

Melissa Fernandez, 17, 16th, 50-meter freestyle, 29.09.

Jenna Moodie, 15, 16th, 50-meter butterfly, 31.73.

Courtney Marx, 18, 16th, 50-meter butterfly, 31.48.

Combined team totals: 1. Fort Lauderdale Aquatics 2,013.50, 2. SOFLO 1,516.50, 3. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami 1,278, 4. Empire Swimming 1,144.50, 5. Davie Nadadores 1,036.50.

Women team totals: 1. FLA 1,166.50, 2. Empire Swimming 786.50, 3. SOFLO 771.50, 4. Davie Nadadores 429, 5. Miami Swimming 400.50.

Men team totals: 1. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami 1,036, 2. FLA 847, 3. SOFLO 745, 4. Davie Nadadores 607.50, 5. Pine Crest Swimming 423.50.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com



SOFLO Women’s 200 Free Relay, Torres, Phelan Come Up Big; SOFLO Moves Into Second After Day Two Of FGC Seniors Championships

SOFLO Women’s 200 Free Relay, Torres, Phelan Come Up Big; SOFLO Moves Into Second After Day Two Of FGC Seniors Championships


July 24, 2010

CORAL SPRINGS—The South Florida Aquatic Club continued to turn heads Saturday night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Heading into the third and final day of competition on Sunday, SOFLO is in second place with 928 points.

To start the night off right, SOFLO won the women’s 200-meter freestyle relay in 1 minute, 50.30 seconds.

Melissa Cooper, 18, Melissa Fernandez, 17, Linea Cutter, 16, and Tiffany Oliver, 17, finished ahead of Fort Lauderdale Aquatics (1:50.40) and Davie (1:51.57).

SOFLO’s “B” team of Courtney Marx, 18, Anne Kuczynski, 15, Lara Moseley, 19, and Mariangela Macchiavello, 19, finished eighth in 1:55.80.

SOFLO’s men’s 200-meter freestyle relay team of Les Moore, 18, Justin Grigull, 18, Rory Grigull, 20, and SOFLO age group coach Josh Laban, 27,

finished fifth in 1:40.45.

Teenager Luke Torres, 16, won his second consecutive butterfly event in as many days with a Junior National qualifying time.  

A day after winning the 200-meter butterfly in a career-best time, Torres swam back-to-back career-best times to win the 100-meter butterfly. He won in a Junior National cut time of 56.69, bettering his previous best of 57.53 he swam in prelims. His seed time was 57.64.

It was the third consecutive butterfly race Torres finished ahead of Yousef Alaskari, 16, of the Davie Nadadores, who finished second in 57.47.

In morning prelims, Torres broke 2:30 for the first time in the 200-meter breaststroke but scratched from finals to focus on the butterfly event.

Brandon Goldman, 15, swam a sub-30 for the first time in his young career to finish second in the 50-meter backstroke with back-to-back career-bests of 29.37 (prelims) and 28.49 (finals). His previous best was 30.67.

Brittney Phelan, 18, broke 2:40 for the first time in her career to finish second in the 200-meter breaststroke in a Junior National cut time of 2:37.64.  She bettered her previous best of 2:41.49 in prelims in 2:39.60, third-fastest qualifying time, and dropped even more time in championship finals.

Since she tapered for the senior championships, Phelan said she will skip junior nationals to focus on college. The Cypress Bay graduate will attend Indiana at Bloomington in the fall. She goes after her senior national cuts in Sunday’s 100-meter breaststroke.

“I am very proud of this swim, this was my No. 1 swim for sure,” Phelan said.

“The whole week I felt really good in practice. I tapered and shaved for the meet and felt really good about it,” Phelan said. “I felt strong in the water. I was stronger in the back half. The second 100 I just kicked it in. I had no idea I was swimming that time. It just felt easy in the water.”

Since finishing high school, Phelan has been training well.

“It’s just a different attitude, I feel a lot better in the water, more confident and I am getting excited about college,” she said. “I know my 200 breaststroke is my most important swim but it’s not my favorite because it’s really hard.”

Also in the 200 breaststroke, Gina Gautieri, 17, swam back-to-back career-bests in prelims (2:49.97) and in finals (2:47.51) to finish fourth. Her previous best was 2:50.16.

Alex Rodriguez, 19, finished third in the 200-meter breaststroke in a career-best 2:22.27. He bettered his previous best time of 2:25.69 in prelims in 2:23.22. Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 19, was fourth in a career-best 2:22.60. His previous best was 2:24.74.

Marc Rojas, 16, finished fourth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:31.73, slower than his prelim time of 2:30.95.

Elle Weberg, 25, despite being sick, was the fastest qualifier in morning prelims of the 200-meter breaststroke in a career-best and senior national cut time of 2:33.14. Her previous best was 2:36.22. Weberg scratched from the final.

Courtney Marx, 18, was third in the 100-meter butterfly. She swam back-to-back career-bests in prelims (1:06.35) and finals 1:05.83). Her previous best was 1:06.89.

SOFLO’s men’s and women’s 800-meter freestyle relays each finished fourth to end the evening.

The women’s team of Tiffany Oliver, 17, Courtney Marx, 18, Katie Brennan, 16, and Melissa Fernandez, 17, finished in 8:55.34. SOFLO’s “B” team was seventh in 9:41.83.

The men’s team of Marc Rojas, 16, Nicholas Schwab, 19, Loai Tashkandi, 19, and Tyler Sell, 19, finished in 8:08.37.

Other top SOFLO finishers:


Melissa Fernandez, 17, seventh, 200-meter freestyle, 2:13.22.

Dana Hatic, 20, seventh, 200-meter breaststroke, 2:50.84.

Emily Greenwood, 16, eighth, 50-meter backstroke, 33.22, career-best 32.89 in prelims.

Ashley Hicks, 18, eighth, 50-meter backstroke, 32.53.

Melissa Cooper, 18, ninth, 200-meter breaststroke, career-best 2:48.69.

Katie Brennan, 16, tenth, 200-meter freestyle, career-best 2:13.41.

Tiffany Oliver, 17, tenth, 200-meter freestyle, 2:12.17.

Linea Cutter, 16, 11th, 50-meter backstroke, career-bests 33.79 in prelims and 33.68 in finals.

Nicole Schein, 17, 11th, 200-meter breaststroke, career-best 2:54.57.

Carin Tenaglia, 15, 12th, 50-meter backstroke, career-best 33.72.

Courtney Marx, 18, 16th, 200-meter freestyle, 2:14.22.

Bianca Muniz, 18, 16th, 200-meter breaststroke, 3:04.85.


Ryan O’Shaughnessy, 19, fifth, 400-meter individual medley, 4:43.81.

Nicholas Schwab, 19, seventh, 200-meter freestyle, 1:57.96.

Tyler Sell, 18, seventh, 400-meter individual medley, 4:48.07.

Marco Camargo, 21, eighth, 50-meter backstroke, 28.91 and 11th, 100-meter butterfly, 58.68.

Nicholas Schwab, 19, eighth, 200-meter breaststroke, 2:31.33, career-best 2:29.50 in prelims.

Tyler Sell, 18, tenth, 200-meter freestyle, 1:57.47.

Ivan Parada, 15, tenth, 50-meter backstroke, career-best 30.68.

Rory Grigull, 20, 12th, 200-meter freestyle, 1:58.36 and 12th, 50-meter backstroke, 29.47.

Paul Guarino, 16, 15th, 50-meter backstroke, career-best 31.40.

Carlo Morante, 17, 15th, 50-meter backstroke, 29.85.


What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships

Where: Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, 12441 Royal Palm Blvd.

When: Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.

Admission: $3 per session, $2 heat sheets. For information call 954-345-2121.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com



SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy Comes “Home”

SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy Comes “Home”


July 24, 2010

CORAL SPRINGS—Ryan O’Shaughnessy came “home” to the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex for the summer.

The two-time high school All-American and two-time state champion at Douglas wanted to return to championship form after being away in college at Seton Hall.

While college, where he is majoring in Criminal Justice, is his first priority, swimming remains his passion.

On Saturday night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships that was never more evident in his “home” pool.

Ryan O’Shaughnessy looking like the old Ryan O’Shaughnessy, may not have won the 200-meter breaststroke but it was a victory nonetheless.

Seeded 2:24.74 going into the event, the 19-year-old swam 2:25.42 in morning prelims. It was the first time he hit 2:25 since returning “home” to train.

Then he turned it on in the final where he swam a career-best 2:22.60, just off the 2:22.09 senior national qualifying time.

“I wanted to be right around here between 2:22 and 2:24, that was my goal coming down,” O’Shaughnessy said.

“Seton Hall is great and I love school. But college swimming is totally different with that pound-pound mentality. The college mentality is so vigorous. They don’t take time out to perfect your stroke or work on the little details. There is minimal time to do stuff.

“That’s why I came back here,” O’Shaughnessy said. “Michael and I have worked together since I’ve been home. I have worked and trained hard with Luke (Torres) and Nick (Schwab) to get where I need to be in three months.”

At first, being away was a difficult adjustment for O’Shaughnessy.

“College swimming is an experience, there is nothing you can compare it to,” he said. “But it’s hard to go from a Gold Standard Swim Club recognized by USA Swimming to a school known only for its basketball program. We have kids with national cuts, but it’s still a different mentality.”

O’Shaughnessy is gearing up for his sophomore college season and NCAAs.

“That’s why I came here,” he said. “Coming back here I knew I could get it back, get back into shape. I wanted to go a national cut and I barely missed it. Next summer I am going to do the same thing and Olympic trials training, too.”

Being away from “home” has given O’Shaughnessy a chance to see how lucky he was training in a high-caliber atmosphere.

“If anything my passion for swimming has grown,” O’Shaughnessy said. “This is everything to me. I took for granted what I had. Workouts at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. in a world-class facility with world-class coaches training with world-class swimmers. Nothing compares to this and not many people are fortunate enough to have this kind of experience in this kind of atmosphere.

“It was an awakening for me. I saw what I had and I appreciate it more now. I am happy at school. I am there for the education and they pay for me to swim but my love for swimming comes out when I am down here training with Michael.”

O’Shaughnessy will remain in South Florida for most of August. He plans to visit his family in Minnesota, return to Coral Springs to finish up training and go back to school on August 25.

The FGC Senior Championships is O’Shaughnessy’s third meet this summer. He also competed at the Texas A&M Senior Circuit Meet and Coral Springs Invitational.

Since O’Shaughnessy left Coral Springs, he moved to Minnesota with his family and had to adjust to the frigid weather. He was sick for 10 months and then went to college where he broke his ankle during dryland training. It was a setback but it enabled him to regroup. He  qualified for both the Big East Championships and USA Swimming Short Course Nationals during the 2009-2010 season.

“Coming back here has given me a chance to refresh everything,” O’Shaugnessy said. “I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked, but the amount of time I did have I took advantage of.”

One thing that has changed since he’s been gone is the swim team’s South Florida Aquatic Club name.

“For me it is a bittersweet emotion,” O’Shaughnessy said. “I am one of the old-timers on the team. Of course, Vlad (Polyakov) is the Godfather. Coral Springs goes hand-in-hand with Michael. He built the team to what it is today.

“But you have to be able to adapt to the environment around you and change is part of that and I am sure they will do whatever they need to do to be competitive. And that goes in everything from training to swimming.”

O’Shaughnessy has two events remaining on Sunday, the 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley. Being “home” seems to bring out the best in him.

“I still have friends here, this is where I have grown up since I was 13,” he said. “I know I will always be welcomed back here. People still know my name and respect me. I am still on the record board. I don’t think people will forget me down here for a while.”

With more great swims to come, O’Shaughnessy will make sure of that.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com