Katie Ledecky Wins Historic Double; Alex Evdokimov Top FGC Finisher On Day Four Of Olympic Trials


By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 16, 2021—The bell lap never sounded so good to Katie Ledecky who made history Wednesday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials at CHI Health Center.

In front of a standing ovation, Ledecky, 24, of Nation’s Capital Swim Club, completed a grueling double, first winning the 200-meter freestyle against a stacked field in 1:55.11 and finishing the night with another win, this time in the newest Olympic women’s event 1,500-meter freestyle in a pool record 15:40.50, bettering her previous pool record of 15:43.10 set in prelims.

Twenty nine minutes after winning the 200, she was on the podium getting her medal and 67 minutes later she was on the blocks for the 1,500.

“It went well,” Ledecky said. “It was good I had the morning off to rest up and take care of business tonight. I told our heat in there we were making history tonight. I think we were all just so fired up that we finally got this chance.”

Three-time Olympic champion and former four-time world record holder Debbie Meyer texted Ledecky the night before her races. Meyer was the first woman to win the 800-meter freestyle when it became an Olympic event at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

“She was saying how cool it was for her when she was the first one to win the 800,” Ledecky said. “She said it was so cool to look back at the event to see she was the first. I just tried to cherish the moment. The 1,500 has been a long time coming. I’m so glad we are finally here.”

Erica Sullivan, 21, of Sandpipers of Nevada held off clubmate Katie Grimes to finish second in 15:51.18 to make her first Olympic team.

Ledecky won the first final of the night, the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.11. Allison Schmitt, 31, of Sun Devil Swimming made her fourth Olympic team with a second place in 1:56.79. After her swim, Schmitt got a big hug on the pool deck from good friend and former teammate Michael Phelps.

After the first 50 and 100 Ledecky was second behind Schmitt. After the 150, Ledecky put it another gear to lead by almost a second. Schmitt finished 1/100ths of a second ahead of University of Virginia’s Paige Madden.

In her 1500 race, Ledecky went out in 59.22 for the first 100 and by 150 meters she had a full body length lead and went through the 400 at 4:07.77.

The only negative was NBC cutting away for commercials after the 400. Come on NBC, seriously? The coverage resumed at 650-meters and she had extended her lead by three body lengths. She went through 1,000 at 10:25. She was seven seconds and four body lengths ahead with 300 meters to go.

“She is a true competitor, she is so tough,” said U.S. Olympic women’s and Stanford coach Greg Meehan. “She embraces training. She just loves the sport. She loves to swim. She loves being in the water. She loves being with her teammates. Every day she wants to be better.”

In the women’s 200-meter individual medley, a pair of teenagers will be going to Tokyo. Alex Walsh, 19, of Nashville Aquatic Club won by 2/100ths of a second in 2:09.32 and Kate Douglass of University of Virginia was second in 2:09.32. Favorite Madisyn Cox finished 2/100ths of a second out of second.

“I just wanted it so badly,” Walsh said. “I just put my head down. That was the hardest 15 meters. I kept thinking about all my teammates and the hard work I put in this season. I couldn’t believe I touched first. I was so happy and so excited to represent the U.S.”

Zach Harting of the Louisville Cardinals won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in hopes of filling Michael Phelps’ shoes in the event. “Those are pretty big shoes,” Harting said with a smile.

Harting won in 1:55.06 and Gunnar Bentz of Dynamo Swim Club was second in 1:55.34. Harting broke open a tight race and surged in the final meters in a lifetime-best. Harting was emotional after the race and took four bows to the crowd. Bentz threw a kiss to the scoreboard.

“A lot of people work their whole lives. They get told they can have a dream when they’re children and then they’re told that’s not the way it works when they grow up,” Harting said. “For me, ever since I was 7 and started swimming my dream was to represent the U.S. at the Olympics. Not all of us get to turn their dreams into reality. I’m really grateful for that. I worked my butt off every day for that. You can do it. This is dreams coming true.”

Reigning world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel made his Trials debut and had no problem making tonight’s 100-meter freestyle final as the top seed in 47.77. Nathan Adrian, 32, going for his fourth Olympic team came up short placing 13th in 48.92. It was the first time since 2008 he didn’t make the 100. Adrian was coming back from two bouts of testicular cancer. He still has a shot in the 50 freestyle.

Alex Evdokimov, 25, of Pinnacle Racing (VA) and formerly Coral Springs Swim Club, was ninth in the 200-meter breaststroke prelims in a lifetime-best 2:11.54 (previous best was 2:12.10) to advance into the semifinals where he finished fifth in another best time of 2:11.39 swimming in Lane 2. He was second off the blocks in 0.67.

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmers remaining each have one final race.

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of FAST swims Thursday in the 200 backstroke.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming swims Friday in the 200 backstroke.

Erika Pelaez, 14, of Eagle Aquatics swims Saturday in the 50 freestyle.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Thursday’s events are: (Morning Prelims Session), women’s 100 freestyle prelims, men’s 200 backstroke prelims, women’s 200 breaststroke prelims, men’s 200 individual medley prelims; (Evening Session), men’s 800 freestyle final, men’s 200 breaststroke final, women’s 100 freestyle semifinal, men’s 200 backstroke semifinal, women’s 200 butterfly final, men’s 100 freestyle final, women’s 200 breaststroke semifinal, men’s 200 individual medley semifinal.

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, today through June 19, 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, today through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.

WEDNESDAY FINAL RESULTS
WOMEN

200-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP 1:55.11, 2. Allison Schmitt, SUN 1:56.79, 3. Paige Madden, UVA 1:56.80.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Alex Walsh, NAC 2:09.30, 2. Kate Douglass, UVA 2:09.32, 3. Madisyn Cox, TXLA 2:09.34.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP 15:40.50, 2. Erica Sullivan, SAND 15:51.18, 3. Katie Grimes, SAND 15:52.12.

MEN
200-meter butterfly: 1. Zach Harting, CARD 1:55.06, 2. Gunnar Bentz, DYNA 1:55.34, 3. Luca Orlando, DART 1:55.43.

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

Kalisz, Smith, Weyant Win On Opening Night Of U.S. Olympic Trials; Alex Evdokimov Top FGC Finisher


By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 13, 2021—Chase Kalisz became the first swimmer to make the U.S. Olympic team Sunday night at the Olympic Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center.

Trailing by three seconds in the 400-meter individual medley going into the breaststroke, Kalisz, 27, of Athens Bulldogs powered his way back to win in 4:09.09, second fastest time in the world this year, and make his second consecutive Olympic team.

Training mate Jay Litherland, a dual U.S. and Japan citizen, reeled in early leader Carson Foster in the final 20 meters to finish second in 4:10.33.

Kalisz was hugged by good friend and legendary Michael Phelps after he climbed out of the pool.

“This is the Olympic Trials, times don’t matter, it’s all about racing,” Kalisz said. “I knew where I needed to be. I made my move right where I needed to make my move and I’m happy how it played out.

“It’s been a rough year, I guess a tough two years, but to make the Olympic team with my teammate Jay who I get to train with every single day, that’s the coolest part.”

In the second final of the night, Kiernan Smith, 21, of University of Florida, not only had to win but had the pressure of having to swim FINA’s “A” qualifying time of 3:46.78. He did just that, winning in a personal-best 3:44.86, fastest time in the world this year. No other swimmer in the field made the qualifying cut.

Smith took it out hard in the first half of the race and had at least a body length lead and was on American record pace for the first 200 meters.

“I knew there was a little pressure to make that time considering no Americans had made it so far this year,” Smith said. “I was confident with myself after a pretty relaxed morning swim. I really just wanted to pounce on the first 200 and stay out there and make it a one-man race if I could.

“All that was going through my head in the last 100 was I am about to be an Olympian,” Smith said. “It sounds incredible to make my first Olympic team. I couldn’t imagine that five years ago when I was first here.”

In a thrilling women’s 400-meter individual medley race, 19-year-old Emma Weyant of Sarasota Sharks making her Trials debut, came on strong in the final 50 meters against two veterans to pull off the shocker and win in a best time 4:33.81 and earn a spot on the team.

Flickinger led after the butterfly and backstroke legs with Weyant in striking distance. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis, down five seconds, surged back into contention after the breaststroke leg. All three were even on the final 50 turn with 1/10th of a second separating them. Weyant turned it on in the final 20 meters with Flickinger just behind her.

“I just put my head down in the last 50, it hurt a lot but having all those amazing girls to race was awesome,” said Weyant, who deferred going to school at Virginia for a year to train for the Trials in Sarasota. “I had to learn about making a race plan and today was just about racing. To hear I am an Olympian is crazy, I can’t even believe it.”

In the women’s 100-meter butterfly semifinal, 18-year-old Torri Huske of Arlington Aquatics broke the American record in 55.78, erasing Dana Vollmer’s mark of 55.98.

In a span of eight hours, Michael Andrew, 22, broke the American record twice in prelims and semifinals of the 100-meter breaststroke. With two explosive starts, Andrew broke Kevin Cordes’ 2017 American record of 58.64 by nearly a half second in 58.19, in morning prelims. He came back at night to break it again in the semifinals in 58.14.

Four of the five qualified Florida Gold Coast swimmers competed on opening day with only one advancing into the semifinals.

In the morning prelims of the 100-meter breaststroke, Alex Evdokimov, 25, of Pinnacle Racing (VA) and formerly Coral Springs Swim Club, finished eighth in a best time 1:00.22 to qualify for the semifinals where he finished fifth in 1:00.64 and failed to make finals by two spots placing tenth. He was seeded tenth in 1:00.47. He has the 200 breaststroke left to swim.

In other Florida Gold Coast results:

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, 20, of University of Florida was 21st in the 400 IM in 4:47.94 off her best time of 4:46.12. She has the 400 freestyle and 200 IM left to swim.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming, was 25th in the 400 IM in 4:48.72, off her best time of 4:44.83. She has the 200 IM and 200 backstroke remaining.

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of FAST, was 37th out of a field of 38 swimmers in 4:32.24, off his best time of 4:25.79. He has the 100 and 200 backstroke events left to swim.

Erika Pelaez, 14, of Eagle Aquatics will start racing on Monday. She has qualified in the 100 backstroke, 50-and 100 freestyles.

Before Sunday’s prelims, 36-year-old Ryan Lochte scratched from the 400 IM. It is the first time since 2000 he has not competed in the event.

Two surprises in morning prelims were Zane Grothe (400 freestyle) and Madisyn Cox (400 freestyle) failing to make finals. Grothe had competed in the event in two World Championships and under 3:46. He struggled to a 3:50.80 to place 11th. Cox was 10th in 4:44.36, off her best time of 4:36.61, that would have placed her second seed in finals.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Monday’s events are: (Morning Prelims Session), women’s 100 backstroke, men’s 200 freestyle, women’s 100 breaststroke, men’s 100 backstroke, women’s 400 freestyle; (Evening Session), women’s 100 butterfly final, men’s 200 freestyle, women’s 100 breaststroke semifinal, men’s 100 breaststroke final, women’s 400 freestyle final, men’s 100 backstroke semifinal and women’s 100 backstroke semifinal.

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, today through June 19, 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, today through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.

AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING TRIALS
Ten months after her father died from a brain tumor, Kaylee McKeown, 19, broke the women’s 100-meter backstroke world record in 57.45. The previous mark was 57.57 set by Regan Smith in 2019. Emily Seebohm, 29, swimming next to her, was second in 58.59 and qualified for her fourth Olympic team.

SUNDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

400-meter individual medley: 1. Emma Weyant, Sarasota Sharks 4:33.81, 2. Hali Flickinger, SUN 4:33.96, 3. Melanie Margalis, SPA 4:34.08.

MEN
400-meter individual medley: 1. Chase Kalisz, Athens Bulldogs Swim Club 4:09.09, 2. Jay Litherland, Dynamo 4:10.33, 3. Carson Foster, RAYSOFH 4:10.86.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Kiernan Smith, UFlorida 3:44.86, 2. Jake Mitchell, CSC 3:48.17, 3. Ross Dant, NCS 3:48.30.

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

It’s Show Time: U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials Get Under Way Sunday; SOFLO’s Golding, FGC’s Podkoscielny, Zuchowski, Evdokimov Compete


By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 12, 2021—The long hours of hard work, dedication and sacrifice come down to the next eight days when swimmers from across the nation, including South Florida, compete in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center.

After a year delay because of the pandemic, all eyes will be on stars Caeleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Murphy, Simone Manuel, Michael Andrew, Lilly King, Ryan Lochte and Regan Smith.

Dressel, 24, former Clay High School, Bolles Club and University of Florida standout and 13-time world champion, qualified for seven events and is the top seed in the 50-meter freestyle (21.04, US record), 100-meter freestyle (46.96, US record) and 100-meter butterfly (49.50, world record), all three of which he is the reigning world champion.

Dressel also qualified 11th in the 200-meter freestyle (1:47.31), ninth in the 200-meter butterfly (1:56.29) and 14th in the 200-meter individual medley (1:59.97).

Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 25, who swept the backstrokes at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is looking to regain his world’s best role after being beaten at world championships. He is looking to extend the U.S. streak of winning every Olympic men’s backstroke title dating to 1996.

Ledecky, 24, can make the Olympic team in five events including relays with an eye on making history in Tokyo. She is a favorite in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles. She holds the world record in the 400, 800 and 1500.

No American woman has won more than four gold medals at one Olympics. In the 800 freestyle, Ledecky owns the 23 fastest times in history and every Olympic and world title dating to her Olympic debut in 2012 at age 15. In the 1500, she owns the 10 fastest times in history.

At age 36, Ryan Lochte, who has been training with Gregg Troy in Gainesville for the past three years, is trying to tie the record (of Michael Phelps and Dara Torres) for most Olympic appearances by a U.S. swimmer. Dressel has also been training with Troy.

“I’d give him a very serious chance of medaling and winning at the Olympics, not just making the U.S. team,” Dressel said. “I’m not really buying the whole old-man thing anymore. He knows how to get up and boogie.”

Lochte is seeded 15th in the 400-meter individual medley, which opens the trials. He’s entered in six events over the eight-day meet, although it’s unlikely he will swim all six. The 200 IM, which he still owns the world record set in 2011, could be his best chance. He’s seeded fifth.

“I don’t have that target on my back anymore,” he said. “I know I’m hunting them instead of being the hunter. I’ve changed my life around completely. I’m a better person, I’m more grown up. I’m a family man, I’m a dad and husband. At the pool, they will be like, ‘Oh, come on, old man, you can do it. I’m like, ‘Grrr, if you only knew how hard this is.’”

Lochte has not had many stellar swims at meets or dropped any impressive times.

“We haven’t seen in competition what we see in training,” Troy said. “He’s done a good job training.”

Other qualified swimmers with University of Florida or Gator Swim Club ties are: Talia Bates, 20; Clark Beach, 21; Ethan Beach, 21; Caitlin Brooks, 20; Adam Chaney, 19; Jace Crawford, 19; Mitch D’Arrigo, 26; Will Davis, 21; Sherridon Dressel, 22; Robert Finke, 21; Trey Freeman, 21; Brennan Gravley, 20; Julian Hill, 20; Dillon Hillis, 20; Natalie Hinds, 27; Isabel Ivey, 20; Alena Kraus, 21; Drew Loy, 23; Tylor Mathieu, 20; Vanessa Pearl, 21; Allie Piccirillo, 20; Amanda Ray, 18; Grant Sanders, 23; Kieran Smith, 21; Jonathan Tybur, 25; Kevin Vargas, 19; and Tyler Watson, 20.

Many coaches believe the year delay has added to the build-up of the Trials. Meets and training were shut down during portions of the pandemic.

“I think the kids are dying to race,” said Ray Looze, who coaches breaststroker Lilly King. “If anybody sets a world record, that’s a phenomenal accomplishment. But I think there’s going to be some world records that go down because there’s been some people that have had to go through a great deal and they really, really want it bad.”

Unlike the Wave I shorter format where 49 swimmers qualified for Wave II, the regular format for team selection at the Trials will be used.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Sunday’s events are: (Morning Session)men’s 400 individual medley prelims, women’s 100 butterfly prelims, men’s 400 freestyle prelims, women’s 400 individual medley prelims and men’s 100 breaststroke prelims; (Evening Session) men’s 400 IM final, women’s 100 butterfly semifinal, men’s 400 freestyle final, women’s 400 IM final and men’s 100 breaststroke semifinal.

Swimming is one of the top sports for the U.S. at the Olympics. In the 2016 Rio Games, 33 of the 121 medals won by the Americans came from swimming, just ahead of 32 from track and field. Sixteen gold medals out of the 46 won by the U.S. also came from swimming.

In other highlights:

Hall of Famer and Arizona State coach Bob Bowman will be coaching at this first U.S. Olympic trials without his former swimmer Michael Phelps, 35, now married with two sons and retired from swimming.

ASU has 20 qualifiers, up from four in 2016. He is also coaching veterans Matt Grevers, Allison Schmitt, Hali Flickinger and Leah Smith, who have been training in Tucson.

“It’ll be strange,” Bowman told the Arizona Republic. “When Michael was with me [since age 15 in 2000], I had had an idea of what was going to be happening at the trials and after the trials. It will be a completely different experience, but I’m excited to go with these guys. They have prepared well and want to get better.”

Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented by five talented swimmers. They are:

Kathleen Golding, 20, University of Florida All-American, seeded 28th, 400-meter freestyle, 4:12.38; 37th, 400-meter individual medley, 4:46.12, and 35th, 200-meter individual medley, 2:15.48.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, Pine Crest Swimming, seeded 24th, 400-meter individual medley, 4:44.83; seeded 49th, 200-meter individual medley, 2:16.36 and 48th seed, 200-meter backstroke, 2:14.16.

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of King’s Academy and Flood Aquatics Swim Team (FAST), seeded 44th, 400-meter individual medley, 4:25.79; 48th, 100-meter backstroke, 55.99 and 29th, 200-meter backstroke, 2.00.76.

Alex Evdokimov, 25, Pinnacle Racing (VA), formerly Coral Springs Swim Club, seeded 10th, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:00.47 and 16th, 200-meter breaststroke, 2:12.10.

Erika Pelaez, 14, Eagle Aquatics and South Florida HEAT, seeded 53rd, 100-meter backstroke, 1:01.85; seeded 40th, 100-meter freestyle, 55.51; seeded 57th, 50-meter freestyle, 25.83.

Seeds were taken from pre-meet psych sheet for the qualifying period (Nov. 28, 2018-May 30, 2021).

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on NBCOlympics.com and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, Sunday’s schedule is 11 a.m. on NBC Stream at 5:30 p.m. on NBCSN and June 14-19 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, Sunday through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.

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

Five Swimmers With Florida Gold Coast Ties On U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II Pre-Scratch Psych Sheet; SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding Seeded Top 40 In Three Events


By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 9, 2021—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding is among a small, but talented group of swimmers with Florida Gold Coast ties headed to the U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II meet this weekend at CHI Health Center.

The June 13-20 event is the selection trials for the U.S. Olympic swim team for next month’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Golding, 20, of the University of Florida, is seeded 28th in the 400-meter freestyle, 4:14.38, a qualifying cut she earned with SOFLO two summers ago at Stanford; 37th in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:46.12, and 35th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:15.48.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming is seeded 24th in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:44.83; seeded 49th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:16.36 and 48th seed in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:14.16.

King’s Academy’s Josh Zuchowski, 17, of Flood Aquatics Swim Team (FAST), who has verbally committed to Stanford, is seeded 44th in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:25.79; 48th in the 100-meter backstroke in 55.99 and 29th in the 200-meter backstroke in 2.00.76.

Alex Evdokimov, 25, of Pinnacle Racing (VA) and former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer coached by Bruno Darzi, is seeded 10th in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.47 and 16th in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:12.10.

At 14, Erika Pelaez of Eagle Aquatics and South Florida HEAT is the youngest FGC qualifier and one of the youngest at the Wave II trials. She is No. 53 seed in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:01.85; No. 40 seed in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.51 (third-fastest 13-14-year-old in history of freestyle behind Missy Franklin and Lia Neal) and No. 57 seed in the 50-meter freestyle in 25.83.

Over eight days, swimming’s cream of the crop will battle it out in 28 finals for the honor to represent the U.S.

Floridian Caeleb Dressel, 24, a Clay High School and Bolles Swim Club alum, who has entered six events; Katie Ledecky, Simone Manuel, Lilly King and Ryan Murphy are overwhelming favorites to make the team. Michael Andrew, 22, who turned pro at 14, and Regan Smith, 19, are ready to challenge for spots on the team as well. Team USA head coaches are Dave Durden (men) and Greg Meehan (women).

Unlike Wave I that featured no semifinals in a shorter format, Wave II will follow the regular format.

Preliminary heats are held each morning. The 16 fastest swimmers from prelims move on to the semifinals in races 200 meters or shorter.

For swimmers competing in races 400 meters and longer, the fastest eight in prelims move directly to a final.

Semifinals are held the night following prelims and are interspersed between finals. The fastest eight swimmers from semifinals move on to the finals in each stroke. Three to four finals are scheduled each evening.

Swimmers who finish in the top four of the 100- and 200-meter freestyle events at trials, along with the first-place finishers in all the other events, are named to the U.S. Olympic Team first.

A maximum of 26 men and 26 women can be named to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team. But a handful of swimmers will likely win more than one event, opening up spots for other swimmers to be named to the team. The second-place finishers in each of the other events will be added to the team in a priority order based on an integrated world ranking from 2019 and 2020.

If, after adding the second-place finishers from each of the other individual events, there is still room on the team, the fifth-place finishers from the 100 and 200 freestyle are added (using the same world ranking). Then, if there is still room on the team, the sixth-place finishers from the 100 and 200 freestyle are added (using the same world ranking).

At the Tokyo Games, the third- through sixth-place finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyle will not swim the individual event but are considered for the 400 and 800 freestyle relays.

The men’s 800-meter freestyle and women’s 1,500-meter freestyle debut at the Tokyo Games. In prior Olympics, only men swam the 1,500 and only women swam the 800.

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with the live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be streamed on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

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

Cordes Breaks Three Records On Day Four Of World Team Trials


By Sharon Robb

July 1, 2017—Kevin Cordes swept the breaststroke events after breaking the American, U.S. Open and meet records in the 100-meter breaststroke Friday night at the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Team Trials on at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Cordes, swimming unattached, won the event in 58.74 lowering Cody Miller’s American record of 58.87 and Adam Peaty’s U.S. Open record of 58.86. He also broke his own meet record of 58.94.

“I’m just happy that I get the chance to swim it again and represent the U.S. at the World Championships,” Cordes said.

“I think I’ll take everything I learned from this meet, the good and the bad, and work through it the next couple of weeks, get ready and get excited again.”

Cordes, who also won the 200-meter breaststroke, is now ranked second in the world.

Cordes is being coached by Sergio Lopez, now coaching at Auburn. Cordes had travelled to Singapore to train with Lopez when he was coaching the Singapore national team before getting the Auburn job.

“What a great meet for Kevin Cordes,” Lopez posted on his Facebook page. “I am very proud of Kevin for staying the course and being able to stay calm through this meet.

“Personally, I am very thankful that he is trusting the process and allowing me to learn as we move forward. Also very thankful to my boss Brett Hawke for giving us this chance to be part of the amazing Auburn family.

“Kevin took three good steps forward to Tokyo 2020 and a good boost of confidence for the next challenge in a couple of weeks at FINA Worlds in Budapest.”

Coral Springs Swim Club’s Alex Evdokimov of Louisville was eighth in the B Final in 1:02.39 after going 1:01.82 in prelims. He was the highest Florida Gold Coast finisher.

Other Friday winners were:

Katie Ledecky won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.44, the third fastest time ever and meet and U.S. Open records

Zane Grothe, training in Indiana, won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:44.43.

Lilly King added the 100-meter breaststroke win to her 50- and 200-meter breaststroke victories in a meet record 1:04.95.

Kathleen Baker won her second event, the 100-meter backstroke in a U.S. open and course record-breaking time of 58.57, breaking Missy Franklins’ records of 58.67 set in 2013.

Fan favorite and veteran Olympian Matt Grevers, 32, knocked off Ryan Murphy to win the 100-meter backstroke in 52.71. Murphy was 0.31 seconds behind in 53.02.

The winners of each event qualify for worlds with runners-up also likely to make the team through a selection process.

The five day meet concludes on Saturday. Saturday’s events are: women’s 1500 meter freestyle, men’s 800-meter freestyle, women’s and men’s 200-meter individual medley and 50-meter freestyles. NBC is broadcasting a tape-delay show on Sunday, 1-3 p.m., with Rowdy Gaines.

FLORIDA GOLD COAST RESULTS

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: 52. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:19.86.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: 57. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:02.82.

Women’s 100-meter breaststroke: 21. Emily Kopas, Michigan 1:10.34.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: 12. Alex Evdokimov, Coral Springs Swim Club 1:01.82; B Final, 8. Alex Evdokimov 1:02.39.

FRIDAY RESULTS

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Stanford 3:58.44, meet, U.S. Open records, 2. Leah Smith, Cavaliers 4:03.77, 3. Sierra Schmidt, Club Wolverine 4:07.92.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: 1. Zane Grothe, Badger 3:44.43, 2. Clark Smith, Texas 3:45.91, 3. Townley Haas, Nova Aquatic 3:46.41.

Women’s 100-meter breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, Indiana 1:04.95, 2. Katie Meili, New York Athletic Club 1:05.51, 3. Bethany Galat, Texas A&M 1:06.72.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: 1. Kevin Cordes, Unattached 58.74, meet, U.S. Open, American records, 2. Cody Miller, Badger 59.11, 3. Nicolas Fink, Athens Bulldogs 59.40.

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: 1. Kathleen Baker, TE 58.57, 2. Olivia Smoliga, Athens Bulldogs 59.17, 3. Hannah Stevens, UMIZ 59.74.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: 1. Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford 52.71, 2. Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 53.02, 3. Justin Ress, Wolfpack 53.38.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Clearwater’s Aitchison Takes Bronze; Kopas, Evdokimov Make “A” Final At Junior Pan Pacs

Clearwater’s Aitchison Takes Bronze; Kopas, Evdokimov Make “A” Final At Junior Pan Pacs


By Sharon Robb

August 30, 2014—After just missing two medals, Canadian Alexandra Aitchison of Clearwater Aquatics won her first major international medal Friday night at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at Kihei Aquatic Center in Maui, Hawaii.

Aitchison won a bronze medal in the 400-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 4:11.16. She lowered her previous best time of 4:13.33. Aitchison qualified sixth in morning prelims in 4:15.42.

In the final women’s event of the night, Aitchison anchored her country’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay that finished fourth in 3:45.79.

Aitchison is having a good meet for Canada. She just missed a medal in the 200-meter freestyle placing fourth in a lifetime-best 2:00.81. She was fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:41.90, another lifetime-best.

Aitchison also qualified for the 100-meter freestyle “B” final (57.91) and 400-meter individual medley “A” final (4:55.08) but scratched for her team in order to swim the 800-meter freestyle relay where she swam leadoff for the relay that finished in 8:12.75.

In Saturday morning prelims, Aitchison was the 12th fastest qualifier in the 50-meter freestyle in a best time 26.74, dropping from 26.84 and will swim the “B” final. Aitchison is also the fifth seed in the 1500-meter freestyle.

Also in morning prelims, Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Emily Kopas was the fourth fastest swimmer in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:31.79 and will swim late Saturday night in the “A” final. She was the second U.S. qualifier.

U.S. teammate Alex Evdokimov of Coral Springs Swim Club also made the “A” final, qualifying eighth in a best time 2:17.70, dropping from 2:21.77.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Mateo Gonzalez, representing Mexico, finished eighth in the 100-meter butterfly in 54.71, another lifetime-best. He qualified in 55.03, lowering his previous best of 55.24.

It was Gonzalez second appearance in the championship finals.

Gonzalez also qualified for the 100-meter backstroke final on opening night in 58.71 and finished eighth in finals in 58.04.

Both Song An and Gonzalez were members of Mexico’s seventh place 4×100-meter freestyle relay team (3:30.82).

Mexican teammate Andy Song An of Bolles was sixth in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:04.37. Song An had qualified sixth in morning in a then lifetime-best 2:04.66, bettering his previous best time of 2:05.25.

In Thursday’s prelims, Song An was 18th in the 100-meter freestyle in 53.25. He was also a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle which finished seventh in 7:53.56.

In Saturday’s prelims, Gonzalez qualified tenth and Song An 16th in the 200-meter individual medley.

In Friday night’s finals,

American Courtney Harnish overtook early leader Tamsin Cook of Australia to win the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:09.36, dropping from 4:12.20. Cook took silver in 4:10.91.

Liam Egan of Team USA, winner of the 1500 freestyle on opening night, won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:52.59. He moved ahead of China’s early leader Li Yongwei. American Aidan Burns took silver in 3:53.10 and Aussie Joshua Parrish won bronze in 3:53.85.

Top-seed Suzuka Hasegawa of Japan won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.91. Aussie Christina Licciardi took silver in 59.36 and Japan’s Rikako Ikee took the bronze in 59.50.

American Alex Valente won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.60, just missing the junior world record. U.S. teammate Andrew Seliskar was second in 53.14 and New Zealand’s Bradlee Ashby was third in 53.81.

Japan’s Rio Shirai and Rika Yuhara went one-two in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:11.67 and 2:12.51 respectively. Korea’s Dalin Lee took the brone in 2:13.24.

Americans Connor Green and Corey Okubo went one-two in the 200-meter backstroke in 1:59.60 and 2:01.17. Canadian Markus Thormeyer took the bronze in 2:01.55.

The Aussie women and U.S. men won the 4×100-meter freestyle relays.

The five-day meet continues late Saturday night with the final schedule for pool events. The 10K open water events are Sunday. The Pan Pacific Championships open water events will also be held after being postponed in Australia because of bad weather condition.

Team USA leads a field of eight countries that includes Australia, Canada, China, Fiji, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. The charter nations are the U.S., Australia, Japan and Canada.

The Jr. Pan Pacs are being live-streamed at usaswimming.org. Results can also be found on Meet Mobile. Finals are 11 p.m. east coast time. The open water events begin 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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

Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Kopas Fourth Fastest, Makes “B” Final; Bolles Song An Seventh At Junior Pan Pacs

Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Kopas Fourth Fastest, Makes “B” Final; Bolles Song An Seventh At Junior Pan Pacs


By Sharon Robb

August 28, 2014—University of Michigan-bound Emily Kopas, competing in her first major international meet for the U.S., was the fourth fastest swimmer in the 100-meter breaststroke Thursday morning at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships at the Kihei Aquatic Center in Maui, Hawaii.

Kopas, 18, of Swim Fort Lauderdale, despite qualifying fourth in 1:10.92, slipped into the “B” final after two of her U.S. teammates, Lilly King and Jorie Caneta, qualified first and third respectively.

Only the top two from each country qualify for the championship finals so Kopas will swim the consolation final late Thursday night.

Alex Evdokimov, 18, of Coral Springs Swim Club, finished 19th in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.95, just off his seed time of 1:03.34.

In Wednesday’s opening night finals:

Bolles Andy Song An of Mexico finished seventh in the 100-meter backstroke finals in 57.52 after going 57.16 in prelims.

The U.S. team cleaned up, winning seven of eight gold medals and 15 of 16 possible medals. The girls team is being coached by Bolles head coach Sergio Lopez. Gator Swim Club’s Jaime Lewis is an assistant coach.

The only event the U.S. team did not win was the women’s 200-meter butterfly won by Japan’s Haruno Ito in 2:09.02.

The other event the U.S. did not win the maximum two medals was the girls’ 100-meter backstroke. Three of the best U.S. junior swimmers went to the Youth Olympics including Kopas’ future University of Michigan teammate Clara Smiddy of AquaKids Sharks.

Katie Drabot of Ouzakee Aquatics won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:58.73.

Townley Haas of NOVA of Virginia Aquatics broke the meet record in the 200-meter freestyle winning in 1:48.32.

Amy Bilquist of Carmel Swim Club won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:01.00.

Connor Green of Bluefish Swim Club won the 100-meter backstroke in 55.08 and Michael Andrew of Indie Swimming was second in 55.81.

Top-seed Andrew Seliskar of Nation’s Capital Swimming won the 200-meter butterfly in a meet record 1:55.92.

Sierra Schmidt of North Baltimore Aquatic Club won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:34.71.

Liam Egan of Crimson Aquatics won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:15.53.

The five-day meet continues late Thursday night with finals. Team USA leads a field of eight countries that includes Australia, Canada, China, Fiji, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. The charter nations are the U.S., Australia, Japan and Canada.

Kopas and Evdokimov, headed to Cornell, are the only Florida Gold Coast swimmers on the team.

The Jr. Pan Pacs are being live-streamed at usaswimming.org. Results can also be found on Meet Mobile. Prelims are 3 p.m. and finals are 11 p.m. east coast time.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Florida Gold Coast Swimmers, Bolles Coach Ready For Junior Pan Pacs

Florida Gold Coast Swimmers, Bolles Coach Ready For Junior Pan Pacs


By Sharon Robb

August 26, 2014—Before leaving for their first year of college, breaststrokers Emily Kopas of Swim Fort Lauderdale and Alex Evdokimov of Coral Springs Swim Club will represent the United States at the Junior Pac Pacific Championships.

The five-day meet begins Wednesday at the Kihei Aquatic Center in Maui, Hawaii.

Team USA leads a field of eight countries that includes Australia, Canada, China, Fiji, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. The charter nations are the U.S., Australia, Japan and Canada.

The meet is for swimmers age 13-18 from non-European federations.

Like last week’s Pan Pacific Championships in Australia, Team USA is expected to dominate the medal count based on the psych sheet.

The rules mirror the Pan Pacs with only two swimmers from each country allowed to advance into the championship final and three for the “B” finals.

Team USA has 23 men and 23 women. They gathered in Los Angeles before leaving for Hawaii.

Bolles coach and Olympian Sergio Lopez is coaching the women’s team. Jaime Lewis of Gator Swim Club is an assistant coach.

Kopas and Evdokimov are the only Florida swimmers on the team.

Kopas, 18, a University School of Nova alum, headed for the University of Michigan, is the fifth seed (1:09.94) in the 100-meter breaststroke on Thursday. U.S. teammate Lilly King of Newburgh Sea Creatures is top seed in 1:08.12.

Kopas is seeded fourth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:29.53 on Saturday. Japan’s Runa Imai, only 13, is seeded first in 2:24.00. Last year as a 12-year-old she swam 2:25.14. She is one of the youngest swimmers in the meet.

Kopas recently won her first major national title at the USA Swimming Speedo Junior National Championships in the 200-meter breaststroke in a lifetime-best 2:29.53. It was the first time the junior national team member, high school state champion and All-American cracked the 2:30 barrier.

Cornell-bound Evdokimov, 18, a Taravella graduate, is seeded 12th in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.34. American Connor Hoppe, 17, of Clovis Swim Club is seeded first in 1:01.84. Evdokimov is seeded 14th in 2:21.77. U.S. teammate Cody Taylor, 18, of Donner Swim Club is seeded first in 2:12.73.

At senior nationals, Evdokimov was 24th in 1:04.17 in the final after going a best time 1:03.34 in morning prelims. He was disqualified in the 200 breaststroke and was 67th in the 50 breaststroke in 30.02.

Lopez is one of the nation’s top USA Swimming club and high school coaches. He joined the Bolles staff in 2007. He had 17 swimmers with Bolles ties at the 2012 London Olympics and has coached the high school teams to national and high school titles.

The Pan Pacs 10K, postponed in Southport, Australia because of high levels of E.coli in the water, will be held on the final day of the meet along with the Jr. Pan Pacs events on Sunday at 2 p.m. east coast time. Clearwater’s Becca Mann will compete in the rescheduled Pan Pac women’s race and is a medal favorite after an extra week’s rest.

Wednesday’s events are 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter butterfly, 800-meter freestyle and 1500-meter freestyle.

For those swim fans who wish to remain sleep-deprived after watching last week’s Pan Pacs live-streamed from Australia, the Jr. Pan Pacs will also be live-streamed at usaswimming.org. Results can also be found on Meet Mobile.

Prelims are 3 p.m. and finals are 11 p.m. east coast time.

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