SOFLO’s Izzy Wilson Takes Fifth At USA Swimming Women’s 7.5K Junior National Open Water Championship

By Sharon Robb
SARASOTA, April 23, 2023—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Izzy Wilson finished fifth at the USA Swimming Women’s 7.5K Junior National Open Water Championship Sunday at Nathan Benderson Park.

On the third and final day of competition, Wilson, 17, finished fifth among a national-caliber field in 1:35.10.19. She was the only Florida Gold Coast swimmer in the field.

Claire Weinstein of Sandpipers of Nevada, third in the 10K on Friday and member of the U.S. World Championship team last year, won the girls 7.5K title in 1:34:00, 16 seconds ahead of NOVA of Virginia’s Claire Stuhlmacher in 1:34:16.56. Sarasota Sharks’ Lolly Milbaum was third in 1:34:38.41.

Ryan Erisman of Laker Swim, runner-up in the Junior 5K race on Saturday, won the boys 7.5K title in 1:26:12.

Two days after racing the 10K swim in the World Championships qualifying race, Katie Grimes and Brennan Gravley were back on course for the 5K. With their bids for Fukuoka already secured, both Sandpipers of Nevada swimmers won titles.

Grimes finished first among the 24 swimmers in the women’s race in 58:37.95, two seconds ahead of Spain’s Angela Martinez (58:39.99). Mariah Denigan, the Indiana swimmer already qualified to join Grimes in the 10K at Worlds, was third in 58:42.49. Anna Auld of University of Florida was 14th in 1:01.57.

Gravley, now competing for the University of Florida, won the men’s race in 55:10.65, a second-and-a-half margin of victory.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Kathleen Golding Heads Talented Local Contingent At NCAA Division I Women’s Championships That Begin Wednesday

By Sharon Robb
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—The NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships get underway Wednesday at the Allen Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.

University of Florida senior Kathleen Golding leads a talented local contingent from South Florida.

Golding will compete in the 200 IM (1:56.49) and 400 IM (4:07.83). She will be joined by Gator teammate Anna Auld of St. Andrew’s Aquatics and West Palm Beach in the 500 freestyle (4:40.32), 1,650 freestyle (16:09.52) and 400 IM (4:10.36). Transfer Emma Weyant of Sarasota will also compete for the Gators in the 1,650 (16:08.24) and 400 IM (4:01.18).

Golding, Auld and Weyant are among 17 individual swimmers and diver and five relays from University of Florida that will compete.

Auld, Golding, Weyant. Talia Bates, Micayla Cronk, Camille DeBoer, Zoe Dixon, Nina Kucheran, Katie Mack, Tylor Mathieu, Hayden Miller, Ekaterina Nikonova, Olivia Peoples, Amanda Ray, Aris Runnels and Mabel Zavaros qualified for the big dance based on season-best times in 11 different events.

Florida’s 16 swimmers selected are the second-most swimmers among the nation, only behind back-to-back national champion Virginia (17). There are only nine schools in the country with double-digit swimmers to qualify, and only three SEC programs.

Maha Amer joined the Gators group after qualifying in the NCAA Diving Zones early last week. Amer, who won silver in the 1-meter at the SEC Championships last month, will compete in all three events.

The Gators also qualified five relays, with the 200 free relay, 400 free relay, 800 free relay, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay all hitting the qualifying standard.

UCLA sophomore Paige MacEachern, a Boca Raton High School alum and Pine Crest club swimmer, will compete in the 400 IM (4:06.17).

University of Wisconsin freshman Blair Stoneburg, a Jensen Beach High alum and Treasure Coast Aquatics club swimmer, will compete in the 500 freestyle (4:40.38).

Florida International University’s Christie Choe qualified in the 200 breaststroke (2:08.73) and 100 breaststroke (59.28). University of Miami will be represented by diver Mia Vallee.

Florida State will have four swimmers at the meet: sophomore Madeline Huggins, 200 breaststroke (2:09.55), sophomore Edith Jernstedt, 200 butterfly (1:55.78), freshman Julia Mansson, 200 breaststroke (2:09.68) and grad assistant Daniela Anna Metzler, 400 IM (4:10.18).

No. 1 ranked University of Virginia is on the verge of a three-peat national championship. Alex Walsh, Gretchen Walsh and Kate Douglass are expected to lead the Cavaliers. Nineteen swimmers and divers qualified in 42 events.

Last year Virginia won its second-straight national title, claiming 11 events and four out of the five relays along the way, and finished with 551.5 team points, nearly 150 points ahead of the rest of the field. They may even top that this week.

Texas, Stanford and Florida are in the mix to finish among the top five.

A total of 281 swimmers from 56 colleges qualified for the four-day meet. Swimmers qualified for the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events which they entered. Divers were determined by performances achieved at the Zone Diving Championships.

ESPN+ will provide live digital coverage for preliminary and finals sessions Wednesday through Saturday. Tape-delayed coverage of the women’s championships will be on ESPNU at 8:30 p.m. EST on March 29.

Wednesday, 6 p.m., 200 medley relay,800 free relay.
Thursday, prelims, 10 a.m. and finals 6 p.m., 500 free, 200 IM, 50 free, 1-meter dive, 200 free relay.
Friday, prelims 10 a.m. and finals 6 p.m., 400 IM, 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 3-meter dive, 400 medley relay.
Saturday, prelims 10 a.m. and finals 6 p.m., 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, 200 fly, Platform dive, 1650 free, 400 free relay.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida Gators Sweep SEC Championships, Make History; Miami’s Max Flory ACC Championships Men’s Most Valuable Diver

By Sharon Robb
COLLEGE STATION, Tex., February 19, 2023—University of Florida’s swim program made a little more history at the Southeastern Conference Championships Saturday at the Rec Center Natatorium.

The Gators are the first college to win the men’s and women’s titles at the same meet since Auburn accomplished the feat in 2008. It is the ninth time the programs have won in the same year but first since 1993.

The men’s team, powered by depth and talent, won its 11th consecutive and 44th SEC title with 1,488.5, the highest in league history. The Gators won three of five relays: 200 freestyle, 400 medley and 800 freestyle.

Florida freshman Aleksas Savickas of Lithuania won the 200-yard breaststroke in 1:50.08, breaking Nic Fink’s 2015 SEC record by .72 seconds.

The women’s team returned to the top five since 2007 by winning the women’s title with 1,255 points ahead of defending champion Tennessee with 950.5. It was the seventh highest score in SEC history. SOFLO’s and UF girls team captain Kathleen Golding played a role with her 56 points scoring in the 200 and 400 IMs and 200 butterfly, all with best times.

The Gator women won the 800 freestyle, were second in the 400 freestyle relay and finished no worse than third in the other relays.

It was also Gator coach Anthony Nesty’s fifth consecutive conference title in five years as the Gator men’s coach and yes, he was thrown into the pool twice by his winning teams after the meet.

Kentucky freshman Levi Sandidge won the 1,650-yard freestyle and is the first Wildcat male swimmer to win an SEC title in 17 years. He won in a best time 14:31.37, dropping more than 18 seconds.

“I had a thought in the back of my mind that there was a chance I would win this,” Sandidge said. “We’re still hoping to go to NCAAs. I did not expect to go a 14:31.”

Jordan Crooks of Tennessee outsprinted Florida’s Josh Liendo to win the 100-yard freestyle in 41.19-41.24. The Cayman Islands swimmer is the first Tennessee swimmer to win the event since former Pine Crest swimmer Ricky Busquets in 1996.

UF’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was 13th in the 1,650-yard freestyle, dropping 2.12 seconds.

In the men’s 200-yard backstroke, South Carolina senior Patrick Groters, was 24th in 1:44.55.

North Carolina State men and Virginia women won ACC team titles Saturday at the 2022 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Pavilion. NC State won its 31st ACC title, including its seventh in the last eight years. Virginia earned its third straight ACC championship and 18th in program history.

NC State men won with 1,501.5 points, most in ACC Championships history. Louisville (1,192.5), Virginia Tech (1,054) and Virginia (1,041) finished second through fourth, respectively. FSU was sixth with 676 points.

With two first-place finishes and a third, Virginia Tech’s Youssef Ramadan of Egypt was named the ACC Championships Men’s Most Valuable Swimmer by vote of the head coaches. Miami’s Max Flory was chosen as the ACC Championships Men’s Most Valuable Diver.

Virginia women won with 1418.5 points. NC State was second with 1347 points, while Louisville was third with 1136.5 and North Carolina was fourth with 760. Florida State women were eighth with 549 and University of Miami were ninth with 411.

After winning three individual events, Virginia’s Alex Walsh earned the ACC Championships Women’s Most Valuable Swimmer after winning three individual events, while Duke’s Margo O’Meara was named ACC Championships Women’s Most Valuable Diver.

: 1. Florida 1,255, 2. Tennessee 950.5, 3. Kentucky 946, 4. Alabama 791, 5. LSU 775, 6. Georgia 756, 7. Auburn 688, 8. South Carolina 587, 9. Texas A&M 583.5, 10. Arkansas 530, 11. Missouri 418, 12. Vanderbilt 169.

1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Kensey McMahon, ALA 15:47.02, 2. Aly Breslin, TENN 15:52.71, 3. Kristen Stege, TENN 15:53.47, 13. Anna Auld 16:09.52.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Ella Varga, LSU 1:51.74, 2. Josephine Fuller, TENN 1:52.21, 3. Caitlin Brooks, KY 1:52.38, 7. Emma Weyant, UF 1:54.06.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Maggie MacNeil, LSU 46.27, 2. Kalia Antoniou, ALA 47.46, 3. Ekaterina Nikonova, UF 47.97.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Mona McSharry, TENN 2:05.11, 2. Zoie Hartman, GA 2:05.48, 3. Avery Wiseman, ALA 2:05.85.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. LSU 3:10.57, 2. Florida 3:10.83 (Ekaterina Nikonova, Talia Bates, Katie Mack, Micayla Cronk), 3. Arkansas 3:13.60.

Platform diving: 1. Montserrat Lavenant, LSU 293.50, 2. Kyndal Knight, KY 285.45, 3. Maggie Buckley, LSU 268.45.

400-yard medley relay: 1. Alabama 3:28.46, 2. Tennesee 3:28.78, 3. Florida 3:29.98 (Aris Runnels, Nina Kucheran, Olivia Peoples, Micayle Cronk).

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida 1,488.5, 2. Auburn 1,089.5, 3. Tennessee 1,035.5, 4. Texas A&M 1,018, 5. Georgia 828.5, 6. Missouri 725.5, 7. Alabama 667, 8. Kentucky 514, 9. South Carolina 458.5, 10. LSU 337.

1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Levi Sandidge, KY 14:31.47, 2. Jake Magahey, GA 14:38.45, 3. Tyler Watson, UF 14:38.50.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Bradley Dunham, GA 1:39.27, 2. Baylor Nelson, TAMU 1:39.79, 3. Jack Dahlgren, MISS 1:39.80, 24. Patrick Groters, SC 1:44.55.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Jordan Crooks, TENN 41.19, 2. Josh Liendo, UF 41.24, 3. Guilherme Santos, TENN 41.55.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Aleksas Savicka, UF 1:50.08, 2. Dillon Hillis, UF 1:51.44, 3. Lyubomir Epitropov, TENN 1:51.83.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Tennessee 2:46.25, 2. Florida 2:46.42 (Macguire McDuff, Josh Liendo, Adam Chaney, Julian Smirh), 3. Georgia 2:49.06.

Platform diving: 1. Bryden Hattie, TENN 457.10, 2. Manny Vazquez Bas 432.75, 3. Leonardo Garcia, UF 418.65.

400-yard medley relay: 1. Florida 2:59.48 (Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Josh Liendo, Macguire McDuff), 2. Tennessee 3:02.51, 3. Auburn 3:03.03.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida Leads Men’s, Women’s Team Standings After Day Two Of SEC Championships; Crooks Swims Sub-18

By Sharon Robb
COLLEGE STATION, Tex., February 15, 2023—University of Florida leads the men’s and women’s fields after the second day of competition at the Southeastern Conference Championships Wednesday at the Rec Center Natatorium.

The Gators lead the women with 502 and LSU is second with 378. The men lead with 542.5 points and Auburn is second with 380.

Florida won the men’s 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:14.19 with Macguire McDuff, Josh Liendo, Adam Chaney and Alberto Mestre. South Carolina was eighth in 1:17.43 with Patrick Groters swimming anchor leg in 19.12, the fastest of the foursome.

Groters, making his final SEC appearance, was 13th in the 200-yard individual medley prelims in a best time 1:44.09, dropping 1.04 seconds.

In a huge turnaround, LSU won the women’s 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:26.70 with Katarina Milutinovich, Maggie MacNeil, Peyton Curry and Michaela De Villiers. LSU had not sent a relay to the NCAAs in 2016 but have now qualified five in two days.

MacNeil broke her own SEC record to win the 50-yard freestyle in 20.98. She is only the fourth woman to go under 21 seconds.

In the men’s 50, Jordan Crooks of Tennessee won in 17.93, only the second swimmer to go under 18 seconds. He broke Caeleb Dressel’s SEC record of 18.23 set in 2016. Florida’s Josh Liendo (18.39) and Adam Chaney (18.71) were second and third.

In the women’s 500-meter freestyle, it was a sister showdown. Georgia’s Rachel Stege beat her older sister Kristen Stege of Tennessee by just 0.04 seconds, 4:36.31-4:36.35. Sarasota’s Emma Weyant of Florida was third in 4:37.96 and teammate Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was tenth in 4:40.32.

Florida men had four swimmers in the top five of the 500-yard freestyle with Gator Jake Mitchell winning in 4:09.85.

SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding of Florida finished ninth in the 200-yard individual medley prelims in 1:57.27, just off her entry time of 1:57.26. In the final, she finished tenth in 1:56.49, dropping 0.78.

Miami’s Kyle Korvick, a freshman at South Carolina, was 34th in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 4:25.69, dropping 6.46.

Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was tenth in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:40.32, dropping 2.79 off her entry time of 4:43.11.

: 1. Florida 502, 2. LSU 378, 3. Tennessee 375, 4. Georgia 329, 5. Alabama 306, 6. Kentucky 300, 7. South Carolina 286, 8. Texas A&M 226, 9. Auburn 222, 10. Arkansas 205, 11. Missouri 177, 12. Vanderbilt 94.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. LSU 1:26.70 (Katarina Milutinovich, Maggie MacNeil, Peton Curry, Michaela De Villiers), 2. Alabama 1:27.21, 3. Florida 1:27.28 (Ekaterina Nikonova, Katie Mack, Talia Bates, Micayla Cronk).

500-yard freestyle: 1. Rachel Stege, UGA 4:36.31, 2. Kristen Stege, TENN 4:36.35, 3. Emma Weyant, UF 4:37.96, 10. Anna Auld, UF 4:40.32.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Zoie Hartman, GA 1:53.58, 2. Josephine Fuller, TENN 1:55.01, 3. Lauren Poole, KY 1:55.12, 10. Kathleen Golding, UF 1:56.49.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Maggie MacNeil, LSU 20.98, 2. Mona McSharry, TENN 21.74, 3. Kalia Antoniou, BAMA 21.75.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida 542.5, 2. tie, Texas A&M 380 and Auburn 380, 4. Tennessee 347, 5. Georgia 268.5, 6. Alabama 249, 7. Missouri 214.5, 8. South Carolina 203.5, 9. Kentucky 162, 10. LSU 131.


200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Florida 1:14.19 (Macguire McDuff, Josh Liendo, Adam Chaney, Alberto Mestre) 2. Tennessee 1:15.34, 3. Auburn 1:15.94.

    500-yard freestyle: 1. Jake Mitchell, UF 4:09.85, 2. Jake Maghey, GA 4:10.03, 3. Alfonso Mestre, UF 4:10.15.

    200-yard individual medley: 1. Baylor Nelson, TAMU 1:40.86, 2. Koko Bratanov, TAMU 1:42.50, 3. Ben Patton, UMIZ 1:42.98, 4. Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero, UF 1:43.09.

    50-yard freestyle: 1. Jordan Crooks, TENN 17.93, 2. Josh Liendo, UF 18.39, 3, Adam Chaney, UF 18.71.

    Sharon Robb can be reached at

    Gators Sweep 800 Free Relays On Day One Of SEC Championships; Florida Gold Coast Well-Represented

    By Sharon Robb
    COLLEGE STATION, Tex., February 14, 2023—University of Florida opened with two relay wins Tuesday in the Southeastern Conference Championships at the Rec Center Natatorium.

    What’s expected to be a showdown between defending women’s champion Tennessee and Florida for the women’s title, the Gators got the ball rolling in the 800-yard freestyle relay.

    Florida women won the 800-yard freestyle relay in 6:57.11 with Ekaterina Nikonova, Talia Bates, Emma Weyant and Micayla Cronk while Tennessee was second in 6:58.26.

    The Gators were also second in the women’s 200-yard medley relay in 1:34.76 just behind Alabama in 1:34.20 with Aris Runnels, Nina Kucheran, Olivia Peoples and Katie Mack.

    Defending men’s champion Florida also won the 800 free relay in 6:08.64 with Macguire McDuff, Julian Smith, Alfonso Mestre and Jake Mitchell. Auburn was second in 6:12.39.

    Florida men were also runners-up in the 200-yard medley relay in 1:21.73 with Adam Chaney, Aleksas Savickas, Eric Friese and Josh Liendo.

    In diving, Brooke Schultz of South Carolina won the 3-meter springboard with 356.35 points and Victor Povzner of Texas A&M won the 1-meter with 375.50.

    The Florida Gold Coast is well-represented with qualifiers. They are sisters Kathleen and Molly Golding of Florida, Anna Auld of Florida, Patrick Groters and Kyle Korvick of South Carolina.

    : 1. LSU 178, 2. Florida 150, 3. Kentucky 149, 4. South Carolina 142, 5. Tennessee 136.
    200-yard medley relay: 1. Alabama 1:34.20 (Rhyan White, Avery Wiseman, Emily Jones,Kalia Antoniou), 2. Florida 1:34.76 (Aris Runnels, Nina Kucheran, Olivia Peoples, Katie Mack), 3. Tennessee 1:35.53.

    3-meter diving: 1. Brooke Schultz, SC 356.35, 2. Sophie Verzyl, SC 349.65, 3. Chaira Pellacani, LSU 341.85.

    800-yard freestyle relay: 1. Florida 6:57.11 (Ekaterina Nikonova, Talia Bates, Emma Weyant, Micayla Cronk), 2. Tennessee 6:58.26, 3. Georgia 6:58.90.

    MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Texas A&M 229, 2. Auburn 166, 3. Tennessee 159, 4. Florida 138, 5. Missouri 126.
    1-meter diving: 1. Victor Povzner, TAMU 375.50, 2. Bryden Hatties, TENN 364.40, 3. Rhett Hensley, TAMU 343.60.

    200-yard medley relay: 1. Tennessee 1:21.43 (Bjoern Kammann, Michael Houlie, Jordan Crooks, Guilherme Santos), 2. Florida 1:21.73 (Adam Chaney, Aleksas Savickas, Eric Friese, Josh Liendo), 3. Auburn 1:22.98.

    800-yard freestyle relay: 1. Florida 6:08.64 (Macguire McDuff, Julian Smith, Alfonso Mestre, Jake Mitchell), 2. Auburn 6:12.39, 3. Alabama 6:12.46.

    Sharon Robb can be reached at

    SOFLO Girls Continue To Lead; Maddie Smutny Top SOFLO Finisher On Day Three Of Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

    By Sharon Robb
    PLANTATION, July 9, 2022—For the second consecutive day, South Florida Aquatic Club leads the girls team standings at the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

    SOFLO leads the 33-team girls field with 280 points followed by Planet Swim Aquatics with 262.5 and Azura Florida Aquatics with 181.5.

    SOFLO is also second in the combined team standings with 441 points, behind Azura with 598. Azura also leads the men’s 32-team field with 416.5 points. SOFLO is fourth with 161.

    Maddie Smutny, 17, was SOFLO’s top finisher placing second in the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:23.98, dropping 0.74. University of Florida freshman Anna Auld, 19, won her third event of the meet in the 400 in 4:17.74, just a week after competing in open water at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships. It was her third win. Auld has 76 points.

    SOFLO teammate Elena Dinehart, 17, was fourth in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:06.30.

    Erika Pelaez, 15, of Eagle Aquatics won two more events in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:01.42 and 50-meter freestyle in 25.86. The U.S. junior national swim team member has won four events. She has scored all 80 points for the girls team which is 12th.

    SOFLO also took fifth and sixth in the women’s 200-meter freestyle relay.

    University of Florida commit Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming and U.S. junior national team, won her first event of the meet in the 200 IM in 2:16.45.

    Stanford commit Josh Zuchowski, 18, of FAST won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.34 and was second in the 200 IM in 2:06.59. He also won the 50 backstroke in a best time 27.09 on opening day.

    The four-day meet concludes on Sunday with prelims at 8 a.m., 1500-meter freestyle distance events 3:15 p.m. and finals at 5 p.m.

    SOFLO has 29 swimmers (16 girls and 13 boys) qualified in 131 individual events (77 girls and 54 boys) and 10 relays.

    Some of the top teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatics, St. Petersburg Swimming, Treasure Coast Swimming, Flood Aquatics, Sarasota Tsunami, Pine Crest Swimming, Eagle Aquatics and Gulliver Swim Club.

    : 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 598, 2. South Florida Aquatic Club 441, 3. Academy Aquatics 337, 4. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 336, 5. Planet Swim Aquatics 332.5, 6. Sarasota Tsunami 223, 7. FAST 221.5, 8. Pine Crest 186, 9. Eagle Aquatics 168, 10. Hurricane Aquatics 133.5.

    MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 416.5, 2. Academy Aquatics 224, 3. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 207, 4. SOFLO 161, 5. FAST 119.5.

    WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 280, 2. Planet Swim Aquatics 262.5, 3. Azura 181.5, 4. Pine Crest 132, 5. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 129.

    200-meter freestyle relay: 1. Planet Swim Aquatics 1:48.56, 2. Golden Panther Aquatics 1:50.17, 3. Academy Aquatic 1:50.17, 5. SOFLO A 1:51.09 (Ana Villamil, Elena Dinehart, Olivia Dinehart, Gaby Banks), 6. SOFLO B 1:52.77 (Natalie Gembicki, Mallory Schleicher, Katelyn Gembicki, Maddie Smutny).

    100-meter backstroke: 1. Erika Pelaez, EA 1:01.42, 2. Annie Wohlgemuth, PSA 1:05.84, 3. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 1:05.90; SOFLO: 4. Elena Dinehart 1:06.30, 28. Gabriella DeLuna 1:09.53.

    200-meter individual medley: 1. Julia Podkoscielny, PC 2:16.45, 2. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 2:17.63, 3. Anna Auld, SAS 2:19.96; SOFLO: 7. Mallory Schleicher 2:24.05, 10. Olivia Dinehart 2:24.87, 22. Gabriella DeLuna 2:29.01.

    50-meter freestyle: 1. Erika Pelaez, EA 25.86, 2. Jacey Hilton, CANE 26.86, 3. Kelsie Campbell, GPS 27.00; SOFLO: 9. Gaby Banks 27.24, 25. Natalie Gembicki 27.71, time drop 0.43, 26. Ana Villamil 27.84, time drop 0.45.

    400-meter freestyle: 1. Anna Auld, SAS 4:17.74, 2. Maddie Smutny, SOFLO 4:23.98, time drop 0.74, 3. Sumner Chmielewski, SRQ 4:24.11; SOFLO: 15. Izzy Wilson 4:36.45, 24. Olivia Dinehart 4:32.59, 26. Elena Dinehart 4:33.76.

    200-meter freestyle relay: 1. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 1:35.61, 2. Azura A 1:36.06, 3. Azura B 1:38.56, 8. SOFLO A 1:41.36 (Alex Golding, Aldo Zepeda, Wisthon Rendon, Agustin Rodriguez), 13. SOFLO B 1:44.12 (Alexander Miller, Javier Colmenares, Alejandro Mateus, Enrique Rodriguez).

    100-meter backstroke: 1. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 56.34, 2. Noah Smith, FAST 58.70, 3. Aitor Arrese-Igor, SAS 59.85; SOFLO: 7. Ricardo Roche 1:00.25, 12. Aldo Zepeda 1:01.04, time drop 1.39, 14. Wisthon Rendon 1:01.23, 26. Austin Nelson 1:02.15, time drop 1.36, 27. Alejandro Mateus 1:02.17.

    200-meter individual medley: 1. Matheo Mateos, Azura 2:05.88, 2. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 2:06.59, 3. Kaii Winkler, EA 2:07.46; SOFLO: 13. Ricardo Roche 2:14.37, 14. Javier Colmenares 2:14.39, 18. Alex Golding 2:15.46, 27. Alejandro Mateus 2:21.08, time drop 1.33.

    50-meter freestyle: 1. Steven Aimable, Azura 23.28, 2. Maximilian zum Tobel, SAS 23.55, 3. Kaii Winkler, EA 23.58.

    400-meter freestyle: 1. Dylan Felt, SFTL 3:59.65, 2. Ryan Warmbier, Unattached 4:02.23, 3. Joao Lapagesse, Academy Aquatic 4:03.33

    Sharon Robb can be reached at

    Auld, Campbell Shine; Horrego, Dinehart Sisters, Women’s Relay Top Finishers For Second Place SOFLO At Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

    By Sharon Robb
    PLANTATION, July 7, 2022—Two swimmers coming off the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships had plenty left in the tank Thursday at the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

    A week after competing in the 25K open water event in Budapest Hungary, Anna Auld, 19, of St. Andrew’s Aquatics won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:51.08, just 0.11 off her entry time.

    In Hungary, the University of Florida freshman was the top American finisher in the 25K, placing seventh in 5:25:25.60, just two minutes off the leader. She was also 20th in the 5K in 1:00:57.20.

    In the best men’s race of the evening, Jamaican Kito Campbell, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics out-touched South Florida Aquatic Club’s Julio Horrego, 23, by 1/100ths of a second to win the 50-meter breaststroke 28.65-28.66. They were the only two swimmers to dip below 29 seconds among the 31-swimmer field. In Hungary, Campbell competed in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes.

    In the men’s 800 freestyle, Philip Moldovanu, 19, of the Wahoos of Wellington won in 8:26.75 ahead of Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Dylan Felt in 8:29.21. SOFLO’s Enrique Rodriguez, 17, dropped 3.12 seconds off his 800 time in 8:46.77 to finish 13th.

    South Florida Aquatic Club had three swimmers among the top three finishers in their events. In addition to Horrego, Elena Dinehart, 17, was third in the 50-meter backstroke in 31.39. Olivia Dinehart, 17, was third in the 50-meter breaststroke in 33.87.

    SOFLO’s women’s 800-meter freestyle relay was third in 8:44.81 with Olivia Dinehart, Natalie Gembicki, Mallory Schleicher and Elena Dinehart.

    SOFLO women and men’s teams are both second among 50 teams. Azura leads the men’s team standings and Planet Swim Aquatics lead the women’s.

    On Friday and Saturday, prelims are 8 a.m. and finals 6 p.m. On Sunday, prelims are 8 a.m., 1500-meter freestyle distance events 3:15 p.m. and finals at 5 p.m.

    SOFLO has 29 swimmers (16 girls and 13 boys) qualified in 131 individual events (77 girls and 54 boys) and 10 relays.

    Some of the top teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatics, St. Petersburg Swimming, Treasure Coast Swimming, Flood Aquatics, Sarasota Tsunami, Pine Crest Swimming, Eagle Aquatics and Gulliver Swim Club.

    : 1. Planet Swim Aquatics 125, 2. SOFLO 93, 3. Azura 77, 4. FAST 62, 5. Academy Aquatics 57, 6. Berkeley 48, 7. Golden Panther 38, 8. Pine Crest 36, 9. Hurricane Aquatics 35.5, 10. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 33.
    MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 145, 2. SOFLO 87.5, 3. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 81, 4. Academy Aquatic 73.5, 5. Plantation Swim Team 49, 6. Planet Swim 43, 7. Metro Aquatics 41, 8. FAST 36, 9. Gulf Coast 31, 10. Eagle Aquatics 21.

    800-meter freestyle: 1. Anna Auld, St. Andrew’s Swimming 8:51.08, 2. Riley Botting, PC 9:11.06, 3. Cadence Fort, GCST 9:11.44; SOFLO: 10. Izzy Wilson 9:25.16, 12. Mallory Schleicher 9:25.82.

    50-meter butterfly: 1. Kelsie Campbell, GPA 28.73, 2. Mia Zahab, GPA 28.97, 3. Adrianna Cera, CANE 28.97; SOFLO: 25. Natalie Gembicki 30.19, 26. Molly Golding 30.24, 39. Sara Quintero 31.90.

    50-meter backstroke: 1. Annie Wohlgemuth, PSA 31.04, 2. Alyssa Bozzuto, FAST 31.15, 3. Elena Dinehart, SOFLO 31.39; SOFLO: 21. Gabriella DeLuna 33.31, 29. Sara Quintero 34.29.

    50-meter breaststroke: 1. Alyssa Bozzuto, FAST 33.77, 2. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 33.80, 3. Olivia Dinehart, SOFLO 33.87; SOFLO: 8. Ana Villamil 34.26, 11. Sophia Grubbs 34.55, 15. Molly Golding 35.01, 37. Mariann Catalasan 37.17, 48. Sally Golding 39.47.

    800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Planet Swim Aquatics 8:41.49, 2. Azura 8:44.48, 3. SOFLO A 8:44.81 (Olivia Dinehart, Natalie Gembicki, Mallory Schleicher, Elena Dinehart).

    800-meter freestyle: 1. Philip Moldovanu, WOW 8:26.75, 2. Dylan Felt, SFTL 8:29.21, 3. Cole Firile, SRQ 8:30.98; SOFLO: 13. Enrique Rodriguez 8:46.77, time drop 3.12

    50-meter butterfly: 1. Mitchell Ledford, Treasure Coast 24.50, 2. Josiah Morales, PAQ 25.12, 3. Kaii Winkle, EA 25.18; SOFLO: 23. Alejandro Mateus 27.89.

    50-meter backstroke: 1. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 27.09, 2. Lance Lesage, PC 27.63, 3. Steven Aimable, Azura 27.97; SOFLO: 6. Ricardo Roche 28.94, 8. Aldo Zepeda 29.04, 12. Alex Golding 29.80, 27. Nathaniel Garrick 32.42.

    50-meter breaststroke: 1. Kito Campbell, Azura 28.65, 2. Julio Horrego, SOFLO 28.66, 3. Noah Sipowski, FAST 30.17; SOFLO: 11. Javier Colmenares 31.33, 13. Manuel Melendez 31.49.

    800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Azura 7:46.43, 2. Academy Aquatic Club 7:49.81, 3. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 7:58.88, 5. SOFLO A 8:07.41 (Agustin Rodriguez, Ricardo Roche, Wisthon Rendon, Alex Golding).

    Sharon Robb can be reached at

    Alia Atkinson Named FINA Athletes’ Committee Chair; Dylan Carter Selected For Committee

    By Sharon Robb
    BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 30, 2022—Five-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson was elected the first-ever chair of FINA’s Athletes’ Committee at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships.

    The former longtime South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was among 20 athletes elected by their peers from their aquatic sport with six athletes later appointed and six others named honorary members by FINA, the international swimming federation. The sports represented are synchronized swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, swimming and water polo.

    Atkinson, a four-time gold medalist at the World Swimming Championships (25-meters), will serve a four-year term. Voting took place by electronic ballots throughout the championships. Atkinson, 33, and six others ran unopposed.

    “Today marks another significant step forward for both FINA and all aquatics athletes,” Atkinson said. “The Athletes’ Committee will act as a critical link between athletes and FINA.

    “Having the athlete community choose those who represent them in important decisions is critical for the future development of our beloved sport.”

    Atkinson’s final competitive meet was the 2021 15th FINA Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

    British diver Jack Laugher, a three-time Olympic medalist, was named vice-chair of the committee.

    The elected contingent includes nine other swimmers: former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago; Therese Alshammar of Sweden, Ireland’s Shane Ryan, Hong Kong’s Siobhán Haughey, Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan, Australia’s Jessica Hansen, Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Pini, Uganda’s Jamila Nsibambi Lunkuse and Matthew Sates of South Africa.

    The second diving representative elected was Maria Polyakova of Russia, a former European champion in the women’s 1-meter springboard.

    Synchronized swimming is represented by Egypt’s Nehal Saafan and Bill May of the U.S. Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, who used to train in Davie, and the Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman will represent open water swimming.

    Anna Bader of Germany and Alain Kohl of Luxembourg were elected to represent high diving, along with water polo players Margarita Plevritou of Greece and Felipe Perrone Rocha of Spain.

    “Athletes are the heartbeat of aquatics,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. “There is no sport without athletes. This is why I am so proud to be part of these historic elections.

    “With equal gender representation and athletes from all six continents across all disciplines, I have no doubt that those elected will strengthen and promote the athletes’ voice for the benefit of the entire aquatics community.”

    Britain’s three-time Olympic and eight-time World Championship swimming gold medalist Adam Peaty was among the six current athletes appointed by Al-Musallam to join the Athletes’ Committee. Hungary’s Dániel Gyurta and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini are also set to serve on the panel as elected members of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission.

    The Athletes’ Committee is responsible for offering input into the organization of the World Championships and the development of technical rules, and is designed to serve as the “athletes’ voice in aquatics sport”.

    This is Musallam’s first World Championships as President, which was marked by FINA’s decision to require transgender athletes to have completed transition by the age of 12 to be eligible for women’s events.

    OPEN WATER SWIMMING: Florida’s Anna Auld Seventh In 25K

    Brazilian Ana Cunha, who once trained in Davie, won a close race in the women’s 25K at the 19th FINA World Championships in 5:24:15.0. She was followed by Lea Boy of Germany, 5:24:15.2 and Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands, 5:24:15.3. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, representing the U.S., was seventh in 5:26:25 among a field of 15 swimmers.

    Italy’s Dario Verani won the men’s 25K title in 5:02:21 followed by Axel Raymond of France, 5:02:22 and Hungary’s Peter Galicz, 5:02:35. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was unable to finish after swimming for 1:34:08 among a field of 25 swimmers.

    In the men’s 10K, Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy’s won in 1:50:56 followed by teammate Domencio Acerenza, 1:50:58 and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock, 1:51:11. Azura’s Jahir Lopez of Ecuador was 46th in 2:03:23 and Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 48th in 2:05:01.

    In the women’s 10K, Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands won in 2:02:29.2 followed by Leonie Beck of Germany, 2:02:29.7 and Cunha, 2:02:30. American Katie Grimes was fifth in 2:02:37.

    In the men’s 5K, Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won in 52:48 followed by Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, 52:52 and Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, 53:13. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 41st in 59:43.

    In the women’s 5K, Cunha also won in 57:52 followed by Aurelie Muller of France in 57:53 and Italy’s Giulia Gabbreilleschi in 57:54. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was 20th in 1:00:57. Azura’s Fatima Portillo, 19, of El Salvador was 37th in 1:04:56.

    In the opening event, the 6K mixed relay, Germany (1:04:40), Hungary (1:04:43.0) and Italy (1:04:43.0) were the top three finishers. The U.S. finished seventh in 1:05:50. Twenty-three nations competed.

    The historic inaugural Caribbean Games are underway in Guadeloupe. More than 800 athletes from 29 countries began competing on Thursday. Seven sports over five days are being held. The event is being televised on Panam Sports Channel.

    Panam Sports President Neven Ilic watched with sport leaders throughout the continent and wished the athletes nothing but success during the Games.

    “It’s nice to see the joy of the athletes parading. They are the future of our sport and our work must focus largely on them, on the new generations. We started with the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games, then came the Rosario 2022 Youth South American Games and now the Caribbean has its own celebration of U-23 sport. I congratulate CANOC and Guadalupe for this fantastic and historic party and wish much success to the enthusiastic athletes.”

    Sharon Robb can be reached at

    SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Leads Florida Gold Coast 20-Swimmer Contingent For FINA World Aquatics Championships That Begin Saturday

    By Sharon Robb
    BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 15, 2022–Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete on opening day of the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Saturday at Duna Arena.

    Horrego, 23, will swim the prelims of the 100-meter breaststroke. It is the first of two events he will compete in. He will also swim the 50-meter breaststroke.

    Horrego competed in the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, 2019 Pan American Games in Peru and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and was flagbearer for his country in the opening parade of nations ceremony.

    Horrego will see plenty of familiar faces during the meet with Florida Gold Coast well-represented with 20 swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

    Azura Florida Aquatics has qualified 14 swimmers.

    Heading the group is Uruguayan national record holder Micaela Sierra. The Pompano Beach resident who will start swimming for Auburn University this fall, competed for South Florida Heat in high school.

    Other Azura swimmers are: Esteban Nunez Del Prado, Bolivia; Fatima Portillo, El Salvador, open water; Jahir Lopez, Ecuador, open water; Jayhan Odlum-Smith, St. Lucia; Jenebi Benoit, Grenada; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Kito Campbell, Jamaica; Leon Seaton, Guyana; Matheo Mateos, Paraguay; Maximiliano Paccot, Uruguay; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Steven Aimable, Senegal and Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico, coming off the PanAm Aquatics Age Group Championships.

    Brazil Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus of Coral Springs Swim Club will compete in the 50-meter freestyle.

    Patrick Groters, a former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club swimmer now at South Carolina, will represent Aruba in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and 200 individual medley.

    Former St. Andrew’s and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian, national record holder for the Bahamas, will compete in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes.

    Former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago will compete in the 50 butterfly, and 50 and 100 freestyles.

    University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach and Forest Hill High School and East Coast Aquatic Club alum, will compete in the 5K and 25K open water events for the U.S. team.

    The swimming opens Saturday and runs through June 25 with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features water polo, diving, open water swimming, high diving and synchronized swimming end July 3. NBC Sports will televise the swimming finals only. The FINA facebook page will show the other competitions. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

    Saturday’s opening day prelim events are: women’s 200 IM, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 100 butterfly, men’s 50 butterfly, women’s 400 freestile, men’s 100 breaststroke, men’s 400 IM and women’s and men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Finals will be held in the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle, men’s 400 IM and relays. The opening ceremony will also be held.

    Sharon Robb can be reached at

    Anna Auld Top Florida Gold Coast Finisher At U.S. Open Water National Championships; SOFLO’s Wilson Makes Top 20

    By Sharon Robb
    FORT MYERS BEACH, April 3, 2022–University of Florida freshman Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was the top Florida Gold Coast finisher at the U.S. Open Water National and Junior Championships this past weekend at Lynn Hall Beach Park.

    Despite rough weather conditions, Auld was among the Top 6 American 10K finishers qualifying for the current U.S. Open Water National Team, putting herself in position to qualify for the 2022 FINA World Championships U.S. roster.

    Auld was seventh overall in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 50 seconds. With three swimmers from France among the top seven finishers, Auld qualified as fourth American.

    Blair Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics just missed making the U.S. team by 1 minute and 7 seconds and one spot in 2:26:58. She was the seventh top American finisher.

    South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson was 19th in the 7.5K in 1:55:56. The only other FGC swimmer, Erin Miller of St. Andrew’s Aquatics was ninth in 1:49:29.

    Teenager Katie Grimes of Sandpipers of Nevada and Axel Reymond of France won the 10K titles.

    It was Grimes’ first senior-level open water national title. She stayed with the lead pack and finished more than a minute ahead of the field.

    “I really had a good time out there today, the conditions were a little rough but I’m learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Grimes said. “I was swimming with a ton of girls so I was really happy with the outcome and I’m excited for the next race.”

    Conditions were not ideal with strong winds and choppy water.

    Grimes was followed by Indiana University’s Mariah Denigan (2:17:50) and France’s Caroline Jouisse (2:18:34). The top six Americans were:

    Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada), 2:16:40.
    Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Indiana University), 2:17:50.
    Summer Smith (Agawam, Mass./Bluefish Swim Club), 2:21:07.
    Anna Auld (West Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida), 2:21:50.
    Kensey McMahon (Jacksonville, Fla./University of Alabama), 2:22:00.
    Brooke Travis (Newark, Del./NC State), 2:25:51.

    France’s Axel Reymond (2:02:49) edged U.S. National Team member and University of Florida junior Brennan Gravley (2:02:53) for the top spot. Dylan Gravley, Brennan’s younger brother, finished third (2:03:13), a career-best 10K finish.

    “It’s one of my favorite parts of being a USA Swimming athlete,” Brennan said when asked about qualifying for the U.S. Open Water National Team. “I feel like we have a lot of privileges, especially as open water swimmers. It was a fun venue and it was fun to come out here even with intense conditions.”

    Added his brother, “I was trying to maintain my position and keep up with Brennan,” Dylan Gravley said. “I’m taking baby steps, it is another year and I was a few places upwards of where I was last year.”

    The top-6 American male finishers were:
    Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/University of Florida), 2:02:53.
    Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/Arizona State University), 2:03:13.
    Joey Tepper (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./University of Tennessee), 2:03:39.
    Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University), 2:05:44.
    Simon Lamar (Sonora, Calif./Harvard University), 2:08:27.
    David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores), 2:10:20.

    French swimmer Aurelie Muller won the senior 5K title ahead of Joiusse and U.S. pool Olympian Bella Sims of Sandpipers of Nevada, third and top American finisher.

    Claire Weinstein of Sandpipers of Nevada won the girls 5K junior national title in 1:06:08.

    Samuel Marsteiner of New Wave Swim Team won the boys 5K junior national title in 1:02:40.

    The top two finishers qualified for the U.S. roster for the Sept. 1-4 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships Beau Vallon, Seychelles.

    On Sunday, 16-year-old Ilya Kharun won the Junior National 7.5K race and led a 1-2 finish for the Sandpipers of Nevada Teammate Luke Ellis, 14, was second.

    Please note, the full results have not been posted on South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson, 14, competed in the girls 7.5K race and finished but her time has not been posted as of Sunday night.

    Sharon Robb can be reached at