Atkinson Top SOFLO Finisher On Day Two Of Charlotte Arena Pro Swim Series

By Sharon Robb

May 15, 2015—Alia Atkinson was the top South Florida Aquatic Club finisher Friday night at the Arena Pro Swim Series at Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in downtown Charlotte, N.C.

Atkinson, 26, a three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder, was fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.99.

Katie Meili, 24, of SwimMAC won in 1:06.50 after going a 31.28 split. Jessica Hardy, 28, of Trojan Swim Club picked up the tempo on the back half to finish second in 1:06.97. Micah Lawrence, 24, of SwimMAC was third in 1:07.42. Breeja Larson won the “B” final in 1:08.72.

Atkinson scratched from the “C” final of the 100-meter butterfly and “D” final of the 50-meter backstroke to focus on the breaststroke.

SOFLO had two swimmers in the “A” final and two in the “B” final.

SOFLO teammate Jorge Murillo Valdes, 23, of Colombia was fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.02.

Colombian Carolina Colorado of SOFLO was seventh in the “B” final of the 50-meter backstroke in 29.70.

Jamaican Timothy Wynter of SOFLO was also seventh in 50-meter backstroke in 27.20.

Hungarian Olympian Katinka Hosszu, who has been training in Fort Lauderdale, was the only double winner on Day Two.

With most of the media attention on Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, Hosszu stole the show, opening and finishing the meet with victories in the 200-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley.

Hosszu, 26, held off Allison Schmitt, 24, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club to lead wire-to-wire and win the 200 freestyle by a body length in 1:55.89. Schmitt was second in 1:57.24 and St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis, 23, was third in 1:58.22.

Hosszu won the 400 individual medley in 4:35.19, second fastest time in the world this year. Caitlin Leverenz was second in 4:39.36 and Cammile Adams, 23, of SwimMAC was third. Former Clearwater swimmer Becca Mann, 17, of North Baltimore was fourth in 4:43.67.

Hosszu overtook Elizabeth Beisel of Gator Swim Club in the women’s series point standings.

In other championships finals:

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Early leader Connor Dwyer, a Florida alum, held off a late surge by Dion Dreesens, 22, of SwimMAC to win in 1:47.04. In the “B” final, Phelps led the entire race to win in 1:49.12, the only swim under 1:50. Phelps was 14th in prelims in 1:51.44.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Cody Miller, 23, of Badger Swim Club won a three-man race in 1:01.04. Richard Funk, 22, of Club Wolverine was second in 1:01.09 and Brazilian Felipe Lima, 30, was third in 1:01.34.

Women’s 50-meter backstroke: Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry, 31, of SwimMAC won in 28.23. Clara Smiddy, 19, of Club Wolverine and AquaKids Sharks was seventh in 29.03.

Men’s 50-meter backstroke: Top-seed Junya Koga, 27, of Club Wolverine won in and David Plummer, 29, of New York Athletic Club tied for second 25.31

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: Kelsi Worrell, 20, of Louisville won by 1/100th of a second. She reeled in Bahamian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, who was leading by a body length. Claire Donahue, who has been training with SOFLO was third. Isabella Paez, 19, of Metro Aquatics was tenth in 1:00.89.

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: Tom Shields, 23, of California Aquatics was impressive winning in 52.12 over Olympic gold medalists, Lochte, who was second in 52.52 and Phelps, who was third in 52.59. Brazilian Arthur Mendes won the “B” final in 53.50. In morning prelims, Phelps was fourth fastest in the 100-meter butterfly in 53.51.

Men’s 400-meter individual medley: Chase Kalisz, pulled away on the breaststroke leg to lead by three body lengths and went on to win in 4:14.56.

Despite swimming with a large rip on the inner right thigh of his suit, Brazilian Cesar Cielo turned in a 54.31 in the 100-meter butterfly, one of his off events many thought he would scratch in the morning. He did scratch in the finals.

Three-time Olympian Natalie Coughlin swam a best time 1:00.08 since the 2012 Olympic trials on Friday in a 100-meter backstroke time trial. It is the ninth fastest time in the world this year and only American swimmer in the Top 10. Coughlin is entered in the 50- and 100-meter freestyles and 100-meter backstroke.

In the more notable morning scatches from Day Two were Florida swimmers Elizabeth Beisel, Dan Wallace, Jess Thielmann and Theresa Michalak. Bolles alum Caeleb Dressel was more than three seconds off his 100-meter butterfly seed time and nine seconds off his 200-meter freestyle seed.

Lochte, who qualified for three finals, scratched from the 400-meter individual medley final to focus on the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

The Arena Pro Swim Series is the fifth of six stops of the 2014-15 series schedule. The series provides swimmers with the opportunity for competitive racing and twice the prize money as last season on the line.

Swimmers earn five points and $1,000 for a win, three and $600 for second and one and $200 for third place in the Olympic distance events only. Overall male and female winners of the series earn a $10,000 bonus.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 6 p.m. The meet is being live streamed at Universal Sports Network will televise the meet on Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. with color analyst Rowdy Gaines.



200-meter freestyle: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 1:55.89, 2. Allison Schmitt, North Baltimore 1:57.24, 3. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg 1:58.22; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 72. Isabella Paez, Metro Aquatics 2:08.26.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Katie Meili, SwimMAC 1:06.50, 2. Jessica Hardy, Trojan SC 1:06.97, 3. Micah Lawrence, SwimMAC 1:07.42; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 4. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:07.99, 4. Emily Kopas, Unattached 1:10.74, 39. Lisa Blackburn, SOFLO 1:14.43, 55. Evita Leter, Metro Aquatics 1:16.53.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Kirsty Coventry, SwimMAC 28.23, 2. Ali Deloof, Club Wolverine 28.57, 3. Olivia Smoliga, Athens Bulldogs 28.64; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 7. Clara Smiddy, Club Wolverine 29.03, 15. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO 29.70, 34. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 30.35.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Kelsi Worrell, Louisville 58.86, 2. Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, SwimMAC 58.87, 3. Claire Donahue, Unattached 59.32; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 10. Isabella Paez, MAC 1:00.89, 19. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:01.78, 22. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO 1:01.99.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Katinka Hosszu, Hungary 4:35.19, 2. Caitlin Leverenz, CAL 4:39.46, 3. Cammile Adams, SwimMAC 4:43.38.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Conor Dwyer, Trojan Swim Club 1:47.04, 2. Dion Dreesens, SwimMAC 1:47.47, 3. Mar El Kamash, Unattached 1:47.73; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 104. Carlos Omana, MAC 1:59.93.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Cody Miller, Badger 1:01.04, 2. Richard Funk, Club Wolverine 1:01.09, 3. Felipe Lima, Brazil 1:01.34; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 5. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO 1:02.02, 29. Juan Sequera, Metro Aquatics 1:05.61.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Junya Koga, Club Wolverine 24.75, 2. Miguel Ortiz, Club Wolverine 25.31, 3. David Plummer, New York Athletic Club 25.31; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 15. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 27.20.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Tom Shields, CAL 52.12, 2. Ryan Lochte, SwimMAC 52.52, 3. Michael Phelps, North Baltimore 52.59; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 97. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 59.18.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Chase Kalisz, Unattached 4:14.56, 2. Jay Litherland, Dynamo 4:19.59, 3. Josh Prenot, CAL 4:19.63; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 17. Carlos Omana, MAC 4:25.04,  22. Juan Sequera, MAC 4:32.72.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Italy 3:16.91, 2. Brazil 3:17.56, 3. SwimMAC 3:18.66.

Sharon Robb can be reached at