Milak Shatters World Record; Finke Breaks American Record; TS Aquatics’ Jillian Crooks Makes Debut Wednesday At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 21, 2022–In front of an electric hometown crowd, Hungarian Kristof Milak broke the world record in the 200-meter butterfly Tuesday night at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena.

It was Hungary’s first gold medal of the world championships.

The Olympic gold medalist set a blistering pace breaking his own world record in 1:50.34. His splits were 24.19, 27.70, 28.62 and 29.83.

“Now it hurts a lot. I can’t feel my legs,” Milak said. “I enjoyed it though, especially after the race, the atmosphere and how the fans reacted.”

Milak’s previous mark was 1:50.73 set at the 2019 World Championships. The only other swimmer to break 1:52 was Michael Phelps in 2009 (1:51.51). Milak, 22, now has eight of the 12 fastest times in event history.

“I can’t really recall my swim,” Milak said. “I think I pushed a bit harder over the first 100 meters. That’s why it was so painful at the end, but I really wanted this world record, more than anything. I mean, this is my home, my pool. I train here. I race here, lane four belongs to me. I really wanted to show something big for these fantastic people. The Olympic gold means a lot, but winning here, with a new world record, in front of 4,000 people, that eclipses everything. I was driven today by the crowd.”

Frenchman Leon Marchand of Arizona State was second in a national record 1:53.37 and Japan’s Tomoru Honda was third in 1:53.61.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and University of Florida senior Bobby Finke of St. Petersburg, in his textbook comeback fashion, turned it on in the final 50 meters to win the 800-meter freestyle breaking his own American record in 7:39.36. Finke, in fourth place at the final turn, is the first American male to win the event at world championships.

“I was peeking to see how far Romanchuk was the last 100 because he started picking it up a little bit and I knew if I was going to run someone down I had to at least know kind of where they were,” Finke said.

“I was just happy I was able to hold on to a little position I had, enough room to get by them on the last 50. I think it’s just really that kind of mentality going into the last finish.”

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock was second in a national record 7:39.63.

Mykhailo Romanchuk of war-torn Ukraine took the bronze in 7:40.05 in an emotional moment for his country. During the medal ceremony, Romanchuk fought back tears and kept patting his heart.

“I hope this medal means a lot for Ukrainians because of the hard times and I show to all Ukrainians, to all people, that Ukrainians will fight to the end,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the situation, we will fight to the end and it doesn’t matter what will happen next.”

Cayman Islands national record holder Jillian Crooks, who turns 16 on June 27, makes her world championship debut in the 100-meter freestyle on Wednesday. The home schooler and TS Aquatics swimmer competed in the 100 freestyle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she finished 41st.

At the April 2022 CARIFTA meet she broke four Cayman records in the 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly and now owns six individual national records including the 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly. She also is a member of four women’s relay national records. Her older brother Jordan, tied for 21st in the 100-meter freestyle in 48.79 in Tuesday’s prelims.

Plantation American Heritage and USC alum Dylan Carter, 26, of Trinidad & Tobago was unable to get past the 100 freestyle semifinals on Tuesday but was still the top Florida Gold Coast finisher. Carter was 11th in 48.40 in prelims and finished 14th in a best time and national record 48.30 in the semifinals.

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Tuesday were:

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba, (NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina), 200 IM, 28th, 2:04.58.

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage), 100 freestyle, tied with Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders for 11th, 48.40 in prelims and finished 14th in 48.30 in semifinals.

Esteban Nunez del Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 200 IM, disqualified.

Jayhan Odlum-Smith, 20, St. Lucia, (Azura), 100 freestyle, 61st 51.87.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura) 100 freestyle, 89th, 57.03.

Julimar Avila, 25, Honduras, (Azura), 200 butterfly, 22nd, 2:17.40.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana, (Azura), 100 freestyle, 85th, 55.09.

Matheo Mateos, 21, Paraguay, (Azura), 200 IM, 30th, 2:04.73.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 freestyle, 69th, 52.80.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands, (TS Aquatics, Tennessee), 100 freestyle, tied for 21st 48.79 with Carter Swift of New Zealand.

FGC swimmers competing on Wednesday:

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba (NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina), 200 backstroke.

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay (South Florida Heat, Azura), 200 breaststroke.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 100 freestyle.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 200 backstroke.

In Tuesday night’s final events:
WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE: China picked up two medals in the event. Yang Junxuan won gold in 1:54.92 and Tang Muhan took bronze in 1:56.25. Aussie teenager Mollie O’Callaghan, 18, took silver in 1:55.22.

MEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE: American Nic Fink pulled off a stunning victory in an American record 26.45. Italian Nicolo Martenenghi was second in 26.48 and American Michael Andrew won his second world individual medal placing third in 26.72. Fink is the first American to win a world title in the event.

MIXED 400 MEDLEY RELAY: The U.S. relay of Hunter Armtstrong, Nic Fink, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan won in 3:38.79. Australia was second in 3:41.34 and the Netherlands was third in 3:41.54.

In the men’s 100-meter semifinals, Roumanian teenager David Popvici, 17, broke a second world junior record in 47.13.

In the women’s 200-meter butterfly semifinals Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, broke the world junior record in 2:05.79.

Two-time defending champion Caeleb Dressel withdrew from the 100-meter freestyle semifinals for “medical grounds” according to Team USA officials.

According to an official statement, “A decision has been made by Team USA in consultation with Caeleb, his coach, and the team’s medical staff for him to withdraw from the 100-meter freestyle event on medical grounds. The team will determine his participation in the events later in the week.” He has the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly left to swim.

Wednesday prelim events are women’s 100 freestyle, men’s 200 backstroke, women’s 200 breaststroke, men’s 200 breaststroke and women’s 4×200 relay.

The swimming runs through June 25 with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features diving, water polo, high diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming end July 3.

The Olympic Channel and Peacock, on the NBC platform, is televising the finals at noon each day. A highlights show will be on NBC at noon on June 26. The FINA facebook page is also posting competition news. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

There are huge cheers for any Hungarian swimmers from spectators at Duna Arena. FINA, the sport’s governing body, has asked fans each day to clap rather than cheer as a precaution against coronavirus infections. There were no other requests or restrictions.

FINALS SCHEDULE

Wednesday, June 22: 200 women’s fly, 100 men’s free, 50 women’s back, 200 men’s IM, 4×200 women’s free relay.

Thursday, June 23: 100 women’s free, 200 women’s breast, 200 men’s back, 200 men’s breast, 4×200 men’s free relay.

Friday, June 24: 50 women’s fly, 50 men’s free, 100 men’s fly, 200 women’s back, 800 women’s free, 4×100 mixed free relay.

Saturday, June 25: 50 men’s back, 50 women’s breast, 1500 men’s free, 50 women’s free, 400 women’s IM, 4×100 men’s and women’s medley relay.

Sunday, June 26: Open water, 6K team relay.

Monday, June 27: Open water, men’s and women’s 5K.

Wednesday, June 29: Open water, men’s and women’s 10K.

Thursday, June 30: Open water, men’s and women’s 25K.

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

California Bears Win NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming And Diving Championship; Florida’s Bobby Finke Wins; Miami’s Zach Cooper Second


By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 26, 2022—California dethroned rival and defending champion Texas to win the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday night at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center.

The Cal Bears won with 487.5 points followed by Texas with 436.5 and Florida with 374 points. Cal pulled away after scoring 53 points in the 200 backstroke for a comfortable margin of victory.

Cal has now won seven NCAA men’s titles, five under head coach Dave Durden. The Bears have finished in the top two every year except 2009 and 2009 and no lower than fourth in other seasons under Durden.

University of Florida senior and two-time Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke of St. Petersburg won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 14:22.08, the fifth fastest time ever and his second consecutive 1,650 NCAA title.

“I’ll be honest, that race was one of the sloppiest miles I’ve ever done, so I’m not really happy with how it went,” Finke said after the race. “I’m glad I got the win and the points for the Gators, but individually, I don’t think it’s the best performance I could have had.”

University of Miami senior diver Zach Cooper was second on 10-meter platform with 443.05 points just behind Purdue freshman Tyler Downs with 447.20. Cooper missed his sixth dive and had to settle for second. Florida junior Leonardo Garcia was fourth with 406.05.

In other individual events:

Cal sophomore Destin Lasco, fastest morning qualifier, won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:37.71 and was his team’s only individual winner on the final night.

LSU junior sprinter Brooks Curry won the 100-yard freestyle in 40.84 to complete his sweep.

Arizona State freshman Leon Marchand won the 200-yard breaststroke in 1:48.20 just ahead of Minnesota’s Max McHugh in 1:48.76 for his second title of the meet.

Brendan Burns of Indiana won the 200-yard butterfly in a best time 1:38.71, ahead of Georgia’s Luca Urlando in 1:38.82 to become the first Indiana swimmer to win the event since 1973 when Gary Hall Sr. did it. Before that it was Mark Spitz in 1971 and 1972. It was Burns first NCAA title.

In a thrilling final event, Texas, buoyed by anchor Danny Krueger, won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 2:46.03 ahead of Arizona State in 2:46.40 and California in 2:46.42.

ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.

The official website for the men’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1. As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central.

The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.

SATURDAY RESULTS
TEAM TOTALS:
1. California 487.5, 2. Texas 436.5, 3. Florida 374, 4. N.C. State 291, 5. Indiana 265, 6. Arizon State 236, 7. Stanford 231, 8. Georgia 194, 9. Ohio State 165, 10. Virginia 154.5, 23. University of Miami 31.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, UF 14:22.28, time drop 5.42, 2. Will Gallant, NC State 14:31.34, 3. Ross Dant, NC State 14:31.72.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Destin Lasco, CAL 1:37.71, 2. Carson Foster, TEX 1:38.77, 3. Daniel Carr, CAL 1:39.06, 4. Kieran Smith, UF 1:39.39.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Brooks Curry, LSU 40.84, 2. Bjorn Seeliger, CAL 41.00, 3. Andrei Minakov, STAN 41.09.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Leon Marchand, ASU 1:48.20, 2. Max McHugh, MINN 1:48.76, 3. Matt Fallon, PENN 1:49.16.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Brendan Burns, IU 1:38.71, 2. Luca Urlando, UGA 1:38.82, 3. Nicolas Albiero, LOU 1:38.88.

Platform diving: 1. Tyler Downs, PUR 447.20, 2. Zach Cooper, UM 443.05, 3. Bryden Hattie, TENN 418.70, 4. Leonardo Garcia, UF 406.05.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Texas 2:46.03 (Drew Kibler, Cameron Auchinachie, Caspar Corbeau, Danny Krueger), 2. Arizona State 2:46.40, 3. California 2:46.42, 6. Florida 2:47.39 (Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Macguire McDuff, Kieran Smith), 17. Florida State 2:50.99.

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

NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming And Diving Begins Wednesday; St. Andrew’s Alum, FGC Swimmer Izaak Bastian Makes Third NCAA Appearance


By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 23, 2022—University of Florida is among favorites to dominate the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday through Saturday at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

Seventeen Gator swimmers and divers are competing in the four-day meet. Adam Chaney, Jace Crawford, Will Davis, Bobby Finke, Trey Freeman, Nicholas Hernandez-Tome, Dillon Hillis, Mason Laur, Oskar Lindholm, Macguire McDuff, Alfonso Mestre, Kieran Smith, Kevin Vargas and Tyler Watson advanced to the national championships based on their season-best times in 12 different events.

Leonardo Garcia and Anton Svirskyi joined the group after qualifying at NCAA Diving Zones the first week of March. Garcia will compete in all three events. Svirskyi qualified on both the 3-meter springboard and platform.

All five relays also qualified for the NCAA Championships: 200 free relay (1:15.18), 400 free relay (2:46.91), 800 free relay (6:08.00), 200 medley relay (1:22.06) and 400 medley relay (3:02.61).

The Gators have NCAA experience to the meet, with Chaney, Davis, Finke, Freeman, Friese, Hillis, Mestre, Smith, Vargas and Watson all having competed at the championships in their careers.

FLORIDA STATE
Florida Gold Coast swimmer and St. Andrew’s alum Izaak Bastian, a national record holder for the Bahamas, will make his third NCAA appearance.

Bastian, a team captain, will compete on the medley relays.

He helped secure bronze at ACCs behind a school record and he was also a part of the 200 medley relay in 2019 that placed seventh at the NCAA Championships. Bastian placed 10th in the 100 breaststroke (52.38) and was 17th in the 200 breaststroke (1:55.36) at ACCs.

The No. 23rd-ranked Seminoles will compete in the 200 medley relay followed by the 800 free relay on Wednesday.

“We are excited for the men’s meet this week,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We have all five relays going with a shot at scoring, so that is a little extra special. It should be a great week for us.”

Prelims will start on Thursday at 10 a.m. with FSU’s three individual qualifiers, Max McCusker, Yordan Yanchev and Mason Herbet competing. The top 16 advance to finals at 6 p.m. and relays will be included at the end of each finals session.

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Hurricanes platform diver Zach Cooper is among favorites. Cooper will be joined Max Flory, who won the platform event and also qualified in both springboard events at the NCAA qualifier. Cooper is a three-time NCAA All-America and two-time ACC gold medalist.

ESPN3 will provide digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions. Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.

The official website for the men’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1. As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.

The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
All prelims, 10 a.m., all finals 6 p.m.
Day 1, Wednesday, 200 medley relay (Finals only); 800 free relay (Finals only).

Day 2, Thursday, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 1-meter diving, 200 freestyle relay (finals only).

Day 3, Friday, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay (finals only).

Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1650 free (4:05 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).

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

Florida Sweeps Auburn In SEC Dual Meet, Kathleen Golding Wins 200 IM


GAINESVILLE, January 24, 2022— University of Florida men’s and women’s teams swept the Auburn Tigers Saturday in a dual meet at the O’Connell Center.

The men’s team won 201-99 and women’s team won 184-116 in the Gators’ final home meet of the season. Florida won 23 out of 32 events and had 13 athletes gain B-cuts.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, a junior, won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:00.28. She was also third in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:48.77 and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 51.23.

Senior and two-time Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:46.25. Gulliver Prep alum Miguel Cancel was sixth.

Olympian Kieran Smith won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:18.16.

The Gators swept the men’s 100 butterfly. Eric Friese was first in 47.56; Isaac Davis second in 47.99 and Jace Crawford third in 48.01.

Newcomer Alberto Mestre took his first win as a Gator in the 100 freestyle in 44.38. Mestre was third in the 50 freestyle.

“We had a good meet today against Auburn,” Florida coach Anthony Nesty said. “We are thankful for Auburn making the trip to compete with us. We are three weeks from Conference and we still have quite a bit of work to do. We will continue to press forward toward our goals and try our best to remain healthy in the process.

“Today was a special day as we celebrated Senior Day. It was a very emotional time for our seniors especially since it was their last home meet.

“The entire team certainly has demonstrated tremendous resilience over the past couple of years and I am extremely proud of each one them.”

The Gators head to Auburn, Ala. for the Auburn Last Chance Invitational on February 4-6 for their last meet before the SEC Championships on February 15-19.

WOMEN’S RESULTS
Florida 184, Auburn 116

3-meter diving: 1. Maha Amer, UF 343.65, 2. Carina Lumia, UF 307.05, 3. Elettra Neroni, UF 302.78.

1-meter diving: 1. Maha Amer, UF 284.55, 2. Elettra Neroni, UF 280.50, 3. Carina Lumia, UF 275.85.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Auburn B 1:40.25, 2. Florida B 1:40.62, 3. Auburn A 1:40.90.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Elise Bauer, UF 9:49.61, 2. Anna Auld, UF 9:49.67, 3. Lain Shahboz, UF 10:00.83.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Ekaterina Nikonova, UF 1:46.61, 2. Micayle Cronk, UF 1:46.69, 3. Kathleen Golding, UF 1:48.77.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Talia Bates,UF 53.74, 2. Ellie Waldrep, AUB 53.99, 3. Aris Runnels, UF 55.38.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Anastasia Makarova, AUB 1:00.41, 2. Olivia Peoples, UF 1:02.52, 3. Tylor Mathieu, UF 1:02.58.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Amanda Ray, UF 1:58.42, 2. Mabel Zavaros, UF 1:59.02, 3. Nikki Miller, UF 2:00.64.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Ekaterina Nikonova, UF 22.68, 2. Lexie Mulvihill, AUB 22.83, 3. Katie Mack, UF 22.96.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Talia Bates, UF 48.60, 2. Mykenzie Leehy, AUB 49.88, 3. Katie Mack, UF 50.34, 4. Kathleen Golding, UF 51.23.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Meghan Lee, AUB 1:56.48, 2. Rosie Zavaros, UF 1:57.23, 3. Ellie Waldrep, AUB 1:59.07.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Anastasia Makarova, AUB 2:14.20, 2. Olivia Peopls, UF 2:15.62, 3. Carly Cummings, AUB 2:15.88.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Tyler Mathieu, UF 4:46.61, 2. Elise Bauer, UF 4:49.78, 3. Lain Shahboz, UF 4:52.83.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Olivia Peoples, UF 54.26, 2. Lexie Mulvihill, AUB 54.54, 3. Avery Bargeron, AUB 54.65.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Kathleen Golding, UF 2:00.28, 2. Mabel Zavaros, UF 2:00.29, 3. Meghan Lee, AUB 2:02.76.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Auburn A 3:23.20, 2. Florida B 3:25.23, 3. Auburn B 3:26.94.

MEN’S RESULTS
Florida 201, Auburn 99

1-meter diving: 1. Conner Pruitt, AUB 372.83, 2. Leonardo Garcia, UF 315.83, 3. Hunter Kebler, AUB 311.85.

3-meter diving: 1. Leonardo Garcia, UF 413.03, 2. Conner Pruitt, AUB 397.58, 3. Anton Svirskyi, UF 332.93.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida A 1:27.50, 2. Auburn A 1:27.56, 3. Florida C 1:28.26.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Trey Freeman, UF 8:55.93, 2. Bobby Finke, UF 8:56.58, 3. Jack Vandeusen, UF 9:10.42.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Kieran Smith, UF 1:32.96, 2. Alfonso Mestre, UF 1:36.25, 3. Oskar Lindholm, UF 1:38.21.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Aidan Stoffle, AUB 48.15, 2. Nathaniel Stoffle, AUB 48.31, 3. Adam Chaney, UF 48.65.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Reid Mikuta, AUB 53.39, 2. tie, Raphael Windmuller, UF and Julian Smith, UF 55.22.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Mason Laur, UF 1:46.68, 2. Jace Crawford, UF 1:47.70, 3. Mason Mathias, AUB 1:48.88.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Macguire McDuff, UF 20.01, 2. Will Davis, UF 20.17, 3. Alberto Mestre, UF 20.21.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Alberto Mestre, UF 44.38, 2. Macguire McDuff, UF 44.51, 3. Trey Freeman, UF 44.62.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Bobby Finke, UF 1:46.25, 2. Lleyton Smith, AUB 1:46.44, 3. Andrew Simmons, AUB 1:46.65.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Reid Mikuta, AUB 1:58.79, 2. Raphael Windmuller, UF 1:59.64, 3. Peter Bretzmann, UF 2:00.28.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Kiernan Smith, UF 4:18.16, 2. Alfonso Mestre, UF 4:20.65, 3. Michael Bonson, AUB 4:27.89.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Eric Friese, UF 47.56, 2. Isaac Davis, UF 47.99, 3. Jace Crawford, UF 48.01.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Julian Smith, UF 1:48.81, 2. Seth Maschmeier, AUB 1:50.34, 3. Reid Mikuta, AUB 1:50.45.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Florida A 2:57.07, 2. Florida 2:57.17, 3. Auburn 2:59.63.
Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Horrego Finals; Pine Crest’s Podkoscielny Takes Silver; Florida’s Golding Wins Second B Final On Day Three Of Toyota U.S. Open


By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., December 3, 2021–It was another great day of racing for Florida Gold Coast swimmers at the Toyota U.S. Open Championships Friday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Julio Horrego, 23, competing in his first meet since representing Honduras at the Tokyo Olympics, was eighth in the 100-meter breaststroke finals in 1:03.79. He was fifth fastest in prelims in 1:02.67.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Julia Podkoscielny, 17, is making her U.S. Open debut a memorable one.

The University of Florida commit and U.S. national junior team member finished second in the 400-meter individual medley final in a best time and team record 4:43.57, dropping 1.26. Her previous best was 4:44.83. She was second fastest in morning prelims in 4:47.63

After falling behind in the opening butterfly and backstroke legs, she worked her way back into contention moving up on her breaststroke leg, just 2.57 behind leader Leah Smith of Texas and came home strong on the final freestyle leg.

Podkoscielny was also 11th in the 100-meter backstroke prelims in a best time of 1:03.41, a time drop of 0.40 off her previous best of 1:03.81. She scratched from consos.

University of Florida’s Kathleen Golding, 21, of SOFLO, won the B consolation of the 200-meter freestyle in 2:01.55. Golding was also fifth in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:49.82. She was eighth fastest in prelims in 4:53.68 to make her first A final of the meet. She has the 200- and 100-meter freestyle events left to swim.

Blair Stoneburg, 17, of Treasure Coast Aquatics, another member of the U.S. Junior National team, was fourth in the B consolation in the 200-meter freestyle and 12th overall in 2:03.24. She has the 1500 and 100-meter freestyles left to swim.

Azura Florida Aquatics had two swimmers in the B consolation of the men’s 100-meter butterfly. Kuwait two-time Olympian Abbas Qali was second in consos and tenth overall in 54.58 and Haitian Olympian Davidson Vincent was sixth in consos and 14th in 55.45.

Yeziel Morales of Azura was fifth in the 100-meter backstroke finals in 56.11. Azura teammate Rashed Al-Tarmoom wass fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke consos in 1:04.30.

Other notables and local swimmers in action were:

Seven-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky, swimming unattached for Florida, won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.47, her third U.S. Open meet record of the week. She broke the meet record first in morning prelims in 1:56.06.

With his blazing closing speed, University of Florida’s Bobby Finke overcame early leader Baylor Nelson to win the 400-meter individual medley in 4:17.39. Nelson finished in 4:17.61.

The final day of the meet is being live streamed at usaswimming.org. Results can be found on Meet Mobile

WOMEN
400-meter individual medley: 1. Leah Smith, Texas Longhorns 4:38.89, 2. Julia Podkoscielny, Pine Crest Swimming 4:43.57, 3. Ella Jansen, Etobicoke 4:44.11, 5. Kathleen Golding, Florida 4:49.82.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Mabel Zavaros, Florida 1:00.05, 2. Autumn D’Arcy, Cal State Bakersfield 1:00.24, 3. Sydney Lu, Pleasanton Seahawks 1:00.39.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Unattached-Florida 1:55.47, 2. Erin Gemmell, Nation’s Capital 1:58.61, 3. Julia Mrozinski, Tennessee 1:59.85.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Hannah Bach, Ohio State 1:09.01, 2. tie, Jinq En Phee, Malaysia 1:10.28 and Tylor Mathieu, Florida 1:10.28.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, Unattached 58.69, 2. Kobie Melton, Arkansas 1:01.91, 3. Anya Mostek, Phoenixville YMCA 1:01.93.

MEN
400-meter individual medley: 1. Bobby Finke, Florida 4:17.39, 2. Baylor Nelson, SwimMAC 4:17.61, 3. Collyn Gagne, Simon Fraser 4:19.43.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Eric Friese, Florida 52.56, 2. Thomas Heilman, Cavalier Aquatics 53.27, 3. Lago Moussalem Amaral, Unattached 53.59.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Trey Freeman, Florida 1:47.90, 2. Hoe Yean Khiew, Malaysia 1:49.00, 3. Oskar Lindholm, Florida 1:50.63.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Reid Mikuta, Auburn 1:01.35, 2. Noah Nichols, Virginia 1:01.41, 3. Brandon Fischer, Unattached 1:02.26, 8. Julio Horrego, SOFLO 1:03.79.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Vaggelis Makrygiannis, Unattached 54.06, 2. Sam Stewart, Club Kick Start 54.70, 3. Adam Chaney, Florida 55.43.

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

Olympians Katie Ledecky, Bobby Finke Win On Day One Of Toyota U.S. Open; SOFLO’s Horrego, Mora Race Thursday


By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., Decembe1, 2021–Olympians and training mates Katie Ledecky and Bobby Finke, competing in their first long course meet since the Toyko Olympics, won their opening 800-meter freestyle events at the Toyota U.S. Open Championships Wednesday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Ledecky, 24, swimming unattached for Florida, won in 8:12.81, breaking her own U.S. Open meet record. Her previous record was 8:14.59 set in 2019. It was the 18th fastest time in history and one of her 24 all-time leading marks. Leah Smith, 26, of Texas Longhorns was second in 8:23.78.

While the women’s race was fun to watch Ledecky distance herself from the field early in the race, only 1/100th of a second separated Finke and Ohio State’s Charlie Clark at the bell lap.

In the final 50, Finke, 22, of University of Florida, turned on his notorius closing speed and split a 27.20 to win in 7:54.07. Clark, 19, was second in a best time 7:54.40, dropping 4.10.

Other notables and local swimmers in the race were:

Blair Stoneburg, 17, of Treasure Coast Aquatics was 11th in 8:49.51.

University of Florida’s Kathleen Golding, 21, of SOFLO was 12th in a best time 8:51.92, dropping nearly a minute from her entry time of 9:50.11.

South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will see action on Thursday. Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego will swim the 200-meter individual medley and state high school champion Juan Mora will race the 50-meter freestyle.

The meet is being live streamed at usaswimming.org. Results can be found on Meet Mobile.

WOMEN
800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Unattached-Florida, 8:12.81, U.S. Open meet record, 2. Leah Smith, Texas 8:23.78, 3. Sierra Schmidt, Scottsdale Aquatic Club 8:34.80; Florida Gold Coast: 11. Blair Stoneburg, Treasure Coast 8:49.51, 12. Kathleen Golding, Florida 8:51.92, time drop 58.19.

MEN
800-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, Florida 7:54.07, 2. Charlie Clark, Ohio State 7:54.40, 3. Tommy-Lee Camblong, Unattached-Arizone 8:01.33.

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

Golding Sisters Compete First Time Together For Florida Gators In Season-Opener; Florida Gold Coast’s Anna Auld Picks Up First College Win


By Sharon Robb
BOCA RATON, October 2, 2021–University of Florida men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened the 2021-22 collegiate season with impressive wins over Florida Atlantic University Saturday morning at FAU Aquatic Center.

Veteran UF swimmer Kathleen Golding was joined by younger sister Molly Golding making her collegiate debut.

Kathleen Golding, 20, swam anchor leg on the third place 200-yard medley relay that finished in 1:48.04 with teammates Katherine Minnich, Eleanor Hatton and Kenady Bell. She also swam an exhibition 500-yard freestyle in 4:51.74.

The sisters teamed up as members of the Gators “C” 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:34.74 with teammates Aris Runnels and Mabel Zavaros. Kathleen led off and Molly swam second leg.

Molly Golding, 18, swam anchor on the Gators’ D 200-yard medley relay that finished fourth in 1:48.21 with teammates Celismar Guzman, Ellie Zweifel and Georgia Bates. She also picked up three points finishing third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.50. She also swam an exhibition 100-yard freestyle in 55.61.

Another swimmer with SOFLO connection, Miguel Cancel, 22, was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.28 and fourth in the 200-yard medley relay (1:33.02). He also swam exhibitions in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:49.59 and 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:04.48.

The women won all 16 events while the men won 15 out of 16 events. The Gators swept 13 out of the 32 events.

Freshman Raphael Rached Windmuller, Anna Auld, Oliva Peoples and Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero all picked up their first collegiate win at FAU. Transfer Maha Amer, won the 3-meter, earning her first win as a Gator.

Auld, a Forest Hill High School alum from West Palm Beach, trained and competed with East Coast Aquatic Club and St. Andrew’s Swimming during her FGC club career. She won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:51.39.

Olympians Bobby Finke and Kieran Smith, fresh off the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, got back in competitive waters. Finke, double Olympic gold medalist, won the 200 backstroke in 1:46.88 and anchored the winning 400 freestyle relay. Smith, an Olympic bronze medalist, won the 100 backstroke in 49.26.

“Today was a good start to the season.” said Gators head coach Anthony Nesty. “This gives us a baseline that we needed to work from. We have a lot of work ahead of us and we will continue to focus on our team objectives daily.

“This meet gave the freshmen their first opportunity to travel and experience competition on the road. On Monday, we will be back to work. Many thanks to our dedicated staff who remain committed and focused on team goals. Thank you also to our Administration who greatly support our program with passion.”

The Gators next meet is Oct. 29 against Georgia at home.

WOMEN
Florida 655.8, Florida Atlantic 572.8

200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida A 1:43.73, 2. Florida B 1:44.51, 3. Florida C 1:48.04.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Elise Bauer, UF 9:59.17, 2. Anna Auld, UF 10:06.10, 3. Leah DeGeorge, UF 10:12.25.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Tylor Mathieu, UF 1:49.32, 2. Nikki Miller, UF 1:50.34, 3. Gabriella Hillis, UF 1:52.34.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Celismar Guzman, UF 56.47, 2. Katherine Minnich, UF 56.73, 3. Aris Runnels, UF 57.63.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Cecilia Porter, UF 1:03.31, 2. Olivia Peoples, UF 1:04.72, 3. Molly Golding, UF 1:06.50.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Mabel Zavaros, UF 2:01.23, 2. Amanda Ray, UF 2:01.58, 3. Nikki Miller, UF 2:03.15.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Talia Bates, UF 23.06, 2. Gabrielle Hillis, UF 23.59, 3. Georgia Bates, UF 23.89.

1-meter diving: 1. Elizabeth Perez, UF 324.15, 2. Maha Amer, UF 297.75, 3. Alicia Mora Herencia, FAU 286.27.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Nikki Miller, UF 51.68, 2. Kasia Sziek, FAU 53.90, 3. Michaela Bernard, FAU 55.07.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Celismar Guzman, UF 2:01.90, 2. Riley Trout, FAU 2:05.77, 3. Kirsty Hobson, FAU 2:08.57.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Tylor Mathieu, UF 2:14.58, 2. Mary Adam, FAU 2:27.28, 3. Lisa Cottage-Ramnick, FAU 2:28.93.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Anna Auld, UF 4:51.39, 2. Maggie Casey, FAU 5:08.31, 3. Kasia Sziek, FAU 5:16.38.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Olivia Peoples, UF 54.91, 2. Grace Molinaro, FAU 56.77, 3. Dolores Margni, FAU 57.85.

3-meter diving: 1. Maha Amer, UF 315.90, 2. Alicia Mora Herencia, FAU 294.60, 3. Elizabeth Perez, UF 287.40.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Mabel Zavaros, UF 2:05.16, 2. Riley Trout, FAU 2:11.64, 3. Grace Molinaro, FAU 2:15.41.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. UF A 3:28.63, 2. FAU A 3:35.46, 3. FAU B 3:41.67.

MEN
Florida 685.9, Florida Atlantic 589.9

200-yard medley relay: 1. UF A 1:27.95, 2. UF B 1:30.65, 3. FAU A 1:32.88.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Nicholas Hernandez-Tome, UF 9:15.80, 2. Tyler Watson, UF 9:17.91, 3. Jack Van Deusen, UF 9:20.24.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Trey Freeman, UF 1:36.82, 2. Oskar Lindholm, UF 1:39.04, 3. Adam Cheney, UF 1:40.39.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Kieran Smith, UF 49.26, 2. Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero, UF 51.50, 3. Dillon Hills, UF 51.58.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Eric Friese, UF 55.25, 2. Raphael Rached Windmuller, UF 56.50, 3. Mateusz Dubas, UF 56.86.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Jace Crawford, UF 1:48.42, 2. Alfonso Mestre, UF 1:48.53, 3. Rateb Hussein, FAU 1:50.54.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Will Davis, UF 20.22, 2. Macguire McDuff, UF 20.36, 3. Kieran Smith, UF 20.46.

1-meter diving: 1. Leonardo Garcia, UF 351.90, 2. Nicholas Lydon, UF 280.87, 3. Brandon Wegner, UF 257.47.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Eric Friese, UF 43.87, 2. Alec Peckmann, FAU 45.75, 3. Jackson Kirk, FAU 47.24.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Bobby Finke, UF 1:46.88, 2. Max Ahumada Valdovinos, FAU 1:54.63, 3. Taylor Eaton, FAU 1:55.31.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Raphael Rached Windmuller, UF 2:02.11, 2. Nick Shaffer, FAU 2:09.50, 3. Quinn Lacoursiere, FAU 2:12.70.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Brennan Gravley, UF 4:29.97, 2. Timo Paisley, FAU 4:41.23, 3. Logan Thornsberry, FAU 4:47.78.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Rateb Hussein, FAU 48.92, 2. Jace Crawford, UF 49.13, 3. Jake Blair, FAU 52.39.

3-meter diving: 1. Leonardo Garcia, UF 379.80, 2. Nicholas Lydon, UF 341.02, 3. Brandon Wegner, UF 254.70.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Joaquin Gonzalez Pinero, UF 1:50.91, 2. Alec Peckmann, FAU 1:51.43, 3. Nick Shaffer, FAU 1:54.85.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. UF A 2:58.56, 2. FAU A 3:06.53, 3. FAU B 3:11.65.

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

What A Finish! Dressel, Finke, U.S. Men’s Relay Win Gold, Breaks World Record


By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 31, 2021–In an exciting finish to the eight-day swimming competition, the U.S. men came up big Saturday at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.

Caeleb Dressel, 24, won his fifth gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics joining the elite group of Michael Phelps, Matt Biondi and Mark Spitz as the only U.S. swimmers to win five gold medals in a single Olympic Games.

Dressel won the 50-meter freestyle in an Olympic record 21.07 and rallied the underdog 4×100-meter medley relay team to a gold medal and world record 3:26.78 to keep the U.S. team’s undefeated streak alive at 15. Dressel also won gold medals in the 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 4×100 free relay earlier in the week.

After strong relay legs from Ryan Murphy (52.31 split) and Michael Andrew (58.49 split), Dressel gave anchor leg Zach Apple (46.95 split) a half-second lead going into the freestyle leg. Dressel’s relay leg of 49.03 was the fastest in history. The U.S. had never lost the relay but were considered underdogs to Great Britain after barely qualifying for the final by 3/10ths of a second and ending up in Lane One for the final.

The relay broke a 12-year-old world record held by a U.S. team that included Phelps and Aaron Piersol at the 2009 World Championships.

Before the relay, Dressel won his sixth gold overall (in two Olympics) and fourth in Tokyo. With the second-fastest start (0.63), Dressel held off Frenchman Florent Manaudou, who had the quickest start (0.61), to win in 21.07. Manaudou took silver in 21.55.

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, who trains at Coral Springs Swim Club, took the bronze in 21.57 for his first career Olympic medal at age 32. It was the 91st time Fratus has broken 22 seconds, more than any other swimmer in history.

St. Petersburg’s Bobby Finke did it again. Just as he did in the 800-meter freestyle to win gold, the University of Florida senior turned on the after jets in the final 50 with a 25.7 split to win the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:39.65.

It was the first time a U.S. male won the 1500 event since Mike O’Brien of Mission Viejo 37 years ago at the 1984 Olympic Games.

“This means the world to me,” Finke said. “I was just trying to hold on and get my hand on the wall.”

In the women’s championship medal finals:

Women’s 50-meter freestyle:
Aussie Emma McKeon, 27, won her sixth medal of the Games with an Olympic record time of 23.81 and another gold in the medley relay to become the most decorated Aussie swimmer in a single Olympics. She had the slowest start (0.70) but turned it on in the final 10 meters. Sweden’s world record holder Sarah Sjoestroem, 27, overcame a fractured elbow sustained in February when she slipped on ice, to take home the silver medal in 24.07 and her fourth Olympic medal of her career. She had the second fastest start (0.63). Denmark’s Pernille Blume, who had the fastest start (0.62) and was defending champion after winning in Rio, won the bronze in 24.21. Only 3/10ths of a second separated the field of eight women that had won 28 combined Olympic medals.

Women’s 4×100-meter medley relay: Three teenagers Regan Smith, Lydia Jacoby and Torri Huske and Olympian Abbey Weitzeil, swimming anchor leg, just missed a gold medal by 3/100ths of a second. Australia won in an Olympic record 3:51.60, the eighth gold medal for the Aussies. The U.S. finished in 3:51.73. Canada was third in 3:52.60. The U.S. women had won 10 of the last 14 relay titles.

With the open water events still to come this week, the U.S. finished with 30 medals (11 gold, 10 silver, 9 bronze)and Australia earned 20 (9 gold, 3 silver, 8 bronze). Great Britain was third with 8 medals (4 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze). Twenty one nations managed to win at least one medal in Olympic swimming.

SATURDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

50-meter freestyle: 1. Emma McKeon, AUS 23.81, OR, 2. Sarah Sjoestroem, SWE 24.07, 3. Pernille Blume, DEN 24.21.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. Australia 3:51.60, OR, 2. U.S. 3:51.73, 3. Canada 3:52.60.

MEN
50-meter freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel, US 21.07, OR, 2. Florent Manaudou, FRA 21.55, 3. Bruno Fratus, BRA 21.57.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, US 14:39.65, 2. Mykhailo Romanchuk, UKR 14:40.66, 3. Florian Wellbrook, GER 14:40.91.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. US 3:26.78, WR, 2. Great Britain 3:27.51, ER, 3. Italy 3:29.17.

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

Floridians Finke, Dressel Win Gold For Team USA On Historical Night At Tokyo Olympics


By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 28, 2021–In one of the most exciting nights in the history of Florida swimming, Caeleb Dressel and Bobby Finke won gold medals for Team USA Wednesday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

It was Dressel’s first individual gold medal and fourth overall (three others on relays in two Olympic Games) against the world’s fastest final field ever assembled in the event.

Dressel was emotional after the race, trying to hold back tears that kept coming while watching his parents, wife and sister on NBC’s coverage of the watch party in Orlando.

“I don’t know if this has set in yet,” Dressel said. “Right now I’m kind of hurting. It’s been a really tough year, it was really hard, so to have the results show up really makes me some kind of happy.”

Finke, 21, of University of Florida and St. Petersburg Aquatics, won the first-ever men’s 800-meter freestyle in an American record 7:41.87. Reigning world champion Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy was second in 7:42.11 and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk was third in 7:42.33.

Looking out of medal contention for most of the race in fifth place, Finke found another gear after the final turn with a 26.3 split and reeled in four swimmers in the final 25 meters to win his first Olympic final.

“Oh yeah,” Finke said, when asked if he had surprised himself with his performance. “My best time going into this was (7:47). And then in prelims, I dropped down to (7:42). And then here I dropped another second. So I had no idea that I was going to do that, honestly.”

The gold is the first for an American male swimmer in an Olympic distance race since 1984.

“The pain kind of goes away once you just start,” Finke said. “Your mind just kind of disappears, and you’re just kind of blacking out a little bit. I just wanted to get my hand on the wall. I am so happy that I was able to switch it into another gear. This means a lot. Coming into this there was a lot of doubt behind American distance.”

Local swimmers results:

Azura’s Colleen Furgeson of the Marshall Islands was fifth in her 100-meter freestyle heat in 58.71.

Azura has four swimmers competing Thursday. They are Abbas Qali of Kuwait, 100 butterfly; Davidson Vincent of Haiti, 100 butterfly; Steven Aimable, 100 butterfly; and Celina Marquez of El Salvador, 200 backstroke.

In other championship medal finals:

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: No one was going to catch China’s Yufei Zhang who won in an Olympic record 2:03.86, the fastest time in 12 years. China has won three of the last four gold medals in the event. The U.S. took silver and bronze with Regan Smith in 2:05.30 and Hali Flickinger in 2:05.65.

Women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay:
China upset Australia for the gold medal and Katie Ledecky turned in on with her 1:53 anchor leg to give the U.S. a silver medal. Heavy favorite Australia took the bronze. All three teams swam under the old world record of 7:41.50. China won in a world record 7:40.33, the U.S. took silver in an American record 7:40.73 and Australia third in an Oceanic record 7:41.29. Ledecky has now won three Olympics medals including one gold. She can win one more Saturday in the 800 freestyle.

Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: Aussie Izaac Stubblety-Cook surged in the final 50 meters to win in an Olympic record 2:06.38. Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands was second in 2:07.01 just ahead of Finland’s Matti Mattsson in 2:07.13.

WEDNESDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

200-meter butterfly: 1. Yufei Zhang, CHN 2:03.86, 2. Regan Smith, US 2:05.30, 3. Hali Flickinger, US 2:05.65.

4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. China 7:40.33, 2. United States 7:40.73, 3. Australia 7:41.29.

MEN
800-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, US 7:41.87, 2. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy 7:42.11, 3. Mykailo Romanchuk, UKR 7:42.33.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Izaac Stubblety-Cook, AUS 2:06.38, 2. Arno Kamminga, NED 2:07.01, 3. Matti Mattsson, FIN 2:07.13.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel, US 47.02, 2. Kyle Chalmers, AUS 47.08, 3. Kliment Kolesnikov, ROC 47.44.

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

Simone Manuel Rebounds To Make Second Olympic Team On Final Night Of Olympic Swimming Trials


By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 20, 2021—The final night belonged to Simone Manuel at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center.

In her final shot to make her second Olympic team, the four-time Olympic medalist won the 50-meter freestyle in an emotionally-charged race. Her time was 24.29, just 1/100ths ahead of Abbey Weitzeil in 24.30.

The 24-year-old Manuel of Alto Swim Club missed making the team in the 100-meter freestyle which she is defending Olympic gold medalist. She said earlier in the week that she had been battling a condition known as “overtraining syndrome” leading up to Trials which caused her to take three weeks off away from the pool in April because of mental and physical exhaustion.

After the semifinals, Manuel said “I desperately want to be on the team. I feel like I have so much to give this sport, not just in the pool but out of the pool. I just want to see whatever I’ve got. I want to walk away with my head held high at the end of this meet. I am the person who fights to the end. Hopefully, it gets me a ticket to Tokyo, but if it doesn’t, I’m proud of myself.”

On Sunday night, Manuel did punch her ticket to Tokyo in dramatic fashion. Weitzeil was the first to climb over the lane line to congratulate her after the race. The visibly emotional Manuel covered her face and started to cry happy tears and slapped the water.

“More than anything I’m relieved,” Manuel said. “I’m just so happy I accomplished part of my goal. Plans don’t always go as you want them to go, but I’m glad I can walk away with my head held high.

“This year has been difficult, especially the last couple of months. But before I dove in, I felt like it was my moment. Today may have been the longest day of my life. That 50 was the longest 50 of my life. I’m just glad to have it over and be able to regroup and get ready for the Olympics. Hopefully, I can swim faster so I can win a medal for Team USA.”

Added Weitzeil, “I’m literally so excited for Simone right now. I don’t even care about the times. I looked at the board and saw she got first and I was so excited. I don’t even care about my race. She is just an amazing person. I was really rooting for her in that race. During the race, I saw her right there and I was like, ‘yes, let’s go, come on.’ That’s what I was thinking the whole time.”

Not to be overshadowed, Caeleb Dressel of the Gator Swim Club won his third individual event while tying his American record in the 50-meter freestyle in 21.04, fastest time in the world this year.

Dressel’s reaction time was .60 off the blocks. Michael Andrew was second in 21.48, just 25/100ths of a second ahead of sentimental favorite Nathan Adrian, who was attempting to make his fourth Olympic team but finished in 21.73.

“This was really a tough field,” Dressel said. “I’m really glad I got to descend the meet, starting with the 200, then a couple of 100s and ending it with the 50. I’m super happy and hope to go fast in a month.”

Said Adrian, “Those two guys beat me. That’s how this sport works. They are going to be good and going to give Team USA our best shot at getting the most medals as possible. I am now their biggest fan. I’m excited to watch from home and cheer like crazy.”

In the final and longest event of the evening, Clearwater’s Bobby Finke of St. Petersburg Aquatics and University of Florida, led from wire-to-wire to win the 1500-meter freestyle. Finke, who already won the 800, won the 1500 in 14:46.06, his best time by more than 2 1/2 seconds and third fastest time in the world. Michael Brinegar, 800 free runner-up, was second in 15:00.87.

“The time means a lot,” Finke said. “I’ve been waiting to drop in that race for a couple years now. I’m just honored to go to Tokyo and try to improve my time.”

With the U.S. team finalized, there are 26 women and 23 men traveling to training camp in Hawaii before heading to Tokyo.

In addition to Dave Durden (men) and Greg Meehan (women), the remaining coaching staff announced are Gregg Troy, Anthony Nesty, Peter Andrew, Teri McKeever, Todd DeSorbo, Bob Bowman, Jack Bauerle and Ray Looze. The open-water coach is Catherine Kase.

CANADIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS
Fort Lauderdale High alum Philippe Marcoux swims his first race while brother Raphael swims his second event on Monday, both in the 50-meter freestyle. Raphael is seeded fifth in 22.58 and Philippe is seeded ninth in 22.89.

SUNDAY FINAL RESULTS
WOMEN

50-meter freestyle: 1. Simone Manuel, ALTO 24.29, 2. Abbey Weitzeil, CAL 24.30, 3. Torri Huske, AAC 24.46.

MEN
50-meter freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Gator Swim Club 21.04, 2. Michael Andrew, RPC-SI 21.48, 3. Nathan Adrian, CAL 21.73.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, SPA 14:46.06, 2. Michael Brinegar, MVN 15:00.87, 3. Jordan Wilimovsky, KSWM 15:05.29.

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