King, Murphy, U.S. Men’s Relay Win Gold; Coral Springs Olympian Bruno Fratus Loses Swim-Off For Finals At FINA World Aquatics Championships

By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 23, 2022–Americans Lilly King, Ryan Murphy and men’s 4×200 relay defied the odds to win gold at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Thursday at Duna Arena.

Lilly King turned it on in the back half to win gold and her first world title of the meet in 2:22.41. Aussie Jenna Strauch was second in 2:23.04 and U.S. teammate Kate Douglas of University of Virginia was third in 2:23.20. It was King’s ninth career world gold medal and first in the 200. King has now won gold in every breaststroke event at worlds.

King was fifth at the final turn. “I guess I’m a distance swimmer now, which kind of stinks for me,” King said with a smile. “I knew today was about racing and I knew I would have a little bit left so I had to do it. Welcoming this new chapter of my career. I think this was my coach’s master plan all along.

“It’s awesome to win this gold,” King said. “I’m so excited to have this medal. That was a great race but that was all tactical. I think the one who wins the 200 is who can control the tactical part and the pace the best.”

Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 26, won his first-ever individual world gold medal. A year after settling for silver at the Tokyo Olympics, the newly-engaged Murphy won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:54.52, 6/10ths ahead of the field. He was third after the opening 50 and with a 28.4 split took the lead at the 100 and led the rest of the way. Brit Luke Greenback was second in 1:55.16 and U.S. teammate Shaine Casas was third in 1:55.35.

“This one hurt a lot,” Murphy said. “I knew it was going to be a competitive field. This is what I worked for. My first individual title is really cool. Being able to come into something that I have a talent for, try to be the best in the world, that never gets old.

“There’s a ton of work that goes into this, not just on my end but my coaches, my teammates. So to come in, win a medal for myself and for the people who helped me and my country is really special.”

The U.S. ended its dry spell in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay. The relay of Drew Kibler, Carson Foster, Trenton Julian and University of Florida’s Kieran Smith won in 7:00.24. Australia was second in 7:03.50 and Great Britain was third in 7:04.00. It was the first world title relay win in almost a decade since 2013.

Smith had a full three-body length and more than a 3-second lead heading into the final wall. Foster blew it open on the second leg with a 1:45.04 split and Smith turned in a 1:44.35 on anchor. The U.S. men, fourth at the 2020 Olympics, were not favored.

“Kieran and I were actually just looking at a photo taken right after we touched fourth at the Olympics last year, and it’s a pretty defeating photo,” Kibler said. “We were looking at it just before we came here, like, ‘We’re not going to experience that again.'”

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, 32, of Coral Springs Swim Club, fastest qualifier in the 50-meter freestyle prelims in 21.71, lost a swim-off by 3/100ths of a second to end his medal hopes.

The Olympic bronze medalist was fourth in the semifinals in 21.83 tying Frenchman Maxime Grousset, 23, who came back to win the swim-off, 21.59-21.62. It was the 100th time in his career Fratus cracked 22 seconds in the event.

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

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Thursday are:

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage, USC), 50 freestyle, 17th, 22.19.

Esteban Nunez de Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 50th, 55.61.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 57th, 59.63.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana (Azura), 50 freestyle, 70th, 25.07.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle, 19th, 22.20.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 43rd, 54.65.

FGC swimmers who compete on Friday:

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay, (Azura, South Florida Heat, Auburn), 50 breaststroke.

Jahir Lopez, 17, Ecuador, (Azura) 1500 freestyle.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 50 backstroke.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle.

In Thursday night’s final events:
In an exciting finish, Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan, 18, won her second world title in 52.67. In sixth place at the 50, O’Callaghan surged in the final 10 meters to out-touch world record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, second in 52.80. American Torri Huske, who was leading for the first 90 meters, was third in 52.92. U.S. teammate Claire Curzan was eighth in 53.81.

O’Callaghan was last at the wall before going 25.9 on the back half, outsplitting Sjostrom by 7/100ths of a second. Sjostrom is the first woman 100 free world record holder not to win a world title.

“I had to just trust myself and focus on myself especially for my back end, that is definitely my strongest point, my front end not so much,” O’Callaghan said. “It’s certainly weird at the moment to think that I’m a world champion.

“I was panicking in warm-up, I had a little bit of a cramp in my leg. I was just feeling dizzy, I just felt out of it in warm-up and I started to panic a little. But I had teammates there. I had Madi Wilson, I had the whole team and especially Dean supporting me so I guess that kind of uplifted me for this race.”

O’Callaghan is coached by Dean Boxall at St. Peters Western in Brisbane. Boxall is best known for going nutso in the stands while another one of his swimmers Ariarne Titmus won gold in the 200 and 400 freeestyles at the 2020 Olympics.

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE: Australia’s Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook won gold with a convincing 2:07.07. He was eighth at the 100 and third at the 150. He is the first Aussie to win a world title in the event. Japan’s Yu Hanaguruma was and Erik Persson of Sweden tied for second in 2:08.38.

In the 50-meter butterfly semifinals, Torri Huske broke the American record in 25.38 and qualified second behind Sjostrom (25.13).

Friday prelim events are women’s 50 freestyle, men’s 50 backstroke, women’s 50 breaststroke, mixed 4×100 freestyle and men’s 1500 freestyle.

The U.S. added six more medals to its tally of 14 gold, 6 silver and 12 bronze for 32. Australia is second with 12 total (4 golds, 7 silver, 1 bronze) and Italy third (4 golds, 1 silver, 3 bronze).

The swimming runs through Saturday 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.

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

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Medals Again, Breaks National Record At Junior Pan American Games; Brazil Leads Team Standings

By Sharon Robb
CALI, Colombia, November 28, 2021–Patrick Groters of Aruba won his second medal of the inaugural Junior Pan American Games Sunday at Hernando Botero O’Byrne Swimming Pool.

In an exciting men’s 100-meter backstroke, Groters, 22, finished second in a national record 55.75, just behind Mexico’s Diego Camacho Salgado in 55.38. Groters dropped 0.07. He was fourth fastest in morning prelims in 56.63. Earlier in the meet, Groters took gold in the 200 backstroke in the first-ever Junior Pan American Games record.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Gaby Banks, 18, of Florida State who represents Jamaica internationally, was 22nd in the 100-meter freestyle 59.48. She has the 50-meter freestyle left to swim.

Nicole Frank, 17, of Uruguay and Azura was third fastest in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.52. She finished fourth in finals in 2:33.36, a best time with a 0.30 drop.

South Florida Heat’s Micaela Sierra, 17, of Uruguay and Azura was eighth fastest in 2:36.79 in the 200-meter breaststroke and finished sixth in 2:36.41.

Peru’s Joaquin Vargas, 19, of Azura, was eighth fastest qualifier in the 100-meter freestyle in 51.21 and came back in finals to finish seventh in 51.23. Gabriel Araya, 22, of Chile was 22nd in 52.75 and 15th in finals in 52.77.

Brazil leads the men’s and women’s team standings followed by Colombia and Mexico.

Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, is hosting the first-ever edition of the Junior Pan American Games.

It is a key event in the lead-up to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympics, allowing up-and-coming athletes a new level of competition they didn’t have in past years.

Approximately 3,000 volunteers, 1,400 technical officials and 1,142 other officials are participating along with 4,806 athletes from 41 countries and territories affiliated with Panam Sports in 39 sports. The meet is for ages up to 22.

Neither the U.S. or Canada, the region’s most successful countries, sent swim teams to the event although they are competing in other sports. Brazil (25), Colombia (25), and Mexico (26) have the largest delegations of swimmers.

The Games were initially scheduled to begin on June 5 but were postponed to September 9 to 19. It was further delayed because of COVID-19 before moving to late November and early December.

100-meter freestyle:

  1. Stephanie Balduccini, Brazil 54.63, 2. Ana Carolina Vieira, Brazil 55.89, 3. Anicka Delgado, Ecuador 56.32.

200-meter breaststroke:

  1. Martina Lucia Barbeito, Argentina 2:30.17, 2. Bruna Monteiro Leme, Brazil 2:31.15, 3. Maria Selene Alborzen, Argentina 2:32.21.

100-meter backstroke:

  1. Tayde Andrea Sansores De La Fuente, Mexico 1:02.00, 2. Julia Karla Ferreira Goes, Brazil 1:02.82, 3. Celia Del Rocio Pulido Ortiz, Mexico 1:03.24.

800-meter freestyle:

  1. Mayte Gonzalez Rodriguez, Cuba 9:10.66, 2. Danna Alejandra Martinez, Ecuador 9:17.31, 3. Daniela Alfaro, Costa Rica 9:23.10.

100-meter freestyle:

  1. Breno Martins Correia, Brazil 49.33, 2. Lucas Peixoto, Brazil 49.71, 3. Andres Dupont Cabrera, Mexico 50.37.

200-meter breaststroke:

  1. Andres Eduardo Puente Bustamante, Mexico 2:14.85, 2. Juan Bautista Carrocia, Argentina 2:16.78, 3. Roberto Bonilla Flores, Guatemala 2:17.18.

100-meter backstroke:

  1. Diego Camacho Salgado, Mexico 55.38, 2. Patrick Groters, Aruba 55.75, 3. Jack Kirby, Barbados 56.18.

800-meter freestyle:

  1. Graham Chatoor, Trinidad & Tobago 8:33.58, 2. Juan Jose Bolanos, Costa Rica 8:46.68, 3. Jenry Jahir Lopez, Ecuador 8:48.07.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha Wins Olympic Gold Medal In Women’s 10K Open Water Swim

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, August 3, 2021—In one of the closest open water finishes, Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha finally won her Olympic medal in the 10 kilometer open course marathon swim Tuesday night.

Making her third Olympic appearance, Cunha, 29, the five-time world champion had won every major title in her sport except an Olympic medal.

Cunha, who has trained and competed in South Florida, held off late surges by defending champion Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands and Australia’s Kareena Lee to win the seven-lap race in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 30.8 seconds at Odaiba Marine Park in the oppressive Tokyo heat.

At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she was fifth as a 16-year-old and at the 2016 Rio Games she was 10th. She didn’t qualify in 2021.

“It means four Olympic cycles, a lot of years working,” Cunha said when asked what winning a gold medel means to her. “It’s my third Olympic Games.

“In 2008 I had no chance, in 2012 I didn’t qualify and Rio 2016 was not the result my coach and I expected.

“We arrived here wanting, as much as you can, this medal and around 10 days ago, I said to my coach to win this race will be very difficult for my opponents because I want it so hard, so much and I’m really well prepared.”

With very little wind and current, the race was a test of endurance and tactics as the top medal contenders hung back in the beginning and gradually picked up the pace in the later stages of the swim.

Late in the race, air temperature was 86 degrees with 74 percent humidity. The water temperature was 84 degrees, under the allowable limit of 88 degrees.

At the end of lap six (8.6K), Leonie Beck of Germany was leading the race, 2.6 seconds ahead of Cunha, with just 5.5 seconds separating the top five. By the 9.5K mark, Cunha took the lead and led the rest of the way.

In the last 500 meters, Cunha put in a surge opening a gap of 0.7-seconds between her and van Rouwendaal. Beck dropped to third place and eventually fifth while Lee moved from fifth to fourth, 3.5 seconds behind, and eventually finished third.

“I think I did the best race possible,” van Rouwendaal said. “I was one of the favorites here and that’s really, really hard in open water because everybody’s looking at you, and every round I couldn’t come up a little bit more in the front.”

Before her Olympic swim, Cunha said, “I always liked swimming outdoors in rivers, at the beach. I always loved it. When you have clear goals, it is easier to train and swim behind them. Therefore I believe in taking it step by step.”

There was a 32-second gap between the lead group of seven swimmers and the rest of the 25-swimmer field.

In what is expected to be the final race of her swimming career, American Ashley Twichell finished seventh in 1:59:37.9, just behind U.S. teammate Haley Anderson, sixth in 1:59.36.9.

Twichell swam in the lead for much of the race and was in second place at the start of the final lap but slipped out of medal contention in the final stretch as swimmers with closing speed surged past her.

At 32 years old, Twichell became the second-oldest American woman to swim in the Olympics, trailing only Dara Torres.

Alice Dearing, 24, of Great Britain was 19th in 2:05:03.2, 5:32.4 out of first place. She made history by becoming the first black woman to swim in the Olympics for her country in the marathon event. She looked strong for the first two-thirds of the event but faltered in the later stages.

On Wednesday, the men will compete with defending champion Ferry Weertman of the Netherlands leading the field. His challengers include 2012 London Champion Oussama Mellouli of Tunisia, German world champion Florian Wellbrock and 2016 Rio bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier.


  1. Ana Marcela Cunha, Brazil 1:59:30.8
  2. Sharon vam Rouwemdaal, Netherlands 1:59:31.7
  3. Kareena Lee, Australia 1:59:32.5
  4. Ana Olasz, Hungary 1:59:34.8
  5. Leonie Beck, Germany 1:59:35.1
  6. Haley Anderson, United State 1:59:36.9
  7. Ashley Twichell, United State 1:59:37.9
  8. Xin Xin, China 2:00:10.1
  9. Lara de Villele Grangeon, France 2:00:57.3
  10. Finnia Wunram, Germany 2:01:01.9
    Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Heads Field For Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectionals That Begin Thursday

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, March 4, 2020—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will be among South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers at the Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championship that begins Thursday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Atkinson, 31, will compete in six events, including her signature event 100-meter breaststroke. She is seeded first in the event in 1:06.83. She is also seeded first in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:00.13; 50-meter breaststroke in 30.19; 50-meter butterfly in 26.54; 100-meter freestyle in 55.41; and 200-meter breaststroke in 2:31.

SOFLO will have 31 qualified swimmers (16 boys and 15 girls) compete in 140 individual events and 12 relay events race in the long course meet.

Atkinson will be joined by teammates Sarah Acevedo, 16; Michael Arias, 17; Dominic Bono, 16; JennaMarie Brames, 16; Juan Colmenares, 16; Alana Deo, 16; Elena Dinehart, 15; Olivia Dinehart, 15; Alex Golding, 15; Molly Golding, 16; Sally Golding, 15; Sophia Grubbs, 14; John Paul Handal, 17; Christopher Hau, 15; Sebastian Lares, 15; Jena Legaspi, 16; Alejandro Mateus, 14; Leonardo Mateus, 18; Manuel Melendez, 16; Yannai Michael, 15; Juan Mora, 15; Garrett Oliver, 17; Sabrina Osorio, 15; Sara Quintero, 16; Rafael Rodriguez, 16; Nicolas Rossi, 16; Mallory Schleicher, 16; Miguel Sierra, 16; Lucy Smutny, 16; and Madeline Smutny, 14.

Six events will open the meet on Thursday. They are the 1,500 freestyle, 800 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 200 mixed medley relay and 200 mixed free relay.

A large field will compete over four days in one of four designated USA Swimming zones. The others are Eastern, Central and Western Zone Sectionals. The meet attracts some of the top swimming talent from across the United States and internationally.

Heading the elite field are Santiago Corredor, 20, of Gator Swim Club, seeded first in the 800- 400- and 200-meter freestyles; Josh Zuchowski, 15, of FAST, seeded first in the 50-meter backstroke; Celina Marquez, 20, of Azura, seeded first in the 50-meter backstroke and 100-meter backstroke; Gabriel Araya, 20, of Azura, seeded first in the 100-meter butterfly; Aruba’s Allyson Ponson, 24, of Azura, seeded first in the 50-meter freestyle; and Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, 30, of Coral Springs Swim Club, seeded first in the 50-meter freestyle.

Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatic, East Coast Aquatic Club, North Palm Beach, Martin County, Coral Springs Swim Club, Sunrise, TS Aquatics and host Plantation Swim Team.

Defending champions are Azura Florida Aquatics (1,116.5) and Sarasota YMCA (1,432). SOFLO, with 35 swimmers, was third among both the girls (852) and boys (776) teams last year.


What: 2020 Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

When: Thursday-Sunday

Schedule: Thursday, timed finals 5 p.m.; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, prelims 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street.

Of note: Admission is $5. For more information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Cunha Wins Third 25K Open Water Gold Medal; UM Diver Dinsmore Advances To Saturday Final At FINA World Aquatics Championships

By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 21, 2017—In the last and most grueling of six open water races, defending champion Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won the women’s 25K open water race for her third world title on Day 8 of the 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships Friday at Lake Balaton.

Cunha, who has frequently trained in South Florida and won the Fort Lauderdale Roughwater event, finished in 5 hours, 21 minutes and 58 seconds, a two-second margin of victory.

She is only the second woman to win three world golds. Dutch swimmer Edith van Dijk won four.

Cunha also won gold at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and 2015 in Kazan. Cunha has two silver medals and four bronze medals from past world championships. She has made the podium in every individual open water event.

“When it starts, I think of nothing, but toward the end I knew I was the only one in the leading three that had done the 25K course before,” Cunha said. “So I know the pain that would arrive at the end. This experience made the difference.”

Olympic 10K gold medalist Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands was second in 5:22:00. Arianna Bridi of Italy took the bronze in 5:22:08.

American Becca Mann, a former Clearwater (CAT) swimmer, was seventh in 5:27:06.

France continued its dominance in open water with Axel Reymond winning the men’s 25K by just 6/10ths of a second.

Swimming for more than five hours, the Frenchman defeated Matteo Furlan of Italy (5:02:47).

“When there are 200 meters left, all you think about is touching the board,” Reymond said.

Russian Evgenii Drattcev took bronze in 5:02:49. American Chip Peterson was fifth in 5:03:43.

There were 44 finishers in the race. Five were unable to finish the race. Warm temperatures were also a challenge. The water temp was 75 degrees.


University of Miami redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore finished fourth in men’s 10-meter platform semifinals to qualify for Saturday’s final for Team USA.

Dinsmore, the NCAA national platform champion as a freshman, scored 483.10 points to qualify for his first worlds final.

Dinsmore is ranked behind Aleksandr Bondar of Russia (509.10), Tom Daley of Great Britain (498.65) and Chen Aisen of China (488.55) and will be in the medal hunt on Saturday.

“It’s really exciting,” Dinsmore said. “Last time I had a good meet but there was tough competition and it didn’t work out. Especially this year after the Olympic year, I wanted to come out and dive as best I could and things worked out.”

At the 2015 World Championships, Dinsmore finished 15th in the semifinals. Earlier in the week, Dinsmore earned a bronze medal in the mixed 3-meter/10-meter team event with Krysta Palmer.

Fort Lauderdale’s Jordan Windle finished 26th in the 10-meter prelims in his first worlds competing in an individual event.

Olympic gold medalist Shi Tingmao led China to a one-two finish in the women’s 3-meter springboard final. Shi, the defending champion and Monday’s 3-meter synchro winner, finished first with 383.50 points followed by teammate Wang Han (359.40) to capture China’s ninth consecutive gold medal in the event and seventh in 11 diving events in Budapest. Canadian Jennifer Abel took the bronze medal with 3:51.55 for the second worlds in a row.

“I need to work harder in order to achieve a higher score and win more gold medals,” Shi said.

Chinese divers have won 20 of the last 21 Olympic and world titles in the 3-meter springboard since 1986.

The last two diving finals are scheduled for Saturday.


Russia won the team free title winning its sixth gold medal. Twelve teams were in the final. Russia has been the title holder of the team title since 2007. Russia scored 97.300 points. China took the silver and Ukraine took bronze.


The U.S., Italy, Hungary and Greece all advanced into the women’s quarterfinal round. Italy has won three straight games and earned an automatic berth.

In the men’s tournament, Croatia reached the quarterfinals as expected. Croatia has beaten the U.S., Russia and Japan.


In the medal tally, China leads with 16 total medals including seven golds, Russia has 13, Italy had 8 and France has 7. The U.S. has 5 medals including only one gold.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 147: Two Textile-Bests Fall On Day 3 Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 147: Two Textile-Bests Fall On Day 3 Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet


April 26, 2012

Back-to-back new textile-best men’s and women’s times in the 50-meter butterfly highlighted third day action at the Maria Lenk Trophy Meet Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A day after Brazilian Cesar Cielo came close to swimming a textile-best in the 50-meter freestyle, came back to better the existing time in the men’s 50-meter butterfly in 22.76, bettering the old mark of 22.96 held by Roland Schoeman. The time also shattered Brazilian and South American records.

Cielo’s time made him the fourth fastest in history of the race.

In the women’s 50-meter butterfly, Jeanette Ottesen swam a textile-best 25.29 to better Therese Alshammar’s old textile-best of 25.37. It was the third best swim in history.

Wind and rain played havoc at the outdoor meet and some coaches complained that the times were wind-aided.

In other championship finals:

Leonardo de Deus broke a meet record in the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:57.38. Current national record holder Thiago Pereira finished just .01 seconds behind in 1:57.39.

Felipe Silva broke the minute-barrier twice and won the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.83 after going 59.63 (third fastest in the world this year) in morning prelims. Henrique Barbosa was second in 1:00.54. Olympic qualifier Felipe Lima was fourth in 1:00.62. Five swimmers have broke the minute barrier in the event so far this year.

World runner-up Lotte Friis of Denmark won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:26.98, sixth fastest time in the world this year.

Laure Manaoudou of France won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:11.77.

Ana Carvalho won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:10.53.


Coral Springs Swim Club five-time Olympian Dara Torres is among 18 Olympians suing Samsung Corp. over a Facebook app they said misuses their names and images. Mark Spitz, Janet Evans, Greg Louganis, Cullen Jones, Amanda Beard, Jessica Hardy and several others filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday. The athletes object to the Samsung Olympic Genome Project which shows Facebook users how they are connected to famous Olympians. The complaint said Samsung has been running the Olympic Genome Project since March without the permission to use the athletes’ names and images. Samsung said it was disappointed by the lawsuit. USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the USOC and Samsung began the Olympic Genome Project so Americans could find connections with U.S. athletes and not as a way to commercialize athletes’ names…Olympian Natalie Coughlin was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday night along with singer Moby and actress Diane Keaton…Olympic breaststroker Rebecca Soni is featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 140: SOFLO’s Arlene Semeco Takes Gold At South American Championships

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 140: SOFLO’s Arlene Semeco Takes Gold At South American Championships


March 17, 2012

Arlene Semeco of the South Florida Aquatic Club saved her best for the last day of the South American Championships in Belem, Brazil.

The three-time Olympian for Venezuela won her first gold medal of the meet in the 50-meter freestyle, her signature event, in a pool record 25.21 seconds.

Semeco, 28, finished ahead of Brazil’s teenage sensation Gracielle Hermann in 25.31. Daynara Ferreira Paula, also of Brazil, third in 25.64.

Semeco was also anchor leg of Venezuela’s second-place 4×100-meter medley relay team in 4:15.54. Brazil won in 4:10.50.

Semeco walked away with one gold and three silver medals over four days of competition. She anchored the second-place 400-meter freestyle relay team with a come-from-behind finish in 8:16.41 with a 54.85 split. She was second in the 100-meter freestyle.

SOFLO teammate Mariangela Macchiavelo of Brazil swam 27.20 in morning prelims.

In other championship races:

Brazil’s world and Olympic champion Cesar Cielo, broken down from heavy training, won the 100-meter freestyle in 48.70. Venezuelan Cristian Quintero of USC swam 49.77 in the event just a week away from the NCAA Division I Men’s Championships.

Brazil’s Thiago Pereira won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:24.49.

Switzerland Swim Trials

Olympian Dominik Meichtry came from behind to catch Flori Lang to win the 100-meter freestyle in 49.61 to highlight action on Day 3 of the Swiss National Championships, serving as the selection meet for the Olympics and European Championships. Meichtry recently became engaged to U.S. national team member Jessica Hardy.

Other individual winners were:

Kilian Bossard, men’s 400-meter individual medley, 4:28.95.

Annick van Westendorp, women’s 400-meter individual medley, 4:59.87.

Martin Schweizer, 50-meter breaststroke, 28.55.

Stephanie Spahn, 50-meter breaststroke 32.58.

Jovan Mitrovic, 1500-meter freestyle, 15:35.86.

Matilde Frigerio, women’s 800-meter freestyle, 9:34.11.

Maria Ugolkova of Russia won the 100-meter freestyle in 55.95.

Lukas Rauftlin won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:03.21.

Teenager Danielle Villars won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:18.53.

Australian Swim Trials

Leisel Jones became the first Australian swimmer—male or female—to make her fourth Olympic team after finishing second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.64 at the Australian Olympic Trials. Jones made her first Olympic team at age 14.

“I will be able to relax more at these Olympics and I’m confident I can go faster and really chase Rebecca Soni down in London,” Jones told reporters after her race.

Among winners were Thomas Fraser-Holmes, 200-meter freestyle, 1:46.88; Leiston Pickett, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:06.88, tying with Soni as the world’s fastest time this year; Emily Seebohm, 100-meter backstroke, 59.28; and Hayden Stoeckel, men’s 100-meter backstroke, 53.98.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe’s hopes of returning to the Olympics after a long layoff rests on his swims in the 100-meter freestyle on Sunday. He still has a shot at qualifying individually or for a relay.

Amsterdam Swim Cup

Hannah Miley, the No. 1 ranked swimmer in the world with a 2:10.77 from the recent British Olympic Trials, won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:12.54 at the Amsterdam Swim Cup in The Netherlands. Miley is one of 28 British swimmers qualified for the 2012 London Olympics. Panagiotis Samilidis won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.10, one of several Top 15 ranked times turned in during the day of competition.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Luke Torres Returns To Winning Ways On Day One At FGC Senior Championships

SOFLO’s Luke Torres Returns To Winning Ways On Day One At FGC Senior Championships


March 4, 2011

After three weeks of soul-searching during winter break, Luke Torres is back in the pool working to return to championship form.

Training for less than two months, the Brazilian teenager picked up a confidence-building win Friday night on the first day of the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships in Plantation.

In the race of the night, Torres, 16, out-touched longtime rival Yousef Alaskari, 16, of the Davie Nadadores in the 200-yard butterfly to win in 1:55.21. Alaskari finished just 25/100ths of a second behind in 1:55.46.

After morning prelims, Alaskari was fastest qualifier in 1:58.70, slower than his seed time of 1:50.99. Torres was the sixth-fastest qualifier in 1:59.69.

Torres also swam the 500-yard freestyle prelims and finished 23rd in 5:06.40. “That was ridiculous,” Torres said.

Preparing for sectionals in two weeks, Torres was not shaved or tapered and wasn’t expecting to win any of the three events he entered in the meet. He was just looking to race and fine tune his stroke.

“It was a great race,” Torres said. “I am not really focused on Senior Championships with sectionals in two weeks. I just tried to pace it well. I went out pretty easy and then kept the pace and tried not to die at the end.”

It was Torres first competitive meet since the Brazilian Nationals in December where he had a disappointing meet.

“It was pretty bad,” Torres said. “I wanted to quit but at the same time I knew I wasn’t going to. I went back to practice and Michael (Lohberg) told me to take a break so I took three weeks off during winter break.”

He spent the time with his family in Brazil. He talked with his father, Lohberg and co-head coach Bruno Darzi. It was just enough time to convince Torres how much he missed the sport and stoke his competitive fires.

“I still love swimming,” Torres said. “I want to get back to where I was. I want to get back to being the old Luke.”

Of course, winning Friday night and beating Alaskari didn’t hurt.

“It was great,” Torres said. “Whenever I do well I don’t feel pain during the race. It helps my confidence especially with sectionals in two weeks which we are tapering for. I am happy, I am smiling.”

Torres expects to be in championship shape by the summer where he is shooting for low 55s.

“After sectionals I want to try pushing it in practice,” Torres said. “I always do my best during the summer.”

Other SOFLO individual champions were

Two-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 22, in the 50-yard breaststroke in 29.16.

Lindsey McKnight, 16, in the 100-yard freestyle in 51.55. Teammate Emma Lincoln was second in 53.33.

Atkinson, Lincoln and McKnight joined Katie Brennan on the 400-yard freestyle relay to finish third in 3:34.35.

SOFLO’s Brandon Goldman was second in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:55.32 to lead the boys team.



200-yard freestyle relay: 1. MAC (Chinyere Pigot, Ana Anaya, Carla Robles, Evita Leter) 1:37.00; SOFLO: 6. “A” 1:40.91 (Linea Cutter, Katie Brennan, Emma Lincoln, Alia Atkinson; 13. SOFLO “B” 1:43.99 (Maria Lopez, Kristina Brennan, Amber Hunter, Brittany Williford).

200-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Chelsea Britt, FLA 2:01.38; SOFLO: 4. Marcella Marinheiro, Unattached-SOFLO 2:07.88, 9. Emily Greenwood 2:14.45; 18. Rachel Ling 2:22.25, 27. Belinda De La Torre 2:34.44; Open, 1. Lauren Driscoll, FLA 2:02.65.

100-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Lindsey McKnight, SOFLO 51.55; SOFLO: 2. Emma Lincoln 53.33, 7. Marcella Marinheiro, Unattached-SOFLO 54.29, 8. Anne Kuczynski 54.41, 12. Kristina Brennan 56.11, 21. Amber Hunter 56.64, 22. Emily Greenwood 56.70, 26. Maria Lopez 57.07, 47. Rachel Ling 59.88, 52. Gabriella Fawaz 1:01.14, 58. Brianna Giordanella 1:02.59; Open, 1. Chinyere Pigot, MAC 51.57; SOFLO: 2. Alia Atkinson 52.96, 6. Linea Cutter 54.38, 15. Katie Brennan 55.78.

200-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Chelsea Britt, FLA 2:00.52; SOFLO: 5. Maria Lopez 2:12.44, 12. Amber Hunter 2:21.40; Open, 1. Ana Anaya, MAC 2:00.67.

50-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Evita Leter, MAC 31.12; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 29.16, SOFLO: 5. Gina Gautieri 31.65.

500-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Olivia Katcher, FLA 5:02.63; SOFLO: 4. Emma Lincoln 5:07.87, 5. Marcella Marinheiro 5:10.57; Open, 1. Damaris Iriondo, FLA 5:03.39; SOFLO: 11. Katie Brennan 5:18.28, 12. Brittany Williford 5:23.45.

400-yard freestyle: 1. MAC (Ana Anaya, Chinyere Pigot, Carla Robles, Kristina Reyno) 3:33.72; SOFLO: 3. “A” 3:34.35 (Emma Lincoln, Alia Atkinson, Lindsey McKnight, Katie Brennan), 12. “B” 3:50.54 (Kristina Brennan, Amber Hunter, Maria Lopez, Brittany Williford).


200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Davie Nadadores (Ismael Ortiz, Glen Sochackyj, Aaron Dsouza, Joel Kempter) 1:25.03; SOFLO: 5. “A” 1:28.67, Abbas Qali, Alex Rodriguez, Keegan Boisson-Yates, Zain Qali; 8. “B” 1:32.09, Darryl Perez, Fernando Cardenas, Marc Rojas, Xavier Brown).

200-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Matthew Long, MAC 1:52.98; SOFLO: 2. Brandon Goldman 1:55.32; Open, 1. Fernando Santos, Unattached 1:50.13; SOFLO: 14. Fernando Cardenas 2:07.02.

100-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Juliano Ballestas, MAC 45.80; SOFLO: 4. Keegan Boisson-Yates 48.03, 23. Darryl Perez 51.34, 37. Daniel Lee 52.30, 46. Xavier Brown 53.02, 57. Jacob Walters 53.92, 59. Kyle Desrosiers 54.16, 68. Roger Capote 55.13, 72. Matias Sisnandez 56.12; Open: 1. Fernando Santos, Unattached 44.86; SOFLO: 13. Hazem Tashkandi 48.20, 29. Marc Rojas 50.18, 34. Fernando Cardenas 51.58, 38. Maurico Hidalgo 51.85, 42. Brian Arnaud 52.12, 47. Jaafar Bouland 52.35.

200-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Luke Torres, SOFLO 1:55.21; SOFLO: 13. Javier Menchaca 2:04.03; Open, 1. Julio Galofre, Unattached 1:48.90; SOFLO: 12. Mauricio Hidalgo 2:01.94, 4. Leo Andara 1:56.69, 29. Abbas Qali 2:17.28.

50-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Ryan Rosenbaum, FLA 26.68; SOFLO: 12. Daniel Lee 30.16, 22. Joshua Cutter 32.32; Open, 1. Genaro Prono, DANA 25.59, SOFLO: 3. Alex Rodriguez 26.87, 5. Marc Rojas 27.66, 12. Brian Arnaud 29.57.

500-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Mack Martinock, Martin County 4:39.03; SOFLO: 20. Kyle Desrosiers 5:02.60, 28. Roger Capote 5:14.21; Open, 1. Julio Galofre, Unattached 4:30.07; SOFLO: 5. Marc Rojas 4:46.88, 11. Hazem Tashkandi 4:50.51.

400-yard freestyle: 1. Davie Nadadores 3:07.74 (Glen Sochackji, Aaron Dsouza, Joel Kempter, Ismael Ortiz); SOFLO: 7. “B” 3:23.64 (Darryl Perez, Marc Rojas, Fernando Cardenas, Xavier Brown); “A” disqualified.


What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships

When: Saturday-Sunday

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW 2nd Street

Schedule: Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheet per session. For information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at