SOFLO College Swimmers Compete Around The Country At Conference Meets

SOFLO College Swimmers Compete Around The Country At Conference Meets


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

February 14, 2012

For several South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers, the championship season begins on Wednesday with several college conference meets around the country.

Florida State and University of Miami, both with SOFLO swimmers on their rosters, will compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, Va.

The women’s swim meet begins on Wednesday. The men’s and women’s diving events start on Thursday and men’s swimming events are set for Feb. 22-25.

The four-day meet will be streamed live on ACC.com at 6 p.m.

The No. 25-ranked Seminoles finished the dual meet season with an 11-1 record, their only loss to Florida. FSU was undefeated (5-0) in the conference.

The women’s team, with SOFLO swimmers Tiffany Oliver, Melissa Cooper and Ashley Hicks hope to improve upon last year’s third place finish behind North Carolina and Virginia.

Virginia is defending men’s and women’s champion.

Oliver is seeded third in the 100-yard freestyle (49.08), sixth in the 50-yard freestyle (22.97) and will also swim the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.65) and relays. Cooper and Hicks are also entered in the 50-yard freestyle. Hicks is in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke and Cooper is in the 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard freestyle.

SOFLO’s Dana Hatic will compete in her final conference meet for the University of Miami. Hatic is entered in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke and relays.

MAAC Championships

SOFLO’s Justin Grigull, a sophomore at Iona College, is the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle (1:40.20) for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Swimming and Diving Championships that begin Thursday at Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y. He is also seeded second in the 500-yard freestyle (4:35.67) and third in the 100-yard freestyle (46.76).

Big East Championships

SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy is one of fifteen Seton Hall swimmers competing at the Big East Championships hosted by University of Pittsburgh at the Trees Pool Wednesday through Saturday. O’Shaughnessy, a junior, has six Big East “A” qualifying cuts. O’Shaughnessy enters the meet ranked in the Top 20 in the Big East in three events. He is 17th in the 200-yard individual medley with a season-best 1:52.53, ranks 18th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.73 and 19th in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:05.94. Last year Seton Hall finished a school-record sixth overall at the conference championships. Also competing will be former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kevin Bandy of Louisville and twin brother Kyle Bandy of West Virginia.

Big Ten Championships

No. 12 Indiana looks to defend its women’s title when the Big Ten Championships begin Wednesday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City. Indiana has won three titles in a row and four of the last five. SOFLO’s Brittney Phelan, a sophomore, will compete in the breaststroke events. The men’s team will compete the following week, Feb. 22-25, with SOFLO’s Nick Schwab.

PAC-12 Championships

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski and No. 24-ranked Arizona State women’s swim team and men’s and women’s divers will compete in the PAC-12 Championships Feb. 22-25 at the King Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. Stanford is the defending women’s champion. The ASU men’s team will compete in the conference championships Feb. 29-March 3 at the East Los Angeles College Swim Center. Stanford is the defending men’s champion.

Patriot League Championships

SOFLO’s Gina Gautieri, a freshman at Bucknell, is coming off her first collegiate win in the 200-yard breaststroke at the Navy Invitational. She won in 2:33.63, .27 ahead of Navy freshman Samantha Brennan. She was also Bucknell’s top finisher in the 100-yard breaststroke in a season-best 1:08.91, placing her fifth on the 2011-12 Bison fastest times list. Gautieri is seeded 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 17th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:29.98). The three-day conference championships begin Thursday at Navy’s Lejeune Hall. Colgate is defending women’s champion. Navy is seeking its ninth consecutive title.

Sunshine State Conference Championships

Nova Southeastern freshman Linea Cutter of SOFLO will make her conference debut Wednesday through Saturday at the Long Center in Clearwater. NSU will try and defend its men’s title against Florida Southern, Florida Tech, Rollins, St. Leo College and Tampa. NSU finished undefeated (4-0) in the conference. Tampa is defending women’s champion. Cutter is seeded ninth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.00, 12th in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.89 and 17th in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:02.24. Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer and SOFLO’s Les Moore will compete for Tampa. Moore, a sophomore, is seeded third in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:05.99 and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.79. SOFLO swimmer Bianca Muniz of St. Leo College and Pembroke Pines will also compete. She will compete in the 50-yard freestyle (25.87), 100-yard breaststroke (1:13.64), 100-yard freestyle (56.44) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:40.16).

Southeastern Conference Championships

University of Florida are among favorites for the SEC Championships that begin Wednesday at the University of Tennessee Allan Jones Aquatic Center. The Gator women are ranked second in the nation, the highest of any SEC team. The men are ranked seventh. The Gators are led by conference champions Elizabeth Beisel and Marcin Cieslak. The men’s team is the youngest in the SEC with 17 freshmen and six sophomores including Metro Aquatics’ Carlos Omana. Both squads finished second last year. Cieslak, Sarah Bateman and Matt Elliott are the Gators only undefeated swimmers this season.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

COLLEGE ROUNDUP: SOFLO Swimmers Keeping Busy Before Major Meets

COLLEGE ROUNDUP: SOFLO Swimmers Keeping Busy Before Major Meets


January 23, 2012

WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski and her No. 24-ranked Arizona State teammates survived a tough weekend of racing on the road against Stanford and California.

Kuczynski, a junior, was a member of the winning 400-yard medley relay that opened the Stanford meet in 3:42.30. Her splits were 25.12 and 54.74. She also led off the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team that won in 1:36.97. Her opening split was 24.42.

Kuczynski was third in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:03.10. Her 100 split was 59.52.

Stanford won the women’s meet, 132.5-97.5.

In the meet against No. 1 ranked California Bears, Kuczynski was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 55.95. Her 50 split was 26.49. She was also second in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:05.90.

She was fourth in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:03.87. Her 100 split was 59.08.

Kuczynski was a member of ASU’s second place 200-yard medley relay team (1:41.85). Her split was 24.98.

California topped Arizona State, 169-114.

The Sun Devils return to training until their Feb. 11 State Farm Territorial Cup meet against rival Arizona.

Schwab, Phelan Part Of History

SOFLO’s Nick Schwab and Brittney Phelan, members of the Indiana University men’s and women’s swim teams, were part of the first ever live dual meet between Indiana and Purdue televised on the Big Ten Network this past weekend. The broadcast went well according to meet organizers and had positive feedback from viewers. Rowdy Gaines added to the quality of the telecast.

The Hoosiers swept the team titles. The men won 166-134 and the women won, 169-130.

Phelan, 19, was sixth in the women’s 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.70.

Schwab, 21, was fourth in the men’s 100-yard breaststroke in a best time of 58.25; fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:04.93; fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:54.59; and anchored the fourth place 400-yard freestyle relay team (3:11.83).

Grigull Wins Two Events For Iona

Iona College sophomore Justin Grigull won a pair of individual events in the Gaels’ 135-96 loss to Fordham University in New Rochelle, N.Y. Grigull won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:43.94 and 500-yard freestyle in 4:47.89. The Gaels compete against St. Peter’s on Tuesday.

O’Shaughnessy Wins For Seton Hall

Junior Ryan O’Shaughnessy won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:58.59 in the Pirates’ 187-111 loss to Connecticut in South Orange, N.J. The Pirates dropped to 8-2. O’Shaughnessy was also a member of the runner-up 200-yard medley relay team that finished in 1:37.70. Seton Hall closes out its regular season against Marist College on Saturday.

WVU’s Bandy Places Third

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kyle Bandy, 20, of West Virginia was third in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:52.95 in the Mountaineers’ 180-120 loss to Maryland in Morgantown, Va.  He was also fifth in the 100-yard butterfly in 51.67.

Gautieri, Bucknell Upset Lehigh

Bucknell knocked off Lehigh for the second consecutive season, 189-111, in a Patriot League meet and final dual meet of the season. Gina Gautieri, 18, was fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:34.40. She was also a member of the sixth-place 200-yard medley relay (1:58.47). Her relay split was 33.69. Bucknell ends its regular season on Saturday at the Navy Invitational.

Western Kentucky Wins

Western Kentucky, after a successful winter training trip to SOFLO’s Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines, returned to its home pool to sweep the University of the Cumberlands at Bill Powell Natatorium. Western Kentucky senior Stephanie Martin set a school and pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:16.65 to highlight the win. Martin broke her own record of 2:17 set at the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Championships. The women’s team won, 167-69, to improve to 9-1 and the men’s team won, 173-79, to improve to 7-1. WKU won a total of 22 events including seven swimmers who each won two events.

Florida Defeats Auburn On Senior Day

No. 9-ranked University of Florida sent off its seniors on a winning note Saturday with a 162-136 win over No. 7-ranked Auburn in a Southeastern Conference women’s matchup at the O’Connell Center. The No. 13-ranked men’s team also won, 153-147. “It was a good intense competition,” said senior Teresa Crippen. “It was our last home event, and I was very excited about it.” Crippen is the most decorated senior with 11 All-American and eight All-SEC team selections. Freshman Carlos Omana of Miami won the 400- and 800-meter freestyle events in 4:03.68 and 8:22.22 respectively. Florida combined to win 17 events and swept four races. The Gators return to competition this weekend against Tennessee in Knoxville. 

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

Miami, Nova Southeastern Make History; Florida State Finishes Third

Miami, Nova Southeastern Make History; Florida State Finishes Third


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

February 21, 2011

Florida State, with SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver and Ashley Hicks, finished third at the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.

Oliver finished her freshman year with a sixth place in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.58.

The Seminoles finished out the meet with a fifth place finish (3:21.84) in the 400-yard freestyle relay with Oliver leading off.

The Seminoles earned four All-ACC honors and broke two schools records on the final day. The Seminoles finished with 417 points.

“The girls that swam tonight really made the most of their opportunities,” FSU coach Neil Harper said. “We fought off Virginia Tech, Miami and Maryland to hold on to third which is a big thing for us.”

The diving team, one of the nation’s best coached by former local diver Patrick Jeffrey, finished the meet with three more All-ACC honors and two school records.

“We ended on a good note and we still have some things to swim for this year,” Harper said. “I’m really proud of the girls banding together and swimming strong on the last day.”

Virginia took a 34-point lead after the last individual event and won the 400-yard freestyle relay to clinch the women’s team title for their fourth straight ACC title and ninth overall in school history.

Virginia won with 776 points and North Carolina was second with 734.

University of Miami, with SOFLO’s Dana Hatic, earned its highest finish ever at ACC’s with a sixth place finish and 349 points.

“This week was a giant leap for this program,” UM coach Christie Shefchunas said. “We definitely taken it to another level and we plan to stay here. Now we just wait to see if we get an invite to NCAAs for our “B” cuts and look forward to being in Austin, Texas in four weeks.”

Hatic, a junior, picked up an NCAA “B” cut time in the 200-yard breaststroke touching the wall in a UM season-best time of 2:15.47.

Southeastern Conference Championships

After a week of record-breaking performances, University of Florida finished second among the men’s and women’s teams at the Stephen O’Connell Center.

The defending women’s team fell short of the University of Georgia, 720-678 and men’s team finished second to Auburn, 799-782.

“I am extremely proud of the way both of our teams competed throughout this entire week,” Florida coach Gregg Troy said. “We left a couple of points on the board, but we also had some outstanding performances that qualified performances that qualified us for the NCAA Championships in several events.”

The Gators ended the meet with 14 conference titles (10 men, four women), five SEC records and seven school records.

Gators diving coach Donnie Craine, a Stranahan High graduate, was named SEC Women’s Diving Coach of the Year for the third time.

NSU Men Win First Conference Team Title

Nova Southeastern University won the inaugural Sunshine State Conference Men’s Swimming Championship in its first collegiate season.

NSU totaled 956.5 points during the four-day competition that ended Sunday at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando. NSU won with a 213-point margin.

Tampa, with SOFLO’s Les Moore, finished second with 743.5.

NSU’s Jorge Ospina won Male Swimmer of the Year. On the final day of competition, Ospina won the 200-yard butterfly with an NCAA Division II “A” standard time of 1:47.84.

Ospina amassed 60 points to earn the meet’s top honors. NSU teammate Armin Hornikel earned an “A” standard in the 200-yard breaststroke with a second place time of 2:01.83.

Moore made the 200-yard butterfly championship final where he finished eighth in 1:55.11 bettering his prelim time of 1:55.14. He was sixth in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:07.29 bettering his prelim time of 4:07.55.

University of Tampa won the women’s team title with 932 points. St. Leo College, with SOFLO’s Bianca Muniz, was fourth and NSU finished fifth. Florida Southern’s Mary O’Sullivan won Female Swimmer of the Year. NSU’s Ewa Jamborska earned an “A” standard time in her win in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:16.29.

Muniz qualified for the consolation final in the 100-yard freestyle and finished 16th in 55.76 bettering her prelim time of 56.92. She also made the consolation final of the 200-yard breaststroke and finished 10th in 2:41.47 bettering her prelim time of 2:50.27. She was also a member of the eighth place 400-yard freestyle relay.

Louisville Makes History, Sweeps Big East

Louisville men’s team defended its title and the women won their first team title in their short history in the Big East Conference Championships.

The men won by more than 200 points and the women won by 170 points and snapped Notre Dame’s 14-year reign as champions.

Florida Gold Coast swimmer Brendon Andrews won three events and was a member of the Big East record 400-yard freestyle relay team (2:54.04). His sister Sarah was eighth in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:04.95.

SOFLO’s Kevin Bandy of Louisville finished seventh in the 1,650-yard freestyle in a lifetime best 15:39.29. His previous best time was 15:48.68.

He was 14th in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:51.63 ahead of his brother Kyle of West Virginia, 15th in 1:51.71. and finished the 500-yard freestyle in 4:28.83.

WVU finished fourth among teams with 470 points.

Seton Hall, with SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaugnessy, finished sixth. O’Shaughnessy was 12th in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:02.39, bettering his prelim time of 2:04.60. O’Shaughnessy was tenth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:51.11, bettering his prelim time of 1:52.04. He was 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.03.

Big Ten Three-Peat For Hoosiers

Indiana women’s swimming and diving team, with SOFLO’s Britney Phelan, won their third straight Big Ten Championship and fourth in the last five years.

Indiana finished with 821 points. Indiana freshman Brittney Phelan swam a lifetime-best and NCAA “B” cut time of 2:15.27 to finish 12th in the 200-yard breaststroke.

No. 16-ranked Michigan, with SOFLO’s Natasha Moodie, was sixth with 367 points.

Moodie, competing in her final conference meet led the way with a sixth place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.38, an NCAA “B” time. Her prelims time of 49.08 gives her the fourth-best career performance in school history in the event. She was second in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.26, a school record and NCAA “B” time.

Moodie led off the 400-yard freestyle that finished seventh in 3:20.88, another NCAA “B” time. She was a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay team in 1:29.44, an NCAA “A” time.

Moodie was named to the All-Big Ten team.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships

SOFLO’s Justin Grigull, a freshman at Iona College, helped the men’s team to a fourth-place finish at the MAAC Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. with 423.5 points. Grigull earned 17 points with a second place finish in the 100-yard freestyle in 1:41.94, an ECAC “A” time.

Grigull picked up another 15 points in the 100-yard freestyle with a fourth place finish in 46.93, an ECAC “A” time. He was second after the first 50 yards in 24.33. Grigull was also fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:38.17, another “A” time. The workhorse was a member of the Gaels’ third place 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:06.42, picking up another 32 points and member of the fifth place 800-yard freestyle relay that finished in 6:55.44. Grigull anchored his team’s fifth place 400-yard medley relay that finished in 3:27.66, also an “A” time. Loyola University men (796) and Marist College women (843) won the team titles.

Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championships

Florida Gulf Coast University won its third consecutive CCSA women’s crown Saturday night at the University of Georgia’s Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga.

The team won with 879.5 points.

Fourth-year coach Neal Studd, formerly of Florida Atlantic University, earned his third straight Women’s Coach of the Year honors

“I am so excited and blessed that we have won three post season titles in a row,” Studd said. “I am so happy for the team and the girls that started this whole thing with me four years ago. We swam lights out this weekend and it was a blast. My girls worked so hard and they saw that hard work pays off.”

FGCU picked up 13 gold medals, 11 silver and five bronze and won three out of five relay events. Florida Gold Coast swimmers Lindsey Meeder was second in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 17:05.13, Alessandra Cianci was second in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:02.90 and FGC diver Gaby Shaw was fourth in 3-meter diving with 241.80 points.

Despite earning seven NCAA provisional cut times, FGCU will not be competing at NCAAs because of the reclassifying period. The school will be eligible for the 2011-2012 season.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

Hurricanes Get First ACC Gold; SOFLO’s Hatic, Phelan Swim NCAA Division I “B” Standards

Hurricanes Get First ACC Gold; SOFLO’s Hatic, Phelan Swim NCAA Division I “B” Standards


Hurricanes Get First ACC Gold; SOFLO’s Hatic, Phelan Swim NCAA Division I “B” Standards

WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

February 18, 2011

Sofia Johansson, a sophomore from Sweden, became the first ever Atlantic Coast Conference champion from the University of Miami in a swimming event.

Johansson won the 100-yard breaststroke in a school record 1:00.85 Friday night at the Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming and Diving Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatics Center in Atlanta.

“That was awesome,” Johansson said of her two-second drop and lifetime best swim.

“I was just sick of being almost there. I said to myself I don’t want to be almost anymore.”

SOFLO’s Dana Hatic registered a NCAA “B” provisional qualifying mark in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:02.07. Teammate Annika Saarnak finished second in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.78.

“The night could not have gone much better for us,” said UM coach Christie Shefchunas. “Sofia is one of the most determined people. She knows she can be great. This is one of the highest of highs.”

In the 400-yard individual medley, Virginia’s Claire Crippen, younger sister of Fran Crippen, earned an ACC meet, conference record and an NCAA automatic cut with a winning time of 4:07.29. 

The University of North Carolina regained its lead after the third day of finals. The Tarheels lead Virginia, 519-482. Florida State remains third with 294 and Miami is fourth with 269.

Before the championship finals began, the crowd wore orange t-shirts in support of the Clemson swimming and diving program which is scheduled to be cancelled next season. SOFLO CEO and coach Chris Anderson graduated from Clemson. The song “We Are Family” played and most of the fans in attendance stood up and danced with the Clemson cheering section.

Southeastern Conference Championships

In front of a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Florida’s Stephen O’Connell Center, the Gators men’s and women’s teams combined to capture five SEC championships and broke the men’s and women’s SEC and school records in the 400-yard individual medleys.

“The 400-yard IM was key for us,” UF coach Gregg Troy said. “We had several premier performances tonight and raced extremely well.”

In the finals,  senior Conor Dwyer and freshman Elizabeth Beisel broke the pool, school and SEC records with NCAA qualifying times of 3:37.75 and 4:00.35 respectively. Dwyer’s time ranks third in American history. Beisel’s time currently ranks second in the nation.

Also picking up an automatic NCAA time in the women’s 400 IM was junior Teresa Crippen, who took third in 4:07.25. Crippen is one of Fran Crippen’s younger sisters.

Auburn leads the men’s team standings with 574 points followed by Florida, 547, Tennessee, 443.5 and Georgia, 347. Georgia leads the women’s standings with 515 followed by Florida, 463, Auburn, 425 and Tennessee, 314.5.

Big 10 Championships, SOFLO’s Phelan Swims Career-Best

Host Indiana extended its lead on Day three of the Big Ten Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.

The Hoosiers have a 136-point lead over Minnesota with 531 points followed by the Gophers with 395, Ohio State, 302, Penn State 275 and Purdue 255.5.

SOFLO’s  Brittney Phelan, a freshman at Indiana, swam the consolation final of the 100-yard breaststroke where she placed eighth and 16th overall in 1:02.35. Her prelim time of 1:02.24 was a lifetime best and NCAA “B” provisional qualifying time.

Michigan, with SOFLO’s Natasha Moodie, is sixth. Moodie swims the 100-yard freestyle and 400 freestyle relay on Saturday. Moodie’s 400-yard medley relay was disqualified in the first event of the night when Moodie left too early on her anchor leg.

Big East Championships

University of Louisville men’s team hopes to defend its title going into the final day of competition with a 20-point lead over Notre Dame with 591 points. West Virginia is fourth and Seton Hall is sixth.

Louisville’s women’s team is poised to knock off defending champion Notre Dame for the women’s team title with one day left. The Cardinals have a 90-point cushion with 623.5 points.

SOFLO’s Kyle Bandy of West Virginia was 14th in the 100-yard butterfly in 50.66 in consolation finals. SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy was 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.03, slower than his prelim time of 56.97.

Florida Gold Coast swimmer Brendon Andrews of Louisville won the 100-yard backstroke in 46.94 and led off the 400-yard medley relay that won in 3:12.31.

Sunshine State Conference Championships

Nova Southeastern University men’s team and University of Tampa’s women’s team are in the lead after Day 2 of the Sunshine State Conference Swimming Championships at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando.

Nova Southeastern men lead the men’s standings with 380 points and the women are fifth with 160. Tampa leads with 360 points.

SOFLO’s Bianca Muniz was a member of St. Leo’s fifth place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished fifth in 1:39.13 and sixth place 400-yard medley relay that finished in 4:03.64.

SOFLO’s Les Moore was fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.94, an NCAA Division II “B” provisional time.

NSU’s Jorge Ospina won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:28.80, a Division II “A” qualifying time. NSU men also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:22.74, a Division II “B” provisional time and were second in the 400-yard medley relay in 3:18.62, Division II A time.

Coastal Collegiate Swimming Championships

Florida Gulf Coast University is on its way to its third consecutive Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association title.

The Eagles have 586.50 points, have placed a swimmer in every event and won six events on the second day of the meet being held at the Gabrielson Natatorium at the University of Georgia.

“We had a great day today,” said FGCU coach Neal Studd. “We won every event tonight except the 100 butterfly. We set NCAA “B” cuts and from top to bottom it was a very special night. We are looking forward to having a big last day.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com.

http:///www.swim4soflo.com

PHELAN HAS BRIGHT FUTURE, HEADED TO INDIANA


Age: 17

High school: Cypress Bay

College: Indiana at Bloomington

WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

Two years ago, Brittney Phelan was beginning to have second thoughts about swimming.

It was the end of her sophomore year at Cypress Bay High School and the talented breaststroker was having a hard time in workouts.

“I wanted to quit very badly,” Phelan said. 

“I was training but I wasn’t doing well and I wasn’t sure why. I was second guessing myself. I honestly wanted to quit. It was just a year where I wasn’t doing anything with my swimming. But I worked through it. I wanted to see if I could get better and I did.”

Phelan never thought about quitting again and has yet to regret her decision to stay in the pool and keep swimming.

The 17-year-old swam a career-best time in the 200-yard breaststroke at the recent Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships. She was seeded second going into finals. After a blistering opening 50-yard split of 31.83, she went on to win by half a pool length.

Another reward was earning a scholarship to Indiana at Bloomington. She starts classes this fall.

“Swimming is still a huge priority for me,” Phelan said. “I love the sport and I am so motivated to swim. I did think I would go to college and swimming has played a big part.”

Coral Springs Swim Club coach Michael Lohberg wasn’t surprised when Phelan had doubts about her swimming. He said he sees it often with teenage girls.

“At that age, there are always motivational and other issues,” Lohberg said. “Sometimes 16 and 17-year-olds get a little off track but she found her way back. She is fully back on track. The last couple of meets she has done really well. She is focused again.”

Phelan has been swimming since she was little along with gymnastics, soccer and basketball. She said she loved swimming the most and started getting competitive at age 10.

Three years ago, she started swimming at Coral Springs. At zones in Texas, one of her biggest meets, she won the 100 breaststroke at age 15.

“Michael has been great to work with,” Phelan said. “He has done a lot for me actually. I am swimming fast again. He is happy and I am happy with it.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

http://www.csscswim.com