Lochte Wins National Title, SOFLO’s Golding Swims Final Race At Phillips 66 National Championships

By Sharon Robb

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 5, 2019—Ryan Lochte is definitely back.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist, coming off a 14-month suspension, won the 200-meter individual medley on the final day of the Phillips 66 USA National Championships Sunday at Stanford’s Avery Aquatics Center.

Lochte, 35, won in 1:57.76, nearly four seconds slower than his world record set eight years ago. It was his 27th national title.

“This was a lot easier 10 years ago,” said Lochte, who finished 1.07 seconds ahead of silver medalist Shalne Casas. “I’ve got a long ways to go for 2020. This younger generation of swimmers are fast. They are young and I am definitely getting older, but I’m up for the challenge.”

Lochte gave his gold medal to a young fan, saying “I don’t know half the swimmers I’m swimming against. As rewarding as it is for me to win races, I get more satisfaction out of seeing the smiles on kids’ faces when I give them my medals.”

Lochte was pleased with his comeback meet but admitted he wasn’t in top form.

“It didn’t feel good at all,” Lochte said with a laugh. “I just remember years ago it feeling so much easier, but I mean it’s a starting point for me. Especially since my daughter has been born, the past five and a half to six weeks, I haven’t really been at the pool.”

In other championship finals:

Madisyn Cox won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.00 ahead of Vanessa Pearl in 2:12.40. Former Gulliver swimmer Kelly Fertel won the “B” final in 2:13.27.

A day after making her first U.S. Olympic Trials cut in the 400-meter freestyle, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, 18, swam the 200-meter individual medley in 2:19.46 in her fourth and final event of senior nationals.

Erika Brown won the women’s 50-meter freestyle in 24.71. Gretchen Walsh was second in 24.85.

Ryan Held won the men’s 50-meter freestyle in 21.87. Bowe Becker and Robert Howard tied for second in 22.00.

Ally McHugh won the women’s 1500-meter freestyle in 16:05.98. McHugh took the lead at 1100 and had a two-body length going into the 1300-mark.

Bobby Finke of St. Petersburg Spa won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in 7:47.58 ahead of Zane Grothe in 7:50.47.


Dan Kesler has been named associate head coach with the Florida State swimming program. He replaces Ozzie Quevedo who left for the same position at Alabama. Kesler has coached the last seven seasons at Arizona State. He will work with head coach Neal Studd….

Swim sensation Caeleb Dressel, a Florida, Clay High School and Bolles Swimming Club alum, made a special appearance on NBC’s Today Show to talk about his success at the FINA World Aquatics Championships. Dressel talked about how he reacted to such a successful meet at Worlds, saying the medals were “just pieces of metal.” Dressel also talked about his post-Worlds meals where he was finally able to indulge himself with some unhealthy foods and how he is going to refocus to sustain his success next year for the Olympic Games in Tokyo…

Eleven World Cup records were broken in Tokyo, site of the FINA World Cup Series. The series resumes Thursday in Jinan, China. South Florida Aquatic Club veteran swimmer Alia Atkinson of Jamaica will compete. She won the 50-meter breaststroke in the series opener.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Dressel, Manuel Win On Final Day Of World Team Trials; Team USA Selection Complete

By Sharon Robb

July 2, 2017—The 50-meter freestyles took center stage on the final night of the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Team Trials at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

With the quickest start, Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel went on to win in 21.53 ahead of American record holder Nathan Adrian in 21.87 and Cullen Jones in 21.89. It was his third win of the meet. Dressel qualified for up to seven events including a mixed relay for worlds.

“It feels good [to win] especially with good company,” Dressel said. “There’s a lot of really fast guys in that heat.”

Earlier in the week, Dressel, 20, of the University of Florida, was also second in the 100-meter freestyle just behind 28-year-old Nathan Adrian by 1/100th of a second.

Simone Manuel won the women’s 50-meter freestyle in 24.27, just 0.2 seconds shy of Dara Torres’ American record set in 2008 and third fastest in the world this year.

“I was happy with that swim,” Manuel said. “I was surprised with a 24.2 based on how I have been feeling in the water.”

In other Saturday night races:

Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg won the 200-meter individual medley followed by Madisyn Cox. Two-time NCAA champion Ella Eastin did not qualify for the world team.

Chase Kalisz of North Baltimore Aquatic Club won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:56.51.

Leah Smith won the women’s 1500-meter freestyle in 16:01.02. Katie Ledecky will claim the other spot at worlds after winning the 800 freestyle earlier in the week.

Clark Smith won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:50.54 just ahead of Zane Grothe of Badger Swim Club in 7:50.97.

The men’s 800 freestyle and women’s 1500 freestyle were recently added to the Olympics for 2020. However, the addition came too close to nationals for USA Swimming to change its selection criteria so the men’s 800 and women’s 1500 will be treated as non-Olympic events for worlds, junior world and World University Games qualifying.

Top high point scorers of the meet were: Leah Smith, 91; Caeleb Dressel, 90; Katie Ledecky, 73; Michael Andrew 72; and Kelsi Worrell, 70. Stanford, Cal Aquatics and Athens Bulldogs were the top three club finishers.

Ledecky, despite taking two days off, received the Phillips 66 Performance Award.

On the final day, St. Andrew’s alum Rachael Bradford-Feldman was the top Florida Gold Coast finisher, making Top 8 in the 200-meter individual medley. She was eighth in finals in 2:14.54 after going 2:13.97 in prelims.

With a nice blend of new faces and veteran swimmers, Team USA will take 24 men and 21 women to Budapest at this month’s world championships. The women’s team will be coached by Greg Meehan of Stanford and Dave Durden of Cal-Berkeley will coach the men’s team.


Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Prelims, 7. Rachael Bradford-Feldman, Louisville 2:13.97; A Final, 8. Rachael Bradford-Feldman, Louisville 2:14.54.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: 62. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 2:08.26.

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: Prelims, 24. Marta Ciesla, Pine Crest Swimming 25.82; C Final, 4, tie, Marta Ciesla, Pine Crest Swimming 25.76.


Women’s 1500-meter freestyle: 1. Leah Smith, Cavaliers 16:01.02, 2. Hannah Moore, Wolfpack 16:08.68, 3. Ashley Twichell, NCAC 16:10.63.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: 1. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg 2:09.57, 2. Madisyn Cox, TXL 2:09.69, 3. Ella Eastin, Stanford 2:10.89.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: 1. Chase Kalisz, North Baltimore 1:56.51, 2. Abraham Devine, Stanford 1:56.79, 3. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics 1:57.14.

Men’s 800-meter freestyle: 1. Clark Smith, TEX 7:50.43, 2. Zane Grothe, Badger 7:50.97, 3. True Sweetser, Stanford 7:55.29.

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: 1. Simone Manuel, Stanford 24.27, 2. Abbey Weitzeil, Cal Aquatics 24.74, 3. Lia Neal, Stanford 24.77.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 21.53, 2. Nathan Adrian, Cal Aquatics 21.87, 3. Cullen Jones, Wolfpack 21.89.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com