Three More Records Fall At Speedo Junior Nationals; SOFLO’s Marinheiro Swims Best Time

Three More Records Fall At Speedo Junior Nationals; SOFLO’s Marinheiro Swims Best Time


August 8, 2013

At one of the fastest Speedo Junior Nationals in meet history, more records tumbled on Wednesday night in Irvine, Calif.

After seven meets were broken on Monday and Tuesday, three more were shattered on the third day of the weeklong competition.

Justin Lynch rebroke his own meet record in the 100-meter butterfly. Lynch won the event in 52.91. Bolles Caeleb Dressel was second in a best time 53.31.

Townley Haas of Nova of Virginia broke the men’s 400-meter freestyle record in 3:51.99, breaking the previous mark of Nicholas Caldwell’s 2010 record of 3:52.32.

Dynamo broke another meet record in the 800-meter freestyle relay in 7:30.87.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Melissa Marinheiro dropped time in the 400-meter freestyle, swimming a best time 4:22.78, dropping from 4:22.89.

On Thursday Marinheiro will swim the girls 200-meter freestyle and teammate Julien Pinon will swim the boys 200-meter freestyle.

The top Florida Gold Coast finisher was Megan Moroney of St. Andrew’s Swimming, 20th in the 400-meter freestyle. She went a best time 4:18.35 in prelims and came back with a 4:18.59 in finals.



400-meter freestyle: 1. Danielle Valley, Sarasota YMCA 4:10.55; FGC: 20. Megan Moroney, St. Andrew’s 4:18.59 (4:18.35, best time); 62. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 4:22.78, best time, 117. Olivia Katcher, Swim Fort Lauderdale 4:28.96.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Katie McLaughlin, Mission Viejo 59.07; FGC: 39. Isabella Paez, Metro Aquatics 1:02.05, 59. Megan Moroney, St. Andrew’s Swimming 1:02.56, 159. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest 1:05.02.


400-meter freestyle: 1. Townley Haas, Nova of Virginia 3:51.99, meet record; FGC: 32. Marco Hosfeld, Swim Fort Lauderdale 4:00.60, best time, 37. Lance Rutkin, Swim Fort Lauderdale 4:01.22, 87. Kent Haeffner, Pine Crest 4:04.73, best time.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Justin Lynch, Terrapins 52.91, meet record; FGC: 24. Zuhayr Pigot, Metro Aquatics 56.58 (55.55, best time), Juan Ballestas, Metro Aquatics, DQ.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Dynamo Swim Club 7:30.87, meet record, 2. Swim Atlanta 7:34.27, 3. Dayton Raiders 7:34.50.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro Takes Second On Opening Day Of Sectionals

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro Takes Second On Opening Day Of Sectionals


July 18, 2013

Melissa Marinheiro of South Florida Aquatic Club swam a lifetime-best and took a silver medal Thursday night at the Speedo Champion Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championship in Orlando.

Marinheiro, 16, finished second in the 1500-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 17:04.87 at the YMCA Aquatic Center’s indoor facility.

Her previous best was 17:10.20. SOFLO teammate Kylie Herman, 16, also swam a lifetime-best 18:22.41 dropping from 18:26.81.

“It was a good showing the first night,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said. “There are a lot of good people here”

Bolles’ Ashley Neidigh won the 1500 in 17:00.59.

St. Andrew’s Swimming won the girls 200-meter medley relay in 1:58.52 with Texas-bound Tasija Karosas, Rachael Bradford-Feldman, Megan Moroney and Caroline Nava.

St. Andrew’s was also second in the 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:47.10 with Brenna Ruth, Tasija Karosas, Caroline Nava and Megan Moroney.

Westminster Academy swept the boys 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays.

The four-day meet, featuring 64 teams and 629 swimmers, continues Friday with prelims and finals.



1500-meter freestyle:

1.Ashley Neidigh, Bolles 17:00.59; SOFLO: 2. Melissa Marinheiro 17:04.87, best time, 19. Kelley Heron 18:17.07, 21. Kylie Herman 18:22.41, best time.

200-meter medley relay:

1.St. Andrew’s Swimming 1:58.52 (Tasija, Karosas, Rachael Bradford-Feldman, Megan Moroney, Caroline Nava); 19. SOFLO “A” 2:07.83 (Marcella Marinheiro, Jessica Rodriguez, Maria Lopez, Melissa Marinheiro), 24. SOFLO “B” 2:10.52 (Kelley Heron, Bianca Muniz, Amber Hunter, Kylie Herman).

200-meter freestyle relay:

1.T2 Aquatics 1:45.53 (Justine Mueller, Elise Haan, Ksenia Golovkina, Erika Erndl), 20. SOFLO “A” 1:54.87 (Maria Lopez, Marcella Marinheiro, Amber Hunter, Melissa Marinheiro), 29. SOFLO “B” 1:58.43 (Kelley Heron, Kylie Herman, Delanie Perez, Bianca Muniz).


800-meter freestyle:

1.Arthur Frayler, GAAC 8:16.80; SOFLO: 32. Marc Rojas 8:43.85.

200-meter medley relay:

1.Westminster Academy 1:42.42 (Daniel Ramirez, Gregory Penny, Garland Sullivan, Anthony Barbar), 9. SOFLO “A” 1:50.11 (Carlo Morante, Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Parada, Xavier Brown), 13. SOFLO “B” 1:52.38 (Juan Lucas, Marc Rojas, Matthew Gonzalez, Ryan Capote).

200-meter freestyle relay:

1.Westminster Academy 1:32.87 (Daniel Ramirez, Daniel Robbins, Garland Sullivan, Anthony Barbar), 11. SOFLO “A” 1:40.52 (Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Parada, Endi Babi, Marc Rojas), 18. SOFLO “B” 1:44.26 (Matthew Gonzalez, Alexander Monti, Gustavo Valery, Ryan Capote).


What: Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

When: Friday-Sunday.

Schedule: Friday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 4 p.m.

Where: YMCA Aquatic Center, 8422 International Drive, Orlando

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida State Fires Swim Coach Neil Harper

Florida State Fires Swim Coach Neil Harper

April 5, 2013

Neil Harper, who coaches South Florida Aquatic Club’s Tiffany Oliver and Alex Rodriguez and recently recruited Florida Gold Coast swimmer Jemal LeGrand of Davie, will not be returning to Florida State next season.

FSU athletic director Randy Spetman said Friday a national search for a new coach has begun.

“The decision to make a change in our swimming program was very difficult,” Spetman said in a statement released on Friday. “We believe that our program can be more successful and at this time needs to go in a different direction.”

Harper was at FSU for fourteen years. The Seminoles finished 23rd and 31st nationally in the men’s and women’s championships and were fourth at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships.

Kuczynski Finishes Fourth At World Trials

Caroline Kuczynski missed making this summer’s World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Kuczynski, 22, of Pointe-Claire Swim Club after swimming back-to-back lifetime-bests in the 50-meter butterfly (27.33 and27.44) two days earlier, finished fourth in the 100-yard butterfly in 59.70 Friday night at the World Championship Trials in Victoria, B.C.

Kuczynski, who trains with the South Florida Aquatic Club when home, had the third fastest time in morning prelims in 59.69.

“At least you can’t tell if I’m crying or if it’s my pink eye infections,” Kuczynski tweeted shortly after her race.

Noemie Thomas had the fastest qualifying time in 58.89, under the FINA standard, and just off the national record of 57.97 of Katerine Savard.

Savard, the second fastest qualifier in 59.13, won the event in 58.06. Thomas finished second in the final in 58.31.

Ryan Cochrane, 24, won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:47.08.

Armstrong Out Of Masters Meet

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was forced to withdraw from the Masters South Central Zone Championships in Texas after FINA voiced its objection to his participation.

Armstrong, banned for life from sanctioned Olympic sport competition because of his performance-enhancing drug use during his pro cycling career, had entered three distance events at the University of Texas meet. He had been cleared by U.S. Masters swimming officials to compete.

Armstrong, 41, was entered in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle events.

Since USMS falls under the FINA umbrella as a sanctioning body, it must follow the World Anti-Doping Code and bar Armstrong from the meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Third Time A Charm For Georgia Bulldogs At NCAAs

Third Time A Charm For Georgia Bulldogs At NCAAs

Written by Sharon Robb

March 23, 2013

Megan Romano was leaving nothing to chance on the last leg of the final event at the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday night at IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.

The University of Georgia senior split a 46.25 on the anchor leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay to clinch the team title for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs won the relay in style in 3:09.40 to break the NCAA and U.S. Open record.

After two runner-up finishes, the Bulldogs put an exclamation point on their long-awaited team title victory for veteran coach Jack Bauerle and first team title since 2005. It was the sixth team title in the program’s history. Only Stanford has won more with nine.

Romano was joined on the winning relay by Shannon Vreeland, Canadian Chantal Van Landeghem and Olympian Allison Schmitt, who sat out last year to train and make the 2012 London Olympics.

Arizona took the American record in the 400 free relay in 3:10.63 with Megan Lafferty, Margo Geer, Kait Flederback and Monica Drake.

The Bulldogs totaled 477 points to dethrone two-time defending champion California, second with 393 and counting the days until Olympian Missy Franklin starts classes in the fall.

Tennessee was third with 325.5, Texas A&M fourth with 323.5, Arizona, 311 and University of Florida with 305 points. University of Miami was 20th with 40 points thanks to its diving program and Florida State finished a disappointing 32nd with 12 points.

The Georgia Bulldogs were in great shape headed into Saturday’s finals. The Bulldogs advanced nine swimmers into the third and final night of competition. It was two more “A” finalists than the seeds had them at.

California’s 15-point deficit was just too much to make up. The Bears were trying to win their fourth title in the program’s history.

California freshman Elizabeth Pelton won the 200-yard backstroke in an American, U.S. Open and NCAA record 1:47.84. Pelton was out in 25.93 followed by splits of 27.12, 27.41 and 27.38.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Arizona’s Margo Geer won in 47.19. Romano was second in 47.37. University of Florida’s Natalie Hinds set a school record in 47.73 for third place.

Texas senior Laura Sogar won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:05.41 taking down American record holder Breeja Larson. Minnesota senior Haley Spencer was second in 2:06.15. Texas A&M’s Larson was third in 2:06.24.

In the 1,650-yard freestyle, Haley Anderson of Southern California took it out fast and held on for the win in 15:45.98. Top seed Sarah Henry of Texas A&M was second in 15:46.41. Indiana’s Lindsey Vrooman was third in 15:50.73.

Tennessee junior Tori Lamp won the platform diving title with 335.35 points. University of Miami sophomore Kara McCormack was fifth with 284.95.

Florida Gulf Coast sophomore Emma Svensson of Sweden was the recipient of the Elite 89 Award for the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Svensson, an Economics major, carries a 4.0 GPA. She was presented the award during Saturday’s meet. The award embraces the true essence of a student-athlete.


TEAM TOTALS: 1. Georgia 477, 2. California 393, 3. Tennessee 325.5, 4. Texas A&M 323.5, 5. Arizona 311, 6. Florida 305, 7. Southern Cal 291, 8. Stanford 246, 9. Texas 186, 10. Minnesota 141, 20. Miami, 40, 32. Florida State 12.

1,650-yard freestyle:

1.Haley Anderson, Southern California 15:45.98, 2. Sarah Henry, Texas A&M 15:46.41, 3. Lindsey Vrooman, Indiana 15:50.73.

200-yard backstroke:

1.Elizabeth Pelton, California 1:47.84, 2. Dominique Bouchard, Missouri 1:50.06, 3. Elizabeth Beisel, Florida 1:51.17, 41. Johanna Gustafsdottir, Florida International 1:56.74, 49. Sonia Perez Arau, Florida International 1:58.58.

100-yard freestyle:

1.Margo Geer, Arizona 47.19, 2. Megan Romano, Georgia 47.37, 3. Natalie Hinds, Florida 47.73, 17. Tiffany Oliver, Florida State 48.63, 44. Harper Bruens, Tennessee 49.63

200-yard breaststroke:

1.Laura Sogar, Texas 2:05.41, 2. Haley Spencer, Minnesota 2:06.15, 3. Breeja Larson, Texas A&M 2:06.24, 50. Eszter Bucz, Florida Atlantic 2:15.89.

200-yard butterfly:

1.Cammile Adams, Texas A&M 1:52.61, 2. Lauren Harrington, Georgia 1:54.39, 3. Carolyn Blalock 1:54.65, 15. Caroline Kuczynski, Arizona State 1:57.71.

Platform diving:

1.Haley Ishimatsu, Southern Cal 396.75, 2.Victoria Lamp, Tennessee 328.60, 3. Amy Cozad, Indiana 325.20, 6. Kara McCormack, Miami 286.20.

400-yard freestyle relay:

1.Georgia 3:09.40 (Shannon Vreeland, Chantal Van Landeghem, Allison Schmitt, Megan Romano), 2. Arizona 3:10.63, 3. California 3:11.58; Florida State, DQ (Kaitlyn Dressel, Tiffany Oliver, Grace Hoffman, Kelsey Buckley).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Georgia, California In Dogfight After Day Two Of NCAA Division I Women’s Championships

Georgia, California In Dogfight After Day Two Of NCAA Division I Women’s Championships


March 23, 2013

Two-time defending champion California is not making it easy for upset-minded Georgia, a two-time runner-up, after two days of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Georgia still remains in the lead with 300 points but California is closing the gap, currently in second place with 285. Tennessee is third with 263.5 points. Florida is eighth, University of Miami is 22nd, mainly because of its diving, and Florida State is 30th.

American record holder Breeja Larson of Texas A&M defended her 100-yard breaststroke in a meet record in 57.63.

Auburn junior Olivia Scott, a runner-up last year, won the 100-yard butterfly in 51.64. She finished ahead of Cal’s Rachel Bootsma in 51.68 and Florida’s Ellese Zalewski in 52.69.

Bootsma, a freshman, swam the second fastest backstroke in NCAA history, to win in 50.13. Florida freshman Sinead Russell, a Canadian Olympian, was second in 51.46 and Brooklyn Snodgrass of Indiana, another Canadian, was third in 51.52.

University of Florida junior Elizabeth Beisel won her second NCAA title and first in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:00.49.

The Gators are eighth with 189 points going into the third and final day of the meet.

“I am really proud of how the team came back after yesterday,” said Gators coach Gregg Troy. “I thought we swam really well in the morning. We are still not quite firing on all cylinders. We raced tough the whole time, everybody was in the races. Elizabeth did great in the 400 IM.”

In the relay competition, Tennessee won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:34.95. Cal was second in 1:35.53. Georgia did not final. In the 800-yard freestyle relay, Georgia came back to win in 6:54.43 with Olympian Allison Schmitt anchoring. Cal was third in 6:57.44.

Schmitt also won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:41.85 ahead of Cal’s Elizabeth Pelton in 1:42.13. Georgia swept three of the top four places with Megan Romano and Shannon Vreeland.

Casey Mathews, a junior at Purdie, won the 3-meter springboard title with 386.55 points.
SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver competed on Florida State’s relays but did not swim the 200-yard freestyle opting instead for a declared false start.


TEAM TOTALS: 1. Georgia 300, 2. California 285, 3. Tennessee 263.5, 4. Arizona 246, 5. Texas A&M 216, 6. Southern California 194, 7. Stanford 189.5, 8. Florida 189, 9. Texas 115, 10. Minnesota 99,22. University of Miami 24, 30. Florida State 9.

200-yard medley relay:

1.Tennessee 1:34.95, 2. California 1:35.53, 3. Arizona 1:35.69, 4. Florida 1:36.06, 26. Arizona State (Taylor Wohrley, Alexandra Popa, Carolina Kuczynski, Shannon Landgrebbe).

400-yard individual medley:

1.Elizabeth Beisel, Florida 4:00.49, 2. Maya Dirado, Stanford 4:01.02, 3. Caitlin Leverenz, California 4:02.98, 39. Sonia Perez-Arau, Florida International 4:16.25, 40. Lauren Driscoll, California 4:16.32.

100-yard butterfly:

1.Olivia Scott, Auburn 51.64, 2. Rachel Bootsma, California 51.68, 3. Ellese Zalewski, Florida 51.69, 22. Caroline Kuczynski, Arizona State 53.01.

200-yard freestyle:

1.Allison Schmitt, Georgia 1:41.85, 2. Elizabeth Pelton, California 1:42.13, 3. Megan Romano, Georgia 1:42.64, 48. Lindsey McKnight, Florida 1:48.49.

100-yard breaststroke:

1.Breeja Larson, Texas A&M 57.63, 2. Kasey Carlson, Southern Cal 58.36, 3. Katie Meili, Columbia 59.14, 41. Sofia Johansson, Miami 1:01.56, 47. Eszter Bucz, Florida Atlantic 1:03.27.

100-yard backstroke:

1.Rachel Bootsma, California 50.13, 2. Sinead Russell, Florida 51.46, 3. Brooklyn Snodgrass, Indiana 51.52, 49. Johanna Gustafsdottir, Florida International 54.92, 50. Emma Svensson, Florida Gulf Coast 55.31.

3-meter springboard diving:

1.Casey Matthews, Purdue 386.55, 2. Hailey Casper, Arizona State 377.70, 3. Kelly Hendricks, Eastern Michigan 356.05, 8. Lindsey Lester, Miami 320.45, 24. Carrie Dragland, Miami 294.25, 35. Kara McCormack, Miami 262.80.

800-meter freestyle relay:

1.Georgia 6:54.43, 2. Arizona 6:57.26, 3. California 6:57.44, 7. Florida 7:02.54., 16. Florida State (Kaitlyn Dressel, Tiffany Oliver, Madison Jacobi, Elizabeth Pepper).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Oliver Finishes 10th; Georgia, Tennessee Leaders On Day One Of NCAA Women’s Championships

SOFLO’s Oliver Finishes 10; Georgia, Tennessee Leaders After Day One Of Women’s NCAA Championships


March 21, 2013

On the opening night of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, Georgia took the lead as expected with surprise runner-up team Tennessee close behind.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Tiffany Oliver, a junior at No. 22-ranked Florida State, was tenth in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.23.

Oliver also led off the Seminoles 17th place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:30.28 with teammates Kaitlyn Dressel, Katie Cook and Grace Hoffman.

Tennessee opened with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:27.14 for its first-ever win in the event in the program’s history.

Winning relay members were senior Caroline Simmons, freshman Faith Johnson, junior Lindsay Gendron and senior Kelsey Floyd.

Southern Cal’s Haley Anderson repeated as NCAA champion in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:34.66. During the race, seven swimmers were in contention but it was Anderson who had the fastest last 50 yards.

Olympian Allison Schmitt, who has won the 500 title her first three years at Georgia before red-shirting last year to train for the Olympics, finished sixth in 4:36.73.

California swept the top two spots in the 200-yard individual medley. Olympian Caitlin Leverenz defended her title winning in 1:53.39 and freshman teammate Elizabeth Pelton was second in 1:53.82.

Arizona junior Margo Greer won her first NCAA title in the 50-yard freestyle in a season-best 21.73. Megan Romano of Georgia was second in 21.88. Another Arizona junior, Samantha Pickens won the 1-meter diving title with 348.445 points. University of Miami’s Carrie Dragland and Kara McCormack finished 12th and 13th.

Tennessee finished the night with another relay win, this time in the 400-yard medley relay in 3:28.51 with Lauren Solernou, Molly Hannis, Kelsey Floyd and Lindsay Gendron. Florida was eighth in 3:33.61.

On the opening day of prelims and finals, more than 80 percent of swimmers in individual events were slower than their seed time for the meet. According to head coach Arthur Albiero of Louisville, three-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov is an assistant coach, only 45 out of 231 individual swims in morning prelims were faster than their seed times.


Two-time all-county swimmer Jemal LeGrand, an Olympian for Aruba his senior year, verbally committed to Florida State. Legrand, a state runner-up in the 200-yard freestyle, is expected to sign on April 17th when the regular signing period opens for swimming.


TEAM TOTALS: 1. Georgia 163, 2. Tennessee 150.5, 3. Arizona 127, 4. California 102, 5. Stanford 90.5, 6. Southern Cal 90, 7. Florida 74, 8. Texas A&M 72, 9. Texas 65, 10. Minnesota 41, 21. University of Miami 9, 23. Florida State 7.

200-yard freestyle relay:

1.Tennessee 1:27.14 (Caroline Simmons, Faith Johnson, Lindsay Gendron, Kelsey Floyd), 2. Georgia 1:27.38, 3. Arizona 1:27.51, 8. Florida 1:28.93 (Ellese Zalewski, Natalie Hinds, Sinead Russell, Lindsey McKnight), 17. Florida State 1:30.28 (Tiffany Oliver, Kaitlyn Dressel, Katie Cook, Grace Hoffman).

500-yard freestyle:

1.Haley Anderson, SOCAL 4:34.66, 2. Amber McDermott, Georgia 4:34.86, 3. Shannon Vreeland, Georgia 4:35.95, 47. Lauren Driscoll, California 4:47.95.

200-yard individual medley:

1.Caitlin Leverenz, California 1:53.39, 2. Elizabeth Pelton, California 1:53.82, 3. Maya Dirado, Stanford 1:53.86, 56. Lindsey McKnight, Florida 2:01.25, 61. Eszter Bucz, Florida Atlantic 2:01.84.

50-yard freestyle:

1.Margo Geer, Arizona 21.73, 2. Megan Romano, Georgia 21.88, 3. Faith Johnson, Tennessee 21.89, 10. Tiffany Oliver, Florida State 22.23, 24. Harper Bruens, Tennessee 22.49.

1-meter springboard diving

1.Samantha Pickens, Arizona 348.45, 2. Margaret Keefer, Minnesota 338.20, 3. Jodie McGroarty, Tennessee 335.75, 12. Carrie Dragland, Miami 314.20, 13. Kara McCormack, Miami 308.25, 27. Lindsay Lester, Miami 268.75.

400-meter medley relay:

1.Tennessee 3:28.51 (Lauren Solernou, Molly Hannis, Kelsey Floyd, Lindsay Gendron), 2. Arizona 3:28.83, 3. California 3:29.47, 8. Florida 3:33.61, 23. Arizona State 3:36.90 (Taylor Wohrley, Alexandra Popa, Caroline Kuczynski, Shannon Landgrebbe).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 233: Kuczynski Shines In Her Final PAC-12 Meet

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 233: Kuczynski Shines In Her Final PAC-12 Meet

Written by Sharon Robb

March 5, 2003

Caroline Kuczynski and her Arizona State teammates finished sixth at the always-tough PAC-12 Swimming and Diving Women’s Championship last week in Federal Way, Washington.

Kuczynski, 22, the Sun Devils senior team captain who frequently trains with the South Florida Aquatic Club, made her final appearance a lasting memory.

After a long week of racing on the final day of competition Kuczynski finished fourth in the 200-yard butterfly in a lifetime-best of 1:56.38 which beat the NCAA “B” cut. Kuczynski is ranked 17th in the event on the NCAA Division I Championship psych sheet.

Earlier in the meet, Kuczynski, an All-American, swam another NCAA “B” cut winning the “B” final of the 100-yard butterfly in a best time 52.48, ranked 23rd on the psych sheet.

Kuczynski and her teammates finished fifth in the 200-yard medley relay in an NCAA “B” cut of 1:39.06, third best time in the program’s history. Kuczynski was also a member of the fifth place 400-yard medley relay in 3:35.47, an NCAA “B” cut.

Kuczynski was third in the “C” final of the 200-yard individual medley in 2:00.38, also an NCAA “B” cut.

The Sun Devils finished with 786.5 points. Stanford won the women’s team title with 1,439.5 followed by Southern California with 1,418.5 and California with 1,333.5.

The NCAA women’s meet will feature 322 women (281 swimmers and 41 divers), scheduled for March 21-23 in Indianapolis.

In another month, Kuczynski, a 2016 Canadian Olympic hopeful, will compete at the world championship trials, April 3-6.

Torres Swims Best Time, NCAA “B” Cut At Last Chance Meet

University of Florida freshman and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Luke Torres swam a best time 20.62 in the 50-yard freestyle at this past weekend’s Bulldog Last Chance Meet in Athens, Ga. On the final day of the meet, Torres swam an NCAA “B” cut and best time of 1:47.43 in the 200-yard butterfly.

O’Shaughnessy Leads Seton Hall

Competing in his final Big East Championships, Seton Hall senior Ryan O’Shaughnessy, another FGC swimmer, placed 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke in a lifetime-best 56.67. On the same night, he was a member of the Pirates’ eighth-place on the 400-yard medley relay in a season-best 3:25.31.

O’Shaughnessy was a member of Seton Hall’s seventh place 200-yard medley relay that finished in a season-best 1:34.33.

He also finished 17th in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:52.29, missing a spot in the consolation final by just .12 seconds. It was his best time of the season in the event by more than one second. He was also a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay that finished eighth in 3:06.61.

Grigull Shines At MAAC Championships

Justin Grigull of Iona College, a FGC swimmer, finished third in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.98 at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships. Grigull came on in the last 25 yards for the bronze medal. Grigull broke an Iona record in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:34.50 to finish third. He also was third in the 200-yard freestyle in a lifetime best of 1:40.80. Iona finished ninth among men’s teams and Grigull qualified for the ECAC “A”.


Jacksonville has withdrawn its bid to host the 2016 Olympic swimming trials. Jacksonville was the only Florida bid city. City officials decided that the planned venue, Jacksonville Veterans Arena, would not provide ample seating for spectators. The arena sits 15,000 but with a temporary pool, at least 3,000 seats would be eliminated. Omaha, the 2012 trials site, has enough room for the pool and 15,000 spectators. Bolles coach Sergio Lopez had been spearheading the bid drive. Other bidders still in the hunt are Greensboro, N.C., Indianapolis, St. Louis, Omaha and San Antonio…However, Jacksonville is a finalist to host the FHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships this fall. Sarasota, Martin County, Orlando and Ransom Everglades are other finalists. Orlando has hosted the meet for the last six years…

Missy Franklin is a finalist for the 2012 Sullivan Award which honors the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Several swimmers have won the award in past years including John Naber, Tracy Caulkins, Janet Evans and Michael Phelps…

Ryan Lochte’s six-episode reality show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do, debuts on April 21 on E at 10 p.m. Lochte has been taping every day up until 11 p.m. each night. The filming has been affecting his training and it has affected his meets particularly the Orlando Grand Prix. His longtime coach, Gregg Troy is not included in the show at Troy’s insistence. It’s no secret the veteran Olympic coach is not happy about Lochte doing the show and missing workouts. “I didn’t realize they were going to be pulling me in different directions all the time,” Lochte said. “I’m stronger than I’ve ever been outside the pool, but in the pool I haven’t been able to train on a consistent basis.” A few early reviews have not been favorable with the focus on Lochte’s abs and his catchword Jeah.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver Shines At ACC Championships

SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver Shines At ACC Championships


February 26, 2013

Tiffany Oliver of South Florida Aquatic Club walked away from last week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships with two gold medals in individual events and unwavering confidence for the upcoming NCAA Division I Championships.

The Florida State junior won the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events finishing ahead of Olympian and 2012 ACC Swimmer of the Year Lauren Perdue of Virginia.

In the 100-yard freestyle, Oliver came from behind to overtake Perdue to win in a school record and lifetime best 48.19, just two days after winning the 50-yard freestyle in 22.17, another school record and best time.

Oliver trailed Perdue at every turn during the four-lap race before surging to the wall in the final ten yards.

“She is gaining confidence,” FSU coach Neil Harper said. “She had success in the 50 earlier in the meet and she swam well in relays so we knew it was coming. It was just a great performance and she paced herself well throughout the race and just took off in the end to win it.”

On the final night, Oliver won a silver medal and broke another school record in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Swimming anchor leg, Oliver closed the gap and reeled in Perdue again to take a silver. Oliver’s split was 47.24. The relay finished in 3:16.54 with Kaitlyn Dressel, Kelsey Buckley, Katie Cook and Oliver.

Oliver also swam 1:46.77 in the 200-yard freestyle prelims.

Oliver earned All-ACC Conference honors.

Florida State, ranked No. 22 in the nation, finished fourth as a team with 497 points behind defending champion Virginia (832), Virginia Tech (536) and North Carolina (508).

“That was one of the best team efforts and success we’ve had in about six or seven years,” Harper said. “The team points don’t quite measure up to the success we had with our “A” cuts and school records and lifetime best times we got.”

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, FSU junior Ashley Hicks, swam a lifetime best 1:56.98 in the 200-yard backstroke to finish sixth.

The men’s ACC competition is Feb. 28-March 2 in Greensboro, N.C. FSU is ranked No. 15 in the nation and features FGC swimmers Paul Murray, who will compete in the 50- and 100-yard meter and Connor Knight in the 100-yard butterfly.

Kuczynski Makes Final PAC-12 Meet Appearance

Caroline Kuczynski, who frequently trains with SOFLO during college breaks, will make her final appearance in the four-day PAC-12 Championships that begin Wednesday in Federal Way, Wash.

Kuczynski, Arizona State team captain, is among favorites in the butterfly events. Kuczynski is a 2016 Canadian Olympic hopeful. ASU is ranked No. 25 in the nation.

ASU will compete against No. 1 USC, No. 2 California, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Arizona and No. 14 UCLA.

Back-to-back national champion California is the favorite despite losing to Arizona and No. 1 ranked USC in dual meets.

PAC-12s are the last chance for swimmers to make NCAA cuts.

Schwab Competes In Big 10 Championships

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, 2012 Olympian Nick Schwab and his Indiana teammates will host the Big 10 Men’s Championships Wednesday through Saturday at Indiana University’s Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center in Bloomington, Ind.

Nine out of the 12 individual winners from the 2012 Championships return to defend their titles including four from defending team champion Michigan.

Indiana is ranked No. 8 in the nation.

Last weekend Minnesota won the Big 10 women’s team title for the second consecutive year and fifth overall. Minnesota won with 831.5 points and Indiana was second with 671.5.

Minnesota coach Kelly Kremer was named Women’s Coach of the Year. Lindsay Vrooman of Indiana was named Swimmer of the Meet and Brooklyn Snodgrass of Indiana won Freshman of the Year.

Florida Gators, Georgia Win SEC Championships

University of Florida men’s team broke Auburn’s streak of 16-straight SEC Championships, the third longest streak in SEC sports history, won the men’s title with 1,408 points.

The Gators won four individual events and one relay.

“It’s great for the guys,” Gators coach Gregg Troy said. “We have been chasing Auburn and nipping at their heels every year and we have been close a couple of them. I think this kind of takes us over the top from the standpoint that it gets the monkey off our back.

“It’s a good building point towards the NCAA meet and it’s not an end in itself but it certainly is a good conference win.”

Junior Marcin Cieslak won two events in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly.

The Gator women’s team finished third with 1,190.5 points. Georgia won its fourth straight SEC team title and Texas A&M was second.

Olympian Elizabeth Beisel won the 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke for the third consecutive year. Freshman Natalie Hinds won the 100-yard butterfly.

Florida Gold Coast swimmer Luke Torres made his SEC debut as a freshman a memorable one. Torres made his NCAA “B” cut in the 200-yard butterfly, winning the “B” final in 1:46 and also swam a best time in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:00.87 to finish 22nd.

Several other Florida Gold Coast swimmers competed for the Gators including Carlos Omana, Ryan Rosenbaum and Lindsey McKnight. Omana was fifth in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 14:55.53. Rosenbaum, a freshman, was 31st in the 1,650 in 15:42.37. Torres posted a lifetime-best in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:00.87 to finish 22nd.

Three U.S. Olympians set two American records during the meet. Olympic gold medalists Shannon Vreeland and Allison Schmitt along with Georgia teammates Megan Romano and Jordan Mattern set the American, U.S. Open, NCAA and SEC record in the women’s 800-yard freestyle in 6:52.40.

Olympian Breeja Larson of Texas A&M set the American, U.S. Open, NCAA and SEC record in the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.43.

Hinds was named SEC Female Freshman Swimmer of the Year; Beisel won the Commissioner’s Trophy Award for high point winner and Troy was named SEC Men’s Coach of the Year.

Grigull Medals At MAAC Championships

Florida Gold Coast swimmer Justin Grigull of Iona College finished third in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.98 at the MACC Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. He was also third in the 200-yard freestyle in a lifetime-best 1:40.80, qualifying for ECAC “A”. On the opening day, he was third in the 500-yard freestyle in 3:34.50, another ECAC “A” time. Iona finished ninth among teams. Grigull, a junior, was a member of the seventh place 400-yard freestyle relay.

Polyakov Makes Coaching Debut; O’Shaughnessy Competes At Big East Championships

Three-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov and former Florida Gold Coast Swimmer of the Year, in his first year as assistant coach at Louisville, will make his coaching debut at the Big East Conference Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium Wednesday through Saturday.

Another FGC swimmer, Ryan O’Shaughnessy, a senior breaststroker at Seton Hall, is among favorites.
O’Shaughnessy is coming off a successful tri-meet against Georgetown and Villanova on Feb. 9. He was third in the 100-yard butterfly in 53.39 and third in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:14.41. He also was a member of the third-place 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays.

O’Shaughnessy is one of 17 swimmers at the Big East meet.

Notre Dame and Louisville head the nine-team field. Former Pine Crest swimmer Austin Evenson, a freshman, will compete in the distance events for Georgetown. Joao de Lucca is Louisville’s top sprinter and will swim the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles. Louisville’s Kameron Chastain and Addison Bray are the top two seeds in the 100-yard breaststroke.

Florida Gulf Coast Wins CCSA Team Title

Florida Gulf Coast women’s team won the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Swimming and Diving Championships for the fifth consecutive year. The Eagles won with 712 points.

Emma Svensson of FGCU was named Most Outstanding Freshman Performer of the Meet after winning the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke including two with NCAA “B” cut times. She was also a member of the winning 200- and 400-yard medley relays.

FGCU head coach Neal Studd was named Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year for the third time.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 231: High School Swimming To Add Another Classification For 2013 Season

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 231: High School Swimming To Add Another Classification For 2013 Season


January 26, 2013

Borrowing a page from high school football that has eight classifications, high school swimming and diving will add another classification for the 2013 Florida High School Athletic Association season.

The sport will increase from three to four classes, according to Cristina Broska, sports administrator and swimming and diving director for the FHSAA.

The post-season structure has not been decided but there are two options FHSAA officials are considering.

The first option is the state championships will run over two weekends on Friday and Saturday.

The second choice is it would be held four consecutive days, Wednesday through Saturday.

If the choice is made to run two consecutive weekends like track and field, the swimming and diving season will be offset by one week, with Class 1A and 2A starting a week earlier.

If the FHSAA chooses to go with one, four-day weekend, districts will likely expand over a two-week period in order to accommodate all classes.

The FHSAA is also accepting bids to host the state meet until Feb. 4th.

While Orlando is still an option, officials are looking for other bids from a round the state including South Florida.

Big Changes For World Trials

The USA Swimming official Meet Information book has been released for this summer’s World Championship Trials to be held from June 25th-29th in Indianapolis. Some of the bigger changes are:

No international swimmers

No-show rules: this year, swimmers will be able to pay a $200 fine to escape disqualification from the entire meet if they miss a swim without scratching. Recall that in 2010, Josh Schneider was almost cost a chance at making the National Team under this rule.

Timed Finals for the distance freestyles, which will be the 800 and 1500 for both men and women.

No Semi-finals in any races, all except the above will be prelims-finals

C-Final is for the top 18 & under athletes who do not make the A and B finals

Prelims may be swum in a flighted format, or may be swum with flyover starts, at the discretion of the Meet Referee.

The entry deadline is June 17th, with the qualification period beginning on March 29th, 2012

The 50 meter stroke races will be swum at this meet – including the 50 back, 50 breast, and 50 fly.

College Swimming

CSSC’s Caroline Kuczynski, of often trains with SOFLO, was honored during Arizona State’s home meet against California during Senior Day on Saturday. Kuczynski is the team’s senior captain and enjoying an outstanding final season. On Saturday, in the Sun Devils 177-121 loss to Cal women’s team, Kuczynski, 21, was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 55.67 behind Olympian Rachel Bootsma (54.950 and fourth in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:04.63. She was also a member of the second place 200-yard freestyle relay that tied Cal in 1:34.82 and third place 200-yard medley relay that finished in 1:43.65…
Also on Saturday, Tennessee knocked off No. 2 ranked Georgia, 161-139 in Knoxville, Tenn. It was the Bulldogs’ first loss of the season and first dual meet loss against an SEC opponent since Oct. 26, 2006. “We had a lot of close races on the women’s side, but they outswam us,” Georgia coach Jack Bauerle. “In the long run, it will help us, but in the short run, it bothers you.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 228: SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Voted Jamaica’s People’s Choice Award

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 228: SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Voted Jamaica’s People’s Choice Award


January 11, 2012

Alia Atkinson, after enjoying her best international year in swimming in 2012, was honored Friday night with the People’s Choice Award during the RJR Sports Foundation Ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.

Atkinson, 24, also earned runner-up honors again for Sportswoman of the Year.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer and three-time Olympian continues to put Jamaica on the map in swimming.

At the 2012 London Summer Olympics Atkinson won a swim-off to qualify for her first Olympic final in the 100-meter breaststroke where she just missed a medal finishing fourth.

Five months later she won two silver medals and made all four of her finals at the World Short Course Championships in Turkey making history as the first Jamaican swimmer to medal at worlds.

Atkinson is one of the sport’s world-class athletes who is not fully-funded by her country’s swim federation or athletic administration despite outcry from several of her followers and media.

Olympic track gold medalists Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce won the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards, as expected in the track-loving nation. It was the fourth time Bolt won the honor.

Fraser-Pryce was recently named the first ambassador of the University of Technology where a new assessment center aimed at developing the full potential of children with disabilities was named in her honor.

Bolt’s Racers Track Club teammate Yohan Blake finished runner-up to Bolt. Bolt’s coach Glen Mills received the Sagicor Icon Award. SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson was also in the running for the coach’s honor.

It was the second major awards for Bolt and Fraser-Pryce in four days. They also won the 2012 Jamaica Athletics Administration male and female athlete of the year awards on Tuesday.

Daytona Beach State Drops Swimming

SOFLO’s Xavier Brown is without a college swim team after only five months.

Daytona Beach State College, where Brown was a freshman, has dropped its men’s and women’s swim teams.

Head coach Don Gibb led the team to a second place finish at the NJCAA National Championship behind in-state rival Indian River State College, where Brown’s SOFLO teammate Marc Rojas is a freshman

The Miami-born Brown, at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, with athleticism and unlimited potential, is a coach’s dream. He had five offers from out-of-state colleges but chose to stay in-state.

Brown is back home and has been training with SOFLO since Dec. 11.

SOFLO’s Marinheiro, Pinon Makes All-County

West Broward High School sophomore Melissa Marinheiro was selected first team All-County for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel for the second year in a row. The SOFLO swimmer from Brazil made it in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events after swimming best times during state prelims and placing fifth in the 200 freestyle and sixth in the 500 freestyle in finals. Big sister Marcella Marinheiro, a senior, made second team in the 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle. SOFLO teammate Julien Pinon, a freshman at American Heritage Plantation, was selected to second team for the 100 and 200 freestyles. He was also a member of the first team 200 freestyle relay and second team 400 freestyle relay. The Miami Herald’s team is expected to be released Jan. 16th.


Swimming will get a little more mainstream exposure thanks to Ryan Lochte. The Olympic champion landed his own reality show on cable. The six-episode series called What Would Ryan Lochte Do? will air on E! The show will follow the 28-year-old swimmer training for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Gainesville with Gregg Troy, developing his fashion line, making media appearances, dealing with his family and friends, playing golf and looking for a girlfriend. “Watching this show, I believe people will fall into three categories: they want to be him, sleep with him or mother him,” said E! Entertainment president Suzanne Kolb. Lochte now joins Honey Boo Boo and the Kardishians in the reality world of television…

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin competed in her first high school meet of the season this past week. Franklin competed for Regis Jesuit High School against rival Highlands Ranch. “I was so nervous,” Franklin said. “My teammates asked me what was wrong with me. I love that. It shows me that the excitement of the sport is still there, no matter where you go. It was awesome to come back to my first high school dual meet.” Franklin didn’t compete in her trademark events. She broke state times in the 200 individual medley and 500 freestyle. She also swam lead-off leg on the 200- and 400 freestyle relays. Even more impressive was after the meet, the 17-year-old balanced a water bottle on her forehead during her backstroke warmdown, an exercise to help her with head stabilization. The water bottle stayed on her head for the entire length of the pool…

Georgia split its dual meet against Texas on Saturday. The No. 3 Lady Bulldogs, led by Allison Schmitt and Shannon Vreeland, knocked off No. 5 Texas, 143-100, while the No. 4 Longhorns beat No. 12 Georgia, 132-109. Georgia finished its home dual meet schedule with a perfect 8-0 record and extended its school record win streak at their natatorium to 82…Florida International women’s team defeated Central Connecticut State University, 198-100 in Miami. Sonia Perez and Johanna Gustafson led the Golden Panthers. FIU will host Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 11 a.m…Led by senior captain Caroline Kuczynski, Arizona State defeated Brigham Young in a dual meet, 201-94. Kuczynski won the 100 butterfly in 55.19, 200 individual medley in 2:06.19 and was a member of the winning 200 medley relay…No. 13-ranked Nova Southeastern men’s team defeated Florida Atlantic, 108-97 and lost to Western Kentucky, 163-42. It was the first time in NSU’s history the Sharks have beaten FAU. FAU women’s team topped NSU, 118-87 and lost to Western Kentucky, 166-39. WKU and post-grads including Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue, have been training at SOFLO’s pool. NSU sophomore Linea Cutter finished fourth in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.13. NSU will host its final dual meet against Sunshine State Conference rival Florida Southern on Saturday, Jan. 19th at noon…

Fifteen-year-old swimmer and diver Ryan Klarner of Palatine, Ill. reached out to Taco Bell on Facebook last month asking for a customized Speedo with “think outside the buns” printed on it. The company said yes and the Fremd High School swimmer will get his specially-inscribed suit in the mail. While rules prohibit him from wearing any kind of advertisement on his suits in meets, he can wear it in practice. Klarner said he eats Taco Bell, his favorite fast food restaurant, at least seven times a week. The pink suit has the Taco Bell logo on the front and special saying on the back.

Sharon Robb can be reached at