Estado de Mexico Wins Combined Team Title, Azura Finishes Second; Sanes Earns Olympic Trip On Final Day Of UANA Tokyo Qualifier

By Sharon Robb
CLERMONT, May 2, 2021—Adriel Sanes of the Virgin Islands was all smiles as he climbed out of the pool after his final time trial on the fourth and final day of the UANA Tokyo Qualifier at Orlando Health National Training Center.

In Sunday’s 200-meter breaststroke time trial, the 22-year-old St. Croix native punched his ticket to the Tokyo Olympics with a qualifying time and national record of 2:12.59. He had just missed the FINA “B”cut by .02 in Saturday’s final.

“I was convinced to do the time trial since I was so close to it and been swimming at a high level at this meet with all best times,” Sanes said.

Sanes holds three other national records in the 50 and 100 breaststroke and 50 butterfly. Sanes has been training in Denver and is coached by Todd Schmitz of Colorado Stars, who also coached Missy Franklin.

Sanes said he wanted to thank the Virgin Islands Olympic Committee for “everything they’ve done for me and their continued support.” He also said Schmitz “has done a phenomenal job training me as you can see in my results.”

Estado de Mexico, dominant since opening day, won the combined (225 points) and men’s team titles (141). Scarlet (N.J.) Aquatics (111) won the women’s team title. Host Azura Florida Aquatics was second in combined (204), men’s (120) and women’s (84.55) team totals.

Individual high point winners were Athena Kovacs Meneses, 16, (36 points)and Jorge Andres Iga Cesar, 24, both of Estado de Mexico (38 points).

On Sunday night, Azura had three individual champions. El Salvador’s Celina Marquez, 21, won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:14.99. Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales, 25, won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:00.90. El Salvador Olympian Marcelo Acosta, 24, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:22.41.

Other Sunday night winners were:

Madelyn Moore, 20, of Bermuda, 100-meter freestyle, 56.57, national record.

Maria Jose Mata Cocco, 27, of Club Libanes Potosino, 2:10.37.

Kate Hurst, 15, of Scarlet (N.J.) Aquatics, 800-meter freestyle, 8:53.49 followed by teammate Chloe Kim, 13, in 8:58.76.

Jorge Andres Iga Cesar, 24, of Mexico, 100-meter freestyle, 49.61.

Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz, 23, of Mexico, 200-meter butterfly, 1:58.76.

The successful four-day meet was hosted by Azura Florida Aquatics and Montverde Academy Swimming. It featured 300 swimmers and 74 teams from 60 nations along with U.S. club and college swimmers looking for a fast meet to race. For many swimmers, it was their first long course meet of the season.

As a FINA-approved event, swimmers who competed were eligible to qualify for the July 23-August 8 Tokyo Olympic Games; Sept. 9-19 Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia; Dec. 15-20 FINA SCM World Championship in Abu Dhabi and May 13-29, 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

UANA (Union Americana de Natación or Swimming Union of the Americas) is the international governing body in the Western Hemisphere for amateur aquatics. UANA is one of five continental regions within FINA.

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Mexico 225, 2. Azura Florida Aquatics 204.5, 3. Scarlet Aquatics 123, 4. Pine Crest Swim Team 66.5, 5. Tennessee Aquatics 54, 6. Club Libanes Potosino 45, 7. Gator Swim Club 40, 8. Aruba 39, 9. Virgin Islands 37, 10. Britania Desert Dragons 36, 18. Bolles 21, 21. South Florida Aquatic Club 20.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Mexico 141, 2. Azura Florida Aquatics 120, 3. Gator Swim Club 40, 4. Virgin Islands 37, 5. Olympus 25, 6. Aruba 24, 7. Dominican Republic 22, 8. Colorado Stars 21, 9. Zacatecas 19, 10. tie, Caan Rosarito, Texas A&M 13, 19. St. Andrew’s 8, 24. Pine Crest 5, 27. Bolles 4.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Scarlet Aquatics 111, 2. Azura Florida Aquatics 84.5, 3. Mexico 84, 4. Pine Crest 61.5, 5. Tennessee Aquatics 54, 6. Britania Desert Dragons 36, 7. Club Libanes Potosino 33, 8. Bermuda 32, 9. Seleccion de Venezuela 23, 10. Montverde 22, 12. South Florida Aquatic Club 20, 14. Bolles 17, 23. Jamaica 12.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Madelyn Moore, Bermuda 56.57, 2. Fresh Sathianchokwisan, Bolles 57.06, 3. Liliana Ibanez, Swim Uphill 57.61; SOFLO: 19. Andrea Santander 59.92; FGC: 14. Elinah Phillip, Unattached 59.00, 15. Colleen Fergeson, Azura 59.17, 26. Nicol Bellardi, Venezuela 1:00.45, 27. Hanna Elks Smith, Pine Crest 1:00.48, 30. Mariana Cote, Venezuela 1:02.93.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Celina Marquez, Azura 2:14.99, 2. Pia Murray, Unattached FSU 2:16.63, 3. Alexia Patricia Sotomayor, Club De Regatas Lima 2:17.30; FGC: 15. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 2:24.46, 18. Hanna Elks Smith, Pine Crest 2:31.15.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Maria Jose Mata Cocco, Club Libanes Potosino 2:10.37, 2. Diana Luna Sanchez, Puebla 2:16.37, 3. Junseo Kim, SCAR 2:16.53FGC: 6. Julimar Avila, Azura 2:20.73.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Kate Hurst, SCAR 8:53.49, 2. Chloe Kim, SCAR 8:58.76, 3. Kate Beavon, Unattached 9:01.57; FGC: 5. Mariana Cote, Venezuela 9:09.46.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Jorge Andres Iga Cesar, Mexico 49.61, 2. Alberto Mestre, Azura 49.98, 3. Andres Dupont Cabrera, Bolles 50.04; FGC: 5. Daniel Ramierz, Westminster Academy 50.30, 6. Joaquin Vargas, Azura 50.75, 8. Noah Mascoll-Gomes, Azura 52.20, 9. Steven Aimable, Azura 52.32, 10. Jayhan Odlum-Smith, Azura 52.63, 12. Stefano Mitchell, Azura 51.74, 21. Kohen Kerr, Azura 52.99, 26. Kerry Olliviere, Azura 54.36.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Yeziel Morales, Azura 2:00.90, 2. Patrick Groters, Aruba 2:02.83, 3. Diego Camacho Salgado, Olympus 2:03.02; FGC: 6. Lance Lesage, Unattached Pine Crest 2:04.85, 14. Diego Balbi, St. Andrew’s 2:10.04, 26. Brandon Moran, Azura 2:20.50; SOFLO: 27. Leo Mateus 2:21.41.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz, Mexico 1:58.76, 2. Jose Angel Martinez Gomez, Mexico 1:59.47, 3. Joey Carbone, St. Andrew’s Swimming 2:01.61; FGC: 4. Gabriel Araya, Azura 2:02.32, 10. Abbas Qali, Azura 2:21.60, 23. Sidrell Williams, Azura 2:13.34.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Marcelo Acosta, Azura 15:22.41, 2. Ricardo Vargas Jacobo, Mexico 15:37.95, 3. Brennan Gravley, Unattached-UF 15:40.22; FGC: 7. Joaquin Vargas, Azura 16:09.97, 17. Enrique Rodriguez, Venezuela 17:14.14.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Breaks Second National Record; El Salvador’s Celina Marquez Of Azura Breaks National Record; Carter Takes Bronze Day Three Of XVIII Pan American Games

By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 9, 2019—Patrick Groters of Aruba continued to make history for his country with a second national record Thursday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional Aquatic Center.

The former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming alum just missed his second final, placing ninth in the men’s 100-meter backstroke and making “B” final but did break his second national record for Aruba in a personal-best 56.20. He broke his own record of 57.17 set in 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships.

In an exciting “B” final race, Groters was second in another best time and lowering his national record in 55.82 just 4/100ths of a second behind Azura’s Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico in 55.78. Groters is being coached by his older brother Jordy.

Morales finished fourth in his heat in 56.53. He finished fifth overall in 200-meter backstroke on Wednesday in 2:00.27.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Celina Marquez, 20, of El Salvador swam a national record in the 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 1:01.92. Her previous best was 1:02.92 in April at the Puerto Rico Open. She also swam 1:02.96 at the recent FINA World Aquatic Championships. She earned the fifth-fastest time. Her splits were 29.96 and 31.96, breaking the national record by more than two and a half seconds. In finals, she finished seventh in 1:03.07.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago 100-meter won a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke final in 54.42.

Groters’ Aruba teammate Mikel Schreuders, 20, swam the fastest time in his career to break a national record in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.08. His splits were 23.74 and 25.34 to earn the third seed for final. His previous best was 49.17 swam at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean Games. He came back at night to finish sixth in 49.21.

Azura’s Allyson Ponson of Aruba won the “B” final in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.06. In prelims she was ninth in 57.28 to make “B” final.

Former SOFLO swimmer Jorge Murillo won the “B” final in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:13.59 after going 2:14.09 in his heat. He was also a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in 3:55.22.

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Surinam was fourth in the 100-meter freestyle heats in 49.73.

Azura and Cypress Bay alum Marco Guarente, now at Florida, qualified for the “A” final of 200-meter breaststroke, where he finished seventh in 2:14.40.

Azura alum Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, now at Louisville, was fifth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:00.98.

Mateo Gonzalez of Mexico, a Sagemont and Azura alum qualified for the “B” final on Wednesday in 100-meter butterfly and finished second in 54.09.

Azura alum Luis Martinez won a silver medal in 100-meter butterfly in 51.63 behind American Tom Shields in 51.59 Wednesday night.

Azura alum Jose Angel Martinez of Mexico, now at Texas A&M, was fifth in 200-meter butterfly in 1:59.23 Wednesday night.

Azura’s Julio Horrego of Honduras was fourth in the “B” final of 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.90 after going 2:18.21 in his heat.

Doral alum Isabella Paez was a member of Venezuela’s mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fourth in its heat in 4:03.18.

American Heritage alum Cathy Cooper of Panama was a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in its heat in 4:06.11 and sixth in finals in 3:58.10.

Individual winners on Thursday night:

American Margo Greer, top qualifier, led from start-to-finish to win the 100-meter freestyle in 54.17.

Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini outsprinted American Nathan Adrian to win the 100-meter freestyle in 48.09 and snap the Americans win streak. Adrian finished in 48.17.

American Anne Lazor won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record 2:21.40.

American William Licon won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record of 2:07.62.

American Phoebe Bacon won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.47, the only swimmer under 1 minute.

American Daniel Carr won the 100-meter backstroke in 53.50.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello continues to dominate the distance events winning the 800-meter freestyle in 8:29.42. American Mariah Denigan was second in 8:34.18. U.S. teammate Becca Mann, a former Clearwater swimmer, was fifth in 8:38.25.

American Andrew Abruzzo won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.70.

Brazil won the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:48.61. The U.S. team of Anne Lazor, Kendyl Stewart, Cody Miller and Nathan Adrian was disqualified for an illegal second dolphin kick on Miller’s breaststroke.

The U.S. won 11 medals including six gold on Day 3 and broke two Pan American records.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Patrick Groters Makes History For Aruba, Several Local Swimmers Shine On Day Two Of XVIII Pan American Games

By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 7, 2019—Former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters made history Wednesday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional.

Groters became the first swimmer from his country to make an “A” final in a Pan American Games competition.

Groters was eighth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:03.65. He qualified eighth in morning prelims in 2:02.32, fourth in his heat. It was a national record and lifetime-best time.

In the finals, Groters went out fast and had the early lead at 50 meters with a 27.68 split. Groters faded on the back half.

Aruba teammate Mikel Schreuders, also shared the historical moment with Groters. He was third in the 200-meter freestyle heat in 1:49.48, just missing the national record and was seventh in the final in 1:49.92.

There were several familiar faces competing on Wednesday.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Celina Marquez of El Salvador won the “B” final of the 200-meter backstroke with more than a three-second drop in 2.14.76 and setting a new national record.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago won his heat in the 200-meter freestyle morning prelims in 1:49.08. He came back at night to finish fourth in a national record 1:47.78.

Isabella Paez of Venezuela was third in her 100-meter butterfly heat in 1:01.44 and was fourth in the “B” final in 1:01.85.

St. Andrew’s alum Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands was seventh in her heat of the 200-meter freestyle in 2:14.50.

TS Aquatics alum and Penn State swimmer Carlos Vasquez, representing Honduras, was a “B” finalist in the 200-meter butterfly and swam a best time 2:02.74. He also swam a best time in the 100-meter butterfly in 56.01.

Individual winners on Wednesday night:

Americans Claire Rasmus and Meaghan Raab finished one-two in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:58.64 and 1:58.70.

Brazilians Fernando Muhlenberg Scheffer and Breno Martins Correia were one-two in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:46.68 and 1:47.78.

American Kendyl Stewart won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.49.

American Tom Shields bounced back to win the 100-meter butterfly in 51.59 just ahead of Guatemala’s Luiz Martinez in 51.63.

American Alex Walsh won the women’s 200-meter backstroke in 2:08.30.

American Daniel Carr won the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:58.13.

Sharon Robb can be reached at