Arena Grand Prix Turns Into Gauge For World Trials

Arena Grand Prix Turns Into Gauge For World Trials


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 12, 2013

While Anthony Ervin, Jessica Hardy and several other swimmers are right where they want to be six weeks out from the world championship trials, Ryan Lochte got a wakeup call during the Arena Grand Prix Charlotte UltraSwim that ended on Sunday at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

For the second straight night, Ervin, an Olympic gold medalist, topped a talented field to win the 100-meter freestyle in 49.14, a day after winning the 50-meter freestyle.

Ervin went out in 22.9 in the 100-meter race and had a full body length on the field that included three other Olympians, before coming home.

“No surprise there in the first 50,” Ervin said. “I knew if I was going to win I had to have my best performance in the race. I just decided to go for it, deal with pain and pay for it later.

“I was feeling the water and momentum on the way out,” Ervin said. “On the way back, what was water turned into stone.”

Chase Kalisz, 19, of Bel Air, Md. knocked off Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley. Lochte, 28, the world record holder and three-time Olympic medalist in the event started tiring late in his race much like the rest of his races in the meet.

Kalisz won in 1:59.66, two days after winning the 400-meter individual medley and just 1/10th of a second off his best time. Lochte was third in 2:01.56. Kalisz overtook Lochte on the breaststroke leg and coasted on the freestyle leg.

“I just tried to stay within reach of everyone in first half, attack the breaststroke and swim as hard as I could coming home,” Kalisz said. “Ryan is the best swimmer ever in the 200 IM. We are in different parts of our training. To go that time now I am happy with it.”

Just fifteen minutes after the IM, Lochte competed in the 200-meter backstroke against a strong field and finished third after struggling to come off the wall. Bolles swimmer Ryan Murphy won the race with great turns and momentum coming off the final wall. He finished in 1:59.93. Lochte’s time was 2:00.80.

“I think because Ryan just had the 200 IM I had a little extra on the last 50,” Murphy said. “I didn’t really change my race strategy. I just try to get out fast and push the last wall as hard as I can. I have been working on killing the last wall while keeping my speed.”

Said Lochte, “This is my time to get in gear. I still think I can make worlds. I just have to get back to work.”

Other individual winners were:

Connor Jaeger, 1500-meter freestyle, 15:02.68.

Kathleen Baker, 200-meter IM, best time 2:14.46.

Megan Romano, 100-meter freestyle, 55.24.

Kaitlin Harty, 200-meter backstroke, 2:10.38, best time by four second. “I have no idea where that came from,” Harty said.

Chloe Sutton, 800-meter freestyle, 8:25.88, edging out Venezuela’s Andreina Pinto, 8:25.93.

The Grand Prix Series resumes May 30-June 2 in Santa Clara, Calif.

DIVING

Chinese divers won all four events on the final day of the AT&T FINA USA Diving Grand Prix to sweep the meet on Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

U.S. Olympic medalist Troy Dumais took a silver medal in the 3-meter springboard event. Dumais was the only U.S. medalist on Sunday.

American Murphy Bromberg, competing in her fist senior international final, placed fourth on women’s platform.

The U.S. team now heads to Tallahassee for the World Championship Trials, May 15-20.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Ervin Wins Splash & Dash; Hardy Wins Third Event At Arena Grand Prix

Ervin Wins Splash & Dash; Hardy Wins Third Event At Arena Grand Prix


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 11, 2013

Playing catch-up for most of the race, ageless Anthony Ervin won the 50-meter freestyle Saturday night at the Arena Grand Prix Charlotte UltraSwim.

Ervin, 31, of California Aquatics won the splash and dash in 22.01, holding off Marcello Chierighini (22.09) and reigning Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones (22.16).

The men’s field featured five Olympians. Only 15/100ths of a second separated the top three finishers.

Ervin, the top morning qualifier in 22.43, caught Jones, who had the best start of the field at the end of the race and held off Chierighini who was charging fast.

“I have been training really hard,” Ervin said. “I wasn’t expecting to put down a best-in-season time like that. I felt real rough this morning. Tonight I wanted to feel that speed and swim better. It felt like the pool was doing the work for me. I have confidence in my training. I am just excited about my finish.”

Olympian Jessica Hardy, 26, of Trojan Swim Club, won her third event of the meet in the 50-meter freestyle. Racing against three other Olympians in the field, Hardy overtook early leader and hometown favorite Madison Kennedy to win in 25.09.

Kennedy and Megan Romano tied for second in 25.12. It was a best time for Romano.

“That was a blast, one lap is the distance to race,” Hardy said with a smile. “Sprinting is fun. It was a great show from everybody in the race.”

In other championships events Saturday night:

Andreina Pinto, 21, of Gator Swim Club won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:12.40.

Singapore Olympian and national record holder Joseph Schooling, 17, competing against one of the youngest men’s field, won his second event of the meet in the 200-meter butterfly in 1:57.79. Four other teenagers were in the final.

“I was pretty pumped for my race,” Schooling said. “I jumped on that second 50 too much and that third 50 started hurting. I am going to race my hardest this summer. Everyone races for best times. If I get a best time in any of my events I’ll be happy.”

Romano, 22, of Athens Bulldogs won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.83. Davie Nadadores’ Carolina Colorado was fourth in 1:01.73.

Andrew teDuits, 19, swimming unattached won the 100-meter backstroke in 54.43. Ryan Murphy, 17, of Bolles was third in 54.49 and Ryan Lochte, 28, was sixth in 55.48.

Chloe Sutton, 21, of Mission Viejo won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:09.10.

Connor Jaeger, 22, of Club Wolverine won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:48.77.

Annie Zhu, 18, of North Baltimore won the 200-meter breaststroke by 1/100th of a second in 2:27.16. She caught early leader Laura Sogar of Bluefish who was second in 2:27.17.

Mike Alexandrov, 28, of Trojan Swim Club won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:13.60.

Dana Vollmer, 25, swimming unattached, won the 50-meter butterfly in 26.18. Claire Donahue, 24, of Western Kentucky, a frequent visitor and trainer with the South Florida Aquatic Club, coming back from surgery, was second in 26.77. Davie’s Carolina Colorado was fourth in 27.24.

Marcelo Chierighini, 22, of Auburn won the 50-meter butterfly in 23.72. Cullen Jones was second in 24.03.

DIVING

David Boudia, competing in his first meet since winning a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, took a silver medal on the 10-meter platform Saturday at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale. China swept all four gold medals awarded on Saturday in the men’s 10-meter, women’s 3-meter, men’s 3-meter synchro and women’s 10-meter synchro. “I’m glad to be competitive with the Chinese at this stage,” Boudia said. American Amanda Burke was fifth on 3-meter. The meet concludes on Sunday with the women’s 3-meter synchro, men’s 10-meter synchro, men’s 3-meter and women’s 10-meter.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Meet Record Falls On Opening Day Of Charlotte Meet

Meet Record Falls On Opening Day Of Charlott


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 9, 2013

U.S. Olympians Katie Ledecky, Chloe Sutton and Connor Jaeger showed why they are among the nation’s top swimmers on Thursday, the opening day of the Arena Grand Prix Charlotte UltraSwim at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Ledecky, 16, the teenage distance sensation, opened the meet with a victory and meet record in the 1500-meter freestyle.

Ledecky won the mile in 16:04.58, second fastest swim in the world and huge time drop. Ledecky’s previous best was 16:24.46. She went 4:11.87 in the opening 400 meters.

“I’m training pretty hard right now,” Ledecky said. “The time was a lot faster than I thought it would be.”

U.S. Olympian Chloe Sutton was second in 16:07.83. Three-time Olympian Kristel Kobrich of Chile was third in 16:08.08.

Stephanie Peacock of North Carolina, after missing the ACC and NCAA Championships, was fifth in 16:33.47 in her first big meet of the year.

Connor Jaeger, 22, of Club Wolverine topped an impressive men’s 800-meter freestyle field in a lifetime-best 7:53.33. The University of Michigan senior negative split the race in 3:58.24 and 3:55.11. It was a seven second time drop for Jaeger.

“I felt like we were out pretty fast, me and Michael Klueh,” Jaeger said. “We’ve been training together. We knew the meet record was just under 8 minutes, so we thought we could go for that. It was a pretty decent race.”

Georgia sophomore Matias Koski of Finland was second in 8:03.05 and Zane Grothe of Auburn was third in 8:04.17. Davie Nadadores’ Alejandro Gomez, 28, was sixth in 8:19.34. Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Ryan Rosenbaum, 18, was 17th in 8:39.54.

The four-day meet continues Friday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The meet ends on Sunday.

Miscellaneous

During FINA-sanctioned quality control checks, Arena found that certain Powerskin carbon-pro suits have reduced air permeability making the suits non-compliant with FINA rules. Arena has withdrawn the approval codes of the Powerskin carbon-pro models and replace them with a new version that complies with FINA’s guidelines. As of Tuesday, it became mandatory for all swimmers to use the new carbon-pro Mark 2 swimsuits which carry valid codes according to FINA regulations. Athletes competing in both the Charlotte meet and Masters Spring Nationals in Indianapolis were being allowed to exchange their suits at no costs with Arena reps on site…

Britain’s Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley was forced to drop out of the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix diving event in Fort Lauderdale after injuring his elbow while training. The 18-year-old is still expected to compete in this summer’s world championships…In Thursday’s opening action of the Fort Lauderdale diving meet, Olympic gold medalist David Boudia advanced into Saturday’s 10-meter final and U.S. teammate Amanda Burke advanced into the women’s 3-meter final. As expected, China dominated and had all the top qualifying spots. The meet continues Friday with men’s 3-meter and women’s 10-meter events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 155: Lochte Breaks Meet Record; Teenagers Steal The Show

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 155: Lochte Breaks Meet Record; Teenagers Steal The Show


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 13, 2012

Ryan Lochte, wearing a racing suit for the first time at the meet, got serious and broke a meet record Sunday on the fourth and final day of the USA Swimming Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix Series.

Lochte, 27, won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:57.63, breaking the previous meet record of 1:58.25 set by Brazil’s Thiago Pereira in 2009.

It was Lochte’s sixth event of the meet. He failed to medal in his other five races and missed the finals of the 100-meter freestyle.

“It felt good to actually have a decent swim” Lochte said after his race.

Lochte, the world record in the 200 IM, pulled away during the third leg with a strong breaststroke. It was his best racing of the meet, which he summed up as “disappointing.”

“I hate to lose,” Lochte said. “I like winning. I had to keep reminding myself this isn’t the big picture. The big pictures is the Trials and Olympics. People won’t remember this meet. They’ll remember the Trials and the Olympics.”

It was his coach, U.S. Olympic men’s and University of Florida coach Gregg Troy, who suggested Lochte wear his racing suit for a good confidence-building finish to the meet.

Lochte said he won’t begin to taper for another couple of weeks. While he has the endurance, he said he will focus on speed when he returns to Gainesville to train this week.

Teenagers had no problem with speed to highlight fourth-day action in Charlotte.

Fifteen-year-old Kathleen Ledecky of Curl Burke Swim Club won the 800-meter freestyle in a career-best time and meet record 8:25.85. It was a best time by four seconds. The previous meet record was 8:30.07 set by Chloe Sutton in 2010. Gillian Ryan, 16, was second in 8:36.56. Ledecky’s time was the fastest by a 15-year-old in 15 years.

Sixteen-year-old Ryan Murphy of Bolles, a national junior team member, won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:58.09 ahead of Omar Pinzon in 1:58.12.

Seventeen-year-old Lia Neal of Asphalt Green won the 100-meter freestyle in a best time of 54.35 edging Jessica Hardy in 54.36 and Natalie Coughlin in 54.59. It was her best time by 4/10ths of a second.

SOFLO swimmer Nick Schwab, 21, of Indiana University finished the 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.19.

In other championship finals:

Hometown hero Ricky Berens, a Charlotte native, won the 100-meter freestyle in honor of his mom on Mother’s Day, he said. He won in 49.07. It was his second gold medal of the meet.

Caitlin Leverenz, 21, of California won her second gold of the meet, this time in the 200-meter individual medley in a meet record 2:10.25, bettering the previous record of 2:12.29 set by Katinka Hosszu in 2011. It was her third fastest time of her career. Ariana Kukors (2:11.09) and Liz Pelton (2:11.87) also broke the meet record.

Elizabeth Pelton, 18, of T2Aquatics won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:09.41.

Chad LaTourette, 23, of Mission Viejo won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:06.73.

Phelps, Bowman Headed For Altitude

Michael Phelps and his coach Bob Bowman were in Dallas Sunday for an Olympic Media Summit. He answered questions for nearly an hour and talked about the journey he has taken to get to this point in his career.

“Last year was the year I kind of woke up a little more than I had in the past,” Phelps said. “It’s kind of, I guess, got to me a little more. In 2010, it was kind of like “whatever.” Last year it was like “This is so frustrating.”

“It never was a fun feeling. But last year it was something that super-frustrated me. I did everything I can to try to fight back. And hopefully, I did, to where I can make up some of the ground that Ryan Lochte has put me on. It’s going to be a fun summer.”

Added Bowman, “You can do anything you set your mind to if you have a dream and you’re willing to work hard enough.”

Phelps still would not divulge what events he planned to swim at the trials. He also said winning another eight gold medals is not the goal this time around.

Phelps and Bowman are scheduled to leave on Monday for altitude training in Colorado Springs. The pair will be isolated from the rest of the world, away from distractions, leading up to the U.S. Olympic trials that begin on June 25 in Omaha, Neb.

Miscellaneous

The University of Southern California received an $8 million donation for a new aquatic center. Former USC swimmer Fred Uytengsu, president of the Alaska Milk Corporation and former Phillippine national team member, will have the center named after him but did stipulate that the swimming pool will be named for his swim coach, Peter Daland. It was the largest gift donation ever made by a former student-athlete to the athletic department…

2008 U.S. Olympian Chris Colwill of Brandon won a gold medal on 3-meter springboard at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale. Colwill finished ahead of China’s Li Shixin by .35 of a point. It was his first international win in an individual event. The U.S. won three medals on Sunday and seven overall in a tuneup before the U.S. Olympic diving trials…

Germany’s Britta Steffen set up the defense of her second Olympic title in the 50-meter freestyle with a 24.92 victory at the German Olympic trials on Sunday…Queensland, Australia won the bid to host the August, 2014 Pan Pacific championships, 25 years after it last hosted the event. 

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 154: Soni Swims World’s Fastest Time This Year

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 154: Soni Swims World’s Fastest Time This Year


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 12, 2012

Olympic champion Rebecca Soni swam the fastest time of the year Saturday night at the USA Swimming Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix.

Soni won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:22.22, the best time in the world beating her own 2:22.73 she clocked at the Austin Grand Prix in January.

Soni had already won the 100-meter breaststroke the night before.

In another exciting race, China’s three-time Olympian Wu Peng, 24, of Club Wolverine turned it on in the final 25 meters to beat Michael Phelps, 26, of North Baltimore to win the 200-meter butterfly in 1:56.69.

Phelps finished in 1:56.87. Sixteen-year old Joseph Schooling of Bolles was eighth in 2:01.70. Schooling will make his Olympic debut for Singapore.

“I feel like these are little quizzes,” Phelps said. “They are like little building blocks.”

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kevin Bandy, 21, of Cardinal Aquatics finished the 200-meter butterfly in 2:10.24.

In other championship finals Saturday night:

Kathleen Hersey, 22, of Longhorn Aquatics won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.68.

Jessica Hardy, 25, of Trojan Swim Club won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.83.

Josh Schneider, 24, of SwimMAC won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.10.

Elizabeth Pelton, 18, of T2Aquatics and Rachel Bootsma tied to win the 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.25. American record holder Natalie Coughlin, 29, was third in 1:00.83.

Nick Thoman, 26, of SwimMAC won the 100-meter backstroke in 53.77. Ryan Lochte was eighth in 56.43.

Allison Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore won the 400-meter freestyle in a meet record in 4:05.40. The top three swimmers dipped under the meet record.

Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli, 28, of Trojan Swim Club won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:50.17.

Eric Shanteau, 28, of Trojan Swim Club won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:09.72.

Dana Vollmer, 25, of California won the 50-meter butterfly in a meet record 25.80. Claire Donahue, 23, of Western Kentucky, who has been training with SOFLO in Pembroke Pines, was second in 26.69, also a meet record.

Matthew Targett, 26, of Australia won the 50-meter butterfly in a meet record 23.11. Six of the top finishers broke the meet record.

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kevin Bandy, 21, of Cardinal Aquatics finished the 200-meter butterfly in 2:10.24.

SOFLO’s Nick Schwab, 21, of Indiana University, finished the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:28.23.

The meet concludes on Sunday and is being webcast live at usaswimming.org.

Another FGC Swimmer Makes Olympics

Cuban-born Manny Huerta of Miami, who started out swimming and running cross-country at Florida Atlantic University, qualified for his first Olympics Saturday at the ITU World Triathlon Series San Diego Triathlon.

Huerta joins another FGC swimmer Laura Reback Bennett of North Palm Beach on the U.S. Olympic team. Huerta recently spent time living in a volcano in Costa Rica for high altitude training.

Huerta was ninth in 1:49.31.

“I knew it would come down to the run,” Huerta said. “The past couple of weeks I have been focusing on my run, especially my running off the bike. I did very hard bikes and then I’d come down and do runs. I was pretty much on the last pack on the swim but I stayed positive. I stayed calm. We caught up and then I set myself up in very good position on the bike on the last couple of laps. Then I went out with my heart and then gave everything I had.”

American Hunter Kemper, 36, of Orlando made his fourth Olympic team with his fifth-place finish in 1:49.17. “This is my first race of the year and I am over the moon,” said Kemper, coming back from a broken elbow.

Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee won in 1:48.47.

Americans needed to finish in the top nine in order to earn spots on  their Olympic team. The course was a 1500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10K run.

“I never, never gave up on my dream,” Huerta said. “I battled through so many downs and ups, like many athletes, but I knew that today it was special. I was racing in my new country and I wanted to make my dream come true. For many young Hispanics like me, who come to America with that dream, they stick to their dream and they never give up.”

Norway’s Alexander Dale Oen Laid To Rest

In front of a national television audience in Norway, swimming hero and Olympian Alexander Dale Oen was laid to rest after a two-hour service. Hundreds of mourners turned out for the funeral on Friday. The world champion was Norway’s best swimmer in history and 2012 gold medal hopeful. On April 30, he died suddenly at age 26 of an apparent cardiac arrest during a training trip in Sweden.

Lochte Makes Cover

Floridian Ryan Lochte is featured on the cover of next month’s Vogue Magazine along with soccer player Hope Solo and tennis player Serena Williams in the Olympic hopefuls issue. Lochte is the fourth man to be featured on the cover.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 153: Phelps Beats Lochte, But Berens Beats Both In Charlotte

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 153: Phelps Beats Lochte, But Berens Beats Both In Charlotte


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 153: Phelps Beats Lochte, But Berens Beats Both In Charlotte

WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 11, 2012

In their final head-to-head race before next month’s U.S. Olympic Trials, Michael Phelps finished ahead of Ryan Lochte but it was Ricky Berens who beat them both Friday night at the USA Swimming Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix.

Berens, 24, of Trojan Swim Club, was first at the wall in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:47.32. Phelps, 26, was second in 1:48.01. Lochte, 27, was sixth in 1:49.70.

“We’re all doing different training,” Phelps said. “That’s how Ryan has always done it. I’m sure that’s what he’s going to do this year. He’s somebody who is a very tough racer and at the right time, he will be there when it counts.”

Lochte was also seventh in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:26.04.

Lochte is wearing a swim brief instead of a jammer like Phelps and several other swimmers. While Phelps has one more event left before heading to Dallas, Lochte has several more.

“None of this is going to matter,” said U.S. Olympic men’s coach Gregg Troy, also Lochte’s coach in Gainesville. “No one is going to care what happened in Charlotte.”

Lochte plans on shutting it down after Charlotte. Phelps has one more meet before the trials and plans to spend most of his time training in altitude in Colorado.

Berens, who finished with a half-body length lead, was realistic about his win.

“I have one of the hardest events in the country,” Berens said. “I’ve got Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps who are the two fastest guys in the world and the toughest competition. As long as I’m on the relay with those two guys, I’ll be glad to be on their team. As long as I am part of that relay and winning gold for the U.S., I’m happy.

“Everybody is in a different place,” Berens said. “I’m just excited to be where I am.”

In other championship finals Friday night:

Allison Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore won the 200-meter freestyle in a meet record 1:57.38 ahead of Dana Vollmer in 1:58.62.

Rebecca Soni, 25, of Trojan Swim Club won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.85. Jessica Hardy, 25, was second in 1:07.52.

Eric Shanteau, 28, of Trojan Swim Club won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.46. Mark Gangloff, 29, was second in 1:01.41.

Jennifer Connolly, 22, of Tennessee Aquatics won the 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 27.99. Rachel Bootsma, 18, was second in 28:00, also a meet record.

Eugene Godsoe, 24, of SwimMAC won the 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 25.24. Six of the eight finalists broke the old meet record of 26.55.

Vollmer came back to win the 100-meter butterfly in a meet record 57.21. Natalie Coughlin, 29, was second in 58.82. Claire Donahue, 23, of Western Kentucky, has been training with SOFLO in Pembroke Pines was third in 58.84.

Davis Tarwater, 28, of SwimMAC won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.87 ahead of Tyler McGill, 24, in 52.98. Sixteen-year-old Joseph Schooling of Bolles was seventh in 53.93.

Caitlin Leverenz, 21, of California, won the 400-meter individual medley in a meet record 4:38.35 ahead of Katie Hoff, 22, in 4:40.82.

Peter Vanderkaay, 28, won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:16.22. Oussama Mellouli, 28, was second in 4:18.81. Florida Gold Coast swimmer Bradley Ally was fifth in 4:24.06.

Hardy won the 50-meter breaststroke in a meet record 30.82 ahead of Soni in 30.86. The top five finishers broke the meet record o 32.64.

Barry Murphy, 26, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 27.81 ahead of Gangloff in 27.89.

Among local results, SOFLO’s Nick Schwab, 21 of Indiana finished the 200-meter freestyle in 2:02.30 and 400 IM in 4:52.54.

The four-day meet continues on Saturday with prelims and finals. It is being webcast live on usaswimming.org and universalsports.com.

Former Florida Gold Coast Swimmer Olympics-Bound

Laura Reback Bennett, a Cardinal Newman and SMU alum, and former North Palm Beach Swim Team member, qualified for her second Olympic team in the sport of triathlon Friday at the ITU San Diego Triathlon. Reback clinched third, her first ITU Series podium finishing in 2 hours and 11 minutes for the Olympic-distance course. Bennett battled 2008 Olympic teammate Sarah Haskins for the final sport and clinched it on the final lap of the run.

“It’s tough when you have to go up against a good friend,” said the 37-year-old Bennett. “I put a lot of pressure on this day. Last year in London I just had a terrible day for some reason, I’m still not sure what happened. You know, in the end I think it was a blessing in disguise because there was things that I changed in my training that I wouldn’t have changed if I had made the team. I think it made me a better athlete. It’s hard to have the courage to change when things are going well. So I’m really well.” Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins won in 1:58.21 and may have locked up a spot on her Olympic team. On Saturday, former Florida Atlantic University runner and Rockway Club swimmer Manny Huerta of Miami, will try and qualify for his first Olympic team.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 152: Sutton, LaTourette Win At Charlotte UltraSwim

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 152: Sutton, LaTourette Win At Charlotte UltraSwim


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 10, 2012

On the opening night of the USA Swimming Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix, distance events took center stage at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in Charlotte, N.C.

Chloe Sutton of Mission Viejo, Calif., a 2008 Olympian in open water, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:23.96. Ashley Twichell was second in 16:25.25 and Andreina Pinto of Gator Swim Club was third in 16:38.64.

Stanford senior Chad LaTourette, also of Mission Viejo, won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:58.91. Connor Jaeger of Club Wolverine was second in 8:00.81 and Sean Ryan was third in 8:07.43.

Michael Phelps told reporters on Thursday that he planned to swim only the 200-meter freestyle on Friday and 200-meter butterfly on Saturday in Charlotte before leaving for a pre-Olympic media summit in Dallas on Sunday. Phelps will swim against Ryan Lochte on Friday.

In other key matchups, Rebecca Soni and Jessica Hardy will race in the 100-meter breaststroke and Dana Vollmer will swim against Natalie Coughlin in the 100-meter butterfly.

The four-day meet continues today with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The meet will be webcast live on usaswimming.org.

SOFLO’s Hunter, Oliver Swim Career-Best Times

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Amber Hunter and Tiffany Oliver turned in career-best times Thursday night on the opening day of the Florida State Spring Invite at Morcom Aquatic Center in Tallahassee.

Hunter, 16, swam the 200-meter freestyle in 2:16.5, bettering her previous best of 2:17.30 and 100-meter butterfly in 1:07.9 bettering her previous best of 1:08.31.

Oliver swam the 200-meter freestyle in a best time of 2:04.

Two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson came close to her personal best in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.91, just off her best time of 1:08.89 and 1:02.5 in the 100-meter butterfly, off her best time of 1:02.40.

SOFLO’s Cooper Academic All-American

Florida State sophomore Melissa Cooper was among 12 Seminoles named to the All-ACC Academic Team. Swimmers had to have a GPA of 3.0 while maintaining a 3.0 cumulative average during their academic careers. After transferring from Texas A&M, Cooper enjoyed a successful season in her first year with the Seminoles.

Dennis Pursley Named Alabama Coach

Former Alabama swimmer Dennis Pursley, currently head of British Swimming, will return to his alma mater after the 2012 London Olympic Games to coach the program. Pursley was USA Swimming National Team Director for fourteen years. He has been credited with turning around Great Britain’s swim program headed into the Games.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

  http://www.swim4soflo.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 151: Phelps, Lochte, Coughlin In Final Stretch At Charlotte UltraSwim

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 151: Phelps, Lochte, Coughlin In Final Stretch At Charlotte UltraSwim


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 9, 2012

With less than seven weeks remaining until the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, the nation’s top swimmers are heading down the final stretch of their preparations.

Only the top two swimmers in each individual event at the June 25-July 2 trials at Qwest Center will stamp their ticket to the Summer Olympics in London.

And that makes every meet, starting with this week’s Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix, so very important.

Only two Grand Prix events remain, the other is in Santa Clara, Calif., May 31-June 3.

Swimmers are now focused on fine tuning, honing strokes, starts and walls, and above all looking for confidence-building going into the Trials, the final stepping stone to the world’s biggest stage for swimming.

Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin head the field for the Charlotte UltraSwim in North Carolina that begins on Thursday.

The sixth stop on the Grand Prix Series will be held at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Most of the nation’s top swimmers and Olympic favorites including Rebecca Soni, Katie Hoff, Brendan Hansen, Allison Schmitt, Jessica Hardy and Ricky Berens are in the field.

Timed finals are on Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. Prelims and finals are Friday through Sunday with finals at 6 p.m. The meet will be webcast at usaswimming.org. Universal Sports will broadcast the event live, 6-8:30 p.m. on Saturday and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday.

FINA Diving, ISHOF Inductions This Weekend

South Florida will have an Olympic-feel to it this weekend with the USA Diving Grand Prix at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. Most of the world’s top divers including the U.S. begin competing on Thursday. The meet will serve as a tune-up for the June 17-24 U.S. Olympic trials in Seattle. Six members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team will battle the best from China, Australia, Mexico and Canada. Former Plantation diver Kassidy Cook, who turned 17 on Wednesday, will compete in the individual and synchro 3-meter events…

Brazilian four-time Olympian Gustavo Borges heads an impressive lineup for the 48th annual induction ceremony for the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale Saturday night. Joining Borges are Domenico Fioravanti, Jozsef Szabo, Tian Liang, Jill Sudduth, Jesus Miguel Rollan Prada, Chad Hundeby, Laszlo Kiss, Frank Kurtz, Eldon Godfrey and Dr. Julio Maglione, current FINA president. For tickets call 954-462-6536.

Brady Bunch Does Torres, Lochte In

Olympians Dara Torres of the Coral Springs Swim Club and Ryan Lochte of Daytona Beach teamed up on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” this past week. When the topic was “The Brady Bunch,” Torres and Lochte decided to rely on the audience for the right answer. The swimmers were eliminated on the fifth question after being asked, “If the opening credits of “The Brady Bunch” were a tic-tac-toe board, which of the groupings would make a winning combination. The correct answer was Jan, Alice and Peter. Torres and Lochte had hoped to win $1 million for the U.S. Olympic Committee but left instead with $10,000. “We didn’t get that far but at the end of it we got $10,000 for charity,” Lochte said. “I was hoping Dara would answer that because she’s way older than me.” Gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Jonathan Horton won $25,000 for the USOC….Also earlier this week, Lochte also appeared with his mother Ileana on NBC’s Today Show with Matt Lauer and other Olympic hopefuls and their moms. Lochte’s mom was his first swim coach. The appearance was part of Procter and Gamble’s series about the Mom Behind the Olympic athlete.

Miscellaneous

USA Swimming national team coach Frank Busch said that all ten lanes will be used during prelims of the U.S. Olympic trials. He also said that fly-over starts would be used during prelims as well….Gary Hall Jr. was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

Michael Phelps Wins Gold On Final Day Of Charlotte UltraSwim

Michael Phelps Wins Gold On Final Day Of Charlotte UltraSwim


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 15, 2011

In a much-anticipated men’s 200-meter backstroke race, Olympians Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte gave fans a sneak preview of what’s to come at worlds, trials and Olympics.

While Phelps and Lochte are still in the midst of heavy training leading up to this summer’s world championships in Shanghai and have no expectations of winning races or swimming career-bests right now, it was still fun for swimming fans to watch two of the all-time greatest swimmers duke it out on the final night of the 27th annual Charlotte UltraSwim Sunday at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Phelps, fastest morning qualifier was in Lane 4 and Lochte in Lane 7.

At the first 50 meters, Lochte was second and Phelps fourth. Lochte moved into the lead at the 100 in 56.7 followed by Phelps in 57.9. On the last turn, Phelps overtook the lead in 1:27.4 ahead of Lochte in 1:27.5 and held on to win his first gold medal of the meet in 1:57.20, fifth fastest time in the world this year.

Lochte, who looked to be cramping up in the final few meters, was second in 1:58.82.

Both Phelps and Lochte were looking to get in some racing, keying on consistent splits during the Grand Prix Series meet. He also wants to see how his body reacts to event schedules. “My body doesn’t recover like it used to,” Phelps said.

After slacking off in training the past two years, Phelps has re-dedicated himself.

“I think you will see a more focused Michael,” Lochte said. “You will definitely see a new swimmer this summer.”

Host SwimMAC Carolina swept the men’s and women’s team titles.

SwimMAC Carolina won the women’s team title with 465 points followed by Swim Ontario with 342. Metro Aquatics was 22nd with 79 points edging Davie Nadadores with 75.

SwimMAC Carolina won the men’s crown with 535 points, Swim Ontario was second with 404. Metro Aquatics was 21st with 97 points and Davie was 25th with 75.

The top scorers in the meet received prize money from sponsor Wendy’s with Rebecca Soni winning the top prize of $20,000. Missy Franklin was second but had to forego the $10,000 because of NCAA eligibility. The money will be donated to water safety efforts. Eric Shanteau was third and won $5000.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Tyler Sell, 18, finished 13th in the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:09.45 bettering his seed time of 16:12.97.  SOFLO teammate Tiffany Oliver, 18, finished 28th in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.35, close to her seed time of 58.07.

Other SOFLO results:

Brittney Phelan, 18, Indiana University, 118th 200-meter individual medley, 2:38.65.

Kyle Bandy, 20, Unattached, West Virginia, 129th 100-meter freestyle, 1:01.61.

In other championship finals:

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Chloe Sutton, 19, of Mission Viejo broke open a close race with 100 meters to go to win by a body length in 8:31.20. Lauren Driscoll, 17, of Fort Lauderdale Aquatics was 12th in 8:58.43.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Katinka Hosszu, 22, of Trojan Swim Club led from wire-to-wire to win in a meet record 2:12.29. Her split after the butterfly was 28.44 and she maintained her lead through the backstroke and breaststroke and finished with a big kick on freestyle.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: Teenager Missy Franklin, 16, of Colorado Stars took the lead after 150 meters to win in a meet record 2:08.36. The previous record was 2:11.07. She finished with four medals and extended her Grand Prix Series lead.

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Stroke for stroke at the flags, two-time Olympic veteran Natalie Coughlin, swimming in Lane 2, pulled ahead to win in 54.19 followed by Dana Vollmer in 54.30. Coughlin went out in 25.88. American record holder Amanda Weir was fifth in 54.90. Coughlin also won $1,000 in the Wendy’s Mystery Event.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Ryan Feeley, 19, of Badger Swim Club won in 15:27.04 followed by Sean Ryan, 18, of Scenic City in 15:32.87. Davie’s Ricardo Monasterio, 32, was sixth in 15:45.93.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Eric Shanteau held off Austria’s Markus Rogan and China’s Wu Peng to win in 1:59.82, his third gold medal of the meet. Peng led after the butterfly (25.90) and Rogan took the lead on the backstroke. Shanteau overtook the field in the breaststroke and held off the field in the freestyle.

Men’s 100-meter freestyle: Ricky Berens, 23, swimming unattached, came on strong in the final 50 meters to win in 49.46, his first in almost 10 years in his hometown meet.  Scott Robison was second in 49.90.

Other Florida Gold Coast results:

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: 55. Olivia Katcher, FLA 9:23.89.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: 66. Brittany Hammond, PC 2:25.87; 102. Maria Munoz, Davie 2:30.50; 112. Lindsey Swartz, PC 2:32.10.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: 14. Lauren Driscoll, FLA 2:18.02; 23. Chelsea Britt, FLA 2:22.25; 68. Carmen Cianci, Davie 2:26.75.

Women’s 400-meter medley relay: 10. Pine Crest (Brittany Hammond, Lindsey Swartz, Zeineb Khalafallah, Hannah Veale) 4:33.13.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: 13. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 2:10.57; 38. Daniel Roa, Davie 2:11.75; 42. Torres Montoya, Davie 2:12.08; 67. Jorge Murillo, Daie 2:14.73; 72. Diguan Pigot, Metro Aquatics 2:14.99; 98. Ryan Rosenbaum, FLA 2:17.60.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: 15. J. Molina Perez, Davie 2:05.06; 44. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 2:10.80; 76. Andrew Novakoff, Unattached 2:16.25.

Men’s 100-meter freestyle: 14. Danielle Tirabassi, Davie 51.49; 21. Aaron Dsouza, Davie 51.90; 24. Julio Galofre, Davie 53.16; 54. Ricardo Munoz 53.49; 61. Jesus Marin, Davie 53.78; 73. Julio Ballestas, Metro Aquatics 54.01; 82. Stephen Lichtner, Metro Aquatics 54.40; 94. Nicholas Coard, FLA 54.83; 120. Lance Rutkin, FLA 56.41.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: 49. Ryan Rosenbaum, FLA 17:04.30.

The final Grand Prix Series meet is June 16-19 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO Sisters Allison, Emily Kopas High Point Winners At IM Xtreme Challenge

SOFLO Sisters Allison, Emily Kopas High Point Winners At IM Xtreme Challenge


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 15, 2011

Sisters Allison and Emily Kopas of the South Florida Aquatic Club were individual high point winners Sunday at the IM Xtreme Challenge at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.

Emily Kopas, 14, totaled 97 points. Allison Kopas, 12, finished with 89 points. They were the only SOFLO swimmers to earn high point honors.

Tyla Martin, 13, of SOFLO was second among 13-year-old high point leaders with 74 points.

In final day action on Sunday, Allison Kopas took two firsts and one second. In the 12-year-old competition, she won the 100-meter backstroke in a career-best 1:18.53 (previous best was 1:18.55) and 100-meter butterfly in 1:16.07 and was second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:29.88, just being edged out by Andrea Lopez of Miami Beach Swimming in 1:29.77.

Emily Kopas won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:36.69 and was second in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:52.33.

Also in the girls 200-meter butterfly, Martin was second in 2:42.31 for 13-year-olds and Emma Lincoln was second in 2:38.53 for 15-year-olds.

Martin won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:36.87 for 13-year-olds.

In the boys’ competition, Luke Torres won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:16.34 for 16-year-olds. Mauricio Hidalgo was second in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:25.38 for 17-and-over swimmers and August Charni was second in the 200-meter individual medley for 14-year-olds.

The 400-meter freestyle event was cancelled because of inclement weather.

HIGH POINT WINNERS

GIRLS: 9-year-olds, 1. Andrea Santander, MBS 100; 10-year-olds, 1. Adriana Cortes Urbina, PST 89; 11-year-olds, 1. Abigail Fossas, PST 97; 12-year-olds, 1. Allison Kopas, SOFLO 89; 13-year-olds, 1. Namilla Sanchez, Atlantis 90, 2. Tyla Martin, SOFLO 74, 13. Jenna Deal, SOFLO 24; 14-year-olds, 1. Emily Kopas, SOFLO 97; 15-year-olds, 1. Geena Squartino, SF 73, 4. Emma Lincoln, SOFLO 46, 12. Kristina Brennan, SOFLO 17; 16-year-olds, 1. Ali Moser, PST 64, 6. Kristina Nork, SOFLO 34, 8. Emily Greenwood, SOFLO 20, 9. Anne Kuczynski, SOFLO 17; 17-and-over, 1. Hailey Hernandez, PST 68, 6. Lindsey McKnight, SOFLO 20, 7. Julie Stupp, SOFLO 17.

BOYS: 9-year-olds, 1. Ted Ho, South Palm YMCA 90; 10-year-olds, 1. Kyle DiMatteo, South Palm Beach YMCA 97; 11-year-olds, 1. Bryan Quintero, MBS 91; 12-year-olds, 1. Pablo Suarez, Atlantis 97; 13-year-olds, 1. Hank Contich, PST 89, 6. David Stoddard, SOFLO 36; 14-year-olds, 1. Juan Perez Costa, Rockway 90, 9. August Charni, SOFLO 33, 10. Bryce Pierce, SOFLO 27; 15-year-olds, 1. Luis Santiesteban, Rockway 76, 7. Marco Hosfeld, SOFLO 32, 13. Keegan Boisson-Yates, SOFLO 20; 16-year-olds, 1. Ryan Henderson, PST 63, 5. Luke Torres, SOFLO 40, 6. Brandon Goldman 37; 17-year-olds, 1. Connor Knight, NPB 68, 6. Loai Tashkandi, SOFLO 32, 7. Leo Andara, SOFLO 20, 8. Mauricio Hidalgo, 17, 9. Valerio Rasi 16.  

SUNDAY RESULTS, SESSION ONE

GIRLS

200-meter butterfly: 13-year-olds, 1. Namilla Sanchez, ASC 2:36.09; SOFLO: 2. Tyla Martin 2:42.31; 14-year-olds, 1. Kelsea Volland, FKSC 2:51.62; SOFLO: 2. Emily Kopas 2:52.33; 15-year-olds, 1. Geena Squartino, SF 2:34.62; SOFLO: 2. Emma Lincoln 2:38.53; 16-year-olds, 1. Ali Moser, PST 3:20.76; 17-and-over, 1. Hailey Hernandez, PST 2:54.96.

200-meter individual medley: 13-year-olds, 1. Tyla Martin, SOFLO 2:36.87; SOFLO: 7. Jenna Deal 2:57.16; 14-year-olds, 1. Emily Kopas, SOFLO 2:36.69; 15-year-olds, 1. Fernanda Tilkian, GRSC 3:04.75.

BOYS

200-meter butterfly: 13-year-olds, 1. Barak Goren, FFA 2:55.08; 14-year-olds, 1. Juan Perez Costa 2:27.84; 15-year-olds, 1. Luis Santiesteban, Rockway 2:31.35; 16-year-olds, 1. Luke Torres, SOFLO 2:16.34; 17-and-over, 1. Connor Knight, North Palm Beach 2:12.86; SOFLO: 2. Mauricio Hidalgo 2:25.38, 3. Loai Tashkandi 2:29.07.

200-meter individual medley: 13-year-olds, 1. Nico Medina, Unattached 2:33.83; SOFLO: 3. David Stoddard 2:49.04; 14-year-olds, 1. Juan Perez Costa, Rockway 2:27.56; SOFLO: 2. August Charni 2:37.13, 6. Bryce Pierce 2:43.17.

SUNDAY RESULTS, SESSION TWO

GIRLS

100-meter backstroke: 9-year-olds, 1. Andrea Santander, MBS 1:28.12; 10-year-olds, 1. Urbina Cortes, PST 1:25.79; 11-year-olds, 1. Abigail Fossas, PST 1:21.54; 12-year-olds, 1. Allison Kopas, SOFLO 1:18.53.

100-meter breaststroke: 9-year-olds, 1. Andrea Santander, MBS 1:39.87; 10-year-olds, 1. Thea McKenna, Unattached 1:38.28; 11-year-olds, 1. Ashley Duritsa, Sea Dragons 1:37.96; 12-year-olds, 1. Andrea Lopez, MBS 1:29.77; SOFLO: 2. Allison Kopas 1:29.88.

100-meter butterfly: 9-year-olds, 1. Andrea Santander, MBS 1:30.52; 10-year-olds, 1. Emily Cordovi, BMHG 1:22.54; 11-year-olds, 1. Abigail Fossas, PST 1:20.72; 12-year-olds, 1. Allison Kopas, SOFLO 1:16.07.

BOYS

100-meter backstroke: 9-year-olds, 1. Ted Ho, Sea Dragons 1:30.42; 10-year-olds, 1. Kyle DiMatteo, Sea Dragons 1:23.37; 11-year-olds, 1. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 1:12.15; 12-year-olds, 1. Danny Tucci, PST 1:18.70.

100-meter breaststroke: 9-year-olds, 1. Ted Ho, Sea Dragons 1:41.33; 10-year-olds, 1. Nicholas Grande, BMHG 1:37.07; 11-year-olds, 1. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 1:23.82; 12-year-olds, 1. Pablo Suarez, ASC 1:29.54.

100-meter butterfly: 9-year-olds, 1. Gabriel Segui, BMHG 1:27.62; 10-year-olds, 1. Kyle Dimatteo, Sea Dragons 1:18.82; 11-year-olds, 1. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 1:12.90; 12-year-olds, 1. Pablo Suarez, ASC 1:20.85.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com