SOFLO’s Mary Smutny Wins First Conference Title As Texas Women Take Eighth Straight Big 12 Title

By Sharon Robb

MORGANTOWN, W. Va., March 1, 2020—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Mary Smutny won her first Big 12 Conference title.

The University of Texas freshman won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16:52.73, three seconds faster than the second-place mile finisher, Saturday at West Virginia University.

The No. 10 nationally-ranked Longhorns women’s swimming team won its eighth straight Big 12 Conference title. The women won with 1,012 points. Kansas was a distant second with 831 points.

University of Texas men’s swimming and diving team won its 21st straight conference title. The men won with 1,127 points.

Former Fort Lauderdale diver Jordan Windle of Texas won the Big 12 title, his third straight platform win with 520.40 points. He also won the 3-meter springboard title.

Sarasota’s Austin Katz won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:39.17.

Texas finished with 18 event wins during the meet.

Texas coach Carol Capitani was named Big 12 Coach of the Meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Former St. Andrew’s Swimmer Beats Cancer, To Resume Competing For Florida State, Earn Degree

By Sharon Robb

BOCA RATON, January 6, 2019—-McKenna Keith and her family had plenty to celebrate over the holidays.

The Florida State senior swimmer and St. Andrew’s School All-American alum was given a clean bill of health after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in July.

After undergoing chemotherapy at Lynn Cancer Institute near her home in Boca Raton, Keith is scheduled to have the port in her neck removed in less than a week and is back at FSU where she plans to finish her collegiate swimming career and graduate with her senior class.

“I can already say it’s the best Christmas ever because nothing can top my gift of life this year,” Keith said.

“The results won’t matter to me, I will be happy enough to just be back in that pool again with my teammates.”

Keith was first diagnosed in Germany where she was staying with her boyfriend Fynn Minuth and his family while training with his club team. When she found “a strange lump” on her neck she went to a doctor who told her to get an MRI.

“It was never even a thought in my mind that this was something serious,” Keith said. “The MRI pictures were up on the screen…something I didn’t need a translation for. All I could see was a huge lump on my neck about the size of an apple. When the doctor walked in I could really tell something was wrong. Through a translation, and the help of google, I found out I had cancer. The doctor said she didn’t know what the diagnosis was called in English so we translated it and found out it was lymphoma. I typed it into google and all I had to read was ‘Lymphoma is a type of cancer…’ and my stomach dropped.”

Her boyfriend’s family provided her emotional support but it was the doctor who gave her hope.

“I don’t remember much from that day but I do remember the most comforting and encouraging words from that doctor: ‘You are an athlete who knows how to fight. You have faced challenges in the pool your whole life. Now, you have a new challenge to face and you will fight the same way.’ Those words have stuck with me this entire process and I can’t wait to tell that doctor I just won the fight.”

The eight-hour flight home was “the longest of my life,” Keith said. The next three weeks were filled with endless doctor appointments, three surgeries and preparation tests for chemo.

“From the first chemo to the last I tried to make myself feel as normal as possible,” Keith said. “It was hard seeing all my friends at school and feeling like I was missing out on my senior season but that only gave me motivation to get through treatment and be able to swim in the senior meet in January.”

While undergoing treatment, Keith took two online classes because she wanted to graduate on time. She finished with a 4.0 GPA for the semester.

“The support from my family, friends, teachers, and coaches has kept me afloat and I can truly say I wouldn’t have made it through this journey without them by my side every step of the way,” she said. “From my roommates setting up a GoFundMe to surprise visits from friends throughout treatment, the support I’ve received is unbelievable. My faith in Christ has also kept me assured in His plan for me and has given me a will to fight. Having that crutch to lean on gave me hope when I felt there was nothing left in my tank.

“Overall, this journey has given me a new perspective on life and how precious every moment is. I like to think of this journey as a blessing in disguise because I have never been more grateful for my life and everyone in it than I am today. I now know exactly what I want to do after I graduate.”

Keith plans to attend an accelerated nursing program “so I can help others the way I was gracefully helped by my nurses,” she said.

When Keith got her final pet scan results, she waited until her dad got home from work to share the good news.

“I walked into the kitchen and she said, ‘Dad, guess what? The cancer is gone.

“I just lost it,” Michael Keith said. “I was crying like a baby, hugging her and praising God. It was incredibly overwhelming.”

Keith lettered in swimming and water polo for four years at St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton. She was a three-time All-American in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays and 400-yard medley relay.

She transferred to FSU last season after starting her collegiate career at South Carolina where she swam her freshman and sophomore seasons, competed in four events and had six Top 10 finishes during the regular season. As a freshman she was the team’s top sprinter. She was named to the 2017 Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll.

After her FSU teammates learned of her diagnosis, they set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for her rent payments. She has a lease at her school apartment and was responsible for rent in addition to medical expenses. The page was shut down after raising more than enough money in three days.

Florida State head swim coach Neal Studd said Keith contacted him over the summer.

“She gave me a call and we talked about our swim camps where she was doing a great job,” Studd said. “She was the big sister at the camp. We talked for a few minutes and then she dropped the bomb on me. I couldn’t believe we had this whole conversation about other stuff before she told me. She never made it out to be this big dramatic thing.

“It’s one of those things you hope never happens to one of your kids,” Studd said. “Anyone who knows her knows how special and wonderful she is.”

Studd never filled her spot on the roster. She came to the Seminoles “Think Pink Weekend” at Morcom Aquatics Center in late October and talked to the team. Studd said she inspired them and played a role in their 161-139 victory over Arizona State to remain undefeated.

“It would be ridiculous not to give someone a chance, to give them another shot,” Studd said. “I know she has been doing some light work and swimming already. I want this to be fun for her. I want her to enjoy the process and see where it goes. When she gets back I am not putting any stress on her, she doesn’t need any more stress in the world.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

FSU Swimmer, Former St. Andrew’s Swimmer, Water Polo Standout McKenna Keith Diagnosed With Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

By Sharon Robb

TALLAHASSEE, September 6, 2018—McKenna Keith, a St. Andrew’s School All-American swimmer and now a Florida State senior, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The disease is a cancer of the lymphatic system. She is undergoing chemotherapy through December and hopes to return after her treatment is complete.

Keith, whose family lives in Boca Raton, lettered in swimming and water polo for four years at St. Andrew’s in Boca Raton. She was a three-time All-American in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays and 400-yard medley relay.

Keith transferred to FSU last season after starting her collegiate career at South Carolina where she swam her freshman and sophomore seasons, competed in four events and had six Top 10 finishes during the regular season. As a freshman she was the team’s top sprinter. She was named to the 2017 Winter SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Her FSU teammates have set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for her rent payments. Keith has a lease at her school apartment and is responsible for rent in addition to medical expenses.

The page reads “on top of all of the medical costs she is already facing, we do not want rent and utilities to be an extra burden for her family.

“We want McKenna to be able to come back and be able to live in her room in our apartment without any worry about violating or cancelling the lease. The Seminole family is behind her every step of the way as we anticipate her healthy return next semester.”

As of Thursday, $6,175 has been raised.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Sjostrum, Hosszu Steal Spotlight On Day One Of FINA World Cup In Hong Kong; Carter, Tretyakov, Ciesla Win For USC

By Sharon Robb

September 30, 2017—Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden and Katinka Hosszu took center stage, each winning three events on opening day of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series Saturday in Hong Kong.

Sjostrum won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:51.77, more than a second ahead of Femke Heemskerk at Victoria Park Swimming Pool.

Sjostrum also won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.32 and 50-meter freestyle in 23.42, virtually unchallenged in those events.

Hosszu won the 50-meter backstroke in 26.24, 200-meter individual medley in 2:05.29 and 200-meter backstroke in 2:03.14, a 2.76-second margin of victory.

Sjostrum leads the series point standings with 90 points ahead of Hosszu. In the men’s standings, Chad Le Clos leads Vladimir Morozov and Kirill Prigoda.

The tour’s second cluster has more entries (six) per event because of the cancellation of the Dubai stop trimming the meets from three to two.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO won the 100-meter breaststroke against a less than stellar field in 1:04.09, off her best time of 1:02.36. She was also third in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:12.62. The field featured several club swimmers from Japan.

Other winners were:

Vladimir Morozov won the 100-meter freestyle in 45.91 ahead of Le Clos in 46.10. Morozov won the 100-meter individual medley in 51.64.

American Tom Shields won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:49.62. Le Clos came back to win the 50-meter butterfly in 22.52 ahead of Shields.

Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:04.02.

Cameron van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 25.80.

Germany’s Christian Diener won the 100-meter backstroke in 51.44.

Italy’s Gabrielle Detti won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:43.11.

China’s Li Bingjie won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:27.29.

Ayrton Sweeney of South Africa won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:07.76.

The Netherlands won the mixed 200-meter medley relay in 1:40.75 with Ranomi Kromowidjojo splitting 25.63 on the butterfly leg.

The second day of the meet continues on Sunday.


Senior Dylan Carter and freshman Nikita Tretyakov led University of Southern California men’s team to its second road win within 24 hours, 153-141, over Cal Poly on Saturday.

Carter, an American Heritage Plantation alum and Trinidad and Tobago national team member, won the 50-yard butterfly in 20.36. Carter won the 100-yard butterfly in 47.10, a NCAA B cut. Carter was also a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay.

Tretyakov was third in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:51.26.

In USC’s season-opening win over UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Carter was a member of the winning 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays. Carter also won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:38.66 and was second in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.14.

Tretyakov, who swims with Swim Fort Lauderdale in the Florida Gold Coast, was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 49.55.

USC’s first home meet is Oct. 6. against Cal State Bakersfield…

Another top Florida Gold Coast swimmer and Pine Crest alum, Marta Ciesla wasted little time establishing herself her freshman year of college swimming for USC.

USC women’s team won its season-opener, 136-106, at San Diego. Ciesla won two events. Ciesla won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.86 and 100-yard freestyle in 51.92 in her Trojan debut.

Florida International University women’s team, with senior Maria Lopez, a SOFLO alum, knocked off crosstown rival University of Miami, 164.5-115.5 in FIU’s season-opener at home. FIU did not post results online at CollegeSwimming, Meet Mobile or team website after the meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SWIMMING ROUNDUP: American Heritage Finishes In Top 10; Florida Gulf Coast Places Third At All-Florida Invite

By Sharon Robb

September 26, 2016—American Heritage Plantation got in some good racing against the state’s best Saturday at the 53rd annual Woodson Invitational at Pine Crest.

The defending state champion boys’ team finished in the Top 10, placing tenth with 50 points. The girls finished 12th with 43 points.

The boys and girls fields featured defending 1A state champion Jacksonville Bolles, Pine Crest, St. Andrew’s, Trinity Prep, University School, Belen Jesuit, Boca Raton, Ransom Everglades and Bishop Verot among others.

Cathy Cooper was the Patriots’ highest finisher, placing second to Marta Ciesla in the 100-yard freestyle in 51.41 and third in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.88. Cooper was also a member of the Patriots’ eighth place 200-yard freestyle relay.

SOFLO’s Annita Huang was a member of the 200-yard medley relay that placed 12th.

Sebastian Vargas was fourth in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.28 for the boys.

SOFLO’s Kevin Porto was eighth in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:57.44.

The undefeated Pine Crest girls team (11-0) turned in back-to-back days of jaw-dropping swims.

On Friday, Pine Crest knocked off former mythical national champion and defending state 1A champion Jacksonville Bolles breaking a 20-year dual meet losing streak.

Bolles has won 23 girls state team titles including the last 19. Last year Pine Crest was fourth in the 1A state meet.

The girls team won by 11 points, 160-149. The Panthers won 10 out of all 12 events including all three relay events. Alexandra Meszaros and Gulliver Prep transfer Andrea Santander were double winners. They also took the top four spots in the 1-meter springboard diving event.

The girls also captured the 53rd annual Woodson Invitational that featured Bolles, St. Andrew’s, Trinity Prep and Bishop Verot. Pine Crest won with 283 and Bolles was third with 197.

The Panthers have won their share of state titles (27) but last won in 1990, having to settle for 11 runner-up finishes to Bolles.

In the boys’ competition, Bolles defeated Pine Crest, 193-112, in the dual meet winning seven of the 12 events. Bolles also won the Woodson boys title with 217 points. Pine Crest was third.

Three-time high school state champion Marta Ciesla was voted the Ann Marshall Award for the most outstanding girl swimmer of the meet.

It was the second consecutive year she won the award. Ciesla swept the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and was a member of the winning 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays.

North Broward Prep transfer Nico Ferrara of Pine Crest was voted the Andy Coan Award for most outstanding boy swimmer. Both Marshall and Coan, former highly-decorated Pine Crest swimmers, were on hand to present the swimmers the awards.

Ferrara won the 50-yard freestyle, was second in the 100-yard freestyle and member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay.

University School’s Patrick Groters won the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley in 1:51.52, knocking off Bolles’ Santi Corredor in 1:52.66.

Kyla Valls of Ransom-Everglades was a double winner in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:56.65 and 200-yard freestyle in 1:49.46.


GIRLS: 1. Pine Crest 283, 2. St. Andrew’s 219, 3. Jacksonville Bolles 197, 4. Trinity Prep 129, 5. Bishop Verot 101, 6. University School 73, 7. Calvary Christian 69, 8. Westminster Academy 68, 9. Berkeley Prep 67, 10. Boca Raton 56.


200-yard medley relay: 1. Pine Crest 1:47.70 (Annabella Lyn, Hannah Virgin, Andrea Santander, Marta Ciesla), 2. Trinity Prep 1:48.94, 3. St. Andrew’s 1:50.72, 12. American Heritage 2:05.61 (Annita Huang, Thea Mckenna, Molly Weidner, Cathy Cooper).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Kyla Valls, RE 1:49.46, 2. Alexandra Meszaros, PC 1:52.62, 3. Rachel Contich, CALV 1:53.91.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Andrea Santander, PC 2:06.39, 2. Shayna Fetes, SAS 2:07.72, 3. Hannah Virgin, PC 2:08.81.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Marta Ciesla, PC 22.79, 2. Jessica Nava, WA 23.51, 3. Cathy Cooper, AH 23.88.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Maia Goldstein, US 460.10, 2. Daniela Castillo, SAGE 456.80, 3. Juliette Pozzuoli, PC 423.70.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Claire Maiocco, TP 54.50, 2. Alexandra Meszaros, PC 56.50, 3. Molly See, PC 58.21.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Marta Ciesla, PC 49.69, 2. Cathy Cooper, AH 51.41, 3. Andrea Santander, PC 52.35.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Kyla Valls, RE 4:56.65, 2. Rachel Contich, CALV 5:01.20, 3. Hannah Van Dress, BV 5:08.63.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Crest 1:38.79 (Marta Ciesla, Alexandra Meszaros, Hannah Virgin, Marissa Brannan), 2. St. Andrew’s 1:38.81, 3. Berkeley 1:42.97, 8. American Heritage 1:46.32 (Cathy Cooper, Olivia Mason, Jade Grabow, Kassidy Kadosh).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Jessica Nava, WA 55.65, 2. Lauren Hew, SAS 58.40, 3. Allison Kopas, US 58.48, 28. Annita Huang, AH 1:10.96.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Hannah Virgin, PC 1:05.80, 2. Shayna Fetes, SAS 1:06.21, 3. Victoria Miyamoto, BR 1:06.51.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Crest 3:34.02 (Andrea Santander, Marissa Brannan, Annabella Lyn, Alexandra Meszaros), 2. St. Andrew’s 3:34.72, 3. Trinity Prep 3:34.99, 10. American Heritage 4:05.22.

BOYS: 1. Bolles 217, 2. St. Andrew’s 159, 3. Pine Crest 156, 4. Berkeley Prep 153, 5. Trinity Prep 136, 6. Belen Jesuit 95, 7. Boca Raton 92, 8. University School 78, 9. Ransom Everglades 56, 10. American Heritage 50.


200-yard medley relay: 1. Bolles 1:36.99 (Matt Serra, Paul DeGrado, Ariel Spektor, John Pate), 2. St. Andrew’s 1:40.35, 3. Belen Jesuit 1:42.00 (Alejandro Carriazo, Juan Ramirez, Andres Solares, Daniel Simpson), 12. Sagemont 1:54.60 (Sam Quintero, Alan Corvaia, Juan Imposimato, Lucas Munoz), 15. American Heritage 1:57.28 (Carlos Rodriguez, Cristian Rossi, Cody Chin, Guy Royce).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Robert Cecil (TB) 1:41.23, 2. Daniel Jacobs, US 1:42.26, 3. Nathan Stovern, TB 1:42.56, 5. Sebastian Vargas, AH 1:46.23, 10. Kevin Porto, AH 1:49.79, 12. CJ Kopecki 1:52.12.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Patrick Groters, US 1:51.52, 2. Santi Corredo, JB 1:52.66, 3. Adan Diaz, WESP 1:55.98.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Nico Ferrara, PC 21.29, 2. Christian Soderberg, PC 22.04, 3. Jan Collazo-Torres, TP 22.14.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Kevin Mendez, PC 516.35, 2. Lyle Hayes-Macaluso, PC 440.15, 3. Javier Saumell, BJ 367.80.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Ariel Spektor, JB 50.03, 2. Matt Serra, JB 50.45, 3. Matthew Degtyar, TP 51.24, 4. Sebastian Vargas, AH 52.28.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Robert Cecil, TB 46.48, 2. Nico Ferrara, PC 46.83, 3. Nathan Stovern, TB 47.11.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Santi Corredor, JB 4:32.80, 2. Daniel Jacobs, US 4:36.34, 3. Nicholas Pacitti, AH 4:47.94, 8. Kevin Porto,AH 4:57.44, 11. CJ Kopecki, AH 5:01.00.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Crest 1:27.44 (Nico Ferrera, Elvis Kotivovski, Nicholas Vale, Christian Soderberg), 2. Trinity Prep 1:27.85, 3. St. Andrew’s 1:28.30, 12. American Heritage 1:42.33.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Patrick Groters, US 51.04, 2. Elvis Kotikovski, PC 51.57, 3. Matthew Degtyar, TP 52.75.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Izaak Bastian, SAS 7.53, 2. Adan Diaz, WESP 57.97, 3. Paul DeGrado, JB 1:00.82.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Bolles 3:10.20, 2. Berkeley 3:10.99, 3. Trinity Prep 3:12.33, 11. American Heritage 3:35.26.


Florida Gulf Coast University’s women’s team, including SOFLO’s Marcella and Melissa Marinheiro, finished third at the All-Florida Invitational at the NSU Aquatic Center this past weekend.

Even though the Eagles decided to scratch from Sunday’s final events, they totaled 692 points during the three-day meet. Florida won the women’s team title with 1,076 points and University of Miami was second with 744. The Gators won the men’s title with 1,099 followed by NSU with 894.

Sophomore Melissa Marinheiro was 14th in the 1650-yard freestyle in 17:57.59. She also went 5:09.33 in prelims and 5:05.27 in finals in the 500-yard freestyle and 2:14.06 in the 200-yard backstroke prelims and 1:54.99 in the 200-yard freestyle,. She was also a member of the third place 800-yard freestyle relay that finished in 7:38.78.

Older sister Marcella Marinheiro, a senior, went 2:17.53 in the 200-yard individual medley and 1:56.32 and 2:15.61 in the 200-yard backstroke and 57.24 in the 100-yard freestyle.

“The team did a great job this weekend,” said FGCU first-year coach Dave Rollins. “Our team spirit was off the charts. This early in the season, we have been focused on building our base and getting into shape. It was great to watch them compete.”

Florida Gulf Coast returns home Saturday for the annual Green-Blue Scrimmage at 10 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at for results and questions.

California Wins Team Title, Cordes Breaks Second American Record, Murphy Wins Second Title At NCAA Championships

California Wins Team Title, Cordes Breaks Second American Record, Murphy Wins Second Title At NCAA Championships

By Sharon Robb

March 29, 2014

The University of California Bears came to swim Saturday night at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

By the third event on the final night of competition, the Bears knew the title was theirs.

Headed into the championship finals at the University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center, only six points separated leader Texas and California but that all changed quickly after the first two events.

After a perfect dual-meet season and second consecutive conference title, California won its third team title in four years and fifth overall in the program’s history with 468.5 points.

Texas was second with 417.5 followed by Florida with 387 and defending champion Michigan fourth with 310. Florida State under first year coach Frankie Bradley finished 14th with 105 and University of Miami was 25th with 26 points, all in diving.

Cal had seven swimmers in the “A” finals and two in consolations. Texas had five in the “A” finals and five in consolations.

California freshman Ryan Murphy, 18, swept the backstroke events winning his second NCAA title in the 200-yard backstroke in an NCAA record 1:37.35, all but clinching the national title.

The Bolles alum and race favorite led from the start and was ahead of American record pace by half a second until the final five yards. Murphy also re-broke his 17-18 national age group record of 1:38.15.

Cal teammate Jacob Pedley was fourth in 1:39.59. Murphy and Pedley earned 35 points for the Bears. After the backstroke and mile, the Bears led Texas, 364.54-349.5.

“It’s all about the team title,” Murphy said. “We did everything we could do to contribute to the team. It was a great start to the evening. I hope we can keep rolling. It would be awesome if we did make a difference for the team title in this race.”

Arizona’s Kevin Cordes stole a little of California’s thunder with his second American record of the meet.

Cordes won the 200-yard breaststroke in an American, NCAA and U.S. Open record 1:48.66, breaking the record by 2/100ths of a second.

It was Cordes 11th American short course record in the last two years.

After the first 50, Cordes was a second ahead of American record pace, taking five strokes per 25. With clean walls and perfect streamline, he built a three-body length lead over some of the best breaststrokers in the world.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Cordes said. “It hasn’t really set in yet. I just go out there every day and try to improve. It’s just about different strategies, learning to swim and execute.”

After the breaststroke, Cal had a 412.5-370.5 lead.

In other championship races:

1,650-yard freestyle: Defending champion Connor Jaeger of Michigan led from wire-to-wire to win in a pool record 14:29.27. Cal senior Jeremy Bagshaw, who swam in an earlier heat, finished second in 14:39 to score 17 points for the Bears in their title run. After the event, California led Texas by 11, 329.5-318.5. Florida sophomore Arthur Frayler was third in 14:43.08.

100-yard freestyle: Brazilian Joao De Lucca of Louisville fought off fellow Brazilian Marcelo Chierighini of Auburn to win in 41.70. He is the first swimmer to sweep the 100 and 200 freestyle titles since Gustavo Borges accomplished the feat in 1995. Florida State senior and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Paul Murray was 20th in 42.70. Chierighini had broken the pool record in prelims in 41.52. Cal’s lead was 385.5-365.5 over Texas.

200-yard butterfly: South African Dylan Bosch, a sophomore at Michigan, knocked off Florida’s Marcin Cieslak to win in an NCAA and U.S. Open record of 1:39.33. Cieslak was second in 1:40.19. Florida State junior Connor Knight, a Florida Gold Coast swimmer, won the “B” final in 1:42.25.

“I had a pretty good feeling I could get it,” Bosch said. “This is the fastest meet in the world. It is crazy. I always thought I had a chance to get the record. I wanted to do it for my teammates. We all train together so well. Records are there to be broken. Just to be in the books and written into history is a great feeling.”

10-meter platform diving: Defending champion Nick McCrory of Duke nailed his final dive to make history as the only diver ever to win four consecutive NCAA platform titles. The Olympic bronze medalist finished with 454.85 that included a 10 on his final dive. Rafael Quintero of Arizona was second with 452.40 points.

“I was up there doing the math in my head what scores I had to average, I knew it was a tall order,” said McCrory, who scratched from 3-meter with an injury. “I tried to do my best. It was better than I thought when I hit the water. For me this is huge. I couldn’t ask for a better way to go out at Duke.”

400-yard freestyle relay: With two freshmen duking it out on the anchor leg for Auburn and N.C. State, Auburn, led by freshman Kyle Darmody knocked off a stacked field to win the final event of the night in a meet record 2:48.33. Cal was second in 2:49.48 and N.C. State, with freshman Areas Schiellerup on anchor leg, was third in 2:49.50.

In all, 56 schools and 270 participants—235 swimmers and 35 divers—competed in the three-day meet.

For those who would like to again watch the NCAA Men and Women Swimming and Diving Championships, ESPNU is re-broadcasting the women’s meet on April 2 at 9 p.m., April 3 at 11 p.m. and April 11 at 10 p.m. The men’s meet will be re-broadcast on April 9 at 8 p.m., April 10 at two times, 1 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Three American Records Fall At NCAA Championships; Murphy Wins First NCAA Title As Freshman

Three American Records Fall At NCAA Championships; Murphy Wins First NCAA Title As Freshman

Three American Records Fall At NCAA Men’s Championships; Murphy Wins First NCAA Title As Freshman

By Sharon Robb

March 28, 2014

On an amazing night of fast swimming, three American records were shattered Friday night at the NCAA Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

Headed into the third and final night of competition at the University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center, Texas leads with 318.5 followed by California with 312.5, Florida with 279 and Michigan with 225. Florida State is tenth with 96.

Three American records, two individual and one relay, fell on Friday night.

In the 400-yard individual medley, defending champion and top-seed Chase Kalisz of Georgia pulled away from the field to win in an American, NCAA, U.S. Open and pool record of 3:34.50, taking nearly two seconds off the previous record.

After a solid first half, the 6-foot-4 Kalisz came on strong in the back half on the breaststroke and freestyle legs to post the fastest time in the event’s history.

“The whole season I was looking at that record,” Kalisz said. “I told my coach that’s what I wanted to get. We worked on my front half. I got it done today. I couldn’t be happier.”

Florida junior Dan Wallace was second in 3:38.17. Florida teammate Carlos Omana, a Florida Gold Coast swimmer for Metro Aquatics, was 36th in 3:49.69.

Two-time defending champion Kevin Cordes of Arizona blistered his own American, NCAA and U.S. Open record in the 100-yard breaststroke to win his third NCAA title in the event in 50.04, winning by nearly a second and a half. He went out in 23.58, his fastest first half ever.

Cordes has now broken the record seven times in the last two years.

Cordes first broke his own American, NCAA and U.S. Open record during morning prelims in 50.55. The junior’s splits were 23.95 and 26.60. His previous best was 50.70.

Cordes now has the four fastest times in the history of the event.

In the 200-yard medley relay, California, which barely made it into the final, held off Texas and Arizona in an exciting battle to win in an American and pool record 1:22.83, lowering its own 2013 record of 1:23.17.

Bolles alum and freshman Ryan Murphy gave the Bears an early lead on the opening leg. Other relay members were Chuck Katis, Tony Cox and Tyler Messerschmidt with a quick anchor leg to the wall.

Texas was second in 1:23.30. Florida State with Pavel Sankovich, Jared Pike and Florida Gold Coast swimmers Connor Knight and Paul Murray was fourth in 1:24.57 and earned All-America honors, edging fifth-place Florida in 1:24.82 with Christian-Paul Homer, Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Marcin Cieslak and Bradley deBorde. Arizona was disqualified for an early takeoff on its second exchange.

With a great back-half surge, Murphy won his first individual NCAA title as a freshman in the 100-yard backstroke.

The PAC-12 champion, top-seed and youngest in the field at 18, won in a best time 44.63.

Murphy also lowered his own national age group record he had set on Thursday’s leadoff medley relay leg.

Before Murphy’s race, California and Texas were tied in the team standings. After his swim, the Bears moved ahead of Texas, 286.5-270.5. Florida was third with 245 and Michigan fell out of contention with 195.

“Going into the last turn I was hurting pretty bad but all the practice paid off there,” Murphy said. “Obviously, the team title is our goal and to help contribute to that makes it all that much better.”

Defending backstroke champion and junior David Nolan of Stanford was fourth in 45.21.

Heading into Friday night’s finals, Texas had a one-point lead over California with Florida and Michigan close behind.

Defending NCAA diving champion Nick McCrory was forced to withdraw from the 3-meter springboard competition after failing his third dive. Minnesota Matt Barnard hit his right heel on the board and was taken to the hospital with a splint on his right leg.

University of Florida was dealt a blow on the second day, losing 17 points from its seeds including fifth-seeded Sebastien Rousseau unable to make the “A” final in the 400-yard individual medley. Rousseau came back to win the “B” final by a best time by half a second in 3:40.77.

The Gators are not without their loyal teammates who did not qualify for NCAAs including Florida Gold Coast swimmers Luke Torres and Ryan Rosenbaum, painted with orange and blue Gator colors and hard to miss in the stands.

“The coaches were really excited about us coming,” said Torres, who drove to Texas with several of his teammates.

Michigan lost valuable points when its fourth-seeded 200-yard medley relay dropped to ninth place and lost its projected 30 points.

There have been 16 disqualifications in the relays after two days. ESPN analyst Rowdy Gaines said he has never seen anything like it in his 30 years of coming to the NCAA meet.

In other championship races:

100-yard butterfly: Florida senior Marcin Cieslak attacked the final wall to knock off an impressive field to win his second NCAA title in a best time 44.87, seventh fastest time in history. He also won the 200 IM earlier in the meet.

“I just tried to go as hard and fast as I could,” Cieslak said. “There is not a lot of time to think in the 100 fly. Every race counts at this meet. I just tried to stay relaxed.”

Florida State senior Pavel Sankovich was second in 45.00, also a best time. Top seed Tim Phillips, looking for Ohio State’s first NCAA title since 1965, was third in 45.10. FSU teammate and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Connor Knight was 19th in 46.42.

200-yard freestyle: Defending champion Joao de Lucca of Louisville defended his title in 1:31.96. Top seed Michael Wynalda of Michigan was third in 1:32.58.

“I knew those guys were coming for me, but I was so in my zone, I just did my race,” said de Lucca, who works with assistant coach and three-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov, a former Florida Gold Coast swimmer.

Also in the 100-yard breaststroke, Florida State freshman and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Jason Coombs was 20th in 53.26.

3-meter springboard diving: Texas freshman Michael Hixon nailed his final dive for more than 90 points to win his second NCAA title in two days with 457.20 for six rounds and gave the Longhorns another 20 points and put them back in the lead with 290.5 points to the Cal Bears’ 286.5. Hixon finished with 40 points for the Longhorns.

Stanford’s defending champion Kris Ipsen was fourth with 394.90. University of Miami fifth-year senior Zach Nees finished fifth with 386 points.

“The best thing to do was stay in the dive and take it one dive at a time,” Hixon said. “Our goal is to win a national championship and I am just trying to do everything I can do to help that.”

800-yard freestyle relay: University of Southern California, with a strong leg from Trinidad and Tobago’s Dylan Carter, won in 6:13.09. Other relay members were Cristian Quintero, Reed Malone and Dimitri Colupaev. Defending champion Florida was second in 6:14.74. Michigan’s U.S. open record-holding relay was looking for its first title of 2014, was third in 6:16.37.

Saturday’s events are 1,650-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, 10-meter platform diving and 400-yard freestyle relay.

Prelims are 11 a.m. and finals 7 p.m. Both sessions will be live streamed at

Sharon Robb can be reached at