Meet Record Falls On Opening Day Of Charlotte Meet

Meet Record Falls On Opening Day Of Charlott


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.


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 Arena has withdrawn the approval codes of the Powerskin carbon-pro models and replace them with a new version that complies with FINA’s guidelines.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

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 18: Boudia Stuns Diving World, Wins Gold Medal By 1.08 Points To End U.S. Drought

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 18: Boudia Stuns Diving World, Wins Gold Medal By 1.08 Points To End U.S. Drought


August 11, 2012

In one of the most exciting finishes in the sport’s history, David Boudia pulled off a huge upset to win the gold medal Saturday on the final day of diving at the London Olympics.

Only 15/100ths of a point separated the top three divers going into the sixth and final round of men’s platform.

China’s Qiu Bo and Yue Lin, top qualifiers after prelims and semifinals, were overwhelming favorites to medal going into the finals followed closely by Great Britain’s 18-year-old poster boy Tom Daley and Boudia.

It was Boudia, competing in his second Olympics, who captivated the crowd of 17,000 at the Aquatic Centre with his consistent diving after barely qualifying for the semifinal round by finishing 18th, the last qualifying spot.

Boudia, 23, of Noblesville, Ind. is the first male diver since former University of Miami and Mission Bay diver Greg Louganis won a gold medal on platform at the 1988 Seoul Olympics; first male diver to win any gold medal since the late Mark Lenzi won on springboard at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and first U.S. diver to win a gold medal since Laura Wilkinson in 2000.

“That’s the greatest performance I’ve ever seen him have,” said Boudia’s coach, Adam Soldati.

Going into the final round, it was Daley leading with 460.20, and Boudia and Qiu tied with 460.05.

Boudia nailed his back 2 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists (3.6 degree of difficulty) for 102.60 points to overtake the lead and finish with 568.65 points. Qiu scored 100.80 on the same dive to finish with 566.85 and clinch the silver. Daley scored 90.75 on his reverse 3 ½ somersault (3.3 degree of difficulty), finished with 556.95 and bronze medal.

It was the first diving medal for Great Britain in 52 years and only the fourth aquatics medal for Britain at these Games.

Boudia looked in a state of shock as friends, family and coaches took turns hugging him on the pool deck. He finished second to Qiu at last year’s world championships in Shanghai.

“It’s very hard to believe,” Boudia said. “When I was 13 I was petrified with the height of the 10-meter platform. It took me almost six years to overcome that fear and here I am now, after winning the Olympic gold medal in this event. “My goal was to focus on one dive at a time.”

Entering his final dive, Boudia had no idea he was in contention for the gold medal. He wasn’t looking at the scoreboard, he said.

“If I had known the margin needed to win, my heart would have been pounding and the pressure would have been building,” Boudia said. “I was so calm.

“It’s very hard to believe,” Boudia said. “I’m in disbelief. I dreamed about this. It didn’t even feel like I was diving. It was so surreal.”

When Boudia climbed out of the pool, a Canadian diver told him, “You can smile now.”

“To be in the record books alongside Greg Louganis, the greatest diver in the entire world, Olympic legend, is amazing,” Boudia said. “The rest of the world is definitely catching up behind China.”

Said Louganis who told Boudia two years ago not to be afraid to leave the pack behind, “I have no words to explain what I just saw.”

Qiu, 19, visibly shaken, started crying against a wall. Chinese divers had won six of the seven gold medals awarded going into the final day.

“I have competed so many times but I have never had that much nervousness,” Qiu said. “It is OK. I am still young. I will be back.”

Daley and most of the British diving delegation were in the pool celebrating the 18-year-old’s medal success. It was probably one of the most wild bronze medal celebrations in any sport at the Games. Daley was clearly the favorite of the crowd that included soccer hunk David Beckham and his children clapping wildly.

“It’s simply an amazing experience, after all the difficult times I had in the last 18 months,” Daley said. “Despite all the ups and downs, the medal is here. The crowd certainly contributed to this outcome. I am over the moon with the bronze.”

Boudia had nothing but praise for Daley, whose father died of brain cancer at age 40 last year.

“Tom Daley dove absolutely amazing,” Boudia said. “In front of a home crowd, this kid had so much pressure on him, and he stepped up to the occasion, got a bronze medal and made his country so proud.”

Daley was actually awarded a mulligan in the opening round of the final when his coach filed a protest saying his diver was distracted by flashing cameras in the stands. A FINA judge allowed the protest and Daley was allowed to do his dive over. He raised his score from 75.60 points to 91.80 on his back 2 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists.

The U.S. finished second in medals in diving with four, signaling a resurgence in USA Diving that has been dormant for years. Boudia also won a bronze with Nick McCrory on platform synchro; Kris Ipsen and Troy Dumais took a bronze on 3-meter synchro and Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant won a silver in 3-meter synchro.

“It’s massive, it’s a massive step forward,” said Steve Foley, the high performance director for USA Diving. “I hope we can take it forward with a little momentum and hopefully build on it for Rio.”

McCrory, the other U.S. diver to final in his Olympic debut, finished ninth with 505.40 points.

Reigning Olympic gold medalist Matthew Mitcham of Australia failed to advance into the final after missing his last semifinal dive.

Olympic Notes

Michael Phelps is about to improve his stroke and it’s not in swimming. The 22-time Olympic medalist has been signed for the upcoming season of Golf Channel’s The Haney Project. The show, hosted by Hank Haney, former coach of Tiger Woods, will follow Phelps around over the course of the season as he attempts to conquer some of the world’s greatest golf courses. “As I enter this next chapter of my life, I think I will be able to shift my competitiveness to anything I put my mind to,” Phelps said. “And golf is one of the things I want to focus on. I want to play all the world’s great golf courses, but I’d like to play them well.” Past seasons have featured Charles Barkley, Ray Romano, Rush Limbaugh, Sugar Ray Leonard and Adam Levine. Production begins next month. Haney said it would likely be an eight-part series…Ironically, golf makes its debut at the Olympics at Rio 2016. Maybe Phelps will be back, only in a different sport…Now that Missy Franklin has been able to take a breath, the 17-year-old is considering her college and pro options in swimming. “We’ll definitely have to sit down and talk about it,” Franklin said. “I think that my experience here has done two very different things for my decision. I think it’s made my decision a lot more difficult because I’ve been able to see the benefits and everything and how people get these sponsorships; what it’s like for them and how much fun they are having and seeing those and kind of wanting that, wanting to be a part of it and having it be so hard to turn it down.” Franklin will be a senior at Regis Jesuit High School when she returns to Aurora, Colo.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 175: Boudia, McCrory, Krug, Loukas Earn Top Spots At U.S. Diving Trials

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 175: Boudia, McCrory, Krug, Loukas Earn Top Spots At U.S. Diving Trials


June 23, 2012

The United States has not won a diving medal at the Olympics in twelve years. That may be about to change.

David Boudia, 23, earned his second appearance at the Olympic Games on  men’s 10-meter platform and became an Olympic medal hopeful after an impressive performance.

In front of a record crowd of 2,297 at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash., Boudia, who led after prelims and semifinals, topped a field of 12 divers with a six-dive total of 1,642.40 points.

Nick McCrory, 20, who already qualified with Boudia for men’s platform synchro, qualified second with 1,582.55 to earn his first Olympic berth.

McCrory, fourth at trials four years ago, was also impressive scoring five tens on his backward 2 ½ somersaults tuck in the fifth round.

Boudia, a silver medalist at last year’s World Championships and Pan American Games gold medalist, was the favorite going into trials. In the final, he scored more than 100 points on two dives including a forward 4 ½ somersaults.

“It’s definitely a big confidence-booster when you go into a competition and you have success,” Boudia said.

“Everything is a learning and growing experience,” Boudia said. “I am soaking in the moment. I am extremely confident going into London. I learned from 2008. I am not really focused on results.

“We are both really excited. I am happy for Nick. I know there is more in the tank. We have three weeks before we leave. We have some cleaning up to do on a few dives. We know what we have to do.”

McCrory has been one of the most improved divers in the last two years. He took a year off from Duke to train for the Olympics.

“I felt really confident going into the event,” McCrory said. “I just told myself to breathe and felt a lot more relaxed. I wanted to do my best and have fun. It was fun diving with David today. I feel relieved but we have a lot more goals this summer. This is just part of the road. We’re excited to get back to training.”

2008 Olympic Thomas Finchum, who finished third with 1,463.20 points, announced his plans to retire from diving after Sunday’s 3-meter final at age 22.

“It’s disappointing to be left off the team but I’m happy with what I’ve done,” said a teary-eyed Finchum. “I don’t have any regrets. I didn’t win but I definitely showed a little bit of what I’ve done.”

“I remember my first ten meter competition when I was 11 years old,” Finchum said. “Crazy to think today was my very last. It’s been a crazy, awesome ride.”

In the women’s 3-meter springboard final, former Stanford diver Cassidy Krug of Coraopolis, Pa. and Christina Loukas of Riverwoods, Ill. finished first and second to punch their ticket to London.

Krug, 26, the leader after the first two rounds with a 39-point cushion, scored 1,094.85 points to finish first and qualify for her first Olympic team.

Krug, after finishing eighth at the 2004 and 2008 trials, opened with 79.50 points on her first dive, an inward 2 ½, and scored 75 points or higher on three of her other dives.

“I’ve been wanting to go to the Olympics since I was 3,” said Krug, whose parents are diving coaches. “I can’t believe I’m really going. If I can go dive the way I know I can dive, I’ll be happy. I was happy with my mental state this week, that I was able to focus on all fifteen dives.”

Loukas, 26, who missed one dive, was second with 1,107.85 to place second and qualify for her second Olympic appearance.

Former local diver Kassidy Cook of The Woodlands, after barely missing the synchro team, was fourth with 962.55. She said she knew it would be an uphill battle.

Said Kassidy Cook: “I guess this year just isn’t my year. It’s going to be tough this summer dealing with missing the Olympics by .42 but the future is bright.”

Miami Diving’s Bianca Alvarez of Ohio State was fifth with 949 points. University of Miami’s Lindsay Lester was eleventh with 841.35.

The trials conclude on Sunday with the finals in the men’s 3-meter springboard and women’s 10-meter platform where University of Miami alum Brittany Viola, the leader after two rounds, will go after her first Olympic berth.

NBC will broadcast the trials 3-6 p.m. The show will also feature Saturday’s women’s 3-meter final.


1.David Boudia, Purdue 1,642.40

2.Nick McCrory, DAD 1,582.55

3.Thomas Finchum, Unattached 1,463.20

4.David Bonuchi, MIZZ 1227.45

5.Logan Shinholser, H2OA 1,216.30

6.Steele Johnson, Unattached 1,178.00

7.Benjamin Grado, TCSN 1,170.80

8.Dashiell Enos, Unattached 1,154.55

9.Toby Stanley, Unattached 1147.65

10.Harrison Jones, Unattached 1,142.20

11.Christopher Law, AAAD 1,125.10

12.Zachary Nees, Unattached 1,081.80


1.Cassidy Krug, Stanford Diving 1,094.85

2.Christina Loukas, The Woodlands, 1,017.85

3.Kelci Bryant, Minnesota Diving 967.05

4.Kassidy Cook, The Woodlands 962.55

5.Bianca Alvarez, Ohio State 949.00

6.Summer Allman, Legacy Diving 900.90

7.Gracia Leydon-Mahoney, Duke Aquatics 876.50

8.Meili Caroenter, Wings Diving 852.00

9.Sarah Bacon, Unattached 851.70

10.Victoria Ishimatsu, Trojan Diving 848.60

11.Lindsay Lester, University of Miami 841.35

12.Samantha Pickens, Tucson Diving 827.00

Sharon Robb can be reached at


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 173: Bryant,Johnston,Boudia,McCrory First Divers To Make U.S. Olympic Team

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 173: Bryant,Johnston,Boudia,McCrory First Divers To Make U.S. Olympic Team


June 21, 2012

In a dramatic finish in the women’s synchro 3-meter springboard, the Olympic berth was decided by 42/100ths of a point.

2008 Olympian Kelci Bryant of Minnesota Diving Academy and Abby Johnston of Duke Aquatics clinched the first two spots on the U.S. Olympic diving team on their final dive and finished with 956.40 points for five rounds.

“This is a dream come true,” said a teary-eyed Johnston said. “I keep looking at the scoreboard to see if it’s true.”

Former local diver Kassidy Cook, 17, and Christina Loukas, both of The Woodlands Diving Academy, finished a close second with 955.98.

“Missing the Olympics by half a point is going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” Cook said. “But hey, at least the Heat are NBA champs. I guess some things just aren’t meant to be.”

Amanda Burke of Mason Dive Academy and Summer Allman of Legacy Diving finished third at 806.10.

University of Miami’s Carrie Dragland and Ohio State’s Bianca Alvarez of Miami, in fourth place for the first three rounds, faltered in the fourth round to finish fifth with 774.30.

In the fifth and final round, Cook and Loukas had the higher score of 78.30. Bryant and Johnston, leaders throughout the final, needed 77.10 to win and earned 77.40.

In the heart-stopping final, Bryant and Johnston never led by more than six points. Just two points separated them from Cook and Loukas in the final three rounds.

The four divers knew it would come down to the final round.

“I just said a prayer,” said Johnston, competing with Bryant at the trials for the first time. Bryant’s former 2008 Olympic partner was Florida State’s Ariel Rittenhouse.

“I had no idea what the scores were,” Johnston said. “We knew it was close. We just said we can do this, we know we can do this. I made up my mind that I wanted to be on that Olympic team. I would have done anything to be there. I had this settled feeling that we were going to do it.”

The pair looked at the scoreboard in disbelief when the scores were announced after the competition ended. They embraced and then Johnston went running into her coach’s arms.

“We knew we needed a big dive,” Bryant said. “I told myself this is it. Here we go. Then I told myself to stop thinking, we have done this a million times. Do it right and do it right now.

“This is crazy, what just happened here,” Bryant said. “We have been working for four years, all for an unknown. It’s so crazy to think that now it’s here and it’s happening. We are going to the Olympics.”

The U.S. women will be among eight teams in London. Great Britain earned an automatic spot as host country.

The girls made sure to show off their bright yellow and orange lucky duck Alfred to the national television audience and emphatically said Alfred will be joining them in London.

The men’s 10-meter synchro final was far less dramatic with 2008 Olympian David Boudia of Boiler Diving Academy and Nick McCrory of Duke Aquatics clinching the next two spots on the U.S. team.

Boudia and McCrory had more than a 100-point lead in the six-round competition and with the high degree of difficulty of dives on their list, the pair are among favorites to challenge China’s dominance and bring home a medal.

The pair, strong in both execution and synchronization, clinched mathematically before their sixth and final dive. They finished with 1,387.86, a 180.78-point cushion over runners-up Toby Stanley and Steele Johnson, both diving unattached, with 1,207.08.

Johnson also finished third with Dashiell Enos, diving unattached, with 1,170.12.

“This feels incredible,” McCrory said. “I worked for this my entire life. It was a dream when I was a kid and now I can’t believe it. It happened. I didn’t think I was going to get this emotional.”

Boudia said, “This moment is incredible, it’s awesome.”

One of the more fun teams to watch was former Fort Lauderdale diver Justin Windle, 13, and his partner Zachary Cooper, 14. The pair who train at the Indianapolis Training Center are already being talked about  for the 2016 Olympics.

The youngsters finished sixth among the eight-team field with 1,029.63

On Friday, the finals of the 3-meter men’s synchro will be held in addition to an exhibition women’s 10-meter synchro.

The men’s synchro finals will be televised live on NBCSN 11 p.m.-midnight.


1.Abby Johnston, DAD/Kelci Bryant, MDA, 956.40

2.Kassidy Cook, TWDA/Christina Loukas, TWDA 955.98

3.Amanda Burke, MDA/Summer Allman, LDA 806.10

4.Deidre Freeman, IA/Veronica Rydze, IA 794.82

5.Carrie Dragland, Miami/Bianca Alvarez, OSU 774.30

6.Gabriella Agostino, INDI/Logan Kline, H2OA 742.20

7.Eszter Pryor, Ohio/Rachel Rubadue, Ohio 740.88

8.Maren Taylor, THE/Meghan Houston, LHA 738.72


1.David Boudia/Nick McCrory, DAD 1,387.86

2. Toby Stanley/Steele Johnson, Unattached 1,207.08

3.Steel Johnson/Dashiell Enos, Unattached 1,170.12

4.Logan Shinholser/Ryan Hawkins, H2OA 1,074.00

5.Mark Murdock/Dashiell Enos, Unattached 1,039.02

6.Jordan Windle/Zachary Coooer, Unatatched 1,029.63

7.Christopher Law/Samuel Smith, AAAD 938.55

8.Nicholas Klein/Andrew Cramer, TDC 923.01

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 171: Boudia, Krug Lead U.S. Diving Trials; Phelps, Lochte Events Announced

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 171: Boudia, Krug Lead U.S. Diving Trials; Phelps, Lochte Events Announced


June 19, 2012

It will be three divers competing for two spots on men’s 10-meter platform Saturday at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

After late Tuesday night’s six-round men’s semifinal, David Boudia, Nick McCrory and Thomas Finchum separated themselves from the rest of the field during the nationally-televised broadcast.

Boudia, the favorite and silver medalist at last year’s World Championships, re-took the lead in the semifinals after trailing prelims, to lead with 1,083.75 points. McCrory has 1,043.95.

“I didn’t realize I was that far ahead of Nick, I don’t really focus on the scores when I’m diving,” Boudia said. “That was an amazing competition. Nick throwing down some good dives and Thomas battling back.”

Finchum is still in the mix but a long shot unless Boudia or McCrory  miss a dive.

All three divers executed the same dive in the final round, a back 2 ½ somersault with 2 ½ twists. Finchum had trouble with the fairly new dive to him scoring just 77 points. Boudia scored 9s and 9 1/2s. The lowest he scored on any dive was 89 points. McCrory finished with 102 points which included one 10.

In prelims, McCrory was more consistent than Boudia to take the lead with 512.80 points over Boudia’s 508.80. The 10-meter synchro partners held a commanding over the field going into Tuesday night’s second round.

Finchum, a 2008 Olympian, was third with 496.65. Finchum has had a tough year after should surgery in late 2010. Finchum knows he has ground to make up. In semis, Finchum scored six 10s on his reverse 3 ½ tuck to total 99 points.

“I hear it, but it doesn’t scare me,” Finchum said. “If anything it makes me want to do my dives better.”

Competing in his third Olympic trials, Boudia had three perfect 10s on his forward 4 ½ somersaults and reverse 3 ½ somersaults in prelims, two dives that he typically struggles with.

University of Miami’s Zachary Nees, diving unattached, was 13th with 351.35.

After the first two rounds of women’s 3-meter springboard, Cassidy Krug and Christina Loukas are one-two going into Saturday’s finals where the Top 12 advanced.

Krug leads with 718.85 and Loukas trails 679.65. Former local diver Kassidy Cook is third with 653.25, Bianca Alvarez of Miami is fourth with 626.00 and Kelci Bryant is fifth with 610.70.

Krug is looking to make her first Olympic team. Krug, who quit the sport four years ago after a disappointing eighth at the trials, returned to the sport in 2010. Since then she has won four national titles and moved into an Olympic favorite’s role.

“I was still diving a little bit controlled for me,” Krug told reporters. “In the finals I really want to let my body go. I can do a little cleaner entries and a little faster spins, a little more.”

Cook, a former Plantation resident and local diver, is also in contention.

“I could not be more happy with my performance tonight,” Cook said. “Personal best and going into finals ranked third.”

In the opening round, University of Miami’s Lindsay Lester, 20, was 13th with 274.20, just missing the cut.

Also in prelims, Florida State’s Ariel Rittenhouse, who was fourth in 3-meter synchro with Kelci Bryant in Beijing, finished last among the 31-diver field. She struggled through the competition, aborted an incorrect dive in the third round and hit the water with a flop in the fourth round.

Much like diving fans in South Florida who stayed up late to watch the two-hour live broadcast that started at midnight (three-hour difference on the west coast), several divers needed time to adjust to the time zone change in Washington and diving at night. 

Phelps, Lochte U.S. Trials Events Released

USA Swimming released the psych sheets for next week’s U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. (June 25-July 1).

The top two swimmers in each event stamp their ticket for the 2012 London Olympics.

While it’s impressive swimmers like Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps and Elizabeth Beisel are taking on Herculean feats, it is possible they will scratch from one or more events depending how their early week races go.

Lochte is entered in eleven races and Phelps is entered in seven events.

Phelps and Lochte could go head-to-head against each other in six events, the 400 IM, 100 and 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 IM and 100 butterfly.

Phelps is entered in the 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 butterfly, 200 IM, 200 backstroke and 400 IM, even though Phelps has insisted he would never swim the 400 IM again.

Said Phelps coach Bob Bowman, “I think it’s safe to say Michael is entered in more events than he’ll actually swim.”

Lochte is entered in the 50, 100 and 200 and 400 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 and 200 backstroke, 100 and 200 butterfly and 200 and 400 IM. 

U.S. Olympians Elizabeth Beisel is entered in nine events and Natalie Coughlin, 11-time Olympic medal winner, is entered in five events.

Seventeen Missy Franklin is entered in five events, the 50 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke and 100 and 200 freestyle.

Five-time Olympian Dara Torres of Coral Springs Swim Club is seeded eighth in the 50-meter freestyle.


In one of the more bizarre reasons to cancel a swim meet, Swimming Australia cancelled this weekend’s Grand Prix meet because of whooping cough at the Institute of Sport in Canberra. The Australian swimmers said it was a setback in their London preparations. It was the last meet before the Aussies headed to London. Officials said the decision was precautionary when a water polo player arrived from China with the highly-contagious ailment. A coach and two members of the Aussie women’s water polo team were diagnosed with whooping cough while at training camp. The swimmers will now remain in their home states with the first group heading to Europe next week. The Aussies will assemble at a staging camp in Manchester on July 14th before heading to London…

Paralympic swimming coach Dave Denniston of Colorado Springs was named Paralympic Coach of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee during a reception in Indianapolis. Denniston is the U.S. Paralympics resident swimming coach at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and was Team USA coach at the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships. Fourteen of his 16 athletes were selected to major international teams in 2011…

Guy Baker, USA Water Polo Director of Olympic Development and former head coach of the USA Water Polo men’s and women’s national teams, has resigned from USA Water Polo. Baker was instrumental in redeveloping the elite pipeline for water polo in the U.S. Baker has worked with USA Water Polo for fifteen years.

SOFLO Tweet of the Day

“Gonna convert Anne Kuczynski into a Heat fan with the help of Ben Fruitman, Kyle Desrosiers and Ashley Monaghan.”—Austin Pillado

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Cal-Berkeley Takes Lead, Gators Win Two Titles On Day Two Of NCAA Men’s Championships

Cal-Berkeley Takes Lead, Gators Win Two Titles On Day Two Of NCAA Men’s Championships


March 25, 2011

University of California at Berkeley took over the lead Friday at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.

Heading into the third and final day, the Bears lead with 352 points. Texas is second with 288.5 followed by Stanford, 278.5, Arizona, 214 and Florida, 213. Florida State is 24th with 14 points. 

California started off its successful night with a win in the 200-yard medley relay with Guy Barnea, Damir Dugonjic, Graeme Moore and Nathan Adrian in 1:23.12, more than a second ahead of Texas.

Barnea, Dugonjic and Moore were competing in the event for the third consecutive season. The Bears, defending champions in the relay, were the fastest morning qualifier in 1:24.39.

University of Georgia senior Bill Cregar, sixth fastest morning qualifier, snapped Michigan’s five-year win streak by winning the 400-yard individual medley in 3:40.97.

Cregar is the first Georgia swimmer to win the event since 2003 when St. Petersburg’s Robert Margalis won. Race favorite Conor Dwyer of Florida, who failed to make the final, won the “B” final in 3:42.49. Dwyer is ill with a stomach virus.

In a battle of national champions, Stanford senior Austin Staab, the 2009 NCAA champion, second fastest morning seed and race favorite, recaptured the 100-yard butterfly in 44.69 ahead of California’s Tom Shields, the defending champion and fastest morning qualifier, in 44.91.

University of Florida finally found the winner’s podium with senior Brett Fraser of the Cayman Islands, who finished seventh last year, won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:32.21. It was the third consecutive year a Gator has won the event. Conor Dwyer won last year and Brett’s brother Shaune won in 2009. Fraser had fun on the podium during the medal ceremony doing the Gator chomp.

Dugonjic, a senior, after swimming on the winning relay, came back to win an individual title in the 100-yard breaststroke in 50.94 for his third consecutive NCAA title in the event. He won in 2009 in 50.86 and 2010 in 51.65.

California added more points in the 100-yard backstroke when sophomore Tom Shields overcame Indiana sophomore Eric Ress in the last 50 yards to win in 45.02. Ress was second in 45.14.

Purdue junior David Boudia won his second NCAA title of the meet on 3-meter springboard. He finished with 472.30 points narrowly edging Grant Nel of Texas A&M with 471.35. Florida State’s Landon Marzullo was seventh with 378.85 and earned All-American honors.

Boudia goes for the trifecta on 10-meter platform on Saturday.

In the final event of the night, the 800-yard freestyle relay, favorite and top seed University of Florida with Florida Gold Coast swimmer Jeffrey Raymond of Davie swimming anchor leg (1:34.33), won in 6:14.88 ahead of Virginia in 6:16.59. Cal-Berkeley was fifth in 6:20.54. Other Gator relay members were Dwyer leading off, Fraser and Sebastien Rousseau. 

The meet is being streamed live on

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Stanford, Adrian Break ARs On Day One Of NCAA Championships; Jay Fitzgerald To Be Honored

Stanford, Adrian Break ARs On Day One Of NCAA Championships; Jay Fitzgerald To Be Honored


March 24, 2011

Stanford broke an American record twice, Nathan Adrian rewrote the record book and University of Texas took the lead on Day One of the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center in Minneapolis.

Stanford started off the day with an American record in the 200-yard freestyle in morning prelims.

Stanford’s Alex Coville (19.28), Aaron Wayne (18.95), Jakob Allen (18.88) and Austin Staab (18.73) broke the American record in 1:15.84, breaking the 1:15.90 set by Texas in 2009.

The Cardinals came back in finals to break their own record to win the relay in 1:15.26. The win gave Stanford its NCAA-record ninth win in the event.

Matt McLean of Virginia, the top seed after morning prelims, won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:10.15. Defending champion Conor Dwyer of Florida finished a disappointing third in 4:13.98.

Stanford’s Austin Staab, the fastest morning qualifier, won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:41.57.

Olympic hopeful Nathan Adrian of California-Berkeley reclaimed the 50-yard freestyle with an American record in 18.66, bettering his national record of 18.71 set in 2009 when he last won the NCAA title in the event. Adrian also anchored California’s winning 400-yard medley relay that won in 3:02.28. Guy Barnea, Damir Dugonjic and Tom Shields were also relay members.

Purdue’s David Boudia defended his 1-meter springboard title with 461 points.

University of Texas leads after Day One with 139 points followed by Stanford, 136; California, 134; Auburn, 110.5 and Arizona, 99.

No. 5-ranked University of Florida is seventh with 70 points. The Gators picked up All-American honors in four events.

“We had some good performances today,” Gators coach Gregg Troy said. “We raced really well. We had a couple of disappointments with some races we thought we would be better in, but by the same token, Cieslak and Rousseau did tremendous in the 200 IM.”

Freshman Marcin Cieslak was sixth in the 200-yard individual medley in a career-best 1:43.69, earning All-American honors. Sophomore Sebastien Rousseau was tenth in a career-best 1:44.24.

Dwyer failed to defend his title in the 500-yard freestyle with his third place in 4:13.98 after winning last year in 4:13.64.

“Conor in the finals maybe overswam the front-end of the race a little bit,” Troy said.

Florida took fourth in the 400-yard medley relay in 3:06.81 with Marco Loughran, Dwyer, Cieslak and Brett Fraser.

“We are going to put the pieces back together and get it started back again tomorrow,” Troy said.

Florida State senior diver Landon Marzullo finished 15th on one-meter springboard with 340.00 for six dives and earned honorable mention All-American. Senior diver Michael Neubacher finished 25th with 298.20 points. Florida State is 25th with two points.

On Saturday, Pine Crest Swimming veteran coach Jay Fitzgerald will be honored with the 2011 Outstanding Service Award from the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.

Fitzgerald will be honored during the annual NISCA Conference held in conjunction with the NCAA Men’s Championships. The names of the recipients of the prestigious award will be displayed in the International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum in Fort Lauderdale.

Sharon Robb can be reached at