SWIMMING ROUNDUP: South Florida Aquatic Club Basking In Winning Glow Of Senior Championships

SWIMMING ROUNDUP: South Florida Aquatic Club Basking In Winning Glow Of Senior Championships

By Sharon Robb

March 26, 2014

Two-time defending champion South Florida Aquatic Club returned to workouts earlier this week at Academic Village Pool still cloud-walking after its impressive Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships victory this past weekend.

Also on the pool deck this week during spring break enjoying the champion atmosphere is Texas A&M assistant coach Tanica Jamison.

Several SOFLO swimmers were among high point winners in the 15-16 and open divisions.

Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 25, a Texas A&M alum, won high point honors in the open division with 216 points. The national record-breaker earned the title by nearly 100 points and played a key role in SOFLO capturing the women’s team title in front of a nationwide audience on Florida Swim Network.

Jessica Rodriguez, 15, who enjoyed a breakthrough meet with some outstanding swims, was the second highest high point earner among the 15-16 age group swimmers with 164 points.

Other SOFLO women’s open high point earners were: Florida International University-bound Maria Lopez, 90; Kathleen Golding, 85; Florida Gulf Coast’s Marcella Marinheiro, 81; Kelley Heron 63; Olivia Katcher 62; Delanie Perez 47; Amber Hunter 45; Melissa Marinheiro 24; Jennifer Rodriguez 20; Kylie Herman 18; Lilli Calero 16; Katherine DeBarros 10; Bianca Muniz 9; Lynn University-bound Kaitlin Armstrong 7; Vanessa Mesa 6; Isabella Di Salvo 5; and Andrea Pereira, 1.

SOFLO 15-16 high point earners were: Melissa Marinheiro, 129; Kylie Herman 64; Carly Swanson, 28; Natasha Testa, 23; Star Fassler, 22; Stephanie Mlujeak, 9; and Lilli Calero, 4.

SOFLO’s top high point earner among the open men was C.J. Kopecki, 14, who had outstanding back-to-back FGC Junior Olympic and Senior Championship meets. He totaled 56 points.

Other SOFLO open point earners were: Florida State-bound Marc Rojas, 20; Ervin Marin, 41; Kry Nichlany, 25.50; Kevin Porto, 25; Nelson Diaz 22; Alejandro Zambrano, 20; Jordan Colon, 19; Matthew Gonzalez, 19; Esteban Diaz-Velasco, 14; Endi Babi, 11; Ricardo Roche, 11; Roger Capote, 10; Bowie Suen, 10; Rafael Rodriguez, 10; Leonardo Mateus, 5; Jonathan Strod, 4.

Julien Pinon, 15, swimming unattached for SOFLO because of his French club commitment overseas, was top high point winner in the 15-16 age group with 167 points. Other high point earners were: Ryan Capote, 105; Juan Lucas, 76; Alex Monti, 71; Jonathan Strod, 69; Alfredo Mesa, 54; Gustavo Valery, 48; Jordan Colon, 44; Baldwin Suen, 18; Brendan Cassie, 15; Alejandro Lombo, 8; Cristian Rossi, 3.

Paralympics National Championships

Miami Ransom Everglades will host the U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming National Championships/Spring CanAm that get under way Thursday and end Saturday.

More than 200 athletes including top U.S. swimmers Cortney Jordan, Jessica Long and Ian Silverman head an international field that also includes Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Mexico.

The event is the U.S. qualifier for the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships.

The school’s Aquatic Center is located at 3575 Main Highway in Miami. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5 p.m. The public is welcome.

Missy Franklin Honored

Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Swimming national team member Missy Franklin was honored Wednesday as the youngest-ever winning of the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Franklin won a record-setting six gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. She is coming off her freshman season at Cal-Berkeley where she set an American record in the 200-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships.

Franklin is the first swimmer to win the prestigious honor and joins Usain Bolt, Roger Federer and Lindsey Vonn. Franklin was given her award by U.S. swimming legend Mark Spitz during the awards ceremony at the Istana Budaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In other awards, Franklin was also named PAC-12 Freshman of the Year. Stanford senior Maya DiRado was named swimmer of the Year and Stanford’s Greg Meehan was named coach of the Year.

No More Dancing For Swimmer

Record-breaking long distance swimmer and Pine Crest alum Diana Nyad was among the first to be voted off Dancing With The Stars. Nyad and former pro hockey player Sean Avery were sent packing Monday night in the first elimination of Season 18. “That was a full-on surprise,” Nyad said. “It was too short. If the dance had gone on for 53 hours nonstop, I think I would have beat everybody.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SWIMMING ROUNDUP: Former Pine Crest Swimmer Diana Nyad Headed To Dancing With The Stars

SWIMMING ROUNDUP: Former Pine Crest Swimmer Diana Nyad Headed To Dancing With The Stars

By Sharon Robb

March 4, 2014

Open water swimmer Diana Nyad will be among celebrities featured in the 18th season of Dancing With The Stars.

The former Pine Crest swimmer and world record holder will dance with 28-year-old Henry Byalikov, a veteran of Australia’s So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars.

At age 64, Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage last year. She swam from Havana to Key West, a 110-mile swim in her fifth attempt.

Nyad recently took home the ESPN Sports Science Newton Award for Outstanding New Limit.

“Since Day One, nine years ago, I’ve wanted to do DWTS,” Nyad said. “Dance is the expression of joy and freedom that the human race has enjoyed from the beginning of time.

“Henry and I are locked in a rehearsal studio four hours a day,” she said. “What a joy, what a challenge.”

Their first dance will be the Fox Trot when the show begins March 17th on ABC.

Nyad will be joined by Olympic gold medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White; Billy Dee Williams, Candace Cameron Bure, Cody Simpson, Danica McKellar, Drew Carey, James Maslow, NeNe Leakes and Sean Avery.

Nyad won’t be the only swimmer getting national attention out of the pool.

Superstar Michael Phelps will appear in the USA Network series Suits on Thursday, March 6th. It won’t be a stretch since Phelps will play himself when the show returns for its third season. The Olympic swimmer’s storyline is Scottie recruits him as a client to try to impress Harvey. Phelps is a fan of the show which producers first learned when he started tweeting about it.

Marx Makes Conference Finals

SOFLO’s Courtney Marx, a senior at Western Kentucky, qualified for the finals of the 100-yard and 200-yard butterfly events at the recent Conference USA Women’s Swimming Championships.

Marx qualified eighth in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:02.19 and finished tenth in 2:03.64. She qualified ninth in the 100-yard butterfly in 55.62 and finished ninth in 55.80 in her final conference meet appearance.

Rice won the team title for the third time in four years after winning 11 of the meet’s events and going five-for-five in relays to total 1,000 points. Florida International University was second with 740 points and East Carolina was third with 700.

FIU senior Sabrina Beaupre was selected C-USA Diver of the Meet after winning the 1-meter springboard and platform titles. She was second on 3-meter.

FIU’s Johanna Gustafsdottir won the 200-yard individual medley in a meet record 1:57.94, an NCAA “B” cut and 200-yard backstroke in 1:55.05, also a “B” cut. Teammate Sonia Perez Arau won the 400-yard individual medley in a meet record 4:12.11, also a “B” cut.

Western Kentucky men won the men’s title with 1,225 points. East Carolina was second with 1,038 and Old Dominion was third with 1,034.50.

Florida Atlantic junior Gregory Cox was the Men’s Diver of the Meet after winning the 3-meter and platform titles and was second on 3-meter.

Western Kentucky’s Bruce Marchionda was selected the Swimming Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. FAU diving coach Michelle Davison-Sandelin was selected Diving Coach of the Year.

Western Kentucky swimmers are frequent visitors to SOFLO’s Academic Village Pool during holiday breaks.

FGC Swimmers Shine At ACC’s

Florida Gold Coast swimmers were among big winners for Florida State at the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The 200-yard medley relay of Pavel Sankovich, Jared Pike, Connor Knight and Paul Murray set a meet record and earned an NCAA automatic time standard in 1:24.72.

The 800-yard freestyle relay of Kevin Rogers, Connor Knight, Jemal LeGrand and Jason Coombs finished seventh in 6:26.34.

The Seminoles won the 400-yard freestyle relay with Pavel Sankovich, Jared Pike, Connor Knight and Paul Murray.

Murray broke the ACC, conference and school records in the 50-yard freestyle in 19.04. Murray of Coconut Creek turned in the second fastest time in the nation this year. Murray was also second in the 100-yard freestyle in a school record 42.59 after splitting 19.91.

Sankovich was named the Swimmer of the Meet for the second consecutive year. FSU finished fifth with 957.50 points. Virginia Tech won its first ever title in the program’s history with 1,264.50 points. North Carolina State was second with 1,226.

Lochte Competed Too Soon

Olympian Ryan Lochte said he felt pain in his knee after competing at last month’s Orlando Arena Grand Prix. Lochte missed the first two days because of bad weather in North Carolina and now is second-guessing himself about making the trip to compete on the third and final day. Lochte, 29, may have overestimated his ability to recover. He is still rehabbing and training in the pool but listening to his body more.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

She Did It! Fifth Time A Charm For Diana Nyad

She Did It! Fifth Time A Charm For Diana Nyad


September 2, 2013

At 64 years old, former Pine Crest swimmer Diana Nyad became the first person to swim 110 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

Just before 2 p.m. on Monday among a cheering crowd, Nyad walked out of the water onto Smathers Beach in Key West, pumped her fists and collapsed into her support team’s collective arms after 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds of swimming non-stop.

“This has been my lifelong dream,” said Nyad, sunburned and a little dazed. “Never ever give up. You’re never too old to chase your dreams. It looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.”

Nyad was examined by paramedics. Her doctors said her lips and tongue were swollen from the salt water and swimming mask. She also had abrasions in her mouth from her mask.

Thirty-five years after her first attempt, the legendary U.S. distance swimmer ended her historic swim on her fifth and final attempt.

Aussie Susan Maroney was the first and only person to successfully swim across the Florida Straits in 1997 at age 22, but was protected by a shark cage.

Nyad, born in New York City, moved with her family to Fort Lauderdale where she grew up and started swimming seriously in seventh grade. She attended Pine Crest in the mid-1960s where she won three state high school titles in the backstroke. She was introduced to marathon swimming by the late Buck Dawson, former director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Nyad left Hemingway Marina in Havana, Cuba on Saturday at 8:59:02 a.m. in her final bid to swim across the treacherous Florida Straits. She said before her swim that it would be the “last time” she would attempt to make what seemed to many an impossible dream come true.

At her Friday news conference, she seemed confident that she would succeed this time around.

“The message is be your best self,” Nyad said.

“People who go to Mt. Everest…sometimes it takes them 20 years to make it, after mounting expedition after expedition,” she said. “No one has ever done this before without a shark cage, though people have tried since the 1950s. It’s not enough to be a strong swimmer, you need a lot of luck, too.

“It’s a fine line between having the grace to let go of something you don’t have control over and just can’t beat…and I could be in that place…except I had to ask myself, is there a way? I feel stronger and more prepared then I’ve ever been. It’s a fine line between seeing things are bigger than you are and there’s another fine line, an edge, where you don’t want to ever give up.”

Nyad was monitored by a medical staff of team doctors. She fed every 45 minutes on everything from pasta and peanut butter sandwiches to a smoothie mixture of bananas, peanut butter and honey. The only medication she took was Tylenol for her sore shoulders.

About two miles out from shore, an emotionally-charged Nyad started treading water while she motioned to her team.

“I am about to swim my last two miles in the ocean,” she said. “This is a lifelong dream of mine and I’m very glad to be with you. Some on the team are the most intimate friends of my life and some of you I’ve just met. But I’ll tell you something, you’re a special group. You pulled through, you are pros and have a great heart. So let’s get going so we can have a whopping party.”

Last August Nyad ended her fourth big because of lightning storms and jellyfish stings. Her first attempt was in 1978 when she was just 28 years old.

Nyad is already in the history books. She set an open sea record for both men and women by swimming from the Bahamas to the Florida Keys in 1979, about the same distance as the Cuba-Florida swim but far less dangerous.

Ten support boats assembled around her at the 2.5-mile mark. The beach started filling up with hundreds of curious onlookers, whistling fans and tourists about an hour before she arrived as well as a small flotilla in the waters’ shallow part.

The biggest difference this time around was Nyad wearing a prosthetic mask on her face to ward off jellyfish and their venomous stings. Weather conditions were relatively ideal over the weekend. She ran into rough weather only twice.

“The stars were just aligned,” said one of her supporters.

Nyad was accompanied by a 45-member team, several yachts and kayakers.

“Happy Labor Day has a new meaning when you’ve swum 50 non-stop hours working your mind, body, and spirit to realize your XtremeDream,” her crew tweeted

Tweeted Olympian Melvin Stewart, “Been praying for Diana Nyad on and off for 50 hours now…something tells me I’m one of millions praying for her.”

Stewart later followed with “I haven’t cried over a swim since Michael Phelps went 8-for-8 until today.”

Even President Barack Obama tweeted “Congratulations, never give up on your dreams.”
By 3 p.m., Nyad was trending around the world!!!
Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 188: Diana Nyad’s Journey Ends In Heartbreak

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 188: Diana Nyad’s Journey Ends In Heartbreak


August 21, 2012

On Tuesday morning, a sunburned and swollen-lipped Diana Nyad was forced to give up her  record attempt of swimming 103 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

The former Pine Crest swimmer swam further than she did when she attempted the journey at age 28, but her fourth attempt ended when her crew pulled her out of the Gulf Stream waters after 41 hours  and 45 minutes of swimming at 12:55 a.m.

A second thunderstorm with high winds and waves was the final blow after a series of challenges including  jellyfish stings, shark threats, swollen lips and hypothermia.

Nyad, who turns 63 on Wednesday, was making her third attempt since last summer. She also made an attempt with a shark cage in 1978. She started the swim on Saturday in Havana and lasted longer and made it further than in her previous tries.

Nyad was taken to shore in Key West and made a final short swim to a waiting crowd.

“I’ve been dreaming of this crossing for 35 years now and I tried four times,” Nyad said. “And should I say that there’s no disappointment? No. I’m not going to get that moment I dreamed of for so long.”

Nyad was visibly fatigued and her lips were badly swollen. She was given asthma inhalers, oxygen and IV drip.

Nyad probably will not attempt a fifth try. “I’m not a quitter, but the sport and this particular ocean are different than they used to be,” Nyad said.

“She realized that the obstacles against the swim were too great and agreed at dawn to return to Key West by boat,” said crew member Candace Hogan.

“We all know her mind can handle it,” Hogan wrote on the swimmer’s blog. “But there will always be a point where a human body can’t go any farther. What no one knows is where that line is drawn in Diana Nyad.”

Nyad’s crew was asked why Nyad was stung so much in 2011 and 2012 and not in 1978 and it was because jellyfish were not overpopulating the Gulf Stream waters in 1978. “These jellyfish are prolific,” Nyad said. “And, you know what, to me there’s no joy in that. This isn’t swimming. It’s like some Navy SEAL. I didn’t get that final moment, but what a magnificent experience it all was.”

Nyad thanked her Extreme Dream team. “New moon, new beginnings, onward to a new and different dream.”


Brazilian Olympian Cesar Cielo, fresh off the London Olympics, now thinks he may have overtrained and missed his taper in London, after winning the 50-meter freestyle in 20.59 Tuesday at the Jose Finkel Trophy Meet in Sao Paolo, Brazil. That time is the fastest textile suit time in the world this year and tenth fastest of all-time. Cielo holds the textile-best time of 20.51. The short course meet is being held in a 25-meter pool. Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won the women’s 50-meter freestyle in 24.15. Her teammate Femke Heemskerk won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:04.72. Brazilian Leonardo Dos Santos won the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.99. Brazilian Thiago Pereira won the 400-meter individual medley in a meet record 4:01.91 after winning silver in the event at the Olympics…

French swimmer and quadruple amputee Philippe Croizon, who lost his limbs in an electrical accident at age 26 when he was hit with a 20,000 volt charge while attempting to install a television antenna on his roof, successfully completed his Bering Strait crossing in the freezing waters separating Alaska and Russia. Croizon, 44, who had never swum before, wore paddle-like prosthetics. He is only the second person to swim the Bering Strait. It was the last of four intercontinental channel swims he completed. He has now swum all four channels that link the world’s five continents of Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa and America. He is now headed to London to be a French commentator at the Paralympic Games. Spreaking through an translator, Croizon said “The idea was to bring able-bodied and people with disabilities together and prove that having a disability doesn’t have to stop you achieving what you want. I hit rock-bottom ater the accident so I wanted to set myself a big challenge and I decided I should hope for the impossible.”…

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin has a fan in Justin Bieber. In addition to tweeting each other during the Olympics, Bieber sent Franklin a huge care package of t-shirts, autobiography, notebooks, stationary, pens and backpack to her Aurora, Colo. home and is treating her to his Jan. 7 Denver concert with backstage passes. Franklin tweeted, “Huge shout out to Justin Bieber for sending me all this amazing stuff! Thank you so much! Can’t wait for the concert!”…

The Junior Pac Pac Swimming Championships begin Wednesday in Honolulu Hawaii with some of the best 18-and-under swimmers from Japan, United States, Australia and Canada. Swimmers from New Zealand, Hong Kong and Mexico have also been invited to compete in the final big international meet of the summer. American Allie Szekely, coming off four wins at junior nationals, heads the U.S. team along with Jack Conger and Clearwater’s Becca Mann, top seed in the 800-meter freestyle. Japan’s 18-year-old Akihiro Yamaguchi, who swam 2:07.8 in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke at last week’s Japanese High School National Championships, is one of the favorites…Former Missouri swimmer Chris Peters was named head coach at Toledo replacing Liz Hinkelman who left for an assistant’s job at Ohio State.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 187: Diana Nyad Still Going Strong During Record Swim Attempt

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 187: Diana Nyad Still Going Strong During Record Swim Attempt


August 20, 2012

After surviving jellyfish stings and lightning storm, Diana Nyad was joined by a pod of more than fifty dolphins swimming around her support boat Monday night before sunset.

Nyad and her crew could hear the dolphins breathing as dozens of them were playful, leaping in and out of the water.

“This is a good sign,” said one of her support crew.

At 11 p.m. Monday night, the 62-year-old former Pine Crest swimmer was at the 63.1-mile mark of her 103-mile journey from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. It is her fourth try at the record attempt.

The frolicking dolphin pod was a welcome relief for the marathon swimmer who braved jellyfish stings, including one on her hand and forehead that forced her to swim backstroke while she regrouped.

Then “all hell broke loose” according to her crew’s blog when an 18-20-mile storm cell and wind squalls forced Nyad to tread water and lose six hours of progress while the storm blew over Sunday night before she got to the Gulf Stream’s current in the right direction.

On Monday night, Nyad’s crew was preparing for the night swimming and staving off low core body temperature.

At 10:57 p.m. Saturday Nyad was stung on the hand by a box jellyfish, according to Mark Sollinger, operations chief of Voyager, her support boat. She was treated immediately. Ten minutes later, Nyad was back swimming at 50 strokes per minute.

The fourth time she was stung on her forehead and she started swimming backstroke with the cap-covered part of her head to minimize contact. Nyad is wearing a special FINIS wetsuit to help ward off the jellyfish.

At one time, there were so many jellyfish because of the tide and astronomical position, that her handlers had to move position because the water was lapping stings over their feet and legs.

On Sunday, Nyad told her handlers, “Today is more like swimming. I don’t know what you would call last night, probably surviving.”

Her team has equated Nyad’s swim to five English Channel swims with sharks and box jellyfish added in.

Her crew tweeted “There’s no stopping her now.” Nyad celebrates her 63rd birthday on Wednesday.


The United States Olympic Committee has had the final word on Michael Phelps and the inadvertent early leak of his newest advertisement for Louis Vuitton that forced several media and social outlets to jump to conclusions saying that Phelps was in danger of losing his Olympic medals. USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said that the USOC has investigated the circumstances behind the leaked photos and determined that there was “no issue from us.” Because of the IOC’s Rule 40, athletes and coaches were not allowed to promote non-Olympic sponsors during the Olympic Games window of July 18 and August 15. Two Louis Vuitton ads featuring Phelps surfaced were inadvertently released early. They were officially scheduled to be released on Aug. 16. “As far as the USOC is concerned, Phelps or his team didn’t clear photos in the Louis Vuitton campaign to be released before deadline. End of story,” Sandusky said…

Brazilian Olympian Cesar Cielo and his 200-meter freestyle relay teammates broke South American and Brazilian records Monday at the Jose Finkel Trophy Meet in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The meet is short course meters. Cielo’s lead-off split was 20.81. His teammates were Nicholas Dos Santos, Bernardo Novaes and Thiago Sickert. The foursome’s record was 1:25.28. In the 50-meter semifinals, Cielo also posted the top seed of 21.19 on the opening day of the meet…

Fourteen-year-old Annaleise Carr became the youngest to swim across Lake Ontario and helped to raise $90,000 for a camp for kids with cancer. It took her nearly 27 hours fighting high waves, cold current and leg cramps. The Ontario, Canada native successfully made the 52-kilometer crossing becoming the youngest since Mariyln Bell first made the crossing in 1956 when she was 16.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 186: Former Pine Crest Swimmer Diana Nyad Ready For Another Try

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 186: Former Pine Crest Swimmer Diana Nyad Ready For Another Try


August 16, 2012

It looks like it’s a go.

Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad has contacted her crew to gather in Key West on Thursday night in anticipation of beginning her fourth attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida.

Her support boat, Voyager, has left for Cuba to wait for Nyad’s arrival.

If the weather and conditions hold up, Nyad will enter the waters off the Havana shore at 7 a.m. on Sunday, four days before her 63rd birthday.

The former Pine Crest swimmer and International Swimming Hall of Famer holds the record for the farthest unaided open water swim in history from the Bahamas to Florida. Now she is attempting to swim the tricky 103-mile swim from Cuba to Florida across the Florida Straits.

The swim will take an estimated 60 hours.

“Red alert, red alert, we are a go,” Nyad tweeted.

The swimmer came up short on her three other bids in 1978 and twice in 2011 because of shoulder pain, asthma, jellyfish stings and ocean swells.

In her last attempt, Nyad had a support crew of 30 people aboard five yachts including shark divers and four kayakers. Her first attempt earlier this year ended with an asthma attached after 29 hours and second attempt after about 40 hours because of extreme pain and partial paralysis from jellyfish stings on her face and body.

This time Nyad also has a new jellyfish-proof wetsuit created by FINIS. The company spent four months researching and developing the suit for Nyad. It was been approved and does not contain any unfair floatation material.


Life after the Olympics seems to agree with 17-year-old Missy Franklin. She got a hero’s welcome at the Denver International Airport on Monday and again at her high school on Thursday where she started her classes in forensic science, advanced dance, economics, philosophy and AP classes in literature and composition class. One of the highlights so far has been her appearance on the Tonight Show Wednesday night. Franklin, winner of four gold medals and one bronze, told Jay Leno that offers to turn pro have poured in since she competed at the Olympics but said “Swimming in college has always been a dream. I love swimming on a team.” She explained her dual citizenship. Her parents are Canadian and she was born in Pasadena, Calif. Her family moved to Colorado when she was just two days old. “This is my country and my home, so it was never really a choice,” she told Leno when he asked about why she decided to swim for Team USA instead of Canada. She also got her Olympic rings tattoo. The first-time Olympian had been talking about it before, during and after the Olympics. She refers to her first tattoo as her “one and only.” Her position choice was on the right hip, a popular pick among woman so it shows when wearing a swim suit…

Michael Phelps is enjoying his post-Olympic rewards. Phelps, who has been vacationing with his guy friends in the Maldives, fishing, boating and relaxing in the sun, is featured on the current box of Wheaties for the second time. He was last featured on the box after the 2004 Olympics. After the 2008 Olympics, Phelps jumped ship to rival Kellogg Co. and was on the cover of Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes. The limited edition boxes will be available nationally starting next month…Phelps was also photographed by famed photographer Annie Lebowitz for a Luis Vuitton ad that has Phelps sitting in a bath tub full of water in his Speedo with a Vuitton satchel next to the tub. The ad is appearing is most of the top magazines…Phelps told Rolling Stone that he amped up during the Games by listening to Lil Wayne, Afrojack and Steve Aoki, Avicii and Young Jeezy…

Ryan Lochte may need a few acting classes. On the set of CW’s 90210, according to Access Hollywood, Lochte said he had trouble memorizing his lines as well as walking and talking at the same time. Producers decided to keep Lochte shirtless for his scene to distract viewers from his awkward line readings. The season premiere is Oct. 8 and Lochte’s episode airs on Monday, Oct. 29th at 9 p.m…

China’s Sun Yang, the first Chinese male swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal and break a world record in the 1500-meter freestyle, will be awarded $18 million in endorsements with the stipulation that two-thirds of the money will be given to the country’s swimming federation and Olympic team members. Coca-Cola is the major contributor to the funding. The pay day is the biggest ever for a Chinese Olympic athlete in any sport including diving. The federation will receive $6 million and each of his Olympic teammates will receive $150,000. His Aussie coach, Denis Cotterrell was also paid a $250,000 bonus for his success. Chinese swimmers have been training in Australia for months…

Another Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, is lashing back at doubters. The teenager who won two Olympic gold medals told a Chinese television station in a recent interview that she was disappointed that Fort Lauderdale’s ASCA head and SwimFast coach John Leonard and others suggested that she relied on performance-enhancing drugs to break the world record in the 400-meter individual medley without having any concrete drug testing results. She said that Leonard “was not professional.”…

Tyler Clary will be at the Aug. 24-26 GoPro Grand Prix and will get the chance to get behind the wheel of a race car for some Indy car racing in Sonoma with Mario Andretti. “Dario Franchitti has promised it’ll be a good ride!!” Clary tweeted…

Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen told Access Hollywood she was thrilled with the U.S. Olympic swim team doing a video parody of her song Call Me Maybe. She was particularly impressed with Brendan Hansen’s underwater dancing. She had not seen it until Access Hollywood showed her the video. “Oh wow, she said. “There’s an underwater swimmer. That’s impressive. I said underwater swimmer, I meant dancer. That’s made my day. That’s so rad. It means the world to me. I think it’s just one of those things that you can’t take it in. It’s crazy they know the song and took the time to make their own spin on it. It just makes me really happy.”…

South African Chad LeClos’ 14-year-old brother Jordan is wearing a new t-shirt. It reads “My Brother, My Player, The Phelps Slayer.” LeClos returned to the pool for the South African Short Course Championships this week and has already qualified for world short course in he 200-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly…

Olympic gold medalist diver David Boudia is thinking about competing in both gymnastics and diving at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Boudia competed in gymnastics as a child and is good. He is thinking about the vault and 10-meter platform synchro.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 166: SOFLO’s Marinheiro Finishes Second At Brazilian Junior Nationals

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 166: SOFLO’s Marinheiro Finishes Second At Brazilian Junior Nationals


June 14, 2012

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro got off to a good start on opening day of the Brazilian Junior Nationals Thursday in Recife, Pernambuco.

Marinheiro, 15, was second in the 800-meter freestyle in 9:08.46.

Marinheiro has three events remaining, the 200- and 400-meter freestyles and 100-meter butterfly.

On Friday, she will compete in the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly in the morning. The meet features top age group swimmers ages 15-16.

Sette Colli Meet

South African Cameron van der Burgh broke a meet record and Italian Federica Pellegrino and Brazilian Cesar Cielo won their events on opening day of the Rome meet.

Van Der Burgh broke the meet record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.39.

Pellegrini won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:06.03 just ahead of Denmark’s Lotte Friis in 4:06.15.

Cielo won the 50-meter freestyle by 1/100th of a second in 22.17.

Inge Dekker of the Netherlands won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.25.

Ous Mellouli of Tunisia, coming off his Olympic-qualifying 10K marathon win in Portugal on Sunday, finished third in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:51.73.


Two days after USA Swimming announced the elimination of time trials at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, the sport’s national governing body has relented after several coaches’ complaints and added time trials back into the schedule on a limited basis. Trials will be held on June 27-28 (Wednesday and Thursday) and again on Monday (July 2), when no other races are being swum. USA Swimming released the statement on Thursday: “We have heard from quite a few coaches who were unhappy with time trials being cancelled. We understand this displeasure as the decision was made less than two weeks before Trials. Therefore, we have modified the position and will allow time trials on a limited basis.”…

Despite rough seas and wind, former Pine Crest swimmer Diana Nyad completed her 24-hour dress rehearsal swim for her Cuba to Florida 103-mile record attempt Thursday at her training camp at St. Maarten in the Caribbean. Water temperature was a “brisk 79 degrees” according to Nyad. She was seasick and had trouble hydrating but made the arduous swim. “One the beach at long last,” Nyad tweeted…

Texas A&M, making its debut in the Southeastern Conference this fall, was awarded the SEC Championships. The meet will also be held over five days instead of four in College Station, Tex…Jim Henry has been hired to coach the Yale women’s team. He left Texas after seven years as associate head coach. Henry will replace Cristina Teuscher…Former University of Maryland assistant coach Matt Emmert has been hired as head coach of Roger Williams University. The Terrapins swim program was cut for financial reasons…

Lance Armstrong has been barred from this month’s Ironman France, a qualifier for Hawaii, after USADA’s recent charges of blood-doping. The seven-time Tour de France winner had already won the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii event and several fans expected him to challenge for the full Ironman title in October. One fan has paid $40,000 for the chance to join Armstrong at the starting line as part of a fund-raiser for his cancer-fighting charity, Livestrong…

Swimmers Cullen Jones, Nathan Adrian, Ryan Lochte and Brendan Hansen are featured in the July issue of Glamour Magazine….Olympian Natalie Coughlin’s Pantene commercial is beginning to air on all major channels and her website…

Two-time Canadian Olympic silver medalist diver Alexandre Despatie, who has competed in Fort Lauderdale several times, cut his head during a diving accident in Spain. He was hurt while executing an inward 3 ½ and hit the board full force. Despatie lost his balance and his head hit the end of the springboard. He has a 10 centimeter cut just below the hairline which required surgery and will take about two weeks to heal.

Tweet of the Day

“Did I mention how much I love taper!!!”—Olympian Cullen Jones