18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Opens Friday; Swimming Begins July 21


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 10, 2019—The 2019 FINA World Aquatics Championships will make its debut in Korea on Friday.

The biggest FINA event, held over 17 days, will feature competitions in all six aquatic disciplines–swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, synchronized swimming and water polo competing for 76 gold medals.

With the slogan of “Dive Into Peace” the world championships will offer a sneak preview of what’s to come at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Several international athletes are competing for Olympic berths.

The 18th edition of the FINA World Championships has attracted the largest number of athletes in event history with 2,639 from 194 countries.

With 82 athletes, host South Korea will have the largest contingent of athletes including 29 in swimming. South Korea will make its debut in open water swimming and water polo at worlds.

Swimming, the most popular event, will not begin until July 21, at the Nambu University Memorial Aquatics Center. The U.S. team leads in medals with 208 gold medals in 17 world championships.

China is expected to dominate the diving, that begins Friday. Divers will compete for 13 gold medals.

High diving, made from heights over 20 meters, made its debut at the 2013 world championships in Barcelona and is attracting a strong fan base around the world. Male divers will jump from a 27-meter platform and women will dive from 20-meters. Only two gold medals are available. In 2017, Steve LoBue of Pembroke Pines won gold. High diving will be held July 22-24 at the Chosun University High Diving competition venue.

More than 1,097 athletes from 47 countries will compete in synchronized swimming. Ten gold medals are up for grabs. Russia is expected to dominate.

Nearly 400 swimmers from 60 countries will compete in open water swimming held at the Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park Open Water swimming venue. The July 13-19 events featuring 5K, 10K and 25K distances will award seven gold medals.

Water polo is the only competitive team sport at worlds. Hungary, Italy and the U.S. will be playing for gold in the men’s and women’s tournaments, July 14-27.

PREVIEW COMING UP NEXT WEEK: South Florida will be well-represented in pool swimming at worlds with South Florida Aquatic Club’s Olympic veterans Nguyen Vien of Vietnam and Alia Atkinson of Jamaica along with several other swimmers from around the Florida Gold Coast.

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

Fort Lauderdale Wins District 11-3A Team Titles; Next Up Region 4-3A Meet At Boca Raton


By Sharon Robb

October 26, 2017—In what looked more like a dual meet between Fort Lauderdale and Pembroke Pines Charter, the Flying L’s swept the boys and girls team titles in the District 11-3A Swimming and Diving Championships Thursday at Nova High School.

The boys won with 545 points, 87 points ahead of runner-up Pembroke Pines Charter with 458 points.

The girls won with 557 points and Pembroke Pines Charter was second with 435 points.

Both teams had talent but the Flying L’s edged Charter in depth.

Fort Lauderdale swept all three girls relays and won six individual events including double winner Racine Ross in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.94 and 100-yard butterfly in 1:00.88.

Charter was led by double winner Kelley Heron in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:12.05 and 100-yard backstroke in 58.99.

Pembroke Pines Charter boys were impressive winning two relays and six individual events. The Flying L’s won one individual event and one relay.

Fort Lauderdale’s Kevin De Grijze won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:01.26 and the Flying L’s won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:34.19.

Charter’s Andres Lares was a double winner in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:45.15 and 500-yard freestyle in 4:44.99.

Ricardo Roche won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:58.71 and was second in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:50.02. Casey Moya won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.78. Rafael Rodriguez won the 100-yard butterfly in 52.93 and was second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:46.59. Sebastian Sevilla won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.10.

In an exciting boys’ 100-yard freestyle race where only .71 separated the top three finishers, Pembroke Pines Charter junior Sebastian Sevilla touched the wall first in 51.10 followed by Fort Lauderdale junior Ralph Meadows in 51.32 and Pembroke Pines Charter senior Casey Moya was third in 51.81.

Charter won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:41.77 with Lares, Roche, Rodriguez and Moya and 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:21.61 with Rodriguez, Sevilla, Roche and Lares.

In diving, Fort Lauderdale sophomore Taylor Brittain won the girls title with 372.85 points and teammate Cassandra Catesson was second with 353.20. Nova junior Dillon Kadish won the boys title with 377.15.

DISTRICT 11-3A RESULTS

GIRLS TEAM TOTALS

1. Fort Lauderdale 557, 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 435, 3. Nova 271, 4. South Broward 267, 5. Northeast 207, 6. Dillard 72.

GIRLS RESULTS

200-yard medley relay: 1. Fort Lauderdale 1:56.73 (Giulia Guerra Montes, Alexis Hicks, Diana Freshour, Racine Ross), 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:59.49 (Kelley Heron, Victoria Torres, Julinna Villarta, Valentina Terry), 3. South Broward 2:06.37.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Gina Rodriguez, FTL 2:06.80, 2. Victoria Martinez-Bruno, SB 2:09.44, 3. Katherine DeBarros, PPC 2:19.11.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Kelley Heron, PPC 2:12.05, 2. Samantha Trodick, NOVA 2:18.40, 3. Alexis Hicks, FTL 2:28.71.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Racine Ross, FTL 25.94, 2. Alicja Zielinski, NE 26.47, 3. Tess Buccarelli, FTL 26.75.

1-meter diving: 1. Taylor Brittain, FTL 372.85, 2. Cassandra Catesson, FTL 353.20, 3. Sophia Pfitzenmaier, NOVA 310.20.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Racine Ross, FTL 1:00.88, 2. Diana Freshour, FTL 1:06.43, 3. Victoria Zielinski, NE 1:06.47.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Olivia Johnson, FTL 58.94, 2. Valentina Terry, PPC 58.97, 3. Tess Buccarelli, FTL 59.07.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Giulia Guerra Montes, FTL 5:14.40, 2. Gina Rodriguez, FTL 5:39.88, 3. Luiza Patrocinio, FTL 5:45.13.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Fort Lauderdale 1:47.83 (Olivia Johnson, Diana Freshour, Tess Buccarelli, Racine Ross), 2. Northeast 1:51.33, 3. South Broward 1:51.48.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Kelley Heron, PPC 58.99, 2. Giulia Guerra Montes, FTL 59.82, 3. LeeAnn Ranalli, NE 1:08.22.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Samantha Trodick, NOVA 1:10.73, 2. Victoria Torres, PPC 1:10.78, 3. Alicja Zielinski, NE 1:10.83.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Fort Lauderdale 3:56.32 (Olivia Johnson, Tess Buccarelli, Gina Rodriguez, Giulia Guerra Montes), 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 3:59.27 (Valentina Terry, Victoria Torres, Jennifer Zukoski, Kelley Heron), 3. Nova 4:15.17.

BOYS TEAM TOTALS

1. Fort Lauderdale 545, 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 458, 3. South Broward 311, 4. Nova 203, 5. Northeast 201, 6. Ely 1.

BOYS RESULTS

200-yard medley relay: 1. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:41.77 (Andres Lares, Ricardo Roche, Rafael Rodriguez, Casey Moya), 2. Fort Lauderdale 1:42.62, 3. Nova 1:52.50.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Andres Lares, PPC 1:45.15, 2. Rafael Rodriguez, PPC 1:46.59, 3. Alex Marrero, SB 1:48.71.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Ricardo Roche, PPC 1:58.71, 2. Kevin De Grijze, FTL 1:59.13, 3. Yona Rubin, FTL 2:08.33.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Casey Moya, PPC 22.78, 2. Lance Lesage, FTL 23.42, 3. Chad Kersey, FTL 23.54.

1-meter diving: 1. Dillon Kadish,NOVA 377.15, 2. Brandon Austin NE 306.95.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Rafael Rodriguez, PPC 52.93, 2. Daniel Lilley, NOVA 57.16, 3. Sule Johnson, FTL 1:00.47.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Sebastian Sevilla, PPC 51.10, 2. Ralph Meadows, FTL 51.32, 3. Casey Moya, PPC 51.81.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Andres Lares, PPC 4:44.99, 2. Ricardo Roche, PPC 4:50.02, 3. Kenaz Sweeting, FTL 4:59.94.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Fort Lauderdale 1:34.19, 2. South Broward 1:34.60, 3. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:36.76 (Sebastian Sevilla, Christian Vasquez, Nick Chaimowicz, Casey Moya).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Alex Marrero, SB 54.81, 2. Lance Lesage, FTL 56.52, 3. Daniel Lilley, NOVA 59.64.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Kevin De Grijze, FTL 1:01.26, 2. Yona Rubin, FTL 1:04.43, 3. Andrew Rogantinsky, SB 1:04.79.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pembroke Pines Charter 3:21.61 (Rafael Rodriguez, Sebastian Sevilla, Ricardo Roche, Andres Lares) 2. Fort Lauderdale 3:30.57, 3. Nova 3:42.74.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Cunha Wins Third 25K Open Water Gold Medal; UM Diver Dinsmore Advances To Saturday Final At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 21, 2017—In the last and most grueling of six open water races, defending champion Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil won the women’s 25K open water race for her third world title on Day 8 of the 17th FINA World Aquatics Championships Friday at Lake Balaton.

Cunha, who has frequently trained in South Florida and won the Fort Lauderdale Roughwater event, finished in 5 hours, 21 minutes and 58 seconds, a two-second margin of victory.

She is only the second woman to win three world golds. Dutch swimmer Edith van Dijk won four.

Cunha also won gold at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai and 2015 in Kazan. Cunha has two silver medals and four bronze medals from past world championships. She has made the podium in every individual open water event.

“When it starts, I think of nothing, but toward the end I knew I was the only one in the leading three that had done the 25K course before,” Cunha said. “So I know the pain that would arrive at the end. This experience made the difference.”

Olympic 10K gold medalist Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands was second in 5:22:00. Arianna Bridi of Italy took the bronze in 5:22:08.

American Becca Mann, a former Clearwater (CAT) swimmer, was seventh in 5:27:06.

France continued its dominance in open water with Axel Reymond winning the men’s 25K by just 6/10ths of a second.

Swimming for more than five hours, the Frenchman defeated Matteo Furlan of Italy (5:02:47).

“When there are 200 meters left, all you think about is touching the board,” Reymond said.

Russian Evgenii Drattcev took bronze in 5:02:49. American Chip Peterson was fifth in 5:03:43.

There were 44 finishers in the race. Five were unable to finish the race. Warm temperatures were also a challenge. The water temp was 75 degrees.

DIVING

University of Miami redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore finished fourth in men’s 10-meter platform semifinals to qualify for Saturday’s final for Team USA.

Dinsmore, the NCAA national platform champion as a freshman, scored 483.10 points to qualify for his first worlds final.

Dinsmore is ranked behind Aleksandr Bondar of Russia (509.10), Tom Daley of Great Britain (498.65) and Chen Aisen of China (488.55) and will be in the medal hunt on Saturday.

“It’s really exciting,” Dinsmore said. “Last time I had a good meet but there was tough competition and it didn’t work out. Especially this year after the Olympic year, I wanted to come out and dive as best I could and things worked out.”

At the 2015 World Championships, Dinsmore finished 15th in the semifinals. Earlier in the week, Dinsmore earned a bronze medal in the mixed 3-meter/10-meter team event with Krysta Palmer.

Fort Lauderdale’s Jordan Windle finished 26th in the 10-meter prelims in his first worlds competing in an individual event.

Olympic gold medalist Shi Tingmao led China to a one-two finish in the women’s 3-meter springboard final. Shi, the defending champion and Monday’s 3-meter synchro winner, finished first with 383.50 points followed by teammate Wang Han (359.40) to capture China’s ninth consecutive gold medal in the event and seventh in 11 diving events in Budapest. Canadian Jennifer Abel took the bronze medal with 3:51.55 for the second worlds in a row.

“I need to work harder in order to achieve a higher score and win more gold medals,” Shi said.

Chinese divers have won 20 of the last 21 Olympic and world titles in the 3-meter springboard since 1986.

The last two diving finals are scheduled for Saturday.

SYNCHRO SWIMMING

Russia won the team free title winning its sixth gold medal. Twelve teams were in the final. Russia has been the title holder of the team title since 2007. Russia scored 97.300 points. China took the silver and Ukraine took bronze.

WATER POLO

The U.S., Italy, Hungary and Greece all advanced into the women’s quarterfinal round. Italy has won three straight games and earned an automatic berth.

In the men’s tournament, Croatia reached the quarterfinals as expected. Croatia has beaten the U.S., Russia and Japan.

MEDAL COUNT

In the medal tally, China leads with 16 total medals including seven golds, Russia has 13, Italy had 8 and France has 7. The U.S. has 5 medals including only one gold.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Open Water Swimming Takes Spotlight At 17th FINA World Championships; French Sweep In First Two Races


By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 16, 2017—Despite choppy waters in Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier of France won the men’s five kilometer open water swimming race to take center stage at the 17th FINA World Championships.

Olivier won in 54:31.40, just .7 seconds ahead of Italy’s Mario Sanzullo (54:32.10).

It was a European sweep with Great Britain’s Timothy Shuttleworth taking the bronze medal, (54:42.10), 10.7 seconds behind the winning time.

“My goal was to win the gold medal after finishing third in last year’s Olympics in Rio,” Olivier said. “The first 3,000 meters weren’t perfect, but I changed tactics and managed to finish first.”

It was the first world championship medal for all three swimmers.

Top American finisher was David Heron placing tenth in 54:48.20, 16.80 minutes out of first. U.S. teammate Andrew Gemmell, among early leaders, faded to 17th in 54:59.30, 27.90 minutes out of first.

A field of 62 swimmers competed in the first of seven open water events. The women’s 5K is July 19th.

In the women’s 10K event, Frenchwoman and defending champion Aurelie Muller won the gold medal in 2:00:13.70, 3.30 ahead of Ecuador’s Samantha Arevalo in 2:00:17.00.

There was a tie for the bronze medal in 2:00:17.20 between Italy’s Arianna Bridi and Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, who has trained and competed in South Florida in past years.

Top American finisher was Haley Anderson placing sixth in 2:00:25.90, 12.20 out of first. Teammate Ashley Twichell was tenth in 2:00.41.30, 27.60 off first.

FLORIDA GOLD COAST NEWS

St. Andrew’s Swimming aquatics director and head coach Sid Cassidy was honored by FINA for his contribution in open water swimming. Cassidy received the Gold Pin from FINA for his work in international open water swimming.

WATER POLO

Four-time champion U.S. women’s team opened worlds with a 24-2 rout of South Africa. Jamie Neushul scored a game-high six goals. Italy defeated Canada, 10-4, China beat Brazil, 11-4, and Spain topped New Zealand, 10-2.

DIVING

Four University of Miami divers are competing at the FINA World Championships.

Redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore, alum and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sam Dorman and senior Briadam Herrera are representing the U.S. Junior diver Marcela Maric is competing for her native Croatia.

Longtime USA Diving and UM coach Randy Ableman is coaching the divers.

On Saturday, Olympic silver medalists Michael Hixon and Dorman placed sixth in the 3-meter synchro event with 409.05 points. In prelims, they qualified third with 410.10. On Sunday, Hixon finished fifth in the 1-meter springboard finals with 439.15. China’s Peng Jianfeng won gold with 448.40. Aussie Maddison Keeney won the women’s 1-meter title and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilia Zakharov won the men’s 3-meter synchro title.

Former local diver Kassidy Cook, a 2016 Olympian, was scheduled to compete in 3-meter synchro but withdrew from worlds because of a shoulder injury.

Chinese teenagers Ren Qian and Lian Junjie won the gold medal in the mixed 10-meter platform. The pair of 16-year-olds won with 352.98 in the first final of the worlds. Ren is the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the women’s 10-meter platform event.

China also won the women’s 10-meter platform synchro with Ren and Si Yajie with 352.56 points.

SYNCHRO SWIMMING

Russia’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko, 23, won the first gold medal of the World Championships synchronized swimming competition. She finished the solo competition with 95.2035 points performing to the theme Solveig song. She made history by winning Russia’s 50th medal in the sport’s history at worlds.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Arena Grand Prix Turns Into Gauge For World Trials

Arena Grand Prix Turns Into Gauge For World Trials


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other individual winners were:

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

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

Megan Romano, 100-meter freestyle, 55.24.

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

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

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

DIVING

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Record Falls On Opening Day Of Charlotte Meet

Meet Record Falls On Opening Day Of Charlott


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 9, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous

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

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

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

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 237: Bradley Named FSU Coach; SOFLO’s Oliver Most Valuable Swimmer

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 237: Bradley Named FSU Coach; SOFLO’s Oliver Most Valuable Swimmer


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

May 8, 2013

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Tiffany Oliver has a new head coach.

Former Florida Gold Coast swimmer and 1993 St. Thomas Aquinas alum Frankie Bradley returned to his alma mater this week as newly-named head coach of Florida State.

Bradley graduated from FSU in 1997 and started a journey of building an impressive resume that included coaching jobs at Indian River State College, South Carolina and Auburn before returning to FSU.

“I’m thrilled,” Bradley said. “I’ve spent a number of years coaching and I’ve always thought that coming back to Florida State would be awesome. I got the call last week and it was incredible. I’m excited to lead the program.”

Bradley has been one of the most sought after college coaches for several jobs. Bradley replaces Neil Harper whose contract was not renewed after fourteen seasons.

Bradley will be faced with rebuilding the men’s team which graduated three of the four members of their Atlantic Coast Conference record-setting freestyle relays. The men’s team have several top freshmen coming in including Aruba Olympian Jemal Le Grand of Davie Nadadores and Sagemont.

The women’s team, led by SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, a double ACC sprint champion, lost top butterflier, Elizabeth Pepper to a transfer. The women’s team has top recruit Chelsea Britt coming in.

Bradley has worked with Olympians Mateo De Angulo of Colombia, Gideon Louw of South Africa, Marcelo Chierighini of Brazil, Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace of the Bahamas, and American Micah Lawrence.

While at St. Thomas, Bradley was a state champion in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1992 and six-time high school All-American. He was a four-year letterman at FSU which including an ACC title in 1995 in the 200-yard individual medley.

Oliver Named Top Swimmer

SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, who grew up with the Comets program and is now finishing her junior year at Florida State, was named the Seminoles’ Most Valuable Swimmer for the women’s team.

Oliver won the 50- and 100-yard freestyles at the ACC Championships. She qualified for the NCAA Championships and earned All-American honors in the 50 freestyle and 800 free relay.

Oliver holds the FSU records in the 50 and 100 freestyle and as a member of the 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams.

“Tiffany really came into her own this year,” said associate head coach Andy Robins after the Seminoles annual awards banquet. “She was such a key asset for us in so many events.”

Charlotte Grand Prix

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, gold medalists Ricky Berens, Cullen Jones, Conor Dwyer, Jessica Hardy and Allison Schmitt head the field for the Arena Grand Prix that begins Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. With 30 swimmers, Charlotte-based SwimMac Carolina is expected to dominate. The meet will serve as a preparation meet for the 2013 Phillips 66 National Championships and World Championship Trials in Indianapolis, World University Games and World Championships.

Phelps Among Influential

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian ever with 22 medals, is ranked second behind quarterback Tim Tebow on Forbes Magazine’s list of the Top 10 Most Influential Athletes. He is ranked ahead of several top pro athletes including LeBron James, David Beckham and Peyton Manning. Phelps has done more for the sport of swimming than any other swimmer, male or female, in the history of the sport and Olympics.

FINA Diving Grand Prix

Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex will host 120 divers from 21 countries including 2012 Olympic champions and medalists, for the fourth stop of the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix that begins on Thursday and ends Sunday. The meet will help divers fine tune for World Championships in Barcelona. The events include men’s and women’s 3-meter springboard, 10-meter platform and 3-meter and 10-meter synchro. Powerhouse China is expected to dominate. Olympic gold medalist David Boudia will compete in his first major competition since winning two medals at the London Olympics. U.S. divers will be looking to prepare for the May 15-20 World Championship Trials in Tallahassee.

Miscellaneous

Five-time Olympian Dara Torres of Boston and Milwaukee-based Koss have launched a new headphone line for women called Koss Fit Series. The line includes FitClips and Fit Buds…U.S. Masters Spring Nationals get underway on Thursday in Indianapolis. GOLD’s Deb Cavanaugh along with eight other local swimmers will compete in individual events only. The age groups did not work for relays, according to Cavanaugh. The meet ends Sunday.

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