2020 Summer Olympic Games Postponed, Moved To 2021


By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, March 24, 2020–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson will have to wait a little longer to make a historic fifth Olympic appearance.

After weeks of speculation, it’s official: the 2020 Summer Olympics, originally scheduled to begin on July 24 in Tokyo, Japan and end Aug. 9, have been postponed to a later date because of the global coronavirus pandemic and will not take place until 2021.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made what athletes, coaches and parents knew was inevitable official on Tuesday.

This is the first time the Olympic Games have been postponed although the major international event has been canceled three times because of war.

At 31, the four-time Jamaican Olympian was looking forward to competing in her fifth and probably final Olympics. SOFLO aquatics director and head coach Chris Anderson has coached Atkinson at all four Olympics.

“I do believe it was the best choice,” said the short course breaststroke world record holder. “A great majority of athletes across the board were on the same page. There is such a sense of relief.

“I don’t really have mixed emotions,” Atkinson said. “I think you have to consider everything. If every country competed there was a high probability of getting it. If one person has it, everyone in the Athletes’ Village is confined so that would increase the odds of getting it even more. And if the virus had died down in an athlete’s country and that athlete returned home with it, a whole second wave of the virus would start.”

Canadian Olympic swimming hopeful Bill Pisani already knew his country wasn’t going to the Summer Olympics, but it really hit home on Monday when he learned the Games were being postponed.

Pisani, 21, of West Palm Beach received an email from his swim federation on Sunday night that Canada was boycotting the Olympics because of COVID-19.

“For sure I have mixed emotions,” said Pisani, who grew up swimming in the Florida Gold Coast with the Lake Lytal Lightning and graduated from Florida State last year.

“The most emotion came when I was reading the email that it was postponed. I thought ‘oh wow this is the reality now.’ The more I think about it, it was absolutely the right decision.”

Pisani was pleased to see Canada join forces with Australia boycotting the Games and pressuring the International Olympic Committee to postpone the event until 2021.

“As the son of a Canadian who’s working in a hospital right now at the forefront of this invisible war and as an Olympic hopeful who has dedicated so much of his life to chase the Olympic dream, I am more proud than ever to be Canadian,” said Pisani, referring to his country’s boycott.

Pisani’s mom Lisa is a physical therapist. Recently, her hospital, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, had its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

“I think there was more of a sigh of relief for all athletes around the world,” Pisani said. “There were just too many questions left unanswered. Hosting the Olympics would have put so many people in danger. It makes us as athletes feel more secure and safe.”

The Canadian Olympic Trials were scheduled for March 30-April 5 in Toronto. Pisani was a favorite to at least make a relay.

“Over the past two years, the Olympic dream had become so close to reality for me,” Pisani said. “It was getting exciting as time went on and this year the closer we got to our Olympic trials it was the most excited I have been about swimming. Everything has definitely changed.”

Sid Cassidy of Boca Raton, St. Andrew’s School aquatics director and longtime swim coach, is vice chairman of the FINA technical open water swimming committee. He has been working Olympic events since 2008.

“I think at this point the athletes had it right,” said Cassidy, who was set to serve as referee for the men’s and women’s 10K races.

“It is hard when you see athletics taking a back seat,” Cassidy said. “Of course, I am disappointed they are not going to do it this year, but it certainly seems to be the best decision.

“There is no easy way to redirect your life. A lot of the talk is to be stronger and learn from it but it doesn’t take away any of the pain. This is very different from the 1980 Olympic boycott, this involves the whole world. I am happy for the athletes knowing but not happy with the reality.”

The U.S. swimming trials were scheduled for June 21-28 in Omaha. The pandemic had already disrupted the training of every elite athlete and Olympic hopeful in the U.S.

The postponement and rescheduling to no later than the summer of 2021 will already add to a crowded 2021 schedule that features the 2021 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, July 16-Aug. 1. Track and field will also have a conflict with its Aug. 6-15, 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Florida State swim coach Neal Studd echoed Cassidy’s sentiments after watching his swim program’s NCAA season end early because of COVID-19. The men’s team was expected to finish in the Top 10 for the first time.

FSU had eight swimmers at World Championships and six at University Games. Studd was the 2012 St. Lucia Olympic coach and has coached several student-athletes on the international level.

“If anything this gives it some clarity,” Studd said. “Now we get to re-set and plan accordingly.

“There are bigger problems than sports right now. There is a big picture here and bigger place in the world. Obviously though I would rather be at NCAAs and Canadian trials.”

Mariusz Podkoscielny, two-time Olympian for Poland in 1988 and 1992, now head swim coach at Pine Crest School, said problems were already beginning to surface because of the lack of out-of-competition drug tests during the pandemic.

“There is the aspect that the Olympic competition would not be fair, that the way of preparation is not on a level playing field,” Podkoscielny said. “There are issues of people taking advantage of illegal supplements without conducting the out-of-competition drug testing. It would give athletes a green light to do it.”

Podkoscielny said the COVID-19 is bigger than any sports event including the Olympics.

“The majority of athletes are going to feel relieved,” Podkoscielny said. “These are not the circumstances to get ready for the Olympics or think about the Olympics. People’s lives are changing daily.

“If I were an athlete right now I would be heartbroken not going. There will be disappoitment but it is right thing to do. Everyone agrees with that.”

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

U.S. Relay Breaks First World Record On Day One Of The 7th FINA World Junior Championships; Pine Crest’s Vale Makes History


By Sharon Robb

BUDAPEST, Hungary, August 20, 2019—The U.S. men’s team broke the junior world record in the 4×100-meter freestyle Tuesday on opening night of the 7th FINA World Junior Championships at Duna Arena.

The foursome of Jake Magahey (49.51), Luca Urlando (48.73), Adam Chaney (48.64) and Carson Foster (48.92) won in 3:15.80, bettering the previous record by 1.16 seconds. It was also a championship record. Russia was second in 3:16.26 and Italy was third in 3:16.29.

Other individual champions were:

Hungary’s hometown favorite Gabor Zombori, 16, won the 400-meter freestyle in a championship record 3:46.06.

Spain’s Alba Ruiz Vasquez, sixth at the back-to-breast turn, won the 400-meter individual medley in a world junior and championship record 4:38.53. The previous record was 4:39.01. American Isabel Gormley was second in 4:39.15.

The U.S. won the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:55.49. Winning relay members were Lillie Nordmann, Erin Gemmell, Justina Kozan and Claire Tuggle.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Nicholas Vale of Jamaica got in two races on opening day and made history as the first Jamaican to compete in the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

Vale was 57th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:16.02. He also swam third leg on Jamaica’s 4×100 freestyle relay that was 15th in 3:39.20.

Bahamian Izaak Bastian of Florida State and St. Andrew’s alum, was 14th in the 100-meter breaststroke prelims in 1:02.55 but failed to get out of semifinals, placing 11th in 1:01.99.

Other Florida Gold Coast past and present swimmers:

50. Luis Bucaro, Guatemala, Cypress Bay/TS Aquatics, 400-meter freestyle, 4:09.81.

Around 800 young promising swimmers ages between 15-17 (women) 14-18 (men) are competing in the six-day competition, which has produced many of today’s swimming stars.

A total of 125 National Federations are represented in the state-of-the-art Duna Arena, the venue that staged the 17th FINA World Championships in July 2017 and has been the background to many FINA high-profile competitions since then such as the FINA Champions Swim Series and Swimming World Cup.

Daily heat sessions are at 9:30 a.m while semifinals and finals are at 5:30 p.m. All sessions are being live streamed on FINAtv and daily news reports will be available on FINA website. Results are available immediately after each event on FINA website and on FINA mobile app.

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

Lochte Wins National Title, SOFLO’s Golding Swims Final Race At Phillips 66 National Championships


By Sharon Robb

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 5, 2019—Ryan Lochte is definitely back.

The six-time Olympic gold medalist, coming off a 14-month suspension, won the 200-meter individual medley on the final day of the Phillips 66 USA National Championships Sunday at Stanford’s Avery Aquatics Center.

Lochte, 35, won in 1:57.76, nearly four seconds slower than his world record set eight years ago. It was his 27th national title.

“This was a lot easier 10 years ago,” said Lochte, who finished 1.07 seconds ahead of silver medalist Shalne Casas. “I’ve got a long ways to go for 2020. This younger generation of swimmers are fast. They are young and I am definitely getting older, but I’m up for the challenge.”

Lochte gave his gold medal to a young fan, saying “I don’t know half the swimmers I’m swimming against. As rewarding as it is for me to win races, I get more satisfaction out of seeing the smiles on kids’ faces when I give them my medals.”

Lochte was pleased with his comeback meet but admitted he wasn’t in top form.

“It didn’t feel good at all,” Lochte said with a laugh. “I just remember years ago it feeling so much easier, but I mean it’s a starting point for me. Especially since my daughter has been born, the past five and a half to six weeks, I haven’t really been at the pool.”

In other championship finals:

Madisyn Cox won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.00 ahead of Vanessa Pearl in 2:12.40. Former Gulliver swimmer Kelly Fertel won the “B” final in 2:13.27.

A day after making her first U.S. Olympic Trials cut in the 400-meter freestyle, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, 18, swam the 200-meter individual medley in 2:19.46 in her fourth and final event of senior nationals.

Erika Brown won the women’s 50-meter freestyle in 24.71. Gretchen Walsh was second in 24.85.

Ryan Held won the men’s 50-meter freestyle in 21.87. Bowe Becker and Robert Howard tied for second in 22.00.

Ally McHugh won the women’s 1500-meter freestyle in 16:05.98. McHugh took the lead at 1100 and had a two-body length going into the 1300-mark.

Bobby Finke of St. Petersburg Spa won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in 7:47.58 ahead of Zane Grothe in 7:50.47.

MORE SWIMMING NEWS

Dan Kesler has been named associate head coach with the Florida State swimming program. He replaces Ozzie Quevedo who left for the same position at Alabama. Kesler has coached the last seven seasons at Arizona State. He will work with head coach Neal Studd….

Swim sensation Caeleb Dressel, a Florida, Clay High School and Bolles Swimming Club alum, made a special appearance on NBC’s Today Show to talk about his success at the FINA World Aquatics Championships. Dressel talked about how he reacted to such a successful meet at Worlds, saying the medals were “just pieces of metal.” Dressel also talked about his post-Worlds meals where he was finally able to indulge himself with some unhealthy foods and how he is going to refocus to sustain his success next year for the Olympic Games in Tokyo…

Eleven World Cup records were broken in Tokyo, site of the FINA World Cup Series. The series resumes Thursday in Jinan, China. South Florida Aquatic Club veteran swimmer Alia Atkinson of Jamaica will compete. She won the 50-meter breaststroke in the series opener.

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

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


By Sharon Robb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Atkinson Among World Cup Field Racing For Prize Money; Florida Gators Open In South Florida; Poppell, Nesty Make College Head Coaching Debuts


By Sharon Robb

September 27, 2018—After missing the opening cluster, SOFLO’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will join the 2018 FINA World Cup Series for its second cluster Friday through Sunday in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Both the men’s and women’s fields are larger than the small turnout in Kazan and Doha. The field features 185 swimmers from around the world.

Other swimmers expected to compete are Brazil’s Felipe Lima and Eteine Medeiros, Americans Michael Andrew, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia, Molly Hannis, Melanie Margalis and Kathleen Baker, Mitch Larkin, Mack Horton and Emily Seebohm of Australia, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, Yulia Efimova of Russia, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, Japan’s Daiya Seto and South Africa’s Chad Le Clos.

Twelve events will be raced on each of the three days in Eindhoven.

Atkinson will be joined by women’s series leader Sarah Sjostrum of Sweden and men’s leader Anton Chupkov of Russia. Sjostrum earned the maximum points and earned the $50,000 Cluster One bonus after the first two stops of the short course meters series.

COLLEGE SWIMMING

After intrasquad and alumni meets the past two weeks, the college dual meet season opens Thursday through Saturday across the nation including South Florida.

University of Florida men’s and women’s teams open their season Thursday at Florida Atlantic in the first meet of the season. The Gators women’s team head further south on Friday to swim University of Miami. The Gators then head to Florida Gulf Coast also on Saturday.

The women’s team begins its first season under head coach Jeff Poppell, former Gulliver Prep head coach and aquatics director. Poppell has been at Florida since 2016 serving as an associate head coach.

The Gators women’s team returns 27 letter winners including All-Americans Sherridon Dressel and Brooke Madden. The Gator men feature 14 freshmen. Anthony Nesty makes his debut as first-year head men’s coach. Nesty has spent the last 20 seasons with the Gators.

Florida International University women’s team heads to University of Miami on Saturday. Florida State is holding an intrasquad meet on Saturday in Tallahassee. Florida Atlantic will host Gardner-Webb and North Florida on Saturday.

WEDDING BELLS

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, 23, is engaged to fellow swimmer Hayes Johnson. Johnson proposed at Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Georgia. Johnson swam at University of Texas and was a member of the 2010 NCAA champion team. “Thank you for making this the easiest answer to any question I’ve ever been asked,” Franklin posted on Instagram.

MISCELLANEOUS

South African Olympic medalist Cameron van der Burgh has relocated to London to train for his fifth FINA World Short Course Championship in Hangzhou, China, Dec. 11-16. Burgh said after 30 years in South Africa it was time to start a new journey. He will continue to compete internationally for South Africa…

American Heritage Plantation alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago was awarded the Hummingbird Silver Award from the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago at this year’s Republic Day National Awards Function. Carter was honored for bringing national attention to the tiny island and for putting aquatics at the forefront. Carter was a silver medalist at the Commonwealth Games and won three gold medals at CAC. He is the first and only swimmer to medal at both the Youth Olympic Games and FINA World Junior Swimming Championships…

The 2020 Olympic Trials date were officially set for June 21-28. The Trials will be hosted by Omaha, Nebraska for the fourth time. The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo five weeks after the Trials. The Trials cuts were announced by USA Swimming during Thursday’s U.S. Aquatic Sports Convention in Jacksonville and they are all faster than the 2016 cuts. The men’s 800 and women’s 1500 freestyle events will make their debut at the 2020 Trials. The 2018 Winter National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. in late November will be the first meet where swimmers can get their Trials cuts.

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

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


By Sharon Robb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Atkinson, Carter, Paez Win Gold At CAC Games In Colombia; FSU’s Pisani Makes Canada’s Pan Pacs Team


By Sharon Robb

BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA, July 23, 2018—Swimmers who trained and competed at local Florida Gold Coast clubs and high schools are taking center stage at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatics Complex and Canadian Trials in Edmonton.

Plantation American Heritage and former USC Trojan Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago crushed the 50-meter butterfly for a gold medal in a lifetime-best 23.11 which now ranks fourth in the world. He first broke the record in prelims in 23.50.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 29, won a gold medal and broke her second CAC meet record in the 50-meter breaststroke. She won in 30.19, fourth fastest mark in the world this season, bettering the previous record of 31.14 she set in morning prelims. It is the third fastest time of her long career and just .08 what she swam at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan where she took silver.

Atkinson also won a gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.60.

“It was pretty good,” Atkinson told reporters. “I’m starting to feel the effects of the dehydration and heat, so hopefully I can continue and get better as it goes along.

“My race was a bit harder than I thought. It wasn’t as clean as I thought it would have been but hopefully in the future we’ll get it better for the finals. It was more of the effects of the dehydration and tightening of the muscles.”

Atkinson was also fourth in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.41.

Atkinson now has 12 CAC Games gold medals in her career. Atkinson’s three gold medals are the only ones won by Jamaica since the Games opened on Thursday.

Athletes are competing in near 100-degree heat during the day.

Recent Duke University graduate Isabella Paez won the gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:11.26, just .01 shy of the Games record. It was her second “A” final of the meet. She also finished fourth in the 50-meter butterfly and was a member of Venezuela’s fourth place in the 800-meter freestyle relay (8:22.92).

The Venezuelan national team member swam for Metro Aquatic Club of Miami and Ronald Reagan Doral High School before earning a scholarship to Duke where she represented the Blue Devils at the NCAA Championships.

Her mom posted on Facebook: “There are no words to see your daughter make the anthem of your country, Bravo Isa, you are a warrior, we love you mucho.”

Held every four years since 1926, the CACs are a multi-sport competition involving countries in Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico and the South American countries of Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

CANADIAN TRIALS

Florida State senior William Pisani, a Riviera Beach Suncoast alum and Lake Lytal Lightning club swimmer, earned a spot on Canada’s national team for the Aug. 9-12 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

Pisani earned his spot on the 32-roster men’s team with a second-place finish in the 100-meter butterfly in 53.17 at the Canadian Trials in Edmonton, Alberta.

“I am so happy for Will,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “He is a great example of what happens when talent works hard. His improvements here at FSU in the last two years show how well he has focused on what he does every day and making his first national team with two years until the Olympics is great timing. The future looks bright.”

Pisani also took third in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.51, just .04 off the FINA A standard, and fifth in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.92 after swimming a personal best in prelims in 49.59.

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