Nordman, Urlando, Foster Win Gold For U.S.; Locals Vale, Bucaro Get In More Racing On Day Two Of The 7th FINA World Junior Championships


By Sharon Robb

BUDAPEST, Hungary, August 21, 2019—It was a good day for Team USA on Day Two of the 7th FINA World Junior Championships Wednesday at the state-of-the-art Duna Arena.

Lillie Nordmann, Luca Urlando and Carson Foster won gold medals for the U.S.

Nordmann took the lead at the 150-meter mark and went on to win the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.24 finishing ahead of Hungary’s Blanka Berecz in 2:08.93.

Urlando dominated the men’s field to win the 200-meter freestyle in 1:46.97, just missing his best time by a half a second. Sweden’s Robin Hanson was second in 1:47.03.

Foster led from start-to-finish to win the 200-meter individual medley in a championship record 1:58.46, breaking the previous record by .57. Canadian Finlay Knox was second in 1:59.44.

Other individual champions were:

Italy’s Tomas Ceccon won the 100-meter backstroke in a championship record 53.46 ahead of Russian Nikolay Zuev in 53.50.

Italian teammate and event favorite Benedetta Pilato won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.60. She led from start-to-finish.

Swimming in Lane 7, Russian Vladislav Gerasimenko won the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.97, the only swimmer in the final to break 1 minute.

Canadian Jade Hannah won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.63. She was the only sub-minute backstroke in prelims, semis and finals.

Aussie Lani Pallister pulled away from the field early to win the 800-meter freestyle in a championship record 8:22.49.

The U.S. mixed 4×100-meter medley relay team had no trouble winning the gold in a junior world and championship reord 3:44.84. Relay members were Will Grant, Josh Matheny, Torri Huske and Gretchen Walsh. Russia was a distant second in 3:48.06.

Florida Gold Coast past and present swimmers:

Jamaica’s Nicholas Vale of Pine Crest Swimming was 49th in the 100-meter butterfly in 57.71. He was also 66th in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:02.91.

Guatemala’s Luis Bucaro (Cypress Bay/TS Aquatics) was 49th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:57.09.

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

Patrick Groters Makes History For Aruba, Several Local Swimmers Shine On Day Two Of XVIII Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 7, 2019—Former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters made history Wednesday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional.

Groters became the first swimmer from his country to make an “A” final in a Pan American Games competition.

Groters was eighth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:03.65. He qualified eighth in morning prelims in 2:02.32, fourth in his heat. It was a national record and lifetime-best time.

In the finals, Groters went out fast and had the early lead at 50 meters with a 27.68 split. Groters faded on the back half.

Aruba teammate Mikel Schreuders, also shared the historical moment with Groters. He was third in the 200-meter freestyle heat in 1:49.48, just missing the national record and was seventh in the final in 1:49.92.

There were several familiar faces competing on Wednesday.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Celina Marquez of El Salvador won the “B” final of the 200-meter backstroke with more than a three-second drop in 2.14.76 and setting a new national record.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago won his heat in the 200-meter freestyle morning prelims in 1:49.08. He came back at night to finish fourth in a national record 1:47.78.

Isabella Paez of Venezuela was third in her 100-meter butterfly heat in 1:01.44 and was fourth in the “B” final in 1:01.85.

St. Andrew’s alum Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands was seventh in her heat of the 200-meter freestyle in 2:14.50.

TS Aquatics alum and Penn State swimmer Carlos Vasquez, representing Honduras, was a “B” finalist in the 200-meter butterfly and swam a best time 2:02.74. He also swam a best time in the 100-meter butterfly in 56.01.

Individual winners on Wednesday night:

Americans Claire Rasmus and Meaghan Raab finished one-two in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:58.64 and 1:58.70.

Brazilians Fernando Muhlenberg Scheffer and Breno Martins Correia were one-two in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:46.68 and 1:47.78.

American Kendyl Stewart won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.49.

American Tom Shields bounced back to win the 100-meter butterfly in 51.59 just ahead of Guatemala’s Luiz Martinez in 51.63.

American Alex Walsh won the women’s 200-meter backstroke in 2:08.30.

American Daniel Carr won the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:58.13.

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

U.S., Brazil, Argentina Win Gold, Pine Crest’s Santander Swims First Relay On Day One Of XVIII Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 7, 2019—The U.S., Brazil and Argentina shared the gold medal podium on opening day of swimming Tuesday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional.

Pine Crest’s Andrea Santander swam her first event for Venezuela. The relay of Jeserik Andrein Pinto Sequera, Carla Gonzalez, Santander and Fabiana Antonel Pesce Flores finished fourth in 3:53.89 behind the U.S., Brazil and Canada.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello, with her fingernails painted with her country’s light blue and white nails, won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:10.86. She led for most of the race.

American Andrew Abruzzo won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:48.41 after taking the lead at the 300-meter mark. Colombia’s Santiago Corredo was eighth in 3:56.00.

American Annie Lazor, swimming from Lane 7, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.94.

Brazil’s Joao Gomes knocked off American Cody Miller to out-touch him and win the 100-meter breaststroke 59.51-59.57. American Kevin Cordes was third in 1:00.27. Colombia’s Jorge Murillo, a former SOFLO swimmer, was fifth in 1:00.91.

Argentina’s Virginia Bardach Martin won the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:10.87. American Meghan Small was third in 2:12.51.

Brazil’s Leonardo de Deus won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in 1:55.85 to win his third consecutive gold medal in the event at Pan Ams. American Sam Pomajevich was second in 1:57.35. Early leader Tom Shields faded to eighth in 2:06.65.

The U.S. team overtook Brazil at the 200-meter mark to win the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay to take the gold in 3:39.59 with Margo Geer, Lia Neal, Claire Rasmus and Meaghan Raab. Brazil was second in 3:40.39.

Brazil came back and knocked off the U.S. to win the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Nathan Adrian anchored the relay with the second fastest split of 47.70.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Gold At FINA Swimming World Cup In Tokyo


By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, August 4, 2019—After a slow start in the series opener, Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club bounced back to win a gold medal Sunday at the FINA Swimming World Cup.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian and short course world record holder won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.35. She won $1,500 for her first place.

Satomi Suzuki of Japan was second in 31.09 and Alina Zmushka of Belarus was third in 31.12.

Atkinson still holds the championship record in 30.26, set in November 2015. Atkinson was coming off the FINA World Championships where she finished out of the medal hunt. Her best place was fourth.

Atkinson was also ninth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.87 and 19th in the 50-meter butterfly in 27.57 in the FINA World Cup opener.

“I feel pretty good. I wanted to see if I was faster or slower than at the World Championships, and I am about the same time. So, it was okay. I think my best time is 1:05.9, so I would love to be get back to this result. For that reason, it’s a small stepping stone in that direction,” Atkinson said.

Tokyo is the first stop of the first cluster and site of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, giving Atkinson a sneak preview of the city and Olympic fever. The remaining two stops are Jinan, China Aug. 8-10 and Singapore Aug. 15-17.

Swimmers are competing for prize money. Atkinson is the only swimmer from Jamaica competing.

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

Dressel, Manuel, Hosszu Make History; SOFLO’s Atkinson Misses Medal On Final Day Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 28, 2019—Caeleb Dressel, Simone Manuel and Katinka Hosszu set medal records on the eighth and final day of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Sunday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

Dressel, a University of Florida, Clay High School and Bolles Club alum, Dressel became the first man to win eight medals at a championship. Dressel won gold in all four of his individual events, six golds and two silver medals overall, and one world record.

Sjostrum won five medals, one gold, two silvers and two bronze medals, tying Missy Franklin for the most medals in world championship history.

For the second consecutive world championships, Dressel and Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum were named Swimmers of the Meet. Dressel had 22 points and Sjostrum had 15 points.

Manuel is the first American woman to sweep the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events and became the first woman to win seven medals in a single world championship. She won the 50 on Sunday in 24.05. Sjostrum was second in 24.07.

Hosszu became the first woman and only the second after Michael Phelps to win five world titles in the same event when she won gold in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:32.07. She was 20 when she won her first 400IM in 2009 in Rome.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, the 2015 silver medalist, left worlds without a medal. Her best finish was fourth in the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.34 on the final day.

SOFLO teammate and Vietnamese Olympian Vien Nguyen was 19th in 4:47.96 in her third and final event at worlds.

Canada, with former Lake Lytal Lightning and Florida State swimmer Will Pisani, enjoyed its best worlds. After winning a bronze medal and setting a national record in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay, Canada finished with a record two gold and six bronze medals, all in Olympic events. Swimmers reached 19 finals, two more than in Budapest in 2017 and most finals since 1978.

South African Zane Wadell was an upset winner in the men’s 50-meter backstroke by 0.06 seconds in 24.43 ahead of Russian favorites Evgeny Rylov in 24.49 and Kliment Kolesnikov in 24.51. It was his first world title.

American Lilly King crushed the women’s 50-meter breaststroke field by 0.16 seconds to defend her title in 29.84, the only swimmer to crack 30 seconds. Italy’s 14-year-old sensation Benedetta Pilato was second in 30.00 and Russian Yuliya Efimova was third in 30.15.

“I didn’t know if it was happy tears or sad tears,” King said. “She’s 14, it doesn’t really matter what kind of tears they were, but I was like, ‘It’s OK, you did fine.”’

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won the men’s 1500-meter freestyle in 14:36.54. Mykhailo Romanchuk of the Ukraine was second in 14:37.63 and Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri was third in 14:38.75.

Japan’s Daiya Seto reclaimed the 400-meter individual medley title in 4:08.95. American Jay Litherland was second in 4:09.22 and Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand was third in 4:12.07.

Kelsi Worrell led the U.S. to a world record and gold medal in the 4×100-meter medley relay along with 17-year-old Regan Smith, Lilly King and Simone Manuel. The foursome won in 3:50.40, bettering the previous record by more than a second.

Great Britain won the 400-meter medley relay in 3:28.10 knocking off the U.S. men’s team with Dressel at anchor in 3:28.45. Russia was third in 3:28.81.

It was the U.S. team’s 14th gold medal for the week. They also had eight silver and five bronze, less than their 2017 showing. There were ten world records broken, 17 championship records, five junior world records, three African, 12 American, six Asian, five European and seven Oceanian records.

Smith’s opening split of 57.57 set a world record and made her the first woman to go under 58 seconds in the 100 backstroke.

The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

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

Dressel Wins Three Titles In One Night, SOFLO’s Atkinson Makes Final On Day Seven Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 27, 2019—Caeleb Dressel pulled off a hat trick on Day Seven of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Saturday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

The 22-year-old swimming sensation defended his 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly titles and was a member of the winning mixed 4×100-meter freestyle that broke a world record in 3:19.40.

Dressel, a University of Florida, Clay High School and Bolles Swim Club alum, is the first swimmer to win at least six gold medals at two world championships.

“It wasn’t easy tonight,” Dressel said. “I don’t want it to be easy, I really don’t.”

Dressel won the 50-meter freestyle breaking his own American record in 21.04 and 100-meter butterfly in 49.66 after breaking the world record in the semifinals in 49.50.

“It doesn’t just come together by accident,” Dressel said. “It’s just about getting in every day and learning event to event, practice to practice.

“But I’m glad it’s over. I certainly don’t want to swim any more than this tonight. Dressel could pocket a seventh gold and eighth medal of the week in Sunday’s 4x100m mixed medley. He also took silver in the 4×100-meter mixed medley.

“Tomorrow I will be ready to swim one more, and one more fast.”

Olympian and world record holder Katie Ledecky, 22, salvaged her world championships with a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle for her fourth consecutive title in the event. It was Ledecky’s 15th world title.

“I got to the pool this morning to warm up and felt a little nauseous again which wasn’t great,” Ledecky said. “I had a brief moment of doubt there, but pulled it together and made it happen today.

“Last night after watching all the fast swimming I said (to my coach) I so, so badly want to go have a good swim tomorrow. Just watching those records tumble… really fired me up.”

After scratching from two events because of illness, Ledecky came from .18 seconds behind to overtake leader Simona Quadarella of Italy and win in 8:13.58.

“I took it out like I usually do, and just kind of relied on my training to bring me home,” Ledecky said. “Simona was having a great race and pulled up right next to me, and when she did that, I kind of felt like I could stick with her and rely on my speed. I just tried to stay calm and relaxed from the 500 to the 750, and decided in the last 100 when I was going to make a move. I just put my legs into it and got my hand on the wall.”

A night after setting a world record in the semi-finals of the women’s 200 backstroke, 17-year-old American Regan Smith returned to win the final.

The only world title to escape the Americans on Saturday was the women’s 50-meter butterfly, won by Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, her first of the meet.

“I’m very happy that I could win another medal especially after such a tough program I’ve been having,” said the Olympic 100 butterfly champion, who had needed an oxygen mask after winning bronze in the 200 freestyle.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club made her first final in the 50-meter breaststroke. She is the fifth fastest qualifier after semifinals in 30.61. She was the silver medalist in the event in 2015. American Lilly King is top qualifier in 29.84.

SOFLO teammate and Vietnam Olympian Vien Nguyen will compete in her third and final event, the 400-meter individual medley on Sunday.

Among other former or current Florida Gold Coast swimmer results: 50-meter freestyle, 47. Cathy Cooper, Panama 26.88, 49. Chade Nersicio, Curacao 27.13, 51. Lauren Hew, Cayman Islands 27.26; 50-meter breaststroke, 4. Alia Atkinson, Jamaica 30.53, 5. Atkinson, 30.61.

The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

The meet will be streamed and televised by the Olympic Channel and live timing will be available.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

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

Dressel, Smith Break World Records, Manuel Sets American Record On Day Six Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 26, 2019—Caeleb Dressel continued his historic run on Day Six of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Friday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

The University of Florida and Bolles Sharks Club alum pursuit of history continued when he broke one of Michael Phelps’ 10-year old world records, this time in the 100-meter butterfly semifinals in 49.50. Phelps record was 49.82 set in 2009. Dressel now owns six of the 10 fastest time in history.

Dressel came back to earn the top seed after the 50-meter freestyle semifinals in 21.18, just 3/100ths of his American record.

Another world record was broken in the semifinals of the women’s 200-meter backstroke. Seventeen-year-old teenager Regan Smith broke Missy Franklin’s record of 2:04.06 set when Franklin was also 17 at the 2012 London Olympics. The high school senior broke the record in 2:03.35.

“I don’t know how to put it into words,” said Smith during her on-deck interview.

Defending champion Simone Manuel held on to win the gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle and set an American record swimming in Lane 1. Manuel won in 52.04. Aussie Cate Campbell took silver in 52.43 and world record holder Sarah Sjostrum of Sweden was the bronze medalist in 52.46. Manuel is only the second woman to repeat as a champion in this event.

Russian Yuliya Efimova won the 200-meter breaststroke to become the first woman to three-peat in 2:20.17. South African Tatiana Schoenmaker was second in 2:22.52 and Canadian Sydney Pickrem was third in 2:22.90.

Russian Evgeny Rylov knocked off three-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy to win the 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.40. The Bolles alum took silver in 1:54.12 and Brit Luke Greenbank was bronze medalist in 1:55.85.

Russia won its third goal medal of the night when Anton Chupkov won the 200-meter breaststroke in a world record 2:06.12. Aussie Matthew Wilson, who had broken the world record at 2:06.67 in semis, was second in 2:06.68 and Japan’s Ippei Watanabe was third in 2:06.73.

Australia won the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:00.85. Russia took silver in 7:01.81 and the U.S. hung on for the bronze in 7:01.96.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club was 36th in the 50-meter butterfly 27.49.

U.S. Olympian and world record holder Katie Ledecky, still not 100 percent, qualified second in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:17.42 behind teammate Leah Smith in 8:17.23.

Among other former or current Florida Gold Coast swimmer results: 50-meter freestyle, 21. Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, Suriname 22.33; 41. Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago 22.65, 82. Jorge Depassier, Chile 24.29; 50-meter butterfly, 41. Chade Nersicio, Curacao 28.45.

The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

The meet will be streamed and televised by the Olympic Channel and live timing will be available.

TV Schedule: https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2019/07/17/swimming-world-championships-tv-stream-schedule/

Live Results: http://omegatiming.com

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