AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 189: Gary Hall Jr. Heads 2013 ISHOF Induction Class

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 189: Gary Hall Jr. Heads 2013 ISHOF Induction Class


August 23, 2021

Olympian Gary Hall Jr. of The Race Club heads the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

Hall Jr. and nine other individuals selected for induction will be honored at the 49th annual ISHOF ceremonies on Saturday, May 11th in Fort Lauderdale.

Hall is one of only five male swimmers in history with double-digit Olympic medals won between 1996 and 2004.

Hall Jr., a three-time Olympian, won 10 Olympic medals including five gold. As a sprint freestyler, he won back-to-back gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle in 2000 and 2004 and silver medal in 1996. Hall Jr. also medaled at two World Championships and two Pan American Games.

Since retiring from swimming, Hall is involved in several charities including those related to diabetes. Hall has Type 1 diabetes, diagnosed in 1999.

Joining Hall Jr. are swimmers Pieter Van Den Hoogenband of the Netherlands; Yana Klochkova of the Ukraine and Dagmar Hase of Germany; diver Hu Jia of China; synchronized swimmer Nathalie Schneyder of the U.S.; water polo player Milivoj Bebic of Yugoslavia and Croatia; open water swimmer Cliff Lumsden of Canada; coach Alberto Castagnetti of Italy and contributor Peter Montgomery of Australia.


Brazil swimmers continue to dominate the Jose Finkel Trophy Meet in Sao Paulo. Guilherme Guido swam the 50-meter backstroke in a Brazilian and South American record time of 23.31 in the short course meters national championship meet. He won in finals in 23.38. Felipe Silva won the 100-meter breaststroke in 58.17, Davie’s Felipe Lima was second in 58.26 and Henrique Barbosa third in 58.62. Kaio Almeida won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:52.44, just ahead of Thiago Pereira, who died in the last 50 and finished in 1:52.56. Pereira came back in the 100-meter individual medley in 52.64. Etiene Medeiros knocked off 37-year-old Fabiola Martin in the 50-meter backstroke in 26.94…

Ryan Lochte said on Wednesday that he plans on getting back in the water on Monday to begin his training for world championships and 2016 Rio Olympics. Lochte also said he plans on dropping the 400-meter individual medley from his events list. Lochte will be on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Friday night…University of Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel returned to the pool on Thursday. “First swim in three weeks, rough,” Beisel tweeted…Olympic teammate Brendan Hansen, who two weeks ago tweeted his wife Martha was having their first baby, confirmed that they will be having a girl early next year…Olympian Jessica Hardy was diagnosed with TMJ. For the past two weeks she has had a dislocated jaw. “Really missing being able to chow down on food,” Hardy tweeted…

Former Indian River State College and Clemson head coach Chris Ip was hired at LSU as an assistant coach…Yale coaching legend Phil Moriarty died Wednesday at age 98…Olympian Rowdy Gaines will throw out the first pitch at Thursday’s Chicago Cubs home game…Former Pine Crest swimmer Diana Nyad actually swam 51 hours and 5 minutes during her record attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, her crew discovered after going over logs and video…Bahamian Olympian Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace has moved to South Florida and is training at University of Miami’s pool.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Memorial For Florida Gold Coast Official Mike Fish Saturday At ISHOF

Memorial For Florida Gold Coast Official Mike Fish Saturday At ISHOF


May 18, 2011

Family, friends and his Florida Gold Coast swimming family will gather to remember well-liked Florida Gold Coast official Mike Fish on Saturday at the International Swimming Hall of Fame Banquet Hall on Saturday in Fort Lauderdale.

Fish, 40, was tragically killed while cycling over the weekend.

According to police, the Tamarac resident was struck by a car about 8 a.m. on Saturday while he was cycling north across Sample Road at the intersection of Turtle Creek Drive.

Fish was rushed to North Broward Medical Center where he died from his injuries.

Fish will be remembered at a memorial service scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. He is survived by his wife Kathy, also a FGC official, son Jared and daughter Hannah.

Parking is available at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex lot or the City Lot just north of the Marriott Courtyard Hotel.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 33: Gemmell, Gorman Win Fran Crippen SafeSwim 10K In Fort Lauderdale

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 33: Gemmell, Gorman Win Fran Crippen SafeSwim 10K In Fort Lauderdale


May 9, 2011

Over the weekend, the legacy Fran Crippen left behind in open water swimming was never more evident as many of his friends competed in  the warm, choppy waters off Fort Lauderdale beach.

The inaugural Fran Crippen SafeSwim Festival 10K, part of the four-day  festivities surrounding the International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, went off without a hitch much to the delight of organizers, support crews and lifeguards.

It was one of many swims around the country named after Crippen, who tragically died last October while competing in an unsafe, FINA-sanctioned open water event in United Arab Emirates.

Because of the six-time U.S. national champion’s senseless death, an  expert panel has come up with improved safety standards for open water swimming and helped raise awareness for the sport.

The invitation-only 10K swim was won by American long distance swimmer Andrew Gemmell, the 2009 World 10K silver medalist and USA Open Water Swimmer of the Year, who topped an impressive field of Americans, Canadians and Australians to win $1,000 in prize money.

With 2K to go, Gemmell overtook the lead from national champion Chad LaTourette by averaging 96 strokes per minute.

Sergiy Fesenko, a week after competing in the FINA World Cup 10K in Cancun, was second. The three-time Olympian from Azerbaijan trains at Indiana University. LaTourette finished third.

On the women’s side, world 5K champion Melissa Gorman of Australia won the race just ahead of Christine Jennings and Eva Fabian in a close five-woman race.

Jennings was in the lead on the last lap and last buoy turn until Gorman started dolphining earlier than Jennings and moved ahead of her running up the beach. Jennings finished second and Fabian was third.

In the One Mile Dash For Cash, featuring Olympic gold medalists Aaron Peirsol and Peter Vanderkaay, Aussie Travis Nederpelt finished ahead of Vanderkaay to the finish line on the beach. American Conor Dwyer was third. Nederpelt won $300, Vanderkaay $200 and Dwyer $100.

National team swimmer Chloe Sutton won the women’s race and finished fifth overall.

The 10K event was held on the same course as the American and Canadian national championships in June.

Crippen’s sisters Maddy and Teresa helped run a clinic alongside several of the swimmers who participated in the race. The clinic attracted all ages from 10 to 56.

The festival, staged by ISHOF, the City of Fort Lauderdale and The Fran Crippen Elevation Foundation, hopes to return next year.


Nineteen-year-old Austria national team member Jakub Maly will think twice about jumping into holes at the beach after his life-threatening experience on Pompano Beach on Sunday.

After three weeks of training at the Pompano Beach Aquatic Center, the Austrian 14-swimmer contingent had the day off and decided to spend it at the beach at the 700 block of North Ocean Boulevard.

Maly, who spent the day digging a 7-foot deep by 6-foot wide hole with his teammates, jumped in the hole as a joke but was immediately buried in sand up to his neck when the sides collapsed. The pressure from the sand made it difficult for Maly to breathe. It took 60 rescue personnel nearly three hours to dig him out.

Maly could have been crushed by the pressure of the sand, rescuers said. He was taken to North Broward Hospital as a precaution and released. Maly, a breaststroker who shares the Austrian national short course record in the 4×50 medley relay, and his team boarded a plane Monday for home.

UM’s Viola Qualifies For Diving Worlds

University of Miami graduate Brittany Viola, 24, continued her remarkable comeback from two foot surgeries by qualifying for this summer’s FINA World Aquatic Championships in Shanghai, China during the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale.

Viola qualified on platform from her winter national title and 324 points she earned in prelims at the Fort Lauderdale meet. “Everything has been so unexpected,” Viola said.

Fifteen-year-old Aussie Brittany Broben, despite a sore knee, won her international debut in the platform competition by knocking off Olympic gold medalist Chen Ruolin of China.

China dominated most of the four-day meet winning five of the eight titles at stake, including all the men’s events. The U.S. divers won one gold, two silvers and four bronze.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Issue 29, Ian Thorpe Still To Be Inducted Into ISHOF Despite Comeback

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Issue 29, Ian Thorpe Still To Be Inducted Into ISHOF In May Despite Comeback


February 9, 2011

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe’s coming out of retirement will not affect his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame on May 6 in Fort Lauderdale.

The 28-year-old Australian heads a star-studded list of inductees and will take time out from training in Abu Dhabi and Europe to attend the ceremony.

“Because Ian has met the four-year retirement period and is now eligible the fifth year, his induction will continue,” said ISHOF’s Bob Duenkel.

“It is a similar situation to Mark Spitz and more than likely with swimmers staying in the sport longer, it could happen again. For example, (SOFLO’s) Dara Torres was really close to the induction period some years ago.”

Thorpe retired from swimming in November 2006 and didn’t think about returning to international swimming until he saw the London Olympic facility and started to get the itch to get back into the pool.

Thorpe is currently training for the 2012 London Olympics. He specified he will compete on relays but didn’t rule out individual events including the 100- and 200-meter freestyles which would set up another showdown with Olympic superstar Michael Phelps. Thorpe beat Phelps in the 200-meter freestyle in 2004.

“Thorpedo” won three Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Games and two more in Athens in 2004. Thorpe also won 11 world titles and 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals.

“It wasn’t something I have taken lightly,” Thorpe told reporters referring to his comeback. “I went to see the swimming venue for the London Olympics and it’s an extraordinary venue. I could taste it, which is something I haven’t felt for a very, very long time.

“I didn’t get back into the pool to get fit, I got back into it for no other reason than to get back to the stage where I could compete at an elite level.”

Thorpe has already signed Swimming Australia’s drug testing policy to be eligible for the Australian selection trials in March 2012.

Under FINA regulations, Thorpe can’t compete in a meet for nine months after registering.

“There are still things in swimming that I haven’t done that I would like to achieve,” Thorpe said.

Joining Thorpe in the 2011 inductee class for the 46th annual ISHOF Honors Weekend during the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix (May 5-8) are American swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg, synchro swimmers Miya Tachibana of Japan, water polo player Aleksandar Sostar of Yugoslavia, open water swimmer Michael Reed of Great Britain, Hungary water polo coach Denes Kemeny, contributor Thomas Hoad of Australia, Pioneer Re Calcaterra and gold medallion recipient Prince Albert of Monaco.

Tickets are available at or by calling 954-462-6536.

California, Stanford Remain No. 1

After a week of upsets among the men’s Top 25, there was little change among the top six in the most recent TYR/CSCAA Division I dual meet rankings.

The latest poll sets up an interesting showdown between No. 1 Cal and No. 2 Stanford in men’s swimming. The Stanford women, ranked No. 1, will put their ranking on the line this weekend against No. 4 California.

The final poll will be released at the end of next week’s conference championships.

MEN: 1.California, 2. Stanford, 3. Auburn, 4. Texas, 5. Florida, 6. Arizona, 7. Southern California, 8. Tennessee, 9. Michigan, 10. Georgia, 11. Ohio State, 12. Virginia, 13. North Carolina, 14. Indiana, 15. Minnesota, 16. UNLV, 17. Alabama, 18. Texas A&M, 19. Louisville, 20. Purdue, 21. Florida State, 22. LSU, 23. South Carolina, 24. Navy, 25. Iowa.

WOMEN: 1.Stanford, 2. Georgia, 3. Auburn, 4. tie, California, Texas, 6. Southern California, 7. tie, Arizona, Florida, 9. Tennessee, 10. Texas A&M, 11. Virginia, 12. North Carolina, 13. Minnesota, 14. Indiana, 15. Louisville, 16. Michigan, 17. Wisconsin-Madison, 18. Arkansas, 19. Ohio State, 20. Purdue, 21. UCLA, 22. Florida State, 23. SMU, 24. San Diego State, 25. Arizona State. 

Two Gators Named To Community Service Team

University of Florida juniors Brian Howell and Anna-Liisa Pold, both Californians, were named to the 2011 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Community Service Team.

“It’s always a positive thing when you see student-athletes doing great things and getting involved in the community,” Gators coach Gregg Troy said.

“This is a tremendous example of two student-athletes making good choices and doing good things in their lives.”

Pold, a junior and 2008 Olympian for Estonia, volunteered more than 44 hours this past semester at the Alachua County Crisis Center and participated in the MLK Day Service Project, feeding the homeless at Gainesville’s St. Francis House.

Howell, also a junior and an Academic All-American, volunteered at ten different community service events since last August. He was also involved with the Climb for Cancer event along with Pold, and servied as a tour guide to several local elementary schools at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Both will compete in the Feb. 16-19 SEC Swimming Championships at the UF’s Stephen O’Connell Center.

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Talk Of Jamaica

Local officials in Jamaica called SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson’s performance at last weekend’s 16th Karl Dalhouse Memorial International Swim Meet inspiring for the next generation of swimmers in Jamaica.

The two-time Olympian that represents Jamaica internationally, won all six of her events and broke five meet records at the FINA world qualifying event. In addition to competing, the Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year Runner-up gave clinics and her autograph was much in demand.

“I am just trying to soak it all in, I am not used to this kind of attention,” Atkinson, 22, told local reporters of her return to Jamaica for a swim meet for the first time in ten years.

“Alia’s presence was significant,” said meet director Brian James. “Her presence I think elevated the performances of many of the other female swimmers, so much that a number of them actually made CARIFTA qualifying times at the meet.”

The Tornadoes won the three-day meet with 1,076 points. Host club “Y” Speedos Swim Club was second with 964.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Nixon, Perera Make Open Water Debut; Crippen Remembered At Rough Water Swim

SOFLO’s Nixon, Perera Make Open Water Debut; Crippen Remembered At Rough Water Swim


January 10, 2011

On a chilly, sun-drenched morning, all eyes were on ISHOF’s 41st annual Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim off Fort Lauderdale beach in the wake of U.S. national team member Fran Crippen’s tragic death in October in a FINA-sanctioned open water swim.

Conditions were ideal, both weather and safety, on Saturday morning to illustrate just how safe open water swimming can be.

World-class swimmers Ricardo Monasterio, 32, and Ana Marcela Cunha, 18, of Brazil, who train with the Davie Nadadores, won the overall titles to honor Crippen.

Both were friends and competed in several of the same open water swims that Crippen did through the years.

“If any good can come of a swimmer’s death in a race, people will now put the safety of the swimmer first,” said Monasterio, who won the mile swim in 18:04. “We all loved and respected Fran and this should never have happened and should never happen again.”

Cunha, 18, finished third in the same 10K race that Crippen lost his life in.  She won Saturday’s race in 22:55.

Crippen was in Fort Lauderdale last year for an open water clinic for local swimmers and coaches and also won the Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim in 19 minutes and 25.4 seconds.

He was remembered before race start by Sid Cassidy, St. Andrew’s Aquatics Director and top open water official and coach who is a member of the Crippen Commission looking into the cause of Crippen’s senseless death.

Cassidy, who knew Crippen since he was 10, wore a Philadelphia Eagles cap, Crippen’s favorite team, in his honor. 

“I know that he is with us here today,” Cassidy said before the race. “We are dedicating our swim today to his memory.”

Cassidy, who would not comment on any Crippen Commission findings, was pleased with how the swim turned out.

“We were blessed with a beautiful day and of course, that is a big part of helping us get it done,” Cassidy said. “Naturally, Fran’s death is on everybody’s mind especially officials and race organizers.”

Cassidy and other race officials knew the swim would be watched by others around the world.

“The world is taking a good look at a swim like this,” Cassidy said. “You put almost 300 people in the water of all varying abilities from the Women’s Open Water World Swimmer of the Year along with Ricardo Monasterio and some of the best age groupers all the way down to novice age groupers and Masters that are doing it for fun.

“It’s critical yes. Without professional supervision it would be a daunting challenge.”

ISHOF worked closely with Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue to ensure all standards established by the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) for open water swimming were in place including safety buoys.

“I got to give it to Brett Ballou, the beach patrol and ocean rescue, Bruce Wigo, Bob Duenkel and Jay Thomas,” Cassidy said. “Safety has been on the front of everybody’s mind. I think it’s critical when you have a professional lifesaving group involved and it shows. It went off without a hitch.”

The swim, parallel to the beach and swimmers, was observed from both the beach and ocean side of the course.

Race officials provided safety buoys to those swimmers who wanted to use them as an experiment to determine if they are viable for future open water races. The opinion was mixed from swimmers and coaches about the buoys and said they would rather use them in training.

Two South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers made their open water debut.

Morgan Nixon, 13, finished third in the 13-14 age group and 28th overall among women in 34:17, finishing three seconds ahead of her father, Richard Nixon, 45, a nationally-ranked triathlete, fifth in the 45-49 age group and 24th overall among men in 34:20. Rich Nixon is training for the May 1 St. Croix 70.3 Ironman.

“It was fun,” said Morgan Nixon, a Lyons Creek Middle School student. “It was hard to follow the age group kids because it was the ocean and there was a current. It’s different from a pool. It was fun and I would do it again.”

Nicholas Perera, 11, was second in the 11-12 age group in 31:29. Two other SOFLO teammates decided not to compete because of the cold water. 

While a handful of college swim teams in South Florida training during the holiday break competed, entries were low for the annual swim despite several familiar faces including 2012 Olympic triathlon hopeful Sean Jefferson, Ricardo Valdivia, David Boudreau, Ramses Rodriguez, Scott Tolomeo, Bert Soden, William Zenga, Ann Thomas, Nicole Swift, Beverly Clark and Susan Peterson.



WOMEN: 13-14, 1. Megan Moroney 24:59, 2. Amanda Tipton 31:26, 3. Morgan Nixon 34:17, 4. Elizabeth Price 37:59; 15-18, 1. Ana Marcela Cunha 22:55, 2. Amanda Ford 24:21, 3. Nilsa Easta 25:13, 4. Mary Deedrick 29:20, 5. Julia Price 31:54, 6. Elizabeth Reeve 33:50, 7. Rebekah Escuage 35:33, 8. Brianna Dumas 37:53.

MEN: 10-and-under, 1. Guido Dominguez 34:08, 2. Jacob Harkins 1:08:58, 3. Zak Zakian 1:09:01; 11-12, 1. Tyler Tolomeo 29:51, 2. Nicholas Perera 31:29; 13-14, 1. Eric Crosby 20:44, 2. William Haeffner 24:30, 3. Jacob Colvin 29:12, 4. Alex Valdivia 35:06; 15-18, 1. Ryan Rosenbaum 18:14, 2. Richard Andrews 19:38, 3. Tyler McGrew 19:40, 4. John Szerd 19:41, 5. Jacob Percy 19:45, 6. John Rudnik 21:10, 7. Thomas Veale 23:37, 8. Quinn Cassidy 24:41, 9. Jared Fish 27:56, 10. Felipe Bricio 28:37, 11. Dillon Copa 28:40, 12. Blake Edwards 32:19.


WOMEN: 19-24, 1. Steph Jeppesum 30:06, 2. Erin Cunnane 35:51, 3. Sophia Minulolo 42:20; 25-29, 1. Jackie Hammelman 34:16, 2. Lauren O’Donnell 37:00, 30-34: 1. Sonja Koppenwaller 30:14, 2. Lauren Beam 35:59, 3. Yanet Benitez 37:44, 4. Carolina Lypinska 41:09, 5. Gina Siegers 44:07; 35-39, 1. Sharon Barbins 33:58, 2. Silvina Castro 48:42, 40-44, 1. Diane Babec 33:30, 2. Nicole Swift 42:28, 3. Kimberly Cerda 43:13, 45-49, 1. Dana Haugli 32:32, 2. Silvana Baner 46:22, 3. Lisa Cox 46:49, 50-54, 1. Ann Thomas 40:52, 2. Joanna Berry 45:00, 3. Pauline Watson 45:16, 4. Adrienne Chin Ogilvie 49:04, 5. Diane McVey 55:43; 55-59, 1. Helen Ederer 39:54, 2. Meg Mason 43:51; 60-64, 1. Beverly Clark 54:11, 65-69, 1. Susan Peterson 46:19, 2. Kitty Kessler 58:55, 80-84, 1. Hedy Esposito 1:17:28.

MEN: 18-and-under, 1. Alberto Perez 40:21, 19-24, 1. Israel Murat 24:08, 2. David Lippin 30:07, 3. Sean Jefferson 32:08, 4. Kyle Stewart 32:18, 5. Larry Cox 43:25, 6. Gyori Laszlo 1:09:27; 25-29, 1. Dan Fey 31:25, 2. Jen Alloway 37:53, 30-34: 1. Ricardo Monasterio 18:04, 2. Randy Reed 40:37, 35-39, 1. Ramses Rodriguez 26:51, 2. Johann Perera 36:03, 3. Alejandro Barragn 41:49; 40-44: 1. Andrew Farrell 30:09, 2. Jose Rodriguez 30:24, 3. Eduardo Panteagudo 35:54, 4. Sean Blesi 41:32, 5. Martin Hynes 43:01; 45-49: 1. Ricardo Valdivia 26:17, 2. Scott Tolomeo 30:43, 3. John Carr 32:13, 4. Hugo Vila 33:26, 5. Richard Nixon 34:20, 6. Michael Clark 37:37, 7. Thomas Krasner 45:19; 50-54, 1. Matt O’Grady 31:27, 2. David Boudreau 32:31, 3. Chip Green 34:44, 4. Bob Diener 39:59, 5. Glenn Schrager 40:09, 6. Roy Sonenshein 40:27, 7. Dale Cox 44:13, 8. Sean Dugan 46:28; 55-59: 1. William Zenga 32:45, 2. Carlos Lloreda 33:22; 60-64, 1. Bert Soden 44:24, 2. Walter Woolley 46:00, 70-74, 1. Ron Samson 43:33, 2. Frank Day 54:57, 3. Leonard Silverstein 1:01:15; 80-84, 1. Hume Hamilton 1:16:57.


Women: 1. Ngozi Uwah 49:45; Men: 1. Doug Hutchinson 52:18.


Women Freshmen: 1. Colleen Tigne 27:07, 2. Laura Harris 28:03, 3. Erin O’Connor 28:07, 4. Rhiannon Urciuoli 28:10, 5. Kerry McIntyre 28:54.

Men Freshmen: 1. Thor Peterson 25:09, 2. Oscar Castillo 25:10, 3. Domenick Errico 25:29, 4. Brendan Malone 25:59, 5. Tom Malloy 26:00.

Women Sophomores: 1. Kelly Heyde 25:29, 2. Meghan Fay 26:56, 3. Kristen Schmid 27:02, 4. Ashley Bauer 27:21, 5. Bridget Hilferty 28:36.

Men Sophomores: 1. Tim Steiskal 25:27, 2. Billy Debsissone 25:43, 3. Thomas Kuhn 27:52, 4. Jack Eichenlaub 27:55, 5. Chris Coghill 28:31.

Women Juniors: 1. Amanda Thomas 22:38, 2. Nicole Huerta 27:10, 3. Kayla Wainwright 27:41, 4. Vivian Pitchik 27:48, 5. Jessica Rickel 28:40.

Men Juniors: 1. Matt Sorena 25:20, 2. Ray Conover 25:24, 3. Austin Mizzell 25:46, 4. Nick Ortlieb 25:52, 5. Erik Stefferud 25:54.

Women Seniors: 1. Nicole Chinnici 28:01, 2. Jenifer O’Neil 28:14, 3. Emily Stiles 28:51, 4. Casey Morrison 28:57, 5. Sofia Sokolove 29:13.

Men Seniors: 1. John King 25:53, 2. Thomas Hardy 26:52, 3. Jackson Webb 27:17, 4. Jesse Bregman 28:09, 5. Cullen Mentzell 29:12.

Sharon Robb can be reached at