Five South Florida, Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Will Compete At Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, July 26, 2022–Five swimmers with South Florida and Florida Gold Coast connections will compete in the XXII Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

The meet begins Friday and ends Wednesday, August 3.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending three swimmers: St. Andrew’s School alum Sidrell Williams of Jamaica, Kito Campbell of Jamaica and Jayhan Odlum-Smith of St. Lucia.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Plantation American Heritage alum and St. Andrew’s School alum and Florida State’s Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas will also compete.

Seven reigning world champions will compete including Ben Proud, Elijah Winnington, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kylie Masse, Kaylee McKeown and Summer McIntosh.

Other notables competing are Adam Peaty, Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Duncan Scott and Maggie MacNeil.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at Alexander Stadium on Thursday with all 72 countries within the Commonwealth. While the Closing Ceremony is scheduled to take place on 8 August 2022, with all 72 countries returning to Alexander Stadium.

Commonwealth Games Federation’s Executive Board has included 3 new sports namely Women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball, and Para table tennis for the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games.

ESPN, BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will live stream the events on their platforms. Prelims are 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. EST) and finals 7 p.m. (2 p.m. EST).

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

Italian Thomas Ceccon Breaks World Record; Katie Ledecky Wins 17th Title At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 20, 2022–In an exciting finish, Italy’s Thomas Ceccon pulled off the shocker breaking the world record in the 100-meter backstroke Monday night at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena.

Ceccon, 21, stunned the field that included the former world record holder by putting on the after burners in the final 25 meters to win in 51.60, bettering the previous record by 0.15 seconds set by American Ryan Murphy at the 2016 Olympics.

“I have no words for this,” Ceccon said. “There is an Olympic champion from 2016 so no I did not expect to win. The world record is not a simple thing. It’s a nice step I’ve taken.

“Yesterday I swam 52.1 very easy,” Ceccon said. “I am feeling good in the water and just doing my race, staying calm and focused on my race. And that’s it.”

Ceccon is only the second Italian to set a world record in long course swimming. Giorgio Lambert was the first in the 200 freestyle.

Murphy finished second, just 0.37 seconds off the winning pace in 51.97. Murphy has yet to win an individual world long course title. U.S. teammate Hunter Armstrong was third, 0.38 seconds behind in 51.98.

“Hats off to Thomas,” said Murphy, a Bolles alum. “That’s a really, really fast time. It’s going to be an exciting couple of years.”

Katie Ledecky of Gainesville won her 17th world title winning her fourth gold medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle. Ledecky led from start-to-finish to win in 15:30.15, just 10 seconds under her world record set in 2018. U.S. teammate Sixteen-year-old American teenager Katie Grimes was second, 14.74 seconds behind her in a best time 15:44.89. Aussie Lani Pallister was third in 15:48.96, also a best time.

“To share this moment with her is really special,” said Ledecky referring to Grimes, her future heir apparent. Grimes is the second youngest medalist in the 1,500 at worlds since Ledecky won it for the first time in 2013.

“It takes a lot of hard work,” said Ledecky, a grad assistant coach at University of Florida. “It’s about doing all the right things in and out of the pool to have that longevity. You can’t get complacent.”

Said Grimes, “I was really nervous leading up to it because it’s my first world championship and Team USA has been doing a great job. I wanted to keep that going.”

South Florida Aquatic Club Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego, 23, was disqualified in the 50-meter breaststroke in his final event at worlds. He has now been disqualified in three of his last four races in the U.S. and Hungary. Earlier in the meet, he was 32nd in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.07.

There are 21 past and present Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Other swimmers who competed on Monday with Florida Gold Coast ties were:

Izaak Bastian, 21, Bahamas (St. Andrew’s, Florida State), 50 breaststroke, 32nd in 28.47.

Kito Campbell, 19, Jamaica (Azura), 50 breaststroke, 39th in 29.06.

FGC swimmers competing on Tuesday are:

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba, (NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina), 200 IM.

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage), 100 freestyle.

Esteban Nunez del Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 200 IM.

Jayhan Odlum-Smith, 20, St. Lucia, (Azura), 100 freestyle.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura) 100 freestyle.

Julimar Avila, 25, Honduras, (Azura), 200 butterfly.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana, (Azura), 100 freestyle.

Matheo Mateos, 21, Paraguay, (Azura), 200 IM.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 freestyle.

In Monday night’s final events:

200 men’s free: Romania’s David Popovici broke his own world junior record to win gold in 1:43.21, 1.26 seconds ahead of the field. His previous record was 1:44.40. Korean teenager Hwang Sunwoo was second in 1:44.47 and Brit Tom Dean was third in 1:44.98.

100 women’s backstroke: American Regan Smith won gold in 58.22, 0.18 seconds ahead of Canadian two-time world champion Kylie Masse in 58.40. American Claire Curzan took the bronze in 58.67. It was the first time Americans won two medals in the event since the 2008 Olympics.

100 women’s breaststroke: The Italians’ success continued with teenager Benedetta Pilato, 17, winning a tight race in 1:05.93, 0.05 ahead of Germany’s Anna Elendt in 1:05.98 and 0.09 ahead of Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte in 1:06.02 for her first career world title. Pilato is the youngest Italian swimmer to win a gold medal at worlds. American two-time defending world champion Lilly King was fourth in 1:06.07. “It’s really a surprise,” Pilato said. “I’m obviously happy. I really didn’t expect it. It’s been my dream. Before I swam I watched Thomas’ swim and I was crying for him. Then I realized I had to race and ran to the call room.”

Tuesday prelim events are women’s 50 backstroke, men’s 100 freestyle, men’s 200 IM, women’s 200 butterfly and mixed 4×100 medley relay.

The swimming runs through June 25 with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features diving, water polo, high diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming end July 3.

The Olympic Channel and Peacock, on the NBC platform, is televising the finals at noon each day. A highlights show will be on NBC at noon on June 26. The FINA facebook page is also posting competition news. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

There are huge cheers for any Hungarian swimmers from spectators at Duna Arena. FINA, the sport’s governing body, has asked fans each day to clap rather than cheer as a precaution against coronavirus infections. There were no other requests or restrictions.
FINALS SCHEDULE
Tuesday, June 21: 800 men’s free, 200 women’s free, 200 men’s fly, 50 men’s breast, 4×100 mixed medley relay.

Wednesday, June 22: 200 women’s fly, 100 men’s free, 50 women’s back, 200 men’s IM, 4×200 women’s free relay.

Thursday, June 23: 100 women’s free, 200 women’s breast, 200 men’s back, 200 men’s breast, 4×200 men’s free relay.

Friday, June 24: 50 women’s fly, 50 men’s free, 100 men’s fly, 200 women’s back, 800 women’s free, 4×100 mixed free relay.

Saturday, June 25: 50 men’s back, 50 women’s breast, 1500 men’s free, 50 women’s free, 400 women’s IM, 4×100 men’s and women’s medley relay.

Sunday, June 26: Open water, 6K team relay.

Monday, June 27: Open water, men’s and women’s 5K.

Wednesday, June 29: Open water, men’s and women’s 10K.

Thursday, June 30: Open water, men’s and women’s 25K.

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

SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Leads Florida Gold Coast 20-Swimmer Contingent For FINA World Aquatics Championships That Begin Saturday


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 15, 2022–Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete on opening day of the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Saturday at Duna Arena.

Horrego, 23, will swim the prelims of the 100-meter breaststroke. It is the first of two events he will compete in. He will also swim the 50-meter breaststroke.

Horrego competed in the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, 2019 Pan American Games in Peru and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and was flagbearer for his country in the opening parade of nations ceremony.

Horrego will see plenty of familiar faces during the meet with Florida Gold Coast well-represented with 20 swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Azura Florida Aquatics has qualified 14 swimmers.

Heading the group is Uruguayan national record holder Micaela Sierra. The Pompano Beach resident who will start swimming for Auburn University this fall, competed for South Florida Heat in high school.

Other Azura swimmers are: Esteban Nunez Del Prado, Bolivia; Fatima Portillo, El Salvador, open water; Jahir Lopez, Ecuador, open water; Jayhan Odlum-Smith, St. Lucia; Jenebi Benoit, Grenada; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Kito Campbell, Jamaica; Leon Seaton, Guyana; Matheo Mateos, Paraguay; Maximiliano Paccot, Uruguay; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Steven Aimable, Senegal and Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico, coming off the PanAm Aquatics Age Group Championships.

Brazil Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus of Coral Springs Swim Club will compete in the 50-meter freestyle.

Patrick Groters, a former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club swimmer now at South Carolina, will represent Aruba in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and 200 individual medley.

Former St. Andrew’s and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian, national record holder for the Bahamas, will compete in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes.

Former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago will compete in the 50 butterfly, and 50 and 100 freestyles.

University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach and Forest Hill High School and East Coast Aquatic Club alum, will compete in the 5K and 25K open water events for the U.S. team.

The swimming opens Saturday and runs through June 25 with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features water polo, diving, open water swimming, high diving and synchronized swimming end July 3. NBC Sports will televise the swimming finals only. The FINA facebook page will show the other competitions. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

Saturday’s opening day prelim events are: women’s 200 IM, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 100 butterfly, men’s 50 butterfly, women’s 400 freestile, men’s 100 breaststroke, men’s 400 IM and women’s and men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Finals will be held in the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle, men’s 400 IM and relays. The opening ceremony will also be held.

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

Florida Gators Third After Day Three Of NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming And Diving Championship


By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 25, 2022—University of Florida dropped to third place after Friday’s action at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center.

The Gators, buoyed by their relay performances, are third with 272 points. California moved into is first from third with 320.5 followed closely by early leader Texas with 313.

Florida was third behind California and Indiana in the 400-yard medley relay in 3:01.00 with Adam Cheney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese and Kieran Smith.

Cal senior Hugo Gonzalez won the 400-yard individual medley in 3:32.88, an NCAA record, meet record, U.S. Open and pool records. Arizona State freshman sensation Leon Marchand was second in 3:34.08 after winning the 200 IM in the fastest time ever.

Stanford freshman Andrei Minakov, fastest swimmer in the morning, won the 100-yard butterfly in a pool record 43.71.

Texas senior and top seed Drew Kibler came on in the second half of the 200-yard freestyle to win in a pool record 1:30.68. Defending champion Kieran Smith faltered to fifth in 1:31.27.

Minnesota senior Max McHugh won the 100-yard breaststroke in a pool record 49.90. He was the only swimmer to dip under 50 seconds.

After finishing second last year, N.C. State junior Kacper Stokowski rallied late in the race to stun the field and win the 100-yard backstroke in a best time 44.04. Indiana’s Brendan Burns, top seed after morning prelims, was second in 44.15.

Texas A&M senior Kurtis Mathews won the 3-meter springboard diving title with 466.85 points.

Individual event competition concludes on Saturday. The top 16 advance from morning prelims to finals at 6 p.m. and relays will be included at the end of each finals session.

ESPN3 is providing digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions. Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.

The official website for the men’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1. As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.

The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
All prelims, 10 a.m., all finals 6 p.m.

Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1,650 free (4:05 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).

FRIDAY RESULTS
TEAM TOTALS: 1. California 320.5, 2. Texas 313, 3. Florida 272, 4. N.C. State 214, 5. Indiana 183, 6. Arizona State 167, 7. Stanford 159, 8. Georgiua 150, 9. tie, Louisville, Ohio State 108.
400-yard individual medley: 1. Hugo Gonalez, CAL 3:32.88, 2. Leon Marchand, ASU 3:34.08, 3. Carson Foster, TEX 3:35.09, 4. Bobby Finke, UF 3:36.83.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Andrei Minakov, STAN 43.71, 2. Luca Urlando, UGA 43.80,3. Youssef Ramadan, VT-VA 43.90.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Drew Kiblar, TEX 1:30.28, 2. Grant House, ASU 1:30.68, 3. Matthew Sates, UGA 1:30.72, 5. Kieran Smith, UF 1:31.27.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Max McHugh, MINN 49.90, 2. Caspar Corbeau, TEX 50.49, 3. Liam Bell, CAL 50.50. 6. Dillon Hillis, UF 51.24.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Kacper Stokowski, NCS 44.04, 2. Brendan Burns, IU 44.15, 3. Adam Chaney, UF 44.35.

3-meter diving: 1. Kurtis Mathews, TAM 466.85, 2. Andrew Capobianco, IU 462.10, 3. Juan Hernandez, LSU 459.20

400-yard medley relay: 1. California 3:00.36,2. Indiana 3:00.76, 3. Florida 3:01.00 (Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith), 27. Florida State 3:07.63 (Mason Hebert, Izaak Bastian, Max McCusker, Peter Varjasi).

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

Florida Wins Opening Event, Second On Day One Of NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming And Diving Championship


By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 24, 2022—Texas and University of Florida took turns flexing their relay muscles on opening day of the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center.

Florida won the 200-yard medley relay in 1:21.13, faster than its’ qualifying time of 1:22.06. It was an NCAA record, meet record, U.S. Open record and pool record.

Adam Chaney led off with a 20.19 split followed by Dillon Hillis at 23.20, Eric Friese at 19.36 and Will Davis at 18.38 picking up 40 first place relay points. Friese’s split tied him with Joseph Schooling for fastest butterfly split of all time.

Texas was second in 1:21.36, also under the former NCAA and U.S. Open record. Cal and N.C. State tied for third in 1:21.69. Four of the fastest five 200 medley relays in history were produced by the field.

Florida State, with St. Andrew’s alum and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas, was 20th in 1:23.84, slower than its qualifying time of 1:23.15. Bastian’s split was 23.78. He was joined on the relay by Mason Herbet (20.88), Max McCusker (20.25) and Peter Varjasi (18.93). Top seed Louisville was seventh in 1:22.29.

In the 800-yard freestyle relay, Texas broke the American record, NCAA record, meet record, U.S. Open record of 6:05.08 and pool record of 6:08.03 winning in 6:30.89. Georgia was second in 6:05.59 and Stanford third in 6:06.90.

Florida was seventh in 6:09.01 with Olympian Kieran Smith, Trey Freeman, Oskar Lindholm and Alfonso Mestre. Smith’s split was 1:30.66.

Florida State finished 25th in 6:23.93 with Yordan Yanchev, Peter Varjasi, Jakub Ksiazek and Max McCusker.

After opening night action, Texas leads the team standings with 74 points, 10 points ahead of Florida with 64.

Individual event competition gets under way Thursday morning. The top 16 advance to finals at 6 p.m. and relays will be included at the end of each finals session.

ESPN3 will provide digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions. Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.

The official website for the men’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1. As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.

The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
All prelims, 10 a.m., all finals 6 p.m.
Day 2, Thursday, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 1-meter diving, 200 freestyle relay (finals only).

Day 3, Friday, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay (finals only).

Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1650 free (4:05 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).

THURSDAY RESULTS
TEAM TOTALS
: 1. Texas 74, 2. Florida 64, 3. California 61, 4. N.C. State 57, 5. tie, Arizona State, Stanford 54, 7. Louisville 46, 8. Georgia 34, 9. Alabama 30, 10. Virginia Tech 28.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida 1:21.13 (Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese, Will Davis), 2. Texas 1:21.36, 3. California 1:21.69, 20. Florida State 1:23.84 (Mason Hebert, Izaak Bastian, Max McCusker, Peter Varjasi).

800-yard freestyle relay: 1. Texas 6:03.89, 2. Georgia 6:05.59, 3. Stanford 6:06.83, 7. Florida 6:09.01, 25. Florida State 6:23.93.

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

NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming And Diving Begins Wednesday; St. Andrew’s Alum, FGC Swimmer Izaak Bastian Makes Third NCAA Appearance


By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 23, 2022—University of Florida is among favorites to dominate the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Wednesday through Saturday at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

Seventeen Gator swimmers and divers are competing in the four-day meet. Adam Chaney, Jace Crawford, Will Davis, Bobby Finke, Trey Freeman, Nicholas Hernandez-Tome, Dillon Hillis, Mason Laur, Oskar Lindholm, Macguire McDuff, Alfonso Mestre, Kieran Smith, Kevin Vargas and Tyler Watson advanced to the national championships based on their season-best times in 12 different events.

Leonardo Garcia and Anton Svirskyi joined the group after qualifying at NCAA Diving Zones the first week of March. Garcia will compete in all three events. Svirskyi qualified on both the 3-meter springboard and platform.

All five relays also qualified for the NCAA Championships: 200 free relay (1:15.18), 400 free relay (2:46.91), 800 free relay (6:08.00), 200 medley relay (1:22.06) and 400 medley relay (3:02.61).

The Gators have NCAA experience to the meet, with Chaney, Davis, Finke, Freeman, Friese, Hillis, Mestre, Smith, Vargas and Watson all having competed at the championships in their careers.

FLORIDA STATE
Florida Gold Coast swimmer and St. Andrew’s alum Izaak Bastian, a national record holder for the Bahamas, will make his third NCAA appearance.

Bastian, a team captain, will compete on the medley relays.

He helped secure bronze at ACCs behind a school record and he was also a part of the 200 medley relay in 2019 that placed seventh at the NCAA Championships. Bastian placed 10th in the 100 breaststroke (52.38) and was 17th in the 200 breaststroke (1:55.36) at ACCs.

The No. 23rd-ranked Seminoles will compete in the 200 medley relay followed by the 800 free relay on Wednesday.

“We are excited for the men’s meet this week,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We have all five relays going with a shot at scoring, so that is a little extra special. It should be a great week for us.”

Prelims will start on Thursday at 10 a.m. with FSU’s three individual qualifiers, Max McCusker, Yordan Yanchev and Mason Herbet competing. The top 16 advance to finals at 6 p.m. and relays will be included at the end of each finals session.

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
Hurricanes platform diver Zach Cooper is among favorites. Cooper will be joined Max Flory, who won the platform event and also qualified in both springboard events at the NCAA qualifier. Cooper is a three-time NCAA All-America and two-time ACC gold medalist.

ESPN3 will provide digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions. Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.

The official website for the men’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1. As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.

The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.

THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
All prelims, 10 a.m., all finals 6 p.m.
Day 1, Wednesday, 200 medley relay (Finals only); 800 free relay (Finals only).

Day 2, Thursday, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 1-meter diving, 200 freestyle relay (finals only).

Day 3, Friday, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay (finals only).

Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1650 free (4:05 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Heads Large Florida Gold Coast Contingent At FINA Short Course World Championships; Big Prize Money On The Line


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2021–World record holder Alia Atkinson is expected to take her final bow this week at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

The five-day meet begins Thursday and ends Tuesday, Dec. 21. Etihad Arena is Yas Island’s new multi-purpose arena set on the stunning waterfront at Yas Bay.

Atkinson will be joined by SOFLO teammate and 2020 Olympian Julio Horrego, representing Honduras.

Atkinson, a five-time Jamaican Olympian who turned 33 on Dec. 11, is expected to retire from the sport at the end of the year. She recently completed her International Swimming League season with the London Roar, that finished third in the final playoffs.

Atkinson competed in her fifth Olympics in Tokyo where she finished third in her 100-meter breaststroke heat and failed to qualify for the semifinals. She did final in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 where she finished fourth and eighth respectively.

She told the Jamaica Observer, “If you see me next year, then ask me what happened because that’s not the plan right now.”

Atkinson announced after Tokyo it was her final Olympic appearance.

“It’s funny, looking back the years went by so fast and before I realized it I was looking at the end of it,” Atkinson said. “I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything.”

Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2014 FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. She tied the World Record and gave Jamaica its first swimming gold medal at World Championships. She also took silver in the 50-meter breaststroke in Doha.

The following August, she became the first Jamaican swimmer to win a long course worlds medal when she took bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke and silver in the 50-meter breaststroke at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan.

Atkinson broke her own world record (28.64) in the 50-meter breaststroke (28.56) at the short course meters 2018 World Cup. Later that year she added two more World Championship gold medals in the 50- and 100-meter breaststrokes and bronze in the 100-meter individual medley.

FINA announced the prize money pool for the meet is more than $2.8 million, including a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There will also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

In addition to Atkinson and Horrego, the Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending eight swimmers. They are Steven Aimable, Senegal; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico; Maria Fe Munoz, Peru; Kerry Ollivierre, Grenada; Joaquin Vargas, Peru; and Sidrell Williams, Jamaica.

American Heritage Plantation alum and two-time Olympian Dylan Carter will represent Trinidad and Tobago.

St. Andrew’s alum and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian will represent the Bahamas.

Gulliver Prep alum and University of Florida senior Miguel Cancel, who trains summers at SOFLO, will represent Puerto Rico.

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

FSU Seminoles Win Quad Meet; Izaak Bastian, SOFLO’s Gaby Banks Top Three Finishers


By Sharon Robb
TALLAHASSEE, October 30, 2021—Florida State swept North Florida, West Florida and Florida Southern Saturday in its annual “Paint It Pink” Meet.

Sponsored by Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, the meet supports the fight against breast cancer.

“This meet is always a lot of fun,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “It’s great to get some other Florida teams here for us and to mix it up a little. It’s a great opportunity for the athletes that did not travel last week to show us what they have.”

The No. 15 Seminoles picked up a combined four wins at Morcom Aquatics Center.

The 15th-ranked men’s team (3-0, 1-0 ACC) defeated Florida Southern 196.50-65.50.

The women’s team (4-1, 1-0 ACC) picked up three victories, defeating UWF 240-59, North Florida 248-45 and the Mocs 244-49.

“It was good to see some different events out of people today,” Studd said. “We saw some people step up and help us in areas where we go against SEC and ACC teams.”

The Seminoles won a combined 26 events, with 19 sweeps including the both the men’s and women’s 200 medley relay.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Gaby Banks, a sophomore who competes for Jamaica internationally, was third in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.40, 11th in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.75 and was a member of the 200-yard medley relay that finished second in 1:47.40.

Senior Izaak Bastian, a St. Andrew’s alum and member of the Bahamian national team, was third in the 100-yard freestyle in 47.18 and was a member of the third place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:24.73.

In the women’s meet, Nina Kucheran (1:52.35), Ashley Zettle (1:52.97) and Tania Quaglieri (1:55.87) swept the 200 freestyle and Jaden Herbet was first in the 100 backstroke in 57.24.

FSU added another sweep in the 100 breaststroke, led by Maddy Huggins (1:03.04) followed by Hannah Womer (1:03.37) and Nora Woods (1:07.08).

Edith Jernstedt (2:03.75) won the 200 butterfly and Pia Murray (2:08.77) followed was second.

Gloria Muzito won the 50 freestyle in 24.08 followed by Aryanna Fernandes in 24.18.

Herbet won her second event of the day, leading a sweep of the 200 backstroke in 2:05.29, followed by Murray in 2:07.62 and Natalie Peterson in 2:08.53.

Katherine Baker was first in the 200 breaststroke (2:23.51) ahead of Rachel Moran (2:24.20) and Woods (2:24.66).

FSU took the top three places in the 500 freestyle with Phoebe Griffiths (4:59.23), Kucheran (5:03.89) and Zettle (5:08.72).

Womer added a win in the 100 butterfly (55.15) ahead of Murray (56.64) and Huggins in third (57.97).

The women added another sweep in the 400 individual medley led by Syd VanOvermeiren (4:24.81) followed by Sydney Boals (4:28.22) and Olivia Sapio (4:31.67).

FSU took first in the 200 freestyle relay by Muzito, Zsofia Kurdi, Quaglieri and Womer in 1:36.09.

Samantha Vear (284.18) won the 1-meter diving ahead of teammates Victoria Cervantes (280.65) and Isabel Gregersen (278.40). On 3-meter, Cervantes (314.70) edged Gregersen (302.03) and Vear (281.93) for first-place.

After the sweep of the 200 medley relay in the men’s meet, Nick Mason came back with a win in the 1000 freestyle in 9:26.05 followed by Zach Smith in (9:27.54).

FSU swept the 200 freestyle with Yordan Yanchev (1:39.95), Sam Budd (1:40.52) and David Quirie (1:42.23).

Florida Southern’s Brandon Dyck won the 100 backstroke. FSU’s Peter Varjasi won the 100 breaststroke in 55.08.

FSU had a one-two finish in the 200 butterfly with Brennan Hammond (1:51.97) and Auben Nugent (1:52.27).

Max McCusker (20.48), Jakub Ksiazek (20.71) and Ian Cooper (20.75) combined for the sweep of the 50 freestyle before the break.

Adrian Aguilar won the 100 freestyle in 45.84. Arijus Pavlidi (1:50.16) won the 200 backstroke before FSU swept the 500 freestyle with Yanchev (4:29.89), Aziz Ghaffari (4:31.78) and Jason Brzozowski (4:35.66).

Mason Herbet won the 100 butterfly in 48.56 ahead of Varjasi (49.35) and Budd (49.36).

Nick Mason won the 400 individual medley (4:00.23) five seconds ahead of Brzozowski (4:05.50) and Tanker Speck (4:06.12).

The men finished the meet with a sweep in the 200 freestyle relay led by the ‘A’ team of Blake Moran, Mason Herbet, Varjasi and McCusker.

The Seminoles’ next meet is Friday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. against Florida at Morcom Aquatics Center for the Mental Health Awareness meet.

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

Florida State Seminoles Win Season-Opening TYR Fall Classic; Izaak Bastian Picks Up Five Wins


By Sharon Robb
NORTH MIAMI, October 10, 2021—Florida State won the TYR Fall Classic Saturday at FIU Biscayne Bay Campus and extended its’ streak to 13 in season-opening wins.

The Seminoles won the women’s title with 437 points, the men’s title with 517.5 points and combined team title with 954.5 points.

The two-day, eight-team meet featured state schools Florida International, Florida Atlantic, Lynn University and Keiser University.

“We had an awesome day today,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “The ladies turned a small lead overnight into a huge win. They were outstanding today [Saturday] and dominated the competition. The men carried the momentum from yesterday [Friday] and had some great performances.”

St. Andrew’s School alum Izaak Bastian, 20, a 2020 Olympian and national record holder on the Bahamas national team won two individual events and was a member of three winning relays.

Bastian won the 100-yard breaststroke in 54.34 and 200-yard breaststroke in 2:01.33. He also swam on the winning 200- and 400-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relays.

Heading into the second and final day of competition, FSU women’s team (217) had a four-point lead over FIU (213) after Friday’s session.

With two swimmers in each race only allowed to score points in their entered heat, the women won seven of the 16 heats in order to clinch the team title.

The men’s team won seven of the nine events on Saturday, starting with the 200-yard medley relay behind Mason Herbet, Izaak Bastian, Max McCusker, and Blake Moran with a time of 1:38.51. Bastian followed with a win in the 200 breaststroke (2:01.33) and Herbet touched first in the 200 backstroke (1:48.35).

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS

  1. Florida State 954.5, 2. Texas Christian 619.5, 4. Pittsburgh 618, 4. Missouri State 536, 5. Florida Atlantic 524, 6. Florida International 408, 7. Keiser 362.5, 8. Lynn University 357.5.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS

  1. Florida State 437, 2. Florida International 408, 3. Pittsburgh 306, 4. Texas Christian 298.5, 5. Missouri State 247, 6. Florida Atlantic 246, 7. Lynn 176, 8. Keiser 159.5.

WOMEN RESULTS

400-yard medley relay: 1. FIU 3:42.66, 2. FSU 3:42.74, 3. Pittsburgh 3:48.09.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Emma Hultquist, TCU 1:50.19, 2. Nina Kucheran, FSU 1:51.69, 3. Christie Chue, FIU 1:51.81.

400-yard individual medley: 1. Stephanie Hussey, FIU 4:15.70, 2. Ginevra Molino, FSU 4:22.57, 3. Daisy Anderson, PITT 4:28.22.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Julia Miranda, FIU 55.36, 2. Jenny Halden, FSU 55.74, 3. Sami Roemer, MOST 57.24.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Anna Miller, MOST 23.34, 2. Rebecca Moynihan, FSU 23.35, 3. Elinah Phillip, FIU 23.55.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Nina Kucheran, FSU 1:01.88, 2. Christie Chue, FIU 1:02.60, 3. Tatum Detwiler, PITT 1:03.68.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Francesca Pasquino, TCU 56.01, 2. Julia Miranda, FIU 56.17, 3. Daisy Anderson, PITT 56.93.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. FSU 1:32.72, 2. FIU 1:33.19, 3. TXCU 1:35.59.

3-meter diving: 1. Maha Gouda, FIU 308.70, 2. Kayleigh Clark, FSU 294.00, 3. Alicia Mora Herencia, FAU 285.35.

200-yard medley relay: 1. FSU 1:41.23, 2. FIU 1:42.85, 3. Pittsburgh 1:43.04.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Stephanie Hussey, FIU 4:58.30, 2. Ginevra Molino, FSU 5:03.00, 3. Jill Berger, PITT 5:03.81.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Nina Kucheran, FSU 2:15.29, 2. Christie Chue, FIU 2:15.30, 3. Alessia Puleo, MOST 2:20.52.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Daisy Anderson, PITT 2:00.89, 2. Maddie McDonald, FSU 2:01.42, 3. Francesca Pasquino, TCU 2:02.73.

1-meter diving: 1. Mandy Song, FIU 323.45, 2. Samantha Vear, FSU 295.50, 3. Amy Read, PITT 285.15.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Rebecca Moynihan, FSU 51.06, 2. Anna Miller, MOST 51.12, 3. Olivia Rhodes, TCU 52.04.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Hannah Womer, FSU 2:01.39, 2. Dolores Margni, FAU 2:03.24, 3. Stephanie Hussey, FIU 2:03.38.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Nina Kucheran, FSU 2:03.94, 2. Daisy Anderson, PITT 2:03.99, 3. Ewa Osiniak, LYNN 2:08.07.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. FIU 3:24.51, 2. FSU 3:24.54, 3. TCU 2:38.86.

MEN TEAM TOTALS

  1. Florida State 517.5, 2. Texas Christian 321, 3. Pittsburgh 312, 4. Missouri State 289, 5. Florida Atlantic 278, 6. Keiser 203, 7. Lynn 181.5.

MEN’S RESULTS
400-yard medley relay: 1. FSU 3:13.66, 2. TCU 3:20.52, 3. Missouri State 3:21.30.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Peter Varjasi, FSU 1:38.25, 2. Geremia Freri, TCU 1:38.58, 3. Arthur Cury, MOST 1:40.16.

400-yard individual medley: 1. Nick Mason, FSU 3:57.41, 2. Luke Dimiceli, TCU 3:58.76, 3. Dylan Moffatt, MOST 4:04.33.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Max McCusker, FSU 48.11, 2. Serhil Ahadzhanian, PITT 48.71, 3. Piotr Sadlowski, TCU 49.30.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Peter Varjasi, FSU 20.41, 2. Flynn Crisci, PITT 20.86, 3. Raphael Paiva Da, TCU 21.03.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. tie, Izaak Bastian, FSU and Cooper Van Der Laan, PITT 54.34, 3. Vitauts Silins, TCU 55.87.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Mason Hebert, FSU 47.61, 2. Robbie Hill, MOST 50.45, 3. Stefan Vargas, TCU 50.70.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. FSU 1:21.46, 2. FAU 1:22.48, 3. TCU 1:22.85.

1-meter diving: 1. David Ekdahl, TCU 326.30, 2. Cameron Cash, PITT 304.60, 3. Darwin Nolasco, FSU 303.05.

200-yard medley relay: 1. FSU 1:28.51, 2. TCU 1:30.68, 3. Pittsburgh 1:31.61.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Geremia Freri, TCU 4:29.19, 2. Pawel Krawczyk, MOST 4:31.40, 3. Sam Budd, FSU 4:33.79.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Izaak Bastian, FSU 2:01.33, 2. Cooper Van Der Laan, PITT 2:03.24, 3. Vitauts Silins, TCU 2:03.80.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Mason Hebert, FSU 1:48.35, 2. Marcin Goraj, PITT 1:49.24, 3. Stefan Varga, TCU 1:50.87.

3-meter diving: 1. Jesco Helling, FSU 343.55, 2. Dylan Reed, PITT 335.30, 3. David Ekdahl, TCU 331.90.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Peter Varjasi, FSU 44.87, 2. Raphael Paiva Da, TCU 45.51, 3. Jackson Kirk, FAU 46.38.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Adam Mahler, PITT 1:48.89, 2. Rateb Hussein, FAU 1:49.31, 3. Pawel Krawczyk, MOST 1:50.51.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Mason Herbert, FSU 1:48.68, 2. Alec Peckmann, FAU 1:51.54, 3. Luke Dimicelli, TCU 1:52.30.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. FSU 3:00.98, 2. TCU 3:01.18, 3. FAU 3:02.37.

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

Florida State Seminoles Announce 2021-22 Schedule; SOFLO’s Gaby Banks Returns


By Sharon Robb
TALLAHASSEE, August 28, 2021—Five home meets highlight the 2021-22 Florida State men’s and women’s swimming and diving schedule.

The dual meet schedule features meets against four Southeastern Conference teams including University of Florida, which is the most for the Seminoles in a single season since 2011-12.

Atlantic Coast Conference mates Georgia Tech and University of Miami women are also on the schedule. Among the 11 teams on the schedule, nine scored points at the 2021 NCAA Championships, with six finishing in the Top 25.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Gaby Banks returns this season for her sophomore year. The Cypress Bay alum will compete in the freestyle and relay events.

“We are excited to get another season started,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “This is one of the most challenging schedules we have put together, but this will give us the opportunity to test ourselves against some of the best in the nation.”

“We have a very good team this year. We want to be prepared and at our best for championship season and this schedule will help us do that.”

The Seminoles open the season with five consecutive weekends of competition, starting with the Oct. 8-9 FIU TYR Fall Classic on the road in Miami. In addition to FSU and host Florida International, Pitt, Florida Atlantic, Missouri State and TCU are also in the field.

FSU will return to host Auburn (Oct.15) before heading out on its first of five trips to Atlanta on Oct. 23 to face Georgia Tech.

West Florida, North Florida and Florida Southern will head to Tallahassee on Oct. 30 for a quad meet, before the Seminoles host rival Florida on Nov. 5.

The first half of the schedule concludes at the Georgia Tech Invitational.

Following December holiday training, FSU will host Texas A&M on Jan. 6. The Seminoles last hosted both squads in January of 1994. The FSU women’s team also hosted the Aggies in a tri-meet in February of 2009 along with Auburn.

FSU travels to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a dual against LSU on Jan. 15 and the women will swim University of Miami in Coral Gables on Jan. 21.

The Seminoles wrap up the regular season hosting Tampa on Jan. 28 on Seniors Day.

FSU will send a group to compete at the Auburn First Chance Invite from Feb. 3-5 before both teams compete together at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in Atlanta at the McAuley Aquatic Center; the site of the 1996 Olympic Games, from Feb. 15-19.

The divers will look to qualify for the NCAA Championships at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championship from March 7-9 in Atlanta.

Qualified swimmers and divers return to Atlanta to compete at the NCAA Championships. The women will compete from March 16-19 and the men will follow March 23-26.

Before the start of the regular season, the Seminoles will host the annual Garnet vs. Gold exhibition on Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. The meet also highlights Alumni Weekend.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, fans are expected to be allowed to attend all meets at the Morcom Aquatics Center in 2021-22. Admission is free.

Other South Florida swimmers joining Banks on the roster are:

Brooke Goedel, Boca Raton alum, Boca Raton

Adrian Aguilar, Doral alum, Miami

Cameron Taddonio, Boca Raton High alum, Boca Raton

Elvis Kotikovski, Pine Crest, Sunny Isles

Izaak Bastian, St. Andrew’s alum, Bahamas

Kyle DiMatteo, Park Vista, Boynton Beach

FSU 2021-22 SCHEDULE
Sept. 24, Garnet-Gold Meet, 2 p.m.
Oct. 8-9, FIU TYR Fall Classic, Miami, 10 a.m., 5 p.m.
Oct. 15, Auburn, 2 p.m.
Oct. 23, at Georgia Tech, 11 a.m.
Oct. 30, UWF,UNF, FSC, 1 p.m.
Nov. 5, Florida, 2 p.m.
Nov. 18-20, Georgia Tech Invite
Jan. 6, Texas A&M, 2 p.m.
Jan. 15, at LSU, 11 a.m.
Jan. 21, at University of Miami women, 3 p.m.
Jan.28, Tampa, 2 p.m.
Feb. 3-5, Auburn First Chance
Feb. 26-27, UGA Last Chance
March 5-9, NCAA Zone B Diving, Atlanta
March 16-19, NCAA Women’s Championships, Atlanta
March 23-26, NCAA Men’s Championships, Atlanta

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