Beisel Wins Gold, Team USA Dominates Day Two Of Pan Pacific Championships

Beisel Wins Gold, Team USA Dominates Day Two Of Pan Pacific Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 22, 2014—On a cold, wet, winter night in Australia, Elizabeth Beisel held off teammate Maya DiRado in an exciting race to win the 400-meter individual medley Friday at the Pan Pacific Championships at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.

The University of Florida alum dominated the women’s field to defend her 2010 title, winning in a Pac Pacs record of 4:31.99. DiRado was second in 4:35.37 and Aussie Keryn McMaster took bronze in 4:38.84.

In the women’s 400-meter individual medley “B” final, Team USA swept the top four places including former Clearwater swimmer Becca Mann finishing second in 4:39.93 and St. Peterburg’s Melanie Margalis placing fourth in 4:40.94.

Beisel, 22, scratched from the 400-meter freestyle for Day Three to focus on the 200-meter backstroke for her second event at world championships.

After getting shut out in the 100-meter freestyle, Michael Phelps was all smiles after helping Team USA to a gold medal in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:05.17 with teammates Conor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte (fastest split of 1:45.57) and Matt McLean. It is the 29-year-old’s first international meet since coming out of retirement.

“Being able to get back on the podium, it feels amazing,” Phelps said after the race. “It’s a good first day. Good first international meet back.

“There’s no better way to finish this lovely, rainy night then being able to step up with your teammates and win a gold medal,” Phelps said.

Phelps was fourth in his first final event, the 100-meter freestyle in 48.51, but then swam second leg on the winning relay. “I don’t think the 100 was terrible, I am learning all the time,” said the 18-time Olympic gold medalist.

Phelps’ time bumped him ahead of Ryan Lochte for the second individual 100 freestyle spot for world championships.

Aussie Cameron McEvoy won the 100-meter freestyle in 47.82 competing in pouring rain. Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian of Team USA was second in 48.30 and two-time world champion James Magnussen of Australia was third in 48.36.

“I just felt great the whole way,” McEvoy said. “It was an honor to be in a race with such great men, so much those guys have accomplished. What more could I ask for?”

In the women’s 100-meter freestyle, sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell of Australia, coming off the Commonwealth Games, finished one-two. Cate Campbell won in 52.72. Bronte Campbell finished in 53.45. Simone Manuel of Team USA took the bronze in 53.71, her first international medal and junior world record, after holding off teammate Missy Franklin, still nursing back spasms, who was fourth in 53.87.

American women won two more gold medals to end the night. Jessica Hardy held off a hard-charging Kanako Watanabe of Japan to win the 100-meter breaststroke, 1:06.74-1:06.78. American Breeja Larson took bronze in 1:06.99, failing to swim under 1:06.51, unable to make the world championships in the event.

Teenager Katie Ledecky, 17, anchored the winning 4×200-meter freestyle relay with a come-from-behind surge that clinched the win in a meet record 7:46.40 with teammates Shannon Vreeland, Franklin and Leah Smith. Ledecky’s anchor split was 1:54.36.

It was Ledecky’s third gold medal after winning the 200- and 800-meter freestyle double on opening night. She has the 400 and 1500 remaining.

“This is the best feeling ever,” Ledecky said. “It’s great to be here with these girls. This atmosphere, it’s kind of like a classic environment like Friday Night Lights, rain and a relay, so it was pretty fun.”

Japan won two gold medals in the men’s events. At only 5-foot-9, 150-pounds, Kosuke Hagino finessed his way to a win in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:08.31, ahead of Americans Tyler Clary in 4:09.03 and Chase Kalisz in 4:09.62. The medal stand was a sight with Hagino, 6-1 Clary and 6-4 Kalisz.

Yasuhiro Koseki won the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.62. Felipe Silva of Brazil took the silver in 59.82 and Glenn Snyders of New Zealand took bronze in 1:00.18. American Kevin Cordes was disqualified for pulling his water-filled goggles off at the turn. Cordes was the top seed in the event.

Coaches and swimmers from all countries are in agreement that the poor weather is slowing down times. However, Team USA has won eight out of 16 gold medals and 20 of 30 medals overall after two days, midway point of the four-day meet.

Host Australia has already matched its 2010 total of four gold medals and has 13 overall. Japan also has four gold and eight overall.

For those following the Pan Pacs and enjoy being sleep-deprived on the East Coast, prelims are 8 p.m. and finals 5 a.m.

NBC will broadcast highlight races from the Pan Pacs on Saturday and Sunday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. each day. In Australia the entire meet is being televised live.

Swimming Australia is live streaming the meet on its website (

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Gold, Bronze, National Record At FINA World Cup Series In Singapore

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Gold, Bronze, National Record At FINA World Cup Series In Singapore


November 6, 2013

Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club knocked off pre-race favorite Yulia Efimova of Russia in the 50-meter breaststroke to win her second gold medal of the FINA World Cup Series on Wednesday at the Singapore Sports School.

Atkinson sprinted to a Jamaican national record in 28.94, winning her third sprint breaststroke title in series’ six meets.

Atkinson bettered her previous best of 29.21 set in Berlin. It is also the fastest time ever done by a Jamaican swimmer in the country’s history.

It was the second fastest time in the world this year and just 0.14 off the world record American Jessica Hardy (28.80) set in 2009.

Efimova was second in 29.25.

Atkinson emerged as the leading female swimmer of the Singapore leg, outshining Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and bettering her personal best for 985 points. Atkinson’s breaststroke swim was the best performance of the meet. Hosszu was runner-up with 982 points.

Atkinson, not shaved for the meet, burst into the lead with a great start and pushed the pace in the first half of the race to lead from wire-to-wire.

The three-time Olympian for Jamaica opened the meet on Tuesday winning the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.48, her fourth win in her signature event.

She also took the bronze medal in the 100-meter individual medley in 58.42, also on Tuesday, behind Katina Hosszu and Alicia Coutts. She was only 1/10th of a second out of second.

“This is the first time I am competing in every single meet in the series,” Atkinson said.

“I always hope to improve my times from the first to the third leg in each cluster so I am very happy with the times on this first leg. I hope to continue to improve in Tokyo and Beijing.

“I am a big fan of the Asian cluster and I definitely want to be back, especially in Singapore and Japan. The atmosphere makes it a great place to be.”

Atkinson is sitting pretty and gaining on Spain’s Mireia Belmonte for second place in the overall series standings and cluster for another big pay day. Atkinson is second with 54 points among provisional leaders of the third cluster and second with 228 among provisional leaders of the World Cup after the sixth meet.

“She shaves in three days,” said SOFLO coach Chris Anderson who is coaching Atkinson during the Asian leg. “All we need now is a safe flight, two good workouts and keep developing her core.

“We already have the new suit and now we just need three world records,” Anderson said, referring to the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter individual medley.

The seventh and last stages of the FINA World Cup will be held in Tokyo, Nov. 9-10 and Beijing, Nov. 13-14.

In other races:

Men’s 50-meter backstroke: American Eugene Godsoe won in 23.12, just .14 seconds ahead of Aussie Bobby Hurley for his second gold medal of the meet. He also won the 100-meter backstroke.

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: German swimmer Franziska Hentke just edged Katinka Hosszu, who was undefeated in the event, in 2:04.42. Hosszu had won all five races coming into this meet.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: South African Myles Brown continues to leave a lasting impression in distance swimming with his win in 14:56.94.

Women’s 400-meter individual medley: Hungarian Katinka Hosszu remained undefeated in this event in 4:27.60.

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Aussie Cate Campbell won in 51.67 to sweep the sprint events.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: South African Chad Le Clos won in 1:42.29 for his first win of the series in the event.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: Hungarian Daniel Gyurta outclassed the field to win in 57.31. Brazilian Felipe Lima, who trains in South Florida with Alex Pussieldi, took another bronze in 58.29.

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: Le Clos won his second event of the day with a late surge to win in 50.04 after being fourth at the turn.

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: Hosszu swam a national record and lifetime best time to win in 57.04.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Le Clos won his third gold medal of the day in 1:53.36 with a dominating race.

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle, who already had the 800 freestyle gold, took the 400 gold in 4:00.78.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: Russian Vlad Morozov won the event for the fifth time in six meets in 20.78. Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell was second in 21.20 and American Anthony Ervin was third in 21.26.

Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: Russia’s Yulia Efimova got her first gold of the day winning in 2:18.33.

Women’s 100-meter individual medley: Hosszu was first in 58.29 ahead of Aussie Alicia Coutts in 58.32.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: American Eugene Godsoe won his second gold of the day in 1:50.56.

Women’s 50-meter butterfly: Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum won in 25.34.

Mixed 200-meter freestyle relay: Brazil won the event in 1:31.02 with Nicholas Oliveira, Fernando Silva, Larissa Oliveira and Graciele Hermann.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ervin Wins Splash & Dash; Hardy Wins Third Event At Arena Grand Prix

Ervin Wins Splash & Dash; Hardy Wins Third Event At Arena Grand Prix


May 11, 2013

Playing catch-up for most of the race, ageless Anthony Ervin won the 50-meter freestyle Saturday night at the Arena Grand Prix Charlotte UltraSwim.

Ervin, 31, of California Aquatics won the splash and dash in 22.01, holding off Marcello Chierighini (22.09) and reigning Olympic gold medalist Cullen Jones (22.16).

The men’s field featured five Olympians. Only 15/100ths of a second separated the top three finishers.

Ervin, the top morning qualifier in 22.43, caught Jones, who had the best start of the field at the end of the race and held off Chierighini who was charging fast.

“I have been training really hard,” Ervin said. “I wasn’t expecting to put down a best-in-season time like that. I felt real rough this morning. Tonight I wanted to feel that speed and swim better. It felt like the pool was doing the work for me. I have confidence in my training. I am just excited about my finish.”

Olympian Jessica Hardy, 26, of Trojan Swim Club, won her third event of the meet in the 50-meter freestyle. Racing against three other Olympians in the field, Hardy overtook early leader and hometown favorite Madison Kennedy to win in 25.09.

Kennedy and Megan Romano tied for second in 25.12. It was a best time for Romano.

“That was a blast, one lap is the distance to race,” Hardy said with a smile. “Sprinting is fun. It was a great show from everybody in the race.”

In other championships events Saturday night:

Andreina Pinto, 21, of Gator Swim Club won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:12.40.

Singapore Olympian and national record holder Joseph Schooling, 17, competing against one of the youngest men’s field, won his second event of the meet in the 200-meter butterfly in 1:57.79. Four other teenagers were in the final.

“I was pretty pumped for my race,” Schooling said. “I jumped on that second 50 too much and that third 50 started hurting. I am going to race my hardest this summer. Everyone races for best times. If I get a best time in any of my events I’ll be happy.”

Romano, 22, of Athens Bulldogs won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.83. Davie Nadadores’ Carolina Colorado was fourth in 1:01.73.

Andrew teDuits, 19, swimming unattached won the 100-meter backstroke in 54.43. Ryan Murphy, 17, of Bolles was third in 54.49 and Ryan Lochte, 28, was sixth in 55.48.

Chloe Sutton, 21, of Mission Viejo won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:09.10.

Connor Jaeger, 22, of Club Wolverine won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:48.77.

Annie Zhu, 18, of North Baltimore won the 200-meter breaststroke by 1/100th of a second in 2:27.16. She caught early leader Laura Sogar of Bluefish who was second in 2:27.17.

Mike Alexandrov, 28, of Trojan Swim Club won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:13.60.

Dana Vollmer, 25, swimming unattached, won the 50-meter butterfly in 26.18. Claire Donahue, 24, of Western Kentucky, a frequent visitor and trainer with the South Florida Aquatic Club, coming back from surgery, was second in 26.77. Davie’s Carolina Colorado was fourth in 27.24.

Marcelo Chierighini, 22, of Auburn won the 50-meter butterfly in 23.72. Cullen Jones was second in 24.03.


David Boudia, competing in his first meet since winning a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, took a silver medal on the 10-meter platform Saturday at the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale. China swept all four gold medals awarded on Saturday in the men’s 10-meter, women’s 3-meter, men’s 3-meter synchro and women’s 10-meter synchro. “I’m glad to be competitive with the Chinese at this stage,” Boudia said. American Amanda Burke was fifth on 3-meter. The meet concludes on Sunday with the women’s 3-meter synchro, men’s 10-meter synchro, men’s 3-meter and women’s 10-meter.

Sharon Robb can be reached at