Podkoscielny, Crooks, Winkler Top FGC Finishers On Day Two Of USA Swimming Futures Championship


By Sharon Robb
CARY, N.C., July 28, 2022—It was another fast night of swimming at the USA Swimming Futures Championship Thursday at Triangle Aquatic Center.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s top finisher was its women’s 800-meter freestyle relay, placing 14th in 8:39.90 with Elena Dinehart, Maddie Smutny, Natalie Gembicki and Olivia Dinehart. SOFLO women are 16th among 52 teams.

Other Thursday SOFLO results:
Javier Colmenares, 16, 100 breaststroke time trial, 3. 1:07.43.
Elena Dinehart, 17, 100 backstroke, 26. 1:05.80, prelims; 25. 1:05.09.
Natalie Gembicki, 17, 100 freestyle, 102. 1:00.86.
Alex Golding, 18, 100 backstroke time trials, 1. 1:02.18; 400 IM, 48. 4:46.90.
Sophia Grubbs, 17, 100 freestyle time trial 1:03.38.
Ricardo Roche, 22, 100 backstroke, 18. 58.71, 0.95 drop.
Rafael Rodriguez, 20, 100 freestyle, 97. 54.40.
Mallory Schleicher, 18, 400 IM, 28. 5:07.91 prelims; 25. 4:45.92, finals.
Izzy Wilson, 15, 100 freestyle time trial, 1:03.61.

SOFLO has thirteen swimmers (seven girls and six boys) competing in 48 individual events and one relay.

Among Florida Gold Coast swimmer highlights:

Julia Podkoscielny, 17, prepping for next month’s Junior Pan Pacs, won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:46.37. She was second fastest in prelims in 4:52.36. In an exciting 100 meter backstroke race, she finished second in 1:02.31, dropping 1.10. Lily Cleason, 17, of Club Wolverine won in 1:02.25. Podkoscielny was third fastest in 1:03.18, dropping 0.23. Pine Crest Swimming is eighth among women’s teams with 37 points, all scored by Podkoscielny.

Jillian Crooks, 16, of TS Aquatics was second in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.56, dropping 0.29 seconds. Addison Sauickie, 16, of Sarasota Sharks won in 55.66.

Kaii Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics was third in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.75. Macguire McDuff, 19, of Bolles won in 49.06 and Michael Cotter, 19, of TAC Titans was second in 49.65.

The Futures Championship is designed as an intermediate step between Sectional Championships and Junior Nationals or National Championships, and open to swimmers of all ages who have time standards. The seventh edition of Futures is one of five around the nation.

Swimmers from the following LSCs are eligible to compete including Florida Gold Coast, Florida Swimming, Southeastern, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Indiana.

THURSDAY RESULTS
COMBINED TEAM TOTALS:
1. TAC Titans 596, 2. Sarasota Sharks 382, 3. Club Wolverine 285.5, 4. Bolles 268, 5. Chattahoochee Gold 124, 13. TS Aquatics 43, 16. Pine Crest Swimming, 22. Eagle Aquatics 28, 32. SOFLO 15, 36. Treasure Coast 11, 36. Miami Country Day 11, 39. Metro Aquatics 7, 45. Midtown Weston 4.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. TAC Titans 339, 2. Bolles 229, 3. Sarasota Sharks 111, 4. Club Wolverine 101, 5. Dynamo 53, 13. Eagle Aquatics 28, 14. TS Aquatics 26, 27. Miami Country Day 11.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Sarasota Sharks 271, 2. TAC Titans 257, 3. Club Wolverine 184.5, 4. Chattahoochee Gold 112, 5. Blue Dolfins 76.5, 8. Pine Crest Swimming 37, 15. TS Aquatics 17, 16. SOFLO 15, 24. Treasure Coast 11, 25. Metro Aquatics 7, 33. Midtown Weston 4.

WOMEN
100-meter freestyle: 1. Addison Sauickie, SYS 55.66, 2. Jillian Crooks, TS Aquatics 56.56, 3. Meredith Whelehan, TAC 56.92; FGC: 18. Gioia Balzano, EA 58.06.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Julia Podkoscielny, Pine Crest Swimming 4:46.37, 2. Hannah Bellard, CW 4:47.67, 3. Michaela Mattes, SYS 4:48.13; SOFLO: 25. Mallory Schleicher 4:58.92, time drop 0.13; FGC: 26. Riley Botting, PC 5:00.19.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Lily Cleason, CW 1:02.25, 2. Julia Podkoscielny, PCS 1:02.31, time drop 1.10, 3. Taylor Morris, TAC 1:02.90; SOFLO: 25. Elena Dinehart 1:05.09.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Sarasota Sharks A 8:10.77, 2. TAC Titans 8:17.61, 3. Club Wolverine 8:22.57, 14. SOFLO 8:39.90 (Elena Dinehart, Maddie Smutny, Natalie Gembicki, Olivia Dinehart).

MEN
100-meter freestyle: 1. Macguire McDuff, Bolles 49.06, 2. Michael Cotter, TAC 49.65, 3. Kaii Winkler, Eagle Aquatics 49.75, 25. Dylan Smiley, MCDA 52.14, 27. Finn Winkler, Eagle Aquatics 52.75.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Michael Mullen, Bolles 4:21.50, 2. Lance Norris, TAC 4:22.59, 3. Amadeusz Knop, SYS 4:26.16.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Matthew Menke, HA 55.50, 2. Derek Maas, MLA 56.32, 3. Braeden Haughey, TAC 56.82; FGC: 14. Kaii Winkler, EA 58.76, 21. Finn Winkler, EA 59.09.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. TAC Titans A 7:27.72, 2. Bolles 7:36.93, 3. TAC Titans B 7:37.74, 10. TS Aquatics 7:51.48.

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

Marchand, U.S. Women’s Relay Win; Dressel Drops Out Of Meet; Azura’s Morales Top FGC Finisher At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 22, 2022–It was a crazy day at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Wednesday at Duna Arena.

In the biggest news of the day, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Caeleb Dressel withdrew from the rest of his events on the fifth day of the eight-day meet, a day after scratching out of the 100 freestyle for unspecified medical grounds.

“After conferring with Caeleb, his coaches and medical staff, a decision has been made to withdraw him from the FINA World Championships,” according to a USA Swimming. “Our priority is and will always be the health of our athletes and we will continue to give Caeleb the assistance he needs to recover quickly.”

Dressel, a Clay High School and Bolles Swim Club alum and 15-time world champion who won five golds at the Tokyo Olympics, scratched out of Tuesday’s 100 freestyle semifinals. He was also expected to race in Tuesday’s mixed 4×100 medley relay final before withdrawing. He didn’t have any events scheduled Wednesday.

Now, Dressel will also miss the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle, events that start Thursday, and two more relays he was expected to be a part of (mixed 4×100 free and men’s 4×100 medley).

The top Florida Gold Coast finisher was Azura’s Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico. He was 16th in 1:59.77 in the 200-meter backstroke morning prelims to advance into the semifinal round where he finished eighth in 2:01.47 in his semi and 16th overall. Swimming in Lane 8, Morales had the second fastest start (0.54) in the first semifinal.

In her world championship debut, Cayman Islands national record holder Jillian Crooks, who turns 16 on June 27, tied for 29th in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.24 with Peru’s Rafaela Erazo. The home schooler and TS Aquatics swimmer has the 50 freestyle left to swim on Friday.

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

FGC swimmers who competed on Wednesday:

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba (NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina), 200 backstroke, 28th, 2:05.90.

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay (South Florida Heat, Azura), 200 breaststroke, 27th, 2:39.05.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 100 freestyle, tied for 29th, 57.24.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 200 backstroke, 16th, 1:59.77 in prelims; in the semifinals he was eighth in 2:01.47 and 16th overall.

FGC swimmers competing on Thursday are:

Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus, 32, Brazil, (Coral Springs Swim Club), 50 freestyle.

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage, USC), 50 freestyle.

Esteban Nunez de Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 100 butterfly.

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

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana (Azura), 50 freestyle.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle.

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

In Wednesday night’s final events:

200 WOMEN’S BUTTERFLY: Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, topped three Olympic medalists and broke her own world junior record to win in 2:05.20. She is the first Canadian to win the event at worlds. American Hali Flickinger was second in 2:06.08 and reigning Olympic champion Zhang Yufei was third in 2:06.32.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE: Romanian teenager David Popovici, 17, won in 47.58 out-touching Frenchman Maxime Grousset in 47.64 and Canadian Josh Liendo was third in 47.71. It was his second win of the meet.

WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE: In a tight finish Canadian national record holder Kylie Masse won gold in 27.31. American Katharine Berkoff took silver in 27.39 for her first world medal. Frenchwoman Analia Pigree was third n 27.40, the first-ever French woman medalist in the event. American Regan Smith was fifth. 16/100ths of a second separated the top six swimmers.

MEN’S 200 IM: Frenchman Leon Marchand, 20, of Arizona State, swept the medley events, winning in a best time and national record 1:55.22. He also won the 400 IM earlier in the week. Marchand was third going into the breaststroke where he overtook the early leaders. American Carson Foster was second in 1:55.71 and Japan’s 2019 world champion Daiya Seto was third in 1:56.22.

“It’s a dream for me because five years ago, I was watching this race, and I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s amazing,'” Marchand said. “And now, I can win two titles, so it’s amazing.”

WOMEN’S 4×200 FREE RELAY: With two veterans and two youngsters, the U.S. women’s team pulled off an upset win in a championship record 7:41.45. Katie Ledecky swam third leg to pick up her 18th worlds gold medal, the most of any woman in meet history. Bella Sims, 16, swam anchor leg. Claire Weinstein, 15, and Leah Smith swam the first two legs. Australia was second in 7:43.86 and Canada third in 7:44.76.

“I think we always find a way to be in the mix,” Ledecky said. “I knew that going into tonight that no matter who’s going to be on that relay, no matter who makes those spots, they’re going to step up and swim well. This was awesome. It’s so easy to get up for these relays, to not think and go. I had so much trust in these three. I think we’re always counted out, and we always deliver so I’m proud of this group.”

In the 200 breaststroke semifinals, middle schooler Sua Moon of Korea was 16th in the semis in 2:26.64. The 13-year-old also swam 1:08.50 in the 100 breaststroke heats.

Thursday prelim events are men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 freestyle, women’s 50 butterfly, women’s 800 freestyle and men’s 4×200 free relay.

The U.S. added four more medals to its tally of 11 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze for 26. Australia is second with eight total (2 golds, 5 silver, 1 bronze).

The swimming runs through Saturday 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
Thursday, June 23: 100 women’s freestyle, 200 women’s breaststroke, 200 men’s backstroke, 200 men’s breaststroke, 4×200 men’s freestyle 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

Milak Shatters World Record; Finke Breaks American Record; TS Aquatics’ Jillian Crooks Makes Debut Wednesday At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 21, 2022–In front of an electric hometown crowd, Hungarian Kristof Milak broke the world record in the 200-meter butterfly Tuesday night at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena.

It was Hungary’s first gold medal of the world championships.

The Olympic gold medalist set a blistering pace breaking his own world record in 1:50.34. His splits were 24.19, 27.70, 28.62 and 29.83.

“Now it hurts a lot. I can’t feel my legs,” Milak said. “I enjoyed it though, especially after the race, the atmosphere and how the fans reacted.”

Milak’s previous mark was 1:50.73 set at the 2019 World Championships. The only other swimmer to break 1:52 was Michael Phelps in 2009 (1:51.51). Milak, 22, now has eight of the 12 fastest times in event history.

“I can’t really recall my swim,” Milak said. “I think I pushed a bit harder over the first 100 meters. That’s why it was so painful at the end, but I really wanted this world record, more than anything. I mean, this is my home, my pool. I train here. I race here, lane four belongs to me. I really wanted to show something big for these fantastic people. The Olympic gold means a lot, but winning here, with a new world record, in front of 4,000 people, that eclipses everything. I was driven today by the crowd.”

Frenchman Leon Marchand of Arizona State was second in a national record 1:53.37 and Japan’s Tomoru Honda was third in 1:53.61.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and University of Florida senior Bobby Finke of St. Petersburg, in his textbook comeback fashion, turned it on in the final 50 meters to win the 800-meter freestyle breaking his own American record in 7:39.36. Finke, in fourth place at the final turn, is the first American male to win the event at world championships.

“I was peeking to see how far Romanchuk was the last 100 because he started picking it up a little bit and I knew if I was going to run someone down I had to at least know kind of where they were,” Finke said.

“I was just happy I was able to hold on to a little position I had, enough room to get by them on the last 50. I think it’s just really that kind of mentality going into the last finish.”

Germany’s Florian Wellbrock was second in a national record 7:39.63.

Mykhailo Romanchuk of war-torn Ukraine took the bronze in 7:40.05 in an emotional moment for his country. During the medal ceremony, Romanchuk fought back tears and kept patting his heart.

“I hope this medal means a lot for Ukrainians because of the hard times and I show to all Ukrainians, to all people, that Ukrainians will fight to the end,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the situation, we will fight to the end and it doesn’t matter what will happen next.”

Cayman Islands national record holder Jillian Crooks, who turns 16 on June 27, makes her world championship debut in the 100-meter freestyle on Wednesday. The home schooler and TS Aquatics swimmer competed in the 100 freestyle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics where she finished 41st.

At the April 2022 CARIFTA meet she broke four Cayman records in the 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 200 backstroke and 100 butterfly and now owns six individual national records including the 100 freestyle and 50 butterfly. She also is a member of four women’s relay national records. Her older brother Jordan, tied for 21st in the 100-meter freestyle in 48.79 in Tuesday’s prelims.

Plantation American Heritage and USC alum Dylan Carter, 26, of Trinidad & Tobago was unable to get past the 100 freestyle semifinals on Tuesday but was still the top Florida Gold Coast finisher. Carter was 11th in 48.40 in prelims and finished 14th in a best time and national record 48.30 in the semifinals.

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Tuesday were:

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba, (NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina), 200 IM, 28th, 2:04.58.

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage), 100 freestyle, tied with Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders for 11th, 48.40 in prelims and finished 14th in 48.30 in semifinals.

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

Jayhan Odlum-Smith, 20, St. Lucia, (Azura), 100 freestyle, 61st 51.87.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura) 100 freestyle, 89th, 57.03.

Julimar Avila, 25, Honduras, (Azura), 200 butterfly, 22nd, 2:17.40.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana, (Azura), 100 freestyle, 85th, 55.09.

Matheo Mateos, 21, Paraguay, (Azura), 200 IM, 30th, 2:04.73.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 freestyle, 69th, 52.80.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands, (TS Aquatics, Tennessee), 100 freestyle, tied for 21st 48.79 with Carter Swift of New Zealand.

FGC swimmers competing on Wednesday:

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

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay (South Florida Heat, Azura), 200 breaststroke.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 100 freestyle.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 200 backstroke.

In Tuesday night’s final events:
WOMEN’S 200 FREESTYLE: China picked up two medals in the event. Yang Junxuan won gold in 1:54.92 and Tang Muhan took bronze in 1:56.25. Aussie teenager Mollie O’Callaghan, 18, took silver in 1:55.22.

MEN’S 50 BREASTSTROKE: American Nic Fink pulled off a stunning victory in an American record 26.45. Italian Nicolo Martenenghi was second in 26.48 and American Michael Andrew won his second world individual medal placing third in 26.72. Fink is the first American to win a world title in the event.

MIXED 400 MEDLEY RELAY: The U.S. relay of Hunter Armtstrong, Nic Fink, Torri Huske and Claire Curzan won in 3:38.79. Australia was second in 3:41.34 and the Netherlands was third in 3:41.54.

In the men’s 100-meter semifinals, Roumanian teenager David Popvici, 17, broke a second world junior record in 47.13.

In the women’s 200-meter butterfly semifinals Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, broke the world junior record in 2:05.79.

Two-time defending champion Caeleb Dressel withdrew from the 100-meter freestyle semifinals for “medical grounds” according to Team USA officials.

According to an official statement, “A decision has been made by Team USA in consultation with Caeleb, his coach, and the team’s medical staff for him to withdraw from the 100-meter freestyle event on medical grounds. The team will determine his participation in the events later in the week.” He has the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly left to swim.

Wednesday prelim events are women’s 100 freestyle, men’s 200 backstroke, women’s 200 breaststroke, men’s 200 breaststroke and women’s 4×200 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

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