Aruba’s Patrick Groters Breaks Second National Record; El Salvador’s Celina Marquez Of Azura Breaks National Record; Carter Takes Bronze Day Three Of XVIII Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 9, 2019—Patrick Groters of Aruba continued to make history for his country with a second national record Thursday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional Aquatic Center.

The former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming alum just missed his second final, placing ninth in the men’s 100-meter backstroke and making “B” final but did break his second national record for Aruba in a personal-best 56.20. He broke his own record of 57.17 set in 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships.

In an exciting “B” final race, Groters was second in another best time and lowering his national record in 55.82 just 4/100ths of a second behind Azura’s Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico in 55.78. Groters is being coached by his older brother Jordy.

Morales finished fourth in his heat in 56.53. He finished fifth overall in 200-meter backstroke on Wednesday in 2:00.27.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Celina Marquez, 20, of El Salvador swam a national record in the 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 1:01.92. Her previous best was 1:02.92 in April at the Puerto Rico Open. She also swam 1:02.96 at the recent FINA World Aquatic Championships. She earned the fifth-fastest time. Her splits were 29.96 and 31.96, breaking the national record by more than two and a half seconds. In finals, she finished seventh in 1:03.07.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago 100-meter won a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke final in 54.42.

Groters’ Aruba teammate Mikel Schreuders, 20, swam the fastest time in his career to break a national record in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.08. His splits were 23.74 and 25.34 to earn the third seed for final. His previous best was 49.17 swam at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean Games. He came back at night to finish sixth in 49.21.

Azura’s Allyson Ponson of Aruba won the “B” final in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.06. In prelims she was ninth in 57.28 to make “B” final.

Former SOFLO swimmer Jorge Murillo won the “B” final in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:13.59 after going 2:14.09 in his heat. He was also a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in 3:55.22.

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Surinam was fourth in the 100-meter freestyle heats in 49.73.

Azura and Cypress Bay alum Marco Guarente, now at Florida, qualified for the “A” final of 200-meter breaststroke, where he finished seventh in 2:14.40.

Azura alum Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, now at Louisville, was fifth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:00.98.

Mateo Gonzalez of Mexico, a Sagemont and Azura alum qualified for the “B” final on Wednesday in 100-meter butterfly and finished second in 54.09.

Azura alum Luis Martinez won a silver medal in 100-meter butterfly in 51.63 behind American Tom Shields in 51.59 Wednesday night.

Azura alum Jose Angel Martinez of Mexico, now at Texas A&M, was fifth in 200-meter butterfly in 1:59.23 Wednesday night.

Azura’s Julio Horrego of Honduras was fourth in the “B” final of 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.90 after going 2:18.21 in his heat.

Doral alum Isabella Paez was a member of Venezuela’s mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fourth in its heat in 4:03.18.

American Heritage alum Cathy Cooper of Panama was a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in its heat in 4:06.11 and sixth in finals in 3:58.10.

Individual winners on Thursday night:

American Margo Greer, top qualifier, led from start-to-finish to win the 100-meter freestyle in 54.17.

Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini outsprinted American Nathan Adrian to win the 100-meter freestyle in 48.09 and snap the Americans win streak. Adrian finished in 48.17.

American Anne Lazor won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record 2:21.40.

American William Licon won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record of 2:07.62.

American Phoebe Bacon won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.47, the only swimmer under 1 minute.

American Daniel Carr won the 100-meter backstroke in 53.50.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello continues to dominate the distance events winning the 800-meter freestyle in 8:29.42. American Mariah Denigan was second in 8:34.18. U.S. teammate Becca Mann, a former Clearwater swimmer, was fifth in 8:38.25.

American Andrew Abruzzo won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.70.

Brazil won the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:48.61. The U.S. team of Anne Lazor, Kendyl Stewart, Cody Miller and Nathan Adrian was disqualified for an illegal second dolphin kick on Miller’s breaststroke.

The U.S. won 11 medals including six gold on Day 3 and broke two Pan American records.

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

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Hosszu, Sjostrom, Le Clos Shine On Final Day Of FINA World Cup Series; Missouri Tigers Dominate Show-Me Showdown


By Sharon Robb

October 1, 2017—Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu just missed the 100-meter individual medley world record on Day Two of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series in Hong Kong.

The final session featured some of the world’s best swimmers and series leaders including Hosszu, Sarah Sjostrom and Chad Le Clos.

In the race of the night, Hosszu pulled away from Sjostrom to win the 100 individual medley in 56.97, off her world record of 56.51 and ahead of Sjostrom in 58.62. The two have been the stars of the series.

Hosszu also won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.20 ahead of Aussie Emily Seebohm in 56.71.

Hosszu finished the meet with a win in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:33.55, pulling away from South African Jessica Whelan in 4:50.24.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO won her second gold medal of the meet in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.26. She also took third in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:26.70; was fourth in the 100-meter individual medley in 59.57; and fifth in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.32. Atkinson automatically qualified for finals and did not have to swim prelims.

On Saturday she won the 100 breaststroke in 1:04.09. It was her seventh gold medal of the 2017 series. She has also taken three bronze medals after three of the eight series stops.

Other winners were:

Sjostrom won the 100-yard freestyle in 51.99 ahead of Ranomi Kromowidjojo in 52.53. She also won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.62 just missing the world record of 24.38.

Le Clos won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.88 ahead of American Tom Shields in 1:43.58. Le Clos also won the 100-yard butterfly in 50.28, again ahead of Shields in 50.82.

Cameron van der Burgh won the 100-yard breaststroke in 56.43.

Florida State alum Pavel Sankovich of Belarus won the 50-meter backstroke in 23.03. It was his first win of the weekend meet.

China’s Zhang Yufei won the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.64.

Russian Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:54.81 just out-touching Hong Kong’s Kenneth To in 1:54.83.

Femke Heemskerk won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:04.30.

Russian Vladimir Morozov won the 50-meter freestyle in 20.91, the only sub-21 in the final. Le Clos was second in 21.48.

Canadian Kierra Smith led from start to finish to win the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:18.48.

Christian Diener of Germany won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:51.25.

China’s Qiu Ziao knocked off 800 world champion Gabriele Detti of Italy in the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:44.09. Detti took silver in 14:46.44.

Netherlands won the 4×50 freestyle mixed relay in 1:32.11 with Thom de Boer (22.04), Kyle Stolk (21.69), Femke Heemskerk (24.21) and Ranomi Kromowidjojo (24.17).

Next up is Doha, Qatar Oct. 4-5.

FINA has increased the prize money for the top reward among overall series winners from $100,000 to $150,000 for first, $100,000 for second and $50,000 for third. The increase in prize has not attracted more top level swimmers for the remainder of the series. Most of the world’s top swimmers from national teams are not competing.

Coaches and swimmers are planning to start a new pro tour in 2018. It features the concept of a pledge to pay 49 percent of all revenue generated to athletes. FINA’s spend on swimmers amount to less than five percent of available funds.

COLLEGE SWIMMING

Missouri men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams hosted the 12th annual Show-Me Showdown, competing against teams from all over the state. The Tigers won 21 combined events on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The women’s team had 700 points and men’s team, led by NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming Club alum Jordy Groters of Aruba this season, finished with 676 points. Groters, a senior, is one of six returning All-Americans, along with junior Mikel Schreuders, also Aruban. Schreuders won the 100-yard freestyle in 46.00 and was a member of the winning 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. Both Groters and Schreuders are coming off this summer’s FINA World Championships.

The Tigers next meet is Oct. 14 at home. The men will swim SEC foe South Carolina and women will battle South Carolina and Arkansas.

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

Hungary, Britain Dominate Gold Medals; SOFLO’s Rojas Swims Tuesday At FINA World Championships


By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 24, 2017—The second night of swimming at the 17th FINA World Championships featured four individual finals and three semifinals in front of a loud crowd of 12,000 Monday at Duna Arena.

Hometown favorite Katinka Hosszu had the crowd on its feet during the 200-meter individual medley dominating the women’s field for her third straight world title.

Hosszu, who scratched from the 100 backstroke, led from start-to-finish to win in 2:07.00 ahead of Japan’s Yui Ohashi (2:07.91). American Madisyn Cox surged in the last half of the race to take the bronze in 2:09.71. Even Cox was impressed by the electrifying atmosphere. She said she pretended the crowd was cheering for her and that motivated her.

Canadian Sydney Pickrem, who was a medal favorite, felt ill and was forced to get out of the pool after the first 50 meters.

Brit Adam Peaty defended his world title in the 100-meter breaststroke in a meet record 57.47. Peaty was just shy of his world record of 57.13 set last year. American Kevin Cordes took silver in 58.79 and Russian Kirill Prigoda won the bronze with a national record.

“I am really happy,” Peaty said. “We have quite a young team after Rio and I am a little bit now pushing because I do not feel anyone can push me right now in the country. This venue is absolutely incredible.”

Great Britain got its second gold medal with a stunning upset victory by Ben Proud in the 50-meter butterfly. Proud won in 22.75, just shy of the meet record in 22.67. Proud looked stunned after touching the wall. It was his first individual medal at either the Olympics or World Championships and first time Great Britain has medaled in the event since 2001 when Mark Foster finished third.

Brazil veteran swimmer Nicholas Santos (22.79) and Andrii Govorov of the Ukraine (22.84) took silver and bronze. American and Clay High School alum Caeleb Dressel and Singapore’s star Joseph Schooling were shut out of a medal finishing fourth (22.89) and fifth (22.95) respectively. Dressel, 20, came in with the fastest semifinal qualifying time.

Schooling, 22, was disappointed and is now focusing on the 100 butterfly.

“It’s fine, it’s my second best time,” Schooling told reporters. “I got beaten by four better guys. Obviously, I am disappointed with the positioning but the time was fine. It sets me up for a good 100 fly. I’ll just learn from the race and move on.” The 100 butterfly is Wednesday.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom continued her domination in the 100-meter butterfly. She broke the meet record to win a gold medal in 55.53, just shy of her best time of 55.48. It was Sjostrom’s fourth overall world championship gold medal (2009, 2013, 2015).

“I am a little bit tired because of yesterday’s race but I am very excited about today,” Sjostrum said. “I could not wait for the start. I just wanted to jump into the water. The championship record was not expected because I am focusing on the freestyle this year.”

Aussie Emma McKeon (56.18) was second and American sensation Kelsi Worrell of Louisville was third in 56.37. Worrell is coached by former St. Thomas Aquinas and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Vlad Polyakov.

In the men’s 100-meter backstroke semifinal, China’s Xu Jiayu earned the top seed for Tuesday night’s final with a time of 52.44. Americans Ryan Murphy (52.95), a Bolles alum, and Matt Grevers (52.97) are close behind.

In another interesting semifinal, Russia Yulia Efimova was the top qualifier in the 100-meter breaststroke just missing the world record (1:04.35) in 1:04.36. After she finished she leaned against her lane line and waved her index finger much the same way she did at last year’s Rio Olympics. American Olympic champion Lilly King, one of the most vocal swimmers about Efimova’s past performance-enhancing drug charges, was second qualifier in 1:04.53. The two, who last raced in Rio, obviously do not like each other and will leave it all in the pool Tuesday night. Also in the field is current world record holder Ruta Meilutyte, the third seed at 1:05.06.

Canadian Kylie Masse earned the top seed for the 100-meter backstroke final in 58.18, a Canadian national record. Defending world champion Emily Seebohm of Australia (58.85) and American Kathleen Baker (59.03) were second and third fastest.

Britain continued its success in the men’s 200-meter freestyle semifinal with James Guy (1:45.16) and Duncan Scott (1:45.18), the top two fastest seeds. Reigning Olympic champion Sun Yang was third fastest in 1:45.24.

Five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky had no problem cruising through the 1500-meter freestyle qualifying heats. She finished in 15:47.54. Her world and meet record is 15:25.48. Spain’s Mireia Belmonte was second fastest qualifier in 16:05.37.

FLORIDA GOLD COAST NEWS

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Marc Rojas of the Dominican Republic will swim his second and final event on Tuesday in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Rojas, 23, will swim in the fifth of nine heats in Lane 8 with a seed time of 28.90 right next to another FGC swimmer, Jordy Groters of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming in Lane 7 (28.57).

It is Rojas second major international event and first long course world championships. Peaty is the gold medal favorite (26.48).

The World Championships are being televised at 11:30 a.m. EST on NBC Sports Network while live streaming for the competition can be found on NBCSports.com, the Olympic Channel and CBC.ca for viewers in Canada.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas Makes Long Course Debut, Ledecky Golden At World Aquatic Championships


By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 23, 2017—The Dominican Republic’s Marc Rojas of South Florida Aquatic Club made his long course world championship debut Sunday on opening day of the 17th FINA World Aquatic Championships.

Rojas, 23, finished fifth in his 100-meter breaststroke heat in 1:03.65 and fell short of advancing into the semifinals. Rojas will also swim the 50-meter breaststroke.

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Aruba’s Jordy Groters, a senior at Missouri, was second in Rojas’ heat in a best time 1:02.95, placing 46th overall.

FGC swimmer, Daniella Van den Berg of Aruba and Florida State swam 4:32.09 in the 400-meter freestyle to finish 33rd.

World record holder Adam Peaty of Great Britain earned the top seed in breaststroke finals in 57.13.

Bolles alum Joseph Schooling set an Asian and Singapore record in the 50-meter butterfly heat. The 22-year-old finished in a best time 23.05 to advance into the semifinals. He beat his own records set in August, 2015.

The U.S. team broke five American records as swimming got underway.

In other events:

American Katie Ledecky, 20, broke her own meet record in the morning heat of the 400-meter freestyle. The five-time Olympic champion shaved 0.07 seconds off the record in 3:59.06. U.S. teammate Leah Smith qualified second in 4:02.00. Ledecky came back to win the event breaking her morning record in 3:58.34, second fastest in history. She is the first woman to win the event at three worlds. Smith was second.

“It was my second-best time ever, a really good swim for me and I can take a lot of positives away from it,” Ledecky said. “Every year is not going to be faster, just trying to build toward 2020.”

Ledecky won a second gold on the winning 4×100-meter relay with the U.S. knocking off defending and Olympic champion Australia.

China’s Sun Yang, 25, dominated the men’s field to win his third world title in the 400-meter freestyle in a world leading 3:41.38. He won by more than a body length over Aussie Mack Horton.

“It is too early to say what it going to happen,” Sun said. “I trained a lot and I must admit I am getting older and suffering some injuries. We will see during the week how it works and I will concentrate on one race after the other.”

The U.S. men won the 4×100-meter freestyle relay with Caeleb Dressel, Townley Haas, Blake Pieroni and veteran Nathan Adrian. Brazil was second. Dressel broke the American record on the leadoff leg in 47.26. Dressel also broke the American record in the 50-meter butterfly.

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum broke the 100-meter freestyle world record in 51.71 swimming a relay lead-off leg on the 4×100.

Mallory Comerford set an American 100-meter freestyle relay with a split of 52.59 on the 400-meter freestyle relay American record setter.

Kevin Cordes broke his own American record in the 100-meter breaststroke he set last month in Indianapolis in 58.64 in the semifinals.

In the men’s 400 freestyle relay, the Aussies and Italians were disqualified for false starts.

The opening day attendance was 12,000 fans in Duna Arena.

DIVING

Brit Tom Daley, 23, won gold in the men’s 10-meter platform on the final day of diving at Danube Arena. Daley knocked off 2016 Olympic champion Chen Aisen. After failing to make finals two years ago at worlds, Daley qualified second for the final and turned it on. Daley received 12 perfect 10-scores during his six-dive list. He scored over 100 points twice and finished with 590.95 points. Chen finished with 585.25 points. It was his first world title since Rome eight years ago when he burst onto the scene. China’s Yang Jian took the bronze. University of Miami redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore finished sixth with 479.75. Earlier in the day, Daley teamed with Grace Reid to win silver in the mixed 3-meter synchro. China’s Li Zheng and Wang Han took the gold. China finished with eight gold medals, two less than 10 won in Kazan. The U.S. team could manage only one bronze medal tied for last with Ukraine.

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING

The sport is re-branding to help boost its popularity and is now going to be called artistic swimming. The re-naming was approved by FINA.

WATER POLO

The U.S. men’s team, defeated Russia, 14-11, but it wasn’t enough to advance out of Group play and into the quarterfinals. Alex Bowen and Luca Cupido of the U.S. senior national team each scored four goals. The U.S. needed at least an eight-goal victory over Russia. The U.S. drops into the 13th-16th place bracket play.

France defeated Canada, 10-6, in the round 13-16 semifinals. Ugo Crousillat and Mehdi Marzouki each had three goals.

Australia, Serbia, Hungary, Croatia Italy, Montenegro, Greece and Russia advanced into the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Carter Wins Trinidad’s First Medals; Groters Breaks Aruban National Record

Carter Wins Trinidad’s First Medals; Groters Breaks Aruban National Record


By Sharon Robb

August 21, 2014—-Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Jordy Groters of Aruba, the future of international swimming, made history on Day Five of the 2014 IOC Youth Olympic Games Thursday night at the Olympic Sports Centre Natatorium in Nanjing, China.

Carter, a Plantation American Heritage alum and frequent trainer in South Florida, won his country’s first medals in swimming at the Games.

The country’s top junior swimmer took a silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly in 23.81, just behind China’s Yu Hexin in 23.69 and added a bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.53.

After a great start, Carter led the freestyle until the final 20 meters when China’s Yu Hexin surged to win in a junior world record of 22.00. Brazil’s top junior sprinter Matheus de Santana was second in 22.43.

Carter had qualified with a 22.49 in semifinals and got out of the heats with a 24.01.

Missouri-bound Groters of Pine Crest Swimming swam back-to-back lifetime-bests and broke Aruba’s national record in the 50-meter breaststroke in the semifinals.

Groters first broke the national record in his heat in 29.03 and bettered it in the semifinal in 28.90, cracking the 29-second barrier for the first time in his career. He fell short of making it into the final and finished 11th overall.

Groters was happy with his Youth Olympics debut.

He wrote on his Facebook: “Youth Olympic semifinal was a great experience. I am very proud to have been able to represent my home Aruba at such a big stage. I swam another best time and Aruban national record (28.90) and it is the first time I go sub-29. Ended up in 11th place

and was .06 away from a spot in finals. Very satisfied with these results! Thank you everyone for your support.”

AquaKids Sharks’ Clara Smiddy tied for fourth in the 50-meter backstroke in 28.91. She tied Canadian Danielle Hanus. The top five finishers were just 55/100ths of a second apart. Smiddy was also fifth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 26.42 and eighth in her semifinal in 26.39.

Jordan’s Lydia Musleh of Pine Crest Swimming was third in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 27.66.

Suriname’s Zuhayr Pigot of Doral Aquatics and Metro Aquatics was sixth in hi 100-meter freestyle heat in 52.70.

In other finals:

China’s women’s team won the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:41.19.

Egypt won its first medal of the Games when Akram Ahmed won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.29.

Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.36.

Host China continues to lead the medal count with 13 medals (8 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) followed by Russia (6 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Italy (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). Team USA is sixth with two gold medals and one bronze.

For swimming, prelims begin 10 p.m. and finals 6 a.m. East Coast time. The swimming competition ends on Friday.

The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.

The Youth Olympic Games are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also could provide a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.

China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics. During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.

NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports are combining for 54.5 hours of coverage through the Closing Ceremony on August 28.

NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.

Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.

For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.

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

Florida Gold Coast’s Marcelo Acosta Makes El Salvador History At Youth Olympic Games; SOFLO’s Wynter Swims First Event

Florida Gold Coast’s Marcelo Acosta Makes El Salvador History At Youth Olympic Games; SOFLO’s Wynter Swims First Event


By Sharon Robb

August 17, 2014—It was a historical day for Florida swimmers at the 2014 IOC Youth Olympic Games Sunday in Nanjing, China.

Vietnam and El Salvador, not known for their swimming prowess, produced a gold and silver medalist on Day One of the six-day swimming competition .

Florida Swimming and Florida Gold Coast each produced a medalist.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Marcelo Acosta also made history for his native El Salvador capturing the first Olympic medal in any sport for El Salvador.

Acosta, 18, had the swim of his young career to win a silver medal in the 400-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 3:51.32. He went 3:53.14 in prelims to earn the third seed for finals.

His previous best was 3:57.20 at the Santa Clara Grand Prix less than a year after going 4:02 at the World Championships. He was entered in the meet at 3:59.46.

“We were ready to swim faster in Nanjing and his result in prelims (3:53.14) was already amazing,” said his Azura coach Gianluca Alberani. “But what he did in final was extraordinary.

“He deserves this for the hard work and effort he put in practice every day,” Alberani said. “Nothing is impossible.”

Acosta is also entered in the 200- and 800-meter freestyles.

St. Augustine Cyclones Swim Team’s Nguyen Vien of Vietnam won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:12.66, capturing her country’s first gold medal in a major international swim meet.

Vien came from behind and surged ahead of Hong Kong’s 16-year-old world junior champion Siobhan Haughey in the final 50 meters. American Meghan Small took the bronze in 2:14.01.

Vien, 17, is her country’s top swimmer. She won nine gold medals, broke seven meet records and five Vietnam national records at the Southeast Asian Swimming Championships in Singapore in July. She is entered in nine events but will swim five in Nanjing. She is also the first Vietnamese swimmer to qualify for the 2005 World Championships in Russia.

In prelims, AquaKids Sharks’ Clara Smiddy, 18, of Team USA earned the No. 2 seed in the 100-meter backstroke final in 1:01.38 in the semifinals.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Timothy Wynter of Jamaica finished sixth in his 100-meter backstroke heat is 59.21.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Jordy Groters of Aruba was sixth in his 100-meter breaststroke heat in 1:03.96.

For swimming, prelims begin 10 p.m. and finals 6 a.m. East Coast time.

The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.

The Youth Olympic Games are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also could provide a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.

China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics. During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.

NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports are combining for 54.5 hours of coverage through the Closing Ceremony on August 28.

NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.

Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.

For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.

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

SOFLO’s Timothy Wynter Leads Florida Gold Coast Contingent At Youth Olympic Games That Begin Saturday

SOFLO's Timothy Wynter Leads Florida Gold Coast Contingent At Youth Olympic Games That Begin Saturday


By Sharon Robb

August 14, 2014—Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China that begin Saturday with the Opening Ceremony.

The six-day swimming competition begins on Sunday and end Friday.

The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.

They are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also provides a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.

AquaKids Sharks, Azura Florida Aquatics, Pine Crest Swimming, St. Andrew’s Swimming and South Florida Aquatic Club will have swimmers in the field representing various countries including the U.S.

University of Michigan-bound, Clara Smiddy, 18, of AquaKids Sharks is the only Florida Gold Coast swimmer on Team USA.

The 5-foot-9, 159-pound swimmer, coming off Speedo Junior Nationals and Phillips 66 National Championships will compete in four events. They are the 50-meter freestyle (26.38), 100-meter freestyle (56.61), 50-meter backstroke (28.86) and 100-meter backstroke (1:00.51).

Azura Florida Aquatics and Pine Crest Swimming each have two swimmers in the field.

Azura’s Daniella Van Den Berg, 18, of Aruba will swim in two events. The 5-foot-6, 128-pound Florida State-bound swimmer is entered in the 400-meter freestyle (4:28.37) and 800-meter freestyle (9:12.35).

“I am looking forward to seeing what I can do in Nanjing,” Van Den Berg said.

Her Azura teammate Marcelo Acosta, 18, will represent El Salvador. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound will compete in the 200-meter free (1:55.10), 400-meter freestyle (3:59.46) and 800-meter freestyle (8:17.39).

University of Missouri-bound Jordy Groters and Lydia Musleh are Pine Crest Swimming’s athletes. The 5-foot-11, 172-pound Groters, 18, will compete for Aruba in the 50-meter breaststroke (29.17) and 100-meter breaststroke (1:04.25).

Teammate Lydia Musleh, 17, will compete for Jordan in the 200-meter freestyle (2:08.03). The 5-foot-9, 132-pound athlete, who has dual citizenship with Greece, is the only girl swimmer representing Jordan.

St. Andrew’s Swimming and South Florida Aquatic Club each have one swimmer, both representing Jamaica.

St. Andrew’s 6-foot-2, 159-pound Sidrell Williams, 18, will compete in three events. They are the 50-meter butterfly (25.71), 100-meter butterfly (56.36) and 50-meter freestyle (24.21).

South Florida Aquatic Club’s 6-foot-2, 163-pound Timothy Wynter, 18, will swim the 50-meter backstroke (26.71), 100-meter backstroke (59.00) and 200-meter backstroke (2:10.61).

Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Ruta Meilutyte, 17, of Lithuania heads the field. The 5-foot-9, 168-pound 11-time national champion will compete in four events which she is the overwhelming favorite. She is entered in the 100-meter freestyle (54.94), 50-meter breaststroke (29.48), 100-meter breaststroke (1:04.35) and 200-meter individual medley (2:12.32). She is the youngest Lithuanian athlete in any sport to win an Olympic gold medal (100-meter breaststroke, 1:05.47).

The top men’s swimmer is University of Southern California sophomore Dylan Carter, 18, of Trinidad and Tobago. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound swimmer who frequently trains in South Florida after graduating from Plantation American Heritage, will compete in the 50-meter freestyle (23.01), 100-meter freestyle (49.93), 50-meter backstroke (25.99) and 50-meter butterfly (23.87).

One of the unusual storylines is Cuba sending two swimmers. Elisabeth Gamez Matos, 17, 5-foot-4, 115 pounds, will swim the 50- (26.79), 100- (57.56) and 200-meter freestyle (2:05.10) events. Luis Vega Torres, 16, 5-foot-11, 165-pounds will compete in the 400-meter freestyle (4:08.35) and 800-meter freestyle (8:32.49).

The United Kingdom is one of the few countries not sending a team to this year’s event.

The United States is competing in 23 disciplines across 21 sports, with a 94-athlete U.S. Youth Olympic Games Team.

China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics.

During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.

NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports will combine for 54.5 hours of coverage beginning with the Opening Ceremony and concluding with the Closing Ceremony on August 28.

NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.

Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.

For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.
http:www.swim4soflo.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Top Florida Finisher In CARIFTA Open Water, Bahamas Wins Team Title

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Top Florida Finisher In CARIFTA Open Water; Bahamas Wins Team Title


By Sharon Robb

April 27, 2014

Anthony Rechal of Guadeloupe had the fastest time in the open water competition at Sabana Basora, Aruba Saturday in the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships.

Rechal, 17, won the boys 15-17 5K event in 1 hour, 7 minutes and 12 seconds for 3.1 miles. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming was eighth in 1:13:32.

Karl Fabry, 14, of Guadeloupe won the 13-14 5K title in 1:07:51. Patrick Groters, 14, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming finished out an outstanding meet just missing another medal placing fourth in 1:12:11.

In the girls 15-17 competition, Joanna Evans, 16, of the Bahamas won in 1:14:34.

Ingrid Champrobert, 14, of Martinique won the 13-14 race in 1:14:51. Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming was seventh in 1:23:21.

Bahamas won the team title with 736 points. Aruba finished runner-up with 618 points for the first time in the country’s history. Guadeloupe was third with 540 followed by Martinique, 474, Trinidad and Tobago, 446, Barbados, 437, Jamaica 403, Suriname, 347, Curacao, 193 and Cayman Islands, 170.

Groters older brother Jordy, a member of the Aruba national team since age 11, and Pine Crest Swimming completed his seventh and final CARIFTA meet.

The University of Missouri-bound Groters won four individual gold medals and one silver, another silver with his relay, broke two meet records and posted four career-best times. Groters and Daniella van den Berg of Azura Florida Aquatics were co-captains of Aruba’s team that made history by finishing second.

“Throughout these seven years I have met and raced so many people and I am so grateful for them to have made me a better swimmer and person through the races we’ve swum and the friendships we’ve made,” Groters wrote on his Facebook after the meet.

“Above all, I am thankful to have had this opportunity to represent my home Aruba and I definitely will continue to do so on bigger scales. Aruba Swimming’s future looks great and I can’t wait to hear the success stories that follow.”

The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which featured most of the top junior age group swimmers in the Caribbean, is a qualifier for both the Youth Olympic Games and Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Florida Swimmers Dominate Final Day Of CARIFTA Pool Events

Florida Swimmers Dominate Final Day Of CARIFTA Pool Events


By Sharon Robb

April 25, 2014

On the final night of pool swimming, Florida swimmers once again dominated the medal count at the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships Friday at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik in Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba.

Going into Saturday’s open water 5K events, the Bahamas lead the team standings with 748 points followed by Aruba, 616, Guadeloupe, 538, Martinique, 470, Trinidad and Tobago, 464, Barbados, 435, Jamaica, 401, Suriname, 341, Curacao, 193, and Cayman Islands, 170.

Brothers Jordy Groters, 17, and Patrick Groters, 14, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming continued their winning ways in the pool.

Jordy Groters won the 15-17 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.25. Wayne Denswil, 17, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics took the bronze in 1:07.87.

Patrick Groters won a gold medal in the 13-14 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:15.73, dropping from 2:19.98. He first bettered his best time in prelims with a 2:16.32.

Patrick Groters also was second in the 13-14 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:13.86, dropping from 4:22.28.

Against a star-studded field, Zuhayr Pigot, 16, of Suriname won the gold medal in the 15-17 50-meter freestyle in 23.80 knocking off David McLeod, 17, of Trinidad and Tobago who finished second in a best time 23.97. Sidrell Williams, 17, of Jamaica and St. Andrew’s Swimming was third in 24.21. Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados was fifth in a best time 24.51 and Jabari Baptiste, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago was sixth in 24.63.

Jordy Groters was the fastest qualifier in the 50-meter freestyle morning prelims in a best time 23.79 but scratched from the final. It was the first time he cracked 24 seconds.

Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados took gold in the 15-17 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:04.70, dropping from 4:05.24.

Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica won the 15-17 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:08.91, dropping from 2:12.20. Baptiste took bronze in a best time 2:13.28, bettering his previous best of 2:16.52. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming was seventh in a best time 2:22.14.

Baptiste was also a member of Trinidad and Tobago’s winning 15-17 200-meter freestyle relay that won in 1:37.67.

Sisters Daniella, 17, and Andrea, 15, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won a gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:52.55 with teammates Ginayla Arends and Rebecca Maduro.

In the girls’ 15-17 400-meter freestyle, Michelle Dols, 16, of Jamaica took silver in a best time 4:31.03 dropping from 4:32.88 and Daniella van den Berg, 17, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won the bronze in 4:34.31.

Nicholas Vale, 12, of Jamaica and Azura Florida Aquatics was fourth in the 11-12 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:41.27, dropping from 4:42.98.

Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica was sixth in the 15-17 400-meter freestyle in 4:22.29 and Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica was eighth in 4:24.95.

Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica was 11th in the 13-14 400-meter freestyle in 4:53.22. Lyn, swimming anchor leg, took a bronze medal on Jamaica’s third place 13-14 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:52.94 with teammates Anjuii Barrett, Angara Sinclair and Annastazia Chin.

The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which features most of the top junior age group swimmers in the Caribbean, is a qualifier for both the Youth Olympic Games and Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships.

The meet concludes on Saturday with the open water 5K events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

Florida Gold Coast’s Groters, Pigot, Van den Berg, Williams Win Gold At CARIFTA

Florida Gold Coast’s Groters, Pigot, Van den Berg, Williams Win Gold At CARIFTA


By Sharon Robb

April 24, 2014

Brothers Jordy and Patrick Groters of Aruba and Zuhayr Pigot of Suriname took up where they left off Wednesday night and Daniella van den Berg of Aruba and Sidrell Williams of Jamaica shared the spotlight.

The Florida Gold Coast and international age group stars picked up more gold to add to their medal haul on Day Three of the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships Thursday night at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik in Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba.

Jordy Groters, 17, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming, seeded third going into finals, won the 15-17 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.08. Jamaica’s Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica, the top-seed, finished third in a best time 2:10.87, lowering his previous best of 2:14.30.

Also in the 200 IM, Jonathan Farah, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago and American Heritage, making his international debut, was fifth in 2:19.27. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica was tenth in a best time 2:20.74.

Jordy Groters, the top morning seed, also took a silver medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.37 and Wayne Denswil, 17, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics took the bronze in a best time 30.31. Jordy Groters, swimming leadoff leg, took another silver medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

Patrick Groters, 14, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming won the 13-14 200-meter individual medley in 2:16.91. Groters swam back-to-back best times including 2:18.91 in prelims bettering his previous best of 2:23.30.

Zuhayr Pigot, 16, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics won the 15-17 100-meter freestyle in a best time 51.59, dropping from 52.40, followed by fifth-seed Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados in a best time, 52.70, dropping from 53.10 for the silver medal. Jabari Baptiste, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago was fourth in 53.14.

After winning relay gold earlier in the meet, Daniella van den Berg, 17, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won her first individual gold medal in the 15-17 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:25.52, dropping from 2:31.41.

Sisters Daniella and Andrea, 15, van den Berg won relay gold leading Aruba to a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:50.77 with teammates Ginayla Arends and Rebecca Maduro.

Daniella Van den Berg also took a bronze medal in the 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:28.02, dropping from 2:29.06.

Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams, 17, of St. Andrew’s Swimming, seeded second, won the 200-meter butterfly in a lifetime-best 2:09.66, dropping from 2:15.39. It was the first of two gold medals for Williams. Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados took the bronze in 2:14.00 and Kean Dols, 15, of Jamaica was fifth in 2:19.31 after going a best time 2:14.53 in prelims, dropping from 2:24.41.

Jamaica’s Matthew Lyn, 16, Keanan Dols, 15, Sidrell Williams, 17, and Nico Campbell, 16, won the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:05.78 in the final event of the night.

Nicolas Vale, 12, of Jamaica and Azura Florida Aquatics won two more silver medals. He took second in the 11-12 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:30.49. His previous best was 2:33.43. Vale, seeded third after prelims, also took second in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:27.49, another best time dropping from 2:31.82.

Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming, was eighth in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:45.39 after going a best time of 2:43.50 in prelims dropping from 2:48.37.

The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which features most of the top junior age group swimmers in the Caribbean, is a qualifier for both the Youth Olympic Games and Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships.

The meet concludes on Saturday with the open water 5K events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com