Alia Atkinson Named FINA Athletes’ Committee Chair; Dylan Carter Selected For Committee


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 30, 2022—Five-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson was elected the first-ever chair of FINA’s Athletes’ Committee at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships.

The former longtime South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was among 20 athletes elected by their peers from their aquatic sport with six athletes later appointed and six others named honorary members by FINA, the international swimming federation. The sports represented are synchronized swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, swimming and water polo.

Atkinson, a four-time gold medalist at the World Swimming Championships (25-meters), will serve a four-year term. Voting took place by electronic ballots throughout the championships. Atkinson, 33, and six others ran unopposed.

“Today marks another significant step forward for both FINA and all aquatics athletes,” Atkinson said. “The Athletes’ Committee will act as a critical link between athletes and FINA.

“Having the athlete community choose those who represent them in important decisions is critical for the future development of our beloved sport.”

Atkinson’s final competitive meet was the 2021 15th FINA Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

British diver Jack Laugher, a three-time Olympic medalist, was named vice-chair of the committee.

The elected contingent includes nine other swimmers: former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago; Therese Alshammar of Sweden, Ireland’s Shane Ryan, Hong Kong’s Siobhán Haughey, Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan, Australia’s Jessica Hansen, Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Pini, Uganda’s Jamila Nsibambi Lunkuse and Matthew Sates of South Africa.

The second diving representative elected was Maria Polyakova of Russia, a former European champion in the women’s 1-meter springboard.

Synchronized swimming is represented by Egypt’s Nehal Saafan and Bill May of the U.S. Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, who used to train in Davie, and the Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman will represent open water swimming.

Anna Bader of Germany and Alain Kohl of Luxembourg were elected to represent high diving, along with water polo players Margarita Plevritou of Greece and Felipe Perrone Rocha of Spain.

“Athletes are the heartbeat of aquatics,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. “There is no sport without athletes. This is why I am so proud to be part of these historic elections.

“With equal gender representation and athletes from all six continents across all disciplines, I have no doubt that those elected will strengthen and promote the athletes’ voice for the benefit of the entire aquatics community.”

Britain’s three-time Olympic and eight-time World Championship swimming gold medalist Adam Peaty was among the six current athletes appointed by Al-Musallam to join the Athletes’ Committee. Hungary’s Dániel Gyurta and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini are also set to serve on the panel as elected members of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission.

The Athletes’ Committee is responsible for offering input into the organization of the World Championships and the development of technical rules, and is designed to serve as the “athletes’ voice in aquatics sport”.

This is Musallam’s first World Championships as President, which was marked by FINA’s decision to require transgender athletes to have completed transition by the age of 12 to be eligible for women’s events.

OPEN WATER SWIMMING: Florida’s Anna Auld Seventh In 25K

Brazilian Ana Cunha, who once trained in Davie, won a close race in the women’s 25K at the 19th FINA World Championships in 5:24:15.0. She was followed by Lea Boy of Germany, 5:24:15.2 and Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands, 5:24:15.3. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, representing the U.S., was seventh in 5:26:25 among a field of 15 swimmers.

Italy’s Dario Verani won the men’s 25K title in 5:02:21 followed by Axel Raymond of France, 5:02:22 and Hungary’s Peter Galicz, 5:02:35. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was unable to finish after swimming for 1:34:08 among a field of 25 swimmers.

In the men’s 10K, Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy’s won in 1:50:56 followed by teammate Domencio Acerenza, 1:50:58 and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock, 1:51:11. Azura’s Jahir Lopez of Ecuador was 46th in 2:03:23 and Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 48th in 2:05:01.

In the women’s 10K, Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands won in 2:02:29.2 followed by Leonie Beck of Germany, 2:02:29.7 and Cunha, 2:02:30. American Katie Grimes was fifth in 2:02:37.

In the men’s 5K, Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won in 52:48 followed by Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, 52:52 and Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, 53:13. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 41st in 59:43.

In the women’s 5K, Cunha also won in 57:52 followed by Aurelie Muller of France in 57:53 and Italy’s Giulia Gabbreilleschi in 57:54. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was 20th in 1:00:57. Azura’s Fatima Portillo, 19, of El Salvador was 37th in 1:04:56.

In the opening event, the 6K mixed relay, Germany (1:04:40), Hungary (1:04:43.0) and Italy (1:04:43.0) were the top three finishers. The U.S. finished seventh in 1:05:50. Twenty-three nations competed.

CARIBBEAN GAMES
The historic inaugural Caribbean Games are underway in Guadeloupe. More than 800 athletes from 29 countries began competing on Thursday. Seven sports over five days are being held. The event is being televised on Panam Sports Channel.

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic watched with sport leaders throughout the continent and wished the athletes nothing but success during the Games.

“It’s nice to see the joy of the athletes parading. They are the future of our sport and our work must focus largely on them, on the new generations. We started with the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games, then came the Rosario 2022 Youth South American Games and now the Caribbean has its own celebration of U-23 sport. I congratulate CANOC and Guadalupe for this fantastic and historic party and wish much success to the enthusiastic athletes.”

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

Teenager Katie Grimes Steals The Show At TYR Pro Swim Series


By Sharon Robb
MISSION VIEJO, Calif., June 4, 2022–Teenager Katie Grimes is making her name known at the fourth and final TYR Pro Swim Series at newly-renovated Marguerite Aquatics Center.

Grimes, who first stepped into the spotlight during the 2020 Summer Olympics where she finished fourth in the 800-meter freestyle as the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team at 15, continues to make a name for herself at age 16.

On Saturday, Grimes of Sandpipers of Nevada won her fourth event in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:27.72, her final event of the meet. She also had wins in the 400 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 400 IM.

In other finals:
Egyptian Olympian Marwan Aly El Kamash, who won the 1500, came back to win the 800-meter freestyle in 8:00.74. He led for most of the race.

Isabelle Stadden of Cal won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.21. Her splits were 29.38 and 30.03.

Justin Ress of Mission Viejo led from start to finish to win the 100-meter backstroke in 53.80.

Isabelle Odgers of USC won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:28.68.

Texas Longhorn Will Licon won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:12.28, winning by more than six seconds ahead of Ethan Hansen.

Turkish national record holder Viktoria Gunes, swimming unattached won the 200 IM in 2:13.80.

Grant House of Sun Devil Swimming won the 200 IM in 1:59.84, the only swimmer under 2 minutes.

Poland’s Kasia Wasick of Team Rebel Aquatics won the 50-meter freestyle in 24.70.

David Curtiss of Wolfpack Elite won the 50-meter freestyle in 21.80.

Julio Horrego, 23, a 2020 Honduran Olympian will use this meet as a learning experience. He was disqualified for the second time in the meet in the prelims of the 200-meter breaststroke where he was seeded fourth in 2:17.35. He was disqualified for fly kick under the water. Next up for Horrego will be the world championships in Hungary.

Also on Saturday, SOFLO teammate Ricardo Roche, 22, swam another 100-meter backstroke time trial finishing in 1:00.98. His first time trial was 1:00.84.

On Sunday the meet will be televised on CNBC taped-delay at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.

SOFLO is sponsored by TYR, a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories. One of the nation’s top companies, TYR was created by athletes and named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology.

57th Mel Zajac Junior International Swim Meet at the UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver, Canada:

Eagle Aquatics’ Erika Pelaez, 15, a member of the USA Swimming Junior National team, picked up two more wins. In the 50-meter backstroke, Pelaez was the fastest qualifier in 28.34 and won in 28.37. In the 50-meter freestyle, she was fastest qualifier in 25.85 and won in 25.78. She was also a member of the third place 800-meter freestyle relay that finished in 8:17.81.

Treasure Coast Aquatics’ Blair Stoneburg, 18, was fastest qualifier in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:18.44 and finished third in 4:16.74. She was also tenth in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.80. She was also on the third-place 800 free relay.

Treasure Coast teammate Mitchell Ledford, 17, was second fastest qualifier in the 100-meter butterfly in 54.92and came back to win in 54.31. He was also on the second place 800 freestyle relay.

Sarasota Sharks’ Addison Sauickie, 16, was 19th in the 100-meter butterfly and sixth in the 400-meter freestyle 4:18.90 after going 4:22.20 in prelims. She was also on the third-place 800 free relay with Pelaez and Stoneburg.

SATURDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Grimes, SAND 8:27.72, 2. Erica Sullivan, TEX 8:47.54, 3. Olivia McMurray, TEX 8:54.20.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Isabelle Stadden, CAL 1:00.21,2. Bella Sims, SAND 1:01.33, 3. Teagan O’Dell, NOVA 1:01.46.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Isabelle Odgers, TRO 2:28.68, 2. Katja Pavicevic, TAC 2:29.81, 3. Kaitlyn Dobler, TRO 2:31.10.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Viktoria Gunes, UN 2:13.80, 2. Justina Kozan, UN 2:14.72, 3. Lindsay Looney, SUN 2:16.15.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Katarzyna Wasick, TRA 24.70, 2. Kyla Leibel, TEX 25.47,3. Anicka Delgado, EVO 25.95.

MEN
800-meter freestyle: 1. Marwan Aly El Kamash, ISC 8:00.74, 2. Brice Barrieault, SAND 8:05.59, 3. Ilya Kharun, SAND 8:08.49.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Justin Ross, MV 53.80, 2. Colby Mefford, UN 55.99, 3. Mikita Tsmyh, UN 57.01.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Will Licon, TEX 2:12.28, 2. Ethan Hansen, SUN 2:18.53, 3. Brandon Fischer, UN 2:19.25.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Grant House, SUN 1:59.84, 2. Ilya kharun, SAND 2:04.43, 3. Tyler Kopp, UN 2:05.09.

50-meter freestyle: 1. David Curtiss, WOLF 21.80, 2. Ryan Held, NYAC 22.08, 3. Artyom Machekin, SDSA 22.43.

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

Grimes, Julian Double Winners; SOFLO’s Roche Makes B Final At TYR Pro Swim Series


By Sharon Robb
MISSION VIEJO, Calif., June 3, 2022–Katie Grimes of Sandpipers Nevada continued to dominate and show her versatility the fourth and final TYR Pro Swim Series Friday night at newly-renovated Marguerite Aquatic Center.

The 16-year-old won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:36.77 just 20 minutes after swimming a best time of 2:09.52 to win the 200-meter backstroke. It was her third first place finish of the meet after winning the 400 freestyle.

“I’m still sticking with distance freestyle for now [as my favorites], but I think it’s important to do [the 400 IM] while I’m young because it’s easier to do it when you have the energy,” Grimes said during her post-race interview.

Grimes is coming off last week’s FINA Marathon Swim World Series where she finished eighth in the women’s 10K and qualified for Team USA’s world championship open water team.

In other finals:
Sandpipers Nevada teammates Claire Weinstein (1:58.31) and Bella Sims (1:58.97) finished 1-2 in the 200-meter freestyle. They finished ahead of the field by more than a second.

Trenton Julian, swimming unattached, won the first of two final events, in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.01. He came from behind in the final 100 with a 55.64 split to win by a body length. Julian also won the 100-meter butterfly in 51.78.

Jack Dolan of Arizona State led from start to finish to win the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.90.

David Johnston won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:19.54. He took the lead on the breaststroke leg and led the rest of the way.

Justina Kozan, swimming unattached, came from behind the second half of the race to win the 100-meter butterfly in 1:00.01.

SOFLO’s Ricardo Roche, 22, finished 14th in morning prelims of the 200-meter backstroke in 2:15.05 to make the “B” final. He finished fifth in the final in 2:14.55, dropping 0.50 from his prelim time and 13th overall. Roche also did a time trial Thursday in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.84.

Also on Friday, SOFLO teammate Julio Horrego swam 1:03.39 in the 100-meter breaststroke time trial. The time would have placed him third in Thursday’s final had he not been disqualified in prelims.

Horrego, 23, a 2020 Honduran Olympian, will swim Saturday in the 200-meter breaststroke where he is seeded fourth in the 200 in 2:17.35. It is his final tuneup meet before the 19th FINA World Championships, June 18-July 3 in Budapest, Hungary.

On Saturday and Sunday the meet is being televised on CNBC taped-delay at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.

In addition to Olympic Channel and CNBC’s coverage from Mission Viejo, daily prelims (Saturday at noon ET) as well as Saturday’s live finals can be streamed on http://www.usaswimming.org/watch.

SOFLO is sponsored by TYR, a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories. One of the nation’s top companies, TYR was created by athletes and named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology.

57th Mel Zajac Junior International Swim Meet

Eagle Aquatics’ Erika Pelaez, 15, a member of the USA Swimming junior national team, won the 50-meter butterfly in a best time 26.98, dropping 0.74; was second in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:13.54, dropping 1.02 and swam lead-off leg on the runner-up 400-meter freestyle relay (3:46.63) Friday at the UBC Aquatic Centre in Vancouver, Canada.

Treasure Coast Aquatics Blair Stoneburg, 18, was third in the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:52.31; sixth in the 200-meter freestyle in a best time 2:02.48, dropping 0.14 and was a member of the fifth place relay.

Treasure Coast teammate Mitchell Ledford, 17, was third in the 50-meter butterfly in 24.78; 14th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.51; and swam anchor leg on the winning 400-meter free relay (3:24.90)

Sarasota Sharks’ Addison Sauickie, 16, was fifth in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:01.93 and was a member of the runner-up 400-meter free relay.

FRIDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

200-meter freestyle: 1. Claire Weinstein, SAND 1:58.31, 2. Bella Sims, SAND 1:58.97, 3. Lindsay Looney, SUN 2:00.03.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Katie Grimes, SAND 2:09.52, 2. Isabelle Stadden, CAL 2:09.59, 3. JoJo Ramey, FAST 2:14.51.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Katie Grimes, SAND 4:36.77, 2. Bella Sims, SAND 4:43.46, 3. Lindsay Looney, SUN 4:44.12.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Justina Kozan, UN 1:00.01, 2. Krystal Lara, BAD 1:00.24, 3. Isabelle Odgers, TROJ 1:00.74.

MEN
200-meter freestyle: 1. Trenton Julian, UN 1:48.01, 2. Patrick Sammon, SUN 1:48.43, 3.Grant House, SUN 1:48.44.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Jack Dolan, SUN 2:01.90, 2. David Echeverri, UN 2:04.68, 3. Harry Homans, UN 2:05.03.

400-meter individual medley: 1. David Johnston, TST 4:19.54, 2. Ilya Kharun, SAND 4:24.31, 3. Tyler Kopp, UN 4:27.03.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Trenton Julian, UN 51.78, 2. Ryan Held, NYAC 52.44, 3. Gabriel Jett, UN 52.50.

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

Teenager Katie Grimes Wins; SOFLO’s Ricardo Roche Swims Friday At TYR Pro Swim Series


By Sharon Robb
MISSION VIEJO, Calif., June 2, 2022–Teenager Katie Grimes of Sandpipers of Nevada won the 400-meter freestyle Thursday night at the fourth and final TYR Pro Swim Series at newly-renovated Marguerite Aquatic Center.

Grimes, 16, pushed by teammates Bella Sims and Claire Weinstein, won in a best time 4:05.77. Sims was second in 4:07.54 and Weinstein third in 4:13.53.

Egyptian Olympian Marwan El Kamash won the men’s 400 freestyle in 3:51.12.

In other finals:
Polish national record holder Katarzyna Wasick, 30, won the 100-meter freestyle in 54.57. She went out fast in 26.27 and led the entire race. Olympic silver medalist Bella Sims was second in a best time 55.18.

Ryan Held of New York Athletic Club won the 100-meter freestyle in 48.64 just ahead of Mission Viejo’s Justin Ress in 48.90.

Kailtyn Dobler, 20, of Trojan Swim Club led from start to finish to win the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.60.

Will Licon of Texas Longhorns overtook early leader Brandon Fischer in the last 10 meters to win the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.46.

Arizona State’s Lindsay Looney won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.86. ASU teammate Leon Marchand won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in 1:56.54. Both led the races from start to finish.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Julio Horrego got off to a rough start in prelims where he was disqualified in his first event, the 100-meter breaststroke for fly kick under water at both walls. He was seeded third in the 100 in 1:01.18 and one of the pre-meet favorites. He will time trial the event on Friday.

Horrego, 23, a 2020 Honduran Olympian, will also swim Saturday in the 200-meter breaststroke where he is seeded fourth in the 200 in 2:17.35. It is his final tuneup meet before the 19th FINA World Championships, June 18-July 3 in Budapest, Hungary.

Horrego is joined by teammate Ricardo Roche, 22, who will compete in the 200-meter backstroke on Friday. Roche did a time trial Thursday in the 100 backstroke in 1:00.84.

The meet is being televised on the Olympic Channel Friday at 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday it will be televised on CNBC taped-delay at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. respectively.

In addition to Olympic Channel and CNBC’s coverage from Mission Viejo, daily prelims (Friday-Saturday at noon ET) as well as Saturday’s live finals can be streamed on http://www.usaswimming.org/watch.

SOFLO is sponsored by TYR, a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories. One of the nation’s top companies, TYR was created by athletes and named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology.

THURSDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

100-meter freestyle: 1. Katarzyna Wasick, TRA 54.57, 2. Bella Sims, SAND 55.18, 3. Lindsay Looney, SUN 55.55.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Kaitlyn Dobler, TROJ 1:07.60, 2. Viktoria Gunes, UN 1:09.38, 3. Isabelle Odgers, TROJ 1:09.56.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Lindsay Looney, SUN 2:08.86, 2. Justina Kozan, UN 2:11.38, 3. Lainey Mullins, SSC 2:12.08.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Grimes, SAND 4:05.77, 2. Bella Sims, SAND 4:07.54, 3. Claire Weinstein, SAND 4:13.43.

MEN
100-meter freestyle: 1. Ryan Held, NYAC 48.64, 2. Justin Ress, MV 48.90, 3. Carter Swift, SUN 49.51.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Will Licon, TEX 1:01.46, 2. Brandon Fischer, UN 1:01.79, 3. Ethan Hansen, SUN 1:03.59.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Leon Marchand, SUN 1:56.54, 2. Ilya Kharun, SAND 1:58.70, 3. Colby Mefford, UN 1:59.98.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Marwan El Kamash, ISC 3:51.12, 2. Gabriel Jett, UN 3:53.05, 3. Rex Maurer, UN 3:54.07.

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

Podkoscielny Finishes Sixth At U.S. World Championship Trials; Will Compete At Junior Pan Pacs


By Sharon Robb
Greensboro, N.C., April 28, 2022—Julia Podkoscielny of Pine Crest Swimming was sixth in the 400-meter individual medley Thursday at the U.S. World Championship Trials at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Podkoscielny, 17, was sixth in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:47.57. The University of Florida commit was seventh fastest in prelims in 4:48.82. It was the top finish by a Florida Gold Coast swimmer so far in the meet. She will represent the U.S. Junior team at the Junior Pan Pacs in Hawaii in August.

On Wednesday she was 14th in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:13.88 after going 2:13.30 in prelims.

Katie Grimes, 16, of Sandpipers of Nevada pulled away from the field on the freestyle leg to win the 400 IM in a best time 4:36.17. Olympic silver medalist Emma Weyant of Sarasota was second in 4:37.22 to also secure a spot on the world championship team.

“It just all goes back to my training,” Grimes said after her race. “Everybody who has seen me train for that race in practice knows that was a long time coming. The past times I’ve swum that race, it really hasn’t worked out like I wanted it to, but it all really came together very nicely. I’ve always loved the 400 IM. I think it’s a really fun race. I think it’s really interesting to watch. There are so many different components that go into it. It’s just a really cool race.”

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmer results:

Josh Zuchowski, 18, of FAST was seventh in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 1:58.44. He went 1:58.94 in prelims, cracking 2 minutes and bettering his entry time of 2:00.22.

Erika Pelaez, 15, of Eagle Aquatics was 22nd in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.04.

Kaii Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics was 20th in the 100-meter freestyle im 49.95.

In other Thursday races:

Men 400 IM: 1. Carson Foster, Texas 4:09.33, 2. Chase Kalisz, Athens Bulldogs 4:10.50.
Women 100 butterfly: 1. Torri Huske, Unattached 56.28, 2. Claire Curzan, TAC Titans 56.35.
Men 100 butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Gator Swim Club 50.20, 2. Michael Andrew, MA Swim Academy 50.88.
Women 50 breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, Indiana Swim Club 29.76, 2. Kaitlyn Dobler, Unattached 30.34.
Men 50 breaststroke: 1. Michael Andrew, MA Swim Academy 26.52, 2. Nic Fink, MAAC 26.55.
Women 50 backstroke: 1. Katharine Berkoff, NC State 27.12, 2. Regan Smith, Unattached 27.25.
Men 50 backstroke: 1. Hunter Armstrong, Ohio State 23.71, world record in non-Olympic event, 2. Justin Ress, Mission Viejo 23.92.

The International Team Trials that got under way on Tuesday, are serving as the qualifying meet for the 2022 FINA World Championships, Junior Pan Pacific Championships and Mel Zajac Jr. Invitational.

USA Swimming’s qualifying criteria for the 2022 World Championships in Budapest are:

Top-four finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyle events, along with the top-two finishers in the other Olympic events qualify for the U.S. team, as long as they both meet the FINA A standard and maximum roster size isn’t exceeded.

From there, winners of the stroke 50s and fifth and sixth-place finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyles will qualify.

The maximum U.S. roster size for the World Championships is 26 men and 26 women.

The Olympic Channel is live streaming the championship finals on Friday night. CNBC will broadcast Saturday night’s finals session. USA Swimming is streaming all prelims on their website.

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

Anna Auld Top Florida Gold Coast Finisher At U.S. Open Water National Championships; SOFLO’s Wilson Makes Top 20


By Sharon Robb
FORT MYERS BEACH, April 3, 2022–University of Florida freshman Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was the top Florida Gold Coast finisher at the U.S. Open Water National and Junior Championships this past weekend at Lynn Hall Beach Park.

Despite rough weather conditions, Auld was among the Top 6 American 10K finishers qualifying for the current U.S. Open Water National Team, putting herself in position to qualify for the 2022 FINA World Championships U.S. roster.

Auld was seventh overall in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 50 seconds. With three swimmers from France among the top seven finishers, Auld qualified as fourth American.

Blair Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics just missed making the U.S. team by 1 minute and 7 seconds and one spot in 2:26:58. She was the seventh top American finisher.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson was 19th in the 7.5K in 1:55:56. The only other FGC swimmer, Erin Miller of St. Andrew’s Aquatics was ninth in 1:49:29.

Teenager Katie Grimes of Sandpipers of Nevada and Axel Reymond of France won the 10K titles.

It was Grimes’ first senior-level open water national title. She stayed with the lead pack and finished more than a minute ahead of the field.

“I really had a good time out there today, the conditions were a little rough but I’m learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Grimes said. “I was swimming with a ton of girls so I was really happy with the outcome and I’m excited for the next race.”

Conditions were not ideal with strong winds and choppy water.

Grimes was followed by Indiana University’s Mariah Denigan (2:17:50) and France’s Caroline Jouisse (2:18:34). The top six Americans were:

Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada), 2:16:40.
Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Indiana University), 2:17:50.
Summer Smith (Agawam, Mass./Bluefish Swim Club), 2:21:07.
Anna Auld (West Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida), 2:21:50.
Kensey McMahon (Jacksonville, Fla./University of Alabama), 2:22:00.
Brooke Travis (Newark, Del./NC State), 2:25:51.

France’s Axel Reymond (2:02:49) edged U.S. National Team member and University of Florida junior Brennan Gravley (2:02:53) for the top spot. Dylan Gravley, Brennan’s younger brother, finished third (2:03:13), a career-best 10K finish.

“It’s one of my favorite parts of being a USA Swimming athlete,” Brennan said when asked about qualifying for the U.S. Open Water National Team. “I feel like we have a lot of privileges, especially as open water swimmers. It was a fun venue and it was fun to come out here even with intense conditions.”

Added his brother, “I was trying to maintain my position and keep up with Brennan,” Dylan Gravley said. “I’m taking baby steps, it is another year and I was a few places upwards of where I was last year.”

The top-6 American male finishers were:
Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/University of Florida), 2:02:53.
Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/Arizona State University), 2:03:13.
Joey Tepper (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./University of Tennessee), 2:03:39.
Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University), 2:05:44.
Simon Lamar (Sonora, Calif./Harvard University), 2:08:27.
David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores), 2:10:20.

French swimmer Aurelie Muller won the senior 5K title ahead of Joiusse and U.S. pool Olympian Bella Sims of Sandpipers of Nevada, third and top American finisher.

Claire Weinstein of Sandpipers of Nevada won the girls 5K junior national title in 1:06:08.

Samuel Marsteiner of New Wave Swim Team won the boys 5K junior national title in 1:02:40.

The top two finishers qualified for the U.S. roster for the Sept. 1-4 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships Beau Vallon, Seychelles.

On Sunday, 16-year-old Ilya Kharun won the Junior National 7.5K race and led a 1-2 finish for the Sandpipers of Nevada Teammate Luke Ellis, 14, was second.

Please note, the full results have not been posted on usaswimming.org. South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson, 14, competed in the girls 7.5K race and finished but her time has not been posted as of Sunday night.

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

Americans Fink, White Win Gold; SOFLO’s Atkinson Swims Final Event At FINA Short Course World Championships


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 18, 2021–The U.S. team rebounded with two gold medals Saturday at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

Nic Fink, in fourth place with a lap to go, rallied to win the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:02.28 to win his first gold medal of the meet and second overall. He took bronze in the 100 breaststroke. He was just 0.08 seconds off his American record he set while competing in the International Swimming League.

U.S. teammate Rhyan White won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.58. White and Canadian Kylie Masse took turns in the lead before White came on with a 30.86 split on the last lap.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson, 33, will go after her final chance at a medal in her final career meet when she competes in the 100-meter breaststroke heats. The five-time Jamaican Olympian was disqualified in the 50-meter breaststroke semifinals. SOFLO teammate Julio Horrego, representing Honduras, has the 50-meter breaststroke on Monday.

In championship final action:

Hong Kong’s Siobahn Haughey won her second gold medal of the meet, winning the 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 50.98. She also won the 200 freestyle earlier in the meet in world record time.

Italy’s Matteo Rivolta won the 100-meter butterfly in 48.87 ahead of South African Chad le Closs in 49.04.

With American Katie Grimes out of the race because of COVID-19 protocols, China’s Li Bingjie won the 800-meter freestyle in a meet record 8:02.90.

The Netherlands won the mixed medley 4×50-meter relay in a meet record 1:36.20 ahead of the U.S., second in 1:37.04, with relay members Kira Toussaint, Arno Kamminga, Thom de Boer and Ranomi Kromowidjojo.

Also on Saturday, Olympic teammates Lydia Jacoby and Katie Grimes withdrew from the meet due to COVID-19 protocols.

Jacoby, the Alaskan who won the 100-meter breaststroke in Tokyo, was the only individual U.S. Olympic gold medalist entered in short course worlds. Grimes, the youngest athlete on the U.S. Olympic team at age 15, was fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in Tokyo.

The five-day meet continues Sunday with the pool competition and ends Tuesday.

FINA is offering a prize money pool of $2.8 million, a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There is 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.

There are 943 swimmers from 183 countries competing. The swimming is part of the Aquatics Festival which includes open water swimming, high diving and diving team competition.

Final sessions of the pool swimming will be streamed on NBC Sports’ Olympic Channel. Eurovision Sport’s All Aquatics will air the heats.

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

Ledecky, Dressel, White Win On Day Seven Of Olympic Trials; Erica Pelaez Top FGC Finisher


By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 19, 2021—Katie Ledecky closed out her third U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials with a win in her signature event Saturday night at CHI Health Center.

Ledecky, 24, of Nation’s Capital Swim Club won the women’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:14.62, her fourth win of the Trials. She also won the 200, 400 and 1500 freestyles breaking the women’s record for most Olympic Trials wins. Ledecky will now try to become the first woman to win three Olympics gold medals in the 800 event.

“I haven’t been super happy with my times, but I still feel like I am in a good spot,” Ledecky said. “The Trials have been fine this week. I am just so excited about this team that’s coming together and getting to be on the team with somebody like Katie (Grimes).”

Ledecky is undefeated in the 800 event since winning the 2012 Olympics at age 15. She has the Top 23 times in the world in the event.

Ledecky will be the fifth U.S. woman to swim in four individual events at an Olympics after Shirley Babashoff, Summer Sanders, Katie Hoff (who did five in 2008) and Missy Franklin.

Ledecky will also be part of the 4×200-meter free relay in Tokyo, giving her the chance to become the first American woman to win five golds at a single Olympics in any sport.

At 15, Katie Grimes of Sandpipers of Nevada became the youngest to make the Olympic team after finishing second in 8:20.36. Swimming in Lane 8, she dropped 11 seconds off her previous best with the third best swim in history for 15-16 year-olds behind Ledecky and Janet Evans.

Coming home in the final 50 meters, 9/100ths of a second separated Grimes with veteran open water swimmer Haley Anderson, third in 8:20.51.

For Ledecky, it was like looking in a mirror. She made her first Olympic team at age 15 in 8:19.78 at Trials. After her race, Ledecky swam over to Grimes’ lane to congratulate her.

Added Grimes, still in a state of disbelief, “I’m just speechless,” Grimes said. “I know I’m only 15, but it’s a lot of work.”

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel, 22, of Gator Swim Club shook off a tough double, winning the 100-meter butterfly in 49.87 and then coming back 30 minutes later to earn the top seed for Sunday night’s 50-meter freestyle final.

Dressel, who holds the world record in 49.50, was on world record pace until the final 20 meters.

Olympian Tom Shields was second in 51.19. Shields was the second fastest qualifier on Friday with his fastest time in five years. In December 2019 he talked about his suicide attempt in 2018 and credited his wife for turning his life around.

In the 50-meter semifinals, Dressel qualified in 21.51 followed by Michael Andrew in 21.55 and sentimental favorite and Olympian Nathan Adrian in 21.78.

Anthony Ervin, at 40 the oldest swimmer at Trials, was eliminated in morning prelims in 22.61 for 23rd place. He won the event at the 2000 and 2016 Olympics.

In the biggest upset of the Trials, 19-year-old world record holder and reigning world champion Regan Smith was knocked out of a spot in the 200-meter backstroke by two 18-year-olds, who were swimming on each side of her.

Rhyan White of Alabama won in 2:05.73 and Phoebe Bacon of Wisconsin Aquatics was second in 2:06.46. Smith was third in 2:06.79. Tokyo will be their first international meet. Smith was already qualified in two events but the 200 backstroke was her best event.

“I just tried to stay focused on my own race,” White said. “I’m excited.”

Added Bacon, “There is a lot of pressure but I raced her before so to me it was just another race.”

In the women’s 50-meter semifinals, Abbey Weitzeil of Cal was top qualifier in 24.27 followed by Torri Huske in 24.45 and Simone Manuel was third in 24.50 and has one final shot to make the team.

In her final event at the Trials, Erika Pelaez, 14, of Eagle Aquatics was 20th in the 50-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 25.57, bettering her previous best of 25.83.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Sunday’s events are: (Evening session only), men’s 50-meter freestyle final, women’s 50-meter freestyle final and men’s 1500-meter freestyle.

CANADIAN OLYMPIC TRIALS
On opening day of Swimming Canada’s Olympic Trials at the Toronto Pan-Am Sports Centre, former Fort Lauderdale High and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Raphael Marcoux was tenth in the 100-meter butterfly in 54.96 after going 54.59 in prelims.

SATURDAY FINAL RESULTS
WOMEN

200-meter backstroke: 1. Rhyan White, BAMA 2:05.73, 2. Phoebe Bacon, WA 2:06.46, 3. Regan Smith, RIPT 2:06.79.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP 8:14.62, 2. Katie Grimes, Sandpipers 8:20.36, 3. Haley Anderson, MVN 8:20.51.

MEN
100-meter butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Gator Swim Club 49.87, 2. Tom Shields, Cal Aquatics 51.19, 3. Luca Orlando, DART 51.64.

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

Grimes, Kharun Win USA Swimming 5K Junior National Championships; St. Andrew’s Aquatics’ Erin Miller Sixth; SOFLO’s Mallory Schleicher Swims Sunday


By Sharon Robb
FORT MYERS BEACH, April 17, 2021—Katie Grimes and Ilya Kharun won the overall titles in the USA Swimming Open Water Junior National 5K Championship titles Saturday at Lynn Hall Park.

Sandpipers of Nevada swimmers dominated the field of 60 swimmers with four men and women finishing among the top three.

Ilya Kharun, 16, of Las Vegas and Sandpipers of Nevada won the men’s title in 1:02:50 closely followed by Alex Ayers, 15, of SwimMAC in 1:02.51 and Luke Ellis, 14, of Sandpipers of Nevada in 1:02:51.

Kharun overtook the lead from early leader Ellis in the final lap to earn a trip to the World 5K title in Seychelles. Ayers touched out Ellis for the second world spot.

“It was very tiring, the last lap got tough with all the waves but I felt good racing with everyone,” Kharun said. “The last lap, I felt more power and I could feel that I was getting with the top two and then I got out ahead of them.”

Sandpipers of Nevada’s Katie Grimes, 15, after winning the 18-and-under national title in 2:05:25 and fourth overall, won the women’s 5K title in 1:04:04. Grimes led at every check point.

Bella Sims, 15, of Sandpipers of Nevada was second in 1:04:46 and Cadence Fort, 15, of Gulf Coast Swim Team was third in 1:04:54. Grimes and Sims earned world 5K team spots.

“It was great,” Grimes said. “It was really hard today. The waves were really big. I have a great time every time I do open water and it was a great field of girls so it was a lot of fun.”

In Sunday’s 7.5K event, Ella Martinez, 17, of St. Andrew’s Swimming is top seed in 16:04.53 and Anna Auld, 17, of East Coast Aquatic Club is seventh in 17:00.81.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Mallory Schleicher, 17, will compete in the 5K open water event also on Sunday. In 2019, she was seventh in the 5K. She is the only Florida Gold Coast swimmer in the 5K field.

WOMEN’S RESULTS

  1. Katie Grimes, Sandpipers of Nevada 1:04:04, 2. Arabella Sims, Sandpipers of Nevada 1:04:46, 3. Cadence Fort, Gulf Coast Swim Team 1:04:54, 4. Claire Weinstein, Westchester AC 1:06:17, 5. Mary McKenna, Long Island Express 1:08:35, 6. Erin Miller, St. Andrew’s Aquatics 1:09:10, 7. Naomi Furman, Radnor AC 1:09:27, 8. Alexandra Stern, Indian River Aquatics 1:09:56, 9. Mattea Sokolow, Team Santa Monica 1:10:11, 10. Brynn Stoneburg, Treasure Coast Aquatics 1:10:15, 11. Alexa Reyna, Westchester AC 1:10:30, 12. Emma Guglielmello, Mahnolia AC 1:10:56, 13. Carli Cronk, Alamo Area Aquatics 1:11:08, 14. Skylar Bruner, Hilton Head Aquatics 1:11:12, 15. Courtney Watts, Unattached 1:11:29, 16. Lilla Bognar, Team Greenville 1:11:45, 17. Claire Stuhlmacher, Unattached BW 1:11:49, 18. Miko Baron, Rancho San Dieguito 1:12:20, 19. Nalanie Cortez, Unattached Fast 1:13:59, 20. Lauren Gualtieri, Tampa Bay AC 1:14:32, 21. Caitlin Hurley, North Baltimore 1:15:02, 22. Karina Kanary, Longhorn Aquatics 1:15:05, 23. Kait Sweeney, Westchester AC 1:15:09, 24. Kate Anderson, Westchester AC 1:15:12, 25. Hannah Neilly, Radnor AC 1:15:17, 26. Mary King, Unattached LFSC 1:15:23, 27. Caroline Frazier, Magnolia AC 1:16:23, 28. Kai Izquierdo, Unattached 1:16:44, 29. Abigail Miller, Mason Manta Rays 1:16:44, 30. Keira Reid, Nova of Virginia 1:17:28, 31. Nora Brown, CSP Tideriders 1:17:53, 32. Amelia Lester, Rockwell Aquatic 1:23:12, 33. Emily Buening, Washington Towns 1:23:21, 34. Ursula Koch, Stateline Aquatic Team 1:28:27.

MEN’S RESULTS

  1. Ilya Kharun, Sandpipers of Nevada 1:02:50, 2. Alexander Ayers, SwimMAC 1:02:51, 3. Luke Ellis, Sandpipers of Nevada 1:02.51, 4. Weslee Gettys, Texas Gold 1:04:26, 5. Isaac Fleig, Mission Viejo 1:04:35, 6. Luke Corey, Naval Academy AC 1:05:32, 7. Ryan Turner, Highlander AC 1:06:14, 8. Matthew Boehme, Unattached 1:06:30, 9. Kevin Cunneen, CSP Tideriders 1:06:31, 10. Rylan Anselm, Barrington SC 1:06:37, 11. Max Gerke, Iowa Flyers SC 1:06:45, 12. Tucker Rice, Billings AC 1:06:45, 13. Jackson Scheiber, New Wave ST 1:06:49, 14. Samuel Marsteiner, New Wave ST 1:06:49, 15. Jameson Vanderloo, Snow Swimming 1:07:07, 16. Parker Lenoce, Sarasota Sharks 1:07:09, 17. Matthew Merke, Unattached 1:07:24, 18. Lucas Bucaro, Barrington SC 1:07:36, 19. Alan Shaaban, Team Santa Monica 1:08:14, 20. Connor Carlile, Fishers Area Swimming 1:08:45, 21. Zachary Tower, Team Santa Monica 1:08:46, 22. Nolan Arnholt, Charger Aquatics 1:08:50, 23. Matthew Marsteiner, New Wave ST 1:10:13, 24. Brady Tierney, Radnor AC 1:10:32, 25. Blaise Minckler, Hilton Head Aquatcs 1:11:27, 26. Evan Prabhu, SwimMAC 1:13:00, 27. Brady Beyer, Club Olympia ST 1:14:00, 28. Riley Clinton, Sandpipers of Nevada 1:15:56.

OPEN WATER RACE SCHEDULE

SUNDAY: 5K National Championships (Open), men’s 7:30 a.m., women’s race 7:35 a.m.; 7.5K Junior National Championships (17-18 Age Group), men’s 11 a.m., women 11:05 a.m.

USA Swimming is live streaming and re-playing all events on its website.

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