Katie Ledecky Wins Fourth Event On Final Day Of Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., December 3, 2022—Katie Ledecky of Gator Swim Club won her fourth and final event Saturday night at the Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The Olympian ended her 2022 long course season successfully with a win in the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:44.13 to add to her wins in the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles.

During the summer Ledecky, a grad assistant at University of Florida, won world titles in the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles in Budapest.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Julio Horrego finished his U.S. Open swims with a 22nd place in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:20.05. The 24-year-old 2020 Honduran Olympian finished with three long course swims in the meet. He will now turn his focus to the Dec. 13-18 World Short Course Championships in Australia.

Erika Pelaez, 16, of Eagle Aquatics finished her U.S. Open with a fifth place finish in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.80. Her best finish in her four events was second in the 50 freestyle in a best time and Olympic Trials cut time of 25.29. She also earned 18-and-under national champion in the event. She finished with 58.5 points.

Eagle Aquatics teammate Kaii Winkler, 16, finished sixth in the 100-meter freestyle in a best time 49.45 earning him 18-and-under national champion honors in the event. It was his second final of the meet.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, GSC 15:44.13, 2. Beatriz Dizotti, Brazil 16:18.40, 3. Michaela Morris, SYS 16:34.75.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, SUN 2:05.28, U.S. Open record, 2. Summer McIntosh, SYS/Canada 2:07.15, 3. Josephine Fuller, TENN 2:09.77, 9. Emma Weyant, UN 2:14.52.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Gabi Albiero, LOU 54.90, 2. Beata Nelson, WA 54.94, 3. Camille Spink, NCAP 55.47, 5. Erika Pelaez, EA 55.80, 7. Addison Sauickie, SYS 56.09.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Gillian Davey, UKY 2:27.06, 2. Mona McSharry, Ireland 2:27.59, 3. Ashleigh Oberekar, NSW 2:28.34, 15. Gracie Weyant, SYS 2:35.05.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Regan Smith, SUN 2:07.30, 2. Lindsay Looney, UN 2:10.25, 3. Charlotte Hook, STAN 2:10.64.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Alfonso Mestre, Florida/Venezuela 15:16.51, national record, 2. Padro Farias, Brazil 15:20.12, 3. Eric Brown, Florida 15:26.67.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Daniel Diehl, CUY 1:56.41, 2. Nico Garcia, VT 1:59.49, 3. Baylor Nelson, TAM 2:00.98.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Andrej Barna, CARD 48.45, 2. Josh Liendo, Florida 48.97, 3. Matt King, UVA 49.05, 6. Kaii Winkle, EA 49.45.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Aleksas Savickas, Florida 2:09.68, 2. Chase Kalisz, SUN 2:10.10, 3. Lyubomir Epitropov, TENN 2:11.74.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Nicolas Albiero, CARD, 1:56.32, 2. Zach Harting, CARD 1:57.06, 3. Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz, AGS 1:59.63.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Ledecky, Costa Win Second Events, Pelaez Takes Second, Gets Olympic Trials Cut On Day Two Of Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships; SOFLO’s Horrego Competes Friday

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., December 1, 2022—The rematch between Katie Ledecky and Summer McIntosh lived up to the hype Thursday night at the Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

Ledecky successfully avenged her narrow loss (.08 seconds) to the Canadian teenager in the 400-meter freestyle at the World Cup Series meet in Toronto last month.

Ledecky, the top qualifier in 4:021.51, edged out McIntosh by 8/100ths in 3:59.71. Her final split was 28.99 to move into the lead for good. McIntosh, 16, finished in 3:59.79 and Sarasota Sharks training mate Michaela Mattes, 17, was third in 4:09.53.

It was Ledecky’ second win of the meet. On opening night, she easily won the 800 freestyle.

Brazil’s Guilherme Costa, 24, also won his second event in the 400 freestyle in 3:48.13 ahead of Florida’s Alfonso Mestre, 21, of Venezuela in 3:49.63.

N.C. State’s David Curtiss, 20, won the 50-meter freestyle despite swimming blind for the entire race. He said his goggles filled up with water after the start and he relied on muscle memory to get him to the wall.

N.C. State-bound and U.S. junior national team member Erika Pelaez, 16, of Eagle Aquatics was second in the 50 freestyle in 25.29 behind Louisville’s Gabi Albiero in 25.06. She was seeded sixth after prelims in 25.75. She has the 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 100 freestyle left to swim.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s 2020 Olympian Julio Horrego begins competing on Friday. The 24-year-old Honduran and national record holder will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday and 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday. Horrego is using the meet as a tuneup for the Dec. 13-18 World Championships in Australia.

The four-day meet has attracted both U.S. and international swimmers and is expected to be one of the most competitive. The finals are being televised by Peacock with Rowdy Gaines calling the action.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, GSC 3:59.71, 2. Summer McIntosh, SYS 3:59.79, 3. Michaela Mattes, SYS 4:09.53, 4. Emma Weyant, UN 4:10.12.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Regan Smith, SUN 2:10.40, 2. Leah Hayes, TIDE 2:10.67, 3. Zoe Dixon, Florida 2:14.37.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Gabi Albiero, LOU 25.06, 2. Erika Pelaez, EA 25.29, 3. Camille Spink, NCAP 25.36.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Guilherme Costa, Brazil 3:48.13, 2. Alfonso Mestre, Florida 3:49.63, 3. Jake Mitchell, Florida 3:49.65.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Chase Kalisz, SUN 1:56.52, 2. Baylor Nelson, TAM 1:59.14, 3. Daniel Diehl, CUY 1:59.89.

50-meter freestyle: 1. David Curtiss, NCS 21.92, 2. Josh Liendo, Florida 21.99, 3. Victor Alcara, Brazil 22.11.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Ledecky Wins 800, Makes 2024 U.S. Olympic Trial Cut On Day One Of Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., November 30, 2022—It was only fitting the world’s all-time greatest swimmer was the first to qualify for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials at the Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships Wednesday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

University of Florida grad assistant Katie Ledecky of Gator Swim Club won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:13.90, 31.89 seconds under the time standard. The three-time defending Olympian champion and world record holder in the event took the lead and was never challenged by the field.

Ledecky was coming off her double world record swims in the 800 and 1500 at the short course meters FINA World Cup. Ledecky has the 200, 400 and 1500 freestyles left to swim.

Four other women met the trials time standard: Michaela Mattes (8:37.99) of Sarasota Sharks, Cavan Gormsen (8:38.15), Caroline Pennington (8:42.93) and Katrina Bellio (8:43.24).

In an exciting men’s race, Brazil’s top seed Guilherme Costa, 24, won the men’s 800 freestyle in 7:54.10, just ahead of Florida’s Alfonso Mestre of Venezuela in 7:54.80. The pair were the only two swimmers to crack 8 minutes.

South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented by 2020 Olympian Julio Horrego in the four-day meet. The 24-year-old Honduran Olympian and national record holder will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday and 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday.

The four-day meet has attracted both U.S. and international swimmers and expected to be one of the most competitive.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Gator Swim Club 8:13.90, 2. Michael Mattes, Sarasota Sharks 8:37.89, 3. Cavan Gormsen, LIAC 8:38.15, 5. Emma Weyant, UN 8:41.16.
800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Cougar Aquatics 8:25.21.
800-meter freestyle: 1. Guilherme Costa, Brazil 7:54.10, 2. Alfonso Mestre, Florida 7:54.80, 3. Stephen Steverink, Brazil 8:01.08.
800-meter freestyle relay: 1. NSW Swim 7:22.51, 2. SwimMAC 7:39.90.
Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Among Field For Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., November 28, 2022—Julio Horrego of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete in the Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships at Greensboro Aquatic Center scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday.

Horrego, 24, a 2020 Honduran Olympian and national record holder, will compete in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke against strong fields in the long course meet. The 100 is Friday and 200 breaststroke on Saturday.

Horrego is seeded fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.18. Ireland’s Darragh Greene is seeded first in 59.76 followed by Bulgarian national record holder Lyubomir Epitropov of University of Tennessee, 1:00.32; AJ Pouch of Virginia Tech, 1:00.85; and Reid Mikuta of Auburn University, 1:00.92.

Horrego is seeded tenth in the 200 breaststroke in 2:16.40. Pouch is seeded first in 2:09.07.

The four-day meet has attracted both U.S. and international swimmers and expected to be one of the most competitive with some great rivalries.

University of Florida grad assistant Katie Ledecky will compete in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyle. She will have a rematch against Canadian 15-year-old Summer McIntosh in the 400. McIntosh, who trains with the Sarasota Sharks, knocked off Ledecky in the World Cup in Toronto.

Among other top swimmers entered are Regan Smith, Chase Kalisz, Baylor Nelson, Erin Gemmel, Emma Weyant, Leah Hayes, Abbey Weitzeil, Katharine Berkoff, Jake Mitchell, Josh Liendo, Guilherme Costa and Mona McSharry.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Swimming Notebook: Boca Raton Swim Team Hosts Swim Clinic With Olympian Ryan Lochte; Dylan Carter Earns FINA World Cup Title; Gators Dominate Golden Goggles

By Sharon Robb
BOCA RATON, November 27, 2022—Twelve-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte, one of the most decorated swimmers and entertaining clinicians, will hold a swim clinic on Saturday, December 17th at Boca Raton High School’s Aquatic Center.

The world record holder will be joined by longtime coach Steve Lochte, his father. Lochte has more than four decades of coaching experience from age groupers and collegians to Olympians. Lochte swam for his father’s club as a child and represented them nationally as an adult several times.

Along with Natalie Coughlin, Dara Torres, and Jenny Thompson, the 38-year-old Lochte is the second-most decorated swimmer in Olympic history measured by total number of medals, behind only Michael Phelps. Lochte’s seven individual Olympic medals rank second in history in men’s swimming (again to Phelps), tied for second among all Olympic swimmers.

The swim clinic is for swimmers, parents and coaches. The highlights include each stroke, drill and demonstrations with time for questions and answers, photos and autographs.

The first session for 12-and-unders is 9 a.m.-noon and second session for 13-and-overs, 1-4 p.m. Space is limited. The price is $150 per athlete. The aquatic center is located at 1501 NW 15th Court. Those interested may sign up at http://www.legacyswimming.com.

Former American Heritage Plantation swimmer Dylan Carter, Trinidad and Tobago’s two-time Olympian, earned the overall FINA Swimming World Cup men’s title after the final short course meet in Indianapolis.

Carter, 26, won the overall World Cup title with nine wins across three weeks in the 50-meter butterfly, backstroke and freestyle finals. Carter never lost a 50-meter final totaling three triple crowns

Carter’s success comes on the heels of a good summer at the World Championships in June where he was fourth in the 50 butterfly. At the Commonwealth Games in July, he was fourth in the butterfly and fourth in the 50 freestyle.

“I came home this summer after World Champs and Commonwealth Games and I went to my local gym and the amount of people that came up to me to ask if I was going to retire I can’t count on one hand,” Carter said.

“I had a great summer. I swam some good times but people were like, ‘this guy is done and washed up. He’s never going to break through.’ And that really drove me and made me really mad. I think that’s part of the results you see now.”

Carter has switched his focus on events. Carter had been more known as a 200 freestyle swimmer and made his Olympic debut in 2016 in the 100 freestyle, where he was 23rd. It’s now been the 50s where he has been successful recently.

“I was a main 200 guy until I was 23 or 24,” Carter said. “I always wanted to have a bit of a second career in just the 50s because I felt like I had potential. I didn’t know how much potential but I knew I had a good 50 fly and it was always good for a 200 guy, so I wanted to put it all there and see where I could go and I think that’s why I’m seeing some good times because I’ve never trained for them up until now.”

Carter is training at home in Trinidad with coach Dexter Browne. He set best times in both the 50 backstroke and 50 butterfly at the Indianapolis World Cup, ranking him 11th and 17th all-time respectively. His 50 butterfly in Indianapolis was only 0.01 off his best time, where he is fourth on the all-time list.

Carter is happy swimming, not because his events are shorter but because he feels that he is finally reaching his true potential. And making money through the World Cups has also helped.

“It’s fun, a lot more fun than training for the 200,” Carter said of his reborn life as a sprinter. “I think that swimming in a way that is sustainable mentally and you’re happy, that’s when you can see your career stretch out in front of you. I know it’s not always happy days like winning and best times, but the 50s and being creative with it are really fun and really rewarding.”

Carter also knows how much his win means to Trinidad and Tobago, a nation with only one Olympic medal in swimming history.

“I don’t think we ever won it. I know George (Bovell) came close,” Carter said. “At world champs or Olympics, it’s who is the best on that day. The World Cup is who is the best over an extended period of time. It’s really a phenomenal feat and not just fast swimming but endurance and mental endurance. It is a big step for our sport and the Caribbean.”


The University of Florida Gators dominated the recent 2022 Golden Goggle Awards at the New York Marriott Marquis, winning six awards (five individual, one relay).

The 18th edition of the awards ceremony began in 2004 to recognize the USA’s most accomplished swimmers. This year’s awards were mostly based on performances from the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Bobby Finke was named the 2022 Male Athlete of the Year, winning the award for the first time. Finke also won the 2022 Race of the Year for his American record-breaking 800 freestyle at the World Championships back in June with a 7:39.36. The Clearwater native now has won the Male Race of the Year in back-to-back years after pocketed the 2021 Male Race of the Year last year for his comeback win in the 800 freestyle to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics. Finke also broke the American record in the 1500 freestyle last June.
Volunteer coach Katie Ledecky won three Golden Goggle awards, topping her decorated night with the 2022 Female Athlete of the Year. This is the eighth time Ledecky has won the award (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021, and 2022), passing Michael Phelps for the most Golden Goggle awards in history. Ledecky won four gold medals at the World Championships in Budapest, winning gold in the 800 free, a race that won her the Race of the Year award tonight, and in the 4×200 freestyle, winning Relay of the Year award alongside 2023 Gator signee Bella Sims. Ledecky also took gold in the 1500 freestyle and 400 freestyle in Budapest.

Head coach Anthony Nesty earned the 2022 Coach of the Year Award. He was head coach in Budapest, coaching multiple medal winners including Finke, Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel and Trey Freeman.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Florida Gators Announce 2022-23 Schedule; SOFLO Alum Kathleen Golding Named Team Captain

By Sharon Robb
GAINESVILLE, September 14, 2022—University of Florida will open its 2022-23 men’s and women’s schedule at home against Nova Southeastern and Arkansas on Sept. 23 at the O’Connell Center Natatorium.

The season-opener is one of four home meets. Arkansas has only a women’s team. NSU has both a men’s and women’s team.

After a month of training, the Gators head to Virginia to swim defending women’s national champion Cavaliers on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Charlottesville.

Florida will then swim conference opponents on back-to-back weeks, at Georgia in Athens, Ga. on Friday, Oct. 28 in its annual rivalry before returning to Gainesville to host Tennessee on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The Gators end the 2022 calendar year with three straight invitationals: Georgia Invite, Nov. 17-19, U.S. Open, Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Greensboro, N.C. before diving ends 2022 at the Auburn Invitational, Dec. 16-20.

The 2023 part of the schedule opens at home Florida Atlantic University, Jan. 14, before hosting a diving invitational Jan. 20-21, while simultaneously swimming Florida State on Jan. 20 in Ocala, in its final dual meet. Two weeks later, the Gators will swim in the Feb. 3-5 Auburn Last Chance Invitational.

The Gators begin the post-season at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 14-16 in College Station, Tex. The men will go for their 11th straight conference titles, before the Bulldog Last Chance Meet from Feb. 24-25 in Athens. Qualified divers will compete at the NCAA Diving Zones from Mar. 5-8.

The season ends at the NCAA Swimming National Championships, with the women’s meet in Knoxville, Tenn., March 15-18 and men’s meet in Minneapolis, Minn., March 22-25.

One of the highlights of the season is South Florida Aquatic Club alum Kathleen Golding will serve as one of the Gators’ team captains for the 2022-23. The two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier is a senior and three-time All-American. Her marquis events are the 200 and 400 IM though she swims several other events, both sprint and distance.

Golding’s younger sister, Molly, also a SOFLO alum, will begin her sophomore season in the IM and breaststroke events.

Other Gators with South Florida and Florida Gold Coast ties are sophomore Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, who is coming off an outstanding summer; and freshman Mallory Schleicher, another SOFLO alum.

Florida’s men’s and women’s head coach Anthony Nesty was recently named the 2022 American Swimming Coaches Association George Haines Coach of the Year at the ASCA World Clinic Sept. 8 in Las Vegas. Nesty joins former Florida coaches Gregg Troy and Randy Reese as the only coaches in Gators history to win the award.

The award is annually given to the individual whose coaching contributed the most towards American swimming excellence at the world level. Nesty was one of six finalists who coached athletes that won gold medals at the FINA World Championships last June in Budapest, Hungary.

Nesty coached multiple gold medalists in Budapest, including Caeleb Dressel, Bobby Finke, Kieran Smith and UF volunteer Coach Katie Ledecky. The four combined for eight gold medals, the most golds coached by any finalist for the award the year.

Six current Gators, four former Gators and volunteer coach Katie Ledecky were named to the 2022-23 U.S. National Team.

Anna Auld, Emma Weyant, Natalie Hinds, and Katie Ledecky were selected for the women’s team, and Brennan Gravley, Jacob Mitchell, Trey Freeman, Kevin Vargas, Caeleb Dressel, Bobby Finke, and Kieran Smith were named on the men’s roster. Florida has 11 athletes on the team, tied with Texas/Longhorn Aquatics for most-represented club/college. Auld and Gravley were both selected as open water athletes in May 2022, and are active through October 31, 2022.

2022-23 UF Men’s, Women’s Schedule
Sept. 23, Nova Southeastern, Arkansas, 10 a.m.
Oct. 22, at Virginia, 10 a.m.
Oct. 28, at Georgia, 10 a.m.
Nov. 5, Tennessee, 10 a.m.
Nov. 17-19, at Georgia Invite
Nov. 30-Dec. 3, U.S. Open, Greensboro, N.C.
Greensboro, NC
Dec. 16-20, Auburn Invitational, Diving
Jan. 14, Florida Atlantic, 2 p.m.
Jan. 20-21, UF Diving Invitational
Jan. 20, Florida State at Ocala, 2 p.m.
Feb. 3-5, Auburn Last Chance
Feb. 14-18, SEC Championships, College Station, Tex.
Feb. 24-25, Bulldogs Last Chance Meet, Athens, Ga.
Mar. 5-8, NCAA Diving Zones – TBD
Mar. 15-18, Women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, Knoxville, Tenn.
Mar. 22-25, Men’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, Minneapolis

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Kathleen Golding Makes A Final; Katie Ledecky Wins Third Event; Gator Swim Club Leads Women’s Teams At Phillips 66 National Championships

By Sharon Robb
IRVINE, Calif., July 28, 2022—Kathleen Golding made the most of her second chance at the Phillips 66 National Championships Thursday at William Woollett Aquatics Center.

Golding, 21, of Gator Swim Club, finished seventh in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 4:45.35, shaving 2.59 seconds off her previous best.

Golding was originally disqualified after swimming 4:46.93 in the early heats. The disqualification was overturned shortly after the conclusion of the event and Golding advanced into the “A” final as fifth seed.

GSC teammate and grad assistant coach Katie Ledecky, 25, won her third event of the meet. She overtook top seed Leah Smith on the final freestyle leg to win the 400 IM in 4:35.77, her best time in four years. Ledecky also has the 800 and 200 freestyle titles.

Mitchell Ledford of Treasure Coast was fourth in the B final and 12th overall of the 100-meter butterfly in 52.85. He was 11th in prelims, also in 52.85.

Erika Pelaez, 16, of Eagle Aquatics, was second in the B final of the 100-meter butterfly in 59.23, just 2/100ths behind winner Lillie Nordmann of Alto. Pelaez was 16th in prelims in 59.97.

Josh Zuchowski was 46th in the 100 butterfly in 54.77 to make D final. Anna Auld of Gator Swim Club was 18th in the 400 IM prelims in 4:50.85 to make the C final and was 23rd in 4:52.23.

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Indiana Swim Club 180.5, 2. Gator Swim Club 160, 3. Cal Aquatics 153.5, 4. Longhorn Aquatics 117, 5. Long Island Aquatic Club 84.
MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Cal Aquatics 110, 2. Indiana Swim Club 81.5, 3. SwimAtlanta 54, 4. Longhorn Aquatics 50, 5. Ridgefield 47.
WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Gator Swim Club 131, 2. Indiana Swim Club 99, 3. Long Island 75, 4. tie, Nashville, Longhorn Aquatics 67.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Katie Ledecky, GSC 4:35.77, 2. Leah Smith, TXLA 4:36.66, 3. Felicia Pasadyn, OSU 4:42.79, 7. Kathleen Golding, GSC 4:45.35.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Gretchen Walsh, NAC 57.44, 2. Gabi Albiero, UF 57.82, 3. Dakota Luther, TXLA 59.39.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Kevin Vargas, RMDA 4:11.45, 2. Max Litchfield, DVSC 4:13.08, 3. Kieran Smith, RAC 4:14.04.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Shaine Casas, TXLA 50.40, 2. Shaun Champion, AUS 51.54, 3. Gabriel Jett, CAL 52.19.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Katie Ledecky Wins Second Event At Phillips 66 National Championships; Golding Makes B Final

By Sharon Robb
IRVINE, Calif., July 27, 2022—Olympic gold medalist and top seed Katie Ledecky won her second event at the Phillips 66 National Championships Wednesday at William Woollett Aquatics Center.

Ledecky, 25, of Gainesville Swim Club won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:54.50. On Tuesday Ledecky won the 800 freestyle in 8:12.03.

Gainesville Swim Club teammate Kathleen Golding, 21, was fifth in the B final of 200 freestyle in 2:00.49. In morning prelims, Golding qualified 12th in 2:00.42.

Treasure Coast’s Blair Stoneburg, competing unattached for Wisconsin, was 33rd in the 200 freestyle in 2:02.81. On Tuesday, Stoneburg was 14th in the 800 freestyle in 8:46.05 and Anna Auld was 19th in 8:47.56

Mitchell Ledford of Treasure Coast was 51st in the 200 freestyle in 1:52.41. On Tuesday, he was 45th in the 200 butterfly in 2:04.30 and 70th in the 100 freestyle in 52.85.

Erika Pelaez, 16, of Eagle Aquatics was 20th in the 200 backstroke prelims in a best time 2:13.96, dropping 0.60. She finished 19th in finals in 2:13.03, a 1.53 time drop.

On Tuesday, the opening day of the meet, Erika Pelaez was seventh in the 100-meter freestyle in 54.69 after going lifetime best 54.65. Natalie Hinds of Gainesville Swim Club won in 53.53.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, GSC 1:54.50, 2. Erin Gemmell, NCAP 1:56.14, 3. Claire Tuggle, CA 1:58.34; FGC: 13. Kathleen Golding 2:00.49, time drop 1.13.
200-meter breaststroke: 1. Mackenzie Looze, ISC 2:25.35, 2. Anna Keating, CA 2:25.82, 3. Ella Nelson, NAC 2:27.40.
200-meter backstroke: 1. Isabelle Stadden, CAL 2:07.29, 2. Rhyan White, BAMA 2:07.51, 3. Reilly Tiltmann, CA 2:09.61.
200-meter freestyle: 1. Luke Hobson, UN 1:46.14, 2. Kieran Smith, RAC 1:46.32, 3. Jake Magahey, SA 1:46.62.
200-meter breaststroke: 1. Matt Fallon, ABSC 2:07.91, 2. Jake Foster, RAYS 2:09.00, 3. Caspar Corbeau, UN 2:09.03
200-meter backstroke: 1. Jack Aikins, SA 1:57.52, 2. Ian Grum, DYNA 1:57.59, 3. Nick Simons, LOSC 1:57.70.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

2024 Paris Summer Olympic Games Two-Year Countdown Kicked Off Tuesday

By Sharon Robb
PARIS, France, July 26, 2022—Let the countdown begin for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Because of the year’s delay to Tokyo 2020 caused by the pandemic, it seems like only yesterday when Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky were tearing it up in the pool. Now the spectacle returns in only two years when the best athletes in the world, including several from South Florida, compete on one of the world’s biggest sports stages beginning July 26.

A hundred years after last hosting the Olympics, the French capital will again host the Olympics and Paralympic Games. Many events will take place in iconic locations in the heart of the city including the Opening Ceremony along the River Seine when athletes will be paraded on boats down the river as an expected 600,000 spectators witness the event.

“The DNA of Paris 2024 is about sport, it is athlete-centered,” said Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet. “We want to offer the best sporting conditions to our community of athletes.”

Thirty-two sports, featuring 329 events, will be held over 18 days of competition through August 11th.

Olympic officials announced the official Paris 2024 slogan which they said reflects a new era of the Olympic Games. The official slogan is “Games Wide Open.”

Estanguet released the slogan on Monday as part of the kickoff.

“Games Wide Open” is the shared slogan for both the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games,” he said. “Above all, since the beginning of this adventure, it is the ambition that drives us and inspires each of our actions.

“It is an invitation to the world to come and experience new emotions together. Our Games are the commitments of new experiences and big thrills. New disciplines, outdoor competitions in the heart of Paris, a unique Opening Ceremony on the Seine, the Marathon for all so that everyone can run this iconic Olympic event like the athletes.

“It’s a power. The power to open our hearts and minds, to stop seeing differences as obstacles. The power to write the greatest collective story of a whole generation, through everyone’s contribution, by giving room for everyone: all the territories, the expertise, and all those who wish to join us.

“To deliver inspiring Games that will help take the Olympic and Paralympic Movement into a new era. Bold and creative Games that dare to take a step outside the box, to challenge the current models, our ways of seeing things, our paradigms; to give us the opportunity to come together, to be proud together, to experience together. Quite simply a Games wide open.”

The official launch of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ticketing, including the full price list, will take place in December 2022.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Katie Ledecky Five-Peats At FINA World Aquatics Championships

By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 24, 2022–Katie Ledecky, the greatest woman swimmer of all time, won her fifth consecutive gold medal in the 800 freestyle Friday night at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena.

Ledecky, 25, swimming in her “favorite event” is the first swimmer in history to win five straight world titles in the same event.

Ledecky, a grad assistant coach at University of Florida where she trains with Anthony Nesty, pulled away early in the race to win in 8:08.04, winning by nearly 11 seconds. It was the fifth fastest time in the event.

Aussie Kiah Melverton was second in 8:18.77 and Simona Quadarella of Italy was third in 8:19.00.

It was Ledecky’s 19th gold medal at world championships, moving her ahead of Ryan Lochte just behind leader Michael Phelps with 26 gold medals.

“I’m happy with it, I can’t complain,” Ledecky said. “I thought it was a little faster than that, but that’s the fastest I’ve been in a while, so really thrilled with that and really excited about the future as well.

“Year after year it’s really hard work,” Ledecky said. “In London I won my first gold ten years ago, back then they said I was a one-hit wonder and here we are, ten years later and I have another gold.

“It was a great week, probably the most fun I’ve had in a meet in a long time,” Ledecky said. “And the results showed. It’s just a really special team, and I know we’re not finished.”

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers wrapping up their swims on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Friday were:

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay, (Azura, South Florida Heat, Auburn), 50 breaststroke, 43rd, 34.25.

Jahir Lopez, 17, Ecuador, (Azura) 1500 freestyle, 23rd, 16:57.92.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 50 backstroke, 33rd, 26.23.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle, 41st, 26.75.

No FGC swimmers are scheduled to compete on Saturday.

Four swimmers, including University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, are entered in open water events which begin on Sunday with the 6K team relay (4×1500) off Lupa Beach. The 5K is Monday, 10K on Wednesday and 25K on Thursday.

In Friday night’s final events:
WOMEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY: Sarah Sjostrum of Sweden won the event for a record fourth consecutive time in 24.95. She also won the 50 fly in 2015, 2017 and 2019. She tied Michael Phelps with a record eight gold medals in butterfly events at worlds. Melanie Henique of France took silver in 25.31 and China’s Zhang Yufeli took bronze in 25.32. Americans Claire Curzan (25.43) and Torri Huske (25.45) were fifth and sixth.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE: In a wide open race with Caeleb Dressel and Bruno Fratus out of the field, Brit veteran sprinter Ben Proud, 27, dominated the field to win his first long course world gold medal in 21.32, 9/100ths ahead of Michael Andrew in 21.41, the American’s third individual world and fourth overall medal. Frenchman Maxime Grousset, who knocked Fratus out of a swim-off for the eighth spot in finals, was third in 21.57.

Proud had the best reaction time off the blocks in 0.57. Proud is the first British swimmer to ever win a world title in the event.

“This medal today, gold, silver, bronze, no matter what it was, it was always going to be for my brilliant team around me this year,” Proud said. “So I’m really chuffed to be able to bring something home. Big disappointment after the 50 fly. I really made a big mistake in that, but that fired me up for today and I’m much happier to be leaving a freestyle world champion.”

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY: Even though Hungarian Kristof Milak and American Michael Andrew turned together at the 50, it was Milak who turned it on to win his second gold medal of the meet in 50.14. Japan’s Naoki Mizunuma was second in 50.94 and Canadian Josh Liendo was third in 50.97. Andrew faltered to fourth in 51.11.

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE: In an exciting finish, Aussie Kaylee McKeown won gold in 2:05.08 just out-touching Americans Phoebe Bacon (2:05.12) and Rhyan White (2:06.96). It was the first time the U.S. won two medals in the event.

MIXED 4X100 FREESTYLE RELAY: With Mollie O’Callaghan swimming anchor, Australia broke the world record in 3:19.38 to dethrone the U.S., winners of the past three worlds since 2015. Jack Cartwright, Kyle Chalmers and Madison Wilson joined O’Callaghan on the relay. The Aussies shaved 2/100ths of a second off the 2019 record held by the U.S. Canada was second in 3:20.61 and the U.S. was third in 3:21.09.

Saturday prelim events are women’s 400IM, men’s 4×100 medley relay and women’s 4×100 medley relay. It is the final day of pool swimming.

The U.S. added five more medals to its tally of 15 gold, 8 silver and 14 bronze for 37. Australia is second with 15 total (6 golds, 8 silver, 1 bronze).

The aquatics championships that also feature 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.

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