Adams, Prenot, Adrian Win On Day Five Of U.S. Olympic Trials; SOFLO’s Aukerman Completes Trials Journey

By Sharon Robb

June 30, 2016—More than halfway through the eight-day trials, the U.S. is putting together a team full of first-time Olympians.

On Thursday night, one more fresh face, Josh Prenot, was added to the U.S. team roster in individual events during the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in front of a sellout crowd at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

The U.S. has as many as 18 first-timers in the individual and relay events.

“I see a lot of new faces,” said five-time Olympian Michael Phelps. “I don’t even know half of them. It’s exciting to have new faces, where people are really pumped to come up in the sport. That’s a good thing to see as I’m on my way out.”

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kile Aukerman, competing in his third and final event of the Trials, was 78th in the 200-meter individual medley in


In Thursday night’s finals:


Josh Prenot of Cal Aquatics overtook Kevin Cordes of Foxcatcher and broke the American and U.S. Open records to win in 2:07.17. Prenot, a first-time Olympian, caught Cordes in the final 20 meters. The 6-foot-6 Cordes out-touched Will Licon by 14/100ths of a second for second place in 2:08.00. Cordes was already qualified in the 100-meter breaststroke. “That swim came from hard work,” Prenot said. “I have been training for this all year. The hard work is paying off. It feels amazing. This is the happiest I have ever been.”

WOMEN’S 200-METER BUTTERFLY: Cammile Adams of SwimMAC, who bounced back from a disqualification scare in prelims, moved from seventh to first after the opening 100 meters and went on to win in 2:06.80. Hali Flickinger of Athens Bulldogs, 25th four years ago at Trials, was second in

2:07.50. Sixteen-year-old Cassidy Bayer was third in



Defending Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian of Cal Aquatics held off his young challengers to win in 47.72, second fastest time in the world this year. Bolles alum Caeleb Dressel was second in 48.23 to become a first-time Olympian. “Heading back to the Olympics means everything to me,” Adrian said. “We put in four years of really hard work. The jitters are over. We punched our ticket. These young guys showed how people have underestimated how good American sprinting is.” Said Dressel, “There wasn’t any pressure, I just went out there and had fun. The most comfortable I am is behind those blocks. I train for huge closing speed and that’s what gets it done so I am very happy.”

In the semifinals, Bolles alum Ryan Murphy of Cal Aquatics earned the top seed in the 200-meter backstroke in 1:55.04, fifth fastest time in the world this year. Cal teammate Jacob Pebley was second in 1:55.18. 2012 Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary won the first semifinal in 1:55.92. In the women’s 100-meter freestyle, American short course record holder Abbey Weitzeil earned the top seed in 53.58. Simone Manuel won the first semifinal in 53.64. Michael Phelps won the first semifinal in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:57.61. Ryan Lochte earned the top seed in the second semifinal in 1:56.71. Teenager Michael Andrew tied the junior world record in 1:59.44 to finish sixth and qualify for finals.

Friday’s events are: men’s 50-meter freestyle prelims and semifinals; women’s 800-meter freestyle; men’s 100-meter butterfly prelims and semifinals; women’s 200-meter backstroke prelims and semifinals; women’s 200-meter breaststroke final; men’s 200-meter backstroke final; men’s 200-meter individual medley final; and women’s 100-meter freestyle final.

NBC is broadcasting finals every night at 8 p.m. EST. USA swimming is live streaming prelims and finals at



200-meter butterfly: 1. Cammile Adams, SwimMAC 2:06.80, 2. Hali Flickinger, Athens Bulldogs 2:07.50, 3. Cassidy Bayer, NCA 2:08.68; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 66. Claire Donahue, SOFLO 2:17.12, 90. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 2:20.45.


200-meter breaststroke: 1. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics 2:07.17, AR, 2. Kevin Cordes, Foxcatcher 2:08.00, 3. Will Licon, Texas 2:08.14; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 11. Alex Evdokimov, Coral Springs Swim Club 2:14.00, 37. Kile Aukerman, SOFLO 2:17.52.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Nathan Adrian, Cal Aquatics 47.72, 2. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 48.23, 3. Ryan Held, NCS 48.26, 4. Anthony Ervin, Unattached 48.54.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Bolles Alum Murphy Wins; SOFLO’S Aukerman, Donahue Swim Second Events Wednesday At U.S. Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb

June 28, 2016—Jacksonville-born Ryan Murphy, one of the sport’s rising young stars, has been dreaming about this moment since he was four years old.

The Bolles alum made his first U.S. Olympic team Tuesday night winning the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials in front of a packed house at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

Murphy, who turns 21 on July 2nd, is one of 10 first-timers to make the U.S. Olympic team the first three days of the Trials.

Murphy won a tight race in a lifetime-best 52.26, fastest time in the world this year. David Plummer, 30, a father of two, was second in 52.28. Defending Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers, 30, was third in 52.76 and failed to qualify.

“This is a dream come true,” Murphy said. “I started swimming at the age of 4 when this was a dream. To see it come to fruition 16 years later, I don’t know what to say right now. It was my night tonight.”

Murphy and Grevers were under world record pace for the first 50 meters. Plummer put in a late surge down the stretch and caught Grevers.

“This is just unbelievable, I am pretty speechless,” Murphy said. “It hasn’t kicked in yet. Matt Grevers paved the way for me and has been a huge inspiration.”

Plummer, who missed making the 2012 team by 12/100ths of a second, had one chance to make the team since the 100 backstroke was his only event.

“This means everything, it means so much,” Plummer said. “This is the culmination to a long and great career.”

South Florida Aquatic Club teenager Kathleen Golding made her final appearance at the meet in her second event. Golding, 15, one of the youngest in the field, competed in the 200-meter individual medley prelims and finished in 2:19.65.

SOFLO teammates Claire Donahue and Kile Aukerman compete in their second events on Wednesday. Donahue has the 200-meter butterfly and Aukerman swims the 200-meter breaststroke.

In other finals:


In the closest race of the meet so far, Townley Haas, 19, of Nova Aquatics, out-touched Conor Dwyer to win in 1:45.66. Dwyer of Trojan Swim Club, who had already made the team in the 400, was second in 1:45.67. Jack Conger was third in 1:45.77 and Ryan Lochte was fourth 1:46.62. The top four make the team for relays. Less than a second separated the top eight. “It’s still kind of a shock to me,” Haas said. “This is unbelievable. I’m not sure how I feel yet.”


Olivia Smoliga of Athens Bulldogs left Natalie Coughlin, the most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time, and defending Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, in her dust as she won big in 59.02 to make her first U.S. Olympic team. Kathleen Baker, who led at the 50, touched second in 59.29. Clara Smiddy of Michigan, a Florida Gold Coast swimmer with AquaKids Sharks, was sixth in 1:00.12. Franklin finished seventh in 1:00.24 and Coughlin, 12 years older than anyone in the field, was eighth in 1:00.48. “When the Olympics are on the line, it is so hard to stay calm,” said Smoliga, who was fourth at Trials four years ago. “This is so amazing.”


NCAA Swimmer of the Year and short course American record holder Lily King, 19, won in 1:05.20, the fastest time in the world for the last two years. “I am really excited about that time at this stage,” Smoliga said. SwimMac’s Katie Meili was second in 1:06.07. “I am so grateful to so many people who supported me along the way of this journey,” Meili said.

In the 200-meter butterfly semifinals, Michael Phelps, 30, led from start to finish to set himself up nicely for finals. The event’s two-time Olympic gold medalist finished in 1:55.17, sixth fastest time in the world this year. “It was a swim to get in tomorrow’s final,” Phelps said. “I was looking to go faster but that’s how I am, I always want to be better.”

In other semifinals, Maya DiRado was top seed in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.09 and Katie Ledecky is top seed in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.10. Her 100 split was 56.73.

Wednesday’s events are: men’s 100-meter prelim and semifinal; women’s 200-meter prelim and semifinal butterfly; men’s 200-meter prelim and semifinal breaststroke; women’s 200-meter freestyle final; men’s 200-meter butterfly final and women’s 200-meter individual medley.

NBC is broadcasting finals every night at 8 p.m. EST. USA swimming is live streaming prelims and finals at



100-meter backstroke: 1. Olivia Smoliga, Athens Bulldogs 59.02, 2. Kathleen Baker, SwimMAC 59.29, 3. Amy Bilquist, CAL Aquatics 59.37; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 6. Clara Smiddy 1:00.12, 11. Tasija Karosas, Texas 1:00.79, 24. Megan Moroney, Cavaliers 1:01.80.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, Indiana 1:05.20, 2. Katie Meili, SwimMAC 1:06.07, 3. Molly Hannis, Tennessee Aquatics 1:06.65; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 41. Emily Kopas, Michigan/Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:10.17.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Townley Haas, Nova Aquatics 1:45.66, 2. Conor Dwyer, Trojan Swim Club 1:45.67, 3. Jack Conger, NCA 1:45.77.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 52.26, 2. David Plummer, NYAC 52.28, 3. Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford 52.76; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 27. Brandon Goldman, LSU 55.89.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Donahue Makes Final; Aukerman Swims Best Time On Day One Of U.S. Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb

June 26, 2016—On an electrifying opening night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Claire Donahue kept her Olympic hopes alive.

Donahue, 27, making her third Trials appearance, advanced into Monday’s final of the 100-meter butterfly Sunday at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist advanced through a nervewracking prelim in 59.61 and much-improved semifinal in 58.76 for the seventh fastest seed in finals.

Four years ago, Donahue was in the same position and ended up qualifying for the team.

“It’s a huge relief to make final,” said Donahue, while soaking in an ice bath. “When you touch the wall, you don’t know because there are two different heats. I was waiting and waiting and feeling the pressure and then found out I was in.”

In morning prelims, Donahue shook off a few pre-race jitters.

“You try to prepare yourself as much as you can but there’s still some nervous energy left there,” Donahue said. “For me I am trying not to get swept up into it. I want to stay calm and relaxed going into finals. I am excited for the race. I know there is a lot on the line.

“I knew there would be about five people right there, I’m not surprised there are more,” Donahue said. “At Trials anything can happen and anything does happen.”

Donahue will also compete in the 200-meter butterfly on Wednesday.

SOFLO teammate Kile Aukerman, making his Trials debut in three events, finished third in his 100-meter breaststroke heat in a lifetime-best time 1:03.00. Aukerman has the 200 breaststroke on Wednesday and 200-meter individual medley on Thursday.

“It feels great, I was looking to go right around three low and maybe even a two high so what I did was pretty good,” Aukerman said.

SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding, 15, of Cooper City High School, one of the youngest swimmers at Trials, finished the 400-meter individual medley in 4:56.96 for sixth place in her heat. Golding also has the 200 IM on Tuesday.

“I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” Golding said. “Just being here is great. I am here to have fun and see all these great people race and see how it’s done so hopefully next time I can try and make the team. This is the nicest pool I ever swam at. It’s amazing.”

Kevin Cordes, who has been training in Singapore with veteran coach Sergio Lopez and more recently at SOFLO during a training trip in Pembroke Pines, earned the top seed in the 100-meter breaststroke semifinals in an American record time of 58.94.

During morning prelims, Michael Andrew, 17, became the youngest sub-minute breaststroker in U.S. history. Andrew broke his own 17-18 national age group record in 59.96 bettering his previous mark of 1:00.37. He had the fifth fastest time going into semifinals and moved into fourth after semis. “I am blown away going under a minute for the first time,” Andrew said. “It makes me feel world-class because this is legit now.”

In a sign that the guard is changing in swimming, the first six members of the U.S. Olympic team were decided in the men’s and women’s 400-meter individual medley and men’s 400-meter freestyle.

WOMEN’S 400-METER INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Maya DiRado, 23, of Stanford qualified for her first Olympic team winning in 4:33.73, fifth-fastest time in the world this season. Florida alum Elizabeth Beisel earned the second spot in 4:36.81 to make her third Olympic team. DiRado pulled away from the field after the breaststroke leg. DiRado, who nearly quit the sport, was emotional after making the team. “This is a dream,” she said. “I turned at the 300 and thought I can’t believe this is happening. Am I in the middle of my nap? This is an unbelievable feeling. I am so overjoyed. I don’t know what life I am living, but it’s amazing.” Beisel looked relieved after clinching a spot. “It’s harder the third time around,” Beisel said. “It’s such an honor to make my third team. We are going to do awesome in Rio.”

MEN’S 400-METER INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Chase Kalisz of North Baltimore and Jay Litherland of Dynamo made their first Olympic team as early leader and injured Ryan Lochte faded to third. “Honestly, the whole thing went by so fast, I feel like I am in a different reality right now,” said Kalisz, who was hugged by longtime friend and training mate Michael Phelps after he got out of the pool.

For the first time since the 2000 Olympics, Lochte will not be competing in the 400 IM. Kalisz won in 4:09.54 and Litherland was second in 4:11.02. Lochte finished in 4:12.02. Lochte took it out fast in the butterfly and backstroke distancing himself from the field by a body length. Kalisz started to reel him in on the breaststroke leg and passed him at the 100-mark. Kalisz pulled away on the freestyle and Litherland caught Lochte down the final stretch.

Lochte, 31, and defending 400 IM Olympic gold medalist, swam finals despite pulling a groin muscle in morning prelims. “I did everything I could in that race,” Lochte said. “It just wasn’t enough. I thought about scratching, but it’s the Olympic Trials.” Lochte has five more opportunities to make the team.

MEN’S 400-METER FREESTYLE: Connor Jaeger of Club Wolverine, trailing after the first 200 and thinking he was out of it, pulled away for the win in 3:43.79. Florida alum Connor Dwyer of Trojan Swim Club was second in 3:44.66.



400-meter individual medley: 1. Maya DiRado, Stanford 4:33.73, 2. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF 4:36.81; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 41. Rachel Bradford-Feldman, St. Andrew’s 4:53.33, 57. Kelly Fertel, Gulliver 4:55.50, 72. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:56.96.


400-meter individual medley: 1. Chase Kalisz, North Baltimore 4:09.54, 2. Jay Litherland, Dynamo 4:11.03; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 33. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 4:26.65, 40. Sam Smiddy, AquaKids Sharks 4:27.51.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 3:43.79, 2. Conor Dwyer, Trojan Swim Club 3:44.66; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 53. Blake Manganiello, AquaKids Sharks 3:58.85.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Aukerman, Donahue, Golding Ready For U.S. Olympic Trials That Begin Sunday

By Sharon Robb

June 24, 2016—It’s show time on the big stage for three South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers.

Claire Donahue, Kile Aukerman and Kathleen Golding will compete in the June 26-July 3 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in Omaha, Neb.

Making the Trials is a huge accomplishment in itself. Now they will chase the brass ring trying to make the Aug. 5-21 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

All three have opening races on Sunday: Donahue in her signature event, the 100-meter butterfly, Golding in the 400-meter individual medley and Aukerman in the 100-meter breaststroke.

The talented trio coached by veteran SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson will share the same deck with the sport’s Big Four: Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin for eight days to determine the U.S. men and women’s Olympic teams.

The top two in each final will qualify for Rio, plus up to six finishers in the 100- and 200-meter freestyle events for relays. The top six in each event also make the senior national team.

Nearly 2,000 swimmers have qualified for the Trials with the most coming from California, Pacific Coast, North Carolina and Florida. The event at CenturyLink Center is a sell out for the first time with more than 200,000 tickets sold.

Donahue, 27, a 2012 Olympian, is making her third U.S. Olympic Trials appearance and coming off a solid year of training. Donahue won a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics as a member of the winning 400-meter medley relay team.

Donahue is seeded fifth in the 100-meter butterfly in 58.03.

“Not just the training aspect but outside factors,” Donahue said. “Recovery. Doing things like yoga. Making sure my diet’s right on. Making sure every aspect of my life is surrounded by swimming, helping me perform and helping me grow in the sport.”

Golding is the only high school swimmer from a South Florida public high school to qualify. At 15, she is also one of the youngest.

Training alongside Olympians and national-caliber swimmers at South Florida Aquatic Club in Pembroke Pines including four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, a Flanagan alum, has helped her improve.

Golding qualified in the 200-meter individual medley (2:18.67) and 400-meter individual medley (4:53.68), two of the sport’s toughest events.

“It definitely helps to watch the older girls and learn from them,” she said. “They are really good.”

Golding is realistic about her expectations for the Trials.

“I am going there for the experience,” Golding said. “I want to see what it’s like and I want to see how I stack up.

“I have been really focused lately, making sure everything I do in practice counts towards trials. My coach and I are pretty confident going into. I have been swimming pretty well.”

Golding would love to advance into the semifinals in one of her events. Despite her age, she is experienced when it comes to competing at big meets.

“I have been to meets with Missy and Michael,” Golding said. “There’s going to be a lot of fast people. I have been training really hard and doing a lot more dryland work. I think I should swim best times. I know after Trials I am going to be really motivated because it’s such a motivating meet. It makes me want to go to the Olympics even more and really enforces how much I want to be better.”

Aukerman is going in with three Trials cuts and lifetime-bests in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:03.38), 200-meter breaststroke (2:17.96) and 200-meter individual medley (2:04.35). All three times he swam at the Tennessee Aquatics Invitational earlier this month.

The 23-year-old Wright State alum is thrilled to be there. After graduating college, Aukerman decided to put his career on hold to train seriously for nearly two years at SOFLO.

“I got some scholarship money and started swimming to get a good education,” Aukerman said. “As the years went on I started improving and had a good senior year. I thought maybe with long course training under my belt I could get better.

“I totally committed myself to going after it. I got my degree and everything and I will be looking for a job after this year. You have the rest of your life to go to school and work. The Trials are once in a lifetime.”

Aukerman is also realistic about the Trials.

“I want to better my time at Trials,” he said. “My goal in my mind these last two years has been I wanted my last meet to be the Olympic Trials. I want to go best times there. If I do that I will be 100 percent fine to say goodbye to swimming. It’s the best possible way to go out swimming at one of the best meets in the world.”


Aukerman: Sunday, 100-meter breaststroke, Wednesday, 200-meter breaststroke, Thursday, 200-meter individual medley

Donahue: Sunday, 100-meter butterfly, Wednesday, 200-meter butterfly

Golding: Sunday, 400-meter individual medley, Tuesday, 200-meter individual medley.

The Trials will be shown exclusively across NBC networks and mobile platforms. Prelims will be live daily at 11 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on the NBC Sports app.

NBC Sports will live stream the Trials including both prelims and finals sessions. It will also be available on NBC Sports online at, or through the NBC Sports app available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.


Miguel Cancel, Gulliver Prep; Marta Ciesla, Pine Crest; Lauren Driscoll, American Heritage Plantation; Anya Egorova, Gulliver Prep; Kelli Fertel, Gulliver Prep; Alex Evdokimov, Taravella; Casey Francis, Pine Crest; Kathleen Golding, Cooper City; Brandon Goldman, St. Thomas Aquinas; Emily Kopas, University School; Austin Manganiello, Miami Palmetto; Blake Manganiello, Miami Palmetto; Lindsey McKnight, Plantation American Heritage; Jessica Nava, Westminster Academy; Carlos Omana, Belen Jesuit; Michael Saco, Miami Palmetto; Juan Sequera, Reagan; Clara Smiddy, South Florida HEAT; Sam Smiddy, South Florida HEAT; Niki Urquidi, Gulliver Prep; Kyla Valls, Ransom Everglades.


Reagan alum Isabella Paez, 20, of Duke will try and qualify for the Venezuelan Olympic team and University School alum Jordy Groters of Missouri will try and make the Aruba team at the June 23-26 RBC Bahamas National Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Complex in Nassau. Paez and Groters are former high school district, region and state champions. Foreign swimmers will have a final chance to qualify the following week at the June 29-July 2 Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships, also in the Bahamas.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Kile Aukerman Wins First Race, Makes Third U.S. Olympic Trials Cut

By Sharon Robb

June 5, 2016—Kile Aukerman of South Florida Aquatic Club had the meet of his life at the Tennessee Aquatics June Invitational.

On the third and final day at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Aukerman, 23, turned in his most perfect swim of the meet in the 200-meter individual medley.

Not only did Aukerman win his first race of the meet in a lifetime-best 2:04.35, shaving 2.81 seconds off his previous best, but earned his third U.S. Olympic Trials cut. The trials qualifying time is 2:05.09. His previous best time was 2:07.16.

Aukerman also got his Trials cuts in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events. His first cut was in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.96 and 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.38.

In other SOFLO swims:

Ryan Capote, 18, Luke Lezotte, 15, and Alejandro Zambrano, 21, turned in best times in the 50-meter freestyle. Capote was 14th in 25.06, dropping 0.36 seconds and Lezotte was 17th in 24.84, dropping 0.99. Zambrano was 20th in 25.74, dropping 0.18 seconds.

Esteban Diaz-Velasco, 17, was fourth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:18.01.

Amanda Kendall, 25, swimming unattached for SOFLO, was second in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.04.



200-meter butterfly:

1. Taylot Katz, Sarasota 2:12.66, 2. Hannah Kastigar, ASC 2:16.46, 3. Michelle Cefal, Unattached 2:16.60.

50-meter freestyle:

1. Faith Johnson, Unattached 25.94, 2. Amanda Kendall, SOFLO 26.04, 3. Natalie Hinds, COM 26.17; SOFLO: 7. Claire Donahue 26.75, 10. Ksen Golovkina 27.46, 12. Catalina Mendieta 27.73, 17. Alina Schulhofer 28.16.

200-meter backstroke:

1. Sydney Sell, LAK 2:18.48, 2. Ashley Cusano, Unattached 2:27.05, 3. Natalie Widmer, TNAQ 2:32.00.

200-meter individual medley:

1. Sonia Wong, HARV 2:17.55, 2. Emma Barksdale, DART 2:19.08, 3. Kersten Dirrane, GAME 2:20.67.


200-meter butterfly:

1. Sebastian Rousseau, GSC 2:00.63, 2. James Bretscher, TNAQ 2:01.90, 3. Sam McHugh, BAY 2:02.94.

50-meter freestyle:

1. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 22.09, 2. Zach Apple, AU 22.94, 3. Andrew Marsh, CM 23.25; SOFLO: 14. Ryan Capote 25.06, 17. Luke Lezotte 24.84, best time, 20. Alejandro Zambrano 25.74, best time.

200-meter backstroke:

1. Sean Lehane, Unattached 1:58.24, 2. Jake Marcum, MCC 2:09.12, 3. John Baker, GWA 2:10.12; SOFLO: 4. Esteban Diaz-Velasco 2:18.01.

200-meter individual medley:

1. Kile Aukerman, SOFLO 2:04.25, best time, Trials cut, 2. Sam McHugh, BAY 2:04.59, 3. Jack Smith, GAME 2:04.92; SOFLO: 8. Jorge Murillo Valdes 2:15.34, 13. Santiago Rivera 2:19.41.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Aukerman Gets Second Trials Cut; Donahue, Atkinson, Murillo-Valdes Win

By Sharon Robb

June 4, 2016—For the second day in a row, Kile Aukerman of South Florida Aquatic Club got his second U.S. Olympic Trials cut at the Tennessee Aquatics June Invitational.

After making his 200-meter breaststroke cut on Friday in 2:17.96, Aukerman, 23, came back and got his second cut in the 100-meter breaststroke in a lifetime-best 1:03.38. The cut time is 1:03.69.

Aukerman finished fourth in the event while teammate Jorge Murillo Valdes, 24, won his second event in 1:01.71. Murillo Valdes has already qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games for Colombia.

In other SOFLO swims:

SOFLO finished one-two in the women’s 100-meter butterfly. Claire Donahue, 27, won the event in 59.06 just ahead of teammate Amanda Kendall, 25, in 59.94.

Alia Atkinson, 27, already qualified for her fourth Olympic appearance for Jamaica, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.48.

SOFLO’s U.S. Olympic hopeful and former world champion Megan Romano, 25, was second in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:01.22 behind Elizabeth Beisel in 2:00.74.

The three-day meet concludes Sunday at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville. The meet features both elite and age group swimmers.

Prelims are 8:30 a.m. and finals are 5 p.m. on Sunday.



100-meter butterfly:

1. Claire Donahue, SOFLO 59.06, 2. Amanda Kendall, SOFLO 59.94, 3. Madeline Banic, Unattached 1:00.99; SOFLO: 19. Cataline Mendieta 1:04.60.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:06.48, 2. Molly Hannis, TNAQ 1:07.72, 3. Jenny Wilson, GSC 1:10.70; SOFLO: 8. Ksen Golovkina 1:14.20, 10. Monica Alvarez 1:15.31.

200-meter freestyle:

1. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF 2:00.74, 2. Megan Romano, SOFLO 2:01.22, 3. Erica Laning, TNAQ 2:02.16; SOFLO: 8. Alia Atkinson 2:08.94.

400-meter individual medley:

1. Emma Barksdale, DART 4:51.17, 2. Hannah Kastigar, ASC 4:53.00, 3. Sonia Wang, HARV 4:55.51.


100-meter butterfly:

1. Bryce Bohman, CM 53.80, 2. Luis Martinez, AU 54.04, 3. Tyler Mills, Unattached 54.35; SOFLO: 20. Alejandro Zambrano 59.18, best time.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO 1:01.71, 2. Brad Craig, TNAQ 1:02.80, 3. Michael Duderstadt, AU 1:02.98; SOFLO: 4. Kile Aukerman 1:03.38, best time, Trials cut, 17. Santiago Rivera 1:07.99, best time.

200-meter freestyle:

1. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 1:48.39, 2. True Sweetser, GSC 1:51.71, 3. Trey Freeman, BAY 1:52.51.

400-meter individual medley:

1. Sebastian Rousseau, GSC 4:21.94, 2. Sam McHugh, BAY 4:23.68, 3. Charlie Swanson, NOVA 4:27.77.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’S Kile Aukerman Swims Back-To-Back Lifetime-Bests, Earns First U.S. Olympic Trials Cut; Megan Romano Double Winner

By Sharon Robb

June 3, 2016—Four years ago, Kile Aukerman was a freshman at Wright State University sitting in the CenturyLink Center stands during the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb.

“I just remember thinking “wow, these guys are really good.’ I didn’t think I would ever get to that level,” Aukerman said.

The 23-year-old South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer will return to Omaha in three weeks, this time to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials.

On Friday at the Tennessee Aquatics June Invitational, Aukerman swam back-to-back lifetime bests in the 200-meter breaststroke and earned his first Olympic Trials cut.

In morning prelims, Aukerman went 2:18.08. In finals, he bettered his time in 2:17.96 and finished fourth. His previous best was 2:18.95. The qualifying cut time is 2:18.39.

“I am excited and relieved at the same time,” Aukerman said. “If it gets any better than this, I will let you know.”

Aukerman was a gamut of emotions before morning prelims.

“I was feeling pretty good in practice before the meet. I wasn’t overly nervous,” Aukerman said. “When I was warming up this morning I really had to make sure I calmed myself down. A lot of times my nerves get the best of me. But I knew that I was feeling good and I had the training behind me.

“Tonight, I was fairly relaxed. All I wanted was the cut and I got it in the morning. It was off my shoulders. You can’t take that away from me. I thought if I went 2:19, 2:20, that’s fine or if I did better tonight, than awesome and I did.”

After graduating college, Aukerman decided to put his career on hold to train seriously for nearly two years at SOFLO.

“I got some scholarship money and started swimming to get a good education in college,” Aukerman said. “As the years went on I started improving and had a good senior year. I thought maybe with long course training under my belt I could get better and get the cut since I was pretty close. I totally committed myself to going after it.

“I got my degree and everything and I will be looking for a job after this year. My parents are very supportive of me in swimming and my Dad was an athlete in college so he understands.

“I have the rest of my life to go to school and work. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. They knew I was going for it. My parents have come to all my meets and my Dad was really excited when he found out I was swimming a meet in Bermuda.”

Aukerman is excited to return to Omaha and finish his swimming career at the Trials as an elite athlete and not just a spectator.

“I want to better my time at Trials,” he said. “My goal in my mind these last two years has been that I wanted my last meet to be the Olympic Trials. I want to go best times there. If I do that I will be 100 percent fine to say goodbye to swimming. It’s the best possible way to go out swimming at one of the best meets in the world.”

On Saturday, Aukerman will try and get his second Olympic Trials cut in the 100-meter breaststroke. The cut is 1:03.69 is the cut time and Aukerman is close at 1:03.75.

SOFLO teammate Jorge Murillo Valdes, 24, of Colombia, already qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics, was the fastest qualifier in the 100-meter breaststroke in 2:17.16, off his seed time of 2:14.81, and went on to win the event in 2:15.99.

Aukerman will join SOFLO teammates Kathleen Golding, Megan Romano and Claire Donahue at the June 26-July 3 U.S. Olympic Trials.

“It’s great training down here,” Aukerman said. “I had some good training at the university but not with anyone world-class like these Olympians. It’s great to have someone there push you. It’s been a really good fit.”

In other SOFLO swims:

U.S. Olympic hopeful Megan Romano, 25, was a double winner capturing the 100-meter freestyle in 55.86 and outsprinted Olympian Elizabeth Beisel to win the 100-meter backstroke, 1:02.00-1:02.25.

Romano earned the top seed in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.02, off her seed time of 54.79. Romano was also the fastest qualifier in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:03.01, off her seed time of 1:01.94.

SOFLO had two other swimmers make the “A” final in the 100-meter freestyle. Alia Atkinson, 27, was third fastest in 56.93, off her seed time of 56.06 and finished second in 56.08. Claire Donahue, 27, was the sixth fastest in a best time 57.88, bettering her 1:00.88 seed time and placed seventh in 58.24.

SOFLO’s Alina Schulhofer, 21, was 18th in 59.82, off her 58.16 seed time.

Ryan Capote, 18, was 35th in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.74, off his seed time of 54.08. Alejandro Zambrano, 21, was 43rd in a best time 56.57, improving his seed time of 57.10. Luke Lezotte, 15, was 53rd in a best time 58.56, bettering his 1:05.35 seed time.

Also in the 200-meter breaststroke, Santiago Rivera, 19, was 17th in 2:36.07, just off his seed time of 2:36.06.

In the 100-meter backstroke, Atkinson qualified for the “B” final, placing 13th in 1:06.77, off her 1:04.04 seed time and finished 14th in the final in 1:06.54. Catalina Mendieta, 26, placed 17th in 1:07.36, off his seed time of 1:06.97.

In the men’s 100-meter backstroke, Ryan Capote and Esteban Diaz-Velasco just missed the “C” final. Capote, 18, was 27th in 1:04.81, off his 1:02.33 seed time and Diaz-Velasco, 17, was 28th in 1:04.82, off his 1:02.30 seed time.

Diaz-Velasco was 26th in the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:17.96, bettering his previous best of 4:22.81 and finishing as an alternate for the “C” final. Rivera also swam a best time of 4:23.33, dropping from 4:31.09 in the distance event.

The three-day meet continues Saturday at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville. The meet features both elite and age group swimmers.

Prelims are 8:30 a.m. and finals 6 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.



100-meter freestyle:

1. Megan Romano, SOFLO 55.86, 2. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 56.08, 3. Natalie Hinds, COM 56.68; SOFLO: 7. Claire Donahue 58.24, 18. Alina Schulhofer 59.82.

200-meter breaststroke:

1. Molly Hannis, TNAQ 2:27.31, 2. Kersten Dirrane, GAE 2:34.47, 3. Jenny Wilson, GSC 2:34.93; SOFLO: 18. Monica Alvarez 2:48.32.

100-meter backstroke:

1. Megan Romano, SOFLO 1:02, 2. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF 1:02.25, 3. Micah Bohon, Unattached 1:03.29; SOFLO: 14. Alia Atkinson 1:06.54, 17. Catalina Mendieta 1:07.36.

400-meter freestyle:

1. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF 4:10.87, 2. Ashley Neidigh, AU 4:18.24, 3. Erica Laning, TNAQ 4:18.82.


100-meter freestyle:

1. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 48.74, 2. Andrew Marsh, CM 50.25, 3. Roland Schoeman, PSC 51.03.

200-meter breaststroke:

1. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO 2:15.99, 2. Brad Craig, TNAQ 2:15.70, 3. Bryar Long, TNAQ 2:17.85; SOFLO: 4. Kile Aukerman 2:17.96, best time, Trials cut.

100-meter backstroke:

1. Christopher Reid, BAMA 54.99, 2. Luke Kaliszak, BAMA 55.47, 3. Sean Lehane, Unattached 55.61.

400-meter freestyle:

1. True Sweetser, GSC 3:54.44, 2. Trey Freeman, BAY 3:57.92, 3. David Heron, Unattached 3:58.66.

Sharon Robb can be reached at