Florida State Fires Swim Coach Neil Harper

Florida State Fires Swim Coach Neil Harper

April 5, 2013

Neil Harper, who coaches South Florida Aquatic Club’s Tiffany Oliver and Alex Rodriguez and recently recruited Florida Gold Coast swimmer Jemal LeGrand of Davie, will not be returning to Florida State next season.

FSU athletic director Randy Spetman said Friday a national search for a new coach has begun.

“The decision to make a change in our swimming program was very difficult,” Spetman said in a statement released on Friday. “We believe that our program can be more successful and at this time needs to go in a different direction.”

Harper was at FSU for fourteen years. The Seminoles finished 23rd and 31st nationally in the men’s and women’s championships and were fourth at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships.

Kuczynski Finishes Fourth At World Trials

Caroline Kuczynski missed making this summer’s World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Kuczynski, 22, of Pointe-Claire Swim Club after swimming back-to-back lifetime-bests in the 50-meter butterfly (27.33 and27.44) two days earlier, finished fourth in the 100-yard butterfly in 59.70 Friday night at the World Championship Trials in Victoria, B.C.

Kuczynski, who trains with the South Florida Aquatic Club when home, had the third fastest time in morning prelims in 59.69.

“At least you can’t tell if I’m crying or if it’s my pink eye infections,” Kuczynski tweeted shortly after her race.

Noemie Thomas had the fastest qualifying time in 58.89, under the FINA standard, and just off the national record of 57.97 of Katerine Savard.

Savard, the second fastest qualifier in 59.13, won the event in 58.06. Thomas finished second in the final in 58.31.

Ryan Cochrane, 24, won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:47.08.

Armstrong Out Of Masters Meet

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was forced to withdraw from the Masters South Central Zone Championships in Texas after FINA voiced its objection to his participation.

Armstrong, banned for life from sanctioned Olympic sport competition because of his performance-enhancing drug use during his pro cycling career, had entered three distance events at the University of Texas meet. He had been cleared by U.S. Masters swimming officials to compete.

Armstrong, 41, was entered in the 500, 1,000 and 1,650-yard freestyle events.

Since USMS falls under the FINA umbrella as a sanctioning body, it must follow the World Anti-Doping Code and bar Armstrong from the meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 206: FSU Sweeps; Kuczynski Named Arizona State Team Captain

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 206: FSU Sweeps; Kuczynski Named Arizona State Team Captain


October 22, 2012

Florida State men’s and women’s teams remained unbeaten during their South Florida swing this past weekend.

After defeating University of Miami on Friday in Coral Gables, the Seminole women’s team (4-0) defeated Florida International and Florida Atlantic in a double dual meet in Boca Raton. The men picked up their first win of the season with a 208-80 victory over Florida Atlantic.

The women defeated FIU, 189-101, and FAU 181-114.

“I thought we were confident coming into the meet,” Florida State coach Neil Harper said. “We did well. I was happy with the response from the women’s team. They went faster than they did against UM for the most part and we got to switch up events a little bit, getting some of those girls into their third events. It was fun and I thought it went well for us.”

FSU junior Ashley Hicks, a Florida Gold Coast swimmer, won the 100-yard backstroke in 56.46.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Tiffany Oliver, won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.31.

The men’s team won 13 out of 16 events including a sweep of the 1,000-yard freestyle. Sophomore Connor Knight of North Palm Beach won the 200-yard butterfly in a lifetime-best 1:49.47 and 100-yard butterfly in 49.12, another best time.

“The main thing was that we competed well,” Harper said. “It’s good to know that we can do that two days in a row. It doesn’t matter who we swim or where we are. We need to be able to come back and compete on the second day and I thought our ladies did that. I was really happy from top to bottom.”

On Saturday, FSU travels to Durham, N.C. for a tri-meet against Duke and VirginiaTech.

More college swimming

Caroline Kuczynski, who trained with SOFLO this past summer, was named team captain of the Arizona State women’s team for her final senior year. “What an honor…can’t wait for an amazing season,” Kuczynski tweeted to her Twitter followers…

University of Southern California, ranked third in the nation last season, won the SMU Classic with 366 points. North Carolina was second with 292.50 and Florida was third with 289. USC freshman Jasmine Tosky broke two pool records and three meet records in four individual events and was named Swimmer of the Meet. Florida’s Olympian Elizabeth Beisel was outraced by Stina Gardell of USC in the individual medley races in 1:58.80-1:59.69 in the 200 IM and 4:07.21-4:07.59 in the 400 IM…

Missy Franklin will be joining Florida Gold Coast swimmer Lauren Driscoll at the University of California at Berkeley next fall. The Olympic gold medalist went with her Olympic coach Teri McKeever’s team over Georgia and Texas.  Franklin was the most sought after high school senior recruit after her impressive Olympic debut. In addition to Driscoll, Franklin will join Cindy Tran, Elizabeth Pelton and Rachel Bootsma on the Bears’ loaded roster. Part of the commitment is that Franklin will only swim collegiately for her freshman and sophomore years and then turn pro after she competes at the 2015 NCAAs, just eighteen months before the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Franklin tweeted to her Twitter followers: “Committed to swim at Cal Berkeley. Officially a baby Golden Bear. I am so honored!”…

Breeja Larson of Texas A&M became the first collegiate swimmer in the nation to crack one minute in the 100-yard breaststroke in a tri-meet against North Carolina and South Carolina in 59.88…

University of Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel was named SEC Female Swimmer of the Week. It’s the sixth time she has been selected for the honor during her career as a Gator. She was selected after he four top three finishes and five NCAA “B” standard times in the 400 IM, 500 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 200 IM and 800 freestyle relay…Florida State diver Ariel Rittenhouse was named ACC Diver of the Week after capturing three first places against Miami, Florida Atlantic and Florida International.

High School Swimming

Pine Crest senior Casey Francis has verbally committed to Penn State. The distance freestyler is expected to make an immediate impact as a freshman in the Big Ten. Her bests are 4:50.97 in the 500-yard freestyle and 16:39.92 in the mile. So far, St. Andrew’s Tasija Karosas (Texas), Fort Lauderdale’s Lance Rutkin (Princeton) and American Heritage’s Daniel Spas (Florida) have verbally committed to Division I schools.

FINA World Cup Series

Olympic champion Camille Muffat of France fell 0.01 seconds short of break a “tech-suit” world record in the 400-meter freestyle on the second and final day of the FINA World Cup Series stop in Berlin. She finished in a World Cup meet record 3:54.93 with a 10-second margin of victory.

American teenagers Leah Smith was second in 4:04.86 and Becca Mann of Clearwater was third in 4:05.21.

Japan’s Daiya Seto also broke a World Cup meet record in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:00.12.

Among other winners were Frenchman Yannick Agnel in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:42.10; South African Darian Townsend in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:53.44; Britta Steffen of Germany in the 100-meter freestyle in 52.88; American Anthony Ervin in the 50-meter freestyle in 20.85, ahead of Trinidad and Tobago’s George Bovell in 20.97 and American Jessica Hardy won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.13.

On the money list, Katinka Hosszu, who added two more gold medals, has now surpassed Chad Le Clos’ 2011 race winning total with $45,750. Seto leads the men’s overall money standings with $23,000. A total of $510,000 has been awarded so far after three meets.

The World Cup now moves on to Asia next month with rounds in Beijing (Nov. 2-3), Tokyo (Nov. 6-7) and Singapore (Nov. 10-11).


Swimmers around the world remembered open water swimmer Fran Crippen on Tuesday, the two-year anniversary of his senseless death during a FINA 10K open water race in United Arab Emirates. Several swimmers took to Twitter to pay tribute to one of the most talented and well-liked swimmers. “Fran we miss you and think of you every day. You’re an inspiration to us all and we try and be a little more like you every day, a true hero,” tweeted 2012 Olympic gold medalist Matt McLean on Twitter….

The final action against Lance Armstrong was taken. The UCI, cycling’s governing body, stripped Armstrong of all seven Tour de France titles and banned him for life from cycling in the wake of USADA’s proof and lengthy 202-page detailed report that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs. New York City Marathon has also decided to strip Armstrong of his results at the New York City Marathon. In 2006 he finished 2:59:36 and 2007 2:46:43. Armstrong may also be forced to return the prize money he won at the Tour de France.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


Team USA Dominating Junior Pan Pacs In Hawaii

Team USA Dominating Junior Pan Pacs In Hawaii


August 25, 2012

After the first two days of the Junior Pac Pacific Championships at Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in Honolulu, it’s clear that next year’s World Championships in Barcelona in July may feature some of the nation’s top young swimmers.

Clearwater Aquatics’ Becca Mann broke Dagny Knutson’s meet record to win the 400-meter individual medley in 4:39.76, ranked 25th in the world this year. It was also a 13-14 U.S. national age group record. Her splits were 1:03.85, 1:13.46, 1:20.99 and 1:01.46.

Mann was also second in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:28.79. U.S. teammate Leah Smith won in 8:28.01.

Mann, 14, a U.S. Olympic trials finalist, also competed in the 200-meter butterfly. Because only the top two from each country advance to the finals, Mann ended up in the B final and swam 2:11.99, three seconds ahead of the field that would have placed her third overall in the event.

In the boys’ 400-meter individual medley, Chase Kalisz of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club won in a meet record 4:12.59 to crack into the world’s top 15 rankings. At the past U.S. Olympic trials no swimmer was able to crack 4:13. Kalisz’ splits were 58.82, 1:06.04, 1:09.21 and 58.52 on freestyle.

With Michael Phelps officially retired and Ryan Lochte out of the 400 IM, Kalisz is a favorite for worlds and 2016 Rio Olympics. Even Phelps congratulated Kalisz on Twitter, “Congrats to Chase Kalisz tonight!!! Awesome job buddy!!!”

U.S. teammate Matt Ellis won the 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 49.24. Earlier, Aussie Regan Leong won the B finals in 49.53 to first break the record. In the girls’ 100-meter freestyle, Simone Manuel won in a best time 54.80, the first time she cracked 55 seconds.

The U.S. girls’ team won the 800-meter freestyle relay of Simone Manuel, Leah Smith, Cierra Runge and Chelsea Chenault in 7:59.06. Japan upset the field in the boys event in 7:18.59.

Looks like Japan has its next Kosuke Kitajima in Akhiro Yamaguchi, who broke the 100-meter breaststroke meet record in prelims in 1:00.64 and won the event dipping under a minute in 59.85, just off his best time of 59.56. Canadian Kierra Smith won the girls 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.54.

After two days, the U.S. leads the combined team scores with 208.5 points. Australia is second with 146.5 and Japan had 146.

More Meet Results

Brazilian Olympian Cesar Cielo won the 100-meter freestyle to highlight action at the Jose Finkel Trophy Short Course Meters Meet in Sao Paulo. He went out in 21.86 and won in a textile-best 45.91.

Aussie Marieke Guehrer won the women’s 100-meter freestyle in 52.76. Guehrer is competing for Cielo’s pro team Flamengo, which leads the competition.

Brazilian Thiago Pereira broke his own Brazilian and South American records in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:52.30, eighth-fastest time in history. Only Phelps and Lochte have gone faster in textile suits. Femke Heemskerk won the women’s 200 IM in 2:10.31.

Lochte On Armstrong’s Lifetime Band

Olympian Ryan Lochte, fresh off trips to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York and preparing to return to practice on Monday, told a celebrity website that Armstrong’s controversy is “a sad time in sports history.”

The seven-time Tour de France winner chose not to contest USADA’s doping charges against him and has been stripped of all seven titles and banned for life from competing in pro cycling.

“None of us all will know, so ultimately none of us should judge,” Lochte said. “There’s always two sides to the story.”

Lochte said there should be “zero tolerance for anything that artificially enhances performance.” But also added that it shouldn’t have taken seven wins for him to be so “heavily investigated.”

Despite his fall from grace and negative publicity, Armstrong plans to still actively support  Livestrong, a cancer care and education charity that has raised nearly $500 million since Armstrong founded it 15 years ago. On Friday, the foundation received 400 donations that totaled $75,000.

Some of his major sponsors including Nike and Anheuser-Busch, plan to stick with him. Trek Bicycles and Radio Shack are still deciding whether they will support Armstrong or not.

Armstrong, who turns 41 next month, does not seem to be deterred from competing. Although it looks like the Hawaii Ironman will not allow Armstrong to compete, Armstrong competed Saturday in the Power of Four Mountain Bike race in Aspen, Colo. Armstrong finished second in the race behind 16-year-old Keegan Swirbul. On Sunday, he planned to run a trail marathon.

“Nobody needs to cry for me, I’m going to be great,” Armstrong said in his first interview a day after his lifetime ban was announced.

More Aquatic News

Olympic champion Missy Franklin will make her movie debut in a cameo appearance in Vince Vaughn’s upcoming comedy The Internship. “I got a cameo in the upcoming movie,” she said. “It’s with Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn. I am so excited about it.” Franklin will shoot the cameo in the next few months…Franklin also got a chance to meet Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen who Franklin and her U.S. teammates did a video parody of her popular Call Me Maybe song that has since gone viral. The two attended the Arthur Ashe Kids Day, a pre-event for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament in New York…U.S. Olympic teammate Jessica Hardy is working on a swimming technique video in Long Beach, Calif. that will be released soon…

U.S. Masters Swimming has awarded its 2014 and 2015 USMS Spring and Summer Nationals. Santa Clara will host the 2014 Spring Nationals and University of Maryland will host the 2014 Summer Nationals. The 2015 Spring Nationals was awarded to San Antonio and 2015 Summer Nationals to the SPIRE Institute, about 45 minutes east of Cleveland…Former local diver Kassidy Cook has made it official. She will competing at Stanford next year.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 156: U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials Countdown Is On

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 156: U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials Countdown Is On


May 26, 2012

With 29 days left until the opening day of the U.S. Olympic Trials, construction on the portable swimming pools got under way this past week at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

About fifty workers are putting in 18-hour days for the next 10 days to assemble the competition and warm-up pools manufactured by Myrtha Pools.

Myrtha manufactured and installed the seven pools that will be used in London. This is the third U.S. trials for Myrtha.

The stainless-steel pools, priced at $2 million each, were designed in Italy and then shipped to Omaha. The pool, held together by 12,500 nuts and bolts, will be filled with 1.7 million gallons of water by June 4th.

The U.S. Trials field will feature 1,700 qualifiers, up from 1,200 in 2008 including Dara Torres of Coral Springs Swim Club, Jessie Alcaide and Tiffany Oliver of SOFLO and former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kevin Bandy of University of Louisville.

A new addition to the pool will be the use of Track Start starting blocks. The platform will allow swimmers to start with the back leg at a 90-degree angle. Every detail will try and mirror the conditions in London including 81-degree warm-up pool and 80-degree competition pool.

Meet officials will host a dress rehearsal at the June 8-10 Mutual of Omaha Swim Invitational.

The Trials are set for June 25 to July 2. The top two swimmers in each individual event will make the Olympic team.

Speedo Grand Challenge

Forty-year-old wife and mom Janet Evans was fourth in the 400-meter freestyle on the meet’s opening night at Irvine Novaquatics. Evans was third for most of the race and finished in 4:19.29, slower than her morning prelim time.

“It’s weird how it’s only for four,” Evans told reporters. “It would have been nice to have been in there but it was good. I am tired and happy and looking forward to the 800.” The 800 is expected to be her best chance to make the finals at the Trials

In other races, Rebecca Soni topped Jessica Hardy in the 100-meter breaststroke and Hardy came back to win the 50-meter freestyle. Soni was first in 1:06.57 and Hardy finished in 1:06.81. Hardy won the sprint race in 25.11 in one of her final tuneup meets before the Trials.

Eric Shanteau won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.16.

Prize money was also awarded to winners. “I think all meets should have prize money, it’s cool,” said Soni, who won $400 for her win.

European Swimming Championships

At the Debrecen 2012 European Swimming Championships, Jonathan Koplev became the first swimmer from Israel to win a gold medal at the European Championships. He won the 50-meter backstroke in a best time of 24.73 seconds and even got a congratulatory phonecall from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Mazel Tov,” he told the swimmer. “Your achievement is incredible. Keep your head above water and continue breaking records.”

In other notable races:

Serbia’s Milorad Cavic is fully recovered from back surgery and looks ready to give Michael Phelps another go at the Olympics. Cavic knocked off Hungary’s hot swimmer Laszlo Cseh in the 100-meter butterfly in a meet record 51.45. Cseh had already won two gold medals before the butterfly event. Cavic has been training with Club Wolverine, Phelps’ old training site. Cavic had surgery to repair a herniated disk in July 2010, and was unable to qualify for any finals at last year’s world championships in Shanghai. “I’m half-tapered coming in here and that gives me a lot of hope,” Cavic said. “I had my eye on the competition record.”

Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki won the 200-meter backstroke in a meet and national record of 1:55.28.

Italy’s Olympic champion and world record holder Federica Pellegrini won the 200-meter freestyle for her second gold to remain unbeaten in this event since 2008 and after winning the 200-meter individual medley in 1:56.76.

University of Florida’s Sarah Bateman earned a spot on the Iceland Olympic team after swimming the FINA “A” time in a 50-meter freestyle three-swimmer swim-off in 25.24, also a national and school record.

Norway’s two gold medals were dedicated to Alex Dale Oen, the world champion who died suddenly last month during a training camp in Arizona. When Sara Nordenstam won the 200-meter breaststroke she flexed her muscles and pointed to the Norway flag on her cap like Oen did when he won the 100-meter breaststroke at last year’s worlds. After Ingvild Snildal won the 100-meter butterfly she pointed to Oen’s initials on her cap.

Italy’s Filippo Magnini knocked off Olympic champion Alain Bernard in the 100-meter freestyle for his first medal in four years.

Canada Cup

Canadian Scott Dickens broke the meet record in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Mel Zajac Jr. International Canada Cup in Vancouver. Dickens, named to the Olympic team in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, won in 1:01.57, bettering his own meet record in 1:01.88. Also at the meet, three-time Olympic champion Leisel Jones of Australia won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.84.

Open water swimming

A field of 2,326 swimmers will compete in the open water swim in the Adriatic Sea in Italy at the June 3-17 FINA World Masters Championships. Because of the large amount of entries, the 3K open water swim field will be divided into age groups and held over two days (June 16-17) based on safety issues according to FINA.


Swimmer Erika Braun, 40, qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.32. Braun trains with the Marlins of Raleigh at the Pullen Aquatic Center. Braun, director of human resources for Golden Corral and former Georgia Bulldog, joins Torres and Evans as the only other women 40 and older to qualify. Torres is 45…

Speaking of Torres, the Coral Springs swimmer from Parkland made quite a splash on CNN’s Piers Morgan Show this past week. Morgan asked to see Torres’ famous six-pack washboard abs and she obliged lifting her sweatshirt. “Oh my God, they weren’t kidding were they? Morgan said. “You actually have no stomach.”

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong won his first Half Ironman title at the recent Ironman 70.3 Florida in Haines City. On a hot, windy day, Armstrong finished the 1.2-mile swim in 24:52, 56-mile bike in 2:01:13, 10 minutes faster than the field and 1:15:56 in the 13.1-mile run to finish in 3 hours, 45 minutes and 38 seconds. Part-time pro David Kahn was first out of the swim in 23:29. It was Armstrong’s fourth 70.3 event. Armstrong told reporters, “I felt pretty good I must say. Think I finally figured out the nutrition component which has been dogging me.”….

Ted Knapp, an assistant under Skip Kenney for the last 28 years, was named head coach of the men’s swimming and diving team at Stanford. Kenney is retiring after 33 years. Knapp swam for Kenney his junior and senior years…April Woo was hired as an assistant women’s coach at Florida Gulf Coast University after coaching three seasons at Cleveland State. She was nominated as 2011 Assistant Coach of the Year Award…Minnesota men’s and women’s associate head coach Bill Tremel has accepted the head women’s coaching job at Marshall University. Tremel has been with the Golden Gophers for eight seasons. 

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com 


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 98: SOFLO’s Kuczynski, Grigull Win In College Weekend Meets

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 98: SOFLO’s Kuczynski, Grigull Win In College Weekend Meets

October 23, 2011


Caroline Kuczynski of Arizona State and Justin Grigull of Iona College played key roles in their college teams’ wins over the weekend.

Arizona State women’s team defeated University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 197-100, leaving UNLV winless, in the Sun Devils’ season-opener.

Kuczynski, 20, a junior, swam third leg on the winning 200-yard medley relay that won in 1:42.20.

The Canadian Olympic hopeful also won the 100-yard butterfly in 55.46 and was second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:51.42. She was sixth in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:05.73.

The Sun Devils host Big 10 opponent Wisconsin on Saturday, Nov. 5.

At the New England Catholic Invitational hosted by Boston College, sophomore Justin Grigull of Iona College won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:06.10. He also anchored the second place 200-yard medley relay (22.22 split, 1:40.34) and third place 400-yard medley relay (49.74 split, 3:39.86). He was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:52.75 and 15th in the 100-yard freestyle in 51.41.

At the same meet, SOFLO’s Boston College freshman Brittany Williford was 27th in the 100-yard freestyle in 59.93; 24th in the 500-yard freestyle

in 5:38.10 and was a member of the Eagles “C” 400-yard freestyle relay (3:56.35).

Against Rice, University of Miami senior Dana Hatic was a member of the Hurricanes third place 400-yard medley relay that finished in 4:03.71. She was third in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:23.93 and fifth in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:44.71.

Rice won the dual meet, 131-74, in the Hurricanes second meet in as many days. The Hurricanes return to the pool on Friday, Nov. 4 when they host Indian River State College

Against George Washington University, Bucknell freshman Gina Gautieri, 18, was sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:11.30 and sixth in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:33.64. Bucknell won, 169-124.

University of Texas won the team title at the SMU Classic in Dallas finishing with 350 points, 20 points ahead of runner-up Florida. SMU, Virginia, Louisville and Wisconsin were also in the field. Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel won four events: 400 IM (4:10.79), 100 backstroke (54.65), 200 backstroke (1:54.44) and 200 IM (1:58.77).


U.S. swim star Michael Phelps is returning home on Monday after two confidence-building meets on the FINA/Arena World Cup tour stops in Moscow and Berlin.

On Sunday, the final day of the Berlin meet, Phelps qualified for the finals in the 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.

“I’m here to test out myself and so far I am satisfied,” said Phelps, after winning the 200-meter IM (1:51.89) and 200-meter backstroke (1:50.34) to bring his two-day total to four gold medals, all in world-best times this year.

“I’m quite happy with the way things are going,” Phelps said. “I am in good shape and feel a lot stronger than I was a year ago. Now, it’s a case of keeping the training going and putting the work in.”

Phelps, 26, scratched from the 100-meter butterfly final after qualifying with the second fastest time.

Newly crowned world record holder Missy Franklin continue her success with a win in the 100-meter freestyle in 52.09 and 100-meter backstroke in 56.73. Franklin has totaled $20,750 but is not accepting it to preserve her college eligibility.

New Zealand’s Glenn Snyders broke his own national record to win the 100-meter breaststroke in 57.82 and became the first New Zealand breaststroker to break the 58-second barrier.

Great Britain’s Fran Halsall won the 100-meter individual medley in 58.73 and James Goddard broke a British national record in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:52.27 to finish second behind Phelps.

Other individual winners were: Therese Alshammar of Sweden, 50-meter butterfly in 25.18 to push her winnings to $13,000; Kanako Watanabe of Japan, women’s 200-meter breaststroke in 2:20.03; Sergei Fesikov of Russia, 50-meter freestyle in 21.45; American Allison Schmitt, 400-meter freestyle in 3:59.71; Choi Hye Ra, women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:04.48; China’s Cheng Feiyi, men’s 50-meter freestyle in 23.79; Evgeny Korotyshkin of Russia, 100-meter butterfly in 50.04; Japan’s Izumi Kato, women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:31.93; Russia’s Valentina Artemyeva, 50-meter breaststroke in 30.04; Germany’s Paul Biedermann, 200-meter freestyle in 1:42.42 and Sebastien Rouault of France, 1500-meter freestyle in 14:48.31.

The FINA World Cup now moves to Asia in Singapore, Nov. 4-5; Beijing, Nov. 8-9 and Tokyo, Nov. 12-13.


Miami’s Manny Huerta won a silver medal in the Pan American Games Triathlon in his first major international competition on Sunday. Huerta finished seven seconds out of first place in 1:48:09 behind Brazilian Reinaldo Colucci.

“I was able to keep that U.S. streak of winning medals at the Pan Am Games,” Huerta said. “We came here to win but today Colucci was stronger than me. I gave everything I had so when I go to sleep tonight I know that it was 110 percent. My teammates did 200 percent, and I think they even sacrificed their races to get me that podium spot.”

Huerta trailed Colucci by seven seconds in the final 200 meters of the run but could not reel him in.

USA Triathlon National team member Sarah Haskins of Colorado Springs won the women’s race and gold medal in 1:57:37. Clermont’s Sara McLarty was 13th in 2:05:49.

The triathlon course was a 1,500-meter swin, 40K bike and 10K run in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.


Lance Armstrong faded from second to 23rd on the running portion of the

XTERRA World Championships in Kapalua, Hawaii on Sunday.

Armstrong finished in 2:36:59. The seven-time Tour de France winner faded badly on the run where temperatures reached 90 degrees. It was his second triathlon in 22 years.

Aussie Michael Weiss won the men’s race in 2:27.

The course was an ocean mile swim, 18.3-mile mountain bike ride and 6.1-mile trail run.

“I don’t remember the last time I cracked a helmet,” Armstrong said. “In fact, I don’t remember much.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 79: Diana Nyad Still Going Strong On Day Two Of Record Attempt

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 79: Diana Nyad Still Going Strong On Day Two Of Record Attempt

September 24, 2011


Despite painful jellyfish stings and encounter with a shark, Diana Nyad is still going strong after passing the 24-hour mark of her record-breaking attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida.

The 62-year-old former Pine Crest swimmer actually got her second wind after a few anxious moments Friday night when she was stung by a Portuguese Man o’ War on her face, arms and side just two hours into the swim.

There was concern after that when her stroke count dropped to 48 per minute after averaging between 52 and 55 strokes. But as the day progressed Nyad gained a new head of steam and was past the 35-mile mark.

Nyad was taking nutrition every 45 to 90 minutes including chicken soup, bananas, pasta and bits of peanut butter sandwiches.

Her second night of swimming should determine whether she will complete her attempt, according to officials.

Nyad is hoping to complete the 60-hour, 103-mile journey without a shark cage and reach Florida on Monday.

Nyad had her first encounter with a shark Saturday afternoon. Her assistants who were updating her followers on her blog and Twitter account were the first to report her brief meeting with the shark.

“Around 1 p.m., and don’t everybody get excited here, an Oceanic white-tipped shark was spotted near Diana in the midst of the three boat flotilla,” posted her assistants. “Rob MacDonald, one of her divers, swam towards the shark, where they faced off within 10 feet of one another.”

Said MacDonald, “I guess he thought I was more aggressive than him, and he turned in the other direction.”

Without a shark cage, Nyad has equipment surrounding her with an electrical field that deters sharks and barracudas but does not harm them.

Later on in the day as the sun was setting, ten friendly pilot whales appeared in the distance just ahead of Nyad.

Saturday night about 8 p.m., Nyad was stung again by jellyfish, this time in the face and eyes. She was being treated for the stings. It was still to be determined whether Nyad would continue or not. At 9:40 she was being treated by two physicians from the University of Miami and it appeared Nyad wants to continue. Stay tuned.


While her nieces were swimming in Saturday’s Suns High School Invitational at the Nova Southeastern Aquatic Complex, former Florida Gold Coast swimmer Laura Reback Bennett of North Palm Beach and Boulder, Colo. won her third women’s title at the USA Triathlon Elite National Championships in Buffalo, N.Y.

Bennett, a 2008 Olympian, defender her 2010 title and won in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 37 seconds beating 2011 ITU World Championship Series winner Helen Jenkins of England by seven seconds.

“It is pretty special to be a national champion,” Bennett said. “Being a world champion would be even better than that. Maybe now after having a couple nationals, I can get up there with the world and stay on top.”

Three-time Olympian Hunter Kemper of Colorado Springs won a record seventh career national title in 1:48:24.

The course was a 1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run…

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong finished fifth in his first triathlon in 22 years Saturday at the XTERRA USA Championship, an off-road triathlon at the Ogden & Snowbasin Resort in Utah. The course was a 1.5K swim, 28K bike and 10K run. Armstrong got his competitive triathlon start as a 15-year-old in Bermuda and continued in South Florida as a 16-year-old at Boca Pointe and 18-year-old at the 1989 Publix Family Fitness Weekend Coca Cola National Championships at The Waterways in Aventura, where Armstrong won the men’s title by 20 seconds over the favorite Mike Pigg in 52:39.


Floridian Ryan Lochte was named Professional Athlete of the Year at Central Florida’s SPORTYS Award ceremony beating out Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic and LPGA golfer Yani Tseng. A sellout crowd of more than 400 people packed the Full Sail Live venue in Winter Park Saturday night to see the inaugural Central Florida Sports Commission event that awarded SPORTYS in nine separate categories. “You guys get ready for London and the 2012 Olympics, because here I come,” Lochte said during his acceptance speech.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com