COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Nova Southeastern Sweeps Conference Titles; SOFLO’s Cutter Makes Debut

COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Nova Southeastern Sweeps Conference Titles; SOFLO’s Cutter Makes Debut


February 20, 2012

Nova Southeastern University swimming and diving teams, in only its second year of existence, swept the men’s and women’s team titles at the Sunshine State Conference Championships this past weekend at The Long Center in Clearwater.

The men’s team defended its team title with 908 points, an 81-point margin over more-established Florida Southern.

The women’s team won its first team title with 932 points, edging University of Tampa by 11 points.

Both teams went undefeated during the regular season.

“It’s very exciting to see all the hard work and dedication that both our men’s and women’s teams have put in over the last few months has paid off in a pair of conference championships,” said NSU head coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron, a former assistant coach at University of Florida.

“I challenged them at the very beginning of the season to be great every opportunity presented and they proved that. Having gone undefeated in the regular season, the theme heading into this weekend was the won battles won’t mean as much unless you win the war.”

NSU teammates Armin Hornikel and Oskar Nordstrand shared men’s high point honors with 57 points. Hornikel, a senior, was named Male Swimmer of the Meet. Hornikel set the SSC record in the 200-yard individual medley (1:48.52), second fastest time in the country, and 200-yard breaststroke (1:58.08), fourth fastest time.

On the final day of the three-day meet, Cutter, a freshman making her conference meet debut, made the “B” final in the 100-yard freestyle finishing tenth in 53.75. Her splits were 25.66 and 28.09. She was also a member of the 400-yard freestyle “B” relay that won the consolation final and finished ninth overall in 3:30.27.  She swam 52.55 on her third leg including a 24.90 opening split.

SOFLO’s Les Moore, a sophomore at Tampa, was eighth in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:56.28. His splits were 25.67, 28.86, 30.09 and 31.66.

The men and women combined for 13 NCAA “A” qualifying times for the March 14 NCAA Division II National Championships. 

Atlantic Coast Conference Championships

Florida State, ranked No. 25 in the nation, finished third among team standings on Saturday night in Christiansburg, Va.

Virginia, winning 10 of 22 events, defended its title with 848 points followed by North Carolina with 615. The Seminoles finished with 460 points. University of Miami finished sixth with 313 points.

SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, a sophomore, was fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.37. Her splits were 23.95 and 25.42. She was also a member of the fifth place 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:20.97, a “B” cut. Her 50 split was 23.62 and 100 split was 49.72.

SOFLO teammate Melissa Cooper, a sophomore competing her first season for FSU, earned All-ACC honors. She was one of seven Seminoles honored for finishing in the top three of their events. Cooper was second in the 100-yard breaststroke in a career-best swim and 31st in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:30.74.

Sophomore diver Katrina Young won the Seminoles first-ever ACC title on women’s 10-meter platform with a school record 323.05 points.

SOFLO’s Dana Hatic, a senior competing in her final conference meet, was fourth in the “B” final and 12th overall in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:16.19, a “B” cut time. She swam 2:15.69 in prelims.

The men’s conference meet begins Wednesday with SOFLO’s Alex Rodriguez and Doug Ramos.

Southeastern Conference Championships

University of Florida finished second among the men’s teams and third among the women’s team Saturday night at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

Auburn won its 16th men’s title in a row with 730.5 points. Florida finished with 700.

Georgia defended its women’s title for the third straight year with 781 points. Tennessee was second with 629.5.

The Gators won five men and three women’s individual events and earned eight automatic qualifying times to the NCAA Division I Championships March 15-17.

Sophomores Elizabeth Beisel and Brad deBorde combined to break three school records. Beisel and Marcin Cieslak were named SEC Female and Male Freshman Swimmers of the Year and the meet’s high point winners. Tennessee women’s coach Matt Kredich was named SEC Coach of the Year. Auburn men’s coach Brett Hawke was named men’s Coach of the Year.

“I was really proud with the effort that we got from everyone,” Florida head coach Gregg Troy said. “It was a team effort, everyone battled and raced real well. They gave their all until they touched the wall.”

ESPNU will televise highlights of the men’s meet on Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. and women’s meet Feb. 28 at 5 p.m.

Big Ten Conference Championships

Minnesota won the women’s team title with 456 points at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Brittney Phelan, a sophomore at Indiana, qualified 23rd in the 100-yard

breaststroke in 1:03.77 just off her seed time of 1:03.30 and finished fifth in the “C” final and 21st overall in 1:03.63. Indiana was second with 441 points.

Big East Championships

Louisville won the women’s team title with 758.5 points and Notre Dame won the men’s team title with 887 points at Trees Pool in Pittsburgh. Also in the men’s field featuring SOFLO swimmers, Louisville was second with 859.5, West Virginia was fourth with 509.5 and Seton Hall was eighth with 139.

Seton Hall’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy was 13th in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:01.83, faster than his prelim time of 2:02.14. His seed time was 2:05.94.

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kyle Bandy of West Virginia was fifth in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:51.57. His prelim time was 1:50.54 bettering his seed time of 1:52.08. Twin brother Kevin Bandy of Louisville finished the 200-yard butterfly in 1:48.15, off his seed time of 1:48.09.

MAAC Championships

SOFLO’s Justin Grigull was a member of Iona College’s second place 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:05.64 on the final day of the championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Grigull was also third in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.96. The men’s team finished fifth among teams with 305 points. The Gaels will now compete in the ECAC Championships at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Patriot League Championships

Host Navy set a league record by combining to win 33 of the 44 events on their way to sweeping the men’s and women’s team titles in Annapolis, Md.  The women’s team won its second title in three years with a record 933.5 points. Defending champion Colgate was second with 241 points. The men’s team won all 18 swimming events and totaled a record 1,029.5 points for its ninth title. Bucknell, with SOFLO swimmer Gina Gautieri, a freshman, was third with 593 points.

Coastal Collegiate Swimming Championships

Florida Gulf Coast University won its fourth consecutive women’s team title with 840 points at the University of Georgia.  Liberty was second with 538.50. College of Charleston won the men’s title with 890.50 points edging Davidson College with 884.50. FGCU’s Maegan Butler was named Most Outstanding Diver of the Meet, after sweeping the 1- and 3-meter springboard titles. FGCU freshman Emma Svensson was named Most Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet after earning three “B” cuts and winning the 50-yard freestyle. The team is coached by former Florida Atlantic coach Neal Studd.

More conference notes

Emory men’s team won its 14th consecutive UAA Championships…Gustavus Adolphus College women’s team won its third straight MIAC Championships with 687 points. They have won the title seven of the last 11 years. St. Thomas edged St. Olaf for the men’s title, 765-762…Ohio Northern won the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships at Ocasek Natatorium. Mount Union head coach Eric Mojock and his staff won Women’s Staff of the Year. Mount Union placed second with 776 points, 83 points behind Ohio Northern.

Lynn University Adds Women’s Swimming

Boca Raton-based Lynn University has added a women’s swimming program to its NCAA Division II athletic program. The program will begin competition during the 2012-13 season. The team will be a member of the Sunshine State Conference which also boasts conference champion Nova Southeastern. For those interested in participating go to the school’s website and fill out the student-athlete questionnaire.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats

SOFLO College Swimmers Compete Around The Country At Conference Meets

SOFLO College Swimmers Compete Around The Country At Conference Meets


February 14, 2012

For several South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers, the championship season begins on Wednesday with several college conference meets around the country.

Florida State and University of Miami, both with SOFLO swimmers on their rosters, will compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, Va.

The women’s swim meet begins on Wednesday. The men’s and women’s diving events start on Thursday and men’s swimming events are set for Feb. 22-25.

The four-day meet will be streamed live on at 6 p.m.

The No. 25-ranked Seminoles finished the dual meet season with an 11-1 record, their only loss to Florida. FSU was undefeated (5-0) in the conference.

The women’s team, with SOFLO swimmers Tiffany Oliver, Melissa Cooper and Ashley Hicks hope to improve upon last year’s third place finish behind North Carolina and Virginia.

Virginia is defending men’s and women’s champion.

Oliver is seeded third in the 100-yard freestyle (49.08), sixth in the 50-yard freestyle (22.97) and will also swim the 200-yard freestyle (1:50.65) and relays. Cooper and Hicks are also entered in the 50-yard freestyle. Hicks is in the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard backstroke and Cooper is in the 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard freestyle.

SOFLO’s Dana Hatic will compete in her final conference meet for the University of Miami. Hatic is entered in the 200-yard individual medley, 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke and relays.

MAAC Championships

SOFLO’s Justin Grigull, a sophomore at Iona College, is the top seed in the 200-yard freestyle (1:40.20) for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Swimming and Diving Championships that begin Thursday at Erie Community College in Buffalo, N.Y. He is also seeded second in the 500-yard freestyle (4:35.67) and third in the 100-yard freestyle (46.76).

Big East Championships

SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy is one of fifteen Seton Hall swimmers competing at the Big East Championships hosted by University of Pittsburgh at the Trees Pool Wednesday through Saturday. O’Shaughnessy, a junior, has six Big East “A” qualifying cuts. O’Shaughnessy enters the meet ranked in the Top 20 in the Big East in three events. He is 17th in the 200-yard individual medley with a season-best 1:52.53, ranks 18th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.73 and 19th in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:05.94. Last year Seton Hall finished a school-record sixth overall at the conference championships. Also competing will be former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kevin Bandy of Louisville and twin brother Kyle Bandy of West Virginia.

Big Ten Championships

No. 12 Indiana looks to defend its women’s title when the Big Ten Championships begin Wednesday at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City. Indiana has won three titles in a row and four of the last five. SOFLO’s Brittney Phelan, a sophomore, will compete in the breaststroke events. The men’s team will compete the following week, Feb. 22-25, with SOFLO’s Nick Schwab.

PAC-12 Championships

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski and No. 24-ranked Arizona State women’s swim team and men’s and women’s divers will compete in the PAC-12 Championships Feb. 22-25 at the King Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash. Stanford is the defending women’s champion. The ASU men’s team will compete in the conference championships Feb. 29-March 3 at the East Los Angeles College Swim Center. Stanford is the defending men’s champion.

Patriot League Championships

SOFLO’s Gina Gautieri, a freshman at Bucknell, is coming off her first collegiate win in the 200-yard breaststroke at the Navy Invitational. She won in 2:33.63, .27 ahead of Navy freshman Samantha Brennan. She was also Bucknell’s top finisher in the 100-yard breaststroke in a season-best 1:08.91, placing her fifth on the 2011-12 Bison fastest times list. Gautieri is seeded 16th in the 100-yard breaststroke and 17th in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:29.98). The three-day conference championships begin Thursday at Navy’s Lejeune Hall. Colgate is defending women’s champion. Navy is seeking its ninth consecutive title.

Sunshine State Conference Championships

Nova Southeastern freshman Linea Cutter of SOFLO will make her conference debut Wednesday through Saturday at the Long Center in Clearwater. NSU will try and defend its men’s title against Florida Southern, Florida Tech, Rollins, St. Leo College and Tampa. NSU finished undefeated (4-0) in the conference. Tampa is defending women’s champion. Cutter is seeded ninth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.00, 12th in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.89 and 17th in the 100-yard butterfly in 1:02.24. Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer and SOFLO’s Les Moore will compete for Tampa. Moore, a sophomore, is seeded third in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:05.99 and fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.79. SOFLO swimmer Bianca Muniz of St. Leo College and Pembroke Pines will also compete. She will compete in the 50-yard freestyle (25.87), 100-yard breaststroke (1:13.64), 100-yard freestyle (56.44) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:40.16).

Southeastern Conference Championships

University of Florida are among favorites for the SEC Championships that begin Wednesday at the University of Tennessee Allan Jones Aquatic Center. The Gator women are ranked second in the nation, the highest of any SEC team. The men are ranked seventh. The Gators are led by conference champions Elizabeth Beisel and Marcin Cieslak. The men’s team is the youngest in the SEC with 17 freshmen and six sophomores including Metro Aquatics’ Carlos Omana. Both squads finished second last year. Cieslak, Sarah Bateman and Matt Elliott are the Gators only undefeated swimmers this season.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 123: SOFLO’s Tashkandis Sixth At Pan Arab Games; Cutter Makes Final At Shark Invite

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 123: SOFLO’s Tashkandis Sixth At Pan Arab Games; Cutter Makes Final At Shark Invite

December 20, 2011


South Florida Aquatic Club’s Loai and Hazem Tashkandi finished sixth in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay at the Pan Arab Games Tuesday at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha.

Tunisia, with Oussama Mellouli swimming anchor, won the gold medal in 3:23.87. Algeria took the silver in 3:24.09.

Kuwait won the bronze with Abdullah Althuwaini, Yousef Alaskari, Mohammad Madouh and Salman Qali swimming anchor. It was Alaskari’s fourth medal of the Games.

Saudi Arabia finished fourth in its heat in 3:48.97 with SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi, Nather Alhamoud, Youssef Alyoussef and SOFLO’s Hazem Tashkandi. Saudi Arabia finished sixth in 3:37.09.

In the 50-meter butterfly, Mellouli won the 50-meter butterfly in 25.04. 

Mellouli won another gold in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:54.16. Yousef Alaskari of Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage was second in his heat and finished sixth overall in 4:06.02. Hazem Tashkandi was fifth in his heat in 4:15.13, ninth fastest overall.

Mellouli, who has won six gold medals overall, won gold in the 100-meter backstroke in 55.92.

Shark Invitational

Nova Southeastern freshman Linea Cutter qualified for the 100-yard freestyle championship finals by dipping under 55 seconds on the fourth and final day of the Shark Invitational at NSU Aquatic Center.

Cutter, 18, qualified in 54.29 in the prelims and finished ninth in 54.32. Her finals splits were 26.24 and 28.08.

Les Moore, 19, of University of Tampa won the “B” final and was 11th in the 200-yard breaststroke in a best time 2:11.01.

Tampa swept the team titles. The women on in 1,514 point and men with 1,369.5. Nova Southeastern was runner-up in both categories with 1,289.5 for the No. 14-ranked women and 1,205 for the No.9-ranked men.

NSU’s Erin Black of Fort Myers and Jonas Grundstrom of Sweden won the Michael D. Fish Outstanding Performer awards. Black finished with 103 points and Grundstrom with 101.

After holiday break, the Sharks return to the pool on Jan. 2 when they host Grand Valley State at NSU at 3 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 120: SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi Sixth On Opening Day Of Pan Arab Games

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 120: SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi Sixth On Opening Day Of Pan Arab Games

December 17, 2011


South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia opened the Pan Arab Games in Doha on Saturday with a sixth place finish in the 400-meter individual medley.

Tashkandi, 20, finished in 4:42.22 at the Hamad Aquatic Center.

Tashkandi is also entered in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke and 200-meter individual medley.

Hazem Tashkandi, also of Saudi Arabia, and Abbas Qali, Salman Qali and Zain Qali, all of Kuwait, are also competing in the week-long meet.

Hazem Tashkandi is entered in the 200-, 400-, and 1500-meter freestyles.

Salman Qali will swim the 50- and 100-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle. Abbas Qali is entered in the 50-meter freestyle and Zain Qali is entered in the 50-meter butterfly.

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Yousef Alaskari of the Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage School, won Kuwait’s first medal of the swimming competition.

Alaskari, the 2011 High School Swimmer of the Year in Broward County, was second in the 200-yard butterfly in a lifetime-best time of 2:00.75, an Olympic “B” qualifying time and ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for 17-year-old age group swimmers.

Alaskari led Tunisia’s veteran Olympian Oussama Mellouli for most of the race before Mellouli came back for the gold. Alaskari is also entered in the 100 butterfly, 200 and 400 freestyle, 200 IM and three relays. Alaskari moved to South Florida four years ago to train.

The FINA event is a qualifying event for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

SOFLO’s Les Moore, Linea Cutter Compete At Nova Southeastern’s Shark Invite

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Linea Cutter and Les Moore returned home to compete in the Nova Southeastern Shark Invite in Davie.

On opening day (Friday) SOFLO/ Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Moore finished fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.69, an NCAA Division II “B” cut time.

Nova Southeastern University freshman and SOFLO’s Cutter was 18th in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.05. Cutter anchored NSU’s fifth place 200-yard medley relay team that finished in 1:51.58.

On Saturday, Cutter, 18, led off NSU’s sixth place 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:40.38; was 14th in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.85 and anchored the fifth place 400-yard medley relay that finished in 3:59.27.

Moore, 19, was fourth in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:08.51, a Division II “B” cut time.

The four-day meet continues through Monday.


Team totals: 1. Tampa 342, 2. Nova Southeastern 278, 3. Florida Southern 238, 4. Rollins 98, 5. Catawba 73, 6. Lenoir Rhyne 64.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Black, NSU 10:07.42, D2B cut time; 200-yard individual medley: 1. Alexandra Hipolito, Tampa 2:05.65, D2B; 50-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Plachy, Tampa 23.84; SOFLO: 18. Linea Cutter, NSU 25.05; 200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 1:47.27; 5. NSU 1:51.58 (Devan Martin, Ashley Bransford, Lauren Chapple, Linea Cutter); 200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Tampa 1:36.36; 6. NSU 1:40.38 (Cutter, Sunyak, Aranda, Chapple); 400-yard individual medley: 1. Lisa Bero, Tampa 4:29.64, D2B; 100-yard butterfly: 1. Chelsea Kyle, Lenoir Rhyne 56.83, D2B; 24. Linea Cutter, NSU 1:02.24; 200-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Black, NSU 1:51.21, D2B; 14. Linea Cutter, NSU 1:57.85; 400-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 3:51.38, D2B; 5. NSU 3:59.27; 400-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 3:19.39, D2B.    


Team totals: 1. Tampa 292.5, 2. Nova Southeastern 262, 3. Florida Southern 241.5, 4. Catawba 136. 5. Rollins 92, 6. Lenoir Rhyne 69.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Norbert Kovacs, Tampa 9:13.38, D2A; 200-yard individual medley: 1. Jeb Halfacre, Florida Southern 1:50.18, D2A; SOFLO: 5. Les Moore, Tampa 1:55.69; 50-yard freestyle: 1. David Humphrey, Tampa 20.82, D2B; 200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Southern 1:31.72, D2B; 200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Tampa 1:22.56, D2B; 400-yard individual medley: 1. Zane Hranac, Tampa 4:04.13, D2B; 4. Les Moore, Tampa 4:08.51, D2B; 100-yard butterfly: 1. Norbert Kovacs, Tampa 49.00, D2B; 200-yard freestyle: 1. Stephen Swan, Florida Southern 1:38.61, D2A; 

Campo Accepted To Iona

Alexandra Campo was accepted to Iona College in New York. Campo is a senior at Coral Springs Charter, where she was a member of the swim team. She is also a member of the SOFLO/Coral Springs Swim Club and teaches lessons with the Swim America program at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. “Couldn’t be happier right now…New York here I come,” Campo tweeted. SOFLO’s Justin Grigull also attends Iona and is a member of the men’s swim team.

Former CSSC Swimmer McLean Wins Gold

Two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean, who trained with the late Michael Lohberg, a six-time Olympic coach, has her sights set on the 2012 Games. Competing for the Torpedoes Swim Club at the ASATT Invitational in Trinidad and Tobago, where she also coaches, McLean won a gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle in 59.13. Marlins’ Olympic hopeful Dylan Carter, who trained with good friend and Trinidad and Tobago teammate Keegan Boisson-Yates at Coral Springs in July leading up to the Commonwealth Youth Games, won the 100-meter freestyle in 52.64 and 50-meter butterfly in 25.72. The Marlins lead the team standings with 301.50 points followed by the newly-formed Titans Swim Club with 276.50. The meet ends on Sunday for more than 400 swimmers from 25 swim clubs and eighth countries.

Ian Thorpe Top 10 Finish

Aussie great Ian Thorpe turned in his first encouraging swim after coming out of retirement on Saturday at the Italian Winter Championships in Riccione, Italy. Thorpedo was tenth in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:51.51. He was third in his heat in his first long course meet since his comeback. The Australian trials are in March. Also in the meet, Milorad Cavic won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.10. Italian Federica Pellegrini won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:08.50.

Thiago Pereira Breaks Meet Record

Thiago Pereira broke a meet record in the prelims of the 400-meter individual medley in 4:18.10 before scratching from the finals in third day action at the Brazilian Open Long Course Championships in Rio de Janeiro.

In other races, Joanna Maranhao won the 400 IM in 4:43.56; Nicolas Oliveira won the 200 freestyle in 1:49.01; Glauber Silva won the 50-meter butterfly in 23.69; Daniel Paoli Jesus won the women’s 50-meter butterfly in 27.20; and Ana Carvalho won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.66. All the winners swam faster in the prelim rounds. Sprinter Cesar Cielo clocked a 21.58 leadoff leg on the 200-meter freestyle relay.


Josh Schneider of SwimMAC won the 50-yard freestyle shootout at the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma City on Saturday. Schneider, 23, won in 19.28 ahead of 2000 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin, 30, in 19.42. It was Ervin’s national level meet since he retired in 2004. Jason Dunford was fourth in 19.94. SwimMAC teammate Andrea Georoff, 28, won the women’s 50 shootout in 22.46. Olympian Ed Moses, another comeback swimmer, was second in the 200-yard breaststroke in 1:54.99…

Ryan Lochte has signed a sponsor deal with fashion designer and mogul Ralph Lauren, who is also outfitting the entire U.S. Olympic team for the 2012 London Games. Lauren will design the official uniforms for the U.S. team to wear in the opening and closing ceremonies and also apparel and accessories to wear in the Olympic Village. “It’s a real clean-cut look and I like that,” Lochte said. “It’s definitely a different look for me but I think I can pull it off. I also like dressing up and looking nice. It makes me feel more mature. Hopefully, down the road I can still wear this kind of clothing with a little bit more of my personality.” Even better, Lochte and Lauren share the same initials. Lochte already has his own shoe line and hopes to have his own clothing line in the future…

21-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard is ranked 15th among the thirty most googled female athletes of 2011. Beard is the only swimmer on the list. The majority of the athletes are pro tennis players including Serena Williams of Palm Beach Gardens, the most googled woman athlete…Olympian Brooke Bennett, who lives and trains in Tampa and formerly trained at the Davie Pine Island Pool with then coach Peter Banks, underwent an MRI on her left knee on Saturday. Bennett, a TV sports reporter, has been training regularly and competed in the Rowdy Gaines Masters meet spurring rumors she may return for the U.S. Olympic trials.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 109: Phelps Is Back On Track, Wins Five Golds At Minneapolis Grand Prix

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 109: Phelps Is Back On Track, Wins Five Golds At Minneapolis Grand Prix

November 13, 2011


Michael Phelps walked away from the Minneapolis Grand Prix encouraged by his results in the University Aquatic Center pool and more importantly his training.

Phelps, 26, dominated from the beginning. He won the 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley during the three-day meet, the first major step for swimmers preparing for this summer’s U.S. Olympic trials in Nebraska.

On Sunday, Phelps won his fifth event, the 200-meter individual medley in 1:57.58, fourth fastest time this year. He had the fastest qualifying time in the 200-meter backstroke but decided to scratch from finals.

In the 200-meter individual medley race, Phelps took control early, fast out in the butterfly leg (25.54), stayed in the lead on the backstroke leg (54.80), by then had a full body length lead which he extended on the breaststroke (1:29.07) and pulled away on the freestyle.

South African Darian Townsend, 27, of Ford Tucson was a distant second behind Phelps in 2:01.55.

“I know if I can set myself up to do what I want to do at the end of the summer, that’s all that matters,” Phelps said.

“I definitely have some very, very high goals for myself at the end of the summer and I know it’s not going to be easy to get there. But it can be done. Obviously, I’m aware of what other people are doing, but that’s not something I’m focused on.”

Phelps, who won eight gold medals and broke seven world records at the 2008 Olympics,  is training with his veteran coach Bob Bowman harder these past few weeks than he has since his 2008 U.S. trials and  Olympics lead-up.

“I think the biggest thing is I just started actually training,” Phelps said. “It really is true, the more you do practice, the better you get. That’s what’s happening right now. I’m showing up to work out and things are actually falling into place.”

Phelps was the high point winner of the meet with 106 points. Teenager Missy Franklin of Colorado Stars was the women’s high point winner with 106.

SOFLO’s Jessie Alcaide, competing in her third and final event of the three-day meet, was 91st out of a field of 138 in the 100-meter freestyle in 1:00.82.

In other Sunday night championship finals:

Women’s 800-meter freestyle: Frenchwoman Camille Muffatt, 22, led from wire-to-wire to win in 8:31.23. She held off a late charge in the final 50 meters from Chloe Sutton, 19, of Mission Viejo, who finished second in 8:31.85. Thirteen-year-old Becca Mann of Clearwater was eighth in 8:43.65.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Katie Hoff, 22, of Fast Swim Team surged out in front during the breaststroke leg with a 38.4 split and held off early leader Elizabeth Pelton, 17, of T2 Aquatics on the final leg of freestyle, to win in 2:12.02. Pelton was second in 2:12.23 and Missy Franklin was third in 2:13.12.

Women’s 200-meter backstroke: Thirty-two minutes after the 200 IM, top seed Missy Franklin 30.72 ahead of the field, body length lead, pulls away with the lead, 1:35.33 heading into final 50 meters, wins by more than four seconds in 2:08.03. Lauren Lavigna, 22, of Vanderbilt was second in 2:12.85 and Stephanie Proud, 23, of Gator Swim Club, was third in 2:12.87.

Men’s 200-meter backstroke: 28.05 lead split by Tyler Clary, 21, of Fast Swim Team in Lane 5, 1:27.66, a body length lead, wins in 1:58.39; german Christian Diener, 18, was second in 2:00.76 and Nimrod Bar-Or of Israel was third in 2:00.78.

Women’s 100-meter freestyle: Missy Franklin of the Colorado Springs poured it on to come from behind to win in 54.27. Allison Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore was second in 54.69 and early leader Amanda Weir, 24, of Swim Atlanta was third in 54.80.

Men’s 100-meter freestyle: Cayman Islands’ Brett Fraser, 22, of Gator Swim Club led from start-to-finish (23.2 opening split) to win in 48.88. Frenchman Clement Lefert, 24, was second in 49.44. Brother Shaune Fraser was eighth in 50.55.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, 27, of Trojan Swim Club moved into a comfortable lead after 900 meters and led the rest of the way to win in 15:15.50. Michael Klueh, 24, of Fast Swim Team was second in 15:17.44.

It was the first of seven stops on the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series. The next stop is Jan. 13-15 in Austin, Tex. at the University of Texas. The overall winner of the series will be awarded $20,000.

FINA World Cup

South African teenager Chad Le Clos and veteran swimmer Therese Alshammar of Sweden won the overall titles of the FINA/ARENA Swimming World Cup 2011.

Each swimmer earned $100,000 in prize money.

Le Clos, a rising star, won 35 medals including 23 golds, during the series and totaled 176 points.

Alshammar defended her title and won her fourth World Cup title. She won 18 medals including 14 golds and totaled 145 points. Teenager Missy Franklin was second with 70 points but turned down the $50,000 to protect her college eligibility.

College Swimming

Florida International University swept Nova Southeastern, 203-83, and Indian River State College, 166-134, on Saturday in Davie. SOFLO’s Linea Cutter, 18, a freshman competing for Nova Southeastern, competed in the 200-yard medley relay that finished third in 1:51.55 and 800-yard freestyle relay that was third in 7:54.84. She was also fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.40 and sixth in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.18. NSU’s will host Tampa on Dec. 3 at 11 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at