Stacked Field Entered In This Weekend’s Arena Grand Prix

Stacked Field Entered In This Weekend’s Arena Grand Prix

By Sharon Robb

January 15, 2014

There will be plenty of world-class swimmers competing this weekend when the Arena Grand Prix Series resumes at the University of Texas Lee and Joe Jamail Aquatic Center in Austin.

The three-day meet that begins on Friday will be the first long course meet of the series.

A field of 423 athletes are entered including forty USA Swimming National Team swimmers and thirty Olympic gold medalists.

Heading the field are Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky, Nathan Adrian, Tyler Clary, Natalie Coughlin, Anthony Ervin, Matt Grevers and Allison Schmidt.

Canadian Olympian Martha McCabe was forced to withdraw from the meet with a stress fracture in her clavicle.

Even though he is on the psych sheet for Austin, Ryan Lochte, training full-time with SwimMAC after being sidelined after a freak MCL knee injury, will not be ready until the Feb. 13-15 Orlando stop, SwimMAC coach Dave Marsh said.

Universal Sports Network will have live coverage on Friday and Saturday. There will also be a live webcast streamed on

A total of $150,000 in prize money is available in the six-meet series. First place earns $500, second is $300 and third is $100.

Connor Dwyer and Megan Romano are currently leading the Arena Grand Prix Series standings after the first of six meets.


Florida Gold Coast swimmer Brandon Goldman, a St. Thomas Aquinas alum, won three events to lead LSU men’s team to a 185-112 victory over SMU. Goldman, a freshman, won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:49.95, 200-yard backstroke in 1:48.34 and 200-yard individual medley in 1:51.10…LSU also defeated Oklahoma Baptist, 51-26. Oklahoma Baptist is coached by Sam Freas, former executive director of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Florida Gold Coast coach…

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Carlos Omana of the University of Florida, was named the first Southeastern Conference Male Swimmer of the Week for 2014. Omana won the 1,000-yard freestyle in 9:08.26 and 400-yard individual medley in 3:54.69 in the Gators’ 180-118 win over Florida…Florida Southern’s Luis Rojas and Lauren Reynolds won the Sunshine State Conference Swimmer of the Week honors…

North Baltimore Aquatic Club coach Bob Bowman, who coached Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt among others to Olympic gold, is writing a book that is expected to come out in late 2015 or early 2016. While some of his swimming experiences will be included, the book will dwell more on goal-setting, business and personal development.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Lochte Leads Team USA; SOFLO’s Atkinson Competes Saturday At World Championships

Lochte Leads Team USA; SOFLO’s Atkinson Competes Saturday At World Championships


August 2, 2013

Ryan Lochte survived one of the most grueling days of his swimming career and came through with flying colors Friday at the 15th FINA World Long Course Swimming Championships at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

Lochte swam three races in less than two hours and walked away with two gold medals and the top seed in an event he is swimming for the first time at a major international meet.

Lochte won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:53.79, the first of three events. It was Lochte’s fourteenth world long course title.

“My whole entire body is hurting,” Lochte said. “There’s no other way to put it. I’m sore.”

Lochte, who turns 29 on Saturday, now has 22 medals at world championship meets (14 gold, 4 silver, 4 bronze) in Montreal (2005), Melbourne (2007), Rome (2009), Shanghai (2011) and now Barcelona.

Lochte also competed in the 100-meter butterfly semifinals earning the No. 1 seed with a lifetime-best 51.48 and swam second leg on the men’s winning 800-meter freestyle relay along with Conor Dwyer, Charlie Houchin of Bolles and Ricky Berens.

“When you get together for a relay, you don’t care about the pain,” Lochte said.

“The 200 back is probably one of the hardest events on your legs and your body in general,” Lochte said. “With the little training I have done this year, it’s going to set me up pretty good for 2016.”

“That was an incredible night of swimming,” said U.S. men’s coach Bob Bowman, coach of Michael Phelps, the all-time greatest swimmer now retired.

Missy Franklin was shut out of medals finishing fourth in the 100-meter freestyle. “I’m a little bummed,” she said. It broke a four-race win streak in Barcelona.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson competes in her third and final event on Saturday, the 50-meter breaststroke, which she is seeded eighth in.

The U.S. finished Day Six with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

The U.S. team now has nine gold, six silver and five bronze medals. The U.S. leads all teams in both gold and total medal count.

Day Seven’s events are women’s 50-meter butterfly final, men’s 50-meter freestyle final, women’s 200-meter backstroke final, women’s 50-meter breaststroke, men’s 100-meter butterfly, women’s 50-meter freestyle, men’s 50-meter backstroke, women’s 800-meter freestyle final.

Today’s TV Schedule: Saturday, August 3, 1-3 p.m. NBC.



200-meter backstroke: 1. Ryan Lochte, USA 1:53.79, 2. Radoslaw Kawecki, Poland 1:54.24, European record, 3. Tyler Clary, USA 1:54.64.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Daniel Gyurta, Hungary 2:07.23, 2. Marco Koch, Germany 2:08.54, 3. Matti Mattsson, Finland 2:08.95.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. USA 7:01.72 (Conor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte, Charlie Houchin, Ricky Berens), 2. Russia 7:03.92, 3. China 7:04.74.


100-meter freestyle: 1. Cate Campbell, Australia 52.34, 2. Sarah Sjostrom, Sweden 52.89, 3. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Netherlands 53.42, 4. Missy Franklin, USA 53.47.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Yuliya Efimova, Russia 2:19.41, 2. Rikke Moller Pedersen, Denmark 2:20.08, 3. Micah Lawrence, USA 2:22.37.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Another Sixteen-Year-Old Breaks World Record On Day Three Of World Championships

Another Sixteen-Year-Old Breaks World Record On Day Three Of World Championships


July 30, 2013

For the second day in a row, a 16-year-old teenager broke a world record and won gold Tuesday at the 15th FINA World Long Course Swimming Championships at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona.

Katie Ledecky, 16, the world’s new distance queen, upstaged Missy Franklin by winning the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:36.53 to break the oldest standing world record.

Ledecky and Denmark’s Lotte Friis separated themselves from the rest of the field and battled it out until the final 50 meters when Ledecky reached for another gear for a 29.47 split.

Ledecky has now won the Olympic gold at the 2012 London Olympics and 400 title at worlds.

Friis was second in 15:38.88, a European record. Both broke the previous world mark of Kate Ziegler’s world record of 15:42.54 that had held up even through the techsuit era.

“The main goal was just to come out on top,” Ledecky said. “I knew we were going pretty fast and I figured whoever was going to come out on top was going to get the world record.

“I had to be careful not to push it too early, not to push it too late, and just touch the wall first. Around the last 200, I knew I could take off.”

“I’m still 16 so I hope I have plenty years left of swimming,” Ledecky said with a smile. “The world record means the world to me. Kate Ziegler, who had the world record, is from my area back home. I’ve looked up to her my whole life and I am really honored to break that world record and to keep it in Potomac Valley.”

Also winning gold for the U.S. on Tuesday was Missy Franklin, who led from start to finish, in the women’s 100-meter backstroke in 58.41 and Matt Grevers in the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 52.91.

In the men’s 200-meter freestyle, France’s Yannick Agnel won gold in 1:44.20 and his training partner at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, Connor Dwyer, came from seventh place to finish second in 1:45.32.

Both Agnel and Dwyer are coached by Bob Bowman. Russian Danila Izotov edged defending champion Ryan Lochte of Daytona Beach for the bronze in 1:45.59 to 1:45.64.

The U.S. finished Day Three with three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze. The U.S. team now has six gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

Day Four events are men’s 100-meter freestyle, women’s 50-meter backstroke, men’s 200-meter butterfly final, women’s 200-meter freestyle final, men’s 50-meter breaststroke final, women’s 200-meter butterfly, men’s 800-meter freestyle final.

Today’s TV Schedule: Wednesday, July 31, 12-2 p.m. live, Universal Sports.



200-meter freestyle: 1. Yannick Agnel, France 1:44.20, 2. Conor Dwyer, USA 1:45.32, 3. Danila Izotov, Russia 1:45.59.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Matt Grevers, USA 52.93, 2. David Plummer, USA 53.12, 3. Jeremy Stravius, France 53.21.


1500-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, USA 15:36.53, world record, 2. Lotte Friis, Denmark 15:38.88, 3. Lauren Boyle, New Zealand 15:44.71.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Missy Franklin, USA 58.42, 2. Emily Seebohm, Australia 59.06, 3. Aya Terakawa, Japan 59.23.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Ruta Meilutyte, Lithuania 1:04.42, 2. Yuliya Efimova, Russia 1:05.02, 3. Jessicca Hardy, USA 1:05.52.


American Cesilie Carlton, plunging the equivalent of a seven-story building, won the inaugural gold medal in the extreme sport of high diving at the world aquatic championships.

Carlton, 32, of San Antonio, Tex., who has vertigo and is afraid of heights and flying, won the inaugural event by plunging off a 20-meter platform into Barcelona’s murky harbor.

U.S. teammate Ginger Huber took the silver.

“I’m afraid of heights,” Carlton said. “That’s why I go very quickly. I don’t look down for a long time. But I know that I have control of what I am doing. The toughest part is looking over.”

Carlton clinched it on her final dive, a triple half pike, to total 211.60 points. She moved up from third place. Huber had 206.70 points and German Anna Bader took the bronze with 203.90.

The men’s competition off 27 meters concludes on Wednesday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Franklin, Lochte Lead USA; SOFLO’s Atkinson Competes At World Championships That Begin Sunday

Franklin, Lochte Lead USA; SOFLO’s Atkinson Competes At World Championships That Begin Sunday

Written by Sharon Robb

July 27, 2013

Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte, already household names in swimming, will take center stage for the United States when the 15th FINA World Aquatic Championships begin on Sunday at the Palau Sant-Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.

After a week of open water swimming, synchro swimming, diving and water polo this past week, all eyes will be on swimming, the marquis sport of worlds.

U.S. swimmers dominated the 2012 London Olympics with 31 medals and are expected to do much of the same this week.

South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented on swimming’s international stage with three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson.

Atkinson, 24, accompanied by her longtime SOFLO coach Chris Anderson, will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke on Monday, 200-meter breaststroke on Thursday and 50-meter breaststroke on Saturday.

“She is looking stronger and more confident each day,” Anderson said. “She is doing far better preparation than leading up to the Olympics.”

Atkinson just missed the medal podium at the 2012 London Olympics.

The world championships mark the start of the post-Michael Phelps era with swimming’s greatest-ever Olympian who won 22 medals in three Olympics retired after London.

Despite major swim stars from other countries including Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, Yannick Agnel of France, Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania, Yi Shiwen of China, Chad le Clos of South Africa and Aussie James Magnussen, the U.S. is expected to continue its domination with Franklin and Lochte leading the way.

Both Franklin and Lochte are swimming more events than they did at the 2012 London Olympics.

Franklin is entered in eight events, five individual events 100 and 200 freestyles, 100 and 200 backstrokes and non-Olympic 50-meter backstroke, and three relays, one more event than London.

“It’s definitely a lot,” said the 18-year-old Franklin. “I’m very, very excited. These are some of my favorite races. I’m really looking forward to those. The expectations are just to have fun.”

No swimmer, male or female, has ever won eight gold medals at the world championships. Michael Phelps had a shot in 2007, winning his first seven events but the 400-meter medley relay was disqualified in prelims.

Lochte was impressive at the 2011 World Championships, winning five medals including four golds. At the 2012 Olympics, Lochte won five medals including two golds.

Lochte, 28, will race in seven events over eight days.

“Now that Michael Phelps is gone, I definitely am going to miss him stepping up on the blocks next to me, but it’s just not him I have to worry about,” Lochte said. “There are other people who are working hard to go even faster.

“I just have to work on myself and go as fast as I can. It’s been an off year so I don’t know what is going to happen. I have to just get on the blocks and race tough. ”

U.S. head men’s coach Bob Bowman and women’s coach Dave Salo like what they see in the pool.

Said Bowman, “Our men’s team is a very interesting mix of some veterans who have established themselves on the world scene and for the first time in several years, we have some young guys on the team. So we have a kind of a mixture of experience and youth which I think will be a lot of fun.”

Added Salo, “I think our veteran squad is kind of running on their talent, not so much their preparations as they did last year but they are pretty exceptional athletes. It’s a dynamic group of women and I think everybody is going to be battling for a podium position.”

Sunday’s events are: women’s 100 butterfly, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 200 IM, men’s 50 butterfly, women’s 400 freestyle, men’s 100 breaststroke, women’s and men’s 4×100 free relay.


Germany’s Thomas Lurz became the only man to strike gold in all four open water distance events at world championships. Lurz, 33, won the 25K open water title in 4 hours, 47 minutes and 27 seconds on Saturday. He won by just under a half a second ahead of Brian Ryckeman. Lurz said his first 25K race will most likely be his last. “It was really tough, I closed my eyes the last 100 meters because I had so much pain,” Lurz said. Italian Maria Grimaldi won the women’s title by just 1/10th of a second ahead of German Angela Maurer in 5:07:19.7. American Eva Fabian won the bronze, her first world medal, giving U.S. its second medal of the open water events. Fabian finished just 0.7 seconds behind the winner. “I didn’t quite have the finishing kick. I’m just glad to get on the podium for the USA.”


He Zi won her second title of the world championships in the women’s 3-meter springboard Saturday to continue China’s dominance in diving. The 22-year-old also won the 1-meter springboard title. The diving concludes on Sunday with the men’s platform. U.S. Olympic gold medalist David Boudia leads after the semifinals. Brit Tom Daley, despite a triceps injury, also made the Top 12 finals cut….A new world championship event, high diving, begins on Monday with the men competing from 27 meters and women 22 meters along Barcelona’s harbor.


Arena will debut its limited Powerskin Carbon-Pro Mark 2 edition for the U.S. national team in Barcelona. It features a red, white and blue pattern and exclusively being worn by the U.S. national team athletes. It will hit the retail stores in October just in time for high school states…Olympic legend Michael Phelps will be at world championships but only as a spectator fulfilling sponsor commitments…

Florida State will be well-represented at worlds by senior two-time Olympian Pavel Sankovich of Belarus, 2012 Olympian Mateo De Angulo of Colombia, senior McKayla Lightbourn of the Bahamas and incoming freshman and 2012 Olympian Jemal Le Grand of Aruba, Davie Nadadores and Sagemont state champion in the 100-meter freestyle. “This is great for our program,” said first-year Seminoles coach Frankie Bradley. “It’s great exposure to have these guys competing on the world scene as this is the biggest meet of the year in that aspect.”

FINA, swimming’s international governing body, approved two different mixed gender relays in the 4×100-meter freestyle and 4×100-meter medley relays at future world championships. Teams will be made up of two men and two women and it will be up to them to decide the order. Also, during its General Congress on Friday, adjustable starting platforms were approved for backstroke races while underwater cameras were rejected for judging.


Sunday, July 28, 2:30-4:30 p.m., NBC; 9-11 p.m., re-broadcast Universal Sports

Monday, July 29, 12-2 p.m. live, Universal Sports

Tuesday, July 30, 12-2:30 p.m., live, Universal Sports

Wednesday, July 31, 12-2 p.m., live, Universal Sports

Thursday, Aug. 1, 12-2:30 p.m., live, Universal Sports

Friday, Aug. 2, 12-2:30 p.m., live, Universal Sports

Saturday, Aug. 3, 1-3 p.m., NBC

Saturday, Aug. 3, 9-11 p.m. re-broadcast, Universal Sports

Sunday, Aug. 4, 4-6 p.m., NBC

Sunday, Aug. 4, 9-11 p.m. re-broadcast, Universal Sports

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ledecky Breaks 25-Year Old Record; Adrian, Lochte Swim World-Bests

Ledecky Breaks 25-Year Old Record; Adrian, Lochte Swim World-Bests


June 29, 2013

From rookies Simone Manuel and Maya Dirado to veterans Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin, USA Swimming will be sending a mixed bag of fifty swimmers to next month’s FINA World Aquatic Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

On the fifth and final night of the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Trials at the Indianapolis Natatorium, the U.S. team was finalized with some unexpected surprises.

Highlighting the final night of action, 16-year-old Katie Ledecky, Ryan Lochte and Nathan Adrian swam world-bests in their events.

Bob Bowman will serve as head men’s coach and Dave Salo head women’s coach of the U.S. teams. The world championships are July 28-Aug. 4.

Missy Franklin, 18, of Colorado Stars won the high point award with 97 points followed by Katie Ledecky, 16, of Nation’s Capital with 77. Ryan Lochte, 28, of Daytona Beach Swimming won men’s high point with 92 points and Matt Grevers, 28, of Tucson Ford was second with 76.

Bluefish Swim Club edged California Aquatics, 223-213 for the women’s team title. California Aquatics won the men’s title with 259.50 points followed by Tucson Ford with 244. California Aquatics won the combined team title with 471.50 followed by Tucson Ford with 368.50.

Women’s 1500-meter freestyle:

Teenager and Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky crushed Janet Evans’ 15-16 national age group record (15:52.10) that has stood since 1988 to win in 15:47.15, the fastest time in the world this year and long course national record. Ledecky, 16, is the second fastest American in history and fourth fastest ever in the world in the event. Californian Chloe Sutton was second in 16:07.75. Clearwater’s Becca Mann was sixth in 16:24.83.

“I am really happy with my time, it was the swim I was looking forward to this whole week,” Ledecky said. “I wanted to end with a bang. I wanted to swim a controlled race. I wanted to see if I could put together a good swim.”

Women’s 200-meter individual medley:

2012 Olympic bronze 200 IM medalist Caitlin Leverenz made the world team on the final night after the top morning seed won in 2:10.13, the fourth fastest time in the world this year. Florida’s Elizabeth Beisel was second. Leverenz went out fast in the butterfly (27.83) and built a body-length lead through the backstroke and breaststroke. Beisel finished in 2:12.11. Both Missy Franklin and Liz Pelton scratched from the event.

“It put a lot of pressure on me when it came down to the final day to make worlds,” Leverenz said. “I didn’t have quite the meet I hoped to have. I knew this was my best event and it was on the last day. I had to be patient.”

Men’s 200-meter individual medley:

Ryan Lochte won his signature event with a dominating swim in 1:55.44, the fastest time in the world this year. Conor Dwyer was second in 1:57.74. Lochte was under world record pace in the butterfly (24.69), backstroke and breaststroke and built a body length lead. It was Lochte’s third win of the meet.

“I don’t worry about racing the clock, I was just racing the other guys, it was a good field,” Lochte said. “I am a racer. I just get up there and race. I am never satisfied. I know in all my races there is always something I can improve. In that race there’s a lot.”

Men’s 800-meter freestyle:

Michigan’s Connor Jaeger broke open a two-man race against Michael McBroom to break the U.S. Open and national long course records in 7:46.78, third best time in the world this year. McBroom was second in a lifetime-best 7:47.13. It was Jaeger’s third win of the meet. Jaeger scratched from the 200 to make room for his training partner Michael Klueh on the world roster.

“We like racing each other and I was lucky to have three of my teammates right next to me,” Jager said. “I was relaxed going out and feeling confident. Michael pushed the pace early so I knew we were going to have a good race. Thinking about swimming the 1500 twice can be a little intimidating but this is what we train for year-round.”

Women’s 50-meter freestyle:

Veteran Olympian Natalie Coughlin is re-inventing herself in the sprint and it’s paying off. She went out quickly and finished first in 24.97. Top morning qualifier Simone Manuel, 16, of First Colony Swim Team in Sugar Land, Texas was second in 25.01 and lowered the national 15-16 age group record twice in prelims (25.06) and finals. It was Manuel’s first individual event she qualified for worlds. She will also be a member of the 4×100 free relay.

“It’s tempting but I tried not to look around at the other swimmers,” Coughlin said. “I kept my head still and just got my hand to the wall. I have really been working on power in my stroke especially up front. In the 50, it helps a lot.”

Men’s 50-meter freestyle:

Nathan Adrian, looking much better than he did in the 100, went out fast to win in 21.47, the fastest time in the world this year and tied the national long course record. Top seed and Adrian’s training partner Anthony Ervin was second in 21.70.

“I think I had to get myself mentally prepared for this meet,” Adrian said. “It’s quite an adjustment after the Olympics to have another trials the next year. It’s pretty hard to get into.”

Bolles Ryan Murphy won the “C” final in 23.16 and Bolles teammate Santo Condorelli won the “B” final in 22.73.

Florida Gold Coast Results:

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: “A” Final, 5. Jana Mangimelli, Gulliver Swim Club, 2:12.75 best time dropping from 2:13.48; 8. 2:14.97, prelims.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: “B” Final, 7. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 2:03.86; 15. 2:03.56, best time prelims, dropping from 2:05.49; 32. Sam Smiddy, AK Sharks 2:07.66.


Michael Phelps will celebrate his 28th birthday on Sunday with family and friends in Baltimore. Phelps followed the world trials results but said swimming is the farthest thing from his mind and he has no intentions of returning to the pool even though several swimmers including Ryan Lochte and TV announcer Rowdy Gaines speculated that he will.

“Man, people will believe anything that’s written, anything that’s on TV,” Phelps told his hometown paper. “There’s nothing in the works with me coming back to swimming. This is a part of my life I’m enjoying. I’ve never had freedom like this and I live on my own time. I play golf three or four times a week. I wake up whenever I want. I’m not thinking about changing that. I want to help grow the sport and there are other ways to do it. My life, the way it is now, is great.”…

The five-day meet in Indianapolis did not draw the crowds that last year’s U.S. Olympic swimming trials did. Many believe without Michael Phelps, U.S. swimming will be a poor draw. But with so many new stars on the horizon, that theory will not hold water.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Bootsma Edges Franklin At World Trials For First American Record

Bootsma Edges Franklin At World Trials For First American Record


June 27, 2013

Missy Franklin was the first to congratulate and hug her future Cal-Berkeley teammate Rachel Bootsma after she broke American and U.S. Open records Thursday on Day Three of the Phillips 66 National Championships/World Championship Trials in Indianapolis at Indiana University Natatorium.

Bootsma, 19, broke Hayley McGregory’s American and U.S. Open record in the 50-meter breaststroke in 27.68, just out-touching Franklin by 30/100ths of a second (27.98).

“It’s my first American record, so I’m really happy,” Bootsma said. “I just really tried to focus on my start. I have a really quick tempo, so I just wanted to get out of my underwaters and just go.”

In the other championship finals:

Women 400-meter individual medley:

Stanford Swimming’s Maya Dirado, 20, won a close race in 4:34.43, the third fastest time in the world this year. The rookie won a two-swimmer showdown against two-time Olympic veteran Elizabeth Beisel, 20, of Florida, second in 4:34.50. Clearwater’s Becca Mann, 15, was fourth in 4:42.46. Dirado will be swimming the 400 IM, 200 butterfly and 800 freestyle relay at worlds.

“I just tried to stay calm and swim my own race, some of the pressure was off because of the 200 fly on Tuesday,” Dirado said. “I was just able to go out there and race. To have Elizabeth in the last 100 you know it’s going to be a battle.” Said Beisel, “I was hoping to see the wall but it took a little while to get there.”

Men 400-meter individual medley:

Chase Kalisz, 19, who trained with Michael Phelps at North Baltimore Aquatic Club overtook Olympian Tyler Clary, 24, of Club Wolverine and early leader after the butterfly (56.48) and backstroke, on the breaststroke after going out in 33.6. Kalisz extended his lead on the final freestyle leg to win his first national title by a full body length in 4:11.83. Clary was second in 4:14.62. Carlos Omana of Metro Aquatics, competing in his first national final of the week, posted back-to-back best times and finished sixth in 4:18.59.

“I really wanted to push my breaststroke leg,” Kalisz said. “I just wanted to stay in the race in the front half and give it all I had in the back half. Michael’s advice was to save my legs on the front half.”

Women 100-meter butterfly:

Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Dana Vollmer, 25, of California Aquatics, won her signature race in 57.53, third fastest time in the world this year and outsprinting early leader Claire Donahue, 24, of Western Kentucky who frequently trains with the South Florida Aquatic Club, in the final 50 meters. Donahue went out fast in 26.63 but Vollmer blasted back with a 30.81 split. Donahue was second in 58.32 and also qualified.

“I thought about staying light and spunky on the first 50 and then bringing it home,” Vollmer said. “I know my strength is that last 50 and staying calm. It actually wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be but regardless I made the team.”

Men 100-meter butterfly:

Ryan Lochte, 28, of Daytona Beach Swimming, who scratched two of his Thursday events, was outsprinted by Eugene Godsoe, 25, of Stanford Swimming, who won in 51.66 to sweep the butterfly events. Lochte was sixth at the turn. Four swimmers were in the chase for the wall but it was Godsoe with the world’s fourth fastest time. Lochte was second in 51.71.

“I put my head down and everything started fading out,” Godsoe said. “I tried to get there. I couldn’t see ryan and things started going numb.”

Said Lochte, “I just got to believe in my training. I have been training really hard the past two months. I am a closer and this is only the second time at the national level I’ve done this event.”

Lochte has scratched from his Friday events, the 100-meter backstroke and 100-meter breaststroke.

Women 50-meter breaststroke:

Olympian Jessica Hardy, 26, of Trojan Swim Club, had a quick start and went on to win in 30.24 with Breeja Larson, 21, of Aggie Swim Club was second in 30.40. “I was actually pretty nervous,” Hardy said.

In the “C” final, Florida Gold Coast swimmer Emily Kopas, 16, swimming unattached for Sharks Swim Club, was second in 32.20, just getting out-touched in 32.10 by Heidi Poppe.

Men 50-meter breaststroke:

Kevin Steel, 21, of Tucson Ford knocked off training partner Kevin Cordes, 19, of Tucson Ford to win in 27.26, to break the previous U.S. Open record of 27.33. Cordes was second in 27.38.

Men 50-meter backstroke:

David Plummer, 27, of Minnesota Swimming won in 24.52, another U.S. Open record. The previous record was 24.71. Matt Grevers, 28, of Tucson Ford was second in 24.77.

Swimmers have to finish in the top two in FINA-qualified times to earn an individual spot on the U.S. team for Barcelona.

The four highest finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyles will make the U.S. team for relay help and winner in each of the non-Olympic events qualify for the July 19-Aug. 4 World Championships.

In another noteworthy swim, 16-year-old Justin Lynch of the Terrapins Swim Team broke the greatest of all times in the 15-16 national age group record book. Lynch won the consolation heat of the 100-meter butterfly in 52.75 to break Michael Phelps’ 2001 age group record of 52.98. Lynch is one of the nation’s up-and-coming African-American swimmers. With a beautiful stroke and powerful fluidity through the water, Lynch resembles Phelps’ body/torso driven technique.

Florida Gold Coast Thursday Results

Men 400-meter individual medley: “A” Final, 6. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 4:18.59, best time; 6. 4:19.73, prelims, best time; 30. Sam Smiddy, AK Sharks 4:31.64.

Women 50-meter breaststroke: “C” final, 2, Emily Kopas, Sharks Swim Club, Unattached 21. Emily Kopas, Unattached-Sharks Swim Club 32.92 prelims.

Women 50-meter backstroke: “B” Final, 14. Clara Smiddy, AK Sharks 29.10, best timel 16. 29.33, prelims.

Small meet, small crowds. The field is small because of the tough qualifying standards which were expected since it’s the World Trials. The small crowds, however, have been disappointing for such a prestigious meet with so many Olympians and future stars. Earlier in the week, University of Florida-bound Quinn Cassidy of St. Andrew’s Swimming tweeted “I’m pretty sure my high school state meet had more people in the stands.”

World Trials On TV

NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports is televising seven hours of the June 25-29 USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, which are also serving as the World Championship trials for the U.S. team.

The remaining schedule is: Saturday, June 29, 1-2:30 p.m., NBC and 11 p.m.-midnight, NBC Sports Network.

USA Swimming will also offer a live webcast of the entire meet on its website, prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Franklin Breaks Meet Record On Opening Night Of World Trials

Franklin Breaks Meet Record On Opening Night Of World Trials


June 25, 2013

Missy Franklin got the party started Tuesday at the Phillips 66 National Championships/World Championship Trials in Indianapolis at the Indiana University Natatorium.

The bubbly 18-year-old won the 100-meter freestyle in a meet record and lifetime-best 53.43. She broke the previous record of 53.58 set by Amanda Weir in 2006.

Trailing after the opening 50 meters, Franklin reeled in the field on the back half to post the world’s second fastest time this year. Her splits were 26.08 and 27.35.

Twelve-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, 30, set a quick pace of 25.70 for the opening 50 meters but faltered to fifth.

Top morning qualifier Shannon Vreeland, 21, of Athens Bulldogs was second in 53.83. Sixteen-year-old Simone Manuel of First Colony Swimming was third.

“I knew it was going to be a super fast final tonight,” Franklin said. “I knew I had to get out there and bring it home with everything I had. I am so, so happy with that time. I saw that time and I was absolutely over the moon. I’m so excited.”

It was the first of six events Franklin will swim this week. She is also entered in the 50, 100 and 200 backstroke, 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley. Wednesday will be the test with both the 200 freestyle and 200 backstroke on her plate.

“I love doing all that stuff,” said Franklin who will be a freshman this fall at Cal-Berkeley. She plans on swimming for the Bears for two seasons before likely turning pro leading up to the 2016 Rio Games.

“It’s weird we are already having another Trials. I’m excited to see who will make the team. I think there will be a lot of fresh faces.”

Another familiar face, Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian won the 100-meter freestyle against a stacked field that featured seven Olympians 27 Olympic medalists.

Adrian didn’t seem too pleased with his winning time of 48.10 but happy he made the world team.

Anthony Ervin got out fast in 22.38 and finished third in 48.49. Jimmy Feigen of Texas Aquatics was second in 48.24. Ryan Lochte was fourth in 48.58.

Lochte is also swimming the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 100 butterfly and 200 and 400 individual medley.

“Obviously, I would have loved to be under 48, that would have been nice,” Adrian said. “It’s all about execution. But it wasn’t there tonight. We’ll just go back, develop a new strategy, regroup and get ready for a good 50. Until Barcelona, times are irrelevant.”

Jacksonville Bolles swimmer Caeleb Dressel, 16, broke the 23-year-old 15-16 national age group record twice in the 100-meter freestyle. He went 49.63 in prelims and 49.50 in finals. The previous record was 50.24 set by Joey Hudepohl in 1990.

In other championship finals:

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: Camille Adams, 21, of Aggie Swim Club and top morning qualifier, moved into the lead with 50 meters left to win the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.10. She was followed by Maya Dirado, 20, of Stanford Swimming, in 2:09.12 and Katie McLaughlin, 15, of Mission Viejo. Clearwater’s Becca Mann, 15, was fourth. Adams time was the seventh fastest time in the world this year. Cassidy Bayer, 13, the youngest swimmer at world trials, won the “C” final.

Men’s 200-meter butterfly: Tom Luchsinger, 22, swimming unattached for North Carolina Aquatic Club, won in 1:55.57, the fifth fastest time in the world. Tyler Clary, 24, of Club Wolverine, surged in the final 30 meters to overtake early leader Tom Shields and clinch the second spot in 1:56.58. “This is a very big surprise,” Luchsinger said. “To win is an incredible feeling. We have so many good 200 flyers in this country, I didn’t expect this.”

Women 800-meter freestyle: Teenager Katie Ledecky, 16, had no problem winning the distance event and qualifying for her first world team. The Olympic champion and American record-holder won in 8:22.41 ahead of Chloe Sutton, second in 8:23.24.

Men 1500-meter freestyle: Connor Jaeger pulled ahead of the men’s field after 200 meters and finished in 14:53.34 for the win. Michael McBroom was second in 14:59.12.

Six spots were filled on the U.S. roster and 20 spots including relay swimmers.

Swimmers have to finish in the top two in FINA-qualified times to earn an individual spot on the U.S. team for Barcelona.

The next four highest finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyles will make the U.S. team for relay help and the winner in each of the non-Olympic events will qualify.

The World Championships are July 19-Aug. 4.

Florida Gold Coast Tuesday Results

200-meter butterfly: 19. Isabella Paez, 17, Metro Aquatics, 2:13.81 and 24th, prelims, 2:15.19; 43. Tiffany Oliver, 20, Club Seminole, 57.30.

World Trials On TV

NBC Sports Network and Universal Sports is televising seven hours of the June 25-29 USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, which are also serving as the World Championship trials for the U.S. team.

The schedule is: Tuesday, June 25, 6-8 p.m., Universal; Wednesday, June 26, 6-8:30 p.m., Universal; Saturday, June 29, 1-2:30 p.m., NBC and 11 p.m.-midnight, NBC Sports Network.

USA Swimming will also offer a live webcast of the entire meet on its website, prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at