AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 233: Kuczynski Shines In Her Final PAC-12 Meet

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 233: Kuczynski Shines In Her Final PAC-12 Meet

Written by Sharon Robb

March 5, 2003

Caroline Kuczynski and her Arizona State teammates finished sixth at the always-tough PAC-12 Swimming and Diving Women’s Championship last week in Federal Way, Washington.

Kuczynski, 22, the Sun Devils senior team captain who frequently trains with the South Florida Aquatic Club, made her final appearance a lasting memory.

After a long week of racing on the final day of competition Kuczynski finished fourth in the 200-yard butterfly in a lifetime-best of 1:56.38 which beat the NCAA “B” cut. Kuczynski is ranked 17th in the event on the NCAA Division I Championship psych sheet.

Earlier in the meet, Kuczynski, an All-American, swam another NCAA “B” cut winning the “B” final of the 100-yard butterfly in a best time 52.48, ranked 23rd on the psych sheet.

Kuczynski and her teammates finished fifth in the 200-yard medley relay in an NCAA “B” cut of 1:39.06, third best time in the program’s history. Kuczynski was also a member of the fifth place 400-yard medley relay in 3:35.47, an NCAA “B” cut.

Kuczynski was third in the “C” final of the 200-yard individual medley in 2:00.38, also an NCAA “B” cut.

The Sun Devils finished with 786.5 points. Stanford won the women’s team title with 1,439.5 followed by Southern California with 1,418.5 and California with 1,333.5.

The NCAA women’s meet will feature 322 women (281 swimmers and 41 divers), scheduled for March 21-23 in Indianapolis.

In another month, Kuczynski, a 2016 Canadian Olympic hopeful, will compete at the world championship trials, April 3-6.

Torres Swims Best Time, NCAA “B” Cut At Last Chance Meet

University of Florida freshman and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Luke Torres swam a best time 20.62 in the 50-yard freestyle at this past weekend’s Bulldog Last Chance Meet in Athens, Ga. On the final day of the meet, Torres swam an NCAA “B” cut and best time of 1:47.43 in the 200-yard butterfly.

O’Shaughnessy Leads Seton Hall

Competing in his final Big East Championships, Seton Hall senior Ryan O’Shaughnessy, another FGC swimmer, placed 12th in the 100-yard breaststroke in a lifetime-best 56.67. On the same night, he was a member of the Pirates’ eighth-place on the 400-yard medley relay in a season-best 3:25.31.

O’Shaughnessy was a member of Seton Hall’s seventh place 200-yard medley relay that finished in a season-best 1:34.33.

He also finished 17th in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:52.29, missing a spot in the consolation final by just .12 seconds. It was his best time of the season in the event by more than one second. He was also a member of the 400-yard freestyle relay that finished eighth in 3:06.61.

Grigull Shines At MAAC Championships

Justin Grigull of Iona College, a FGC swimmer, finished third in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.98 at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships. Grigull came on in the last 25 yards for the bronze medal. Grigull broke an Iona record in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:34.50 to finish third. He also was third in the 200-yard freestyle in a lifetime best of 1:40.80. Iona finished ninth among men’s teams and Grigull qualified for the ECAC “A”.


Jacksonville has withdrawn its bid to host the 2016 Olympic swimming trials. Jacksonville was the only Florida bid city. City officials decided that the planned venue, Jacksonville Veterans Arena, would not provide ample seating for spectators. The arena sits 15,000 but with a temporary pool, at least 3,000 seats would be eliminated. Omaha, the 2012 trials site, has enough room for the pool and 15,000 spectators. Bolles coach Sergio Lopez had been spearheading the bid drive. Other bidders still in the hunt are Greensboro, N.C., Indianapolis, St. Louis, Omaha and San Antonio…However, Jacksonville is a finalist to host the FHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships this fall. Sarasota, Martin County, Orlando and Ransom Everglades are other finalists. Orlando has hosted the meet for the last six years…

Missy Franklin is a finalist for the 2012 Sullivan Award which honors the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. Several swimmers have won the award in past years including John Naber, Tracy Caulkins, Janet Evans and Michael Phelps…

Ryan Lochte’s six-episode reality show, What Would Ryan Lochte Do, debuts on April 21 on E at 10 p.m. Lochte has been taping every day up until 11 p.m. each night. The filming has been affecting his training and it has affected his meets particularly the Orlando Grand Prix. His longtime coach, Gregg Troy is not included in the show at Troy’s insistence. It’s no secret the veteran Olympic coach is not happy about Lochte doing the show and missing workouts. “I didn’t realize they were going to be pulling me in different directions all the time,” Lochte said. “I’m stronger than I’ve ever been outside the pool, but in the pool I haven’t been able to train on a consistent basis.” A few early reviews have not been favorable with the focus on Lochte’s abs and his catchword Jeah.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 207: Florida Men Ranked No. 1, FGC Swimmer Luke Torres Makes Gators Travel Squad

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 207; Florida Men Ranked No. 1, FGC Swimmer Luke Torres Makes Gators Travel Squad


October 25, 2012

University of Florida men’s swimming and diving team have been ranked No. 1 in the nation among NCAA Division I teams in the first College Swimming Coaches Association of America poll.

The Gators, led by Sebastien Rousseau, Marcin Cieslak and Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez were a unanimous pick for the top spot.

The four other teams in the Top five are Michigan, Stanford, Southern California and Texas. Defending men’s national champion California is ranked seventh.

Florida is one of eight Southeastern Conference schools ranked in the Top 25. Another state school that is ranked is Florida State at No. 15.

Of the Gators seven dual meets remaining, they will swim against six who are ranked among the Top 25 including Georgia, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Florida State, Auburn and Tennessee.

The Gators are on the road this week. They swim against No. 9 Georgia on Thursday and No. 12 South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. on Friday.

Gator freshman Luke Torres, a Florida Gold Coast swimmer and American Heritage Plantation alum, has made the travel squad in his first year of collegiate swimming.

The rankings will be released on a regular basis throughout the 2012-13 season alternating weeks between a men’s and women’s team rankings.

MEN’S POLL: 1. Florida, 2. Michigan, 3. Stanford, 4. Southern California, 5. Texas, 6. Auburn, 7. California, 8. Indiana, 9. North Carolina, Georgia, 11. Arizona, 12. South Carolina, 13. Minnesota, 14. N.C. State, 15. Florida State, 16. Louisville, 17. Penn State, 18. Purdue, 19. Iowa, 20. Alabama, 21. Texas A&M, 22. LSU, 23. Missouri State, 24. Tennessee, 25. Wisconsin.

More college swimming

Caroline Kuczynski, who trains with SOFLO, will compete in her first meet as team captain on Saturday when the Sun Devils swim against Grand Canyon University and Washington State in their season-opener in Tempe, Ariz…SOFLO’s Marc Rojas and his Indian River State College teammates open the season on Nov. 2 against Tampa in their home opener…Nova Southeastern swept St. Leo College last weekend with a 130-74 win over the men’s team and 159-46 victory over the women’s team. “Our athletes are performing on par to what I expect at this point in the season,” said NSU coach Hollie Bonewit-Cron, expecting her first child. “With the amount of training that we are doing, we still need to make improvements on some technical aspects in our stroke work and our training regimen.” SOFLO swimmer Bianca Muniz was a member of the runner-up 400-yard medley relay (4:07.70) and 200-yard freestyle relay teams (1:43.71), third in the 50-yard freestyle in a best time 25.53, bettering her seed time of 25.81 and third in the 100-yard freestyle in 55.24…Sophomore Linea Cutter, another FGC swimmer, won the 50-yard freestyle in 24.83. She also anchored the winning 400-yard medley relay (4:03.14). She was second in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.00. The Sharks next meet is Saturday, Nov. 3 against Rollins in Winter Park…NSU’s Erin Black of Fort Myers was named Sunshine State Conference Women’s Swimmer of the Week.

Torres Will Host Gator Growl

Five-time Olympian and Class of 1990 University of Florida alum Dara Torres, who now lives in Boston, will emcee this year’s Gator Growl. The show, which is regarded as the largest student-run pep rally in the world, is schedyled for 7 p.m. Nov. 9 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The show will also feature country singer Josh Turner and comedian Tracy Morgan as the featured performers. Tickets are $15 for students, $20 for UF faculty and staff and $25 for alumni and guests.


The 2012 Ironman World Championships will be televised on NBC Sports on Saturday from 4-6 p.m. The broadcast includes the event in addition to inspiring athlete stories…Olympian Gary Hall Jr. has been hired as sports marketing director at the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation…Double Olympic champions Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands and Yannick Agnel of France were named European Swimmers of the Year by LEN. Top open water swimmers were Eva Risztov of Hungary and Thomas Lurz of Germany.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Oliver Wins Again, Teammates Swim Seven Best Times At Speedo Champions Series

SOFLO’s Oliver Wins Again, Teammates Swim Seven Best Times At Speedo Champions Series


July 15, 2012

Against a well-stacked field of elite swimmers, some of them headed to London this week, South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers did well on the final day of the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone Sectionals.

Tiffany Oliver, 19, swept the freestyle events winning the 100-meter freestyle in 57.05, a U.S. Open qualifying time. Oliver, a junior at Florida State, tied for the 50-meter freestyle win on Saturday.

Six of her SOFLO teammates turned in seven lifetime-best times on the final day of the four-day meet hosted at Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

University of Florida-bound Luke Torres, 18, clocked two best times. Torres swam a best time in the 200- breaststroke in 2:26.31, bettering his previous best of 2:29.47 to finish second in the championship finals.

Torres finished fourth in the 100-meter freestyle in a best time 53.22 lowering his previous best of 53.48.

Keegan Boisson Yates, 17, finished 13th in the 100-meter freestyle in a best time of 53.92, lowering his previous best 53.94.

Melissa Marinheiro finished fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in a best time of 9:07.32, lowering her previous best of 9:07.89.

Maria Lopez, competing in her biggest senior meet, finished off a successful showing turning in another best time in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:22.21 in morning prelims. Her previous best was 2:23.54. She came back to finish sixth in 2:22.43.

Amber Hunter swam back-to-back best times in the 100-meter freestyle. She lowered her previous best time of 1:03.02 in prelims in 1:02.98 and finals in 1:02.33.

Jessica Rodriguez finished second in the “C” final of the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:54.38 lowering her previous best of 2:56.00.

SOFLO women’s and men’s teams finished in the Top 10. The women’s team with 13 swimmers finished fifth with 364 points and the men’s team with 13 swimmers finished eighth with 222 points.

Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club won the women’s team title with 857 points followed by Golden Panther Aquatics with 452 and Davie Nadadores with 433.

Westminster Academy’s Swim Club, buoyed by its relays and Austin Saunders, won the men’s team title with 647 points followed by Metro Aquatics with 602 and Davie Nadadores with 559.


1.Area Tallahassee  857, 2. Golden Panthers Aquatics 452, 3. Davie Nadadores 433, 4. Metro Aquatics 382, 5. South Florida Aquatic Club 364, 6. Swim Fort Lauderdale 300, 7. Adirondack AC 236, 8. Plantation 226, 9. Gator Swim Club 189, 10. Seacoast Swimming 174.


800-meter freestyle:

1.Autumn Finke, St. Petersburg 8:54.43; SOFLO: 4. Melissa Marinheiro 9:07.32.

200-meter butterfly:

1.Isa Paez, Metro Aquatics 2:16.24; SOFLO: 6. Maria Lopez 2:22.43, 12. Amber Hunter 2:27.31, 17. Evelin Jimenez 2:35.20.

100-meter freestyle:

1.Tiffany Oliver, SOFLO 57.05; SOFLO: 23. Marcella Marinheiro 1:01.35, 34. Maria Lopez 1:02.23, 35. Amber Hunter 1:02.33, best time; 68. Evelin Jimenez 1:04.34, 74. Hannah Coombs 1:05.41.

200-meter breaststroke:

1.Emily Kopas, Davie Nadadores 2:34.42; SOFLO: 11. Gina Gautieri 2:48.75, 22. Jessica Rodriguez 2:54.38.

200-meter backstroke:

1.Johanna Gustafsdottir, Golden Panthers Swim Club 2:17.52; SOFLO: 13. Marcella Marinheiro 2:29.99, 37. Jessica Rodriguez 2:38.16.

400-meter freestyle relay:

1.Area Tallahassee 3:58.20, 6. SOFLO 4:08.80 (Marcella Marinheiro, Amber Hunter, Maria Lopez, Melissa Marinheiro).


1.Westminster Academy Swim Club 647, 2. Metro Aquatics 602, 3. Davie Nadadores 559, 4. Area Tallahassee 404, 5. Swim Fort Lauderdale 349, 6. Swim Florida 345, 7. Gator Swim Club 281, 8. South Florida Aquatic Club 222, 9. Charles River Aquatics 165, 10. Adirondack Aquatic Club 129.


200-meter butterfly:

1.Max Abreu, Westminster Academy 2:04.36.

100-meter freestyle:

1.Yousef Alaskari, Davie Nadadores 52.85; SOFLO: 2. Nick Schwab 52.95, 4. Luke Torres 53.22, 13. Keegan Boisson-Yates 53.92, 68. Xavier Brown 57.64, 76. Jacob Walters 57.95, 83. Ivan Parada 58.34.

1500-meter freestyle:

1.Logan Samuelson, Swim Florida 16:07.67.

200-meter breaststroke:

1.Ryan Rosenbaum, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:21.82; SOFLO: 2. Luke Torres 2:26.31, 43. Jordan Colon 2:46.11, 48. Alexander Monti 2:47.79, 58. Roger Capote 3:00.27.

200-meter backstroke:

1.Eric Ress, Santa Clara Swim Club 2:00.98; SOFLO: 41. Gustavo Valery 2:27.89, 43. Ivan Parada 2:30.46.

400-meter freestyle relay:

1.Westminster Academy 3:30.55 (Nick Schuttinger, John Walsh, Nick Carter, Austin Saunders), 16. SOFLO 3:59.28 (Xavier Brown, Gustavo Valery, Jacob Walters, Ivan Parada).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Breaststroke, Luke Torres Swims Best Time On Day Two Of Speedo Champions Series

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Breaststroke, Luke Torres Swims Best Time On Day Two Of Speedo Champions Series


July 13, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson raced in her final tune-up race for the London Olympics and Luke Torres prepared for his college swimming career Friday at the Southern Zone Speedo Championship Series meet at Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Club.

Atkinson, 23, a three-time Olympian for Jamaica, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:09.59 ahead of Julie Stupp (1:11.60) and 15-year-old Emily Kopas (1:11.84). It was her final race until the Olympic Games in two weeks.

“We were looking to go a little faster but she is in transitioning with rest,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said. “The training is there which was illustrated by her relay split. She is physically where she needs to be, now she needs to get her rest.”

Atkinson was also a member of SOFLO’s runner-up 800-meter freestyle relay with teammates Melissa Marinheiro, Maria Lopez and Marcella Marinheiro that finished in 8:32.93 behind Area Tallahasssee in 8:31.35.

“The relays are competitive,” Anderson said. “They like stepping up and getting it done.”

Atkinson will train and lift weights on Saturday and depart for training camp in London on Sunday with Anderson.

Torres, 18, headed to University of Florida this fall, finished fifth in the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 56.42 against a stacked field. Olympic-bound Brett Fraser, 22, of the Gator Swim Club and Cayman Islands won in 53.55. Torres’ previous best time was 56.69.

Fraser’s brother Shaune, also Olympic-bound, won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:52.30. Both brothers will swim the event in London.

SOFLO teammate Jillian Alexander turned in back-to-back best times in the 100-meter breaststroke. She swam 1:20.89 in prelims and came back to lower it in the “C” final in 1:20.03. Her previous best time was 1:21.40.

SOFLO’s Nick Schwab, preparing for his Olympic debut for the Dominican Republic, earned the top seed in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:34.92 and finished second in 4:31.80. He was also fourth in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:53.36.

SOFLO’s Alex Rodriguez of Florida State was second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.85, just off the winning time of 1:05.29.

In her first big championship final, SOFLO’s Maria Lopez finished ninth in the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 1:04.75. Her previous best was 1:06.04.

Jordan Colon, 15, swimming in his first Speedo Champions Series long course meters meet, turned in two solid performances in morning prelims. Colon finished the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:14.05 and 400-meter individual medley in 5:08.67. Colon improved his IM time in finals in 5:04.08. “That’s a great job for him,” Anderson said.

University of Florida’s Sarah Bateman, an Olympian for Iceland, won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.10. She has qualified in three events for London including the 100 butterfly, 50 freestyle and 400 medley relay.

Other individual winners were Yanel Pinto of Gator Swim Club and Venezuela in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:03.11; Ryan Rosenbaum of Swim Fort Lauderdale in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.29; Florida International’s Johanna Gustafsdottir won the 400 IM in 4:53.70 and Florida sophomore Dan Wallace won the 400 IM in 4:27.72.


1.Area Tallahassee 394, 2. Davie Nadadores 236, 3. SOFLO 232, 4. Golden Panther Aquatics 224, 5. Metro Aquatics 188.


200-meter freestyle:

SOFLO: 1. Yanel Pinto, Gator Swim Club 2:03.11; SOFLO: 7. Melissa Marinheiro 2:07.51, 21. Marcella Marinheiro 2:10.45, 25. Maria Lopez 2:11.99, best time, 47. Amber Hunter 2:14.87.

100-meter breaststroke:

SOFLO: 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:09.59; SOFLO: 13. Gina Gautieri 1:18.02, 23. Jillian Alexander 1:20.89 and 1:20.03, back-to-back best times, 37. Jessica Rodriguez 1:23.01, 46. Bianca Muniz 1:25.33.

100-meter butterfly:

SOFLO: 1. Sarah Bateman, PA 1:01.10; SOFLO: 9. Maria Lopez 1:04.75, 29. Amber Hunter 1:09.23, 35. Evelin Jimenez 1:08.61.

400-meter individual medley:

1.Johanna Gustafsdottir, Golden Panthers 4:53.70; SOFLO: 27. Jessica Rodriguez 5:27.28.

800-meter freestyle relay:

1.Area Tallahassee 8:31.35, 2. SOFLO “A” 8:32.93 (Melissa Marinheiro, Maria Lopez, Alia Atkinson, Marcella Marinheiro).


1.Metro Aquatics 314, 2. Davie Nadadores 297, 3. Westinster Academy SC 296, 4. Swim Florida 196, 5. Area Tallahassee 189, 6. Swim Fort Lauderdale 177, 7. Gator Swim Club 152, 8. SOFLO 132.


200-meter freestyle:

SOFLO: 1. Shaune Fraser, Gator Swim Club 1:52.30; SOFLO: 4. Nick Schwab 1:53.56, 17. Luke Torres 1:58.11, 59. Carlo Morante 2:04.52, 70. Marc Rojas 2:05.93.

100-meter breaststroke:

SOFLO: 1. Ryan Rosenbaum, SWFTL 1:05.29; SOFLO: 2. Alex Rodriguez 1:05.85, 4. Luke Torres 1:07.01, 24. Marc Rojas 1:10.83, 32. Brian Arnaud 1:13.35, 38. Jordan Colon 1:14.74, 66. Alexander Monti 1:18.30.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Brett Fraser, Gator Swim Club 53.55; SOFLO: 5. Luke Torres 56.42, best time; SOFLO: 23. Keegan Boisson-Yates 59.14, 50. Jacob Walters 1:01.70, 76. Carlo Morante 1:03.04, 77. Xavier Brown 1:03.23.

400-meter individual medley:

1.Dan Wallace, Gator Swim Club 4:27.71; SOFLO: 2. Nick Schwab 4:31.80, 38. Jordan Colon 5:04.08.

800-meter freestyle relay:

1.Davie Nadadores 7:52.09, 11. SOFLO “A” 8:33.21 (Jacob Walters, Ivan Parada, Jordan Colon, Marc Rojas).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Luke Torres Swims Back-To-Back Best Times, Takes Second At Class 1A State Meet

SOFLO’s Luke Torres Swims Back-To-Back Best Times, Takes Second At Class 1A State Meet

November 11, 2011


It was a near-perfect ending for Luke Torres of American Heritage Plantation Friday night at the FHSAA Class 1A Swimming Championships at Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando

The University of Florida-bound Torres, competing in his final high school meet, swam back-to-back career-bests in two individual events and took home a silver medal.

In morning prelims, Torres turned in a lifetime-best 49.90 in the 100-yard butterfly, fourth fastest time going into the final and finished second in the championship final in 49.30, an automatic All-American time.  His previous best was 50.41.

Teammate Yousef Alaskari won the 100-yard butterfly in 47.90, just missing Anthony Nesty’s 23-year-old record.

In the 100-yard breaststroke, Torres swam 58.61 in prelims and came back to finish sixth in 58.26, an All-American consideration time. His previous best was 1:00.35.

Torres was also a member of two bronze medal relays. American Heritage was third in the 200-yard freestyle in an automatic All-American time of 1:24.77 with Alaskari, Torres (21.23 split), Fernando Bohorquez and Daniel Spas.

American Heritage was also third in the 400-yard freestyle in 3:05.28, another automatic All-American time with Alaskari, Torres (45.82 split), Bohorquez and Spas.

In what looked like a mini-NCAAs, Jacksonville Bolles swept the boys and girls team titles.

The Bolles boys team won its 34th title overall and 24th consecutive and girls won their 25th title overall and 21st consecutive, both more than any other high school swim team in the history of Florida swimming.

American Heritage was the top local girls team finisher, placing second with 209.5 points. Pine Crest was the top boys team, placing second with 303.5 points and American Heritage was fourth with 172.

Bolles broke the first of two state records of the evening in the boys 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:23.02.

Bolles also broke its own 12-year-old state record and a national record in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:00.67 with George Frank, Ryan Murphy, Preston Jenkins and Teo D’Alessandro, shaving 1/100th of a

second off the previous mark set by Saratoga High School of California in 2009.

In other SOFLO swimmer performances:

Pine Crest freshman Tyla Martin, making her state meet debut, was second in the consolation final of the 100-yard butterfly in 57.88 just behind Alina Schulhofer of American Heritage (56.66).

In the 100-yard backstroke consolation, Martin was eighth in 1:01.29. Martin and her teammates were fifth in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:31.51, an All-American consideration time.

Martin’s 200-yard medley relay team was disqualified when third leg Miriyam Ghali took off too soon.

Coral Springs Charter was fifth in the 200-yard medley relay in a season-best 1:51.67 with SOFLO swimmers Steph Campo, Jenna Diamond and Natasha Payamps.

Defending champion American Heritage Plantation defended its title in the girls 200-yard medley relay in a season-best 1:43.04

Defending champion Lauren Driscoll, the only senior in the field, won the 200-yard freestyle by more than a body length in 1:46.15, an automatic All-American time. Driscoll also defended her title in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:47.15. Driscoll went out in 54.00, was 1:51.92 at 200, 2:50.87 at 300 and 3:49.55 at the 400.

American Heritage broke Bolles’ state record in the girls 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:23.94 with Driscoll, Jessica Randolph, Schulhofer and Lindsey McKnight.

Driscoll and McKnight ended their illustrious high school swimming careers with four gold medals apiece.

Emily Kopas became the first state champion in swimming at University School after winning the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:02.50, an automatic All-American time.

At the conclusion of the meet, the best tweet of the evening was McKnight’s when she got on Twitter and wrote DONEEE.

The state competition concludes Saturday with the Class 2A meet.

SOFLO will have four Pembroke Pines Charter swimmers in the field including former state champion Marc Rojas, Ivana Parada, Blake Kelley and Jose Gomez.

The state meet final is being webcast live on and live results on


1.Jacksonville Bolles 369, 2. American Heritage Plantation 209.5, 3. St. Andrew’s 187, 4. Pine Crest 164, 5. Trinity Prep 158, 6. Tampa Prep 134, 7. Bishop Kenny 120, 8. Pine School 76, 9. University School 72, 10. Ransom Everglades 70, 11. Episcopal 68, 12. South Florida Heat 66, 13. Booker 55, 14. Lake Highland Prep and Coral Springs Charter, 50, 16. Westminster Academy 42, 17. Cocoa Beach 41, 18. Providence 40, 19. Cardinal Gibbons 34, 20. Astronaut and Mast Academy 30, 22. St. Stephen’s 27, 23. Shorecrest Prep 25, 24. Lincoln Park 21, 25. Grandview Prep 17, 26. P.K. Yonge 16, 27. Miami Pace 15, 28. Berkeley Prep and Fernandina Beach 14, 30. St. Brendan 13, 31. Satellite 12, 32. Umatilla 11.5, 33. Holy Trinity 10, 34. Oasis Christian 9, 35. Bishop Verot, Carrollton and Posnack 6, 38. Sagemont 5, 39. King’s Academy and Maclay, 2, 41. Northside Christian and Miami LaSalle, 1.


200-yard medley relay: 1. American Heritage Plantation 1:43.04 (Lauren Driscoll, Lindsey McKnight, Alina Schulhofer, Jessica Randolph), 2. Jacksonville Bolles 1:43.89, 3. Trinity Prep 1:45.79; SOFLO: 5. Coral Springs Charter 1:51.67 (Steph Campo, Kristina Figueroa, Jenna Diamond, Natasha Payamps), 13. Mast Academy 1:56.56 (Rachel Ling, PatriciaEidenire, Luli Gambino, Bettina Junghahn).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Lauren Driscoll, American Heritage 1:46.15, 2. Megan Moroney, St. Andrew’s 1:49.06, 3. Genevie Miller, Bolles 1:50.55; SOFLO: 19. Steph Campo, Coral Springs Charter 1:57.95.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Lindsey McKnight, American Heritage 1:59.27, 2. Tasija Karosas, St. Andrew’s 2:01.59, 3. Ashley Neidigh, Bolles 2:02.75; SOFLO: 13. Jenna Diamond, Coral Springs Charter 2:10.08.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Cat Galletti, Trinity Prep 23.14, 2. Lydia Ware, Bishop Kenny 23.48, 3. Kasey Schmidt, Bolles 23.49.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Megan Moroney, St. Andrew’s 55.29, 2. Grace DiMeo, Booker 55.93, 3. Daniela Gomez, Grandview Prep 56.28; SOFLO: 10. Tyla Martin, Pine Crest 57.88.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Lindsey McKnight, American Heritage 49.91, 2. Kasey Schmidt, Bolles 51.72, 3. Stacy Stanfield, Bolles 51.91.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Lauren Driscoll, American Heritage 4:47.15, 2. Genevie Miller, Bolles 4:51.18, 3. Ashley Neidigh, Bolles 4:52.65.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. St. Andrew’s 1:35.61 (Tasija Karosas, Brenna Ruth, Hannah Coombs, Megan Moroney), 2. Bolles 1:35.86, 3. Tampa Prep 1:36.12; SOFLO: 15. Coral Springs Charter 1:45.06 (Steph Campo, Natasha Payamps, Paige Hicks, Hailey Hernandez).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Tasija Karosas, St. Andrew’s 53.97, 2. Cat Galletti, Trinity Prep 54.64, 3. Clara Smiddy, South Florida Heat 54.78; SOFLO: 13. Jenna Diamond, Coral Springs Charter 59.33, 16. Tyla Martin, Pine Crest 1:01.29.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Emily Kopas, US 1:02.50, 2. Bethany Leap, Booker 1:04.13, 3. Llorente Lopez, Bolles 1:05.46.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. American Heritage 3:23.94 (Lauren Driscoll, Jessica Randolph, Alina Schulhofer, Lindsey McKnight), 2. St. Andrew’s 3:29.39, 3. Tampa Prep 3:31.77; SOFLO: 5. Pine Crest 3:33.51 (Tyla Martin, Casey Francis, Hannah Veale, Brittany Hammond), 8. South Florida Heat 3:43.14 (Rose Smiddy, Lindsey Sauer, DalyKay Reback, Clara Smiddy), 15. Mast Academy (Luli Gambino, Rachel Ling, Bettina Junghahn, Patricia Eidenire). 

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Carolyn Chaney, Pine Crest 490.25, 2. Dakota Toner, Pine School 488.15, 3. Blaire Mulka, St. Andrew’s 487.15; Other locals: 14. Carson Knaby, University School 343.85, 18. Carly Ehrlich, Pine Crest 233.80, 22. Juliette Pozzuouli, Pine Crest 131.30.


1.Jacksonville Bolles 446, 2. Pine Crest 303.5, 3. Lake Highland Prep 194, 4. American Heritage Plantation 172, 5. St. Andrew’s 137, 6. Sagemont 87, 7. Westminster Academy 81, 8. Ransom Everglades 72, 9. Doral Academy 71, 10. Shorecrest Prep 63, 11. Cardinal Gibbons 60, 12. Tampa Prep 58, 13. Rickards 52, 14. Bishop Kenny 49, 15. Coral Shores 46, 16. Miami LaSalle 35, 17. Episcopal 30, 18. Westminster Christian 27, 19. Booker 26, 20. Providence and University School 25, 22. Gulliver Prep 22, 23. Cardinal Mooney 21, 24. Satellite 18, 25. Seacrest, Lincoln Park and Windermere 17, 28. Bay 16, 29. Coral Springs Charter 15, 30. P.K. Yonge 13, 31. St. Brendan 12, 32. Cocoa Beach, Benjamin, Clearwater Catholic 11, 35. Zion Lutheran 9, 36. Trinity Prep 8.5, 37. King’s Academy and John Carroll 8, 39. Trinity Catholic, Edgewood and Berkeley Prep 4, 42. Lakeland Christian 3, 43. Grandview Prep 2, 44. Bishop Verot and All Saints 1. 


200-yard medley relay: 1. Bolles 1:30.28 (Preston Jenkins, Matheus Martini, Santo Condorelli, Ryan Murphy), 2. St. Andrew’s 1:35.37, 3. Pine Crest 1:35.48; Other locals: 4. Westminster Academy 1:38.14, 8. Cardinal Gibbons 1:41.77.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Yousef Alaskari, American Heritage 1:36.98, 2. Ryan Murphy, Bolles 1:37.77, 3. Gotti Eisenberger, Pine Crest 1:38.75; SOFLO: 10. Marco Hosfeld, US 1:44.38.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Teo D’Alessandro, Bolles 1:49.27, 2. Rasmu Skjaerpe, Tampa Prep 1:50.93, 3. Julian Radice, Immaculata 1:52.26.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Sean Duggan, Lake Highland Prep 20.36, 2. Daniel Spas, Westminster Academy 20.64, 3. George Frank, Bolles 20.96.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Yousef Alaskari, American Heritage 47.90, 2. Luke Torres, American Heritage 49.30, 3. Austin Saunders, Westminster Academy 49.51.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Sean Duggan, Lake Highland Prep 44.29, 2. Gotti Eisenberger, Pine Crest 45.06, 3. George Frank, Bolles 45.68.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Ryan Rosenbaum, Cardinal Gibbons 4:30.77, 2. Liam McKane, Booker 4:32.52, 3. Bradley Stamper, Bolles 4:35.53; SOFLO: 13. Marco Hosfeld, US 4:43.60.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Bolles 1:23.02 (Teo D’Alessandro, Santo Condorelli, George Frank, Emiro Goosen), 2. Pine Crest 1:24.66, 3. American Heritage 1:24.77 (Yousef Alaskari, Luke Torres, Fernando Bohorquez, Daniel Spas).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Ryan Murphy, Bolles 47.59, 2. Preston Jenkins, Bolles 48.69, 3. Andres Reyes-Capo, Ransom Everglades 50.89.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Diguan Pigot, Doral Academy 56.44, 2. Teo D’Alessandro, Bolles 56.66, 3. Matheus Martini, Bolles 57.33; SOFLO: 6. Luke Torres, American Heritage 58.26.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Jacksonville Bolles 3:00.67 (George Frank, Ryan Murphy, Preston Jenkins, Teo D’Alessandro), 2. Pine Crest 3:04.65, 3. American Heritage 3:05.28 (Yousef Alaskari, Luke Torres, Fernando Bohorquez, Daniel Spas).

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Jack Stein, Shorecrest Prep 510.75, 2. Demetrie Demit, Lincoln Prep 459.70, 3. Parker Roth, Seacrest C.D. 454.15; Locals: 4. Eduard Sanchez, Coral Springs Charter 450.20, 7. Zach Laurence, University School 430.95, 9. Chris Doolittle, Zion Lutheran 402.10, 10. Connor Gerrits, Pine Crest 391.50, 12. Hayes-Macaluso, Pine Crest 366.75, 18. Alex Warters, Westminster Academy 240.50.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Luke Torres Commits To University Of Florida Gators

SOFLO’s Luke Torres Commits To University Of Florida Gators

November 7, 2011


Luke Torres is ready to get to the next level in swimming.

With an eye on the future including NCAA Division I Championships and  2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Torres verbally committed to University of Florida Monday night.

Torres said when he got off the phone with Gator assistant coach Steve Jungbluth, “I had the biggest smile on my face.”

Torres, a senior at American Heritage Plantation, will close out an impressive high school career this week when he competes in his fourth and final FHSAA Class 1A State Meet in Orlando on Friday.

Torres qualified in the 100-yard butterfly, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays. In the county honor roll, Torres is ranked third in the 100-yard butterfly in 50.41 and seventh in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:00.35.

Torres is the second swimmer from American Heritage to commit to Florida this year. Earlier this season, former SOFLO swimmer Lindsey McKnight signed with the Gators and will join her older sister Taylor next fall.

“It was such a relief to have it done, a big weight off my shoulders,” said Torres, who visited Florida, Seton Hall and William and Mary. He was invited to visit University of Southern California but decided to sign with the Gators, one of the nation’s most respected and toughest men’s Division I collegiate programs.

“I was looking for a big team,” Torres said. “I am not going to lie. I know I am going to have to adjust a lot to Florida but in the end I think I will be a better swimmer knowing I have four years of hard training.”

Torres first college visit was Florida. “I liked everything about it, I know I took some time deciding,” said Torres, who will be working with U.S. Olympic men’s coach Gregg Troy, head coach at Florida and Surinam Olympian Anthony Nesty, UF associate head men’s coach.

“I know it’s a different kind of training, but I think it’s what I need right now,” Torres said. “I know I don’t have the fastest times. I know they have much faster swimmers than me.

“The coaches said they are going for my potential. I have the body type. I am a big guy and they think I will grow another one or two inches. They want me to do sprints and they really think I can get more speed as a 100 flyer. Hopefully, they are right.”

The 6-foot-3 Torres will have several familiar faces around him including the McKnights and Carlos Omana, a freshman at Florida this year and Florida Gold Coast swimmer for Metro Aquatics.

“It will be good to have people I know around me, supporting me through the process,” Torres said.

Torres has had good support ever since he arrived in South Florida. He started swimming in Brazil at age 7. He and his family moved to South Florida his freshman year and he started training at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex with the late Michael Lohberg and Bruno Darzi,  whom Torres both credited for his growth in the sport.

Lohberg always saw the potential, calling him a “work in progress.” Since then he has bettered his career-best times in all his events, become one of the Florida Gold Coast’s top age group swimmers, competed at USA Swimming Junior Nationals, Brazilian Junior Nationals and several other U.S. and international meets.

Born in San Diego, Calif., Torres has dual U.S. and Brazilian citizenship. He has his sights set on representing Brazil in international competition including the Olympic Games one day.

Torres lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil since he was 3. In addition to swimming, he competed in several sports including soccer, tennis and jiu-jitsu between ages 7 and 9 but decided on swimming when his coach told him he had the body type for a swimmer.

“My coach in Brazil said he could tell by the height of my parents that I would be a really good swimmer,” said Torres. “Then I started beating people. That was the reason I stayed with it. My coaches told me I would be good, but I never thought I would get to this level.”

In Brazil, he competed only in the sprint freestyle. He started training in breaststroke and butterfly at Coral Springs.

“For sure I am a better swimmer now,” Torres said. “Michael was the best coach I ever had. He taught me the proper technique. When I came here I felt like I was in paradise. All of my coaches here really helped me accomplish a lot.

“When I got here from Brazil, I was an average swimmer. I had average results. I didn’t really do that much. I found what I was looking for here. I really do think I had a great evolution. I dropped a lot of time, my technique is much better. I am a much better swimmer physically and mentally and I know I can get better. Hopefully, NCAAs is my main goal. The Olympics would be awesome when I finish up college. I want to keep my grades up, too, so I can go to grad school.”

Torres hopes to pursue finance or international relations as his major.

“Going to Florida is one of the biggest things to happen to me in my life,” Torres said. “I can’t believe I just did it. I don’t think it’s hit me yet.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Region Meets Final Step To FHSAA State High School Meet In Orlando

Region Meets Final Step To FHSAA State High School Meet In Orlando

November 2, 2011


The final step to next week’s high school state meet in Orlando begin on Thursday with the first of four region meets featuring South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers.

The Region 4-3A Swimming and Diving Championships, hosted by St. Thomas Aquinas, opens the region meet schedule on Thursday at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex with prelims and finals.

Two more region meets are scheduled for Friday including the Region 4-1A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

The meet is arguably one of the fastest in the state and considered a “mini-state meet.” Only defending state 1A champion Jacksonville Bolles region is faster.

American Heritage, Cardinal Gibbons, Pine Crest, St. Andrew’s, Gulliver Prep and University School have some of the state’s fastest swimmers in the field.

Last year SOFLO’s Luke Torres was a member of American Heritage’s winning 200-yard medley relay. American Heritage has the top-ranked 200-yard medley relay this season in 1:37.09 with Yousef Alaskari, Torres, Digby Nothard and Daniel Spas.

Individual winners automatically qualify for next week’s state meet. The remaining qualifiers are determined after the final region meet on Saturday. The state psych sheets will be available on Sunday at

Thursday, Region 4-3A: (Defending boys and girls champion, St. Thomas Aquinas), Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second St., prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m. (Teams: American, Braddock, Columbus, Cooper City, Coral Gables, Coral Reef, Cypress Bay, Dr. Krop, Ferguson, Flanagan, Goleman, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Lourdes, McArthur, Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Killian, Miami Palmetto, Miami Sunset, Mourning, North Miami, Nova, Northeast, Reagan, South Broward, Southwest Broward, South Dade, South Plantation, Southwest Miami, St. Thomas Aquinas, Varela, West Broward, Western.

Friday, Region 4-1A: (Defending boys and girls champion Pine Crest), Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m. (Teams: American Heritage Delray, American Heritage Plantation, Calvary Christian, Cardinal Gibbons, Chaminade, Coral Shores, Carrollton, Coral Springs Charter, Coral Springs Christian, Doctor’s Charter, Doral Academy, Grandview Prep, Gulliver Prep, Miami LaSalle, Mast Academy, Miami Pace, Island Christian, King’s Academy, Miami Country Day, North Broward Prep, Pine Crest, Pope John Paul II, Posnack, Ransom Everglades, Sagemont, Somerset Academy, St. Andrew’s, South Florida Heat, St. Brendan, Terra Institute, University School, Westminster Academy, Westminster Christian, Zion Lutheran.

Friday, Region 3-3A: (Defending boys champion Boca Raton and girls champion Spruce Creek), Lake Lytal Aquatic Complex, 3645 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m. (Teams: Atlantic, Boca Raton, Boyd Anderson, Centennial, Coral Glades, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, DeLand, Douglas, Dwyer, Fort Pierce Central, John I. Leonard, Jupiter, Melbourne, Monarch, Palm Beach Central, Palm Beach Gardens, Park Vista, Plantation, Santaluces, Seminole Ridge, Spanish River, Spruce Creek, Taravella, Vero Beach, Vierra, Wellington, West Boca Raton.

Saturday, Region 4-2A: (Defending boys champion, Miami Belen Jesuit and defending girls champion, Riviera Beach Suncoast), Florida Gulf Coast University, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m. (Teams: Archbishop McCarthy, Barron Collier, Belen Jesuit, Cypress Lake, Dillard, Dreyfoos, East Lee County, Estero, Forest Hill, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gulf Coast, Hialeah Miami Lakes, Hollywood Hills, Ida Baker, Jensen Beach, Key West, Lely, Martin County, Mater Academy, Naples, North Fort Myers, Okeechobee, Olympic Heights, Palmetto Ridge, Pembroke Pines Charter, Pompano Beach, Riverdale, South Fork, South Fort Myers, Stranahan, Suncoast.

Sharon Robb can be reached at