AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 148: Felipe Silva Swims Textile-Best In Sprint Breaststroke

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 148: Felipe Silva Swims Textile-Best In Sprint Breaststroke


April 27, 2012

Despite bad weather, Brazilian Felipe Silva swam a textile-best to win the 50-meter breaststroke Friday at the rain-soaked Maria Lenk Trophy Meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The reigning world champion won the non-Olympic sprint event in 26.87 seconds, bettering the previous best of 26.90 by Cameron van der Burgh at last year’s World Championships.

Silva has 11 of the fastest swims in the history of the event.

Weather continued to deteriorate throughout the day at the outdoor Maria Lenk Stadium contributing to slower-than-usual times in the championship meet which is serving as an Olympic qualifier for Brazil.

In other championship finals:

Ana Carvalho won the 50-meter breaststroke in 31.78.

Juan Pereira of Argentina won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:58.40, an Argentine national record.

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen won the 100-meter freestyle in 54.37 for her second victory of the meet. Daynara de Paula was second in 55.47, her fastest time since 2009.

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte avenged her loss in the 200-meter individual medley by winning the 400-meter individual medley in 4:39.41, two seconds faster than she swam last year. Joanna Maranhao, winner of the 200 IM, was second in 4:42.32.

Brazilian Thiago Pereira won the men’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:13.48, moving him into the world’s Top 10 in the event. Pereira swept the IM events.

Cesar Cielo, the swimmer of the meet, went virtually unchallenged to win the 100-meter freestyle in 48.28, sixth fastest in the world this year. Marcelo Chierighini was second in 49.05.

Legendary Coach “Sticks” Ballatore Dies

As University of Florida swimmer Elizabeth Beisel put it, “the swimming world lost an amazing coach, friend and father today.” Hall of Fame swim coach Ron “Sticks” Ballatore, head men’s coach of NCAA champion UCLA (1977-1994) died of cancer Friday in a Gainesville hospice. The five-time Olympic coach was 71. Ballatore also coached at University of Florida (1996-1999).

State high school water polo

The FHSAA State Water Polo Tournament continues Saturday at Ransom Everglades. In the boys’ semifinals, Winter Park plays St. Thomas Aquinas at noon. Lake Nona plays the winner of Gulliver Prep-St. Andrew’s game at 1:30 p.m. In the girls’ bracket, Winter Park plays Westminster Academy at 9 a.m. and host Ransom Everglades plays Lake Nona at 10:30 a.m. The state final is 4 p.m. In early games, Westminster Academy girls (20-0) defeated Oviedo, 17-9, behind Caroline Israels’ 11 goals. Hollywood Hills girls lost to Winter Park, 19-6. Winter Park boys defeated Cypress Bay 20-12. St. Thomas Aquinas (21-3) eliminated Oviedo, 19-5 behind RJ Moore’s nine goals and Eric Goldenberg’s six goals.


The game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” celebrates American Pride Week this week (April 30-May 4 and May 7) with a special series devoted to celebrating everything that makes America great including Olympians. Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Dara Torres, Florida’s Ryan Lochte and gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Jonathan Horton will compete on two-person teams on Friday, May 4 and Monday, May 7. Their winnings will be donated to the U.S. Olympic Committee…Synchro de Mayo is National Synchronized Swimming Week, May 1-6.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 147: Two Textile-Bests Fall On Day 3 Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 147: Two Textile-Bests Fall On Day 3 Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet


April 26, 2012

Back-to-back new textile-best men’s and women’s times in the 50-meter butterfly highlighted third day action at the Maria Lenk Trophy Meet Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

A day after Brazilian Cesar Cielo came close to swimming a textile-best in the 50-meter freestyle, came back to better the existing time in the men’s 50-meter butterfly in 22.76, bettering the old mark of 22.96 held by Roland Schoeman. The time also shattered Brazilian and South American records.

Cielo’s time made him the fourth fastest in history of the race.

In the women’s 50-meter butterfly, Jeanette Ottesen swam a textile-best 25.29 to better Therese Alshammar’s old textile-best of 25.37. It was the third best swim in history.

Wind and rain played havoc at the outdoor meet and some coaches complained that the times were wind-aided.

In other championship finals:

Leonardo de Deus broke a meet record in the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:57.38. Current national record holder Thiago Pereira finished just .01 seconds behind in 1:57.39.

Felipe Silva broke the minute-barrier twice and won the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.83 after going 59.63 (third fastest in the world this year) in morning prelims. Henrique Barbosa was second in 1:00.54. Olympic qualifier Felipe Lima was fourth in 1:00.62. Five swimmers have broke the minute barrier in the event so far this year.

World runner-up Lotte Friis of Denmark won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:26.98, sixth fastest time in the world this year.

Laure Manaoudou of France won the 200-meter backstroke in 2:11.77.

Ana Carvalho won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:10.53.


Coral Springs Swim Club five-time Olympian Dara Torres is among 18 Olympians suing Samsung Corp. over a Facebook app they said misuses their names and images. Mark Spitz, Janet Evans, Greg Louganis, Cullen Jones, Amanda Beard, Jessica Hardy and several others filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday. The athletes object to the Samsung Olympic Genome Project which shows Facebook users how they are connected to famous Olympians. The complaint said Samsung has been running the Olympic Genome Project since March without the permission to use the athletes’ names and images. Samsung said it was disappointed by the lawsuit. USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the USOC and Samsung began the Olympic Genome Project so Americans could find connections with U.S. athletes and not as a way to commercialize athletes’ names…Olympian Natalie Coughlin was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Thursday night along with singer Moby and actress Diane Keaton…Olympic breaststroker Rebecca Soni is featured in this week’s Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 146: Cielo Comes Close To Fastest Sprint Freestyle In Textile Suit

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 146: Cielo Comes Close To Fastest Sprint Freestyle In Textile Suit


April 25, 2012

Reigning world and Olympic champion Cesar Cielo came close to swimming the world’s fastest time in the 50-meter freestyle in a textile suit Wednesday night at the Maria Lenk Trophy Meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Brazilian won the men’s event in 21.38 seconds, nearly breaking Fred Bousquet’s world textile best of 21.36. Cielo owns the world record of 20.91. Bousquet was also in the field, placing third in 21.79.

Cielo did swim faster than his World Championships time of 21.52 to move into the No. 1 spot in the world rankings.

In other finals:

In an upset, Joanna Maranho won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:14.63, edging Mireia Belmonte of Spain in 2:14.66.

Brazilian Thiago Pereira won the men’s 200-meter individual medley in a textile-best 1:57.11, the second fastest time in the world this year behind Michael Phelps’ 1:56.32.

Denmark’s Jeannette Ottesen won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.06 after qualifying in 24.98 in morning prelims. Ottesen also won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.64.

Brazilian Henrique Silva won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.46.

Luiz Arapiraca won the men’s 1500-meter freestyle in 15:22.73 just ahead of Lucas Kanieski in 15:22.95.

Gators Take Honors

Thirty-four University of Florida swimmers and divers were named to the 2011-12 Southeastern Conference Winter Academic Honor Roll. The Gators had 20 women and 14 men. Seniors Teresa Crippen and Brian Howell were among honorees. Diver Mikey Lewark of Davie was also on the honor roll.

Lurz, Cunha Win Open Water Titles

Thomas Lurz of Germany and Ana Marcela Cunha of Brazil, former winner of the ISHOF Roughwater Swim, won the overall men’s and women’s titles at the FINA World Cup in Cancun, Mexico. Lurz won in 1:57.16. Cunha won in 2:09:14. Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli, who trains at Southern California, made his open water debut. The 2008 Olympic champion in the 1500 meters finished 11th, in 1:57.32, just 16 seconds behind the winner.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 145: Records Fall On Opening Night Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 145: Records Fall On Opening Night Of Maria Lenk Trophy Meet


April 24, 2012

Brazilian Daniel Orzechowski swam the fastest time in the world in the 50-meter backstroke Tuesday at the Maria Lenk Trophy Meet in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Orzechowski won the sprint race in 24.44 moving into the No. 1 spot in the world rankings and breaking the previous meet record of 24.49. American Eugene Godsoe was third in 25.01, sixth fastest in the world.

Danish world champion Lotte Friis broke the meet record in the women’s 200-meter freestyle in 1:59.65. The previous record was 1:59.78. Friis also won the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:11.76.

Brazilian Joao de Lucca, a sophomore at the University of Louisville, broke the only other meet record of the day in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.26. American Charlie Houchin, who started his own pro team, IX3 and is training in Jacksonville, was third in 1:48.83.

Other individual winners were:

Brazilian Tales Cerdeira, nursing a pulled right thigh muscle, won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:12.40 ahead of Felipe Lima in 2:12.82. He swam 2:10.37 in prelims, the only swimmer to dip under the FINA A qualifying standard of 2:11.74 for the Olympics.

Fabiola Molina won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.74 ahead of Laure Manaudou in 28.81.

Pamela Souza won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:31.66.

The meet is serving as another qualifying meet for Brazil’s Olympic team.

International notes

Top German breaststroker Hendrik Feldwehr may miss next month’s Berlin Olympic trials because of a recent dryland training injury. Feldwehr has a serious hip injury and is not training three weeks out from the team selection trials for London. Feldwehr injured his adductor muscle in his left hip while lifting weights.

National notes

California’s Tom Shields broke a 26-year-old pool record in the 100-meter butterfly in 52.90 at the TYR Fran Crippen Swim Meet of Championships in Mission Viejo, Calif. Shields broke the record of 53.35 set by Olympian Pablo Morales. In other key races, Eric Shanteau won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.47; Chloe Sutton won the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:35.38 edging Ashley Twichell in 16:35.70.  Lyndsay DePaul of Trojan Swim Club won the 100-meter butterfly in 59.84. Chad La Tourette of Mission Viejo won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:59.31. Rebecca Soni won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.43. After swimming 1:07.93 in prelims, Jessica Hardy scratched from the final denying fans of a long awaited matchup.

Also at the meet, Steve West, 40, of Novaquatics broke a FINA masters world age group record and pool meet record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.68. The record is unsanctioned because the meet is not sanctioned by U.S. Masters Swimming. At 39, West became the oldest man to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:20.65…Janet Evans, a 40-year-old mother of two, finished third in the 400-meter freestyle consolation final in 4:19.40. She barely missed making the final by 2/100ths of a second. She finished sixth in the 800-meter freestyle. “I’m very pleased with the meet and where I am in my progress,” Evans told reporters.

College notes

University of Texas hired former Georgia assistant coach Carol Capitani as head women’s swimming and diving coach. Capitani replaces Kim Brackin, who was dismissed earlier this month after six seasons. Capitani has spent 14 years at Georgia, serving most recently as associate head coach the last two seasons. Capitani signed a five-year contract with the Longhorns…Head coach Cristina Teuscher is leaving Yale after two seasons as women’s coach. She has taken a position in the corporate world in New York City.

American Heritage senior Yousef Alaskari, who trains with the Davie Nadadores and competes for Kuwait internationally, signed a letter of intent to swim for the University of Georgia. Alaskari was the top high school swimmer in Broward County this season.

University of South Carolina had the top GPA ranking of 3.62 among women’s teams in the NCAA Division I Scholar All-America team rankings and Yale edged Villanova, 3.59-3.58 among men’s teams.

Sharon Robb can be reached at