SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding Swims Best Time At Speedo East Winter Junior National Championships

By Sharon Robb

December 11, 2015—Kathleen Golding, despite swimming back-to-back events, lowered her time in the 200-yard freestyle on Day Three of the Speedo East Winter Junior National Championships Friday at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center.

Competing in her third junior nationals, the 15-year-old South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was 30th in the 200-yard freestyle in a best time 1:49.64, the first time she cracked 1:50. Her previous best was 1:51.58. Her splits were 25.54, 27.81, 28.52, 27.77.

“That was really a nice swim for her, we are happy about that,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said.

Golding swam her best time just moments after she was 44th in the 100-yard butterfly prelims in 56.01, just off her seed time of 55.18.

Golding will swim the 100-yard freestyle (51.22) on Saturday.

Golding will also swim in Sunday’s time trials. Golding will swim the 400-meter individual medley (4:55.80) in Session One and 200-meter breaststroke (2:47.70) in Session Two.

SOFLO teammate Jessica Rodriguez, 16, competing in her second junior nationals, was 77th in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.91. Rodriguez has scratched from Saturday’s 200-meter breaststroke. She will also swim time trials on Sunday in the 100-meter butterfly (1:09.52) and 200-meter individual medley (2:29.15).

The top Florida Gold Coast finisher was Pine Crest Swimming’s Jessica Nava, fourth in the 100-yard butterfly in 53.46.

In other events:

Brooke Forde, 16, of Lakeside won the 400-yard individual medley in 4:07.49, nearly three seconds ahead of Savanna Faulcon, 17, of Spartaquatics.

Charlie Swanson, 17 of Nova of Virginia won the 400-yard individual medley in 3:47.65.

Grace Oglesby, 17, of Cardinal Aquatics broke the meet record in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.41. The previous record was 52.44.

Camden Murphy, 16, of Kingfish Aquatics won the 100-yard butterfly in a meet record in 46.25.

Hannah Cox, 17, of Upper Valley Aquatics won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:44.67.

Michael Jensen, 17, of Upper Dublin Aquatics won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:34.93.

Allie Raab, 15, of Nashville Aquatics won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:00.02.

Will Chan, 15, of SwimMAC won the 100-yard breaststroke in 53.99.

Alex Walsh, 14, of Nashville Aquatics won the 100-yard backstroke in a meet record 51.62. Kaitlin Harty, 18, swimming unattached also swam below the old record in 51.67.

Ethan Young, 17, of Carpet Capital won the 100-yard backstroke in a meet record 46.66, breaking Ryan Murphy’s 2011 record of 46.72.

Saturday’s events are the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 200-yard butterfly, 1,650-yard freestyle and 4x100yard freestyle relay.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. The meet is being live streamed at

The Speedo West Winter Junior National Championships are being held simultaneously this week at the University of Texas’ Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.



400-yard individual medley: 1. Brooke Ford, Lakeside 4:07.49, 2. Savanna Faulcon, Y-Spartaquatics 4:10.32, 3. Isabel Ivey, Gator Swim Club 4;12.08.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Grace Oglesby, Cardinal Aquatics 52.41, meet record, 2. Asia Seidt, Lakeside 52.83, 3. Lauren Case, Chattahoochee 53.04; 44. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 56.01.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Hannah Cox, Upper Valley, 1:44.67, 2. Tatum Wade, Nashville 1:44.78, 3. Erika Brown, SwimMAC 1:45.32.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Allie Raab, Nashville 1:00.02, 2. Kennedy Lohman, Lakeside 1:00.14, 3. Madison Winstead, Highbridge 1:00.87.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Alex Walsh, Nashville 51.62, meet record, 2. Kaitlin Harty, Unattached 51.67, meet record, 3. Asia Seidt, Lakeside 52.57.

4×50-yard freestyle relay: 1. SwimMAC 1:30.09, meet record, 2. Nashville Aquatics 1:32.45, 3. Gator Swim Club 1:32.71.

4×100-yard medley relay: 1. Lakeside Swim Team 3:36.61, meet record; 2. SwimMAC 3:37.57, 3. Nashville Aquatics 3:38.66.


400-yard individual medley: 1. Charlie Swanson, Nova 3:47.65, 2. Jarrett Jones, Zuwallack, 3:49.92, 3. Cooper Hodge, Mason Manta Rays 3:51.69.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Camden Murphy, Kingfish 46.25, meet record, 2. Michael Jensen, Upper Dublin 47.28, 3. Ariel Spektor, Bolles 47.62.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Michael Jensen, Upper Dublin 1:34.93, 2. Jake Sannem, Upper Dublin 1;36.46, 3. Drew Kibler, Carmel 1:37.47.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Will Chan, SwimMAC 53.99, 2. Chandler Bray, Avon 54.12, 3. Jacob Montague 54.13.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Ethan Young, Carpet Capital 46.66, meet record, 2. Dean Farris, Metro Atlanta 47.36, 3. Michael Taylor, Dynamo 48.02.

4×50-yard freestyle relay: 1. Bolles 1:21.10, 2. Upper Dublin 1:21.49, 3. Bernal’s gators 1:22.64.

4×100-yard medley relay: 1. Bolles (Andy Song An, James Daugherty, Ariel Spektor, Tyler Rice) 3:14.51, meet record, 2. Upper Dublin 3:14.89, 3. Dynamo 3:16.53.


Team USA, led by American records from Simone Manuel, Cody Miller and Tom Shields and world record by the women’s 400 medley relay, Team USA took a stunning 74-48 advantage over Team Europe Friday night at the seventh Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis.

The U.S. has all but locked up its seventh victory over Team Europe in meet history.

The U.S. foursome of Courtney Bartholomew, Katie Meili, Kelsi Worrell and Simone Manuel broke the world record in the 400 medley relay in 3:45.20, breaking the 2011 record of 3:45.56.

Manuel won the 100 freestyle in an American record 51.69 breaking Natalie Coughlin’s 51.88 mark. Miller took down the American record in the 200 breaststroke in 2:02.33. Shields won the 100 butterfly in an American record 48.63.

St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis knocked off Russian Yulia Efimova in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:18.35 to 2:18.55.

Ryan Lochte of Daytona Beach won the 400 individual medley in 4:02.78 ahead of Dan Wallace (4:04.10). The duel continues on Saturday afternoon.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

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Ledecky Breaks Another World Record, Phelps Takes Gold, Silver On Final Day Of Pan Pacs

Ledecky Breaks Another World Record, Phelps Takes Gold, Silver On Final Day Of Pan Pacs

By Sharon Robb

August 24, 2014—Teenager Katie Ledecky broke her second world record at the Pan Pacific Championships Sunday at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Southport, Australia.

On the final day of the four-day meet, Ledecky, 17, broke her own 1500-meter freestyle world record in 15:28.36, shaving nearly six seconds off the old record she set in June.

“I knew it was my last race of the meet and last race of the season so I wanted to finish a really good season on a good note,” Ledecky said.

“It was probably one of the most painful races,” Ledecky said. “It was painful, but it pays off in the end, so I’m happy.”

It came a day after she broke her own world record in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.86. It was also her fifth gold medal. She won the 200, 400, 800 and 1500-meter individual events and anchored the winning 4×200-meter freestyle relay team.

Ledecky holds the world records in the 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles and is the first woman since American distance great Janet Evans to hold all three records at the same time.

“I am really enjoying the journey and just enjoying each step,” Ledecky said. “Hopefully, there are a few steps left.”

Added Michael Phelps, “She is a stud, watching her swim is remarkable. She is very talented, she works hard and it shows.”

The eighteen-time Olympic gold medalist Phelps continued his comeback journey by taking a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley, losing the gold by 2/100ths of a second to Japan’s Kosuke Hagino

Phelps was reeling in Hagino in the final 50 meters after trailing by only 0.66 seconds at the final turn but Hagino, who also won the 400 IM, out-touched Phelps in 1:56.02. It was the identical time Ryan Lochte clocked in the “B” final.

“Today my body was hurting,” Phelps said. “I woke up this morning and my body was in pain. After this morning’s race and a nap, I felt pretty fresh for final. If I would change anything it would probably be to step on the first 100 meters.

“I think for my first real international meet back we accomplished everything we wanted to,” Phelps said. “We were able to find out some of the things that I need to improve on over the next year. I need to work on holding my stroke, to do a comfortable stroke at that high speed and that will come with faster races and faster things in workout.”

Phelps won his second gold medal of the meet as a member of the winning 4×100-meter medley relay in a meet record 3:29.94 with teammates Matt Grevers, Kevin Cordes and Nathan Adrian.

Phelps, 29, also won a gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly in 51.29.

Ryan Lochte lost the final spot in the 200 IM final to Phelps after Tyler Clary qualified with a faster time. Only two swimmers from each country are allowed to compete in finals. Lochte was a silver medalist behind Phelps in the event at the 2012 London Olympics.

In other championship finals:

American Maya DiRado won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:09.93 ahead of Aussie Alicia Coutts in 2:10.25. American Caitlin Leverenz took the bronze in 2:10.67. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis won the “B” final in 2:11.42. DiRado and Margalis will represent the U.S. at next year’s world championships.

Aussie Cate Campbell won the 50-meter freestyle in 23.96, equalling the world’s fastest time in 2014.

Canadian Ryan Cochrane won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:45.39. American Connor Jaeger was third in 7:47.75.

Brazilian Bruno Fratus won a stacked 50-meter freestyle race in a meet record 21.44. American team captain Anthony Ervin was second in 21.73 and Nathan Adrian was third in 21.80.

Japan swept the 200-meter breaststroke. Kanako Watanabe won the women’s gold in 2:21.41 and Yahuhiro Koseki won the men’s title in 2:08.57.

Australia won the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay in a national record 3:55.49 over the Olympic champion Americans with Cate Campbell, Lorna Tonks, Emily Seebohm and Alicia Coutts.

The Aussie men’s and women’s sprint relay teams knocked off the U.S. for the first time in 12 years. “It’s always good to get one up on the Americans like that,” said Aussie Cameron McEvoy.

As expected, Team USA was the dominant country with 14 gold medals, 12 silver and 14 bronze. Host Australia, in the middle of a resurgence after a disastrous 2012 Olympics, was second with ten gold, eight silver and eight bronze, Japan had seven and South Korea, Canada and Brazil each had one gold medal.

“For us, we just needed to get in there, not get too overwhelmed with the home crowd and use it to the best of our ability,” said Aussie swimmer Tommaso D’Orsogna. “It’s just about developing this team that we’ve got and really moving forward as well as we can towards Rio.”

Rio de Janeiro is host city for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Despite back spasms, Missy Franklin will represent the U.S. at worlds in the 100 and 200 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke and relays.

The 10K open water events, scheduled for Monday, were postponed because of poor water quality and high levels of E. Coli at two Gold Coast venues. The four charter nations, USA, Japan, Canada and host Australia did not want to risk the health and safety of their athletes.

The event will now be held in conjunction with the Junior Pan Pacs in Maui, Hawaii on August 31. Team USA’s open water swimmers including former Clearwater Aquatics Team swimmer Becca Mann, will return to Los Angeles on Tuesday before heading to Hawaii on Thursday. Mann scratched from the 1500 to focus on the 10K.

Organizers decided to move the event after strong winds and heavy rain caused concerns with the water quality. The heavy rain caused increased pollution in the waterways and lakes.

At a cost of $41.39 million to refurbish the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre with a new competition pool, many coaches, swimmers and fans are questioning why a retractable roof on the venue was not included in the facelift plans. The venue will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Phelps Returns To International Stage, Franklin’s Back Is Questionable At Pan Pacific Championships

Phelps Returns To International Stage, Franklin’s Back Is Questionable At Pan Pacific Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 20, 2014—The Pan Pacific Championships, boasting several top swimmers from Florida including Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, St. Petersburg Aquatics’ Melanie Margalis and former University of Florida swimmers Elizabeth Beisel and Ryan Lochte, begins Thursday at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Southport, Australia (Wednesday in Florida) with several big question marks.

The biggest shocker from Down Under is the status of Missy Franklin.

The U.S. team got a brief scare when the four-time Olympic gold medalist had back spasms during Tuesday’s practice. Team doctors and therapists worked on her and she was feeling better hours later. She has been resting and rehabbing at the team hotel.

On Wednesday afternoon she tested her back in a local pool and had very little discomfort.

“It was very therapeutic and felt great being back in the water,” Franklin said. “I am praying that I will be ready to race tomorrow. I am feeling drastically better every hour.”

Her status for the scheduled 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke will be determined prior to prelims on Thursday morning.

Michael Phelps, 22-time Olympic medalist will return to international competition after his comeback in the U.S.

The four-day Pan Pacific Championships, created by the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan as an alternative to the European Championships which have already gotten under way, is Phelps first international meet since he won six medals, including four gold, at the London Olympics.

“I’ve really enjoyed competing in Australia,”Phelps said. “The stands and the crowd are always going to be an interesting scene. There’s always so much excitement. I’m looking forward to getting out there and seeing what’s going to happen. The goal for this summer was to make Pan Pacs, and we’ll go from there and see what happens.”

The weather could be a factor since the venue is an outdoor pool and cold and rain is expected.

“I’m used to it,” Lochte said. “Growing up in Florida, I swam outside in the rain, so I don’t really have to worry about that. The biggest thing to overcome is probably the wind especially when you are doing the backstroke in an outside pool. You don’t have the ceiling to really focus on.”

Australia, Canada and the U.S. will duke it out in the Pacific Rim meet in a country that loves its swimming and is considered Australia’s national pastime.

In a poll conducted in Australia after the 2012 London Olympics, swimming and soccer were the most popular participation sports among Aussies ages 5-14.

However, Team USA has dominated the medal count in each of the last 11 Pan Pacs and hope to continue the streak.

Murphy and Margalis are among eight men and 12 women who are National Team rookies.

For those following the Pan Pacs on the East Coast, prelims are 8 p.m. beginning Wednesday on the East Coast and finals 5 a.m.

NBC will broadcast highlight races from the Pan Pacs on Saturday and Sunday from 3:30-4:30 p.m. each day. In Australia the entire meet is being televised live.

Swimming Australia will live stream the meet on its website ( beginning 8 p.m. with prelims and 5 a.m. finals (on the East Coast) each day.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Margalis, Lochte Win, Valley Takes Second On Final Night Of Phillips 66 National Championships

Margalis, Lochte Win, Valley Takes Second On Final Night Of Phillips 66 National Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 10, 2014—It was a great finishing night for Florida swimmers at the Phillips 66 National Championships Sunday at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine, Calif.

Melanie Margalis, 22, of St. Petersburg Aquatics, seeded second after morning prelims, topped an impressive field to win the 200-meter individual medley in a lifetime-best 2:10.20, bettering her previous best of 2:10.71.

It is the fastest time in the U.S. and third best in the world this year and the Clearwater Countryside alum’s first national title.

Maya DiRado, 21, of Stanford Swimming, the leader after the backstroke, was second in 2:10.57 and Caitlin Leverenz, the early leader after the butterfly, was third in 2:11.05. University of Florida alum Elizabeth Beisel, 21, was fifth in 2:12.46.

“I am speechless right now,” Margalis said. “I have to let it soak in right know. I am really excited.”

Margalis splits were 28.60, 32.93, 37.52 and 31.15.

During the week, Margalis finished third in the 400-meter individual medley (4:37.84) and third in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:25.27). She will compete in all three at Pan Pacs.

Margalis will be part of a 60-swimmer contingent the U.S. is sending to Australia for the Pan Pacific Championships.

Florida alum Ryan Lochte, 30, of Daytona Beach and SwimMAC went out fast and held on to win his first individual event of the meet in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:56.50.

Lochte led from wire-to-wire and held off a charging Michael Phelps, 29, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club, who finished 5/100ths of a second behind Lochte in 1:56.55. It was the second and third fastest times in the world this year. Tyler Clary, 25, of SwimMAC was third in 1:57.94.

“I didn’t really want to go out fast, I was trying to hold back,” Lochte said with a smile. “This year has been up and down. I’m glad I got a win. It’s been both mentally and physically draining for me. The mental part was knowing I haven’t done the work I wanted to and physically because of my knee.”

Said Phelps who couldn’t see Lochte in Lane 2, “I saw nothing. I knew we were going out fast. That race was pretty painful in the end. I’m just happy being back in the water and to be able to finish like that is good. We do enjoy racing each other and we both hate to lose.”

Bradenton’s Danielle Valley, 19, of Sarasota YMCA, leading for most of the race, finished second in the 1500-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 16:19.83, bettering her previous best of 16:24.44. The 2012 Olympic Trials finalist is in the process of transferring from University of Florida.

By virtue of his “B” final victory in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.50, Bolles’ Caleb Dressel, 18, won the 18-and-under national title.

SwimMAC Carolina swept the combined (756 points), men’s (384) and women’s (372) team titles. California Aquatics was second in combined (566) and women’s (307) and North Baltimore Aquatic Club was third overall (522) and was second (305) among men’s teams.

Individual high point award winners were Missy Franklin of Cal Aquatics and Matt Grevers of Tucson Ford.

Katie Ledecky of Nation’s Capital won the Phillips 66 Performance Award for her world record performance in the 400-meter freestyle. Ledecky scratched from Sunday’s 1500.

In other championship finals:

Women’s 1500-meter freestyle: Swimming in Lane 8, Katy Campbell, 20, of Palo Alto came from behind to win in a lifetime-best 16:17.59, bettering her previous best of 16:44.70 and fastest time in the world this year.

“I just really trusted my coach,” Campbell said. “We have been working on this all year. I just went for it.”

Men’s 800-meter freestyle: Michael McBroom, 23, of The Woodlands Swim Team pulled away to win his second national title of the week in 7:49.66, third fastest in the world this year. He also won the 400 freestyle title and was second in the 1500. Matt McLean, 26, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club was second in 7:55.78 and Michael Klueh, 27, of Club Wolverine was third in 7:58.13.

“I just wanted to get out there, race and win to get the national title,” McBroom said. “I think this sets me up for Pan Pacs and a faster time. The second 400 it was starting to hurt. I tried my best to ignore it.”

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: Simone Manuel, 18, of First Colony won in a best time 24.56, fastest time by an American this year and national age group record. Ivy Martin, 21, of Wisconsin Aquatics was second in 24.72 and Madeline Locus, 21, of First Colony Swim Team was third in 24.81. Olympic veteran Natalie Coughlin, 31, of Cal Aquatics, in her last shot to make the Pan Pacs, did not qualify finishing in 24.97.

Coughlin, Allison Schmitt and Katie Hoff of Hurricane Aquatics are the biggest names who were unable to make the top three in any individual event or top four for a relay. Hoff was injured and scratched after her first event. Between the three, they have won 51 Olympic and World Championship medals. It is the first time the trio will not compete in a major international meet since 2000.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a meet before where I could say I did everything in my power to be ready and I did,” said Coughlin, who was stricken with food poisoning last week. “There’s always going to be stumbles along the way.”

Manuel leads the new generation of U.S. women sprinters.

“I told myself to have a good finish,” Manuel said. “I really wanted to stick my finish. In the 50 free you have to have everything as perfect as possible. Every time I focus on the blocks I try to focus on doing the best that I can.”

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: Crowd favorite Anthony Ervin, 33, of Cal Aquatics swimming in Lane 5, topped a stacked field to win in 21.55, third fastest time in the world this year and secured his spot on the Pan Pacs team. Favorite Nathan Adrian, 25, and Ervin’s training partner at Cal, was second in 21.69 and Cullen Jones, 30, of SwimMAC was third in 21.83. Florida State alum Mark Weber of SwimMAC was eighth in 22.62. Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel won the “B” final

The five-day meet served as the USA National Team’s selection for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, 2014 Jr. Pan Pacific Championships, 2015 World Championships, 2015 World University Games and 2015 Pan American Games. The next meet for swimmers to make a national team is the 2016 Olympic Trials.

The television schedule for the remainder of the month is:

Saturday, Aug. 23, 2:30-3:30 p.m., NBC (Taped), Pan Pacs

Sunday, Aug. 24, 1-2:30 p.m., NBC (Taped), Pan Pacs


Women’s 1500-meter freestyle: 2. Danielle Valley, Sarasota YMCA 16:19.83, best time, 22. Summer Finke, SPA 16:53.66, 25. Autumn Finke, SPA 17:02.56, 27. Taylor Katz, SYS 17:04.35, 29. Kahra Williams, GSC 17:06.12, 32. Casey Francis, Pine Crest Swimming 17:09.49.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: 1. Melanie Margalis, St. Petersburg 2:10.20, best time, 5. Elizabeth Beisel, Bluefish 2:12.46, 14. Justine Bowker, T2 Aquatics 2:14.97, 31. Lindsey McKnight, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:18.20, 41. Ashlee Linn, SYS 2:18.90, 46. Shaun Casey, DBS 2:19.76, 49. Hannah Burns, GSC 2:20.47, 71. Tasija Karosas, Texas Aquatics/St. Andrew’s 2:23.18.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: 1. Ryan Lochte, SwimMAC 1:56.50, 26. Matt Curby, Blue Dolphins 2:03.41, 27. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 2:03.55, 57. Grant Sanders, CAT 2:06.51, 60. Teo D’Alessandro, Bolles 2:06.84.

Men’s 800-meter freestyle: 4. Arthur Frayler, Unattached Florida 8:01.38, 17. True Sweetser, GSC 8:06.77, best time, 32. Adam Bull, Swim Fort Lauderdale 8:14.67, 36. Calvin Bryant, SPA 8:17.14, best time, 37. Blake Manganiello, AquaKids Sharks 8:18.23, best time, Ryan Rosenbaum, Swim Fort Lauderdale, DFS.

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: 31. Kaitlyn Dressel, Club Seminole 26.01, 67. Harper Bruens, Boca Raton Swim Team 26.66.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: 9. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 22.50, 11. Bradley Deborde, PA 22.37, best time, 38. Logan Lassley, Westminster Academy 23.07, 38. Eric McGinnis, TPA 23.07, 64. Logan Heck, Unattached 23.57.

Sharon Robb can be reached at