California Wins Team Title, Cordes Breaks Second American Record, Murphy Wins Second Title At NCAA Championships

California Wins Team Title, Cordes Breaks Second American Record, Murphy Wins Second Title At NCAA Championships

By Sharon Robb

March 29, 2014

The University of California Bears came to swim Saturday night at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships.

By the third event on the final night of competition, the Bears knew the title was theirs.

Headed into the championship finals at the University of Texas’ Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center, only six points separated leader Texas and California but that all changed quickly after the first two events.

After a perfect dual-meet season and second consecutive conference title, California won its third team title in four years and fifth overall in the program’s history with 468.5 points.

Texas was second with 417.5 followed by Florida with 387 and defending champion Michigan fourth with 310. Florida State under first year coach Frankie Bradley finished 14th with 105 and University of Miami was 25th with 26 points, all in diving.

Cal had seven swimmers in the “A” finals and two in consolations. Texas had five in the “A” finals and five in consolations.

California freshman Ryan Murphy, 18, swept the backstroke events winning his second NCAA title in the 200-yard backstroke in an NCAA record 1:37.35, all but clinching the national title.

The Bolles alum and race favorite led from the start and was ahead of American record pace by half a second until the final five yards. Murphy also re-broke his 17-18 national age group record of 1:38.15.

Cal teammate Jacob Pedley was fourth in 1:39.59. Murphy and Pedley earned 35 points for the Bears. After the backstroke and mile, the Bears led Texas, 364.54-349.5.

“It’s all about the team title,” Murphy said. “We did everything we could do to contribute to the team. It was a great start to the evening. I hope we can keep rolling. It would be awesome if we did make a difference for the team title in this race.”

Arizona’s Kevin Cordes stole a little of California’s thunder with his second American record of the meet.

Cordes won the 200-yard breaststroke in an American, NCAA and U.S. Open record 1:48.66, breaking the record by 2/100ths of a second.

It was Cordes 11th American short course record in the last two years.

After the first 50, Cordes was a second ahead of American record pace, taking five strokes per 25. With clean walls and perfect streamline, he built a three-body length lead over some of the best breaststrokers in the world.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Cordes said. “It hasn’t really set in yet. I just go out there every day and try to improve. It’s just about different strategies, learning to swim and execute.”

After the breaststroke, Cal had a 412.5-370.5 lead.

In other championship races:

1,650-yard freestyle: Defending champion Connor Jaeger of Michigan led from wire-to-wire to win in a pool record 14:29.27. Cal senior Jeremy Bagshaw, who swam in an earlier heat, finished second in 14:39 to score 17 points for the Bears in their title run. After the event, California led Texas by 11, 329.5-318.5. Florida sophomore Arthur Frayler was third in 14:43.08.

100-yard freestyle: Brazilian Joao De Lucca of Louisville fought off fellow Brazilian Marcelo Chierighini of Auburn to win in 41.70. He is the first swimmer to sweep the 100 and 200 freestyle titles since Gustavo Borges accomplished the feat in 1995. Florida State senior and Florida Gold Coast swimmer Paul Murray was 20th in 42.70. Chierighini had broken the pool record in prelims in 41.52. Cal’s lead was 385.5-365.5 over Texas.

200-yard butterfly: South African Dylan Bosch, a sophomore at Michigan, knocked off Florida’s Marcin Cieslak to win in an NCAA and U.S. Open record of 1:39.33. Cieslak was second in 1:40.19. Florida State junior Connor Knight, a Florida Gold Coast swimmer, won the “B” final in 1:42.25.

“I had a pretty good feeling I could get it,” Bosch said. “This is the fastest meet in the world. It is crazy. I always thought I had a chance to get the record. I wanted to do it for my teammates. We all train together so well. Records are there to be broken. Just to be in the books and written into history is a great feeling.”

10-meter platform diving: Defending champion Nick McCrory of Duke nailed his final dive to make history as the only diver ever to win four consecutive NCAA platform titles. The Olympic bronze medalist finished with 454.85 that included a 10 on his final dive. Rafael Quintero of Arizona was second with 452.40 points.

“I was up there doing the math in my head what scores I had to average, I knew it was a tall order,” said McCrory, who scratched from 3-meter with an injury. “I tried to do my best. It was better than I thought when I hit the water. For me this is huge. I couldn’t ask for a better way to go out at Duke.”

400-yard freestyle relay: With two freshmen duking it out on the anchor leg for Auburn and N.C. State, Auburn, led by freshman Kyle Darmody knocked off a stacked field to win the final event of the night in a meet record 2:48.33. Cal was second in 2:49.48 and N.C. State, with freshman Areas Schiellerup on anchor leg, was third in 2:49.50.

In all, 56 schools and 270 participants—235 swimmers and 35 divers—competed in the three-day meet.

For those who would like to again watch the NCAA Men and Women Swimming and Diving Championships, ESPNU is re-broadcasting the women’s meet on April 2 at 9 p.m., April 3 at 11 p.m. and April 11 at 10 p.m. The men’s meet will be re-broadcast on April 9 at 8 p.m., April 10 at two times, 1 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 175: Boudia, McCrory, Krug, Loukas Earn Top Spots At U.S. Diving Trials

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 175: Boudia, McCrory, Krug, Loukas Earn Top Spots At U.S. Diving Trials


June 23, 2012

The United States has not won a diving medal at the Olympics in twelve years. That may be about to change.

David Boudia, 23, earned his second appearance at the Olympic Games on  men’s 10-meter platform and became an Olympic medal hopeful after an impressive performance.

In front of a record crowd of 2,297 at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash., Boudia, who led after prelims and semifinals, topped a field of 12 divers with a six-dive total of 1,642.40 points.

Nick McCrory, 20, who already qualified with Boudia for men’s platform synchro, qualified second with 1,582.55 to earn his first Olympic berth.

McCrory, fourth at trials four years ago, was also impressive scoring five tens on his backward 2 ½ somersaults tuck in the fifth round.

Boudia, a silver medalist at last year’s World Championships and Pan American Games gold medalist, was the favorite going into trials. In the final, he scored more than 100 points on two dives including a forward 4 ½ somersaults.

“It’s definitely a big confidence-booster when you go into a competition and you have success,” Boudia said.

“Everything is a learning and growing experience,” Boudia said. “I am soaking in the moment. I am extremely confident going into London. I learned from 2008. I am not really focused on results.

“We are both really excited. I am happy for Nick. I know there is more in the tank. We have three weeks before we leave. We have some cleaning up to do on a few dives. We know what we have to do.”

McCrory has been one of the most improved divers in the last two years. He took a year off from Duke to train for the Olympics.

“I felt really confident going into the event,” McCrory said. “I just told myself to breathe and felt a lot more relaxed. I wanted to do my best and have fun. It was fun diving with David today. I feel relieved but we have a lot more goals this summer. This is just part of the road. We’re excited to get back to training.”

2008 Olympic Thomas Finchum, who finished third with 1,463.20 points, announced his plans to retire from diving after Sunday’s 3-meter final at age 22.

“It’s disappointing to be left off the team but I’m happy with what I’ve done,” said a teary-eyed Finchum. “I don’t have any regrets. I didn’t win but I definitely showed a little bit of what I’ve done.”

“I remember my first ten meter competition when I was 11 years old,” Finchum said. “Crazy to think today was my very last. It’s been a crazy, awesome ride.”

In the women’s 3-meter springboard final, former Stanford diver Cassidy Krug of Coraopolis, Pa. and Christina Loukas of Riverwoods, Ill. finished first and second to punch their ticket to London.

Krug, 26, the leader after the first two rounds with a 39-point cushion, scored 1,094.85 points to finish first and qualify for her first Olympic team.

Krug, after finishing eighth at the 2004 and 2008 trials, opened with 79.50 points on her first dive, an inward 2 ½, and scored 75 points or higher on three of her other dives.

“I’ve been wanting to go to the Olympics since I was 3,” said Krug, whose parents are diving coaches. “I can’t believe I’m really going. If I can go dive the way I know I can dive, I’ll be happy. I was happy with my mental state this week, that I was able to focus on all fifteen dives.”

Loukas, 26, who missed one dive, was second with 1,107.85 to place second and qualify for her second Olympic appearance.

Former local diver Kassidy Cook of The Woodlands, after barely missing the synchro team, was fourth with 962.55. She said she knew it would be an uphill battle.

Said Kassidy Cook: “I guess this year just isn’t my year. It’s going to be tough this summer dealing with missing the Olympics by .42 but the future is bright.”

Miami Diving’s Bianca Alvarez of Ohio State was fifth with 949 points. University of Miami’s Lindsay Lester was eleventh with 841.35.

The trials conclude on Sunday with the finals in the men’s 3-meter springboard and women’s 10-meter platform where University of Miami alum Brittany Viola, the leader after two rounds, will go after her first Olympic berth.

NBC will broadcast the trials 3-6 p.m. The show will also feature Saturday’s women’s 3-meter final.


1.David Boudia, Purdue 1,642.40

2.Nick McCrory, DAD 1,582.55

3.Thomas Finchum, Unattached 1,463.20

4.David Bonuchi, MIZZ 1227.45

5.Logan Shinholser, H2OA 1,216.30

6.Steele Johnson, Unattached 1,178.00

7.Benjamin Grado, TCSN 1,170.80

8.Dashiell Enos, Unattached 1,154.55

9.Toby Stanley, Unattached 1147.65

10.Harrison Jones, Unattached 1,142.20

11.Christopher Law, AAAD 1,125.10

12.Zachary Nees, Unattached 1,081.80


1.Cassidy Krug, Stanford Diving 1,094.85

2.Christina Loukas, The Woodlands, 1,017.85

3.Kelci Bryant, Minnesota Diving 967.05

4.Kassidy Cook, The Woodlands 962.55

5.Bianca Alvarez, Ohio State 949.00

6.Summer Allman, Legacy Diving 900.90

7.Gracia Leydon-Mahoney, Duke Aquatics 876.50

8.Meili Caroenter, Wings Diving 852.00

9.Sarah Bacon, Unattached 851.70

10.Victoria Ishimatsu, Trojan Diving 848.60

11.Lindsay Lester, University of Miami 841.35

12.Samantha Pickens, Tucson Diving 827.00

Sharon Robb can be reached at


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 173: Bryant,Johnston,Boudia,McCrory First Divers To Make U.S. Olympic Team

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 173: Bryant,Johnston,Boudia,McCrory First Divers To Make U.S. Olympic Team


June 21, 2012

In a dramatic finish in the women’s synchro 3-meter springboard, the Olympic berth was decided by 42/100ths of a point.

2008 Olympian Kelci Bryant of Minnesota Diving Academy and Abby Johnston of Duke Aquatics clinched the first two spots on the U.S. Olympic diving team on their final dive and finished with 956.40 points for five rounds.

“This is a dream come true,” said a teary-eyed Johnston said. “I keep looking at the scoreboard to see if it’s true.”

Former local diver Kassidy Cook, 17, and Christina Loukas, both of The Woodlands Diving Academy, finished a close second with 955.98.

“Missing the Olympics by half a point is going to haunt me for the rest of my life,” Cook said. “But hey, at least the Heat are NBA champs. I guess some things just aren’t meant to be.”

Amanda Burke of Mason Dive Academy and Summer Allman of Legacy Diving finished third at 806.10.

University of Miami’s Carrie Dragland and Ohio State’s Bianca Alvarez of Miami, in fourth place for the first three rounds, faltered in the fourth round to finish fifth with 774.30.

In the fifth and final round, Cook and Loukas had the higher score of 78.30. Bryant and Johnston, leaders throughout the final, needed 77.10 to win and earned 77.40.

In the heart-stopping final, Bryant and Johnston never led by more than six points. Just two points separated them from Cook and Loukas in the final three rounds.

The four divers knew it would come down to the final round.

“I just said a prayer,” said Johnston, competing with Bryant at the trials for the first time. Bryant’s former 2008 Olympic partner was Florida State’s Ariel Rittenhouse.

“I had no idea what the scores were,” Johnston said. “We knew it was close. We just said we can do this, we know we can do this. I made up my mind that I wanted to be on that Olympic team. I would have done anything to be there. I had this settled feeling that we were going to do it.”

The pair looked at the scoreboard in disbelief when the scores were announced after the competition ended. They embraced and then Johnston went running into her coach’s arms.

“We knew we needed a big dive,” Bryant said. “I told myself this is it. Here we go. Then I told myself to stop thinking, we have done this a million times. Do it right and do it right now.

“This is crazy, what just happened here,” Bryant said. “We have been working for four years, all for an unknown. It’s so crazy to think that now it’s here and it’s happening. We are going to the Olympics.”

The U.S. women will be among eight teams in London. Great Britain earned an automatic spot as host country.

The girls made sure to show off their bright yellow and orange lucky duck Alfred to the national television audience and emphatically said Alfred will be joining them in London.

The men’s 10-meter synchro final was far less dramatic with 2008 Olympian David Boudia of Boiler Diving Academy and Nick McCrory of Duke Aquatics clinching the next two spots on the U.S. team.

Boudia and McCrory had more than a 100-point lead in the six-round competition and with the high degree of difficulty of dives on their list, the pair are among favorites to challenge China’s dominance and bring home a medal.

The pair, strong in both execution and synchronization, clinched mathematically before their sixth and final dive. They finished with 1,387.86, a 180.78-point cushion over runners-up Toby Stanley and Steele Johnson, both diving unattached, with 1,207.08.

Johnson also finished third with Dashiell Enos, diving unattached, with 1,170.12.

“This feels incredible,” McCrory said. “I worked for this my entire life. It was a dream when I was a kid and now I can’t believe it. It happened. I didn’t think I was going to get this emotional.”

Boudia said, “This moment is incredible, it’s awesome.”

One of the more fun teams to watch was former Fort Lauderdale diver Justin Windle, 13, and his partner Zachary Cooper, 14. The pair who train at the Indianapolis Training Center are already being talked about  for the 2016 Olympics.

The youngsters finished sixth among the eight-team field with 1,029.63

On Friday, the finals of the 3-meter men’s synchro will be held in addition to an exhibition women’s 10-meter synchro.

The men’s synchro finals will be televised live on NBCSN 11 p.m.-midnight.


1.Abby Johnston, DAD/Kelci Bryant, MDA, 956.40

2.Kassidy Cook, TWDA/Christina Loukas, TWDA 955.98

3.Amanda Burke, MDA/Summer Allman, LDA 806.10

4.Deidre Freeman, IA/Veronica Rydze, IA 794.82

5.Carrie Dragland, Miami/Bianca Alvarez, OSU 774.30

6.Gabriella Agostino, INDI/Logan Kline, H2OA 742.20

7.Eszter Pryor, Ohio/Rachel Rubadue, Ohio 740.88

8.Maren Taylor, THE/Meghan Houston, LHA 738.72


1.David Boudia/Nick McCrory, DAD 1,387.86

2. Toby Stanley/Steele Johnson, Unattached 1,207.08

3.Steel Johnson/Dashiell Enos, Unattached 1,170.12

4.Logan Shinholser/Ryan Hawkins, H2OA 1,074.00

5.Mark Murdock/Dashiell Enos, Unattached 1,039.02

6.Jordan Windle/Zachary Coooer, Unatatched 1,029.63

7.Christopher Law/Samuel Smith, AAAD 938.55

8.Nicholas Klein/Andrew Cramer, TDC 923.01

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 58: Team USA Wins Five Medals On Day Two Of World University Games

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 58: Team USA Wins Five Medals On Day Two Of World University Games

August 15, 2011


Timothy Phillips, coming off senior nationals, won two gold medals for the United States on the second night of the World University Games in Shenzhen, China.

Phillips, who won the 100-meter butterfly national title, won the 50-meter butterfly in a career-best 23.51 seconds.

Phillips overcame a slow start to finish ahead of Italy’s Paolo Faccinello (23.85) and Japan’s Masayuki Kishida (23.93).

“I’m extremely happy with my swim tonight,” Phillips said. “I had a much better kick out than this morning giving me the win. I couldn’t be happier.”

Phillips came back later in the night to swim the second leg of the winning 4×100-meter freestyle relay with Jimmy Feigen, Kohlton Norys and Bobby Savulich in 3:15.85, nearly two seconds ahead of Brazil (3:17.40) and France (3:18.78).

“The United States has a long history of successful relays,” Savulich said. “We wanted to win this gold medal for our country and become part of the examples that have inspired us.”

Other medal winners for the U.S.:

Michael Klueh, competing in his third Games, won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:52.31. Klueh, the 2007 Games gold medalist, was trailing until the final 50 meters when he turned in a split of 27.34 to overtake Italy’s Rocco Potenza (7:53.45) and Japan’s Yohsuke Miyamoto (7:56.29).

Stephanie Peacock of Cape Coral was third in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:10.25 for her first international medal.

Megan Romano of St. Petersburg took a bronze in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.38.

In other championship finals, New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle won her second gold medal of the Games in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:07.97 after winning the 800-meter freestyle on opening day in 8:26.55.

China’s Tang Yi won the women’s 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 54.24.

Japan’s Izumi Kato won the women’s 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.52.

Gareth Kean of New Zealand won the 100-meter backstroke in 54.71.

More Swimming

Aussie Trent Grimsey won the fifth leg of the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup 2011 in Lac Megantic, Canada. Grimsey went virtually unchallenged to finish in 2 hours, 12 minutes and 47 seconds. Canadians Simon Tobin was second in 2:19:53 and Zac Parkes third in 2:19:59. Canadian Joanie Guillemette-Simard won a close women’s race in 2:30:51. Teammate Jade Dusablon was second in 2:30:52 and American Heidi George was third in 2:30:52.…The third FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, with 700 swimmers from 60 countries will get under way on Tuesday in Lima, Peru. The meet continues through Sunday. Swimmers will compete at the Campo de Mart Complex which recently hosted the South American Age Group Championships. It is the first time Peru has hosted the FINA event.

“It is certainly an endless work for all those in charge of building up a successful competition, considering that this is the first time in our history that we hold an event of this importance,” said Juan Carlos Bello, president of the Peruvian Swimming Federation….

Suriname hung on to win the team title at the Goodwill Swim Meet with 1,425 points. Host Trinidad and Tobago finished second with 1,415.50 points. Barbados was third with 1,085.50 and Guyana fourth with 218.

Suriname finished with 132 medals including 36 gold medals. Trinidad and Tobago won 120 medals including 50 gold medals.

Trinidad and Tobago broke three more meet records.

Ariel Cape, 12, broke the girls 11-12 100-meter backstroke record in 1:13.06. Jonathan Fabio, 14, broke the 13-14 50-meter freestyle record in 25.42 and was also high point winner with 66.50 points. Johnnya Ferdinand, 13, broke the girls 13-14 100-meter breaststroke record in 1:21.32. Marie Marcano, 15, and Josiah Morales, 16, were also high point winners for Trinidad and Tobago.

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer and two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean coached the Trinidad and Tobago team.


Troy Dumais and Kris Ipsen won the men’s 3-meter synchro title at the AT&T U.S. National Championships in Los Angeles. The pair combined to score 459.00 points. Chris Colwill and Drew Livingston were second with 390.03 points. It was Ipsen’s second gold medal after winning the individual 3-meter springboard event.

Two-time Duke NCAA champion Nick McCrory led from wire-to-wire to win the men’s 10-meter platform title with 497.35. Reigning world silver medalist and Olympian David Boudia, a senior at Purdue, was second with 469.90 points.

Cassidy Krug won the women’s 3-meter springboard title, her second gold medal in two days. She also won the synchro event.

University of Miami’s Lindsay Lester was ninth on 3-meter springboard. The sophomore finished with 256.00. Lester had already qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials by qualifying for the final round.

“Our next focus is getting back into the NCAA season,” UM diving coach Randy Ableman said. “So, we want to try and place as high as we can and possibly win an NCAA title this year. At the same time, we want to prepare for the Olympic trials.”

Water Polo

Stanford alum Jason Wigo of Fort Lauderdale scored two goals to lead the U.S. come-from-behind rally for an 11-8 victory over France at the World University Games. Twin brother Drac Wigo also scored for the U.S. which is 2-1 in pool play….Canada defeated the United States, 7-6, to win the women’s gold medal at the Pan American Youth Water Polo 17-and-Under Championships in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Sharon Robb can be reached at