SOFLO’s Carolina Colorado Makes “B” Final On Day Three Of XVII Pan American Games

By Sharon Robb

July 16, 2015—It was a good day for swimmers with Florida Gold Coast ties on Day Three of the XVII Pan American Games on Thursday in Toronto.

Two-time Colombian Olympian Carolina Colorado, 27, of South Florida Aquatic Club was fifth in the “B” final of the 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.81.

Colorado, competing in her third Pan American Games, has the 100-meter backstroke remaining.

Other Florida Gold Coast finishers were:

In the men’s 400-yard individual medley final, Venezuela’s Carlos Omana, 22, of Metro Aquatics was sixth in 4:19.11. Omana was third fastest in his morning heat in 4:20.84.

Venezuela teammate Juan Sequera, also of of Metro Aquatics, won the “B” final of the 400-meter individual medley in 4:24.97. Sequera was third fastest in his heat in 4:25.69.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Esteban Araya of Costa Rica was eighth in 4:33.80.

Venezuela’s Isabella Paez of Duke and Metro Aquatics won the “B” final of the 100-meter butterfly in 1:00.79.

Scratching from finals was American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago in the men’s 100-meter butterfly prelims. He swam the 13th fastest time of 53.89.

In Wednesday night’s final of the 200-meter breaststroke, Aruba’s Jordy Groters of Pine Crest Swimming broke his senior national record of 2:19.77 in 2:18.55 to finish eighth in the “B” final. It was the same pool he set his previous national record during the Canadian trials.

In Thursday races:

U.S. Olympian Caitlin Leverenz broke the 16-year-old meet record in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:37.74. The previous record was 4:38.46. Leverenz broke it again in finals in 4:35.46. Canadian teenager Emily Overholt, 17, who finished just ahead of Leverenz was disqualified.

Brazilian Thiago Pereira, the most decorated swimmer in Pan Am history, was also disqualified from first in the 400 IM, bumping teammate Brandonn Almeida into first. Both appeals by Overholt and Pereira were denied.

In her international meet debut, American Kelsi Worrell broke the meet record in the 100-meter butterfly in 57.23, third fastest time in the world this season. She broke the record of 58.59 set by South Florida Aquatic Club’s Claire Donahue in 2011. Worrell came back at night to win the gold medal in 57.78 in her Pan Ams debut.

American Giles Smith won the men’s 100-meter butterfly in a meet record in 52.04.

The U.S. women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay team won the gold medal in a meet record 7:54.32 with Kiera Janzen, Allison Schmitt, Courtney Harnish and Gillian Ryan. The previous record was 8:01.18 set by the U.S. in 2011. It was the fourth gold medal of the night for the U.S.

Venezuela was fourth in 8:13.10 with Andrea Garrido, Yennifer Marquez of Azura, Mercedes Toledo and Andreina Pinto. Peru’s relay with De Bever was fifth in 8:42.53.

The U.S. men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay, disqualified on Wednesday night, had its silver medal reinstated. Relay swimmer Michael Weiss’ taped middle finger on his left hand was the cause of the disqualification because it violated a FINA rule since it wasn’t approved by a FINA sport medicine committee. The U.S. won its appeal because tape was necessary because of an injury and there was no competitive advantage.

The first positive drug test surfaced on Thursday. Peru national record holder Mauricio Fiol, silver medalist in the 200-meter butterfly, tested positive after his post-race drug test. He scratched from Thursday’s 100 butterfly and is awaiting results from a second drug test. He wrote on his Facebook page that he had failed his drug test and apologized to his country, club, family, coaches and sponsors.

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) will offer more than 650 hours of coverage online. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes will also televise the Games including 62 hours of live coverage.



400-meter individual medley: 1. Caitlin Leverenz, United States 4:35.46, PR; 2. Sydney Pickrem, Canada 4:38.03, 3. Joanna Maranhao, Brazil 4:38.07.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Kelsi Worrell, United States 57.78, 2. Noemie Thomas, Canada 58.00, 3. Katerine Savard, Canada 58.05; SOFLO: 13. Carolina Colorado, Colombia 1:01.81.

4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. United States 7:54.32, record, 2. Brazil 7:56.36, 3. Canada 7:59.36, 4. Venezuela 8:13.10, 5. Peru 8:42.53.


400-meter individual medley: 1. Brandonn Almeida, Brazil 4:14.47, 2. Luke Reilly, Canada 4:16.16, 3. Max Williamson, United States 4:16.91.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Giles Smith, United States 52.04, record, 2. Santiago Grassi, Argentina 52.09, 3. Santo Condorelli, Canada 52.42.


BERMUDA: Lisa Blackburn

COLOMBIA: Carolina Colorado, Jorge Murillo-Valdes

JAMAICA: Alia Atkinson, Timothy Wynter, Chris Anderson (Coach)

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Fab Five Ready For Pan American Games; Swimming Begins Tuesday

By Sharon Robb

July 12, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club takes center stage when swimming begins Tuesday at the XVII Pan American Games in Toronto.

SOFLO’s five-member pro team representing Bermuda, Colombia and Jamaica ended a successful week-long training camp at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario on Sunday and checked into the Athletes’ Village.

“We wanted to get the athletes settled and away from everything before the competition,” said Chris Anderson, SOFLO head coach and Jamaica national team coach. “It helped with the team bonding and getting focused for their races.”

SOFLO has the Florida Gold Coast’s second-largest contingent of swimmers competing at the Pan Am Games.

“It’s great to have five kids here,” Anderson said. “It takes a little of the pressure off. They are hanging out together. They are aware of each other’s goals and it’s motivating. It should be a real fun time.”

It is the most swimmers SOFLO has had at a major international meet in its 15-year history.

Heading SOFLO’s Fab Five is three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, a short course world record holder and gold medalist. The Jamaican national record holder has been competing in the Pan American Games since age 15 but has yet to win a gold medal. Her highest finish has been third place in the 200-meter individual medley in Mexico City.

“I feel she will do something special,” said Anderson, her longtime coach. “She should have multiple medals when she leaves Pan Ams.

“It’s a great opportunity for her. I think she will do something nice in the 100 butterfly, I would like to see her break the double 0 barrier. I’d like to see her go a personal best in the 200 breaststroke and earn a medal. The focus is on the 200 IM, 200 breaststroke and 100 butterfly to take the pressure off the 100 breaststroke. She will rest for worlds in the 50 and 100 breaststroke.”

At 43, SOFLO’s Lisa Blackburn, Bermuda’s national record holder, is expected to be the oldest swimmer in the field. She is a two-time silver and bronze medalist at the 2003 Pan American Games.

“I think it’s great and I am pretty confident she will be the oldest performer participating at the Pan Am Games aquatic competition,” Anderson said. “She is set up wonderfully in the 100 breaststroke to go a best-time. She will also swim the 200 breaststroke and 200 IM. She is competing for personal bests and Olympic cuts.”

Two-time Colombian Olympian and national record holder Carolina Colorado, 27, has competed in the 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games.

“Carolina has trained so well,” Anderson said. “Her body has definitely changed since she started training with us seven months ago. She is much more athletic. She performed wonderfully at the Grand Prix, racing and coming back at night. I expect her to final in the 100 and 200 backstroke. She is also swimming the 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle. If she can find a way to recover from her morning swims, she will podium at night.”

Colombian national teammate Jorge Murillo Valdes is also expected to medal in the breaststroke events.

“He has performed really well with in-season best times,” Anderson said. “He will make finals. I feel he is about to emerge. We had a solid plan for him and this is one of his premier meets. I think he will come home with a medal for Colombia.”

Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter, 19, is the youngest member of the team. The national record holder in the 50 and 100 backstroke is making his Pan Ams debut. He has international experience competing in the FINA Junior World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympic Games and Short Course World Championships. Wynter, who originally committed to Duke last year, will try and walk on at University of Southern California in the fall.

Wynter will compete in the 100 and 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly.

“He has trained quite well,” Anderson said. “If he is going to walk on at USC and represent Jamaica in the next Olympics this is the meet he has to go in there and go best times. He is in good shape to do it.”

Atkinson, Colorado and Murillo will also compete at worlds in Kazan as well as the first two legs of the FINA World Cup in Moscow and Paris.

The Pan American Games, held the year before the Summer Olympic Games, officially began on Friday night with the Opening Ceremonies.

This multi-sport Olympic-style event features 7,000 athletes from 41 countries and territories including Cuba and host Canada along with South, Central and North America as well as the Caribbean countries competing in 51 sports.

Swimming begins on Tuesday and ends Saturday. The first event is the 100-meter freestyle.

Several new structures have been built for the Games including Scarborough’s Aquatics Centre, one of the largest centers ever built specifically for the Games which end July 26th.

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) will offer more than 650 hours of coverage online. ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes will also televise the Games including 62 hours of live coverage.

Longhorn Network will have 44 hours dedicated to swimming, diving and women’s volleyball. ESPN Radio will provide daily updates. Check your local listings.


BERMUDA: Lisa Blackburn

COLOMBIA: Carolina Colorado, Jorge Murillo Valdes

JAMAICA: Alia Atkinson, Timothy Wynter, Chris Anderson (Coach)

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Lisa Blackburn Ready For One More Olympic Run; Competes In Canada Team Trials That Begin Wednesday

By Sharon Robb

March 31, 2015—The best is yet to come.

With that kind of renewed enthusiasm for competitive swimming, Lisa Blackburn is taking another run at the Olympics.

With her competitive fires still burning at 43, the Bermuda national champion quit her corporate job and started training with the South Florida Aquatic Club twelve weeks ago.

Buoyed by training with a small group of elite pros at SOFLO that includes world record holder and three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, Russian European champion Valentina Artemeva and two-time Colombian Olympian Carolina Colorado, Blackburn is motivated to swim fast at the four-day Canada Team Trials that begin Wednesday in Toronto, site of the Pan American Games which she is trying to qualify for.

Blackburn is seeded 29th in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:12.86; 48th in the 50-meter breaststroke (32.88) and 63rd in the 50-meter freestyle (27.69).

The meet features 572 Canadian athletes from 138 clubs, competing for spots on the Canadian national team for the Pan American Games, World Championships, FINA World Junior Championships and World University Games.

The field also includes 200 foreign entries from Bermuda, United States, Puerto Rico, Denmark, Aruba, Ireland, Finland and Sweden.

All eight sessions of the meet will be webcast live at Prelims are 10 a.m. and finals 6 p.m. at the Pan Am Sport Centre.

Blackburn is trying to qualify for the July 10-26 Pan American Games for Bermuda.

The women’s breaststroke field features Breeja Larson, Kierra Smith, Martha McCabe, Tera Van Beilen, Ashley McGregor and Fiona Doyle.

“I want to swim fast,” Blackburn said. “I have specific times in mind but I want to keep those numbers to myself. I want to go faster than 1:12 which I did at the Grand Prix in Orlando. I am looking forward to the racing competition and checking out the Pan Am Games pool.”

Blackburn holds five Bermuda individual national long course records (50, 100 and 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley) and three relay records. She is also a masters world record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke (40-44).

She made her first Olympic Trials in 1988 and just missed the 2012 London Games by 0.03 seconds.

“I am really happy with where I am,” Blackburn said. “It’s great to be in Florida with Chris Anderson and my teammates. It’s been great training with Alia and the other pro swimmers.

“I have only been in Florida for twelve weeks but I feel a lot stronger, fitter, faster and more confident,” Blackburn said. “I am really excited where I am with my swimming and personal life.”

Blackburn stopped swimming twice in her 30-year swimming career.

“I stopped the first time because I was kind of too old,” Blackburn said. “I finished university at 22 and it was just unheard of to continue to swim post-grad. Back then nobody continued after university. They got a career and had a family. That’s what you did.”

Blackburn started coaching kids during her time away from competing.

“I found I really missed it,” she said. “Coaching brought me back to the sport at that time. The feedback and opportunity to coach and teach kids all the things I learned made me think to apply this stuff to my own swimming. I got back in the water and again started competing a few more years down the road.”

Blackburn stopped a second time in 2004 when she was 32. She moved to Australia to start a new chapter in her life.

“I was just frustrated at the time,” Blackburn said. “I hadn’t met some expectations I put on myself and went off to Australia. But the swim bug bit me again. I swam with some exceptional swimmers at the University of Sydney and it was great. I loved it and I just stayed with it.”

Age is just a number now for Blackburn.

“Nowadays, it’s more accepted and people understand why someone would continue to pursue sport and dream. I have a few sponsors who have been really, really great supporting and encouraging me.

“I worked in a corporate environment, but it just wasn’t for me. In swimming, I’m passionate and enjoy what I’m doing. It’s a lifestyle I enjoy. I want to make other people excited about pursuing their dream whether it’s sport or the arts. Whatever your dream is it doesn’t matter how old you are. You get excited and you push yourself to attain it.

“I enjoy pushing myself and striving for goals. The Olympics continue to elude me. I want to give it one more shot. I am really excited where I am training and who I am training with.”

She is also passionate about her home country.

“I love the fact that I am representing my country,” Blackburn said. “It’s such an honor to put a small, 20-mile island that we call home on the international map.”

Blackburn retired from her full-time job in September.

“Swimming is my full-time job now, however I am not getting paid,” Blackburn said. “Nowadays to compete at the international and pro level you have to make a 100 percent commitment to training and recovery especially as I get a bit older.

“I wanted to see how good I could really be. It’s important at this stage of my life to know that this is what I want to do. I didn’t want to have any regrets at the end of the day. It’s special to me and I can learn from what I am doing and hopefully motivate other people to pursue their dreams as well.”

Five-time Olympian and 12-time Olympic medalist Dara Torres has been an inspiration for Blackburn. At 41, she was the oldest swimmer to make an Olympic team (2008) and following reconstructive knee surgery made another run at the 2012 Olympics but placed fourth at the Trials in her signature 50-meter freestyle event.

“Dara has been a role model for me,” Blackburn said. “She laid the groundwork. We might be in our 20s, 30s, or 40s, but we are not dead. We are here.

“Life is about doing things that make you happy and this is what makes me happy and excited about life.”

Anderson said it was Blackburn’s enthusiasm and willingness to work that led him to coaching her.

“That’s exactly why at this time in her life she is 100 percent committed to training and doing the right things to be successful,” Anderson said.

“She has been consistent for the first time in a long time. She has a base where she can rest and taper from, whereas before it was race, race, race all the time.”

SOFLO, the most successful age group program in the Florida Gold Coast for the last five years, added a new dimension with five new pros joining Atkinson.

“The theme of the entire pro team is to train and act younger,” Anderson said. “The key to their success is to be more open-minded and do the necessary work it takes to be successful. That whole group is extremely dynamic and entertaining and Lisa is one of the leaders of that group.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Featured On NBC-WTVJ Sports’ Olympic Countdown Series

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Featured On NBC-WTVJ Sports’ Olympic Countdown Series


May 2, 2012

Two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson of the South Florida Aquatic Club was featured on the local NBC affiliate sports show on Wednesday night.

The Jamaican national record holder and Pan American Games silver medalist was interviewed by Olympic reporter Chris Clark on WTVJ. The Olympic Countdown feature appeared on the 6 and 11 p.m. broadcasts.

Atkinson, 23, is one of several South Florida Olympians and Olympic hopefuls being featured during NBC’s Countdown To London 2012 segments.

Atkinson was shown in the pool and weight room working out with her coach Chris Anderson. She was also shown on the podium accepting her silver medal at last year’s Pan American Games.

Atkinson was interviewed poolside by Clark at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines on April 24th.

Atkinson talked about how she would like to put swimming on the map in Jamaica where track and field is king. She talked about her training, her improvement in the sport and how she would like to bring home an Olympic medal.

Because parent company NBC owns the rights to all Olympic video and shots of Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt were used at the start of the piece, the feature clip will not be posted on the local station’s website or YouTube, according to Clark. However, Clark said the station will post a web story and clips from the local photo shoot on its website.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

U.S. Olympic Hopeful Claire Donahue Enjoying The Journey While Training At South Florida Aquatic Club

U.S. Olympic Hopeful Claire Donahue Enjoying The Journey While Training At South Florida Aquatic Club


February 25, 2012

Claire Donahue knows just how close she is to making her first U.S. Olympic team in a few months.

The likeable Olympic hopeful in the butterfly is doing everything within her power to make it happen.

From diligent training and eating right, to listening to her coaches and sports psychologist, Donahue is putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to make sure she is prepared when she steps behind the blocks at the June 25-July 2 Olympic Trials at Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.

Donahue, 23, a former Western Kentucky University swimmer, is enjoying the warm weather and sunshine while training and fine tuning at South Florida Aquatic Club’s Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines with head coach Chris Anderson for three weeks.

She will be joined by several other WKU Olympic trials qualifiers from various countries during the third week.

Donahue and her Western Kentucky teammates trained at SOFLO during holiday break for years so the familiar setting is a welcome relief for Donahue, who is coming off a whirlwind summer that included her international meet debut at the Pan American Games.

The U.S. national team member won gold in the 100-meter butterfly and 400 medley relay with Pan American Games record performances.

“Having someone else to train with is very nice,” Donahue said. “The weather was obviously another factor and being able to focus just on swimming down here. It’s going to be fun and different to break the monotony.”

In the gym, Donahue is increasing her weight workouts to build up her strength and in the pool fine tuning.

“With swimming you focus on a million different things in the pool and I think that’s kind of what I am doing,” Donahue said.

“The main thing I am focusing on is my second 50 in my 100 fly. It’s my weak point. I’m a sprinter so my first 50 is phenomenal, 99 percent of the time I am the first one at the 50. So right now we are doing more distance-oriented fly, trying to work on the second 50.”

Donahue has been passionate about swimming since she was young. She started swimming at an early age. Her parents “threw me in” and she was a natural moving her arms. A few years later, she followed her older brother and sister’s footsteps and started swimming year-round at a local swim club in Lenoir City, Tenn. In eighth grade she quit running to focus solely on swimming.

“When I first started and for many years I was not great or even good for a while,” Donahue said. “But I love swimming and always have. I think that’s been the key to my success.”

Donahue showed vast improvement from her senior year of high school to her senior year at Western Kentucky where she finished as the most decorated swimmer in school history.

Donahue swam a career-best in morning prelims (58.59) and won a gold medal in finals (58.73) during the Pan American Games. The world record is 56.06.

“That was huge for my confidence, not only win but get a record, too, that was really exciting,” she said.

Donahue was second to Olympic gold medalist and world champion Dana Vollmer in the 100-meter butterfly at the U.S. Nationals last August in Stanford, Calif. which qualified her for the Pan American Games and spot in the Trials. It also showed her she belonged in the upper echelon of swimming.

“I think the past four years it’s been a gradual kind of thing with me improving. I feel myself more and understand how my body responds to certain things,” Donahue said. “I came into college with a 55.9 in my 100 fly and by senior year I went 51.6 at NCAAs.

“This past summer what pushed me further was working on the second half of my 100 fly. This summer we experimented with more distance-oriented fly to see how that would work.

“I could tell it worked when I tapered and went to nationals,” Donahue said. “I was out fast and I was first at the 75. It was just that last 25 that I kind of died. Getting second [to Dana Vollmer] was huge and her hanging with me for the first 75. That was the big push. I am really focusing on that and being able to finish that last 25.”

Donahue is paying attention to every detail including eating right.

“I am eating healthier foods and I am paying attention to how they affect my swimming,” Donahue said. “Things that you really don’t expect to affect something in the pool I have taken note of and noticed that it really helps. I am focused on my diet, nutrition and recovery. It’s those little different things that’s going to give me that extra push.”

She is also working with a sports psychologist to adapt to various situations before and during the Trials by using visualization.

“There are times when it gets very overwhelming,” Donahue said. “It’s either first, second or last basically.”

Donahue has been dreaming about the Olympics since she was 10.

“It’s huge to think the dream I had almost 15 years ago is actually coming true,” Donahue said. “At that age I was like, ‘yeah, I’m going to do it.’ But now that it’s so close, it’s definitely sunk in by now. This summer, oh my gosh, it was like this huge thing and every time I thought about it, it would make me smile knowing that I was that close to be able to have a good shot at going to the Olympics.

“The top two at Olympic Trials go and at nationals this past year I was second. I am really trying to fight for it.”

Donahue is a great role model and perfect example of a late bloomer succeeding after years of training.

“I’ve seen this in myself many times, but when you are not doing well that is the hardest time to push yourself, the hardest time to go to practice and hardest time to really do anything. You get down on yourself and it’s hard to stay positive.

“If I am having a bad day I just try to focus on one thing at practice, one technique I need to work on. Focusing on that gets me through the practice and makes it go by a lot faster. Some people have months of bad practices. Just sticking with it through those hard times and staying positive as you can is the most important thing you can do.

“A lot of people lose their passion for swimming. I think staying with it, even at a young age, even when it’s hard, will pay off. I am so glad I stuck it out. I still love it, I still have that passion and I think that’s important.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Atkinson Goes For Medal On Monday; Bootsma Wins On Day Two Of Pan American Games

Atkinson Goes For Medal On Monday; Bootsma Wins On Day Two Of Pan American Games

October 16, 2011


It was the Elizabeth Pelton-Rachel Bootsma Show in the 100-meter backstroke Sunday at the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

In morning prelims, Pelton broke the third oldest Pan American Games record in 1:01.57. The previous record was 1:01.71 set by Barbara (B.J.) Bedford in 1995.

Bootsma, 17, the National High School Swimmer of the Year and high school record holder from Minneapolis, won the championship final in 1:00.37 breaking the record again. Her splits were 29.56 and 30.81.

Pelton finished second for the silver medal in 1:01.12 to give the U.S. a 1-2 finish.

In other championship finals:

Brazil Olympic and world champion Cesar Cielo broke the Pan American Games record in the 100-meter freestyle in a career-best 47.84, second fastest time in the world this year. Cielo broke his own record of 48.79 set in 2007. Cielo’s splits were 22.84 and 25.00.

The U.S. had another 1-2 finish in the 200-meter freestyle. Catherine Breed won the gold medal in 2:00.08 and Tampa Prep alum Chelsea Nauta took the silver in 2:00.62.

Brazil’s Felipe Franca won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.34, just missing the meet record of 1:00.24. 

Brazil won another gold medal in the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay to finish ahead of the U.S. with another Pan American Games record in 3:14.65. Bruno Fratus, who has tonsillitis and failed to final in the 100 freestyle (50.51), came back on leadoff leg for a 49.7.

SOFLO two-time Olympian Alia Atkinson of Jamaica, fresh off her back-to-back national records and career-bests in the 100-meter butterfly on Saturday, will go after her first medal on Monday in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Atkinson broke her own national record of 1:02.40 set four years ago at the last Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro.

SOFLO and Jamaica coach Chris Anderson said her first swim will help her confidence and set her up nicely for her main events, the breaststrokes.

“I was nervous because it was the first of the meet, but it went well,” Atkinson said. “Main problem is that it was the first event in the morning and the last five meters hurt a lot. Considering how the first one went, the two breaststrokes should be pretty good.”

SOFLO’s Arlene Semeco swam anchor leg on Venezuela’s fourth place 4×100-meter freestyle relay that finished in 3:48.55.


South African teenager Chad Le Clos added another $7,000 on Sunday bringing his series-leading prize money total to $16,000 after finishing second in three events on the final day of competition in Stockholm, Sweden, the second stop on the tour.

Le Clos was second in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:43.80. Germany’s Paul Biedermann won in 1:43.44. He was also second in the 100-meter butterfly in 51.15 and 200-meter individual medley in 1:54.93.

Other individual winners were:

Pal Joensen of Faroe Islands won the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:52.00.

Dale Oen of Norway won the 100-meter breaststroke in 58.30.

Tyler  McGill of the U.S. won the 100-meter butterfly in 51.04.

Daiya Seto of Japan won the 200-meter individual medley in 1:54.65.

Stefan Nystrand of Sweden won the 50-meter freestyle in 21.70 out-touching Canadian Brent Hayden in 21.76.

Flori Lang of Switzerland won the 50-meter backstroke in 24.46.

Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden won the 100-meter freestyle in 52.44.

Jennie Johansson of Sweden won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.05.

Izumi Kato of Japan won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:31.27.

Rachel Goh of Australia won the 100-meter backstroke in 57.55.

Gong Jie of China won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:03.91.

Angie Bainbridge of Australia won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:03.02.

Kim Hye of Korea won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:22.41 after China’s Sun Ye was disqualified after winning in 2:21.

Theresa Michalak of Germany won the 100-meter individual medley in 59.30.

Therese Alshammar of Sweden won the 50-meter butterfly in 25.23 and finished with three wins in her home country.

The next series stop is Oct. 18-19 in Moscow before heading to Berlin this weekend. USA Swimming coach Jack Roach and swimmers Missy Franklin and Michael Phelps arrived in Moscow this past weekend and aside from getting lost in a cab on their way to their hotel, are enjoying the sights.


Laura Barito of Stevens Tech was named NCAA Woman of the Year after an outstanding college swimming and track career that included 22 All-American selections and two national titles. She earned NCAA titles in the 50-yard freestyle and 400-meter hurdles. She graduated from the Division III school in Hoboken, N.J. with an engineering degree. She finished ahead of swimmers Annie Chandler of Arizona and Kelsey Ward of Drury and six other athletes in various sports. She is now a volunteer assistant coach for the swim team at University of Delaware where she is pursuing a Ph.D in mechanical engineering…

Olympian Brooke Bennett of Tampa, competing in her first meet in four years, swam 17:25 in the short course meter mile event at the Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic. “Smooth and steady,” she tweeted. “Just as I want it, I am very pleased. It felt awesome racing again. Now what’s next?” Team Blu Frog, headed by Gaines, broke twelve world records during the three-day meet at the Orlando YMCA that attracted 225 swimmers…In a California masters meet, Olympic champion Anthony Ervin broke his own masters national record in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.39, the second fastest time ever swum at a Masters meet in the world. Ervin, 30, is staging a comeback and run at the 2012 Olympic trials.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Breaks National Record Twice On Day One Of Pan American Games

SOFLO’s Atkinson Breaks National Record Twice On Day One Of Pan American Games

October 15, 2011


Alia Atkinson swam back-to-back national records and career-best times on the opening day of the XVI Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The two-time Olympian for Jamaica competing in her second Pan American Games was seventh in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.17, the first of four events she is competing in.

In morning prelims, Atkinson broke her own national record in a career-best 1:01.41. Her splits were 28.08, her second fastest 50-meter split ever, and 33.33. She came back at night to better her national record and career-best. Her night splits were 28.41 and 32.76.

SOFLO and Jamaica coach Chris Anderson said her opening day swim will build her confidence for her main events. “It’s time for Alia to claim her medal,” Anderson said.

Atkinson’s second event is the 100-meter breaststroke on Monday.

The United States swim team won nine medals including four gold medals, two silver and three bronze.

American Claire Donahue, a Western Kentucky alum who has trained at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines, won her first international title in the 100-meter butterfly in 58.73. In morning prelims, she broke the Pan American Games record in 58.59.

Americans Julia Smit won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:46.15 and Charlie Houchin won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:50.95.

The U.S. women broke the Pan Am record in the 400-meter freestyle relay twice. In morning prelims, the foursome of Madison Kennedy, Elizabeth Pelton, Amanda Kendall and Naples Erika Erndl broke it in 3:40.85 to better the old record of 3:41.93. The same foursome broke their own record in 3:40.66.

The only other winner was Brazilian Thiago Pereira in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:16.68 ahead of University of Florida’s Conor Dwyer, second in 4:18.22.

Karen Torrez of the Davie Nadadores broke the Bolivian national record in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:04.28 to qualify for the “B” final where she finished seventh in 1:03.78, bettering her own national record.

Olympic swimming champion Cesar Cielo of Brazil underwent tests at a local hospital a day before the swimming competition started. Cielo was not feeling well and underwent precautionary exams. The world record holder in the 50 and 100 free, will defend his pan am titles in the 50, 100, 4×100 freestyle races and will also compete in the 50 butterfly.

The United States leads in the overall medal tally with 14 total medals including seven golds, two silver and five bronze medals.

Sharon Robb can be reached at