Puerto Rico’s Morales Sweeps Backstroke Events; Peru Wins Combined Team Title On Final Day Of Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships


By Sharon Robb
BALMAIN COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago, June 5, 2022–Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico made it a clean sweep on the fourth and final day of the Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships Sunday at National Aquatic Centre.

Morales, 26, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics and only Florida Gold Coast swimmer in the meet, won the 100-meter backstroke in 56.67, more than 3 seconds ahead of Peru’s Ricardo Willing.

Earlier in the meet, Morales also won the 200-meter backstroke by 7 seconds in 2:02.02 and 50-meter backstroke in 26.40.

“I felt confident going into my races, we put in a lot of training before this meet,” Morales said. “Even though I am not tapered for this meet because we have worlds coming up I am happy with my times.”

Ecuador’s Elvira Demera, 13, was a double winner on the final day in the 11-12 100-meter backstroke in 1:11.88 and 50-meter freestyle in 28.48, both best times.

Peru won the combined team title with 1,149 points ahead of Puerto Rico (1,073) and Trinidad & Tobago (818.5). Host Trinidad & Tobago won the men’s team title with 520.5. Peru also won the women’s team title with 628 points.

Among dignitaries attending the meet was FINA treasurer Dale Neuburger.

“In a single word, it’s been fantastic,” Neuburger told PanAm Aquatics guest interviewer Jordy Groters.

“The easiest thing to do during the pandemic and immediately afterwards is to not do something, to cancel, to say no. The willingness for PanAm Aquatics to host an important event like this and for Trinidad & Tobago’s swimming federation to host this event and all that goes along with it, they really are to be commended for it. It’s so easy to say ‘we can’t do something.’ It takes a lot to do this under tough conditions.”

Several countries chose not to compete because of other meets being held the same week and close proximity of the world championships.

“We had 17 nations here which is tremendous,” Neuburger said. “We are a couple of weeks away from a world championship. This has been a tremendous step forward. The success of this event by word-of-mouth will bring other federations, swimmers and coaches the next time.”

The meet attracted 232 athletes from 17 nations and served as a qualification meet for the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games. The four-day tournament, formally called the UANA Cup, is an elite championship for age group swimmers. The event had athletes from South America, Central America, British Commonwealth and Caribbean.

SUNDAY RESULTS
COMBINED
: 1. Peru 1,149, 2. Puerto Rico 1,073, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 818.5, 4. Jamaica 278.5, 5. Honduras 236.5.
WOMEN: 1. Peru 628, 2. Puerto Rico 561, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 250, 4. Jamaica 182, 5. Colombia 142.
MEN: 1. Trinidad & Tobago 520.5, 2. Peru 467, 3. Puerto Rico 460, 4. Honduras 159.5, 5. Surinam 118.

WOMEN
1500-meter freestyle: 11-and-over, 1. Emma Guglielmello, PUR 17:13.24, 2. Danna Moreno, ECU 17:19.51, 3. Tifany Jinete, COL 17:43.77.

100-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Elvira Demera, ECU 1:11.88; 13-14, 1. Carolyn Levy-Powell, JAM 1:08.10; 15-17, 1. Alexia Acuna, PER 1:04.21; 18-and-over, 1. Ornella Walker, TTO 1:04.18.

200-meter butterfly: 11-and-over, 1. Yasmin Contreras, PER 2:19.12, 2. Maria Machuca, PER 2:22.30, 3. Jennifer Posada, HON 2:22.61.

50-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Elvira Demera, ECU 28.48, 2. Karla Carrizo, PAN 28.94, 3. Astrid Cervantes, PER 29.38.

MEN:
1500-meter freestyle: 11-and-over, 1. Diego Paredes, HON 16:12.43, 2. Caleb Serrano, PUR 16:36.70, 3. Adrian Papi, PER 16:39.62.

100-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Esteban Loncharich, PER 1:10.96; 13-14, 1. David Guevara, ECU 1:01.05; 15-17, 1. Zackary Gresham, GRN 59.54; 18-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR 56.67.

200-meter butterfly: 11-and-over, 1. Victor Rosado, PUR 2:02.50, 2. Ariel Herrera, ECU 2:07.56, 3. Jose Olivo, PER 2:08.27.

50-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Carlos Carmona, PER 26.73; 13-14, 1. Zachary Anthony, TTO 24.79; 15-17, 1. Nikoli Blackman, TTO 22.71; 18-and-over, 1. Ricardo Willing, PER 23.88.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Azura’s Yeziel Morales Wins On Day Two Of Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships


By Sharon Robb
BALMAIN COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago, June 3, 2022–Yeziel Morales, the only Florida Gold Coast swimmer competing in the Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships, won on Day Two at National Aquatic Centre.

Morales, 26, representing Puerto Rico, won the 50-meter backstroke in 26.40 and finished second in the 100-meter butterfly in 55.22 in the 18-and-over category on Friday. Morales trains with Azura Florida Aquatics.

Ecuador’s Elvira De Los Angele Espinosa Demera was a double winner in the 11-12 category. Demera won the 200-meter freestyle in a best time 2:12.08, dropping 2.21 and 100-meter butterfly in 1:06.63, another best time dropping 0.99.

Hometown favorite Nikoli Blackman, 16, of Trinidad & Tobago won his second event of the meet. After winning the 100-meter freestyle in a best time 50.91 on Thursday, won the 200-meter freestyle in a best time 1:53.39.

Peru overtook Puerto Rico to lead the combined team standings, 675-644. Host Trinidad & Tobago leads the men’s team standings with 301 and Peru continues to lead the women’s teams with 398.

The meet has attracted 232 athletes from 17 countries and is serving as a qualification meet for the 2023 Santiago Pan American Games.

The four-day meet, formally called the UANA Cup, is an elite championship for age groupers. The event has athletes from South America, Central America, Canada, British Commonwealth and Caribbean.

Saturday’s events are 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter backstroke, 50-meter butterfly, and 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

The event is being live streamed on the Panam Sports app. Streaming website: http://www.panamsportschannel.org. Former SOFLO swimmer Alia Atkinson is doing on-deck interviews of the gold medalists.

FRIDAY RESULTS
COMBINED
: 1. Peru 675, 2. Puerto Rico 644, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 435, 4. Honduras 158.5, 5. Jamaica 149.5.
WOMEN: 1. Peru 398, 2. Puerto Rico 352, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 134, 4. Jamaica 106, 5. Colombia 82.
MEN: 1. Trinidad & Tobago 301, 2. Puerto Rico 292, 3. Peru 277, 4. Honduras 105.5, 5. Surinam 77.

WOMEN
400-meter individual medley: 11-and-over, 1. Maria Machuca, PER 5:05.85.

200-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Elvira Demera, ECU 2:12.08; 13-14, 1. Tifanny Jinete, COL 2:06.60; 15-17, 1. Danna Moreno, ECU 2:07.44; 18-and-over, 1. Jessica Cattaneo, PER 2:07.24.

100-meter butterfly: 11-12, 1. Elvira Demera, ECU 1:06.63; 13-14, 1. Yasmin Contreras, PER 1:03.64; 15-17, 1. Ella Alvarez, PER 1:04.47; 18-and-over, 1. Jennifer Posada, HON 1:04.02.

200-meter breaststroke: 11-and-over, 1. Adriana Cornejo, PER 2:44.54.

50-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Karla Carrizo, PAN 33.98; 13-14, 1. Leah Chin, JAM 31.57; 15-17, 1. Alexia Acuna, PER 29.88; 18-and-over, 1. Ornella Walker, TTO 29.89.

MEN
400-meter individual medley: 11-and-over, 1. Xavier Flores, PUR 4:36.87.

200-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Felipe Nunez, HON 2:13.25; 13-14, 1. Caleb Serrano, PUR 1:56.60; 15-17, 1. Nikoli Blackman, TTO 1:53.39; 18-and-over, 1. Victor Rosado, PUR 1:54.15.

100-meter butterfly: 11-12, 1. Andres Vigil, PER 1:05.93; 13-14, 1. Giovanni Rivas, TTO 58.27; 15-17, 1. Ariel Herrera, ECU 56.02; 18-and-over, 1. Cadell Lyons, TTO 55.84, 2. Yeziel Morales, PUR/AZURA 55.22.

200-meter breaststroke: 11-and-over, 1. Xavier Flores, PUR 2:21.92.

50-meter backstroke: 11-12, 1. Zachary Burke, BAR 32.40; 13-14, 1. Cristobal Buchholtz, PER 28.59; 15-17, 1. Johann Matamoro, TTO 27.81; 18-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR/AZURA 26.40.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Patrick Groters Flag Bearer For Aruba; Uruguay’s Nicole Frank Top FGC Finisher On Opening Night At Junior Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb
CALI, Colombia, November 27, 2021–The Florida Gold Coast is well-represented at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games at Hernando Botero O’Byrne Swimming Pool.

On opening night Friday, Uruguay’s Nicole Frank, 17, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics, finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:10.34. She was fastest morning qualifier in a best time 1:10.20. Her previous best was 1:12.70.

Also in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke prelims, Uruguay’s Micaela Sierra of South Florida Heat and Azura was 11th in 1:14.73 and finished third in the consolation in a personal best 1:14.43.

Maria Munoz, 22, of Peru and Azura Florida Aquatics, was fourth fastest qualifier in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:18.65 and finished seventh in 2:20.17.

Azura’s Gabriela Araya, 22, of Chile was ninth fastest in the men’s 200-meter butterfly prelims in 2:05.13. He did not swim finals.

In morning prelims, Peru’s Joaquin Vargas, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics was sixth fastest in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:02.55. He went on to finish sixth in 3:58.81.

Aruba national team member Patrick Groters was 13th in the 400-meter freestyle prelims in 4:11.07. On Saturday, he will swim the 200-meter backstroke. He is also entered in the 100 backstroke, 200 IM and 400 IM.

Groters, now at University of South Carolina, swam at NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club. He was chosen as one of Aruba’s flag bearers in the Opening Ceremonies. Patrick’s older brother Jordy Groters, is coaching Aruba’s swimmers. Jordy Groters also swam at NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club and Missouri and founded and now coaches Giants Aquatics Aruba.

Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, is hosting the first-ever edition of the Junior Pan American Games.

It is a key event in the lead-up to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympics, allowing up-and-coming athletes a new level of competition they didn’t have past years.

Approximately 3,000 volunteers, 1,400 technical officials and 1,142 other officials are participating along with 4,806 athletes from 41 countries and territories affiliated with Panam Sports in 39 sports. The meet is for ages up to 22.

Neither the U.S. or Canada, the region’s most successful countries, sent swim teams to the event although they are competing in other sports. Brazil (25), Colombia (25), and Mexico (26) have the largest delegations of swimmers.

The Games were initially scheduled to begin on June 5 but were postponed to September 9 to 19. It was further delayed because of COVID-19 before moving to late November and early December.

WOMEN
400-meter freestyle:

  1. Maria Paula Heitmann, Brazil 4:17.64, 2. Lucia Gauna, Argentina 4:19.14, 3. Delfina Dini, Argentina 4:19.24.

100-meter breaststroke:

  1. Martina Lucia Barbeito, Argentina 1:08.74, 2. Giulia Oliveira Carvalho, Brazil 1:10.24, 3. Bruna Monteiro Leme, Brazil 1:10.27.

200-meter butterfly:

  1. Karen Durango Restrepo, Colombia 2:13.51, 2. Rafaela Trevisan Raurich, Brazil 2:14.58, 3. Samantha Banos, Colombia 2:15.90.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Brazil 3:45.06, 2. Mexico 3:49.97, 3. Colo,bia 3:51.05.

MEN
400-meter freestyle:

  1. Santi Corredor, Colombia 3:53.14, 2. Eduardo de Moraes, Brazil 3:53.23, 3. Juan Manuel Morales Restrepo, Colombia 3:57.26.

100-meter breaststroke:

  1. Mariano Lazzerini, Chile 1:02.28, 2. Andres Puente Bustamante, Mexcico 1:02.29, 3. Bernhard Christianson, Panama 1:03.16.

200-meter butterfly:

  1. Matheus Gonche, Brazil 1:59.63, 2. Roberto Bonilla Flores, Guatemala 2:01.08, 3. Kayky Mota, Brazil 2:01.60.

400-meter freestyle relay:

  1. Brazil 3:17.14, 2. Mexico 3:24.02, 3. Colombia 3:24.40.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Gaby Banks Wraps Up UANA Swimming Cup Appearance


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, February 24, 2020–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Gaby Banks of Jamaica wrapped up her final day action at the Union Americana De Natacion (UANA) Swimming Cup Sunday at Videna Aquatic Complex in Lima, Peru.

Banks, 16, was eighth in the 15-17 100-yard freestyle in 1:00.54, off her entry time of 59.50. She was seeded tenth in the event.

Banks was also 13th in the 50-meter butterfly in 30.47.

Jamaica’s five-member women’s team finished tenth overall with 39 points. Mexico won the combined and women’s team titles and Argentina won the men’s team title.

On her first day of competition on Saturday, Banks’ highest finish was sixth in the 50-meter freestyle in 27.36, off her entry time of 26.65.

Banks was also 15th in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:10.01 and 17th in the 50-meter breaststroke in 37.87.

Banks had an impressive outing last year in the FINA World Junior Championships where she posted her 50-meter freestyle best time becoming the fifth-fastest Jamaican female of all time on the short-course circuit.

Banks is a year-to-year national age group representative and multi-medalist at Carifta and CCCAN.

UANA Swimming Cup is a biennial premier swimming event hosted by the Swimming Union of the Americas. UANA’s existence dates back to the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

UANA Swimming Cup is held in three age groups, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17, the same age categories as the Carifta and CCCAN Swimming Championships.

TEAM TOTALS
COMBINED:
1. Mexico 718.5, 2. Brazil 618, 3. Argentina 599.5, 4. Peru 269.5, 5. Colombia 215.00.

MEN: 1. Argentina 300, 2. Mexico 293, 3. Brazil 239.5, 4. Bahamas 158.5, 5. St. Lucia 148.

WOMEN: 1. Mexico 383.5, 2. Brazil 334.5, 3. Argentina 265.5, 4. Peru 153.5, 5. Colombia 122.5, 10. Jamaica 39.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Gaby Banks Finishes Sixth At UANA Swimming Cup


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, February 22, 2020–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Gaby Banks of Jamaica finished her first three events Friday and Saturday at the Union Americana De Natacion (UANA) Swimming Cup at Videna Aquatic Complex in Lima, Peru.

Banks’ highest finish was sixth in the 15-17 50-meter freestyle in 27.36, off her entry time of 26.65.

Banks was also 15th in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:10.01 and 17th in the 50-meter breaststroke in 37.87.

Banks has two events remaining on Sunday, the third and final day. She will swim the 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly.

Banks is coming off an impressive outing last year in the FINA World Junior Championships where she posted her 50-meter freestyle best time becoming the fifth-fastest Jamaican female of all time on the short-course circuit.

Banks is a year-to-year national age group representative and multi-medalist at Carifta and CCCAN.

Banks is among a five-member all-female team from Jamaica. A field of 450 athletes from 25 countries are competing. It is the first international meet of the 2020 season.

Banks’ teammates are Brooke Hopkins, 14, Zaneta Alvaranga, 15, Kokolo Foster, 13, and Christanya Shirley, 12.

SOFLO’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, a member of the UANA Swimming Technical Committee, is in Lima also.

UANA Swimming Cup is a biennial premier swimming event hosted by the Swimming Union of the Americas. UANA’s existence dates back to the 1948 Olympic Games in London.

UANA Swimming Cup is held in three age groups, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-17, the same age categories as the Carifta and CCCAN Swimming Championships. It is in long course meters and timed finals.

Jamaica is 17th among combined teams and 11th among women’s teams with 23 points.

TEAM TOTALS
COMBINED
: 1. Mexico 514.5, 2. Argentina 449.5, 3. Brazil 425.5, 4. Peru 188.5, 5. Colombia 154.5.

MEN: 1. Argentina 227, 2. Mexico 223, 3. Brazil 185, 4. St. Lucia 103, 5. Bahamas 100.5.

WOMEN: 1. Mexico 291.5, 2. Brazil 240.5, 3. Argentina 222.5, 4. Peru 114.5, 5. Colombia 87.5, 11. Jamaica 23.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Carter, Cancel, Ponson, Cooper Shine On Day Four Of XVIII Pan American Games; Pine Crest’s Santander Swims 200 IM On Final Day Sunday


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 10, 2019—Past and present South Florida swimmers were among top finishers in the “A” and “B” finals Friday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional Aquatic Center.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago won the “B” final of the 50-meter freestyle in 22.67. Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders was third in 22.89.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Miguel Cancel of Puerto Rico was third in the “B” final of the 400-meter individual medley in 4:28.54. Cancel and Azura’s Yeziel Morales of were members of Puerto Rico’s fifth-place 4×200-meter freestyle relay that fini9shed in 7:36.13.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Andrea Santander and NSU University School’s Mariangela Cincotti of Azura were members of Venezuela’s eighth place 4×200-meter freestyle relay that finished in 8:33.91.

Aruba’s Allyson Ponson of Azura Florida Aquatics was third in the “B” final of the 50-meter freestyle in 26.19. American Heritage alum Cathy Cooper of Panama was eighth in 27.01.

Individual winners on Friday night:

Brazil sprinter Etiene Medeiros won the 50-meter freestyle gold medal in 24.88. It was Brazil’s first medal in this event at the Pan American Games. She was the only woman under 25 seconds. Americans Margo Geer (25.03) and Madison Kennedy (25.14) were second and third.

Brazilian Bruno Fratus won his first gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle for the first time in three Pan American Games after back-to-back silvers. The 30-year-old won in 21.61 ahead of Americans Nathan Adrian in a season-best 21.87 and Michael Chadwick in 21.99. Former local swimmer Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Surinam was eighth in 22.58.

Camille Cieplucha of Canada won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:39.90. Argentine Virginia Bardach was second in 4:41.05.

American Charles Swanson won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:11.46. Bolles alum Santi Corredor of Colombia was eighth in 4:35.44.

The U.S. women’s team won the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:57.33 with Margo Geer, Lia Neal, Claire Rasmus and Meaghan Raab.

Brazil’s men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay won gold in a Pan Ams record 7:10.66 with Luiz Melo, Fernando Scheffer, Joao De Lucca and Breno Correia. The U.S. was second in 7:14.82.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com