SOFLO’s Megan Romano Wins Backstroke At All-Florida Sr. Circuit Meet

By Sharon Robb

May 14, 2016—With the U.S. Olympic Trials six weeks away, Megan Romano is in the midst of one of her final tune-ups at the All-Florida Senior Circuit Meet at Florida Gulf Coast University Aquatics Center.

On Saturday, Romano, 25, a former world champion, won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:02.16, after going 1:02.09 in morning prelims to earn the top seed.

Romano had the fastest seed times in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.28 and 400-meter freestyle in 4:22.75 in prelims before scratching from finals.

The U.S. Olympic hopeful is preparing for the June 26-July 3 Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb. She has been training with SOFLO’s ProFlo group since early January with remarkable progress.

SOFLO teammate Catalina Mendieta, 26, was fifth in the 100-meter backstroke in a best time 1:06.50, improving her previous best time of 1:06.97.

SOFLO’s Santiago Rivera, 19, was fourth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:31.43, shaving 4.63 seconds off his previous lifetime best time of 2:36.06. He qualified third in prelims in 2:31.53.

The three-day meet concludes Sunday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.



200-meter butterfly: 1. Isabella Paez, Metro Aquatics 2:11.72, 2. Caroline Cooper, Highlander 2:17.58, 3. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 2:18.26.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Kaitlyn Schorr, STAR 26.24, 2. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 26.93, 3. Caroline Simmons, PAQ 26.94; SOFLO: 9. Ksen Golovkina 27.80, 13. Emiliana Pelaez 28.43, 23. Kelley Heron 29.25; prelims Catalina Mendieta 27.79.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Megan Romano, SOFLO 1:02.16, 2. Karen Vilorio Muchnik, SWIM 1:04.53, 3. Sandra Wilk, SWIM 1:05.71; SOFLO: 5. Catalina Mendieta 1:06.50, best time, 8. Kelley Heron 1:07.54.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Ryley Ober, SRQ 4:23.61, 2. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:24.58, 3. Lani Cabrera, SWIM 4:25.53.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Christina Loh, Unattached 2:39.55, 2. Elizabeth White, SWIM 2:46.92, 3. Alixandra Roy, Highlander 2:47.94; SOFLO: 5. Kelley Heron 2:51.43, 13. Emiliana Pelaez 2:54.70, best time.


200-meter butterfly: 1. Alexander Arrieta, Metro Aquatics 2:06.21, 2. Campbell Lee, SRQ 2:06.91, 3. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 2:07.11; SOFLO: 10. Max Asnis 2:12.35, 13. Ervin Marin 2:14.81, best time.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Michael Saco, Miami Swimming 23.68, 2. Brandon Selts, Miami Swimming 24.27, 3. Irvin Hoost, Metro Aquatics 24.66; SOFLO: 15. Santiago Rivera 26.10.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Kevin Lindgren, MART 57.03, 2. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 57.70, 3. Matthew Garcia, SYS 59.63.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Theodore Smith, SRQ 4:01.94, 2. Hayden Curley, Highlander 4:02.01, 3. Daniel Erlenmeyer, SYS 4:07.40; SOFLO: 12. Sam Asnis 4:18.58; 15. Max Asnis 4:25.20, 4:23.52, prelims.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Campbell Lee, SRQ 2:23.54, 2. Joseph Perez, Metro Aquatics 2:24.00, 3. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 2:29.99; SOFLO: 4. Santiago Rivera 2:31.43, best time, 7. Ervin Marin 2:36.07.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

South Florida Aquatic Club Trio Head To Charlotte Arena Pro Swim Series

By Sharon Robb

May 11, 2016—Three members of South Florida Aquatic Club’s ProFlo group will compete Thursday through Sunday at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Charlotte, N.C.

Several Olympians and Olympic hopefuls are in the field while others opted to compete in the Atlanta Classic Swim Meet, also this weekend.

The Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center underwent an $8.6 million renovation since the meet was last held last year in May.

Heading SOFLO’s ProFlo group is three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson. She is entered in six events: 50, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, 50- and 100-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle.

Atkinson has the world’s 13th best time in the 100-meter breaststroke this year. Katie Meili is the top seed in the event. At last summer’s Pan American Games, Meili took gold while Atkinson settled for the silver.

SOFLO’s Jorge Murillo of Colombia will compete in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events.

Atkinson and Murillo have already qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero.

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas, a former Florida State swimmer, is trying to get his U.S. Olympic trials cut. He will compete in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events.

SOFLO’s Claire Donahue and Megan Romano, already qualified for the U.S. trials, scratched from the meet.

The field features 30 national team members and more than 500 swimmers.

Floridian Ryan Lochte is entered in seven events and Tyler Clary has entered five. Both are training mates with SwimMAC in Charlotte.

Lochte will compete in the 100- and 200-meter freestyles, 200- and 400-meter individual medley, 100-meter backstoke and non-Olympic events 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter butterfly.

Clary is entered in the 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter butterfly and 100- and 200-meter backstrokes.

Swim Canada is wrapping up a training camp. Canada’s 4×100 medley and 4×100 freestyle relays will compete. They are among 15 Olympic team nominees that have been involved in a four-day training camp in Toronto.

USA Swimming has made special accommodations for Team Canada to compete in relays during time trials between prelims and finals. Bolles alum Santo Condorelli is among the men’s roster.

The long course meters meet begins Thursday with the distance session at 4 p.m. The remainder of the weekend prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Only three Arena Pro Swim Series meets remain including this weekend’s event in Charlotte, Santa Clara and Indianapolis.

NBC Sports Live Extra will stream Saturday’s and Sunday’s final sessions live. NBC Sports Network will air tape-delayed television coverage of the meet from noon to 3 p.m. The entire meet will also be live streamed at


World championship medalist Lindsay Vrooman has signed with TYR. A national team member since 2013, Vrooman is a distance swimmer and competes in the 400, 800 and 1500. South Florida Aquatic Club is sponsored by TYR, the leading manufacturer of competitive swim and triathlon gear…

Florida Gulf Coast head coach Neal Studd, who coaches SOFLO’s Melissa and Marcella Marinheiro, turned down the head coaching job at Arkansas and at least an extra $50,000. Studd toured the campus for two days. Studd, 40, did get a raise from athletic director Ken Kavanagh from $73,000 to $87,500, making him the highest paid coach in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association. Kavanagh also gave Studd one more scholarship, now making the program three shy of the NCAA’s limit of 14.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Wins Combined, Women’s Team Titles At LCM Sectional Qualifier

By Sharon Robb

February 15, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club maintained its lead to win the combined and women’s team titles after the third and final session of the Senior Long Course Meters Sectional Qualifier Saturday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO won the combined team title with 992 points. Pine Crest Swimming was runner-up with 598.

SOFLO, led by its ProFlo group of post-grads and pros, won the women’s team title with 459 points. Pine Crest was second with 405 points.

SOFLO swept the top three and had six of the top seven finishers in the women’s 100-meter freestyle with former world champion and U.S. Olympic hopeful Megan Romano winning in 56.26 in her first meet since joining SOFLO. Alina Schulhofer was second in 59.12 and Kathleen Golding was third in 59.56. Bermuda national champion Lisa Blackburn was fifth in a best time 1:00.12.

SOFLO’s Kelley Heron, 16, was second in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:09.25.

SOFLO’s mixed 200-meter freestyle relay of Kile Aukerman, Blackburn, Alina Schulhofer and Ryan Capote won in 1:46.78.

Aukerman also won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:26.34.

Ricardo Roche was sixth in the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:20.60. He was also fourth in the 1500-meter freestyle in 17:13.17, also a best time.


COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 992.5, 2. Pine Crest 598, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 573, 4. Metro Aquatics 510, 5. T2 Aquatics 489.

MEN: 1. Metro Aquatics 414, 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 351, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 301.5, 4. Azura Florida Aquatics 226, 5. T2 Aquatics 216.5.

WOMEN: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 459, 2. Pine Crest 405, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 222, 4. T2 Aquatics 160.5, 5. North Palm Beach 146.5.


200-meter individual medley:

1.Andrea Santander, Unattached 2:25.39, 2. Alessandra Baldari, North Palm Beach 2:28.06, 3. Elizabeth Zubero, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:29.35; SOFLO: 23. Katherine De Barros 2:51.25.

100-meter freestyle:

1.Megan Romano, SOFLO 56.26, 2. Alina Schulhofer, SOFLO 59.12, 3. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 59.56; SOFLO: 5. Lisa Blackburn 1:00.12, best time, 6. Catalina Mendieta 1:00.45, 7. Claire Donahue 1:00.88, 11. Ksen Golovkina 1:03.66, 13. Kelley Heron 1:03.80, 14. Emiliana Pelaez 1:04.01, 41. Carly Swanson 1:09.24, 56. Katherine De Barros 1:11.78, 59. Stephanie Mlujeak 1:12.71.

100-meter butterfly:

1.Jessica Nava, Pine Crest 1:01.60, 2. Alexandra Meszaros, Pine Crest 1:04.03, 3. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO 1:04.08; SOFLO: 6. Kathleen Golding 1:05.68, 33. Alexandra Crespo 1:19.78.

400-meter freestyle:

1.Daniella Van den Berg, Azura 4:28.32, 2. Audrey Mason, Pine Crest 4:33.31, 3. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:33.33; SOFLO: 18. Alexandra Crespo 5:16.72.

200-meter breaststroke:

1.Valentina Artemeva, Unattached 2:46.13, 2. Savannah Yates, Pine Crest 2:53.61, 3. Hailey Jerew, AquaKids Sharks 2:53.79; SOFLO: 4. Ksen Golovkina 2:54.37, 9. Emiliana Pelaez 3:04.31.

100-meter backstroke:

1.Giulia Guerra Montes, Pine Crest 1:09.18, 2. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 1:09.25, 3. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest 1:10.41; SOFLO: 20. Carly Swanson 1:18.67, 28. Stephanie Mlujeak 1:21.21, 34. Katherine De Barros 1:27.16.

50-meter breaststroke:

1.Valentina Artemeva, Unattached 33.06, 2. Lisa Blackburn, SOFLO 34.97, 3. Ksen Golovkina, SOFLO 35.27; SOFLO: 6. Kathleen Golding 37.02.


Mixed 200-meter freestyle relay:

1.SOFLO “A” 1:46.78 (Kile Aukerman, Lisa Blackburn, Alina Schulhofer, Ryan Capote), 2. SOFLO “C” 1:47.28, 3. SOFLO “B: 1:48.13.

200-meter individual medley:

1.Luca Dioli, Unattached 2:06.08, 2. Brandon Vives, Metro Aquatics 2:15.46, 3. Nicolo’ Ossola, Azura 2:17.58; SOFLO: 4. Ricardo Roche 2:19.39, 16. Samuel Quintero 2:26.02, best time, 30. Matthew Menocal 2:36.39.

100-meter freestyle:

1.Philippe Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 53.08, 2. Jhonny Perez, Unattached 53.23, 3. Guillaume Bolivard, Swim Fort Lauderdale 54.01; SOFLO: 11. Ryan Capote 56.49, 24. Juan Lucas 58.12, 28. Kevin Porto 58.59, 38. Sam Asnis 1:00.34.

100-meter butterfly:

1.AJ Barbar, Westminster Academy 59.29, 2. Adrian Aguilar, Metro Aquatics 59.85, 3. Alejandro Carriazo, Metro Aquatics 1:00.08; SOFLO: 11. Max Asnis 1:02.83, 13. Ervin Marin 1:03.33, 20. Juan Lucas 1:04.35, 23. Juan Diaz 1:06.07.

400-meter freestyle:

1.Marcelo Acosta, Azura 4:02.71, 2. Franco Lupoli, Azura 4:03.67, 3. Adrian Aguilar, Metro Aquatics 4:11.39; SOFLO: 6. Ricardo Roche 4:20.60, best time, 8. Kevin Porto 4:25.58, 9. Sam Asnis 4:28.52, 22. Matthew Menocal 4:47.65, 24. Tomas Pelaez 4:52.94, best time.

200-meter breaststroke:

1.Kile Aukerman, SOFLO 2:26.34, 2. Greg Penny, St. Thomas Swim Association 2:30.29, 3. Matthew Petreski, Pine Crest 2:31.68; SOFLO: 8. Erin Marin 2:38.84, 9. Samuel Quintero 2:38.96, best time, 19. Wyatt Jennessee 3:03.42.

100-meter backstroke:

1.Philippe Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:02.88, 2. Mauricio Limon, Azura 1:05.16, 3. Kyle Trelka, Tri 1:05.76; SOFLO: 5. Ryan Capote 1:07.55, 7. Juan Lucas 1:08.36, 10. Kevin Porto 1:09.21.

50-meter breaststroke:

1.Anton Lobanov, Unattached 28.58, 2. Nicolo’ Ossola, Azura 28.93, 3. Luca Dioli, Unattached 28.98; SOFLO: 9. Ervin Marin 33.31, 12. Samuel Quintero 33.76, best time, 26. Wyatt Jennessee 38.51.

1500-meter freestyle:

1.Marcelo Acosta, Azura 16:04.89, 2. Franco Lupoli, Azura 16:05.71, 3. John Torres, Unattached 17:13.12; SOFLO: 4. Ricardo Roche 17:13.17, best time, 5. Max Asnis 17:26.42, best time, 7. Juan Diaz 17:57.22.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s ProFlo Women Dominate Second Session Of LCM Sectional Qualifier

By Sharon Robb

February 13, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club, after not competing on opening night, came back to take the lead after the second session of the Senior Long Course Meters Sectional Qualifier Saturday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO leads the combined team standings with 475 points ahead of Pine Crest (342) and Swim Fort Lauderdale (322).

SOFLO also leads the women’s team standings with 258 ahead of Pine Crest (230) and Swim Fort Lauderdale (108).

ProFlo’s newest addition Megan Romano, 25, a former world champion and U.S. Olympic hopeful, competed in her first meet for her new team.

The talented and versatile swimmer won the 50-meter backstroke in a best time 30.08, shaving .50 off her previous best of 30.58. Teammate Carolina Colorado was second in 30.10.

Romano also won the 50-meter freestyle in 26.08, just off her seed time of 25.69.

SOFLO swept the top three places in the 50-meter butterfly with Claire Donahue (27.63), Catalina Mendieta (28.18) and Carolina Colorado (28.18).

Donahue was also third in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:23.30 behind teenagers Jessica Nava of Pine Crest (2:18.95) and Alessandra Baldari of North Palm Beach (2:22.04).

Alina Schulhofer won the 200-meter freestyle in 2:06.34. Schulhofer was fifth in the 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:28.16, dropping .23 off her seed time.

ProFlo teammate Ksen Golovkina was second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:17.80.

SOFLO teenagers Kelley Heron, 16, was second in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:29.49 and Kathleen Golding, 15, was third in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:08.70. Heron was also fourth in the 50-meter backstroke in a best time 32.17. Golding was fifth in the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:19.03.

In the men’s competition, Ervin Marin was top SOFLO finisher placing second in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:47.31.

Marin was also a member of SOFLO’s winning 200-meter medley relay with Colorado, Donahue and Ryan Capote.


COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 475, 2. Pine Crest 342, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 322, 4. T2 Aquatics 244.5, 5. Metro Aquatics 229.

MEN: 1. Swim Fort Lauderdale 214, 2. Metro Aquatics 191, 3. Pine Crest 112, 4. SOFLO 109, 5. Azura 102.

WOMEN: 1. SOFLO 258, 2. Pine Crest 230, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 108, 4. Soundview YMCA 98.5, 5. T2 Aquatics 93.5.


200-meter freestyle:

1.Alina Schulhofer, SOFLO 2:06.34, 2. Chelsea Colwill, Tampa Bay 2:08.51, 3. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 2:08.70; SOFLO: 28. Abby Oyetunji 2:24.92, 44. Carly Swanson 2:28.57, 55. Stephanie Mlujeak 2:37.41.

400-meter individual medley;

1.Andrea Santander, Unattached 5:06.39, 2. Allison Kopas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 5:08.05, 3. Bean Faunce, T2 Aquatics 5:19.30.

200-meter butterfly:

1.Jessica Nava, Pine Crest Swimming 2:18.95, 2. Alessandra Baldari, North Palm Beach 2:22.04, 3. Claire Donahue, SOFLO 2:23.30; SOFLO: 5. Alina Schulhofer 2:28.16, best time, 15. Alexandra Crespo 2:48.62.

50-meter freestyle:

1.Megan Romano, SOFLO 26.08, 2. Erika Erndl, T2 Aquatics 26.94, 2. Catharine Cooper, Swim Fort Lauderdale 27.31; SOFLO: 4. Catalina Mendieta 27.43, 6. Lisa Blackburn 27.78, 8. Ksen Golovkina 28.45, 15. Emiliana Pelaez 29.25, 18. Kelley Heron 29.29, 45. Carly Swanson 30.94, 50. Abby Oyetunji 31.13, 62. Stephanie Mlujeak 31.79.

200-meter backstroke:

1.Giulia Guerra Montes, Pine Crest Swimming 2:22.93, 2. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 2:29.49, 3. Melannie Vargas, Unattached 2:30.25; SOFLO: 18. Katherine De Barros 2:50.32, 20. Stephanie Mlujeak 2:51.83.

100-meter breaststroke:

1.Valentina Artemeva, Unattached 1:11.64, 2. Ksen Golovkina, SOFLO 1:17.80, 3. Savannah Yates, Pine Crest Swimming 1:18.84; SOFLO: 5. Kathleen Golding 1:19.03, best time, 13. Emiliana Pelaez 1:22.64, 25. Katherine De Barros 1:32.43, 32. Alexandra Crespo 1:37.47.

50-meter butterfly:

1.Claire Donahue, SOFLO 27.63, 2. Catalina Mendieta, SOFLO 28.18, 3. Carolina Colorado 28.18; SOFLO: 9. Lisa Blackburn 30.85, 28. Emiliana Pelaez 33.75, 41. Abby Oyetunji 35.13, 44. Alexandra Crespo 35.65.

50-meter backstroke:

1.Megan Romano, SOFLO 30.08, best time, 2. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO 30.10, 3. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest Swimming 32.06; SOFLO: 4. Kelley Heron 32.17, best time, 13. Carly Swanson 36.04.

1500-meter freestyle:

1.Rose Smiddy, Unattached 18:22.78, 2. Cameron Thomas, SwimFast 18:38.32, 3. Anna Montgomery, Pine Crest Swimming 19:22.65.


200-meter freestyle:

1.Marcelo Acosta, Azura 1:55.12, 2. Luca Dioli, Unattached 1:55.21, 3. Franco Lupoli, Azura 1:55.65; SOFLO: 13. Kevin Porto 2:03.54, best time, 14. Ryan Capote 2:03.59, 23. Max Asnis 2:06.44, 26. Sam Asnis 2:07.02, 27. Juan Diaz 2:07.14, 42. Tomas Pelaez 2:13.13, best time, 44. Matthew Menocal 2:15.04, 56. Wyatt Jennessee 2:23.68.

400-meter individual medley:

1.Brandon Vives, Metro Aquatics 4:45.17, 2. Ervin Marin, SOFLO 4:47.31, 3. Jack Scanlon, T2 Aquatics 4:56.14; SOFLO: 6. Ricardo Roche 4:58.42, 9. Samuel Quintero 5:09.16.

200-meter butterfly:

1.Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 2:08.77, 2. Nico Medina, Pine Crest Swimming 2:10.09, 3. Alex Arrieta, Metro Aquatics 2:10.59; SOFLO: 8. Max Asnis 2:18.24, 12. Juan Diaz 2:20.43, 21. Sam Asnis 2:33.43.

50-meter freestyle:

1.Elvis Burrows, Trinity Prep 23.69, 2. Raphael Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 24.25, 3. Philippe Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 24.25; SOFLO: 16. Ryan Capote 25.61, 25. Kevin Porto 26.11, best time, 37. Matthew Menocal 26.74, 62. Tomas Pelaez 29.42, 73. Kile Aukerman 30.44.

200-meter backstroke;

1.Luca Dioli, Unattached 2:09.85, 2. John Torres, Unattached 2:14.95, 3. Philippe Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale; SOFLO: 6. Ricardo Roche 2:20.12, 11. Juan Lucas 2:24.17.

100-meter breaststroke:

1.Daniel Gyurta, Hungary 1:01.82, 2. Anton Lobanov, Unattached 1:02.33, 3. Nicolo’ Ossola, Azura 1:05.51; SOFLO: 5. Kile Aukerman 1:06.68, 9. Ervin Marin 1:11.24, best time, 15. Samuel Quintero 1:14.07, best time.

50-meter butterfly:

1.Elvis Burrows, Trinity Prep 25.33, 2. AJ Barbar, Westminster Academy 25.38, 3. Raphael Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 25.99; SOFLO: 22. Ryan Capote 28.50, 30. Max Asnis 29.08, 32. Juan Diaz 29.50, 40. Wyatt Jennessee 30.30, best time, 47. Matthew Menocal 31.44, 48. Sam Asnis 31.49.

50-meter backstroke:

1.Luca Dioli, Unattached 27.98, 2. Guillaume Bolivard, Swim Fort Lauderdale 28.70, 3. Yanouck Tirysieva, Unattached 29.39; SOFLO: 15. Kevin Porto 32.51, 18. Wyatt Jennessee 34.72, 24. Tomas Pelaez 37.66.

Mixed 200-meter medley relay:

1. SOFLO A 1:56.09 (Carolina Colorado, Ervin Marin, Claire Donahue, Ryan Capote), 2. T2 Aquatics 2:00.44, 3. SOFLO B 3:00.74, 9. SOFLO D 2:09.70, 10. SOFLO C 2:10.26.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Austin Arena Pro Swim Series Begins Olympic Countdown

By Sharon Robb

January 13, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club’s top swimmers will start off the New Year at the Arena Pro Swim Series at University of Texas’ Lee & Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin.

SOFLO will have six swimmers competing at the three-day meet that begins on Friday. The field features 600 swimmers including 70 members of the USA Swimming national team.

The ProFlo group is headed by three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, two-time Colombian Olympian Carolina Colorado and 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue.

The star-studded trio will be joined by Bermuda national record holder Lisa Blackburn, post-grad Kile Aukerman and teenager Kathleen Golding, a member of SOFLO’s national group.

Atkinson and Colombian national record holder Jorge Murillo, who is not competing, have already qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August. Newest ProFlo member and world champion Megan Romano is staying home to train.

Atkinson is entered in six events: 100 and 200 breaststroke; 50 and 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.

Colorado is swimming the 100 and 200 backstroke, 50 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley.

Donahue will compete in the 100 and 200 butterfly and 50 freestyle.

Aukerman is swimming five events: 100 and 200 breaststroke, 200 and 400 individual medley and 50 freestyle.

Blackburn will swim three events in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

Golding, a freshman at Cooper City High School, is entered in four events: 200 and 400 individual medley and 100 and 400 freestyle.

The field is star-studded headed by Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte.

Former Bolles coach Sergio Lopez, now national head coach of the Singapore national team, has entered a contingent including Americans Kevin Cordes and Rex Tullius, who are training with Lopez. The 12-swimmer contingent recently wrapped up training camp in Jacksonville. Singapore’s Olympic Trials are in March.

Hungary’s “Iron Lady” Katinka Hosszu is also among the elite field.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 6 p.m. Central Standard Time.

The meet will be televised on same-day delay on Universal HD Saturday and Sunday from 9:30-11 p.m. EST. NBC Sports Live Extra will stream the Jan. 16-17 finals. A live webcast of both the prelims and finals will be at the website.

Austin is the second stop in the seven-meet series. The series takes on added importance with U.S. swimmers trying to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials and international swimmers trying to make their time standards for various countries.

The series offers $350,000 in prize money. Each meet winner earns $1000, runners-up $600 and third place $200. A $10,000 bonus will be awarded to the overall male and female series winners. Ledecky and Conor Dwyer lead the series after the first meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Katie Ledecky Wins Fourth Gold Medal On Day Five Of XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships; SOFLO’s Atkinson, Colorado Compete Friday

By Sharon Robb

August 6, 2015—Teenager Katie Ledecky added to her gold medal haul Thursday at the XVI FINA World Aquatic Championships at Kazan Arena.

After winning the 200, 400 and 1500-meter freestyle individual events, Ledecky, 18, anchored Team USA’s winning 800-meter freestyle relay.

It was the team’s third straight 800 relay world title, aided mostly by lead-off swimmer Missy Franklin and Ledecky, joined by Leah Smith and Katie McLaughlin.

“We went in and we knew the field would be so-so tough,” Franklin said. “I think we have a lot of confidence in this relay, having this been our third time winning it. We are so grateful and so honored. There was an incredible race out there tonight.”

Ledecky had the fastest split of 1:55.64 to enable Team USA to win by three seconds in 7:45.37. It was Ledecky’s eighth career world title.

Italy took the silver medal in 7:48.41 thanks to a 1:54.73 anchor leg by Federico Pellegrini. China earned the bronze in 7:49.10.

Franklin equaled Katie Hoff’s record of three gold medals in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

Franklin also qualified for the final in the 100-meter freestyle securing the eighth and final spot in 53.92 just ahead of Canadian Chantal Van Landeghem in 53.93.

In performances by swimmers with Florida-ties:

Iceland’s Hilda Luthersdottir of Gator Swim Club tied for eighth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:23.06 to force a swim-off with China’s Shi Jinglin to advance into finals. Jinglin won the swim-off, 2:23.75-2:25.11.

In championship finals:

Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi won her first world title in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:05.56, third-fastest time in the world. Hoshi teetered between third and fourth for most of the race until she surged down the final stretch. American Cammile Adams won her first world medal, taking second in a best time 2:06.40. China’s Zhang Yufei took the bronze in 2:06.51, also a best time bettering her own world junior record. American Katie McLaughlin, 18, finished sixth in 2:06.95, a new 17-18 U.S. national age group record.

China’s Fu Yuanhui won the gold medal in the 50-meter backstroke in 27.11. She came close to breaking the world record but bumped into the lane line at the finish. Brazilian Etiene Medeiros took the silber in 27.26, a Brazilian and South American record. China’s Liu Xiang took the bronze in 27.58.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson, three-time Jamaican Olympian, will go for her second medal when she competes in the 50-meter butterfly heats. SOFLO teammate Carolina Colorado of Colombia and Kenya’s Talisa Lanoe of PAQ will compete in the 200-meter backstroke heats.

Friday women’s events are: 50-meter butterfly heats and semifinals; 200-meter backstroke heats and semifinals; 800-meter freestyle heat; 100-meter freestyle final; and 200-meter breaststroke final.

Sharon Robb can be reached at