Marchand, U.S. Women’s Relay Win; Dressel Drops Out Of Meet; Azura’s Morales Top FGC Finisher At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 22, 2022–It was a crazy day at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Wednesday at Duna Arena.

In the biggest news of the day, Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Caeleb Dressel withdrew from the rest of his events on the fifth day of the eight-day meet, a day after scratching out of the 100 freestyle for unspecified medical grounds.

“After conferring with Caeleb, his coaches and medical staff, a decision has been made to withdraw him from the FINA World Championships,” according to a USA Swimming. “Our priority is and will always be the health of our athletes and we will continue to give Caeleb the assistance he needs to recover quickly.”

Dressel, a Clay High School and Bolles Swim Club alum and 15-time world champion who won five golds at the Tokyo Olympics, scratched out of Tuesday’s 100 freestyle semifinals. He was also expected to race in Tuesday’s mixed 4×100 medley relay final before withdrawing. He didn’t have any events scheduled Wednesday.

Now, Dressel will also miss the 100 butterfly and 50 freestyle, events that start Thursday, and two more relays he was expected to be a part of (mixed 4×100 free and men’s 4×100 medley).

The top Florida Gold Coast finisher was Azura’s Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico. He was 16th in 1:59.77 in the 200-meter backstroke morning prelims to advance into the semifinal round where he finished eighth in 2:01.47 in his semi and 16th overall. Swimming in Lane 8, Morales had the second fastest start (0.54) in the first semifinal.

In her world championship debut, Cayman Islands national record holder Jillian Crooks, who turns 16 on June 27, tied for 29th in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.24 with Peru’s Rafaela Erazo. The home schooler and TS Aquatics swimmer has the 50 freestyle left to swim on Friday.

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

FGC swimmers who competed on Wednesday:

Patrick Groters, 23, Aruba (NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club, University of South Carolina), 200 backstroke, 28th, 2:05.90.

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay (South Florida Heat, Azura), 200 breaststroke, 27th, 2:39.05.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 100 freestyle, tied for 29th, 57.24.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 200 backstroke, 16th, 1:59.77 in prelims; in the semifinals he was eighth in 2:01.47 and 16th overall.

FGC swimmers competing on Thursday are:

Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus, 32, Brazil, (Coral Springs Swim Club), 50 freestyle.

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage, USC), 50 freestyle.

Esteban Nunez de Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 100 butterfly.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura), 100 butterfly.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana (Azura), 50 freestyle.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 butterfly.

In Wednesday night’s final events:

200 WOMEN’S BUTTERFLY: Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, topped three Olympic medalists and broke her own world junior record to win in 2:05.20. She is the first Canadian to win the event at worlds. American Hali Flickinger was second in 2:06.08 and reigning Olympic champion Zhang Yufei was third in 2:06.32.

MEN’S 100 FREESTYLE: Romanian teenager David Popovici, 17, won in 47.58 out-touching Frenchman Maxime Grousset in 47.64 and Canadian Josh Liendo was third in 47.71. It was his second win of the meet.

WOMEN’S 50 BACKSTROKE: In a tight finish Canadian national record holder Kylie Masse won gold in 27.31. American Katharine Berkoff took silver in 27.39 for her first world medal. Frenchwoman Analia Pigree was third n 27.40, the first-ever French woman medalist in the event. American Regan Smith was fifth. 16/100ths of a second separated the top six swimmers.

MEN’S 200 IM: Frenchman Leon Marchand, 20, of Arizona State, swept the medley events, winning in a best time and national record 1:55.22. He also won the 400 IM earlier in the week. Marchand was third going into the breaststroke where he overtook the early leaders. American Carson Foster was second in 1:55.71 and Japan’s 2019 world champion Daiya Seto was third in 1:56.22.

“It’s a dream for me because five years ago, I was watching this race, and I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s amazing,'” Marchand said. “And now, I can win two titles, so it’s amazing.”

WOMEN’S 4×200 FREE RELAY: With two veterans and two youngsters, the U.S. women’s team pulled off an upset win in a championship record 7:41.45. Katie Ledecky swam third leg to pick up her 18th worlds gold medal, the most of any woman in meet history. Bella Sims, 16, swam anchor leg. Claire Weinstein, 15, and Leah Smith swam the first two legs. Australia was second in 7:43.86 and Canada third in 7:44.76.

“I think we always find a way to be in the mix,” Ledecky said. “I knew that going into tonight that no matter who’s going to be on that relay, no matter who makes those spots, they’re going to step up and swim well. This was awesome. It’s so easy to get up for these relays, to not think and go. I had so much trust in these three. I think we’re always counted out, and we always deliver so I’m proud of this group.”

In the 200 breaststroke semifinals, middle schooler Sua Moon of Korea was 16th in the semis in 2:26.64. The 13-year-old also swam 1:08.50 in the 100 breaststroke heats.

Thursday prelim events are men’s 100 butterfly, women’s 200 backstroke, men’s 50 freestyle, women’s 50 butterfly, women’s 800 freestyle and men’s 4×200 free relay.

The U.S. added four more medals to its tally of 11 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze for 26. Australia is second with eight total (2 golds, 5 silver, 1 bronze).

The swimming runs through Saturday with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features diving, water polo, high diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming end July 3.

The Olympic Channel and Peacock, on the NBC platform, is televising the finals at noon each day. A highlights show will be on NBC at noon on June 26. The FINA facebook page is also posting competition news. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

There are huge cheers for any Hungarian swimmers from spectators at Duna Arena. FINA, the sport’s governing body, has asked fans each day to clap rather than cheer as a precaution against coronavirus infections. There were no other requests or restrictions.

FINALS SCHEDULE
Thursday, June 23: 100 women’s freestyle, 200 women’s breaststroke, 200 men’s backstroke, 200 men’s breaststroke, 4×200 men’s freestyle relay.

Friday, June 24: 50 women’s fly, 50 men’s free, 100 men’s fly, 200 women’s back, 800 women’s free, 4×100 mixed free relay.

Saturday, June 25: 50 men’s back, 50 women’s breast, 1500 men’s free, 50 women’s free, 400 women’s IM, 4×100 men’s and women’s medley relay.

Sunday, June 26: Open water, 6K team relay.

Monday, June 27: Open water, men’s and women’s 5K.

Wednesday, June 29: Open water, men’s and women’s 10K.

Thursday, June 30: Open water, men’s and women’s 25K.

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

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

Yeziel Morales Wins Second Event On Day Three Of Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships


By Sharon Robb
BALMAIN COUVA, Trinidad & Tobago, June 4, 2022–Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico won his second event Saturday at the Panam Aquatics Age Group Swimming Championships on Day Three at National Aquatic Centre.

Morales, 26, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics, won the 200-meter backstroke by 7 seconds in 2:02.02. He has the 100 backstroke left to swim on Sunday. Morales also won the 50 backstroke in 26.40 on Friday.

Peru continues to lead Puerto Rico in the combined team standings, 932-878. Host Trinidad & Tobago leads the men’s team standings with 440 and Peru continues to lead the women’s teams with 544.

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 tournament, 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.

Sunday’s events are 1500-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle and 4×50 mixed 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.

SATURDAY RESULTS
COMBINED
: 1. Peru 932, 2. Puerto Rico 878, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 643, 4. Jamaica 209.5, 5. Honduras 197.5.
WOMEN: 1. Peru 544, 2. Puerto Rico 487, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 203, 4. Jamaica 147, 5. Colombia 113.
MEN: 1. Trinidad & Tobago 440, 2. Puerto Rico 391, 3. Peru 388, 4. Honduras 127.5, 5. Surinam 95.

WOMEN
400-meter freestyle: 11-and-over, 1. Emma Guglielmello, PUR 4:24.46, 2. Tifanny Jinete, COL 4:25.01, 3. Danna Moreno, ECU 4:25.86.

100-meter breaststroke: 11-12, 1. Monica Rivera, PUR 1:27.61; 13-14, 1. Victoria Vazquez, PUR 1:18.79; 15-17, 1. Andrea Cuebas, PUR 1:17.02; 18-and-over, 1. Marissa Mojica, PUR 1:15.92.

200-meter backstroke: 11-and-over, 1. Alexia Acuna, PER 2:19.48, 2. Elizabeth Garrido, DOM 2:23.03, 3. Orenelia Walker, TTO 2:28.36.

50-meter butterfly: 11-12, 1. Elvira Demera, ECU 29.98; 13-14, 1. Yasmin Contreras, PER 29.16; 15-17, 1. Alexia Acuna, PER 28.22; 18-and-over, 1. Rafaela Erazo, PER 28.47.

MEN
400-meter freestyle: 11-and-over, 1. Victor Rosado, PUR 4:00.12, 2. Nikoli Blackman, TTO 4:05.49, 3. Caleb Serrano, PUR 4:06.06.

100-meter breaststroke: 11-12, 1. Ian Melendez, PUR 1:17.61; 13-14, 1. Jorell Figueroa, PUR 1:07.58; 15-17, 1. Braynsly Dirksz, ARU 1:06.34; 18-and-over, 1. Josue Ramos, DOM 1:04.25.

200-meter backstroke: 11-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR 2:02.02, 2. Ricardo Willing, PER 2:09.93, 3. Johann-Matthew Matamoro, TTO 2:12.35.

50-meter butterfly: 11-12, 1. Carlos Carmona, PER 28.47; 13-14, 1. Giovanni Rivas, TTO 26.81; 15-17, 1. Nikoli Blackman, TTO 24.92; 18-and-over, 1. Christian Awah, TTO 24.60.

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

SOFLO’s Colmenares, Rodriguez Top Four Finishes On Final Day Of CCCAN Championships; Puerto Rico Wins Team Title


By Sharon Robb
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, June 27, 2021–Javier Colmenares and Enrique Rodriguez, both representing Venezuela internationally, ended a long meet on a successful note Sunday at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Championships at San Juan Aquatic Complex.

Rodriguez, 16, was fourth in the 15-17 400-meter freestyle in 4:14.85. Rodriguez swam a best time of 4:14.36 in prelims, bettering his previous best of 4:15.30. His best event finish during the meet was second in the 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:12.56, a time drop of 1.81.

Colmenares, 14, was third in the 100-meter butterfly in a lifetime-best 59.88. It was the first time he cracked 1 minute in the event. He dropped 0.24 off his entry time of 1:00.12. He was also fourth in the 13-14 50-meter breaststroke in 31.13 after going a best time 30.76 in prelims, dropping 0.38. His previous best was 31.14.

El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta, 24, who trains with Azura, won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.51.

Cypress Bay High School’s Nicol Bellardi, 15, of Venezuela won the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:23.43, shaving 2.04 off her previous best of 2:25.47.

Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales, 24, who trains with Azura, won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:59.39, the FINA “B” cut for Tokyo.

Kristen Romano, 21, of Puerto Rico won the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:13.75, another FINA “B” cut for the Tokyo Olympics and meet record.

Puerto Rico dominated the field of 14 countries to win the team title with 1,579 points after the completion of individual events. Venezuela was second with 744.

The CCCAN Championships are a biennial aquatics championship for countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The name of the event comes from the event’s organizers: the Central American & Caribbean Swimming Confederation, whose abbreviated name is CCCAN.

The CCCAN Championships are held every odd year, and began in 1960. In addition to CCCAN members, South American countries which border on the Caribbean also participate in the championships, including Suriname, Colombia and Venezuela. There are 28 federations.

BAHAMAS NATIONALS
NASSAU—Three-time Panama Olympian Edgar Crespo fell short of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in his final attempt. Crespo, 31, went 1:02.10 in the 100-meter breaststroke time trial. The FINA “B” cut was 1:01.73 and “A” cut 59.93. Sunday was the final day for swimmers to qualify. Honduras’ Julio Horrego, already qualified in the 100 breaststroke with a “B” cut, went 1:01.18 in an exhibition final.

CCCAN SUNDAY RESULTS
TEAM TOTALS
: 1. Puerto Rico 1,579, 2. Venezuela 744, 3. Dominican Republic 483, 4. Guatemala 461, 5. Virgin Islands 288, 6. Jamaica 242, 7. Honduras 212, 8. Aruba 209.5, 9. El Salvador 205, 10. Haiti 113, 11. Panama 58.5, 12. Bermuda 47, 13. Turks and Caicos 33, 14. Colombia 21.

WOMEN
400-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Nicole Mack, GUA 4:44.96; 13-14, 1. Lucero Mejia, GUA 4:33.21; 15-17, 1. Mariana Cote, VEN 4:31.01; 18-and-over, 1. Michelle Ramirez, HON 4:26.83.

50-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Melissa Diego, GUA 35.50; 13-14, 1. Andrea Perea, PUR 35.60; 15-17, 1. Krista Jurado, GUA 33.88; 18-and-over, 1. Anahi Schreuders, ARU 33.32.

100-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Monica Leydar, VEN 1:08.88; 13-14, 1. Gabi Paredes, VEN 1:06.56; 15-17, 1. Isabella Alas, ESA 1:02.27; 18-and-over, 1. Madelyn Moore, BER 1:02.21.

200-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Melissa Diego, GUA 2:27.07; 13-14, 1. Lucero Mejia, GUA 2:22.15, meet record; 15-17, 1. Nicol Bellardi, VEN 2:23.43; 18-and-over, 1. Kristen Romano, PUR 2:13.75.

MEN
400-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Dany Papadia, VEN 4:26.38; 13-14, 1. Caleb Romero, PUR 4:17.36; 15-17, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 4:03.90; SOFLO: 4. Enrique Rodriguez, VEN 4:14.85; 18-and-over, 1. Marcelo Acosta, ESA 3:58.51.

50-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Gamal Kabchi, VEN 33.62; 13-14, 1. Xavier Ruiz, PUR 29.74; SOFLO: 4. Javier Colmenares 31.13; 15-17, 1. Kito Campbell, JAM 28.55, meet record; 18-and-over, 1. Andres Martijen, DOM 28.94.

100-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Omar Oyuela, HON 1:02.68; 13-14, 1. Diego Alvarado, ESA 58.73; SOFLO: 3. Javier Colmenares, VEN 59.88; 15-17, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 57.50; FGC: 3. Renato Herran, VEN 57.86; 18-and-over, 1. Davidson Vincent, HAI 55.20.

200-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Daryan Maynard, VI 2:27.80; 13-14, 1. Xavier Ruiz, PUR 2:12.84; 15-17, 1. Max Wilson, VI 2:08.30; FGC: 2. Wisthon Rendon, VEN 2:10.77; 18-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR 1:59.39.

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

SOFLO’s Javier Colmenares, Enrique Rodriguez Swim Best Times, Finish Runners-up On Day Four Of CCCAN Championships; Puerto Rico Leads Team Standings


By Sharon Robb
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, June 26, 2021–Venezuela’s Javier Colmenares of South Florida Aquatic Club turned in another best time at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Championships Saturday at San Juan Aquatic Complex.

Colmenares, 14, was second in the 13-14 400-meter individual medley in a lifetime-best 4:48.76, shaving 3.07 seconds off his previous best of 4:51.83. Colmenares has had best times in every event he has competed in.

Colmenares has the 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly left to swim on Sunday.

Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cancel, 21, of University of Florida and SOFLO had the fastest qualifying time in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 4:21.26, lowering his entry time of 4:28 by 6.74 seconds. He finished second in finals in 4:21.91.

SOFLO’s Enrique Rodriguez, 16, of Venezuela was second in the 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:12.56, dropping 1.81 seconds.

SOFLO’s Andrea Santander, 19, of Venezuela was sixth in the 50-meter freestyle in 27.21 after going 27.08 in morning prelims.

Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales, 24, of Azura Florida Aquatics won the 100-meter backstroke in a best time 55.09, under the FINA Olympic “B” cut of 55.47 and meet record. Venezuela’s Alfonso Mestre, 19, of University of Florida earned the FINA Olympic “A” cut in the 800-meter freestyle (7:54.31) in 7:50.81, an official split time off the 1500 meters and also broke his own national record.

In other notable swims, Puerto Rico’s Jarod Arroyo set a national record in the 200 IM in 2:00.61. Xavier Ruiz of Puerto Rico set a national record in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.53.

After Saturday night’s individual events, Puerto Rico has a huge lead in the team standings with 1,202 points. Venezuela is second with 516.5.

The CCCAN Championships are a biennial aquatics championship for countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The name of the event comes from the event’s organizers: the Central American & Caribbean Swimming Confederation, whose abbreviated name is CCCAN.

The CCCAN Championships are held every odd year, and began in 1960. In addition to CCCAN members, South American countries which border on the Caribbean also participate in the championships, including Suriname, Colombia and Venezuela. There are 28 federations.

CCCAN SATURDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

400-meter individual medley:
13-14, 1. Ihanelys Massini, PUR 5:24.49; 15-17, 1. Mariana Cote, VEN 5:07.64; 18-and-over, None.

50-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Riley Miller, ISV 28.53; 13-14, 1. Christanya Shirley, JAM 27.33; 15-17, 1. Miriam Sheehan, PUR 26.42; FGC: 5. Nicol Bellardi, VEN 27.96; 18-and-over, 1. Madelyn Moore, BER 25.82; SOFLO: 6. Andrea Santander, VEN 27.21.

100-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Melissa Diego, GUA 1:08.61; 13-14, 1. Elizabeth Jimenez, DOM 1:05.54; 15-17, 1. Miriam Sheehan, PUR 1:03.90; FGC: 2. Nicol Bellardi, VEN 1:07.28; 18-and-over, 1. Celismar Guzman, PUR 1:04.12.

200-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Fatima Cuellar, GUA 2:35.04; 13-14, 1. Gabi Paredes, VEN 2:29.82; 15-17, 1. Julianna Penner, VEN 2:22.10; 18-and-over, 1. Michella Ramirez, HON 2:17.32.

MEN
400-meter individual medley:
13-14, 1. Xavier Ruiz, PUR 4:37.02; SOFLO: 2. Javier Colmenares 4:48.76, time drop 3.07; 15-17, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 4:37.60; 18-and-over, 1. Jarod Arroyo, PUR 4:17.94; SOFLO: 2. Miguel Cancel, PUR 4:21.91; FGC: 4. Marcelo Acosta 4:39.10.

50-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Omar Oyuela, HON 27.21; 13-14, 1. Jaydon Croes, Aruba 24.40; 15-17, 1. Derek Correa, PUR 23.59; FGC: 2. Renato Herran, VEN 24.15, 3. Omar Fathallah, PUR 24.20; 18-and-over, 1. Louis Ortiz, PUR 22.82.

100-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Daryan Maynard, VI 1:07.64; 13-14, 1. Siul Araya, PUR 1:02.38; 15-17, 1. Max Wilson, VI 57.52; FGC: 4. Wisthon Rendon, VEN 1:01.20; 18-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR 55.09.

200-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Omar Oyuela, HON 2:21.14; 13-14, 1. Xavier Ruiz, PUR 2:07.38; 15-17, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 2:06.43; SOFLO: 2. Enrique Rodriguez, VEN 2:12.56; 18-and-over, 1. Victor Rosado, PUR 2:01.74.

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

SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Sweeps Breaststroke Events With All Best Times; Miguel Cancel Wins At Puerto Rico International Swimming Open


By Sharon Robb
SALINAS, Puerto Rico, May 23, 2021–Honduran Olympic hopeful Julio Horrego of South Florida Aquatic Club made it a clean sweep at the Puerto Rico International Swimming Open Sunday at Albergue Olimpico German Rieckehoff.

On the fourth and final day of the international meet, Horrego, 22, won the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:02.25, dropping 0.03. He was seeded second with an entry time of 1:02.28 going into prelims and was fourth fastest in 1:05.38 after prelims.

Horrego also won the 50- and 200-meter breaststroke events on Friday and Saturday.

Horrego, seeded first in the 50-meter breaststroke, won in a best time 27.84, lowering his previous best of 28.81 and dropping 0.97. He first lowered his best time in prelims in 28.46, the fastest time in morning prelims.

Horrego also won the 200-meter breaststroke in a best time 2:17.46, dropping 1.05 from his previous best of 2:18.51. He went 2:27.45 in prelims to earn the sixth seed for finals.

Horrego was one of three swimmers representing Honduras. The others were Julimar Avila, 23, and Fernando Estrada, 18. On Sunday, Avila won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:18.38.

SOFLO’s Miguel Cancel, 21, of Puerto Rico won the 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:00.12, dropping 1.46. He was the fastest qualifier in prelims in 2:02.21.

Cancel also swam a best time 2:02.49 in a 200-meter individual medley time trial, dropping 1.24. He swam the 50-meter breaststroke prelim only in a best time 29.56, dropping 0.83.

Other Florida Gold Coast winners:

Marcelo Acosta, 24, Azura, 1500-meter freestyle, 15:47.92.

Micaela Sierra, 16, Azura, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:12.19.

Yeziel Morales, 24, Azura, 100-meter backstroke, 54.99.

Forty seven countries and club teams including Azura Florida Aquatics (20 swimmers), Montverde Aquatic Club and Swim Atlanta competed.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Heads Field For UANA Tokyo Qualifier That Begins Thursday In Clermont


By Sharon Robb
CLERMONT, April 28, 2021—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson heads a fast field for the UANA Tokyo Qualifier that gets under way Thursday at Orlando Health National Training Center.

The four-day meet, hosted by Azura Florida Aquatics and Montverde Academy Swimming, has attracted 300 swimmers and 74 teams from 60 nations.

As a FINA-approved event, swimmers who participate will be eligible to qualify for the July 23-August 8 Tokyo Olympic Games; Sept. 9-19 Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia; Dec. 15-20 FINA SCM World Championships in Abu Dhabi and May 13-29, 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

“The UANA Tokyo Qualifier is a significant opportunity for swimmers throughout the world to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Dale Neuberger, newly-named FINA Treasurer. “With athletes from over 60 countries competing, the state of Florida has established itself as an important and desirable location for international competition.”

UANA (Union Americana de Natación) is the international governing body in the Western Hemisphere for amateur aquatics. UANA is one of five continental regions within FINA.

Recently, Atkinson was named an an athlete member to the UANA Technical Committee for swimming through 2023.

Atkinson, 32, one of the oldest swimmers in the meet, has already qualified for her fifth Olympics in Tokyo in her signature 100-meter breaststroke event.

In addition to the 100-meter breaststroke, Atkinson is also entered in the 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly. She is seeded first in the 50-meter butterfly (26.61) and breaststroke (30.58) events, second in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.00) and third in the 100-meter butterfly (1:00.87).

She will be joined by four other SOFLO teammates: Mariangela Cincotti Serafini, 17, and Andrea Santander, 19, both of Venezuela; Julio Horrego, 22, of Honduras and Leo Mateus, 19, of Colombia.

All five swimmers are representing SOFLO.

Horrego is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events and is an Olympic hopeful. Horrego represented Honduras at the Central American and Caribbean Games where he was fifth in the 200 breast in 2:16.40 and eighth in the 200 IM in 2:05.40. At the 2018 CCCAN meet he won the 100 breast (1:03.30); 200 breaststroke (2:20.87) and 200 IM (2:04.85). He was a two-time high school state champion at Mater Academy and former Florida State swimmer.

Cincotti Serafini, headed to Drexel University in the fall, will swim the 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. She will graduate from Nova Southeastern University School where she qualified for the state meet as a junior and broke school records in the 200 and 500 freestyles. She is a member of Venezuela’s national team and has competed in the Pan American and South American Games. In 2018, she qualified for the Open Water Junior World Championships in Eilat. She is a member of two Venezuelan national age group relay records.

Santander, a former Broward County High School Swimmer of the Year and state champion for Pine Crest, earned a scholarship to University of Southern California her senior year. As a junior, she represented Venezuela in international meets including the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires at age 16. She has competed in five international meets, her first three 17-18 meets and junior worlds. Santander is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyles and 200-meter individual medley.

Mateus, an Everglades High School alum currently enrolled at Yale, swims for the Colombian Swimming Federation and has limited international experience. He is entered in the 200-meter backstroke and breaststroke events and 200- and 400-meter individual medleys.

Miguel Cancel, who trains at SOFLO when he’s not attending and swimming at University of Florida, is competing unattached for Florida. Cancel, a Gulliver Prep alum where he won four individual state titles, has competed on the international scene for Puerto Rico. Among his events are the 50 butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke sprints and 200 and 400 IM.

Also competing are SOFLO’s Juan Colmenares, 17, and Javier Colmenares, 14, representing Venezuela and competing for international meet experience.

There will be several other familiar faces with Florida ties in the meet.

Aruba’s Patrick Groters, 22, coached by his brother Jordy, is a NSU University School alum. Their mother is UANA President Maureen Croes.

“I am extremely pleased with the event that UANA, together with Azura, Montverde, Orlando Health National Training Center and Greater Orlando Sports Commission, put together in a very short time,” Croes said.

“Organization of any sporting event during the pandemic is very challenging and requires more attention to details to ensure our athletes and coaches are able to do what they do best safely. I am grateful to all involved, as cooperation and willingness to support has been beyond my wildest dreams.”

Pine Crest will have a talented group of swimmers led by 16-year-old U.S. Olympic trials qualifier Julia Podkoscielny.

Host Azura has a large contingent entered led by El Salvador Olympian Marcelo Acosta, 24. He was the first swimmer from El Salvador to qualify for the Olympics with an “A” cut in 2016.

St. Andrew’s alum Izaak Bastian, 20, swimming unattached for Florida State, is representing the Bahamas as a member of the national team and national record holder.

On Thursday timed finals session begins 5 p.m. Events are women’s 1500-meter freestyle, men’s 800-meter freestyle and men’s and women’s 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter breaststroke. Friday through Sunday, prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

The meet is being shown on the Pan Am Sports TV channel available on an app which can be downloaded for free on various devices.

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

Pine Crest, Azura, South Florida Aquatic Club Swimmers Head Florida Gold Coast Contingent For XVIII Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 5, 2019—While the XVIII Pan American Games got under way July 26 with various other sports, swimming finally kicks off on Tuesday at Villa Deportiva Nacional.

Venezuela’s Andrea Santander of Pine Crest Swimming heads the local contingent. Santander will compete in the 200-meter individual medley on Saturday and relays.

Her last major international competition was the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina last October.

The Pan American Games will be her sixth international meet. She is one of Venezuela’s top swimmers and 2020 Tokyo Olympic hopeful. Santander is also a high school state champion, All-American and record holder at Pine Crest High School where she will be a senior this fall.

Azura Florida Aquatics Coach Gianluca Alberani will need more than one stopwatch at his third Pan American Games.

Azura has ten swimmers competing. They are Gabriel Araya of Chile, Mariangela Cincotti of Venezuela, Rodolfo Falcon of Cuba, Hernan Gonzalez of Panama, Julio Horrego of Honduras, Antoine Khazne of Venezuela, Celina Marquez of El Salvador, Matheo Mateos of Paraguay, Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico and Alyson Ponson of Aruba.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Miguel Cancel will represent Puerto Rico in the 400-meter individual medley.

Former South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer Jorge Murillo will represent Colombia. It is his third Pan American Games.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter will represent Trinidad & Tobago.

Doral Academy and Duke alum Isabella Paez of Miami will represent Venezuela in the butterfly events and relays. She will compete for the national team on her second Pan American Games team.

The U.S. will be well-represented with three-time Olympian Nathan Adrian heading the team. Adrian also competed at the world championships on the 400-meter freestyle relay just eight months after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He is undergoing treatment.

Some other swimmers joining Adrian are Annie Lazor, Cody Miller, Kevin Cordes, Lia Neal, Becca Mann, Ali DeLoof and Alex Walsh.

The U.S., Brazil and Canada are the top countries competing over five days for Pan American Games supremacy.

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