Florida Gators Defend SEC Men’s Swimming And Diving Title; Tennessee Wins Women’s Crown; Patrick Groters Breaks USC School Record

By Sharon Robb
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., February 20, 2022—University of Florida men’s team won its tenth consecutive Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Championship Saturday night at Jones Aquatics Center.

The Gators won with 1,414 points, a 476-point cushion over Tennessee and Alabama. It was the fourth time in team history the Gators cracked 1,400 points.

And the Gators did it without defending SEC champions Bobby Finke and Dillon Hillis, both scratched from the meet because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Gators swept all the men’s relays. In individual events, Olympian and senior Kieran Smith led the Gators’ winning the 400-yard individual medley. Sophomore Adam Chaney won the 100-yard backstroke, breaking Ryan Lochte’s school record in 44.51.

The Gators dominated the final day of competition taking seven of the top nine spots in the 1,650-yard freestyle.

Winning for the Gators were:
200-yard medley relay: Adam Chaney, Dillon Hillis, Eric Friese, Alberto Mester, 1:22.06, SEC record.

800-yard freestyle relay: Kieran Smith, Trey Freeman, Oskar Lindholm, Alfonso Mestre, 6:08.00, SEC record.

200-yard freestyle relay: Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith, Macguire McDuff, 1:15.18, SEC record.

400-yard individual medley: Kieran Smith, Senior, 3:39.33.

400-yard medley relay: Adam Chaney, Amro Al-Wir, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith, 3:02.61.

1650-yard freestyle: Trey Freeman, Junior, 14:39.74.

200-yard backstroke: Kieran Smith, Senior, 1:39.51.

400-yard freestyle relay: Macguire McDuff, Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Kieran Smith, 2:46.91.

It was the 43rd overall title for the Gators. Florida is now primed for the March 23-26 NCAA Men’s Championships in Atlanta.

In the women’s competition, Tennessee won its second women’s title in three years. The Volunteers won with 1,313.5 points ahead of Kentucky with 1,043 and Alabama, 1,038. The Gators were fifth with 905 points. It was Tennessee’s highest point total in team history.

Freshman Ellen Walshe became the third woman in the team’s history to win three individual events in a single SEC Championships.

Walshe won the 400-yard individual medley in 4:01.53, second fastest in NCAA history this season, and 100-yard butterfly in 50.34. She also won the 200 IM in 1:52.97. She was a member of the winning 800-yard freestyle relay.

The Vols also picked up a win from freshman Julia Mrozinski in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:35.95, third fastest in the NCAA this season.

The Volunteers won the 800-yard freestyle relay and finished runner-up in the remaining relays. All five relays were under NCAA A cuts.

Other Tennessee winners were:
800-yard freestyle relay: Julia Mrozinski, Ellen Walshe, Trude Rothrock, Tjasa Pintar – 6:56.81, pool record.

100-yard breaststroke: Mona McSharry, 57.50.

1650-yard freestyle: Kristen Stege, 15:42.37.

Among Florida Gold Coast swimmer results:

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, a junior at University of Florida, competed in three events. She was 18th in the 200 IM in a best time 1:57.63, seventh in the 400 IM in 4:11.14 and 21st in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16:27.95. She dropped 1.32 second off her previous 1:58.95 200 IM.

Florida freshman Anna Auld was 33rd in the 500 freestyle in 4:48.87; 11th in the 400 IM in a best time 4:11.02 and 10th in the 1,650-yard freestyle in a best time 16:16.87, dropping 10.25 seconds.

SOFLO’s Molly Golding and Miguel Cancel did not compete.

In his SEC debut for University of South Carolina, Aruba’s Patrick Groters competed in three events. The former NSU University School and Pine Crest swimmer broke the school record in the 200 IM C-final with a best time of 1:43.77. The previous school record was 1:44.00 by Tomas Peribonio in 2018. Groters finished first in the C-final and was bumped up from 17th to 15th place after two swimmers were disqualified from the A-final. He was 18th in the 400 IM in a best time 3:47.17, dropping 1.12 and 13th in the 200 backstroke in 1:43.24, also a best time dropping 1.93.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

COLLEGE ROUNDUP: Miami Tops Florida Gulf Coast; SOFLO’s Hailey Jerew Has Four Top 3 Finishes

By Sharon Robb
FORT MYERS, January 13, 2021—University of Miami won its fourth consecutive dual meet against Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday at FGCU Aquatics Center.

The Hurricanes won, 171-129, and now trail the series, 8-5, that started in 2010.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Hailey Jerew, a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast, anchored the winning 200-yard medley relay that won in 1:46.11; was second in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.34 and third in the 100-yard freestyle in 53.43. She was also a member of the second-place 400-yard freestyle relay.

Miami was coming off its Miami Invite win over Vanderbilt in December.

“It’s always good to get a win,” head coach Andy Kershaw said. “I’m certainly proud of how they competed and how they raced with that game day attitude, which is an important thing as we head towards ACC Championships. It’s certainly going to be an important aspect to have within our team.”

UM freshman Savannah Barr won three events and sophomore teammate Adrianna Cera was a double winner.

UM had only 16 swimmers at the meet with seven winning individual events.

“We’ve been working hard in training these last two weeks,” Kershaw said. “I told them, ‘Put all that behind you. Today, our focus is the energy as a team.’ That game day attitude, having fun as a group, getting the opportunity to have this experience…as we know, it should be cherished, this year in particular. We did a really good job in that regard.

“From a performance standpoint, looking at times, we certainly have some work to do,” Kershaw said. “There’s some factor in terms of elements, but we have to get to work and stay at work and keep riding above and polish up a few things. That’s what we’ll do. That’s what these opportunities show us.”

Florida Gulf Coast was coming off its season-opening FGCU Invitational win ahead of Florida International and Georgia Southern. In that meet, Jerew was second in the 100 freestyle in 50.75, second in the 50 freestyle in 23.15, fifth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.48, led off the winning 200-yard freestyle relay, anchored the winning 200-yard medley relay and swam third leg of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay.

Because of bad weather host FGCU was unable to live stream on its’ Facebook page. Only the first 50 spectators were allowed to attend the meet.

Florida Gulf Coast travels on Saturday to swim North Florida at the Bolles School at 1 p.m. The Hurricanes return home for a Senior Day dual meet on Fri., Jan. 22 vs FIU. Action will begin at 3 p.m. at Whitten Center Pool.


University of Miami 171, Florida Gulf Coast 129

200-yard medley relay: 1. Florida Gulf Coast 1:46.11 (Joely Merriman, Petra Halmai, Tori Czarnecka, Hailey Jerew), 2. Miami 1:47.46, 3. FGC B 1:50.96.

1,000-yard freestyle: 1. Adrianna Cera, UM 10:32.02, 2. Sara Niepelova, FGC 10:50.06, 3. Emily Weissman, UM 10:54.56.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Savannah Barr, UM 1:51.43, 2. Carmen San Nicolas Martinez, UM 1:55.27, 3. Anna Hogan, FGC 1:56.23.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Alaina Skellett, UM 59.45, 2. Joely Merriman, FGC 1:00.16, 3. Lucy Ho, UM 1:01.44.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Petra Halmai, FGC 1:03.12, 2. Emma Sundstrand, UM 1:04.63, 3. Karen Arngeirsdottir, FGC 1:07.02.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Isabel Traba, UM 2:07.19, 2. Sophia Macaisa, FGC 2:10.75, 3. Una Forsythe, UM 2:11.40.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Tori Czarnecka, FGC 23.81, 2. Hailey Jerew, FGC 24.34, 3. Sydney Knapp, UM 24.96.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Savannah Barr, UM 51.61, 2. Sydney Knapp, UM 52.90, 3. Hailey Jerew, FGC 53.43.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Andrea Todorovic, UM 2:06.67, 2. Alaina Skellett, UM 2:07.39, 3. Lucy Ho, UM 2:13.21.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Petra Halmai, FGC 2:17.28, 2. Emma Sundstrand, UM 2:22.74, 3. Anna Hogan, FGC 2:24.44.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Adrianna Cera, UM 5:09.04, 2. Sara Niepelova, FGC 5:14.07, 3. Alexis Durlacher, FGC 5:17.47.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Savannah Barr, UM 56.55, 2. Tori Czarnecka, FGC 57.15, 3. Isabel Traba, UM 59.35.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Petra Halmai, FGC 2:06.57, 2. Emma Sundstrand, UM 2:08.76, 3. Andrea Todorovic, UM 2:09.67.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. University of Miami 3:31.76 (Savannah Barr, Carmen San Nicolas Martinez, Alaina Skellett, Sydney Knapp), 2. Florida Gulf Coast 3:32.08 (Tori Czarnecka, Meghan Schienvar, Kaja Reinhardt, Hailey Jerew), 3. Florida Gulf Coast B 3:41.70.

3-meter diving: 1. Millie Haffety, UM 324.53, 2. Reese Wakefield, FGC 276.53, 3. Delaney Nelson, FGC 244.88.

1-meter diving: 1. Millie Haffety, UM 296.18, 2. Jessie Creed, UM 286.58, 3. Isabeau Keene, FGC 259.35.

The Southeastern Conference has a new format for the 2021 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships. The championships will now feature three separate events:

Men’s and Women’s Diving on Feb. 17-20 at the Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia, Mo.

Women’s Swimming on Feb. 17-20 at Gabrielsen Natatorium in Athens, Ga.

Men’s Swimming on Feb. 23-26 at Mizzou Aquatic Center in Columbia, Mo.

The 2020-21 SEC men’s and women’s swimming & diving season began in October and will conclude no later than Jan. 25 with regional competition permitted upon the adherence of opponents to SEC Medical Guidance Task Force Requirements for COVID-19 Management. Contests are limited to a dual-meet format unless alternative strategies are identified to limit the overall number of participants to ensure appropriate distancing. The number of events is at the discretion of each school.

The SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force continues to meet on policies and procedures for the safe return of student-athletes to competition, building on the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships is scheduled for March 17-20 at Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C., and NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships is set for March 24-27, also at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The Big Ten Conference has also adjusted its procedure for the 2021 championships, with the meet across three different sites for the men’s, women’s and diving championships.

The Big Ten men’s and women’s diving championships are Feb. 24-27 at Purdue University, while the women’s swimming-only championships are also Feb. 24-27 at University of Minnesota and men’s swimming-only championships are March 3 – 6 at Ohio State.

There are other championships that have adjusted because of COVID-19.

The 2021 Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference Championships were moved back to April, according to Pepperdine officials. The championships normally fall in February, during NCAA “conference season,” but due to circumstances relating to COVID-19, the meet is now tentatively set for April 14-17. The site has not been announced and schedule is subject to change. The Mid-American Conference has also moved back its championship meet to April.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO’s Oliver Makes FSU History, Defends ACC Sprint Titles

SOFLO’S Oliver Makes FSU History, Defends ACC Sprint Titles

By Sharon Robb

February 22, 2014

Florida State senior Tiffany Oliver won her second individual event and made collegiate history Saturday night at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C.

Oliver, making her final ACC Championship meet appearance, left a lasting memory by becoming the first swimmer in FSU history to defend the sprint titles.

The fastest morning qualifier defended her title in the event winning in 48.54, out-touching UNC’s Lauren Earp in 48.67. Oliver’s back half split was 25.05, the fastest among the field.

In prelims, Oliver qualified in a best time of 48.50, lowering her seed time of 48.81.

Oliver was in control for most of the race, accelerating in the final five yards to touch first.

“For sure winning never gets old,” Oliver said. “It’s been an amazing meet and nice way to go out.”

It was her second ACC title of the meet. She also defended her title in the 50-yard freestyle winning in 22.02.

In the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay, the final event of the meet, Oliver led off the relay and touched first in 48.75. The Seminoles finished third.

In the 200-yard freestyle, Oliver tied for 12th in 1:47.00. She swam a personal best time of 1:46.86 in prelims.

Going into the final day of races on Saturday, FSU was third after setting ten new school records and maintained its third place finish under first-year coach Frankie Bradley with 972 points. University of Miami was ninth with 470.5.

Virginia won its seventh women’s team title in a row, a first by any ACC women’s team. The Cavaliers finished with 1,433 points, more than a 200-point cushion.

Notre Dame junior Emma Reaney broke the NCAA record in the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:04.34 to win the ACC title and break Breeja Larson’s record. She was named the meet’s Most Valuable Swimmer.

During the meet, North Carolina’s Stephanie Peacock was taken from the meet on a stretcher after breaking the NCAA 1,000-yard freestyle record during the 1,650-yard freestyle. The school did not release any information other than Peacock fell ill during the race.

The men’s competition is next weekend.


University of Florida men’s team and Georgia women’s team defended their titles Saturday night in Athens, Ga.

The No. 1 ranked Gators were led by Sebastien Rousseau, named SEC Swimmer of the Year and the meet’s high point winner.

The Gators finished with 1,440 points ahead of Auburn with 1,280.50 and Georgia with 1,095.

“Winning the first time was really great, coming back and having the opportunity to repeat shows the character of the guys,” Gators coach Gregg Troy said. “It’s great racing fast. We think we have a lot left in the tank for NCAAs.”

Georgia Bulldogs won the women’s title with 1,589. Texas A&M finished second with 1,204 and Florida was third. Elizabeth Beisel was high point winner for the women.

Texas A&M’s Breeja Larson broke the NCAA, U.S. Open and American record in the 100-yard breaststroke for the second straight year at the SEC Championships. Larson swam 57.24, bettering the previous mark of 57.43. She now holds the three fastest times in history.


Former University of Miami swimmer Kelsi Worrell, a Louisville sophomore, was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 51.76 just behind SMU freshman Marne Erasmus in 51.73. Both were NCAA “A” cuts. She also swam a 51.3 split for Louisville’s second place 400-yard medley relay that finished in 3:33.99, under the existing pool record. Louisville won the men’s title.


Five-time champion Florida Gulf Coast fell short of defending its title in the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Championships.

The team had its 400-yard medley relay and 800-yard freestyle relay disqualified for early takeoff costing them valuable points and eventually denying them their sixth straight women’s title.

Going into the final day of competition, FGCU trailed Liberty, 471-453 and ended up finishing second with 718 points behind team champion Liberty University with 732 points. University of the Incarnate Word won the men’s title with 886 points.

SOFLO’s Marcella Marinheiro, a freshman, is a member of the FGCU women’s team. FGC swimmer Lani Cabrera won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 16:36.


Tampa, with former SOFLO swimmer Leonie Davies, leading going into the final day of competition at the Sunshine State Conference Championships, captured the women’s title at the Orlando YMCA Aquatic Center.

Tampa finished with 820 points ahead of Florida Southern with 738 and Nova Southeastern third with 556 points. St. Leo was fifth with 326 and Lynn was seventh with 248.

Lynn University’s women’s 200-yard medley relay team became the first relay in the program’s young history to medal at the SSC Championships. Relay members were Thalie Carmigniani, Tyne Potgeiter, Tieri Erasito and Julia Pedersen edged Nova Southeastern for a bronze medal in 1:47.24. Potgieter also took a silver in the 100-yard breaststroke.


Florida Gold Coast swimmer Gina Gautieri of Bucknell swam a college best of 2:21.30 in the 200-yard breaststroke to earn the seventh seed for the championship “A” final. Her previous best was 2:22.55. She finished seventh in finals in 2:22.27. In the 100 breaststroke, she was seventh in the “B” final in 1:06.43 after going a best time 1:06.16 in prelims, bettering her previous best of 1:06.39. Bucknell finished second among women’s teams with 580 points. The U.S. Naval Academy won in 778.


No. 21-ranked West Florida was second among a five-team field at the New South Intercollegiate Swimming Conference Championship at Delta State Aquatic Center. Host Delta State led with 699 going into the final day ahead of UWF with 653. UWF’s Carla Robles, a Coral Reef alum from Miami and Florida Gold Coast swimmer, was sixth in the 200-yard freestyle.


In one of the most exciting 400-yard freestyle relays in Iona College swim history, second leg swimmer Keegan Boisson-Yates swam a 46.72 leg. On the final leg, Iona captain Justin Grigull became the only swimmer in the meet and first in Iona history to break 45, going 44.70 and rallying his team on anchor leg to beat Rider for the win in 3:03.64. Grigull was also second in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.90, an NCAA “A” cut. Boisson-Yates, a freshman, was seventh in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:54.86, after swimming 1:53.36 in prelims. Both Boisson-Yates and Grigull are Florida Gold Coast swimmers.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com