Cordes Breaks Three Records On Day Four Of World Team Trials

By Sharon Robb

July 1, 2017—Kevin Cordes swept the breaststroke events after breaking the American, U.S. Open and meet records in the 100-meter breaststroke Friday night at the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Team Trials on at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Cordes, swimming unattached, won the event in 58.74 lowering Cody Miller’s American record of 58.87 and Adam Peaty’s U.S. Open record of 58.86. He also broke his own meet record of 58.94.

“I’m just happy that I get the chance to swim it again and represent the U.S. at the World Championships,” Cordes said.

“I think I’ll take everything I learned from this meet, the good and the bad, and work through it the next couple of weeks, get ready and get excited again.”

Cordes, who also won the 200-meter breaststroke, is now ranked second in the world.

Cordes is being coached by Sergio Lopez, now coaching at Auburn. Cordes had travelled to Singapore to train with Lopez when he was coaching the Singapore national team before getting the Auburn job.

“What a great meet for Kevin Cordes,” Lopez posted on his Facebook page. “I am very proud of Kevin for staying the course and being able to stay calm through this meet.

“Personally, I am very thankful that he is trusting the process and allowing me to learn as we move forward. Also very thankful to my boss Brett Hawke for giving us this chance to be part of the amazing Auburn family.

“Kevin took three good steps forward to Tokyo 2020 and a good boost of confidence for the next challenge in a couple of weeks at FINA Worlds in Budapest.”

Coral Springs Swim Club’s Alex Evdokimov of Louisville was eighth in the B Final in 1:02.39 after going 1:01.82 in prelims. He was the highest Florida Gold Coast finisher.

Other Friday winners were:

Katie Ledecky won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.44, the third fastest time ever and meet and U.S. Open records

Zane Grothe, training in Indiana, won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:44.43.

Lilly King added the 100-meter breaststroke win to her 50- and 200-meter breaststroke victories in a meet record 1:04.95.

Kathleen Baker won her second event, the 100-meter backstroke in a U.S. open and course record-breaking time of 58.57, breaking Missy Franklins’ records of 58.67 set in 2013.

Fan favorite and veteran Olympian Matt Grevers, 32, knocked off Ryan Murphy to win the 100-meter backstroke in 52.71. Murphy was 0.31 seconds behind in 53.02.

The winners of each event qualify for worlds with runners-up also likely to make the team through a selection process.

The five day meet concludes on Saturday. Saturday’s events are: women’s 1500 meter freestyle, men’s 800-meter freestyle, women’s and men’s 200-meter individual medley and 50-meter freestyles. NBC is broadcasting a tape-delay show on Sunday, 1-3 p.m., with Rowdy Gaines.


Women’s 400-meter freestyle: 52. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:19.86.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: 57. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:02.82.

Women’s 100-meter breaststroke: 21. Emily Kopas, Michigan 1:10.34.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: 12. Alex Evdokimov, Coral Springs Swim Club 1:01.82; B Final, 8. Alex Evdokimov 1:02.39.


Women’s 400-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Stanford 3:58.44, meet, U.S. Open records, 2. Leah Smith, Cavaliers 4:03.77, 3. Sierra Schmidt, Club Wolverine 4:07.92.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: 1. Zane Grothe, Badger 3:44.43, 2. Clark Smith, Texas 3:45.91, 3. Townley Haas, Nova Aquatic 3:46.41.

Women’s 100-meter breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, Indiana 1:04.95, 2. Katie Meili, New York Athletic Club 1:05.51, 3. Bethany Galat, Texas A&M 1:06.72.

Men’s 100-meter breaststroke: 1. Kevin Cordes, Unattached 58.74, meet, U.S. Open, American records, 2. Cody Miller, Badger 59.11, 3. Nicolas Fink, Athens Bulldogs 59.40.

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: 1. Kathleen Baker, TE 58.57, 2. Olivia Smoliga, Athens Bulldogs 59.17, 3. Hannah Stevens, UMIZ 59.74.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: 1. Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford 52.71, 2. Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 53.02, 3. Justin Ress, Wolfpack 53.38.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Kopas Fourth Fastest, Makes “B” Final; Bolles Song An Seventh At Junior Pan Pacs

Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Kopas Fourth Fastest, Makes “B” Final; Bolles Song An Seventh At Junior Pan Pacs

By Sharon Robb

August 28, 2014—University of Michigan-bound Emily Kopas, competing in her first major international meet for the U.S., was the fourth fastest swimmer in the 100-meter breaststroke Thursday morning at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships at the Kihei Aquatic Center in Maui, Hawaii.

Kopas, 18, of Swim Fort Lauderdale, despite qualifying fourth in 1:10.92, slipped into the “B” final after two of her U.S. teammates, Lilly King and Jorie Caneta, qualified first and third respectively.

Only the top two from each country qualify for the championship finals so Kopas will swim the consolation final late Thursday night.

Alex Evdokimov, 18, of Coral Springs Swim Club, finished 19th in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.95, just off his seed time of 1:03.34.

In Wednesday’s opening night finals:

Bolles Andy Song An of Mexico finished seventh in the 100-meter backstroke finals in 57.52 after going 57.16 in prelims.

The U.S. team cleaned up, winning seven of eight gold medals and 15 of 16 possible medals. The girls team is being coached by Bolles head coach Sergio Lopez. Gator Swim Club’s Jaime Lewis is an assistant coach.

The only event the U.S. team did not win was the women’s 200-meter butterfly won by Japan’s Haruno Ito in 2:09.02.

The other event the U.S. did not win the maximum two medals was the girls’ 100-meter backstroke. Three of the best U.S. junior swimmers went to the Youth Olympics including Kopas’ future University of Michigan teammate Clara Smiddy of AquaKids Sharks.

Katie Drabot of Ouzakee Aquatics won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:58.73.

Townley Haas of NOVA of Virginia Aquatics broke the meet record in the 200-meter freestyle winning in 1:48.32.

Amy Bilquist of Carmel Swim Club won the 100-meter backstroke in 1:01.00.

Connor Green of Bluefish Swim Club won the 100-meter backstroke in 55.08 and Michael Andrew of Indie Swimming was second in 55.81.

Top-seed Andrew Seliskar of Nation’s Capital Swimming won the 200-meter butterfly in a meet record 1:55.92.

Sierra Schmidt of North Baltimore Aquatic Club won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:34.71.

Liam Egan of Crimson Aquatics won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:15.53.

The five-day meet continues late Thursday night with finals. Team USA leads a field of eight countries that includes Australia, Canada, China, Fiji, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. The charter nations are the U.S., Australia, Japan and Canada.

Kopas and Evdokimov, headed to Cornell, are the only Florida Gold Coast swimmers on the team.

The Jr. Pan Pacs are being live-streamed at Results can also be found on Meet Mobile. Prelims are 3 p.m. and finals are 11 p.m. east coast time.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Begins Gold Medal Hunt Thursday At Commonwealth Games

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Begins Gold Medal Hunt Thursday At Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb

July 22—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson is ready to make history at the 20th Commonwealth Games.

The three-time Olympian for Jamaica begins her bid for medal glory when the Games get under way Wednesday with the Opening Ceremonies at Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland

Diving is the opening aquatic event. Swimming begins on Thursday and runs through July 29 at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Under the watchful eye of her longtime club coach, SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson, who is serving as the Jamaica team coach, Atkinson will attempt to win her country’s first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.

“She has three chances at it,” said Anderson, who wrapped up a week-long training camp in Corby, England and arrived in Scotland on Monday with the team.

Atkinson will compete in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events. Her first race is the 50-meter breaststroke on Thursday with the heat and semifinal rounds and final on Friday.

Atkinson, 25, is the first Jamaican to medal at a major international tournament taking a silver in the 50-meter breaststroke at the FINA World Short Course Championships.

“I’m excited that the 200-meter is back, so I am definitely looking forward to trying to medal in the 50, 100 and 200,” Atkinson said. “I just need to get that 100 down and work that second 50.

“I don’t get to compete against Australia and the UK a lot so I am excited for that,” Atkinson said. “Plus, I only have half the world to worry about at the Commonwealth Games.”

At the 2012 London Olympics, Atkinson just missed a medal finishing fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke. Since then she has had a meteoric rise worldwide doing well on both the FINA World Cup and USA Grand Prix series. She also recently signed with Speedo, which is a major sponsor of the Commonwealth Games.

Atkinson is in the best shape of her life. At the USA Grand Prix Mesa, she won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:25.52, breaking her own national record of 2:28.34 set in February.

“I know it’s been a long time for her 200 to click,” Anderson said. “She is really beginning to understand the patience of the race. That put her in the world rankings, it was a world-class race.

“She is starting to emerge as the best 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke swimmer in the world. She’s getting there.”

Atkinson will be joined by Jevon Atkinson, who came out of retirement to represent Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games. Atkinson (no relation to Alia) trained with Anderson from 2004-2008 and qualified for the 2008 Olympics.

Other Jamaican swimmers are Zara Bailey, Trudi Ann Patrick, Dominic Walter and Timothy Wynter, a rising star in Jamaica who is training with Anderson at SOFLO.

The last Jamaican female swimmer to medal at the Commonwealth Games was two-time Olympian Janelle Atkinson-Wignall (no relation to Alia Atkinson) in 2002 when she took bronze medals in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles. On Monday, Atkinson-Wignall was named head coach at Fairfield University becoming the program’s first-ever woman coach.

Also at the Commonwealth Games, Bolles coach Sergio Lopez will coach the Singapore team including Bolles swimmer Joseph Schooling.

Dylan Carter and George Bovell will represent Trinidad and Tobago.

Carter, 18, is making his Commonwealth Games debut. Carter, a sophomore at University of Southern California, used to train in South Florida with the now-defunct Davie Nadadores and attended Plantation American Heritage.

Bovell, a four-time Olympian, is a 2002 Bolles alum.

Other swimmers with Florida ties:

BAHAMAS: Mckayla Lightbourn, Sarasota and Florida State; Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, Bolles alum.

BARBADOS: Lani Cabrera, Miami, Florida Gulf Coast alum, former Davie Nadadores.

CANADA: Sinead Russell, University of Florida.

CAYMAN ISLANDS: Brett Fraser, Florida Alum.

The Commonwealth Games are held every four years (July 23-August 3). The International, multi-sport event is for 4,500 athletes from 70 participating Commonwealth nations competing in 21 different disciplines.

Swimming power Australia is bringing most of its best swimmers. Canada, South Africa and Great Britain will also be strong.

It is the third largest multi-sport event in the world after the Olympics and Asian Games and third time Scotland has hosted the Games (1970, 1986).

The U.S. will not be televising or live streaming the major meet. However, Canada CBC will live stream it on its website and BBC is televising as well along with radio coverage.

Sharon Robb can be reached at