AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 178: SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Swims Best Time, Named Swimmer Of The Day

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 178: SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski Swims Best Time, Named Swimmer Of The Day


June 23, 2012

Caroline Kuczynski swam back-to-back best times during the Swedish Long Course Nationals on Wednesday

Kuczynski swam lead-off on the 400-meter freestyle relay that just missed a medal. She was clocked in 57.73 during finals bettering her previous best time she swam in prelims.

Kuczynski was also named Swimmer of the Day at the meet and was given a gift from her coach, a book entitled The Time of My Life by Cececlia Ahern.

“So proud of the team today! We had great swims. Everyone is amazing,” Kuczynski tweeted.

SOFLO teammate Sharntelle McLean of Trinidad and Tobago won two silver medals in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.94 and 50-meter backstroke in 31.12 at the CISC Championships in Aruba. Dylan Carter set a national and CISC record in the 50-meter freestyle in 23.39.

Silva Kicked Off Olympic Team

Glauber Silva was kicked off the Brazilian Olympic team by the Brazilian Swimming Federation for testing positive. Silva, who had qualified for the 100-meter butterfly, was suspended for two years. No swimmer will replace him in the event.

Silva was one of three Brazilians that tested positive at the Maria Lenk Trophy Meet. Silva tested positive for testosterone.

Pamela Alencar De Souza was suspended for six months for the substance furosemide, a diuretic.

Flavia Delaroli was suspended for three months for testing for tuaminoheptano. She has been using the substance for years because of a chronic illness but neglected to submit a therapeutic use exemption before the meet.


Former Florida Atlantic University runner and swimmer Manny Huerta, a 2012 triathlon Olympian from Miami, is featured on the cover of Tri Magazine…Kunio Kono has been hired as the new men’s and women’s swimming and diving head coach at University of New Mexico. Kono was at University of Las Vegas…Swimmer Caitlin Leverenz has been nominated for the 2012 ESPY awards as Best Female Collegiate Athlete.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 177: SOFLO’s Sharntelle McLean Wins At CISC Championship

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 177: SOFLO’s Sharntelle McLean Wins At CISC Championship


June 25, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean of Trinidad and Tobago won her opening event in the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in Savaneta, Aruba.

McLean, 27, won the 50-meter butterfly in 28.24, the only swimmer under 29 seconds.

McLean also won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:04.76, nearly a minute ahead of Jenna Chaplin, 21, of the Bahamas.

McLean was second in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.72 behind Surinam’s Chinyere Pigot, 18, who trains at Metro Aquatics, in 58.36. The pair were the only swimmers under one minute.

Teammate Dylan Carter, who has trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, broke the Games record in the 50-meter butterfly in 24.53. The previous record was 25.39 held by Vereance Burrows of the Bahamas.

Carter also won the 100-meter butterfly in 56.31.

Water polo

Former Stanford star Tony Azevedo and Ryan Bailey became the first men in U.S. history to qualify for four Olympics in water polo. Joining them on the team are Layne Beaubien, Peter Hudnut, Peter Varellas and John Mann, the 2006 College Player of the Year, who is making his Olympic debut. The U.S. took a silver medal in Beijing four years ago. Ironically, there will be two Ryan Baileys at the London Games. Ryan Bailey, the track sprinter, finished third in the 100-meter dash to qualify with Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay in Eugene, Ore.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 169: SOFLO’s Marinheiro, Polyakov Take Second; U.S. Olympic Diving Trials Underway

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 169: SOFLO’s Marinheiro, Polyakov Take Second; U.S. Olympic Diving Trials Underway


June 17, 2012

Vlad Polyakov and Sharntelle McLean of South Florida Aquatic Club wrapped up on Sunday at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Bahamas National Swimming Championships.

Polyakov, 28, a three-time Olympian for Kazakhstan finished second in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:16.18 behind Jorge Murillo, 20, of Davie Nadadores in 2:15.96. Polyakov has already qualified for London on the medley relay. He is expected to be invited in the 100-meter breaststroke.

McLean, 27, a two-time Olympian for Trinidad and Tobago, was fourth seed after morning prelims in 26.83 in the 50-meter freestyle and finished sixth in 26.76, just off her seed time of 26.75 and missing her FINA qualifying standard.

Brazilian Junior Nationals

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro took another silver medal on Sunday at the Brazilian Junior Nationals in Recife, Pernambuco.

Marinheiro, 15, was second in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:25.58. She earned the top seed among a field of 24 swimmers in Saturday’s prelims in 4:27.06.

The West Broward High School swimmer finished with three seconds and one fourth in four events over four days. She was also second in the 200- and 800-meter freestyles and fourth in the 100-meter butterfly.

U.S. Olympic Diving Trials, Day One

Gymnast-turned-diver Abby Johnston of Upper Arlington, Ohio and 2008 Olympian Kelci Bryant of Chatham, Ill. are leading the women’s 3-meter synchronized diving after two rounds on opening day of the eight-day U.S. Olympic diving trials at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

Johnston and Bryant lead after semifinals with 637.80 points and former local diver and Plantation resident Kassidy Cook, 16, of The Woodlands, Tex. and Christina Loukas of Riverwoods, Ill. are second with 631.29. Miami’s Bianca Alvarez and Carrie Dragland are fourth with 524.40 among the 13-team field.

Johnston and Bryant led all five rounds of the semifinals after the scores were carried over from prelims.

“Both of us definitely have the experience and we definitely know how to handle the pressure,” Loukas told reporters.

After the opening prelims, Johnston and Bryant had 314.10 points and were closely followed by Cook, 16, and Loukas with 313.83. Deidre Freeman and Veronica Rydze were third with 258.54 and Alvarez and Dragland were fifth with 250.80.

The women’s synchro finals are Thursday. The winning team will earn an Olympic berth.

Sixteen-time national champion David Boudia of Noblesville, Ind. and Nick McCrory of Chapel Hill, N.C. lead after the men’s 10-meter synchronized platform with 919.86 points. Toby Stanley of Conway, Ark. and Steele Johnson of Carmel, Ind. are second with 805.02 and Dashiell Enos of Studio City, Calif. and Johnson are third with 782.16.

After prelims, Boudia and McCrory had an impressive lead with 463.83. Stanley and Johnson were second with 415.80 and Johnson and Enos of Studio City, Calif. were third with 387.18.

Johnson is competing with two different partners. In synchro, divers can dive with two partners if they have qualified as part of two teams.

Former Fort Lauderdale diver Jordan Windle, at 13 the youngest diver in the field, and partner Zachary Cooper finished sixth out of eight teams with 333.75 in prelims and remained in sixth with 686.16 after semis.

On Monday, prelims and semifinals in the men’s 3-meter synchro and women’s 10-meter platform synchro will be held.

Television coverage on the trials doesn’t begin until Tuesday. Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson will be a guest commentator.

For complete results go to or click on the link at USA Diving’s website. Because of NBC’s broadcast rights no live scoring is being posted.


Three swimmers from South Florida were named to the 2012 Paralympic Team that will compete in London at the end of August in the Paralympic Games. The team of 34 includes 19 off the 2008 Beijing team that brought home 44 medals. The locals are Ileana Rodriguez of Miami and Flying Fish Club (S6/SB5/SM6) and backstroke world record holder Justin Zook of Fort Lauderdale (S9/SB8/SM9) on the starting team and Rafael Castillo of Miami and Devilrays Swim Club of Homestead (S6/SB5/SM6) as an alternate. The American record holder competes with one arm and one leg…

Western Kentucky women’s team, which spends its holiday breaks training at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines, picked up a top breaststroke swimmer Amy Halligan, a junior, from the now-defunct University of Maryland swim program. She was fourth at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in 1:01.74. Her 200 breaststroke time is 2:15.81. Five other Maryland swimmers (Peter and Carolyn Fittin, John Hauser, Kyle Madley, Ryan Magee) transferred to Penn State….

Croatia won the first FINA World League water polo title defeating Spain, 18-17, after a thrilling penalty shootout which included 22 penalties with Spain’s Mario Garcia missing the decisive shot, blocked by Croatia’s goalie Josip Pavic. The game was tied 8-8 after regulation. Reigning world champion Italy took the bronze with a 7-6 win over Team USA…

Ryan Lochte is featured on the cover of this month’s Men’s Health Magazine….Olympic swimmer Cullen Jones was voted the 2012 Black Man I Can Award in the celebrity category at the inaugural BMCA Awards Sunday night.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 168: SOFLO’s Polyakov Wins In Bahamas

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 168: SOFLO’s Polyakov Wins In Bahamas


June 16, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Vlad Polyakov of Kazakhstan won the 100-meter breaststroke Saturday night at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Bahamas National Swimming Championships.

Polyakov, 28, seeded first with a best time 1:01.48 went 1:01.93 in morning prelims and 1:02.17 in finals to win, holding off Jorge Murillo of Davie Nadadores, second in 1:02.77.

The FINA “A” qualifying breaststroke time is 1:00.79 and “B” invite time is 1:02.92, which Polyakov already has dipped under.

Polyakov already earned his third trip to an Olympic Games with his country’s qualification in the medley relay.

Also at the Betty Kelly Kenning National Swim Complex, SOFLO’s Sharntelle McLean, 27, of Trinidad and Tobago is attempting to make her third Olympic team in the 50-meter freestyle.

In the 100-meter freestyle, McLean earned a fifth seed in 59.17 during morning prelims. In finals she went after it in the first 50 with a 26.98 split and finished in 1:07.21. The FINA “A” time is 25.27 and “B” time is 26.15 for the 50-meter freestyle.

On Sunday, she will have another chance in the 50-meter freestyle. Polyakov plans on competing in the 200-meter breaststroke.

Former Comets swimmer Natasha Moodie, 21, a member of the 2008 Olympic team for Jamaica, was originally seeded in the meet but did not compete, remaining home in South Florida.

The Olympic-qualifying meet features seven swim clubs and more than 300 swimmers including several swimmers trying for FINA qualifying times for the 2012 London Games before Monday’s FINA deadline.

Sette Colli Meet

Four more meet records were broken on the third and final day of the Seven Hills Trophy Meet in Rome.

Japan’s Aya Terakawa broke her second meet record in two days in the 200-meter backstroke in a career-best 2:07.73.

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie set a record in the men’s 200-meter backstroke in 1:55.05. Irie, the fastest backstroker in the world this year, now has the five fastest times since the 2011 World Championships.

Germany’s Marco Koch broke a meet record in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:08.74, his fastest time of the year. He has now cracked 2:10 at three meets over five weeks.

Brazilian Thiago Pereira bounced back from a disappointing 400 IM to win the 200-meter individual medley in meet record in 1:57.94.

In other races:

In a three-way battle in the men’s 100-meter freestyle, Sebastian Verschuren won in 49.09 ahead of Cuban Hanser Garcia in 49.10 and Fabien Gilot in 49.12.

In a bit of a shocker, Brazilian Cesar Cielo failed to make the medal stand in the 100-meter freestyle. He swam 50.01 in prelims and 49.07 in finals. Italians Luca Dotto and Filipo Magnini also failed to make the “A” final.

Italian Federica Pellegrini won the women’s 200-meter freestyle in 1:56.32 sweeping the middle distance events.

Denmark’s Lotte Friis won the women’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:22.10 followed by South African Wendy Trott in 8:25.71.

Rikke Moller Pedersen of Denmark won in 2:24.35, her fastest time of the season.

Italian teenager Grigorio Paltrinieri, 17, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:58.33, the first time a swimmer has broken 15 minutes in the world this year. Teammate Gabriele Dette, also 17, was second in 15:02.45.

Japan’s Izumi Kato won the women’s 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.64.


It’s official. Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is out of the Ironman. In an emergency meeting called Friday night, the World Triathlon Corporation’s Board of Directors decided to leave in place the anti-doping policy because of the doping investigation of Armstrong by USADA. Because he is being investigated for taking performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career, he is no longer allowed to compete in any Ironman event until the investigation is closed. He is limited to racing in triathlons not owned by the WTC…

Michael Phelps, the sport’s top ambassador, is talking about the importance of kids having access to public pools to enable them to not only learn to swim but flourish as a swimmer, much like he did. “There are a lot of pools being shut down, and kids are not able to come out and enjoy it like I did growing up,” Phelps said. “I think over time, hopefully, I will have the opportunity to make an impact to cities and states all over the world and hopefully, be able to change that.”Added his coach Bob Bowman, “It is like everything else in politics. And it is just not swimming or pools, it is physical education in general. It is crazy to me that we don’t value it more.”…

The first FINA World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships will be held in Welland, Canada, Aug. 16-19…

Olympian Natalie Coughlin seems to be the “It Girl” for the media in swimming. She is featured in the July issue of Marie Claire. Coughlin raises chickens for eggs and grows her own vegetables and herbs and endorses mustard baths for aches and pains. She is also in Vogue Magazine and Glamour.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 167: SOFLO’s Marinheiro Takes Second, Fourth At Brazilian Junior Nationals

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 167: SOFLO’s Marinheiro Takes Second, Fourth At Brazilian Junior Nationals


June 15, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Melissa Marinheiro continued to pick up valuable international experience Friday at the Brazilian Junior Nationals in Recife, Pernambuco.

Marinheiro, 15, of West Broward High School, finished second in the 200-meter freestyle and fourth in the 100-meter butterfly.

In the 200-meter freestyle, Marinheiro was the top seed after prelims in 2:07.84 and came back to finish second in 2:07.34.

In the 100-meter butterfly, she swam 1:06.72 in prelims and 1:07.37 in finals to place fourth.

On Saturday, Marinheiro has the morning off and will then compete in the 400-meter freestyle, her final event, during the night prelim session of the long distance event. The 400 finals are Sunday morning.

RBC Bahamas National Championships

SOFLO’s Vlad Polaykov, Sharntelle McLean and Natasha Moodie are scheduled to compete on Saturday. Moodie, 21, and McLean, 27, will compete in the 100-meter freestyle and Polyakov, 28, will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke. McLean and Polyakov are going after FINA qualifying standards for the 2012 London Olympics.

In earlier national results, Kuwait Olympian Yousef Alaskari, 17, the Broward County High School Swimmer of the Year, won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:53.10. He was the only swimmer under 2 minutes.

Sette Colli Meet

Three meet records fell on the second day of competition in the Rome meet.

Japan’s Aya Terakawa won the women’s 100-meter backstroke in a meet record 59.42.

Luca Marin of Italy won the men’s 400-meter individual medley in a meet record in 4:12.04, knocking off current world leader Kosuke Hagino of Japan.

Olympic gold medal favorite Ranomi Kromowidjojo of the Netherlands won the women’s 100-meter freestyle in a meet record 53.09. She was out in 26.02.

In other races, Ryosuke Irie of Japan won the 100-meter backstroke in 53.71; Martina Granstrom of Sweden won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.85; Chad Le Clos of South Africa won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in 1:55.87; Filippo Magnini of Italy won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.02; and Miyu Otsuka of Japan won the women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:38.73.


British breaststroke national record holder Daniel Sliwinski, 22, of Great Britain was forced to drop off the Olympic team after seriously injuring a tendon in his shoulder. He is scheduled to undergo surgery next week followed by three months of rehab. “It is an athlete’s worst nightmare,” he said. “I have had a couple of injuries and I need to go back and rebuild the foundations.” British officials will select his replacement after next week’s ASA National Championships…

USA Swimming, the sport’s national governing body, will release a free online version of their SafeSport education program to the parents of USA Swimming athletes on Wednesday. The program will be available at USA Swimming will also release a version for athletes under the age of 18 in the fall.

Michael Phelps took to Twitter tweeting his displeasure over the frequent random drug testing he has been undergoing in the last three weeks. Phelps, a 14-time Olympic gold medalist, was altitude training in Colorado Springs with his coach Bob Bowman and is now in taper mode. Phelps tweeted, “Feel like my #randomness for drug testing is like the randomness at the security lines at airports…6 times in three weeks? Really? And not saying it’s bad that they test. But a little excessive IMO. Just wonder if the other athletes out there are getting the randomness that I get.”…Natalie Coughlin is featured in the July issue of Elle Magazine.

SOFLO Tweet of the Day

“I steal a sock from my sister and it’s the end of the world, but when she steals my clothes it’s ok, LOL—Steph Campo

Tweet of the Day

“No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.”—Fitness Motivator

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Hit The Road For Three Swim Meets

SOFLO Swimmers Hit The Road For Three Swim Meets


June 13, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club Olympians, elite age group swimmers and up-and-coming swimmers will compete in travel meets this week.

With the FINA Olympic qualifying cut-off date on June 18, it will be crunch time for several swimmers still trying to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics including SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov and Sharntelle McLean.

Polyakov was already named to his third Olympic team for Kazakhstan for the medley relay but would also like to make it in his individual events.

McLean, who resumed training at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, is trying to make the Olympics for Trinidad and Tobago.

Both Polyakov and McLean will compete this week in the 41st annual

Royal Bank of Canada Bahamas National Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre. The meet is a FINA-approved qualifying meet for London.

Polyakov, 28, is seeded first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.48 and 200-meter breaststroke in 2:14.01.

McLean, 27, is seeded seventh in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.75 and 15th in 59.13.

Former Comets Swim Team swimmer Natasha Moodie, 21, has returned to swimming competitively two weeks ago. The former University of Michigan standout is swimming unattached in the 100-meter freestyle, seeded fourth in 57.38 and fourth in the 50-meter freestyle in 25.76.

Moodie, currently living in Kingston, Jamaica, represented Jamaica at the 2008 Beijing Olympics at age 17 in the 50-meter freestyle.

The meet begins Thursday and ends Sunday.

Marinheiro In Brazil

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro is home in her native country to compete in the Brazilian Age Group National Championships.

Marinheiro, 15, of West Broward High School, will compete in four events, the 200, 400 and 800-meter freestyles and 100-meter butterfly. She swims the 800 finals on Thursday morning along with the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly prelims on Thursday night.

Young Age Groupers In Key West

Eighteen SOFLO and Coral Springs Swim Club swimmers will compete in Sunday’s Florida Gold Coast Bone Island Invitational at Florida Keys Community College.

Eighteen swimmers will compete in three or more events in yards, eleven girls and seven boys.

The girls competing are: Lianna Diaz, 8, and Victoria Grimaldi, 8, of Coral Springs Swim Club; and SOFLO’s Carly Brewington, 12; Brooke Cordoba, 10; Audrey Mason, 14; Julie Mason, 11; Molly Mason, 9; Olivia Mason, 9; Kailey Norusis, 10; Megan Schimansky, 12; and Sarah Schimansky, 9.

The boys competing are: Bennett Brown, 8, of Coral Springs Swim Club; and SOFLO’s Brooks Brown, 10; Aaron Garber, 11; Joshua Garber, 13; Connor Marks, 10; Andres McKeon, 10; and Nicholas Montes, 11.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 158: SOFLO’s Sharntelle McLean Competes This Weekend In Trinidad

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 158: SOFLO’s Sharntelle McLean Competes This Weekend In Trinidad


May 30, 2012

Two-time Trinidad and Tobago Olympian Sharntelle McLean, who has been training at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, will compete this weekend in the ASATT National Open Long Course Championships in her native country.

McLean, one of the more experienced swimmers in the field, is going after her FINA Olympic qualifying time in the 50-meter freestyle.

Dylan Carter, also of Trinidad and Tobago, who has trained in Coral Springs with Keegan Boisson-Yates, is also going after his first Olympic berth.

At 16, Carter is just 1.40 and 1.60 seconds shy of qualifying in the 100-meter backstroke and 100-meter butterfly.

The Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago is hosting the last meet on its local soil for Olympic hopefuls.

The meet is also serving as a qualifier for next month’s Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships in Aruba.

The meet begins Thursday at 6 p.m. and ends Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Marlins Swimming Pool in Port of Spain.

West Florida Adds Women’s Swimming

University of West Florida has added a women’s swimming and diving team beginning in the fall of 2013.

A national search for a head coach is under way.

The Division II program in Pensacola has a student body of 12,000 students and 14 varsity sports.

The new team already has a 50-meter indoor pool that underwent a $4.5 million renovation in 2011. The pool already hosts USA Swimming and high school meets.

More college news

College coaches are considering new criteria for NCAA qualifiers that could change the way relays will qualify for future NCAA championships. Currently, entire relays make the national meet by times which means not all of the best swimmers in the country are competing at nationals. A new measure being proposed by the coaches is to limit all relays at nationals to only those who qualify for the meet and the relays would be selected from that talent pool. Most coaches seem to be in favor of the change even though it means that the strongest programs in the national will benefit the most. If the new rule is passed, it would go into effect the 2014-15 season.


Brothers Jason and David Dunford of Kenya are training with Italian coach Andrea Di Nino and ADN Swim Project. Di Nino worked with six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex before moving back to Italy. His swimmers have been training at an altitude camp in Sierra Nevada before heading to the Barcelona leg of the Mare Nostrum Tour, Sette Colli Meet in Rome, Aspria Cup in Milan and Paris Open. The brothers have qualified for London and after graduating from Stanford’s Masters program plane to work in Silicon Valley after the Olympics…

SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski of Arizona State, on a training trip in Scandinavia, has shin splits from walking around Denmark….Newly-minted U.S. Olympians Laura Reback Bennett of North Palm Beach and Manny Huerta of Miami, both former Florida Gold Coast swimmers, compete Saturday in the Dallas ITU Pan American Cup. The event is draft-legal and features a 1500-meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run. Both Bennett and Huerta will race for the first time since qualifying for the men’s and women’s U.S. Olympic teams.

Sharon Robb can be reached at