Open Water Swimming Takes Spotlight At 17th FINA World Championships; French Sweep In First Two Races


By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 16, 2017—Despite choppy waters in Lake Balaton, the largest lake in Central Europe, Olympic bronze medalist Marc-Antoine Olivier of France won the men’s five kilometer open water swimming race to take center stage at the 17th FINA World Championships.

Olivier won in 54:31.40, just .7 seconds ahead of Italy’s Mario Sanzullo (54:32.10).

It was a European sweep with Great Britain’s Timothy Shuttleworth taking the bronze medal, (54:42.10), 10.7 seconds behind the winning time.

“My goal was to win the gold medal after finishing third in last year’s Olympics in Rio,” Olivier said. “The first 3,000 meters weren’t perfect, but I changed tactics and managed to finish first.”

It was the first world championship medal for all three swimmers.

Top American finisher was David Heron placing tenth in 54:48.20, 16.80 minutes out of first. U.S. teammate Andrew Gemmell, among early leaders, faded to 17th in 54:59.30, 27.90 minutes out of first.

A field of 62 swimmers competed in the first of seven open water events. The women’s 5K is July 19th.

In the women’s 10K event, Frenchwoman and defending champion Aurelie Muller won the gold medal in 2:00:13.70, 3.30 ahead of Ecuador’s Samantha Arevalo in 2:00:17.00.

There was a tie for the bronze medal in 2:00:17.20 between Italy’s Arianna Bridi and Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, who has trained and competed in South Florida in past years.

Top American finisher was Haley Anderson placing sixth in 2:00:25.90, 12.20 out of first. Teammate Ashley Twichell was tenth in 2:00.41.30, 27.60 off first.

FLORIDA GOLD COAST NEWS

St. Andrew’s Swimming aquatics director and head coach Sid Cassidy was honored by FINA for his contribution in open water swimming. Cassidy received the Gold Pin from FINA for his work in international open water swimming.

WATER POLO

Four-time champion U.S. women’s team opened worlds with a 24-2 rout of South Africa. Jamie Neushul scored a game-high six goals. Italy defeated Canada, 10-4, China beat Brazil, 11-4, and Spain topped New Zealand, 10-2.

DIVING

Four University of Miami divers are competing at the FINA World Championships.

Redshirt sophomore David Dinsmore, alum and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sam Dorman and senior Briadam Herrera are representing the U.S. Junior diver Marcela Maric is competing for her native Croatia.

Longtime USA Diving and UM coach Randy Ableman is coaching the divers.

On Saturday, Olympic silver medalists Michael Hixon and Dorman placed sixth in the 3-meter synchro event with 409.05 points. In prelims, they qualified third with 410.10. On Sunday, Hixon finished fifth in the 1-meter springboard finals with 439.15. China’s Peng Jianfeng won gold with 448.40. Aussie Maddison Keeney won the women’s 1-meter title and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilia Zakharov won the men’s 3-meter synchro title.

Former local diver Kassidy Cook, a 2016 Olympian, was scheduled to compete in 3-meter synchro but withdrew from worlds because of a shoulder injury.

Chinese teenagers Ren Qian and Lian Junjie won the gold medal in the mixed 10-meter platform. The pair of 16-year-olds won with 352.98 in the first final of the worlds. Ren is the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in the women’s 10-meter platform event.

China also won the women’s 10-meter platform synchro with Ren and Si Yajie with 352.56 points.

SYNCHRO SWIMMING

Russia’s Svetlana Kolesnichenko, 23, won the first gold medal of the World Championships synchronized swimming competition. She finished the solo competition with 95.2035 points performing to the theme Solveig song. She made history by winning Russia’s 50th medal in the sport’s history at worlds.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

USA Swimming Foundations’s Make A Splash Hosts Event During 50th Annual ISHOF Weekend

USA Swimming Foundation’s Make A Splash Hosts Event During 50th Annual ISHOF Weekend


By Sharon Robb

June 12, 2014

South Florida Aquatic Club’s three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will join Olympic gold medalists Janet Evans and Jason Lezak at USA Swimming’s Make A Splash water safety event Saturday at Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

Atkinson, Evans and Lezak will give free lessons to children and talk about the importance of learning to swim during the scheduled 50-minute session that begins at 11 a.m.

The event is one of the highlights of the International Swimming Hall of Fame induction weekend.

“Knowing how to swim can be the difference between life and death,” USA Swimming Foundation executive director Debbie Hesse said. “Formal instruction can reduce the risk of drowning by 88 percent.

“Through our more than two million lessons and counting, USA Swimming Foundation continually provides essential skills to underserved populations.”

Said Lezak: “I am proud to be involved with the Make A Splash initiative to help spread awareness of this issue all over the country and make a difference for future generations. As a father, I realized how big this epidemic is and wanted to do everything I could to help my kids become safer around the water.”

So far in 2014, Broward County has had seven children drown under the age of five including four in apartment complex pools.

The Olympians will host a USA Swimming Foundation luncheon at the ISHOF complex immediately following the water safety session.

Evans and Lezak will also be hosting the induction ceremonies on Saturday night.

The 50th annual Honoree Induction weekend will be star-studded.

Those scheduled to be inducted are swimmers Grant Hackett of Australia; Agnes Kovacs of Hungary amd Tom Malchow of the U.S.; water polo players Carlo Silipo of Italy and Karin Kuipers of the Netherlands; open water swimmers Sandra Bucha and Jon Erikson, both of the U.S.; synchronized swimmers Penny and Vicky Vilagos of Canada; diver Peng Bo of China; coaches Charlotte Davis of the U.S. and Jozsef Nagy of Hungary; contributor Norman Sarsfield of Great Britain and honor pioneer contributor Bruce Hopping of the U.S.

St. Andrew’s aquatics director and coach Sid Cassidy will be among Paragon Award winners for his open water swimming services as FINA Technical chairman. He will be joined by Olympic diver and announcer Cynthia Potter of the U.S., Olga Pinciroli of Brazil for water polo, Miwako Homa of Japan for synchro swimming, American Wally James for recreational swimming and American Bob Burnside for aquatic safety.

The Paragon and annual awards will be presented on Friday night at 7 at the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s DuPont Auditorium. The honoree inductions are Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. at the Marriott Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Resort.

For information and tickets call 954-462-6536

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

USA Swimming Open Water Commission Releases Recommendations In Wake Of Crippen Tragedy

USA Swimming Open Water Commission Releases Recommendations In Wake Of Crippen Tragedy


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

April 13, 2011

Water temperature limits and improved safety standards should be observed at all open water competitions to avoid another Fran Crippen tragedy.

Those were among safeguards suggested by a five-person commission, that included St. Andrew’s Swimming aquatic director and open water technical expert Sid Cassidy of Boca Raton.

The commission reviewed the circumstances surrounding the death of Crippen, one of the nation’s top and most experienced open water swimmers.

Its recommendations were released on Wednesday by USA Swimming, the sport’s national governing body. FINA, the sport’s international body, failed to provide additional information for any inquiry to be complete until it issues its own report.

Crippen, 26, a 2012 Olympic hopeful, died of apparent heat exhaustion during an Oct. 23 FINA-sanctioned 10K open water event in the United Arab Emirates. It took nearly two hours to find Crippen’s body.

Among panel recommendations, that FINA adopt minimum and maximum water temperatures for races. For 5K and longer races, the water temperature cannot be about 87.8 degrees and the combined water and air temperature cannot exceed 145.4 degrees. The race must be postponed of the water temperature is below 60.8 degrees or the combined water and air temperature is less than 86 degrees

There should be a safety plan that would include the ability to monitor and reach swimmers at all times during a competition. A safety officer, independent of the organizing committee, must be present at each race and has the power to withdraw sanctioning if all standards are not met.

A physician with experience in endurance sports must be present along with at least one emergency medical technician per 150 swimmers, an ambulance on site or within five-minute response time per 250 swimmers and plan for air evacuation.

FINA, USA Swimming and other national federations should work on developing a tracking system that works in water, possibly sonar or GPS.

“What we’ve produced is a sensible program of action that will significantly reduce the potential for this sort of a tragedy to occur in open water swimming again,” said commission chairman Dick Pound of the International Olympic Committee.

At a press conference following the release of the commission’s recommendations, Pound was disappointed with FINA’s lack of information. USA Swimming officials including USA Swimming president Bruce Stratton also expressed disappointment and frustration.

“The supervision procedures (on race day) were inadequate,” Pound told reporters. “It ought not to be possible for a swimmer to go under water and not be seen by somebody in the course of an open water event. We know things went wrong but how they went wrong and so on we just don’t know.”

USA Swimming also named Bryce Elser as open water program manager for the national team division. He will plan and coordinate all aspects of the open water program. He will join the staff on May 23 and report to new National Team Director Frank Busch.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Nixon, Perera Make Open Water Debut; Crippen Remembered At Rough Water Swim

SOFLO’s Nixon, Perera Make Open Water Debut; Crippen Remembered At Rough Water Swim


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

January 10, 2011

On a chilly, sun-drenched morning, all eyes were on ISHOF’s 41st annual Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim off Fort Lauderdale beach in the wake of U.S. national team member Fran Crippen’s tragic death in October in a FINA-sanctioned open water swim.

Conditions were ideal, both weather and safety, on Saturday morning to illustrate just how safe open water swimming can be.

World-class swimmers Ricardo Monasterio, 32, and Ana Marcela Cunha, 18, of Brazil, who train with the Davie Nadadores, won the overall titles to honor Crippen.

Both were friends and competed in several of the same open water swims that Crippen did through the years.

“If any good can come of a swimmer’s death in a race, people will now put the safety of the swimmer first,” said Monasterio, who won the mile swim in 18:04. “We all loved and respected Fran and this should never have happened and should never happen again.”

Cunha, 18, finished third in the same 10K race that Crippen lost his life in.  She won Saturday’s race in 22:55.

Crippen was in Fort Lauderdale last year for an open water clinic for local swimmers and coaches and also won the Fort Lauderdale Rough Water Swim in 19 minutes and 25.4 seconds.

He was remembered before race start by Sid Cassidy, St. Andrew’s Aquatics Director and top open water official and coach who is a member of the Crippen Commission looking into the cause of Crippen’s senseless death.

Cassidy, who knew Crippen since he was 10, wore a Philadelphia Eagles cap, Crippen’s favorite team, in his honor. 

“I know that he is with us here today,” Cassidy said before the race. “We are dedicating our swim today to his memory.”

Cassidy, who would not comment on any Crippen Commission findings, was pleased with how the swim turned out.

“We were blessed with a beautiful day and of course, that is a big part of helping us get it done,” Cassidy said. “Naturally, Fran’s death is on everybody’s mind especially officials and race organizers.”

Cassidy and other race officials knew the swim would be watched by others around the world.

“The world is taking a good look at a swim like this,” Cassidy said. “You put almost 300 people in the water of all varying abilities from the Women’s Open Water World Swimmer of the Year along with Ricardo Monasterio and some of the best age groupers all the way down to novice age groupers and Masters that are doing it for fun.

“It’s critical yes. Without professional supervision it would be a daunting challenge.”

ISHOF worked closely with Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue to ensure all standards established by the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) for open water swimming were in place including safety buoys.

“I got to give it to Brett Ballou, the beach patrol and ocean rescue, Bruce Wigo, Bob Duenkel and Jay Thomas,” Cassidy said. “Safety has been on the front of everybody’s mind. I think it’s critical when you have a professional lifesaving group involved and it shows. It went off without a hitch.”

The swim, parallel to the beach and swimmers, was observed from both the beach and ocean side of the course.

Race officials provided safety buoys to those swimmers who wanted to use them as an experiment to determine if they are viable for future open water races. The opinion was mixed from swimmers and coaches about the buoys and said they would rather use them in training.

Two South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers made their open water debut.

Morgan Nixon, 13, finished third in the 13-14 age group and 28th overall among women in 34:17, finishing three seconds ahead of her father, Richard Nixon, 45, a nationally-ranked triathlete, fifth in the 45-49 age group and 24th overall among men in 34:20. Rich Nixon is training for the May 1 St. Croix 70.3 Ironman.

“It was fun,” said Morgan Nixon, a Lyons Creek Middle School student. “It was hard to follow the age group kids because it was the ocean and there was a current. It’s different from a pool. It was fun and I would do it again.”

Nicholas Perera, 11, was second in the 11-12 age group in 31:29. Two other SOFLO teammates decided not to compete because of the cold water. 

While a handful of college swim teams in South Florida training during the holiday break competed, entries were low for the annual swim despite several familiar faces including 2012 Olympic triathlon hopeful Sean Jefferson, Ricardo Valdivia, David Boudreau, Ramses Rodriguez, Scott Tolomeo, Bert Soden, William Zenga, Ann Thomas, Nicole Swift, Beverly Clark and Susan Peterson.

SATURDAY RESULTS

AGE GROUP

WOMEN: 13-14, 1. Megan Moroney 24:59, 2. Amanda Tipton 31:26, 3. Morgan Nixon 34:17, 4. Elizabeth Price 37:59; 15-18, 1. Ana Marcela Cunha 22:55, 2. Amanda Ford 24:21, 3. Nilsa Easta 25:13, 4. Mary Deedrick 29:20, 5. Julia Price 31:54, 6. Elizabeth Reeve 33:50, 7. Rebekah Escuage 35:33, 8. Brianna Dumas 37:53.

MEN: 10-and-under, 1. Guido Dominguez 34:08, 2. Jacob Harkins 1:08:58, 3. Zak Zakian 1:09:01; 11-12, 1. Tyler Tolomeo 29:51, 2. Nicholas Perera 31:29; 13-14, 1. Eric Crosby 20:44, 2. William Haeffner 24:30, 3. Jacob Colvin 29:12, 4. Alex Valdivia 35:06; 15-18, 1. Ryan Rosenbaum 18:14, 2. Richard Andrews 19:38, 3. Tyler McGrew 19:40, 4. John Szerd 19:41, 5. Jacob Percy 19:45, 6. John Rudnik 21:10, 7. Thomas Veale 23:37, 8. Quinn Cassidy 24:41, 9. Jared Fish 27:56, 10. Felipe Bricio 28:37, 11. Dillon Copa 28:40, 12. Blake Edwards 32:19.

MASTERS

WOMEN: 19-24, 1. Steph Jeppesum 30:06, 2. Erin Cunnane 35:51, 3. Sophia Minulolo 42:20; 25-29, 1. Jackie Hammelman 34:16, 2. Lauren O’Donnell 37:00, 30-34: 1. Sonja Koppenwaller 30:14, 2. Lauren Beam 35:59, 3. Yanet Benitez 37:44, 4. Carolina Lypinska 41:09, 5. Gina Siegers 44:07; 35-39, 1. Sharon Barbins 33:58, 2. Silvina Castro 48:42, 40-44, 1. Diane Babec 33:30, 2. Nicole Swift 42:28, 3. Kimberly Cerda 43:13, 45-49, 1. Dana Haugli 32:32, 2. Silvana Baner 46:22, 3. Lisa Cox 46:49, 50-54, 1. Ann Thomas 40:52, 2. Joanna Berry 45:00, 3. Pauline Watson 45:16, 4. Adrienne Chin Ogilvie 49:04, 5. Diane McVey 55:43; 55-59, 1. Helen Ederer 39:54, 2. Meg Mason 43:51; 60-64, 1. Beverly Clark 54:11, 65-69, 1. Susan Peterson 46:19, 2. Kitty Kessler 58:55, 80-84, 1. Hedy Esposito 1:17:28.

MEN: 18-and-under, 1. Alberto Perez 40:21, 19-24, 1. Israel Murat 24:08, 2. David Lippin 30:07, 3. Sean Jefferson 32:08, 4. Kyle Stewart 32:18, 5. Larry Cox 43:25, 6. Gyori Laszlo 1:09:27; 25-29, 1. Dan Fey 31:25, 2. Jen Alloway 37:53, 30-34: 1. Ricardo Monasterio 18:04, 2. Randy Reed 40:37, 35-39, 1. Ramses Rodriguez 26:51, 2. Johann Perera 36:03, 3. Alejandro Barragn 41:49; 40-44: 1. Andrew Farrell 30:09, 2. Jose Rodriguez 30:24, 3. Eduardo Panteagudo 35:54, 4. Sean Blesi 41:32, 5. Martin Hynes 43:01; 45-49: 1. Ricardo Valdivia 26:17, 2. Scott Tolomeo 30:43, 3. John Carr 32:13, 4. Hugo Vila 33:26, 5. Richard Nixon 34:20, 6. Michael Clark 37:37, 7. Thomas Krasner 45:19; 50-54, 1. Matt O’Grady 31:27, 2. David Boudreau 32:31, 3. Chip Green 34:44, 4. Bob Diener 39:59, 5. Glenn Schrager 40:09, 6. Roy Sonenshein 40:27, 7. Dale Cox 44:13, 8. Sean Dugan 46:28; 55-59: 1. William Zenga 32:45, 2. Carlos Lloreda 33:22; 60-64, 1. Bert Soden 44:24, 2. Walter Woolley 46:00, 70-74, 1. Ron Samson 43:33, 2. Frank Day 54:57, 3. Leonard Silverstein 1:01:15; 80-84, 1. Hume Hamilton 1:16:57.

WETSUITS

Women: 1. Ngozi Uwah 49:45; Men: 1. Doug Hutchinson 52:18.

COLLEGE DIVISIONS

Women Freshmen: 1. Colleen Tigne 27:07, 2. Laura Harris 28:03, 3. Erin O’Connor 28:07, 4. Rhiannon Urciuoli 28:10, 5. Kerry McIntyre 28:54.

Men Freshmen: 1. Thor Peterson 25:09, 2. Oscar Castillo 25:10, 3. Domenick Errico 25:29, 4. Brendan Malone 25:59, 5. Tom Malloy 26:00.

Women Sophomores: 1. Kelly Heyde 25:29, 2. Meghan Fay 26:56, 3. Kristen Schmid 27:02, 4. Ashley Bauer 27:21, 5. Bridget Hilferty 28:36.

Men Sophomores: 1. Tim Steiskal 25:27, 2. Billy Debsissone 25:43, 3. Thomas Kuhn 27:52, 4. Jack Eichenlaub 27:55, 5. Chris Coghill 28:31.

Women Juniors: 1. Amanda Thomas 22:38, 2. Nicole Huerta 27:10, 3. Kayla Wainwright 27:41, 4. Vivian Pitchik 27:48, 5. Jessica Rickel 28:40.

Men Juniors: 1. Matt Sorena 25:20, 2. Ray Conover 25:24, 3. Austin Mizzell 25:46, 4. Nick Ortlieb 25:52, 5. Erik Stefferud 25:54.

Women Seniors: 1. Nicole Chinnici 28:01, 2. Jenifer O’Neil 28:14, 3. Emily Stiles 28:51, 4. Casey Morrison 28:57, 5. Sofia Sokolove 29:13.

Men Seniors: 1. John King 25:53, 2. Thomas Hardy 26:52, 3. Jackson Webb 27:17, 4. Jesse Bregman 28:09, 5. Cullen Mentzell 29:12.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4soflo.com