Aussies Dominate; Dylan Carter Qualifies For Sprint Butterfly Final On Day One Of Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England—Reigning world champion Elijah Winnington led an Australian sweep in the 400 freestyle on opening day of the Commonwealth Games Friday at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

Winnington, 22, led from start to finish to win the 400-meter distance event in 3:43.06, slower than his world championship time and lifetime-best of 3:41.22. Aussie teammates Sam Short was second in 3:45.07 and Mack Horton was third in 3:46.49.

In other final events:
Canadian teenager Summer McIntosh, 15, broke her own Games and national record to win the 400-meter individual medley in 4:29.01. Her previous best time was 4:29.12.

Aussie Ariarne Titmus won the 200-meter freestyle in a Games record 1:53.89. It was another Aussie sweep with Mollie O’Callaghan (1:54.01) and Madi Wilson (1:56.17).

In an exciting men’s 200-meter breaststroke final, Aussie Olympic champion and world record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook overtook early leader Brit James Wilby down the stretch for the gold, 2:08.07-2:08.59.

Australia (William Yang, Kyle Chalmers, Mollie O’Callaghan, Emma McKeon) finished with a gold in the first-ever 4×100-meter mixed freestyle relay in 3:21.18 ahead of England in 3:22.45 and Canada in 3:24.86.

Two-time Olympian and national record holder Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago, a Plantation American Heritage alum, was top local finisher qualifying for the final in the 50-meter butterfly. Carter qualified third fastest in semis in 23.41 behind Brit Ben Proud in 23.06 and Singapore’s Tzen Wei Teong. Carter went 23.59 in his opening heat.

Other Florida Gold Coast/South Florida swimmers results:
50 butterfly: Sidrell Williams, Jamaica, Azura, eighth in heat, 25.32.
200 breaststroke: Kito Campbell, Jamaica, Azura, sixth in heat, 2:29.95.

The meet continues Saturday with prelims at 5:30 a.m. EST and finals 2 p.m. EST.

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

Five South Florida, Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Will Compete At Commonwealth Games


By Sharon Robb
BIRMINGHAM, England, July 26, 2022–Five swimmers with South Florida and Florida Gold Coast connections will compete in the XXII Commonwealth Games at Sandwell Aquatic Center.

The meet begins Friday and ends Wednesday, August 3.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending three swimmers: St. Andrew’s School alum Sidrell Williams of Jamaica, Kito Campbell of Jamaica and Jayhan Odlum-Smith of St. Lucia.

Two-time Olympian Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Plantation American Heritage alum and St. Andrew’s School alum and Florida State’s Izaak Bastian of the Bahamas will also compete.

Seven reigning world champions will compete including Ben Proud, Elijah Winnington, Zac Stubblety-Cook, Mollie O’Callaghan, Kylie Masse, Kaylee McKeown and Summer McIntosh.

Other notables competing are Adam Peaty, Ariarne Titmus, Emma McKeon, Tatjana Schoenmaker, Duncan Scott and Maggie MacNeil.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at Alexander Stadium on Thursday with all 72 countries within the Commonwealth. While the Closing Ceremony is scheduled to take place on 8 August 2022, with all 72 countries returning to Alexander Stadium.

Commonwealth Games Federation’s Executive Board has included 3 new sports namely Women’s T20 cricket, beach volleyball, and Para table tennis for the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games.

ESPN, BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation will live stream the events on their platforms. Prelims are 10:30 a.m. local time (5:30 a.m. EST) and finals 7 p.m. (2 p.m. EST).

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Heads Large Florida Gold Coast Contingent At FINA Short Course World Championships; Big Prize Money On The Line


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2021–World record holder Alia Atkinson is expected to take her final bow this week at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

The five-day meet begins Thursday and ends Tuesday, Dec. 21. Etihad Arena is Yas Island’s new multi-purpose arena set on the stunning waterfront at Yas Bay.

Atkinson will be joined by SOFLO teammate and 2020 Olympian Julio Horrego, representing Honduras.

Atkinson, a five-time Jamaican Olympian who turned 33 on Dec. 11, is expected to retire from the sport at the end of the year. She recently completed her International Swimming League season with the London Roar, that finished third in the final playoffs.

Atkinson competed in her fifth Olympics in Tokyo where she finished third in her 100-meter breaststroke heat and failed to qualify for the semifinals. She did final in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 where she finished fourth and eighth respectively.

She told the Jamaica Observer, “If you see me next year, then ask me what happened because that’s not the plan right now.”

Atkinson announced after Tokyo it was her final Olympic appearance.

“It’s funny, looking back the years went by so fast and before I realized it I was looking at the end of it,” Atkinson said. “I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything.”

Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2014 FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. She tied the World Record and gave Jamaica its first swimming gold medal at World Championships. She also took silver in the 50-meter breaststroke in Doha.

The following August, she became the first Jamaican swimmer to win a long course worlds medal when she took bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke and silver in the 50-meter breaststroke at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan.

Atkinson broke her own world record (28.64) in the 50-meter breaststroke (28.56) at the short course meters 2018 World Cup. Later that year she added two more World Championship gold medals in the 50- and 100-meter breaststrokes and bronze in the 100-meter individual medley.

FINA announced the prize money pool for the meet is more than $2.8 million, including a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There will also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

In addition to Atkinson and Horrego, the Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending eight swimmers. They are Steven Aimable, Senegal; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico; Maria Fe Munoz, Peru; Kerry Ollivierre, Grenada; Joaquin Vargas, Peru; and Sidrell Williams, Jamaica.

American Heritage Plantation alum and two-time Olympian Dylan Carter will represent Trinidad and Tobago.

St. Andrew’s alum and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian will represent the Bahamas.

Gulliver Prep alum and University of Florida senior Miguel Cancel, who trains summers at SOFLO, will represent Puerto Rico.

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

Nazario, Vale, Williams Top Finishers On Day Two Of CCCAN Swimming Championships


By Sharon Robb

CHRIST CHURCH, BARBADOS, June 30, 2019—Diego Nazario of Puerto Rico was South Florida Aquatic Club’s top finisher on Day Two of the 32nd Central American and Caribbean Aquatic Championships [CCCAN] Saturday at National Aquatic Centre.

Nazario, 12, making his CCCAN debut, was seventh in the 100-meter butterfly final in 1:06.71, just off his best time of 1:06.21. He was eighth fastest in prelims in 1:07.36.

The Sharks’ Silver Group swimmer will also swim the 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter butterfly and 50-meter freestyle.

Other top Florida Gold Coast finishers on Saturday were:

Sidrell Williams, 22, of Jamaica was fourth in the 100-meter butterfly in 56.85. He was fifth fastest in prelims in 57.34. Williams is also competing in the 200-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle and 50-meter freestyle.

Nicholas Vale, 17, of Jamaica was seventh in the 100-meter butterfly in 58.18. He will also swim the 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter individual medley, 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle.

Local swimmers still to swim:

SOFLO’s Sebastian Lares, 14, will compete in four individual events and two relays: 100-meter backstroke, 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.

Gaby Banks, 16, is seeded second in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.65. She will also swim the 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke.

Simone Vale, 15, of Jamaica; Renzo Tjon A Joe, 23, of Suriname; Cathy Cooper, 19, of Panama and Lauren Hew of the Cayman Islands.

Jamaica’s Gaby Banks and Nicholas Vale are also shortlisted for the FINA Junior World Championship set for August 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary.

An estimated 500 athletes from 29 countries are competing. Several participants are trying to qualify for the World Championship and Pan American Games before the July 3 deadline.

Twenty eight countries are represented at the swimming championships including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicente and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

CCCAN is an age group swimming championship with 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and 18-and-over age categories. The meet ends Tuesday.

SATURDAY RESULTS
GIRLS

200-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Fernanda Elizabeth Portillo Arrieta, MEX 2:50.46; 13-14, 1. Emily Santos, PAN 2:38.78; 15-17, 1. Elise Alejandra Funes, ESA 2:44.60, 12. Gaby Banks, JAM 3:16.46; 18-and-over, 1. Oreoluwa Cherebin, GRN 2:49.53.

50-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido, DOM 31.64; 13-14, 1. Elan Daley, BER 31.43; 15-17, 1. Citlali Jimenez Torres, MEX 30.31, 10. Simone Vale, JAM 32.15; 18-and-over, 1. Krystal Lara, DOM 30.12.

100-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Valery Ruiz, PAN 1:07.99; 13-14, 1. Miriam Sheehan, PUR 1:01.44; 15-17, 1. Logan Watson-Brown, BERAG 1:04.33, 13. Simone Vale, JAM 1:09.58, 17. Gaby Banks, JAM 1:10.87; 18-and-over, 1. Krystal Lara, DOM 1:01.49.

BOYS

200-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Gavin Kock, ARU 2:38.18; 13-14, 1. Roberto Bonilla, GUA 2:27.58; 15-17, 1. Tyler Christianson, PAN 2:19.54; 18-and-over, 1. Josue Dominguez, DOM 2:19.06.

50-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Marvin Johnson, BAH 31.23; 13-14, 1. Nathaniel Thomas, JAM 27.69; 15-17, 1. Davante Carey, BAH 26.91; 18-and-over, 1. Jeron Thompson, TTO 26.96.

100-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Marvin Johnson, BAH 1:02.54, 7. Diego Nazario Vazquez, PUR 1:06.71; 13-14, 1. Miguel Eduardo Rojas Newman, MEX 57.95; 15-17, 1. Davante Carey, BAH 56.18, 7. Nicholas Vale, JAM 58.18; 18-and-over, 1. Franco Reyes, PAN 55.18, 4. Sidrell Williams, JAM 56.85.

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

SOFLO’s Sebastian Lares, Gaby Banks, FGC Swimmers Compete In CCCAN Swimming Championships That Begin Friday In Barbados


By Sharon Robb

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, June 27, 2019—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Sebastian Lares of Panama and Gaby Banks of Jamaica will compete in the 32nd Central American and Caribbean Aquatic Championships [CCCAN] at National Aquatic Centre.

Lares, 14, will compete in four individual events and two relays. He will compete in the 13-14 100-meter backstroke, 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.

Banks, 16, is seeded second in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.65. She will also swim the 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke.

Pine Crest alum and Kenyon College-bound Nicholas Vale will represent Jamaica. He will be joined by his younger sister, Simone Vale, 15, and Sidrell Williams, another Florida Gold Coast swimmer. Renzo Tjon A Joe, 23, will represent Suriname. Cathy Cooper, 19, will compete for Panama. Lauren Hew will represent the Cayman Islands.

Banks and Vale are also shortlisted for the FINA Junior World Championship set for August 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary.

An estimated 500 athletes from 29 countries are expected to compete in pool swimming. Several participants will try to qualify for the World Championship and Pan American Games before the July 3 deadline.

Twenty eight countries will be represented at the swimming championships including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicente and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

Barbados Aquatic Sports Association president Tony Selby said during the meet’s press conference that he expects a competitive meet.

“There is going to be a lot of competition in swimming,” Selby said. “I have had a look at the psych sheet and the competition is going to be stiff. Obviously, the powerhouses of the Caribbean are Trinidad and Bahamas, they will all be here as well trying to maintain glory to the English-speaking Caribbean over the Central American countries.”

According to Selby, Mexico has not competed in CCCAN for several years, and they are coming to make a statement with a large group of 81 athletes.

CCCAN is an age group swimming championship with 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and 18-and-over age categories.

The swimming will be held from Friday to July 2. The races will be swam as preliminary qualifying heats in the morning and finals at night, a similar format to CARIFTA and other four- or five-day swim meets.

The Championships, which also features synchronized swimming, open water swimming and water polo, began on Monday.

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

SOFLO’s Timothy Wynter Leads Florida Gold Coast Contingent At Youth Olympic Games That Begin Saturday

SOFLO's Timothy Wynter Leads Florida Gold Coast Contingent At Youth Olympic Games That Begin Saturday


By Sharon Robb

August 14, 2014—Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China that begin Saturday with the Opening Ceremony.

The six-day swimming competition begins on Sunday and end Friday.

The Youth Olympics are an international multi-sport event held in conjunction with the International Olympic Committee that takes place every four years consistent with the format of the Olympic Games.

They are designed to integrate sport with education and culture, inspiring participants to live by the Olympic values and become ambassadors of the Olympic spirit. It also provides a dress rehearsal for 2016 Rio Olympic hopefuls.

AquaKids Sharks, Azura Florida Aquatics, Pine Crest Swimming, St. Andrew’s Swimming and South Florida Aquatic Club will have swimmers in the field representing various countries including the U.S.

University of Michigan-bound, Clara Smiddy, 18, of AquaKids Sharks is the only Florida Gold Coast swimmer on Team USA.

The 5-foot-9, 159-pound swimmer, coming off Speedo Junior Nationals and Phillips 66 National Championships will compete in four events. They are the 50-meter freestyle (26.38), 100-meter freestyle (56.61), 50-meter backstroke (28.86) and 100-meter backstroke (1:00.51).

Azura Florida Aquatics and Pine Crest Swimming each have two swimmers in the field.

Azura’s Daniella Van Den Berg, 18, of Aruba will swim in two events. The 5-foot-6, 128-pound Florida State-bound swimmer is entered in the 400-meter freestyle (4:28.37) and 800-meter freestyle (9:12.35).

“I am looking forward to seeing what I can do in Nanjing,” Van Den Berg said.

Her Azura teammate Marcelo Acosta, 18, will represent El Salvador. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound will compete in the 200-meter free (1:55.10), 400-meter freestyle (3:59.46) and 800-meter freestyle (8:17.39).

University of Missouri-bound Jordy Groters and Lydia Musleh are Pine Crest Swimming’s athletes. The 5-foot-11, 172-pound Groters, 18, will compete for Aruba in the 50-meter breaststroke (29.17) and 100-meter breaststroke (1:04.25).

Teammate Lydia Musleh, 17, will compete for Jordan in the 200-meter freestyle (2:08.03). The 5-foot-9, 132-pound athlete, who has dual citizenship with Greece, is the only girl swimmer representing Jordan.

St. Andrew’s Swimming and South Florida Aquatic Club each have one swimmer, both representing Jamaica.

St. Andrew’s 6-foot-2, 159-pound Sidrell Williams, 18, will compete in three events. They are the 50-meter butterfly (25.71), 100-meter butterfly (56.36) and 50-meter freestyle (24.21).

South Florida Aquatic Club’s 6-foot-2, 163-pound Timothy Wynter, 18, will swim the 50-meter backstroke (26.71), 100-meter backstroke (59.00) and 200-meter backstroke (2:10.61).

Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Ruta Meilutyte, 17, of Lithuania heads the field. The 5-foot-9, 168-pound 11-time national champion will compete in four events which she is the overwhelming favorite. She is entered in the 100-meter freestyle (54.94), 50-meter breaststroke (29.48), 100-meter breaststroke (1:04.35) and 200-meter individual medley (2:12.32). She is the youngest Lithuanian athlete in any sport to win an Olympic gold medal (100-meter breaststroke, 1:05.47).

The top men’s swimmer is University of Southern California sophomore Dylan Carter, 18, of Trinidad and Tobago. The 6-foot-6, 190-pound swimmer who frequently trains in South Florida after graduating from Plantation American Heritage, will compete in the 50-meter freestyle (23.01), 100-meter freestyle (49.93), 50-meter backstroke (25.99) and 50-meter butterfly (23.87).

One of the unusual storylines is Cuba sending two swimmers. Elisabeth Gamez Matos, 17, 5-foot-4, 115 pounds, will swim the 50- (26.79), 100- (57.56) and 200-meter freestyle (2:05.10) events. Luis Vega Torres, 16, 5-foot-11, 165-pounds will compete in the 400-meter freestyle (4:08.35) and 800-meter freestyle (8:32.49).

The United Kingdom is one of the few countries not sending a team to this year’s event.

The United States is competing in 23 disciplines across 21 sports, with a 94-athlete U.S. Youth Olympic Games Team.

China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics.

During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.

NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports will combine for 54.5 hours of coverage beginning with the Opening Ceremony and concluding with the Closing Ceremony on August 28.

NBC Sports Live Extra—NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets—will provide streaming coverage of all the Youth Olympic Games appearing on NBC and NBCSN.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at nbcsports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available for Apple, Android and Microsoft mobile devices and tablets.

Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at TeamUSA.org and Twitter.com/USOlympic utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.

For more information on the Games, visit Nanjing2014.com.
http:www.swim4soflo.com

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Florida Gold Coast’s Groters, Pigot, Van den Berg, Williams Win Gold At CARIFTA

Florida Gold Coast’s Groters, Pigot, Van den Berg, Williams Win Gold At CARIFTA


By Sharon Robb

April 24, 2014

Brothers Jordy and Patrick Groters of Aruba and Zuhayr Pigot of Suriname took up where they left off Wednesday night and Daniella van den Berg of Aruba and Sidrell Williams of Jamaica shared the spotlight.

The Florida Gold Coast and international age group stars picked up more gold to add to their medal haul on Day Three of the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships Thursday night at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik in Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba.

Jordy Groters, 17, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming, seeded third going into finals, won the 15-17 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.08. Jamaica’s Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica, the top-seed, finished third in a best time 2:10.87, lowering his previous best of 2:14.30.

Also in the 200 IM, Jonathan Farah, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago and American Heritage, making his international debut, was fifth in 2:19.27. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica was tenth in a best time 2:20.74.

Jordy Groters, the top morning seed, also took a silver medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.37 and Wayne Denswil, 17, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics took the bronze in a best time 30.31. Jordy Groters, swimming leadoff leg, took another silver medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

Patrick Groters, 14, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming won the 13-14 200-meter individual medley in 2:16.91. Groters swam back-to-back best times including 2:18.91 in prelims bettering his previous best of 2:23.30.

Zuhayr Pigot, 16, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics won the 15-17 100-meter freestyle in a best time 51.59, dropping from 52.40, followed by fifth-seed Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados in a best time, 52.70, dropping from 53.10 for the silver medal. Jabari Baptiste, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago was fourth in 53.14.

After winning relay gold earlier in the meet, Daniella van den Berg, 17, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won her first individual gold medal in the 15-17 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:25.52, dropping from 2:31.41.

Sisters Daniella and Andrea, 15, van den Berg won relay gold leading Aruba to a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:50.77 with teammates Ginayla Arends and Rebecca Maduro.

Daniella Van den Berg also took a bronze medal in the 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:28.02, dropping from 2:29.06.

Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams, 17, of St. Andrew’s Swimming, seeded second, won the 200-meter butterfly in a lifetime-best 2:09.66, dropping from 2:15.39. It was the first of two gold medals for Williams. Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados took the bronze in 2:14.00 and Kean Dols, 15, of Jamaica was fifth in 2:19.31 after going a best time 2:14.53 in prelims, dropping from 2:24.41.

Jamaica’s Matthew Lyn, 16, Keanan Dols, 15, Sidrell Williams, 17, and Nico Campbell, 16, won the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:05.78 in the final event of the night.

Nicolas Vale, 12, of Jamaica and Azura Florida Aquatics won two more silver medals. He took second in the 11-12 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:30.49. His previous best was 2:33.43. Vale, seeded third after prelims, also took second in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:27.49, another best time dropping from 2:31.82.

Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming, was eighth in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:45.39 after going a best time of 2:43.50 in prelims dropping from 2:48.37.

The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which features most of the top junior age group swimmers in the Caribbean, is a qualifier for both the Youth Olympic Games and Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships.

The meet concludes on Saturday with the open water 5K events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com