CALIFORNIA LEADS TEXAS GOING INTO FINAL DAY OF MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

After some outstanding morning swims, the California Golden Bears put themselves in position to win the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships tonight.

In a see-saw battle with Texas, the Golden Bears won three events on Saturday at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion and have an 18.5-point lead (348.5-330) over the Longhorns going into the third and final day.

Texas closed the gap with a win in the 800 freestyle relay but clearly has its work cut out for them. Arizona and Florida are separated by five points (269-264) and Stanford (221) and defending champion Auburn (215.5) are separated by 5.5 points.

In a thrilling finish to the night, the Longhorns broke the previous pool record of 6:15.80 (held by Michigan last month at the Big 10 Championships) with a 6:12.77 victory in the 800 freestyle relay.

Texas won its 11th 800 relay in the event’s history with outstanding splits from Scott Jostes (1:33.25), Dave Walters (1:32.76), Neil Caskey (1:33.86) and Ricky Berens (1:32.90).

Florida’s Shaune Fraser, Brett Fraser, Jeffrey Raymond, who grew up swimming in the Florida Gold Coast, and Conor Dwyer finished second in 6:14.72 in the 800 free relay.

California lost the chance to put the meet away finishing 10th in the 800 relay which may make Sunday morning’s prelims even more interesting than expected.

California, buoyed by its breaststroke leg, started off the night with a win in the 200 medley relay in a pool record 1:23.08 with Guy Barnea (21.30), Damir Dugonjic (23.10), Graeme Moore (20.01) and Joshua Daniels (18.67).

“The relay was unbelievable,” Daniels said. “We are just feeling great and having a blast.”

In the 400 individual medley, defending champion Tyler Clary of Michigan took it out fast and stayed ahead of the pack. By the third leg he was a full four seconds ahead and finished in 3:38.89. Clary was a true comeback story. He had the H1N1 virus and shoulder ailments earlier this season.

The Golden Bears picked up more points in the 100 butterfly with Tom Shields and Mathias Gydsen finishing 1-2. Shields went out fast to take the lead and win in 44.91 a full body length ahead of Gydsen, who came on late in his race to finish second in 45.83.

Florida’s Conor Dwyer won his second NCAA title in as many days in the 200 freestyle in 1:32.31, making him the seventh fastest performer of all time.

“It was a good swim,” said Dwyer, who won the 500 freestyle on Friday. “I really tried to push that third 50 to win the race and move us up in the team scores.”

The Golden Bears success in the breaststroke continued in the individual 100 breaststroke event. NCAA record holder and defending champion Damir Dugonjic won the event in 51.65.

The Bears finished 1-3-6 in the breaststroke. Martti Aljand took third and Sean Mahoney was sixth.

“I really felt I needed to have a good, fast first 50 to get myself in the lead and to have a chance to win,” Dugonjic said. “I just went out fast and I went out easy.”

Eugene Godsoe of Stanford won the 100 backstroke by a full second in 45.11, the only swimmer under 46 in the heat.

Purdue’s David Boudia won his second NCAA title in diving winning the 3-meter springboard title with 494.90 points. After winning the 1- and 3-meter titles, Boudia could become the first diver in NCAA history to sweep all three diving titles if he wins on platform today.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.csscswim.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

TIFFANY OLIVER WINS FREESTYLE ON DAY 2 OF SENIORS; LOOKS FORWARD TO SWIMMING AT FSU


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

PLANTATION—Growing up around the Comets pool deck had its advantages for Tiffany Oliver.

“I remember when I was 12 I saw my older friends graduating high school and getting a college scholarship and I thought it would be great to get one, too,” Oliver said.

With friends and role models like Olympians Alia Atkinson of Texas A&M and Natasha Moodie of Michigan, Oliver knew she was on the right path if she stayed in swimming.

After five years of hard work and dedication, Oliver, 17, is headed to Florida State this fall on a swimming scholarship.

The outgoing West Broward High senior said she has only “scratched the surface” when it comes to swimming. She has gotten far with her natural ability and hopes to hone her technical skills even more at the college level.

On Saturday night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships, Oliver took another step in the right direction with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle against an impressive women’s field. She won in 1 minute, 52.27 seconds, finishing ahead of Ana Anaya of Metro Aquatics, Comet teammate Melissa Fernandez and Lindsey Meeder of Fort Lauderdale Aquatics.

Oliver had a busy night at the Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex. She was also second in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:40.40 and eighth in the 50-yard backstroke in 29.13. She swam a lifetime best 28.61 in morning prelims. Her previous best was 29.25.

“I never really pick and choose which events I want to do well in, I want to do well in all of them,” Oliver said. “I love to compete.”

Oliver, who is sixth among high point leaders going into the third and final day of the seniors meet on Sunday, is hoping to improve over the next four years.

Florida State coach Neil Harper is looking forward to working with Oliver, one of three Comets headed to FSU.

“Tiffany has amazing potential,” Harper said. “I am still amazed how fast she has swum to this point with so many small technique flaws and inexperience. She had instant chemistry with our staff and is excited about her future at Florida State.”

Oliver visited two other colleges but said “I just knew when I got to Florida State I was in the right place. The coach and swimmers were so nice. It was the right fit for me.”

The Hollywood-born Oliver, a former basketball player, started getting serious about swimming when she was 11.

“I could swim before I could walk because my mom wanted me water-safe,” Oliver said. “But I never thought that far ahead that I would one day swim competitively and go to college with swimming. I really love swimming. Sometimes I don’t want to go to practice but I know it’s worth it.”

Oliver said she has a tendency to overthink her races and gets into trouble with her strokes.

“My coach told me to finish my strokes and do good technique but I wasn’t thinking,” Oliver said. “Sometimes I don’t think, I just go. I overthink it and then I don’t do it right.

“Tonight I felt sloppy in the water and my technique was pretty bad. I know I was doing my turns wrong. I know I have to be more disciplined and practice more. I know I can be a lot cleaner in the water. I know when I improve all my mistakes I will drop seconds off my times.

“In my 200 tonight I wasn’t thinking. Instead of sprinting the whole thing, I paced off whoever was first and then caught them at the end.”

Oliver said she has sacrificed most of her “free time and hanging out” for swimming but she wouldn’t have it any other way, she said. Most of her friends are on the team and she enjoys the camaraderie.

“It’s all been worth the sacrifices,” Oliver said. “When I was 11 and 12 I wasn’t very good. My swimming friends encouraged me. I saw them every day and they kept me going. When I started winning, it was really fun.”

During the high school season at West Broward, Oliver was a top five finisher at the state meet and all-county first team selection. Her best events were the 50 freestyle (23.75, A-AA), 100 freestyle (51.69) and 200 freestyle (1:53.87).

Other top Comets finishers on Day Two were:

Men 15-16 200-yard freestyle: 9. Marc Rojas, 16, 1:48.99.

Men 200-yard freestyle: 7. Tyler Sell, 17, 1:46.40.

Men 15-16 50-yard backstroke: 11. Ivan Parada, 15, career-best 26.57, bettering 27.66.

Men 50-yard backstroke: 6. Carlo Morante, 17, 26.75; 7. Andrew Ling, 17, 26.86.

Men 15-16 200-yard breaststroke: 4. Marc Rojas, 16, 2:15.99.

Men 200-yard breaststroke: 6. James Shultz, 18, career-best 2:19.68, bettering 2:25.69.

Men 100-yard butterfly: 15. Tyler Sell, 17, 54.49.

Men 15-16 400-yard individual medley: 6. Marc Rojas, 16, 4:27.35; 7. Daniel Lee, 15, career-best 4:29.59, bettering 4:30.13.

Men 400-yard individual medley: 8. Tyler Sell, 17, 4:16.66.

Women 15-16 200-yard freestyle: 20. Amy Lunak, 16, career-best 2:01.33, bettering 2:08.69.

Women 200-yard freestyle: 3. Melissa Fernandez, 17, 1:53.96; 5. Ashley Hicks, 18, 1:55.39; 15. Leonie Davies, 13, 2:01.85; 17. Brittany Williford, 17, 2:02.78.

Women 15-16 50-yard backstroke: 10. Juana Vargas, 16, 30.02; 17. Nicolle Garcia, 16, 30.52; 19. Madeleine Fernandez, 15, 30.84.

Women 50-yard backstroke: 2. Ashley Hicks, 18, 27.17; 10. Melissa Fernandez, 17, 30.91.

Women 200-yard breaststroke: 12. Bianca Muniz, 18, 2:40.87.

Women 15-16 100-yard butterfly: 9. Juana Vargas, 16, 1:02.36; 19. Nicolle Garcia, 16, 1:03.65; 20. Linea Cutter, 16, 1:04.00.

Women 100-yard butterfly: 7. Amber Hunter, 14, career-best 1:02.33, bettering 1:02.65.

Women 15-16 400-yard individual medley: 11. Amy Lunak, 16, 4:50.50; 16. Melissa Fernandez, 15, career-best 5:03.53, bettering 5:04.07; 18. Belinda De La Torre, 15, 5:06.27.

Women 400-yard individual medley: 8. Stephanie Freiria, 17, 5:21.18.

Heading into the third and final day on Sunday, Fort Lauderdale Aquatics leads the combined team standings with 2,566.50 followed by Metro Aquatics (1,255.50), Plantation Swim Team (940) and AK Sharks (770).

The Comets and Coral Springs Swim Club are competing unattached during the 120-day mandatory period before the teams merge into the South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO).

After two days, the Comets have several swimmers in the high point individual rankings. They are:

*Marc Rojas, tied for second with 101 points among 15-16 men.

*Tiffany Oliver sixth with 72 points among open women.

*Ashley Hicks, seventh with 66 points among open women.

*Tyler Sell, second with 78 points among open men.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. Admission is $3 per session and $2 heat sheets. For information call 954-452-2526

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.csscswim.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

ARLENE SEMECO WINS NATIONAL TITLE AT SOUTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

Venezuelan national record holder Arlene Semeco of the Coral Springs Swim Club wasted no time making her presence known Saturday at the South American Championships in Colombia.

Semeco, 26, making her fourth appearance at the championships, won the 100 freestyle in 56.11. It was the first time the high-tech swim suits were not allowed at the meet.

Semeco, a favorite in the 50 freestyle, had planned to use the 100 event as a tuneup for the sprint race on Monday. She was pleasantly surprised to win it and so was her coach.

“I felt great,” she texted Coach Michael Lohberg afterwards.

Said Lohberg: “I expected her to win the 50 but not necessarily the 100. There were some strong Brazilians in the field. She didn’t train as much as she wanted to train because of college and bad spring because of the weather. She stepped up and came through. This is wonderful. A gold medal is a gold medal.”

Semeco is funded by her swim federation which allows her to train full-time and work on her masters degree in nutrition at Florida International University.

Semeco, a University of Alabama graduate, represented her native country in two consecutive Summer Olympics in 2004 and 2008. She won two gold medals at the 2007 Pan American Games.

After the South American Championships, Semeco will compete in Europe and then follow up with the Central American Games in July and after that start preparing for the World Championships in December.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.csscswim.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

PHELAN BACK ON TRACK, LOOKS IMPRESSIVE WITH VICTORY ON DAY TWO OF SENIORS MEET


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

PLANTATION—Two years ago, Brittney Phelan was beginning to have second thoughts about swimming.

It was the end of her sophomore year Cypress Bay High School and the talented breaststroker was having a hard time in workouts.

“I wanted to quit very badly,” said the Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer.

“I was training but I wasn’t doing well and I wasn’t sure why,” Phelan said. “I was second guessing myself and I honestly wanted to quit. It was just a year where I wasn’t doing anything with my swimming. But I worked through it. I wanted to see if I could get better and I did.”

Phelan never thought about quitting again and has yet to regret her decision to stay in the pool and keep swimming.

On Saturday night, she saw one of the many rewards why during the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at the Plantation Aquatic Compelx. The 17-year-old won the 200-yard breaststroke in a career-best 2 minutes, 20.52 seconds.

Phelan, tapered for the meet, was seeded second going into finals. After a blistering opening 50-yard split of 31.83, she went on to win by nearly half a pool length.

Another reward was earning a scholarship to Indiana at Bloomington. She starts classes this fall.

“Swimming is still a huge priority for me,” Phelan said. “I love the sport and I am so motivated to swim. I did think I would go to college and swimming has played a big part.”

Coral Springs Swim Club coach Michael Lohberg wasn’t surprised when Phelan had doubts about her swimming. He said he sees it often with teenage girls.

“At that age, there are always motivational and other issues,” Lohberg said. “Sometimes 16 and 17-year-olds get a little off track but she found her way back. She is fully back on track. The last couple of meets she has done really well and after our camp in St. Croix she will be even better. She is focused again.”

Phelan was extremely focused during her race. She had a plan to go out fast and stayed with it.

“I don’t go out that fast, I usually pull back and go faster on my last 100,” Phelan said. “I wanted to take it out fast and see if I could hold it. The third 50 I felt like I was dying but I felt good in the water and went faster. I just tried my hardest.”

Phelan has been swimming since she was little along with gymnastics, soccer and basketball. She said she loved swimming the most and started getting competitive at age 10.

Three years ago, she left Team Weston and started swimming at Coral Springs. At zones in Texas, one of her biggest meets, she won the 100 breaststroke at age 15.

“Michael has been great to work with,” Phelan said. “He has done a lot for me actually. I am swimming fast again. He is happy and I am happy with it.”

Day Two was another good day for Coral Springs swimmers.

Lindsey McKnight, 16, needed a career-best swim to knock off Lauren Driscoll of Fort Lauderdale Aquatics and she did just that to win the 15-16 50-yard backstroke in 26.72, bettering her previous best of 27.16. Driscoll was second in 26.96.

McKnight came back to win the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:18.07, nearly four seconds ahead of Driscoll (2:22.28).

In the boys competition, Brandon Goldman, 15, turned in two more career-best swims in the 15-16 400-yard individual medley to finish third in 4:16.25 (previous best was 4:21.36) and the 50-yard backstroke to place fourth in 26.34, bettering his previous best by 1/100th of a second.

Other top finishers for Coral Springs were:

Men 200-yard freestyle: 4. Les Moore, 18, 1:44.76; 9. Loai Tashkandi, 19, career-best 1:47.01, bettering 1:47.60.

Men 15-16 200-yard freestyle: 17. Mauricio Hidalgo, 16, career-best 1:50.47, bettering 1:51.45.

Men 50-yard backstroke: 2. Marco Camargo, 20, 24.98.

Men 15-16 200-yard breaststroke: 3. Luke Torres, 15, 2:10.88.

Men 200-yard breaststroke: 11. Bogdan Cioanta, 14, career-best 2:24.33, bettering 2:27.12.

Men 15-16 100-yard butterfly: 4. Luke Torres, 15, 51.84; 15. Mauricio Hidalgo, 16, career-best 55.75, bettering 55.85.

Men 100-yard butterfly: 2. Les Moore, 18, 51.72; 11. Zain Qali, 22, 52.01.

Men 400-yard individual medley: 2. Loai Tashkandi, 19, career-best 4:07.56, bettering 4:08.00; 5. Les Moore, 18, 4:13.66.

Women 15-16 200-yard freestyle: 7. Linea Cutter, 16, career-best 2:00.24, bettering 2:01.57.

Women 200-yard freestyle: 9. Emma Lincoln, 14, 1:57.60; 10. Philomena Fiorenzi, 14, career-best 1:59.51, bettering 2:04.49; 16. Martie Vicent, 18, 2:02.74.

Women 15-16 50-yard backstroke: 3. Emily Greenwood, career-best 28;06, bettering 28.19; 9. Linea Cutter, 16, career-best 29.64, bettering 30.95; 13. Brittany Hanson, 15, career-best 29.62, bettering 30.26.

Women 15-16 200-yard breaststroke: 4. Gina Gautieri, 16, career-best 2:24.84, bettering 2:25.99; 5. Anne Kuczynski, 15, career-best 2:24.98, bettering 2:27.58; 7. Lucia Morris, 16, 2:30.13; 12. Kristina Nork, 15, 2:37.87.

Women 200-yard breaststroke: 6. Nicole Schein, 17, career-best 2:37.29, bettering 2:38.45; 11. Emma Lincoln, 14, 2:34.73.

Women 15-16 100-yard butterfly: 20. Linea Cutter, 16, 1:04.00.

Women 100-yard butterfly: 8. Martie Vicent, 18, 1:02.78; 11. Emma Lincoln, 14, career-best 1:01.08, bettering 1:02.46; 16. Jenna Moodie, 14, career-best 1:02.71, bettering 1:05.21.

Women 15-16 400-yard individual medley: 12. Kristina Nork, 15, 4:53.88.

Heading into the third and final day on Sunday, Fort Lauderdale Aquatics leads the combined team standings with 2,566.50 followed by Metro Aquatics (1,255.50), Plantation Swim Team (940) and AK Sharks (770).

The Comets and Coral Springs Swim Club are competing unattached during the 120-day mandatory period before the teams merge into the South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO).

In the high point individual rankings, Luke Torres is 10th among the 15-16 men with 77 points.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. Admission is $3 per session and $2 heat sheets. For information call 954-452-2526

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.csscswim.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

SICK LEAVE OVER, TEXAS TAKES DAY ONE LEAD


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

The impact of the 24-hour delay in the start of the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Ohio State’s McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion resulted in a tight team race between Texas and California.

Texas, one of the three top teams in the field hit by what has been diagnosed as Norovirus, an ailment that is easily transmitted to others, has a slim lead over California after the opening night of championship finals.

Texas, buoyed by its depth, leads with 145 points and California is second with 139 points with Florida (118), defending champion Auburn (114.5) and Stanford (106) rounding out the top five teams.

Arizona and Stanford were the other teams affected by the outbreak of severe gastrointestinal illnesses that struck 18 swimmers and one coach during the same American Airlines flight from Dallas to Columbus.

As of Friday, health investigators hadn’t ruled out the possibility of the illness being contracted from food or at other locations.

Arizona was hit hardest with nine swimmers stricken with diarrhea, vomiting and cramping.

Health officials said Friday that no other cases had been reported.

The meet began with preliminaries at noon.

The day before the meet started, the building was cleaned and disinfected. The pool water was tested and extra pool chemicals were added. Hand sanitizers were installed in the facility.

After the action started, no one seemed to be talking about sickness.

Austin Surhoff was the Longhorns only individual champion when he out-touched Florida’s Shaune Fraser. Surhoff won in 1:42.95, giving Texas only its second win ever in the IM event. Nate Dusing was the first Longhorn to win the 200 IM in 2001. Fraser’s time was 1:42.99.

“It’s just crazy, I can’t process winning especially in the heat I was in, all those crazy good underclassmen,” said Surhoff, one of four Longhorn top five finishers during the night.

Junior prep star David Nolan of Hershey, Pa., who set the national high school record in the event earlier this month in 1:43.43, would have tied for fourth in the race.

Texas, runner-up the past two seasons, has won the last of its nine team titles in 2002 and is in good position to add another trophy.

In another close exciting race, Conor Dwyer of Florida edged Arizona’s Jean Basson by 0.01 to win the 500 freestyle in 4:13.64. Dwyer is a transfer from Iowa.

It was only the Gators second win in the event ever. The first was Olympian Matt Cetlinski, who grew up competing in the Florida Gold Coast and Cardinal Newman High School, and won in 4:15.19 in 1986.

“It’s a true honor to win a race with such great competition,” Dwyer said. “My aim was just to go out and try to help us win some races.”

Top-seed Josh Schneider of Cincinnati beat defending champion Nathan Adrian of California (18.93-19.02) in the 50 free. Schneider is Cincinnati’s first individual swimming champion since 1946.

“I’m overwhelmed with emotion,” Schneider said. “I came here and did what I wanted to. I came in with the mindset. I told my teammates before that if I go out and race my best race the only person that can beat me is me.”

Adrian earlier swam leadoff leg for California’s winning 200 freestyle relay (1:15:71) to edge Auburn and finished the night by anchoring the winning 400 medley relay (3:02.83) over Auburn again.

“It really feels good,” Adrian said. “We came here to do our best, even if we came in somewhat as underdogs. Our team is really together. It feels great to accomplish what we did today.”

Purdue’s David Boudia, the 3-meter and platform champion last year, won the 1-meter springboard title. He was second in the event last year. Boudia will compete in May in Fort Lauderdale in an international meet.

University of Miami senior diver Reuben Ross of Canada picked up his seventh career All-American honor after finishing fifth.

The NCAA Championships continue through Sunday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4comets.com

http://www.csscswim.com

SWIMMING NO TALL ORDER FOR GOLDMAN;SWIMS BEST TIMES ON SENIORS OPENING DAY

SWIMMING NO TALL ORDER FOR GOLDMAN;SWIMS BEST TIMES ON SENIORS OPENING DAY


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

PLANTATION—At 5-foot-2, Brandon Goldman of the Coral Springs Swim Club knows exactly what he’s up against.

Still, the Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer is more determined than ever to work hard to compensate for his lack of size.

Goldman, 15, proved it Friday on the opening day of the Florida Gold Coast Senior Swimming Championships at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex by swimming career-best times in the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard butterfly.

Goldman was fourth in prelims in the backstroke in 2:01.09, bettering his previous best of 2:02.16 and was 12th in the 200 butterfly prelims in 2:02.63, bettering his previous time of 2:09.28.

A few hours later, he came back in finals to finish seventh in the 200 backstroke in 2:01.86 and 13th in the 200 butterfly in 2:01.90, another lifetime best.

“I am really small,” said the St. Thomas Aquinas freshman. “I am racing against all 6-foot tall kids. I turned 15 two weeks ago and just aged up so I am swimming against taller and older swimmers.

“Look at the lineup at every race, I am definitely the shortest,” Goldman said. “I usually finish in the top three but being in a whole new age group it’s going to take some time.”

Goldman said he had trouble with his turns during finals. He enjoys long course a lot more, he added.

“I was messing up my turns a little in the breaststroke,” Goldman said. “I was missing the walls and then I was way too close. Things happen but I had a nice high turnover with my strokes. I am much better at long course. I am good under the water. I just don’t have the power coming off the wall.

“I was really happy with my morning swims,” Goldman said. “I was excited going into finals. I was surprised I had a really good swim in the butterfly because I don’t really train that much fly. I am mostly an IMer and breaststroker. I swim fly for fun.”

Coral Springs coach Michael Lohberg admires Goldman’s work ethic.

“I have been swimming since I was five years old,” said Goldman, who also played soccer and baseball. “I saw myself getting a lot better as I got older.

“I really like to train. Ask anyone, they will say I am a really hard trainer,” Goldman said. “It’s probably my favorite thing to do. I really look forward to practice. I know, it’s kind of weird. Not everyone likes to go to practice but I really look forward to it.

“I look at the meets as a big reward for how hard I work. The work is paying off.”

Goldman said Lohberg has been the key to his success in the pool.

“Michael is the greatest coach,” Goldman said. “He’s just great. I couldn’t ask for anything better. He is one of the best people I know and I have learned so much. And no, he didn’t pay me to say that.

“I am excited for the rest of my races. Some of my best ones are coming up. I just want to keep the ball rolling the rest of the weekend.”

PHELAN WINS SPRINT TITLE

Brittney Phelan was Coral Springs top girls’ finisher winning the 50-yard breaststroke.

Phelan, 17, topped an impressive field to win the open title in 31.07 seconds. She was Coral Springs only champion, boys or girls, on Day One.

Othe top girls’ finishers were:

*15-16 200-yard backstroke: 4. Brittany Hanson, 15, career-best, 2:14.61, bettering previous best of 2:17.81 and 2:16.64 prelim time.

*15-16 100-yard freestyle: 3. Linea Cutter, 16, career-best 53.31, bettering 53.74; 6. Anne Kuczynski, 15, career-best 54.76, bettering 57.09 seed and 55.20 prelim times.

*Open 100-yard freestyle: 4. Taylor McKnight, 17, 53.87; 6. Jenna Moodie, 14, career-best 54.11, bettering 54.50.

*Open 200-yard butterfly: 5. Taylor McKnight, 17, 2:10.05.

*15-16 50-yard breaststroke: 4. Gina Gautieri, 16, 31.93; 5. Anne Kuczynski, 15, career-best 32.33, bettering 32.96; 11. Lucia Morris, 16, 32.93; 15. Kristina Nork, 15, 34.65.

*Open 50-yard breaststroke: 7. Nicole Schein, 17, career-best 33.53, bettering 34.51; 10. Philomena Fiorenzi, 14, 34.30.

*Open 500-yard freestyle: 5. Emma Lincoln, 14, 5:15.16.

Other top Coral Springs men’s finishers were:

*Open 100-yard freestyle: 6. Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18, 48.67; 19. Colton Kleynhans, 20, 52.27.

*15-16 200-yard butterfly: 5. Luke Torres, 15, 1:56.05; 12. Mauricio Hidalgo, 16, career-best 2:01.09, bettering 2:10.47 seed time and 2:01.84 prelim time.

*Open 200-yard butterfly: 2. Marco Camargo, 20, 1:52.84; 5. Zain Qali, 22, career-best 1:58.09, bettering 1:59.10 seed time.

*15-16 50-yard breaststroke: 3. Luke Torres, 15, career-best 28.69, bettering 29.92 seed time.

After Day One, the team point leaders are Fort Lauderdale Aquatics, Metro Aquatics, Plantation Swim Team and AK Sharks.

The Comets and Coral Springs Swim Club swimmers are competing unattached during the 120-day mandatory period before the teams merge into the South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO).

The opening day’s competition featured 319 swimmers in the field. It is the first time the Florida Gold Coast separated the senior swimmers from the Junior Olympic swimmers into two meets.

The three-day meet continues Saturday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. Admission is $3 per session and $2 heat sheets. For information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.csscswim.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

FLORIDA STATE-BOUND COMETS HICKS, OLIVER WIN BIG ON DAY ONE OF SENIORS

PLANTATION—The Comets had a big opening night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Swimming Championships at the Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

PLANTATION—The Comets had a big opening night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Swimming Championships at the Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.

Ashley Hicks, 18, won the women’s 200-yard backstroke Friday in 2 minutes and 04.40 seconds, bettering her prelim time of 2:06.69. Her career-best is 1:59.86.

After a quick warm down, Hicks came back and finished eighth in the 100-yard freestyle in 54.37, slower than her morning prelim time of 54.24.

“I felt pretty strong in my backstroke,” Hicks said. “I was a little nervous, you never know how you are going to do but I was happy with my swim. I did want to go faster but it was a pretty short season. It was a good swim. I just wanted to see what I could do.

“My freestyle was okay,” Hicks said. “I didn’t have a lot of time between events.”

Hicks, a senior at Coral Springs Charter who lives in Sunrise, is one of three Comets headed to Florida State in the fall. Tiffany Oliver and Tyler Sell also signed with the Seminoles after outstanding high school careers.

“It’s always a hard decision choosing a college, it’s a big decision that affects your life,” Hicks said. “I am really happy with my decision. I am glad I stayed with swimming. It’s done so much for me. I have gotten so many good results out of it.”

Hicks swims three events on Saturday and three more on Sunday. She said she is using this weekend’s meet as a stepping stone to bigger meets this summer before beginning a new chapter in college swimming.

FSU coach Neil Harper expects Hicks to make an immediate impact as a freshman.

“Ashley will come to FSU and make an immediate impact in the 100 and 200s of freestyle and especially backstroke,” Harper said after signing her. “She has a beautiful technique that once our training schedule kicks in will be able to race and rival the best in the ACC.”

Another Comets champion Friday night was Tiffany Oliver, 17, who won the women’s 100-yard freestyle in 51.90, faster than her prelim time of 52.33. Her career-best is 50.32. Club mate Melissa Fernandez, 17, was second in 52.63, bettering her prelim time of 53.79. Her seed time was 52.44.

Oliver was also fourth in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:10.49, bettering her prelim time of 2:13.09.

Oliver, a senior at Cypress Bay who lives in Southwest Ranches, is another outstanding addition to the Seminoles’ recruiting class.

“Tiffany has amazing potential,” Harper said. “I am still amazed how fast she has swum to this point. She had instant chemistry with our staff and is excited about her future at Florida State.”

Other Top 20 girls’ finishers were:

*15-16 200-yard backstroke: 5. Amy Lunak, 16, career-best 2:15.11, bettering previous best of 2:16.19; 11. Madeleine Fernandez, 15, career-best 2:19.70, bettering 2:21.45; 15. Belinda De La Torre, 15, 15th, career-best 2:24.29, bettering 2:25.36; 16. Nicolle Garcia, 16, career-best 2:24.43, bettering 2:26.67; 20. Juana Vargas, 16, 2:26.14.

*15-16 100-yard freestyle: 9. Katie Brennan, 16, 56.11; 20. Juana Vargas, 16, 57.62.

*Open 100-yard freestyle: 15. Brittany Williford, 17, 56.64; 17. Bianca Muniz, 18, 56.94.

*15-16 200-yard butterfly: 10. Juana Vargas, 16, 2:20.31; 15. Chloe Sell, 15, 2:24.51.

*Open 200-yard butterfly: 13. Stephanie Freiria, 17, 2:32.53.

*15-16-yard breaststroke: 18. Amy Lunak, 16, 35.48.

*Open 50-yard breaststroke: 9. Bianca Muniz, 18, 34.04.

*15-16 500-yard freestyle: 9. Katie Brennan, 16, 5:20.64; 16. Chloe Sell, 15, 5:34.08.

*Open 500-yard freestyle: 6. Brittany Williford, 17, 5:21.64.

ROJAS WINS BREASTSTROKE SPRINT

Marc Rojas, 16, was the Comets’ top boys finisher after capturing the 15-16 50-yard breaststroke in 28.05, bettering his prelim time of 28.66. His seed time was 27.99.

In one of the most exciting races of the night, Rojas outsprinted Daniel Spas, 15, of Heritage Aquatics who finished in 28.07.

Rojas then went the distance by finishing fifth in the 15-16 500-yard freestyle in 4:49.14 after swimming 4:46.65 in prelims. His seed time was 4:44.79.

The versatile Tyler Sell was second in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:36.38, bettering his prelim time of 4:45.38. He was also third in the men’s 200-yard butterfly in 1:56.09, bettering his prelim time of 1:58.70.

Other Top 20 boys’ finishers were:

*15-16 200-yard backstroke: 11. Ivan Parada, 15, career-best 2:02.02, bettering 2:02.64; 15. Paul Guarino, 15, career-best 2:08.77, bettering 2:01.21.

*Open 200-yard backstroke: 3. Carlo Morante, 17, 1:59.46; 10. Gabriel Pena, 17, 2:10.20; 11. Andrew Ling, 17, 2:07.71.

*15-16 100-yard freestyle: 12. Marc Rojas, 16, career-best 49.82, bettering 50.52.

*Open 100-yard freestyle: 16. Andrew Ling, 17, 50.64.

*15-16 200-yard butterfly: 18. Mike Franco, 15, 2:05.57.

*Open 200-yard butterfly: 8. Travis Lockie, 18, 2:00.50; 12. Gabriel Pena, 17, 2:05.81; 13. Julio Simon, 18, 2:12.50.

*Open 50-yard breaststroke: 6. Andrew Ling, 17, career-best 29.86, bettering 31.54; 7. James Shultz, 18, career-best 30.06, bettering 30.89.

*Open 500-yard freestyle: 5. Carlo Morante, 17, 4:50.61; 6. Travis Lockie, 18, 4:55.47; 10. Gabriel Pena, 17, 5:10.40; 13. Julio Simon, 18, 5:20.18.

After Day One, the team point leaders are Fort Lauderdale Aquatics, Metro Aquatics, Plantation Swim Team and AK Sharks.

The Comets and Coral Springs Swim Club swimmers are swimming unattached during the 120-day mandatory period before the teams merge into the South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO).

The opening day’s competition featured 319 swimmers in the field. It is the first time the Florida Gold Coast separated the senior swimmers from the Junior Olympic swimmers into two meets.

The three-day meet continues today with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m. Admission is $3 per session and $2 heat sheets. For information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.csscswim.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

MEN’S DIVISION I NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS ROCKED BY ILLNESS; RESCHEDULED TO BEGIN FRIDAY AT NOON

MEN’S DIVISION I NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS ROCKED


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

On Tuesday, two days before the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving championships were set to begin, 18 athletes and one coach were stricken by illness.

The unexpected development may have a huge impact on the meet that was scheduled to officially begin Thursday at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus, Ohio but has now been postponed to Friday at noon.

An emergency coaches’ meeting was held Wednesday night to discuss options and to enable the swimmers to have an added day to recover. One possibility was to hold Thursday’s events as timed finals.

Members of three of the top teams in the field, Arizona, Texas and Stanford were stricken with a  gastrointestinal illness and taken to the Ohio State University Medical Center and Ohio State Sports Medicine Center.

The cause has yet to be determined, however all three teams were on the same flight headed to Columbus.

In a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon by the media relations department at Ohio State, the NCAA, host college Ohio State and university’s hospital and local Ohio health department said they are looking into what caused the sickness.

Health officials have already investigated and approved the venue and facilities for use for the meet. At this time, doctors and medical personnel are also working on preventive measures to ensure no other people involved with the meet are stricken.

Nine Arizona swimmers and others from Stanford and Texas were taken to the university hospitals. No names were released due to privacy regulations.

The affected swimmers have not been allowed into the venue by the Centers for Disease Control.

Defending champion Auburn has won six of the last seven men’s titles. Arizona came to the meet as the nation’s No. 1 ranked team. Sixth-ranked Auburn, inspired last year by the late coach Richard Quick’s battle with an inoperable brain tumor, is expected to give Arizona a run for its money.

Texas, Stanford, California and Florida are ranked second through five in the coaches’ poll and will also challenge for the title.

“There are five teams that really could win it,” said Auburn coach Brett Hawke. “Texas is the favorite and deserves to be. They have got great athletes on their team.”

“I think Texas is the team to beat,” Arizona coach Frank Busch said. “They are very, very good.”

A total of 270 participants will compete in the championships. Student-athletes qualified for the swimming portion of the championships by meeting the established minimum time for the events they entered.

No swimmers from Coral Springs Swim Club or the Comets Swim Team are competing but the Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented by Joey Pedraza, Shaune Fraser and Jeff Raymond of the Florida Gators and Hunter Lainhart of Georgia and diver Ruben Ross of University of Miami.

NCAA.com will stream the Friday session at noon and both Saturday sessions at noon and 7 p.m. ESPN2 will air a 90-minute show at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 7.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4comets.com

http://www.csscswim.com

SENIORS TAKE CENTER STAGE THIS WEEK AT PLANTATION CENTRAL PARK AQUATIC COMPLEX

SENIORS TAKE CENTER STAGE THIS WEEK AT PLANTATION CENTRAL PARK AQUATIC COMPLEX


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

PLANTATION—One of the most talented group of swimmers from the Coral Springs Swim Club and Comets Swim Team will converge on the Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex Friday through Sunday for the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships.

Lindsey McKnight, 16, Ashley Hicks, 18, Tiffany Oliver, 17, and Melissa Fernandez, 17, head the girls’ field.

Seeded No. 1 in their events are:

*Ashley Hicks, 18, Comets, in the women’s 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley.

*Tiffany Oliver, 17, Comets, women’s 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard freestyle.

*Lindsey McKnight, 16, 15-16 50-yard breaststroke, 500-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke, 100-yard backstroke and 50-yard freestyle.

*Brittany Phelan, 17, Coral Springs, women’s 50-yard breaststroke, 200-yard breaststroke and 100-yard breaststroke.

At 13, British-born Leonie Davies of the Comets is one of the youngest in the girls’ field and will compete in the women’s open 200-yard freestyle.

Tyler Sell, 17, Justin Grigull, 17, Carlo Morante, 17, Marc Rojas, 16, Marco Camargo, 20, and Travis Lockie, 18, are among some of the highest seeded swimmers in the boys’ field.

The No. 1 seeded boys in their events are:

*Marco Camargo, 20, Coral Springs, men’s 200-yard butterfly.

*Kuwait’s Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18, of Coral Springs in the men’s 50-yard butterfly.

*Tyler Sell, 17, of the Comets, men’s 1,650-yard freestyle.

The Comets and Coral Springs Swim Club swimmers are competing unattached during the mandatory 120-day waiting period before their merger to become the South Florida Aquatic Club is official on May 1.

This is the first year the Florida Gold Coast has separated the seniors from the 14-and-under swimmers at its Junior Olympics. Coral Springs held the FGC JO Short Course Championships two weeks ago at its Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. This summer Coral Springs will host the older swimmers and Plantation will host the younger JOs.

Plantation Swim Team coach and meet director Jimmy Parmenter said he’s “on the fence” about the splitting of age group fields.

“I like the shorter sessions and I’m sure the other coaches do, too,” Parmenter said Wednesday while setting up for this weekend’s meet.

“It’s good that the older kids get to swim and there are more opportunities because they get to swim twice since there is an “A” final and “B” final,” said Parmenter, a former swimmer at Nova High School and University of Alaska.

“But on the other side, the young kids don’t get the chance to see the older kids, the high school swimmers and Olympians. I think having the older swimmers to watch and look up to as role models are important. I don’t like that part (separating the older and younger swimmers) at all especially when a meet of this level is only held two times a year.”

Parmenter is impressed at the talent assembled for the meet.

“The quality is pretty quick at the top end,” Parmenter said. “For the Florida Gold Coast, this is one of the most talented fields. Everyone is together.”

The field has 450 swimmers including foreigners from Kuwait, Japan and South Africa, and one team from Argentina, Parmenter said.

IF YOU GO

What: FGC Senior Championships

When: Friday-Sunday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW 2nd Street, Plantation.

Admission: $3 per session, $2 heat sheets. For information call 954-452-2526.

THE FOLLOWING LIST IS THE COMETS SWIMMERS DAILY SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY

Women 15-16 200-yard backstroke: Amy Lunak, 16; Juana Vargas, 16; Chloe Sell, 15; Madeleine Fernandez, 15; Belinda De LaTorre, 15; Nicolle Garcia, 16.

Men 15-16 200-yard backstroke: Ivan Parada, 15; Paul Guarino, 15; Daniel Lee, 15.

Women 200-yard backstroke: Ashley Hicks, 18; Tiffany Oliver, 17; Melissa Fernandez, 17.

Men 200-yard backstroke: Carlo Morante, 17; Travis Lockie, 18; Tyler Sell, 17; Andrew Ling, 17; Gabriel Pena, 17.

Women 15-16 100-yard freestyle: Amy Lunak, 16; Juana Vargas, 16; Katie Brennan, 16.

Nicolle Garcia, 16; Madeleine Fernandez, 15; Kimberly Marquez, 16; Belinda De La Torre, 15.

Men 15-16 100-yard freestyle: Marc Rojas, 16; Xavier Brown, 15; Ivan Parada, 15; Daniel Lee, 15; Darryl Perez, 15; Paul Guarino, 15; Mike Franco, 15.

Women 100-yard freestyle: Tiffany Oliver, 17; Ashley Hicks, 18; Melissa Fernandez, 17; Bianca Muniz, 18; Brittany Williford, 17; Leonie Davies, 13; Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 100-yard freestyle: Carlo Morante, 17; Andrew Ling, 17; Kevin Ganaim, 17; Julio Simon, 18; James Shultz, 18.

Women 15-16 200-yard butterfly: Juana Vargas, 16; Katie Brennan, 16; Chloe Sell, 15.

Men 15-16 200-yard butterfly: Mike Franco, 15.

Women 200-yard butterfly: Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 200-yard butterfly: Tyler Sell, 17; Travis Lockie, 18; Gabriel Pena, 17; Julio Simon, 18.

Women 15-16 50-yard breaststroke: Amy Lunak, 16.

Women 50-yard breaststroke: Bianca Muniz, 18.

Men 50-yard breaststroke: James Shultz, 18; Andrew Ling, 17.

Women 15-16 500-yard freestyle: Katie Brennan, 16; Chloe Sell, 15.

Men 15-16 500-yard freestyle: Marc Rojas, 16; Mike Franco, 15; Ivan Parada, 15; Daniel Lee, 15.

Women 500-yard freestyle: Brittany Williford, 17.

Men 500-yard freestyle: Tyler Sell, 17; Travis Lockie, 18; Carlo Morante, 17; Gabriel Pena, 17; Julio Simon, 18.

SATURDAY SWIMS

Women 15-16 200-yard freestyle: Juana Vargas, 16; Katie Brennan, 16; Chloe Sell, 15; Madeleine Fernandez, 15; Nicolle Garcia, 16; Amy Lunak, 16.

Men 15-16 200-yard freestyle: Marc Rojas, 16; Ivan Parada, 15; Mike Franco, 15; Darryl Perez, 15.

Women 200-yard freestyle: Tiffany Oliver, 17; Ashley Hicks, 18; Melissa Fernandez, 17; Amber Hunter, 14; Leonie Davies, 13; Brittany Williford, 17; Bianca Muniz, 18; Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 200-yard freestyle: Tyler Sell, 17; Travis Lockie, 18; Carlo Morante, 17; Gabriel Pena, 17; Andrew Ling, 17; Julio Simon, 18.

Women 15-16 50-yard backstroke: Nicolle Garcia, 16; Madeleine Fernandez, 15; Juana Vargas, 16.

Men 15-16 50-yard backstroke: Ivan Parada, 15; Paul Guarino, 15; Xavier Brown, 15

Women 50-yard backstroke: Ashley Hicks, 18; Melissa Fernandez, 17; Tiffany Oliver, 17.

Men 50-yard backstroke: Carlo Morante, 17; Andrew Ling, 17.

Women 15-16 200-yard breaststroke: Amy Lunak, 16; Cynthia Walpole, 15.

Men 15-16 200-yard breaststroke: Marc Rojas, 16; Daniel Lee, 15.

Women 200-yard breaststroke: Bianca Muniz, 18.

Men 200-yard breaststroke: James Shultz, 18.

Women 15-16 100-yard butterfly: Juana Vargas, 16; Nicolle Garcia, 16; Katie Brennan, 16; Chloe Sell, 15.

Men 15-16 100-yard butterfly: Mike Franco, 15; Xavier Brown, 15; Daniel Lee, 15.

Women 100-yard butterfly: Melissa Fernandez, 17; Amber Hunter, 14; Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 100-yard butterfly: Travis Lockie, 18; Tyler Sell, 17; Carlo Morante, 17; Gabriel Pena, 17; Andrew Ling, 17; Kevin Ganaim, 17; Julio Simon, 18.

Women 15-16 400-yard individual medley: Amy Lunak, 16; Madeleine Fernandez, 15; Belinda De La Torre, 15.

Men 15-16 400-yard individual medley: Marc Rojas, 16; Daniel Lee, 15; Mike Franco, 15.

Women 400-yard individual medley: Tiffany Oliver, 17; Ashley Hicks, 18; Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 400-yard individual medley: Tyler Sell, 17; Gabriel Pena, 17; James Shultz, 18.

SUNDAY SWIMS

Women 15-16 100-yard backstroke: Amy Lunak, 16; Juana Vargas, 16; Madeleine Fernandez, 15; Nicolle Garcia, 16; Chloe Sell, 15.

Men 15-16 100-yard backstroke: Ivan Parada, 15; Paul Guarino, 15.

Women 100-yard backstroke: Ashley Hicks, 18; Melissa Fernandez, 17; Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 100-yard backstroke: Travis Lockie, 18; Carlo Morante, 17; Andrew Ling, 17.

Women 15-16 50-yard butterfly: Nicolle Garcia, 16; Juana Vargas, 16; Katie Brennan, 16; Kimberly Marquez, 16.

Men 15-16 50-yard butterfly: Xavier Brown, 15; Darryl Perez, 15.

Women 50-yard butterfly: Tiffany Oliver, 17; Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 50-yard butterfly: Kevin Ganaim, 17; Julio Simon, 18.

Women 15-16 100-yard breaststroke: Cynthia Walpole, 15; Kimberly Marquez, 16.

Men 15-16 100-yard breaststroke: Marc Rojas, 16; Daniel Lee, 15.

Women 100-yard breaststroke: Bianca Muniz, 18.

Men 100-yard breaststroke: James Shultz, 18.

Women 15-16 50-yard freestyle: Amy Lunak, 16; Katie Brennan, 16; Nicolle Garcia, 16; Madeleine Fernandez, 15; Kimberly Marquez, 16; Cynthia Walpole, 15; Belinda De La Torre, 15.

Men 15-16 50-yard freestyle: Xavier Brown, 15; Marc Rojas, 16; Darryl Perez, 15; Daniel Lee, 15.

Women 50-yard freestyle: Tiffany Oliver, 17; Ashley Hicks, 18; Melissa Fernandez, 17; Bianca Muniz, 18; Brittany Williford, 17; Stephanie Freiria, 17.

Men 50-yard freestyle: Andrew Ling, 17; Carlo Morante, 17; Kevin Ganaim, 17; Julio Simon, 18; James Shultz, 18.

Women 15-16 200-yard individual medley: Amy Lunak, 16; Madeleine Fernandez, 15.

Men 15-16 200-yard individual medley: Marc Rojas, 16; Daniel Lee, 15; Ivan Parada, 15.

Women 200-yard individual medley: Ashley Hicks, 18; Tiffany Oliver, 17; Melissa Fernandez, 17; Bianca Muniz, 18.

Men 200-yard individual medley: Tyler Sell, 17; Carlo Morante, 17; Andrew Ling, 17.

Women 1,650-yard freestyle: Brittany Williford, 17; Katie Brennan, 16; Chloe Sell, 15.

Men 1,650-yard freestyle: Tyler Sell, 17; Travis Lockie, 18; Gabriel Pena, 17; Ivan Parada, 15.

THE FOLLOWING LIST IS THE CORAL SPRINGS SWIM CLUB SWIMMERS DAILY SCHEDULE: 

FRIDAY SWIMS

Women 15-16 200-yard backstroke: Brittany Hanson, 15; Linea Cutter, 16.

Men 15-16 200-yard backstroke: Brandon Goldman, 15.

Men 200-yard backstroke: Justin Grigull, 17.

Women 15-16 100-yard freestyle: Linea Cutter, 16; Lucia Morris, 16; Anne Kuczynski, 15; Kirsten Garza, 15; Emily Greenwood, 15; Brittany Hanson, 15; Kristina Nork, 15; Brianna Giordanella, 15.

Men 15-16 100-yard freestyle: Mauricio Hidalgo, 16; Cosmin Cioanta, 15.

Women 100-yard freestyle: Taylor McKnight, 17; Jenna Moodie, 14; Martie Vicent, 18; Philomena Fiorenzi, 14; Brittney Phelan, 17.

Men 100-yard freestyle: Justin Grigull, 17; Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18; Zain Qali, 22; Colton Kleynhans, 20; Bogdan Cioanta, 14.

Men 15-16 200-yard butterfly: Brandon Goldman, 15; Mauricio Hidalgo, 16.

Women 200-yard butterfly: Taylor McKnight, 17.

Men 200-yard butterfly: Marco Camargo, 20; Zain Qali, 22.

Women 50-yard breaststroke: Lindsey McKnight, 16; Gina Gautieri, 16; Lucia Morris, 16; Anne Kuczynski, 15; Kristina Nork, 15.

Men 15-16 50-yard breaststroke: Luke Torres, 15.

Women 50-yard breaststroke: Brittney Phelan, 17; Philomena Fiorenzi, 14; Nicole Schein, 17.

Women 15-16 500-yard freestyle: Lindsey McKnight, 16; Gina Gautieri, 16.

Women 500-yard freestyle: Emma Lincoln, 14; Jenna Moodie, 14.

Men 500-yard freestyle: Justin Grigull, 17; Loai Tashkandi, 19.

SATURDAY SWIMS

Women 15-16 200-yard freestyle: Linea Cutter, 16; Brittany Hanson, 15; Brianna Giordanella, 15.

Men 15-16 200-yard freestyle: Mauricio Hidalgo, 16.

Women 200-yard freestyle: Emma Lincoln, 14; Martie Vicent, 18; Taylor McKnight, 17; Philomena Fiorenzi, 14.

Men 200-yard freestyle: Justin Grigull, 17; Les Moore, 18; Colton Kleynhans, 20; Loai Tashkandi, 19; Marco Hosfeld, 14.

Women 15-16 50-yard backstroke: Lindsey McKnight, 15; Emily Greenwood, 15; Brittany Hanson, 15; Linea Cutter, 16.

Men 15-16 50-yard backstroke: Brandon Goldman, 15.

Men 50-yard backstroke: Marco Camargo, 20; Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18.

Women 15-16 200-yard breaststroke: Lindsey McKnight, 15; Gina Gautieri, 16; Anne Kuczynski, 15; Lucia Morris, 16.

Men 15-16 200-yard breaststroke: Luke Torres, 15; Derek Schwab, 16; Cosmin Cioanta, 15.

Women 200-yard breaststroke: Brittany Phelan, 17; Philomena Fiorenzi, 14; Nicole Schein, 17; Emma Lincoln, 14.

Men 200-yard breaststroke: Bogdan Cioanta, 14; Marco Hosfeld, 14.

Women 15-16 100-yard butterfly: Linea Cutter, 16; Kristina Nork, 15.

Men 15-16 100-yard butterfly: Mauricio Hidalgo, 16; Brandon Goldman, 15.

Women 100-yard butterfly: Taylor McKnight, 17; Martie Vicent, 18; Emma Lincoln, 14; Jenna Moodie, 14.

Men 100-yard butterfly: Les Moore, 18; Marco Camargo, 20; Zain Qali, 22; Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18; Justin Grigull, 17; Colton Kleynhans, 20; Michael Minichiello, 18.

Women 15-16 400-yard individual medley: Kristina Nork, 15

Men 15-16 400-yard individual medley: Brandon Goldman, 15.

Men 400-yard individual medley: Les Moore, 18; Loai Tashkandi, 19.

SUNDAY SWIMS

Women 15-16 100-yard backstroke: Lindsey McKnight, 16; Emily Greenwood, 15; Brittany Hanson, 15; Linea Cutter, 16; Anne Kuczynski, 15; Kirsten Garza, 15.

Men 15-16 100-yard backstroke: Brandon Goldman, 15; Luke Torres, 15.

Women 100-yard backstroke: Emma Lincoln, 14.

Men 100-yard backstroke: Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18; Marco Camargo, 20; Justin Grigull, 17; Colton Kleynhans, 20; Les Moore, 18.

Women 15-16 50-yard butterfly: Lindsey McKnight, 16; Linea Cutter, 16.

Men 15-16 50-yard butterfly: Mauricio Hidalgo, 16.

Women 50-yard butterfly: Martie Vicent, 18; Jenna Moodie, 14.

Men 50-yard butterfly: Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18; Zain Qali, 22; Michael Minichiello, 18; Les Moore, 18.

Women 15-16 100-yard breaststroke: Lucia Morris, 16; Gina Gautieri, 16; Anne Kuczynski, 15; Kristina Nork, 15.

Men 15-16 100-yard breaststroke: Cosmin Cioanta, 15; Derek Schwab 16.

Women 100-yard breaststroke: Brittney Phelan, 17; Philomena Fiorenzi, 14; Nicole Schein, 17; Emma Lincoln, 14.

Men 100-yard breaststroke: Bogdan Cioanta, 14.

Women 15-16 50-yard freestyle: Lindsey McKnight, 16; Linea Cutter, 16; Juana Vargas, 16; Emily Greenwood, 15; Kirsten Garza, 15; Lucia Morris, 16; Brittany Hanson, 15; Brianna Giordanella, 15.

Men 15-16 50-yard freestyle: Mauricio Hidalgo, 16; Nicholas Nocera, 16.

Women 50-yard freestyle: Taylor McKnight, 17; Jenna Moodie, 14; Martie Vicent, 18; Brittney Phelan, 17.

Men 50-yard freestyle: Justin Grigull, 17; Dawud Al-Khalefi, 18; Bogdan Cioanta, 14; Marco Hosfeld, 14; Loai Tashkandi, 19; Colton Kleynhans, 20.

Women 15-16 200-yard individual medley: Anne Kuczynski, 15; Kristina Nork, 15; Brittany Hanson, 15.

Men 15-16 200-yard individual medley: Luke Torres, 15; Brandon Goldman, 15; Mauricio Hidalgo, 16; Cosmin Cioanta, 15.

Women 200-yard individual medley: Philomena Fiorenzi, 14.

Men 200-yard individual medley: Les Moore, 18; Loai Tashkandi, 19; Zain Qali, 22; Marco Hosfeld, 14.

Men 1,650-yard freestyle: Julio Simon, 18; Justin Grigull, 17.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

 http://www.swim4comets.com

http://www.csscswim.com

POLYAKOV, McKNIGHT WIN ON FINAL NIGHT OF SPEEDO CHAMPIONS SERIES SOUTHERN ZONES

POLYAKOV, McKNIGHT WIN ON FINAL NIGHT OF SPEEDO CHAMPIONS SERIES SOUTHERN ZONES


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

FORT LAUDERDALE—-Vlad Polyakov was looking for a good race and got it on the final day of the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone Southern Sectional Championships.

After a week of training with good friend Neil Versfeld, the two-time Olympian put together a solid, strategic race to win the 200-meter breaststroke Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

Polyakov, 26, of the Coral Springs Swim Club, won in 2 minutes, 17.55 seconds, just 6/100ths of a second ahead of Versfeld, 24, of the Athens Bulldogs, second in 2:17.61.

Polyakov admitted it’s always a battle of the minds when he races Versfeld.

In February at the Missouri Grand Prix, Polyakov said Versfeld psyched him out when he put a surge in during the third leg of the race. Versfeld finished third in 2:14.91 and Polyakov fourth in 2:15.67.

Polyakov decided to come up with his own race strategy with the help of a former triathlete friend.

“I was really happy with the outcome of my race tonight,” said Polyakov before heading out to the Brazilian Steakhouse with Versfeld and a few friends.

“I had a fun strategy coming into the race,” Polyakov said. “My friend told me to try and leave everything on the third leg because it psychs out the competition and usually throws people off. Neil did that to me in Missouri, it totally psyched me out. So I decided to try it and it ended up working for me.”

Said his coach, Michael Lohberg: “It was nice to see those two battle it out and nice to see Vlad race and enjoy himself.”

Polyakov, who represents Kazakhstan internationally, was hoping to regain his confidence after a disappointing finish at the March 4-6 Austin Grand Prix where he was sixth in the 100 breaststroke in 1:03.14 and fourth in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:16.69.

“I think after the Texas meet I was hoping to swim faster than I did and I wanted to change my stroke a little bit,” Polyakov said. “I looked to this meet to try and accomplish that. This meet I love to race. It feels like home and I feel comfortable here.”

It also helped racing Versfeld, who represented South Africa in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and is a multi-World Cup medalist.

Versfeld won a national championship his senior year at Georgia in the 200 breaststroke. He swam the fastest time in history of the NCAA Championships in 1:51.40. He has been training with Polyakov since Monday at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

“Neil is a tough trainer,” Polyakov said. “I knew it would be a lot of fun so I asked him to train down here and race with me at sectionals.

“This is what swimming is all about. We trained together, then we raced each other and we are still friends afterwards. I am really happy with the way it turned out. It was a great way to end the weekend.”

After several talks with his coach Michael Lohberg, Polyakov has rededicated himself to his swim career. An upcoming swim camp in St. Croix, March 29-April 5 will start a new chapter in his life, both swimmer and coach agree.

“It is full steam ahead for me,” Polyakov said. “I set a career plan for the future. Michael and I have been planning for a while. I got the Texas meet out of my head. Now I am looking ahead. We have a lot of things we want to try and do now. This is the stage, this is the time to prepare for my next most important meet which is the Asian Games.”

Said Lohberg: “We had several talks, several meetings. I think he is fine. The St. Croix training camp will be really important for him. It will be the start of a new chapter.”

Polyakov’s clubmate, Olympic hopeful Lindsey McKnight, 15, ended a good week on a winning note by capturing the 100-meter freestyle in 57.27, after qualifying in prelims in 58.75. McKnight is getting race sharp for her first international trip with the U.S. junior national team, another stepping stone in her young career.

Sprinter Arlene Semeco of Venezuela will leave Tuesday brimming with confidence for this week’s South American Championships in Colombia. Semeco, who won the 50-meter freestyle on Saturday during her taper week, and Leo Andara, both of the Coral Springs Swim Club, will compete.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

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