ASCA Cyber World Clinic Begins Sunday For SOFLO Coaches; Bob Bowman, Mark Schubert Head Speaker Lineup

By Sharon Robb

PEMBROKE PINES, September 11, 2020—South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented when the 52nd annual ASCA Cyber World Clinic gets underway on Sunday.

SOFLO’s coaching staff headed by CEO and head coach Chris Anderson, Lou Manganiello and Rose Lockie, will participate in the week-long clinic that ends on Sept. 20.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and travel and hotel restrictions, this year’s clinic will be virtual.

In addition to their SOFLO on-deck club coaching responsibilities in challenging pandemic times, SOFLO coaches will be virtually attending several lectures and clinics to further their education and coaching techniques for SOFLO swimmers.

Fort Lauderdale-based ASCA is the American Swimming Coaches Association. It is a professional service organization based on a central theme of leadership in American swimming through education, certification and co-operation.

ASCA is dedicated to creating and enhancing progressive and highly visible programs that are effective in strengthening and improving the coaching profession and building a strong swimming community. There are currently 11,000 members in ASCA.

More than 1,500 swimming coaches annually attend the ASCA World Clinic each September. It is the largest swimming clinic in the world.

The clinic will feature five days of 30 speakers and 100 exhibitors. An impressive lineup of speakers include Arizona State head coach Bob Bowman, longtime coach of Michael Phelps and several other world-class swimmers; Gator Swim Club’s high performance director Gregg Troy; Mission Viejo head coach Mark Schubert, former coach of Mission Bay in Boca Raton; Princeton coach Susan Teeter; Nation’s Capital Swimming coach Bruce Gemmell; Rose Bowl Aquatics coach Jeff Julian and University of California coach Teri McKeever.

ASCA works closely with other swimming-related organizations including USA Swimming, NCAA, YMCA, United States Aquatic Sports, College Swimming Coaches Association of America and National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Preps For World Games At U.S. Police & Fire Championships On Saturday

By Sharon Robb

SAN DIEGO, June 27, 2019—With the Aug. 8-18 World Police and Fire Games just 41 days away in China, Jennifer Martin will get her first big test Saturday at the United States Police & Fire Championships.

The City of Pembroke Pines police sergeant will compete in the one-day swimming competition at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. The championships got under way on June 2 with various other sports.

Martin, 38, representing the Pembroke Pines Police Department, will compete in nine events including four relays.

When not working full-time, Martin has been training and fine tuning with SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson at SOFLO’s Academic Village Pool, where she use to coach with the Comets Swim Team. She has also been cross training in the gym and local road races.

For the second consecutive year, Martin is being sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association).

Over three hours, Martin has a Herculean lineup of individual and relay events. She will compete in the 30-39 50-yard breaststroke, 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard butterfly, 100-yard freestyle and 50-yard backstroke. She will also swim four relays: 200 freestyle, 200 medley, 200 medley mixed and 200 freestyle mixed.

“It’s a very challenging day for me,” Martin said.

Martin has been among top athletes in several local, state, national and international competitions. It is the second time she will compete in the United States Police & Fire Championships.

At the 2018 competition in less than three hours, Martin won nine gold medals and broke three USPFC meet records including an 18-year-old record. She competed in three races in less than seven minutes which included two meet-record performances.

Martin won the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and was a member of the winning 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay mixed relay and 200 freestyle mixed relay.

She broke meet records in the 50 breaststroke (1990 record of 33.93) in 33.11, 100 breaststroke (1994 record of 1:17.89) in 1:13 and 50 butterfly (2016 record of 28.36) in 28.1.

In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.

The eight-day United States Police & Fire Championships is an Olympic-style competition with athletes representing law enforcement, firefighters and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs from across the country. It got under way June 22 and ends on Saturday.

Athletes compete in 54 different sports at 33 venues throughout the San Diego county.

It began in 1967 as the California Police Olympics, in 1990 was the California Police Summer Games, in 2000 was the California Police and Fire Games, and since 2012 has been known as the U.S. Police and Fire Championships.

The California Police Athletic Federation is the governing body for the U.S. Police & Fire Championships. Its mission is to promote sport and physical fitness among personnel representing various agencies.

The World Police & Fire Games are set for 2019 in Chengdu, China. The World Games are held every two years.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Bolles’ Caeleb Dressel Wins Again On Day Three Of World Team Trials

By Sharon Robb

June 29, 2017—Caeleb Dressel is showing just how versatile he is in the pool.

The Bolles swimmer won the 100-meter butterfly Thursday at the Phillips 66 National Championships and World Team Trials at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Dressel won in 50.87, the fastest time in the world this year and first swimmer to break 51 seconds this year. Dressel swept the butterfly events.

“I was happy with the butterfly races and I couldn’t ask for more,” Dressel told reporters. “I’m definitely a speed guy, that’s how I swim most of my races. But I just want to swim a smart race.

“I don’t want to be labeled as a sprinter that goes out wicked fast and just dies,” Dressel said. “I want to be a speed guy that controls his races.”

Dressel, who beat Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling at this year’s NCAAs, will have another showdown with the superstar at the world championships.

Other Thursday winners were:

Kelsi Worrell of Louisville won the 100-meter butterfly in 57.38. It was the third event she qualified for world championship schedule.

Olympic silver medalist Chase Kalisz, who finished his college swimming career at Georgia this past season, swam the fastest time in the world this year to win the 400-meter individual medley in 4:06.99.

Leah Smith of Cavalier won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:33.86. Elizabeth Beisel was second in 4:38.55. Bethany Galat and Ella Eastin were both disqualified.

Justin Ress of Wolfpack knocked off Ryan Murphy of Cal Aquatics to win the 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 24.41. Murphy was second in 24.64 and Matt Grevers was third in 24.67.

Hannah Stevens won the 50-meter backstroke in a meet record 27.33.

Lilly King of Indiana won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.66, the only swimmer to dip under 30 seconds. It was a meet, U.S. Open and American record.

Kevin Cordes won the men’s 50-meter breaststroke in a meet record 26.88, the only swimmer under 27 seconds.

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

The five day meet continues Friday. Friday’s events are: women’s and men’s 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter backstroke.

The meet is being live streamed at and also televised over 12 hours on the NBC Sports Group that includes NBCSN, Universal HD and NBC on July 1-2, 1-3 p.m.


Women’s 400-meter individual medley: 10. Rachael Bradford-Feldman, Louisville, 4:45.16, prelims; B Final, 4. Bradford-Feldman, 4:46.32.

Men’s 400-meter individual medley: 52. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 4:36.86.

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: 48. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest 1:01.05, 61. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 1:01.52.

Women’s 50-meter breaststroke: 21. Emily Kopas, Michigan 32.21.

Men’s 50-meter breaststroke: 23. Alex Evdokimov, Coral Springs Swim Club 28.75.

Women’s 50-meter backstroke: 72. Darby Goodwin, VILL 30.23, 89. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest 31.20, Clara Smiddy, Michigan, DNS.


Women’s 400-meter individual medley: 1. Leah Smith, Cavalier 4:33.86, 2. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF 4:38.55, 3. Brooke Ford, Lakeside 4:39.19.

Men’s 400-meter individual medley: 1. Chase Kalisz, North Baltimore 4:06.99, 2. Jay Litherland, Dynamo 4:09.31, 3. Gunnar Bentz, Athens Bulldogs 4:11.66.

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: 1. Kelsi Worrell, Louisville 57.38, 2. Sarah Gibson, TAMU 57.96, 3. Mallory Comerford, Louisville 57.97.

Men’s 100-meter butterfly: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 50.87, 2. Tim Phillips, Swim MAC 51.30, 3. Jack Conger, NCA 51.33.

Women’s 50-meter breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, Indiana 29.66, 2. Katie Meili, NYAC 31.11, 3. Molly Hannis, TNAQ 30.24.

Men’s 50-meter breaststroke: 1. Kevin Cordes, Unattached 26.88, 2. Andrew Wilson, TXL 27.18, 3. Cody Miller, Badger 27.24.

Women’s 50-meter backstroke: 1. Hannah Stevens, UMI 27.63, 2. Kathleen Baker, TE 27.69, 3. Ali Deloof, Club Wolverine 27.89.

Men’s 50-meter backstroke: 1. Justin Ress, Wolfpack 24.41, 2. Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 24.64, 3. Matt Grevers, Ford 24.67.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Vank, Bullen Lead SOFLO At Gulliver Fall Invitational

By Sharon Robb

October 17, 2016—Valerie Vank and Samuel Bullen led South Florida Aquatic Club at the Gulliver Fall Invitational this past weekend at Gulliver Prep.

Vank, 11, won the 11-12 50-yard breaststroke in a best time 35.75, a time drop of 1.75 seconds. Her previous best was 37.50.

Vank was also third in the 200-yard freestyle in a best time 2:17.74 and third in the 100-yard individual medley in 1:11.93.

Bullen won the 11-12 50-yard breaststroke in 38.14, also a best time and first time he cracked 40 seconds, a drop of 2.42 seconds off his personal best of 40.56.

Other top SOFLO finishers:

Kaitlyn Barrios, second, 200-yard freestyle, 2:30.87, best time; second, 50-yard breaststroke, 41.32, best time.

Mariann Catalasan, second, 100-yard backstroke, 1:19.60, best time; fifth, 200-yard freestyle, 2:36.28.

Kerry Cunningham, third, 100-yard individual medley, 1:19.43.

Victoria Torres, fourth, 50-yard breaststroke, 37.00.

Natasha Testa, fourth, 100-yard butterfly, 1:04.25.

Matthew Kim, fourth, 50-yard breaststroke, 39.54, best time.

Aldo Zepeda, fourth, 100-yard butterfly, 1:14.59; fifth, 200-yard freestyle, 2:18.78.

Marcos Vazquez, fifth, 100-yard backstroke, 1:05.56.

The meet featured swimmers ages 8 to 20, including some of Florida Gold Coast’s top swimmers. SOFLO had 50 swimmers entered in the timed final meet.



100-yard freestyle:

Open, 1. Gabrianna Banks, Heritage Aquatics 55.10; SOFLO: 18. Michelle Ordonez 1:00.86, 21. Rebekah Ling 1:01.35, 24. Cassandra Oliver 1:01.89, 29. Amy-Nicole Toro 1:03.17, 34. Valeria Garcia 1:04.48, best time, 40. Natasha Testa 1:05.37.

200-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Bianca Nieto, City of Miami 2:26.62; SOFLO: 2. Kaitlyn Barrios 2:30.87, best time, 5. Mariann Catalasan 2:36.28, 6. Luna Delgado 2:36.59, best time, 9. Giada Porven 2:39.68, best time; 11-12, 1. Erin Miller, Unattached 2:12.89; SOFLO: 3. Valerie Vank 2:17.74, best time, 17. Judith-Alison Natino 2:37.63, 21. Alexis Christensen 2:41.12.

200-yard backstroke:

Open, 1. Jocelyn Ruiz, Blue Marlins 2:12.03; SOFLO: 26. Zariya Harris 2:41.13.

100-yard backstroke:

10-and-under, 1. Nicole Macedo, City of Miami 1:18.50; SOFLO: 2. Mariann Catalasan 1:19.60, best time, 9. Giada Porven 1:27.23, 21. Abigail Natino 1:37.57, best time; 11-12, 1. Erin Miller, Unattached 1:11.38; SOFLO: 18. Alexis Christensen 1:27.77, best time, 19. Judith-Alison Natino 1:28.16; Open, 1. Ana Kondratovich, Hialeah 1:01.20; SOFLO: 11. Rebekah Ling 1:08.92, 21. Zariya Harris 1:12.28, 23. Michelle Ordonez 1:13.00, best time, 29. Fabiola Avendano 1:14.88, 35. Natasha Testa 1:19.71.

100-yard breaststroke:

Open, 1. Gabriela Fernandez, Hialeah 1:10.44; SOFLO: 23. Lisette Castellanos 1:21.22, best time, 25. Natasha Testa 1:21.53, 27. Rebekah Ling 1:23.72, best time, 31. Valeria Garcia 1:24.29, best time.

200-yard breaststroke:

Open, 1. Iliza Aguiar, Gulliver 2:33.75; SOFLO: 13. Valeria Garcia 3:03.24, best time, 18. Mariann Catalasan 3:18.16.

50-yard breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Bianca Nieto, Club of Miami 37.52; SOFLO: 2. Kaitlyn Barrios 41.32, best time, 7. Kerry Cunningham 43.42, best time, 11. Luna Delgado 44.80, best time, 12. Natalia Sibug 45.46, 13. Fiorella Di Salvo 45.70, 30. Carleigh Schleicher 51.64, 31. Abigail Natino 51.79, best time; 11-12, 1. Valerie Vank, SOFLO 35.75, best time; SOFLO: 4. Victoria Torres 37.00, 11. Judith-Alison Natino 43.28, best time, 20. Alexia Christensen 47.48, best time, 26. Celeste Estrada 54.79, best time.

200-yard butterfly:

Open, 1. Jocelyn Ruiz, Blue Marlins 2:10.50.

100-yard butterfly:

Open, 1. Ana Kondratovitch, Hialeah 1:00.14; SOFLO: 4. Natasha Testa 1:04.25, 34. Lisette Castellanos 1:34.00.

50-yard freestyle:

Open, 1. Gabrianna Banks, Heritage Aquatics 24.48; SOFLO: 22. Melanie Jimenez 27.51, 32. Rebekah Ling 28.31, best time, 33. Cassandra Oliver 28.33, 35. Natasha Testa 28.66.

100-yard individual medley:

10-and-under, 1. Casey Perez, Blue Marlins 1:15.86; SOFLO: 3. Kerry Cunningham 1:19.43, 7. Kaitlyn Barrios 1:22.36, 9. Mariann Catalasan 1:23.85, best time, 11. Luna Delgado 1:24.29, best time, 12. Fiorella Di Salvo 1:24.38, best time, 17. Giada Porven 1:27.21, best time, 19. Anastasia Lutz 1:28.99, best time, 20. Natalia Sibug 1:29.34, 22. Carleigh Schleicher 1:32.97, 25. Mary Sawyer 1:33.77, 37. Abigail Natino 1:41.16; 11-12, 1. Sophie G, Gulliver 1:05.63; SOFLO: 3. Valerie Vank 1:11.93, 11. Victoria Torres 1:20.48, 15. Samantha Solis 1:20.78, 19. Kailey Smith 1:23.32, best time, 24. Alexis Christensen 1:28.47.

200-yard individual medley:

Open, 1. Claudia Acosta, Hialeah 2:16.83; SOFLO: 18. Rebekah Ling 2:31.22, best time, 24. Michelle Ordonez 2:33.74, best time.

400-yard individual medley:

Open, 1. Iliza Aguiar, Gulliver 4:50.82.

500-yard freestyle:

Open, 1. Iliza Aguiar, Gulliver 5:26.40; SOFLO: 25. Fabiana Avendano 6:26.22.


200-yard freestyle:

11-12, 1. Luca Lesentier, Miami Swimming 2:10.49; SOFLO: 5. Aldo Zepeda 2:18.78; Open, 1.Vanessa Mesa, Hialeah 1:59.00; Open, 1. Julio Horrego, Hialeah 1:41.61; SOFLO: 23. Gabriel Ferdinand 1:58.56.

200-yard backstroke:

Open, 1. Matthew Amor, Hialeah 2:04.25.

100-yard backstroke:

Open, 1. Pedro Beron-Vera, Miami Swimming 1:01.68; SOFLO: 5. Marcos Vazquez 1:05.56, 13. Zackary Harris 1:08.25, best time.

200-yard breaststroke:

Open, 1. Merlin Plant, Miami Swimming 2:33.14.

100-yard breaststroke:

Open, 1. Julio Horrego, Hialeah 57.35; SOFLO: 35. Zackary Harris 1:18.01, best time.

50-yard breaststroke:

10-and-under, 1. Giancarlo Suarez, Blue Marlins 39.20; SOFLO: 9. Jonathan Lozano 48.09, best time, 10. Benjamin Kim 48.81, 14. Owen Smith 50.32, 18. Kyle Dorn 51.26, best time, 20. Joseph-Blake Natino 52.52; 11-12, 1. Samuel Bullen, SOFLO 38.14, best time; SOFLO: 4. Matthew Kim 39.54, best time, 10. Lucas Porven 43.41, best time, 20. Sebastian Shy 49.74, best time .

200-yard butterfly:

Open, 1. Diego Mateus, Blue Marlins 1:57.30; SOFLO: 28. Lucas Porven 2:44.42, best time.

100-yard butterfly:

10-and-under, 1. Fabio Mora, Gulliver 1:16.87; SOFLO: 8. Jonathan Lozano 1:30.57, best time; 11-12, 1. David Chavez, Miami Swimming 1:08.69; SOFLO: 4. Aldo Zepeda 1:14.59, 7. Nathaniel Garrick 1:20.73, best time, 12. Samuel Bullen 1:34.00; Open, 1. Tommy Lorenz, HAFL 56.05; SOFLO: 17. Marcos Vazquez 1:04.91, 21. Zackary Harris 1:05.57, best time, 23. Jiovanni Tapia 1:05.88, best time, 27. Michael Toro 1:06.51, best time.

100-yard freestyle:

Open, 1. Luciano Rodriguez, Unattached 47.20; SOFLO: 30. Michael Toro 57.27, best time, 46. Jiovanni Tapia 59.55.

50-yard freestyle:

Open, 1. Luciano Rodriguez, Unattached 20.54; SOFLO: 32. Luca Lodi 25.85.

200-yard individual medley:

Open, 1. Robert Valdes, Gulliver 2:10.97; SOFLO: 21. Zackary Harris 2:23.11, 48. Gabriel Ferdinand 2:48.56, best time.

400-yard individual medley:

Open, 1. Julio Horrego, Hialeah 4:07.42; SOFLO: 10. Lance Lesage 4:49.43, best time.

500-yard freestyle:

Open, 1. Roberto Valdes, Gulliver 5:04.61; SOFLO: 13. Michael Toro 5:37.64, best time, 20. Nathaniel Garrick 6:02.50, best time, 24. Lucas Porven 6:12.10.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb

October 13, 2016—Ervin Marin is a perfect example of where hard work can get you in and out of the pool.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer is a two-time Academic All-American with a 4.0 grade point average at Mater Academy Lakes in Hialeah where he is a senior.

As a member of SOFLO’s National Group, the 16-year-old has steadily improved and qualified for his first USA Swimming Junior Nationals in December.

As a member of his high school swimming team, Marin is working to qualify for his fourth state meet appearance in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke.

“When I compete I want to do the best I can,” Marin said. “I don’t want to seem like I am struggling and not giving it 100 percent.

“I always wanted to get better,” Marin said. “First I started with getting my time standards in Sectionals and then Futures and then I wanted to get to Junior Nationals and I did.”

SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson has been impressed with Marin’s work ethic since he joined the club in 2013.

“His versatility during training has helped him excel in his IM events,” Anderson said. “He has a very promising college career ahead of him.”

Marin took swim lessons at age 6 at the encouragement of his mother, who wanted him to be water safe. At age 11 he started getting serious about his swimming. He joined SOFLO two years later. He gave up soccer and jujitsu to focus solely on swimming.

“I just started getting better,” Marin said. “I saw I was improving a lot more and thought I could do something.”

Marin got his Junior Nationals cut at this year’s Futures meet. He got his cut in the 200 individual medley by more than a second. “My teammates really motivated me at that meet,” Marin said.

In club swimming, Marin competes in the 200 and 400 IMs, 200 freestyle, 200 breaststroke and 100 butterfly. In his school, he swims the 200 IM and 100 breaststroke.

“My main focus is junior nationals but I am also focused on high school,” Marin said. “I had been trying really hard to get my junior national time and now I can go.”

Swimming has not only provided Marin with discipline when it comes to managing his time and schoolwork but also camaraderie with his teammates.

“I like being with my friends at practices,” Marin said. “I see other people getting better and that makes me want to get better. It pushes me. They go faster and it makes me want to catch them. It’s a competitive atmosphere and we all motivate each other. I always want to get better and improve my times.”

Marin said SOFLO has played a huge role in his improvement.

“I really like it, I am glad I switched from my old club,” he said. “I was getting tired of my old team. I feel great being here. The coaches are great. The training is great. In our group everybody tries, nobody slacks off.”

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack. TYR, a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories, is one of the nation’s top companies.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

International Swimmers Shine On Day Five Of Olympic Games

By Sharon Robb

August 11, 2016—-On a day where most of the U.S. swimmers were not in the spotlight, the rest of the international swimming world grabbed the attention on Wednesday at the Summer Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

Swimming in Lane 8, Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:07.46. The 21-year-old won his country’s first-ever medal in Olympic swimming history.

American Josh Prenot took the silver in 2:07.53 and Russian Anton Chupkov took the bronze in 2:07.70. 2012 Olympic champion Daniel Gyurta of Hungary failed to qualify in the prelims.

“This is the biggest honor and biggest thing I could have given to my country,” said an emotional Balandin. The last great swimmer from his country was Vlad Polyakov, a former Florida Gold Coast swimmer now coaching at Louisville University.

“I’m very happy that I am the first one,” Balandin said. “The tactics was quite simple, swim fast. I was in an outside lane so I couldn’t see my competitors. This helped me a lot to claim the medal. I haven’t quite processed all of this. This is a great beginning for my country.”

Spain’s Mireia Belmonte won her first Olympic gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:04.85. Aussie Madeline Groves took silver in 2:04.88 and 2015 world champion Natsumi Hoshi of Japan took bronze in 2:05.20.

“It was difficult to control everything during the final,” Belmonte said. “I was very nervous and I was dreaming a lot. I had to control my emotions and nerves. I will remember it for all my life. This is because of many days of training, working hard and many sacrifices.”

Aussie teenager Kyle Chalmers, 18, pulled off a shocker in the 100-meter freestyle winning the gold medal in his Olympic debut in 47.58. Canadian and Bolles alum Santo Condorelli went out too fast and paid dearly fading in the back half. Pieter Timmers of Belgium was second in 47.80 and defending Olympic champion Nathan Adrian of the U.S. had to settle for bronze in 47.85.

“It was pretty special when the Australian flag was raised and when I looked up and saw my family,” Chalmers said. “It was a very special moment I shared with them. I don’t think it has sunk in yet.”

American Katie Ledecky won her third gold and fourth Olympic medal overall anchoring the winning 4×200-meter freestyle relay that won in 7:43.03. Ledecky’s split was 1:53.74. She has won the 200 and 400 freestyles and earned silver on the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

On Thursday night, Michael Phelps, 31, and Floridian Ryan Lochte, 32, will renew their rivalry for the final time in the 200-meter individual medley championship. The rivals and friends will compete side by side.


EVENING SESSION: 9 p.m., Men’s 50-meter freestyle semifinals; 9:17 p.m., Women’s 200-meter breaststroke final; 9:26 p.m., Men’s 200-meter backstroke final; 9:32 p.m., Women’s 200-meter backstroke semifinals; 10:01 p.m., Men’s 200-meter individual medley final; 10:18 p.m., Women’s 100-meter freestyle final; 10:31 p.m., Men’s 100-meter butterfly semifinals.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Donahue, Wynter Win, Blackburn Swims Best Times At Validus Bermuda National Championships

By Sharon Robb

May 21, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Claire Donahue was a double winner Saturday night at the Validus Bermuda National Long Course Championships at the National Aquatic Centre in Hamilton.

The 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalist won the 200-meter butterfly in 2:18.28 and 50-meter butterfly in 28.33.

Jamaican Timothy Wynter won the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:06.69.

Kile Aukerman was third in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.93.

Bermuda six-time long course national record holder Lisa Blackburn, 44, was third in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.52. She swam back-to-back best times in prelims (59.00) and finals. Her previous best was 1:00.12, a 1.60-second drop.

Blackburn was second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.93, also a best time. Her seed time was 1:12.11. She holds the national record in the event in 1:11.27.

At 44, Blackburn is the oldest swimmer in the four-day meet that concludes on Sunday.

The meet has been sanctioned by FINA, the sport’s international governing body, as one of the last few qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and will also serve as a final qualifier for the Caribbean Island Swimming Championships.

Swimmers from Canada, Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, Guam, Syria, Jamaica, Austria, El Salvador, Venezuela and U.S. are expected to compete. Nine swim clubs are entered.



400-meter freestyle:

1. Kayla Sanchez, Canada 4:26.54, 2. Octavia Lau, Canada 4:26.66, 3. Jessica Luo, Canada 4:40.07.

100-meter freestyle:

1. Kayla Sanchez, Canada 57.14, 2. Rebecca Heyliger, Sharks 57.58, 3. Lisa Blackburn, SOFLO 58.52, best time.

200-meter butterfly:

1. Claire Donahue, SOFLO 2:18.28, 2. Maria Far Nunez, LaSalle Swim Team 2:19.29.

200-meter backstroke:

1. Jade Hannah, Canada 2:17.41, 2. Shannon Hassell, Sharks 2:31.09, 3. Emily Quarterly, HASC 3:02.86.

50-meter butterfly:

1. Claire Donahue. SOFLO 28.33, 2. Madelyn Moore, Sharks 29.12, 3. Vanessa Esposito, HASC 30.25.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Faith Knelson, Canada 1:09.95, 2. Lisa Blackburn, SOFLO 1:11.93, best time, 3. Pilar Shimizu, MSC 1:20.06.


400-meter freestyle:

1. Ruslan Gaziev, Canada 4:12.04, 2. Mackenzie Flowers, Canada 4:14.25, 3. Joshua Young, Canada 4:16.89.

200-meter backstroke:

1. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 2:06.69, best time, 2. Brett Smith, HASC 2:24.16, 3. Tai Long Singh, Canada 2:26.75.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Azad Al-Barazi, Trojan Swim Club 1:01.15, 2. Julian Fletcher, Sharks 1:02.47, 3. Kile Aukerman, SOFLO 1:04.93.

50-meter backstroke:

1. Jesse Washington, Sharks 29.46, 2. Evan Farrow, HASC 32.76. 3. Vaughn Rowse, Sharks 32.91.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Colorado Head Field For FINA/Airweave World Cup Opener In Hong Kong

By Sharon Robb

September 23, 2015—With more star swimmers entering the upcoming cluster of the FINA/Airweave World Cup, competition will be tougher when competition resumes on Friday in Hong Kong.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson and Carolina Colorado head the Florida contingent. Atkinson, a three-time Jamaican Olympian and Colorado, a two-time Colombian Olympian, will compete in their specialty events.

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson stressed his swimmers are training through all the meets from his PROFLO swimmers to Florida Gold Coast club swimmers.

The second cluster of the 2015 FINA/Airweave World Cup is Sept. 25-26 in Hong Kong, Sept. 29-30 in Beijing and Oct. 3-4 in Singapore where Atkinson, Colorado and Anderson will remain to participate in an Oct. 5-10 training camp with Swimming Singapore national team high performance coach and former Bolles coach Sergio Lopez.

Atkinson has been riding a wave of success since she tied the world short course record and won a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke.

Atkinson is ranked fourth in the world in her signature event in 1:06.21. She won a silver and bronze in the 50- and 100-yard breaststroke events respectively at the world championships.

Olympian Missy Franklin and Aussie world champions Emily Seebohm and Bronte Campbell will add to the already strong women’s field led by Hungary’s Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu.

Colorado is working her way back after illness and has been training well with the SOPRO group. She will be tested in the backstroke with Hosszu and Franklin.

The men’s field will feature Frenchman Olympic gold medalist Florent Manaudou and Cameron Van Der Burgh of South Africa.

Most of the swimmers are coming off the FINA World Long Course Championships in Kazan, Russia.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Several international swimmers are trying to get Olympic qualifying times.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Golden At World Police And Fire Games

By Sharon Robb

June 30, 2015—Jennifer Martin of South Florida Aquatic Club is showing what hard work and sheer determination can do at a major international meet.

The City of Pembroke Pines police sergeant has won two golds and two bronze medals after two days of competition at the 2015 World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax, Va.

The competition features 12,000 police officers and firefighters from 70 countries competing in 60 different sports.

On opening day, Martin, 34, took bronze in the 2-mile open water swim in 55:49.

In the pool events at George Mason Aquatic Center, she won gold in the 50-meter butterfly (31.04) and bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:27.18). She won her second gold medal in the 200-meter freestyle relay.

Martin has six events left in the 30-34 age group to swim on Wednesday and Thursday: 50 freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke, 200-meter freestyle, women medley relay and mixed medley relay.

Martin is a SOFLO masters swimmer and trains with SOFLO at Academic Village Pool.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Well-Represented; Phelps Returns At Arena Pro Swim Series That Begins Wednesday In Mesa

By Sharon Robb

April 14, 2015—Three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club heads a star-studded field for the Arena Pro Swim Series that begins Wednesday at Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa, Ariz.

Atkinson, 26, opens with the 100-meter breaststroke where she is seeded fourth in her signature event in 1:06.86 behind Jessica Hardy, Breeja Larson and Micah Lawrence.

Atkinson is also entered in the 100 butterfly, 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

Atkinson will be joined by SOFLO teammates Jorge Murillo Valdes, 23, and Carolina Colorado, 27, both of Colombia; and teenager Julien Pinon of state champion American Heritage Plantation. Pinon will compete in the 100, 200 and 400-meter freestyles.

Colorado will swim the 100 butterfly, 50 freestyle and 100 and 200 backstrokes. Murillo Valdes will swim the 100 and 200 breaststrokes

At 43, SOFLO and Bermuda Olympic hopeful Lisa Blackburn is the oldest swimmer in the field. Blackburn is entered in the 100 breaststroke, 100 and 200 freestyles.

The fourth stop on the Arena Pro Swim Series opens with the men’s and women’s distance events timed finals.

Katie Hoff, 25, of Hurricane Aquatics, Elizabeth Beisel, 22, of Gator Swim Club, St. Augustine’s Vien Nguyen, 18, of Vietnam and Lindsey Schwartz, 18, Marta Ciesla, 16, and Jessica Nava, 15, of Pine Crest Swimming and Cody Cline, 17, of Wahoos of Wellington leads the Florida Gold Coast and Florida Swimming contingent.

Beisel is the women’s points leader on the series with 38.5 points. She has entered more than the limit seven events and is expected to drop one. She is entered in the 200 freestyle, 200 and 400 individual medleys, 200 butterfly, 100 and 200 backstrokes, 400 and 800 freestyles.

Ryan Lochte, 30, of SwimMAC and Daytona Beach heads the Florida men’s contingent that also includes Florida 2012 alum Conor Dwyer, 26, the men’s series leader with 38 points, and South African two-time Olympian Sebastien Rousseau, 24, of Gator Swim Club.

The meet also marks the return of Michael Phelps, 29, from his six-month suspension for a second drunk driving charge. Phelps, seeded first in the 100-meter butterfly (51.17), is entered in five events and will go head-to-head with Lochte in all five events.

The 18-time Olympic champion is entered in the 100 butterfly on Thursday, 100 backstroke and 400 freestyle on Friday and 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle on Saturday. Phelps hasn’t competed in the 400 since 2009.

For the second time Phelps is using the Mesa meet as a springboard meet back into competition. Phelps competed in the Arena meet after coming out of retirement last year after a 20-month hiatus since the 2012 Olympics.

Phelps, now engaged to be married, has gone through a six-week rehab program after his suspension by USA Swimming in October. His last competitive meet was the Pan Pacific Championships in August.

While Phelps is expected to be in the media spotlight, U.S. Olympians Katie Ledecky, Tyler Clary, Natalie Coughlin, Matt Grevers and Allison Schmitt head the field.

Fifty members of the U.S. national swim team are expected to compete. The field is a good mix of pro, collegiate and high school swimmers.

Among other Florida swimmers entered are:

Venezuelan Olympian and Gator Swim Club’s Andreina Pinto, 23, opening the meet in the 1500-meter freestyle (8:25.93). Hungarian Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu, 25, who has been training in Fort Lauderdale, is also entered in the distance event.

Poland Olympian Marcin Cieslak, 23, and Nick D’Innocenzo, 24, Gator Swim Club.

Carlos Mahecha, 22, Andres Felipe Montoya, 24, and Esnaider Reales, 18, Azura Florida Aquatics.

Mateo De Angulo, 24, of Club Seminole.

Emma Svensson, 22, of Swim Florida.

Bahamian Olympian and Bolles alum Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace, 25, of SwimMAC, seeded first in the 50-meter freestyle (24.34).

Kira Toussaint, 20, of Swim Florida

Caroline Simmons, 24, of Performance Aquatics.

My Fridell, 22, Heather Arseth, 21, and Cameron Davis, 19, of University of Miami.

Claire Donahue, 26, of Western Kentucky, who has been training with Atkinson and SOFLO, will compete in the butterfly where she is seeded second in the 100 in 58.03.

The four-day meet, capped at 600 swimmers, ends on Saturday. Top three finishers will win $1,000, $600 and $200.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 6 p.m. MST. The meet will be live streamed at Universal Sports Network will air live television coverage on Thursday and Friday with Floridian Rowdy Gaines as color analyst.

Sharon Robb can be reached at