Winkler Wins Second Relay Gold, Ties For Silver Sprint Medal; Podkoscielny Wins Second “B” Final; Team USA Sweeps Team Titles

By Sharon Robb
HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 28, 2022—Kaii Winkler of Team USA left a lasting impression at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at Mark Takai Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.

On the fourth and final day on Saturday, Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics, won his second gold relay medal of the meet on the 4×100-meter medley relay. Winkler anchored the winning relay that finished in a Junior Pan Pac record 3:36.65 with teammates Daniel Diehl, Zhier Fan and Thomas Heilman just edging the Aussies who finished in 3:36.96. His 100 freestyle split was 49.18. He held off Aussie anchor Flynn Southam who turned in a 47.87 final split.

On Friday, Winkler swam anchor leg on the U.S. boys’ winning 4×100-meter freestyle relay that won in world junior record of 3:15.79. Winkler’s split was 48.95, second fastest on the relay. It was the only world junior record of the meet. Winkler also won the “B” final in the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 53.94.

Also on Saturday, Winkler tied U.S. teammate Diggory Dillingham in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.50 to win his first individual silver medal in a best time. Aussie Flynn Southam won in 22.36. Winkler swam back-to-back best times, 22.74 in prelims, bettering his previous time of 23.03, dropping 0.53 and dipping below 23 seconds for the first time.

U.S. teammate Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming, won her second “B” final of the meet in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:15.79, just off her best time of 2:15.08. She went 2:16.54 in prelims and came back to win the “B” final and finish ninth overall. She also won the 400 IM “B” final in 4:47.34.

Josh Zuchowski of FAST, two-time silver medalist, was second in the “B” final and tenth overall in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:02.88 after going 2:03.09 in prelims off his best time of 2:01.92. The Stanford-bound Zuchowski, 18, swept the 100 and 200 backstrokes for silver.

The talented trio represented the U.S. internationally for the first time and were among emerging stars from four Pan Pac charter nations (U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia) and other non-European teams New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Singapore.

GIRLS: 1. USA 235, 2. Japan 171, 3. Australia 148, 4. Canada 112, 5. New Zealand 33, 6. Singapore 23, 7. Fiji 8.
BOYS: 1. USA 224, 2. Australia 171, 3. Japan 162.5, 4. Canada 102.5, 5. Singapore 39, 6. New Zealand 17, 7. Fiji 4.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Michael Mattes, US 16:24.02, 2. Ruka Takezawa, JPN 16:25.19, 3. Tiana Kritzinger, AUS 16:26.63.
200-meter individual medley: 1. Mio Narita, JPN 2:11.22, 2. Ashley McMillan, CAN 2:13.31, 3. Gracie Weyant, US 2:14.36, 9. Julia Podkoscielny, US 2:15.79.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Milla Jansen, AUS 25.19, 2. Anna Moesh, USA 25.32, 3. Erin Gemmell, USA 25.46.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Kotomi Kato, JPN 2:26.55, 2. Yuri Matsumoto, JPN 2:27.46, 3. Piper Enge, USA 2:27.93, 4. Gracie Weyant, USA 2:32.21.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. USA 4:02.14 (Maggie Wanezek, Piper Enge, Alex Shackell, Erin Gemmell), 2. Japan 4:04.01, 3. Australia 4:05.84.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Joshua Staples, AUS 7:56.29, 2. Hiroyoshi Miyaki, JPN 7:57.64, 3. Alec Enyeart, US 8:02.92.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Maximus Williamson, USA 1:59.01, 2. Tomoyuki Matsushita, JPN 2:00.64, 3. William Petric, AUS 2:00.82, 10. Josh Zuchowski, USA 2:02.88.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Flynn Southam, AUS 22.36, 2. tie, Diggory Dillingham, USA and Kaii Winkler, USA 22.50.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Asahi Kawashima, JPN 2:11.81, 2. Yamato Okadome, JPN 2:12.19, 3. Nicholas Mahabir, SGP 2:12.50.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. USA 3:36.65 (Daniel Diehl, Zhier Fan, Thomas Heilman, Kaii Winkler), 2. Australia 3:36.96, 3. Japan 3:40.35

Sharon Robb can be reached at

What A Finish! Dressel, Finke, U.S. Men’s Relay Win Gold, Breaks World Record

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 31, 2021–In an exciting finish to the eight-day swimming competition, the U.S. men came up big Saturday at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.

Caeleb Dressel, 24, won his fifth gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics joining the elite group of Michael Phelps, Matt Biondi and Mark Spitz as the only U.S. swimmers to win five gold medals in a single Olympic Games.

Dressel won the 50-meter freestyle in an Olympic record 21.07 and rallied the underdog 4×100-meter medley relay team to a gold medal and world record 3:26.78 to keep the U.S. team’s undefeated streak alive at 15. Dressel also won gold medals in the 100 freestyle, 100 butterfly and 4×100 free relay earlier in the week.

After strong relay legs from Ryan Murphy (52.31 split) and Michael Andrew (58.49 split), Dressel gave anchor leg Zach Apple (46.95 split) a half-second lead going into the freestyle leg. Dressel’s relay leg of 49.03 was the fastest in history. The U.S. had never lost the relay but were considered underdogs to Great Britain after barely qualifying for the final by 3/10ths of a second and ending up in Lane One for the final.

The relay broke a 12-year-old world record held by a U.S. team that included Phelps and Aaron Piersol at the 2009 World Championships.

Before the relay, Dressel won his sixth gold overall (in two Olympics) and fourth in Tokyo. With the second-fastest start (0.63), Dressel held off Frenchman Florent Manaudou, who had the quickest start (0.61), to win in 21.07. Manaudou took silver in 21.55.

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, who trains at Coral Springs Swim Club, took the bronze in 21.57 for his first career Olympic medal at age 32. It was the 91st time Fratus has broken 22 seconds, more than any other swimmer in history.

St. Petersburg’s Bobby Finke did it again. Just as he did in the 800-meter freestyle to win gold, the University of Florida senior turned on the after jets in the final 50 with a 25.7 split to win the 1500-meter freestyle in 14:39.65.

It was the first time a U.S. male won the 1500 event since Mike O’Brien of Mission Viejo 37 years ago at the 1984 Olympic Games.

“This means the world to me,” Finke said. “I was just trying to hold on and get my hand on the wall.”

In the women’s championship medal finals:

Women’s 50-meter freestyle:
Aussie Emma McKeon, 27, won her sixth medal of the Games with an Olympic record time of 23.81 and another gold in the medley relay to become the most decorated Aussie swimmer in a single Olympics. She had the slowest start (0.70) but turned it on in the final 10 meters. Sweden’s world record holder Sarah Sjoestroem, 27, overcame a fractured elbow sustained in February when she slipped on ice, to take home the silver medal in 24.07 and her fourth Olympic medal of her career. She had the second fastest start (0.63). Denmark’s Pernille Blume, who had the fastest start (0.62) and was defending champion after winning in Rio, won the bronze in 24.21. Only 3/10ths of a second separated the field of eight women that had won 28 combined Olympic medals.

Women’s 4×100-meter medley relay: Three teenagers Regan Smith, Lydia Jacoby and Torri Huske and Olympian Abbey Weitzeil, swimming anchor leg, just missed a gold medal by 3/100ths of a second. Australia won in an Olympic record 3:51.60, the eighth gold medal for the Aussies. The U.S. finished in 3:51.73. Canada was third in 3:52.60. The U.S. women had won 10 of the last 14 relay titles.

With the open water events still to come this week, the U.S. finished with 30 medals (11 gold, 10 silver, 9 bronze)and Australia earned 20 (9 gold, 3 silver, 8 bronze). Great Britain was third with 8 medals (4 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze). Twenty one nations managed to win at least one medal in Olympic swimming.


50-meter freestyle: 1. Emma McKeon, AUS 23.81, OR, 2. Sarah Sjoestroem, SWE 24.07, 3. Pernille Blume, DEN 24.21.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. Australia 3:51.60, OR, 2. U.S. 3:51.73, 3. Canada 3:52.60.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel, US 21.07, OR, 2. Florent Manaudou, FRA 21.55, 3. Bruno Fratus, BRA 21.57.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, US 14:39.65, 2. Mykhailo Romanchuk, UKR 14:40.66, 3. Florian Wellbrook, GER 14:40.91.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. US 3:26.78, WR, 2. Great Britain 3:27.51, ER, 3. Italy 3:29.17.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Floridians Finke, Dressel Win Gold For Team USA On Historical Night At Tokyo Olympics

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 28, 2021–In one of the most exciting nights in the history of Florida swimming, Caeleb Dressel and Bobby Finke won gold medals for Team USA Wednesday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

It was Dressel’s first individual gold medal and fourth overall (three others on relays in two Olympic Games) against the world’s fastest final field ever assembled in the event.

Dressel was emotional after the race, trying to hold back tears that kept coming while watching his parents, wife and sister on NBC’s coverage of the watch party in Orlando.

“I don’t know if this has set in yet,” Dressel said. “Right now I’m kind of hurting. It’s been a really tough year, it was really hard, so to have the results show up really makes me some kind of happy.”

Finke, 21, of University of Florida and St. Petersburg Aquatics, won the first-ever men’s 800-meter freestyle in an American record 7:41.87. Reigning world champion Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy was second in 7:42.11 and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk was third in 7:42.33.

Looking out of medal contention for most of the race in fifth place, Finke found another gear after the final turn with a 26.3 split and reeled in four swimmers in the final 25 meters to win his first Olympic final.

“Oh yeah,” Finke said, when asked if he had surprised himself with his performance. “My best time going into this was (7:47). And then in prelims, I dropped down to (7:42). And then here I dropped another second. So I had no idea that I was going to do that, honestly.”

The gold is the first for an American male swimmer in an Olympic distance race since 1984.

“The pain kind of goes away once you just start,” Finke said. “Your mind just kind of disappears, and you’re just kind of blacking out a little bit. I just wanted to get my hand on the wall. I am so happy that I was able to switch it into another gear. This means a lot. Coming into this there was a lot of doubt behind American distance.”

Local swimmers results:

Azura’s Colleen Furgeson of the Marshall Islands was fifth in her 100-meter freestyle heat in 58.71.

Azura has four swimmers competing Thursday. They are Abbas Qali of Kuwait, 100 butterfly; Davidson Vincent of Haiti, 100 butterfly; Steven Aimable, 100 butterfly; and Celina Marquez of El Salvador, 200 backstroke.

In other championship medal finals:

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: No one was going to catch China’s Yufei Zhang who won in an Olympic record 2:03.86, the fastest time in 12 years. China has won three of the last four gold medals in the event. The U.S. took silver and bronze with Regan Smith in 2:05.30 and Hali Flickinger in 2:05.65.

Women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay:
China upset Australia for the gold medal and Katie Ledecky turned in on with her 1:53 anchor leg to give the U.S. a silver medal. Heavy favorite Australia took the bronze. All three teams swam under the old world record of 7:41.50. China won in a world record 7:40.33, the U.S. took silver in an American record 7:40.73 and Australia third in an Oceanic record 7:41.29. Ledecky has now won three Olympics medals including one gold. She can win one more Saturday in the 800 freestyle.

Men’s 200-meter breaststroke: Aussie Izaac Stubblety-Cook surged in the final 50 meters to win in an Olympic record 2:06.38. Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands was second in 2:07.01 just ahead of Finland’s Matti Mattsson in 2:07.13.


200-meter butterfly: 1. Yufei Zhang, CHN 2:03.86, 2. Regan Smith, US 2:05.30, 3. Hali Flickinger, US 2:05.65.

4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. China 7:40.33, 2. United States 7:40.73, 3. Australia 7:41.29.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, US 7:41.87, 2. Gregorio Paltrinieri, Italy 7:42.11, 3. Mykailo Romanchuk, UKR 7:42.33.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Izaac Stubblety-Cook, AUS 2:06.38, 2. Arno Kamminga, NED 2:07.01, 3. Matti Mattsson, FIN 2:07.13.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel, US 47.02, 2. Kyle Chalmers, AUS 47.08, 3. Kliment Kolesnikov, ROC 47.44.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

American Lydia Jacoby Pulls Off Stunner For Olympic Gold In 100 Breaststroke

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 26, 2021–Seventeen-year-old Lydia Jacoby pulled off the biggest upset in the women’s swimming competition Monday at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

After watching the U.S. team get shut out of gold medals in the first three finals of the morning, Jacoby knocked off her teammate, defending champion and world record holder Lilly King and top qualifier Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa.

With a huge surge in the final 20 meters, Jacoby, swimming in Lane 3, won in 1:04.95 out-touching Schoenmaker in 1:05.22 and King in 1:05.54. Jacoby was third at the turn.

After touching the wall, Jacoby turned and took off her goggles to look at the scoreboard. She looked shocked as her mouth dropped open when she realized she won.

It was the first time since 2019 King had lost a 100 breaststroke race. She had won 53 consecutive races.

The most unlikeliest of gold medalists is headed into her senior year at Seward High School in Alaska and part of the Seward Tsunami Swim Club. Alaska has only one 50-meter long course pool in the entire state. She has committed to University of Texas as part of the 2022 recruiting class. Her other college visits were Tennessee, Notre Dame and North Carolina State.

“I was racing for a medal,” Jacoby said. “I definitely wasn’t expecting a gold medal. I don’t know how I pulled it out. I definitely stressed myself out yesterday so I just tried to feel good and happy going into it and I feel like I did that.”

Added King, “We love to keep that gold in the USA family. This kid just had the swim of her life and I’m proud to be her teammate.”

Jacoby is the first-ever Alaska native on the U.S. Olympic team.

Local swimmers results:

Azura’s Nicole Frank of Uruguay, third in her 200-meter individual medley heat in 2:18.93.

Azura Florida Aquatics will have four swimmers compete on Tuesday: Andrew Fowler of Guyana, 100 freestyle; Stefano Mitchell of Antigua & Barbuda, 100 freestyle; Julimar Avila of Honduras, 200 butterfly; and Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, 800 freestyle.

After three days of racing, it’s obvious the rest of the world has caught up to the U.S. In other championship medal finals:

Men’s 200-meter freestyle:

In a thrilling finish, Great Britain finished one-two. Ranked first and second in the world, Tom Dean won the gold in 1:44.22 and Duncan Scott took silver in 1:44.26. It was the first Olympic gold for Great Britain in the freestyle since 1908. Brazil’s Fernando Scheffer took bronze in 1:44.66. University of Florida’s Kieran Smith, trying to become the first American male to win a medal in the 400 and 200 at the same Olympics, faded to sixth in 1:45.12. The men’s field featured two teenagers.

Women’s 100-meter backstroke:

Aussie world record holder Kaylee McKeown turned it on in the final 20 meters to win the gold in an Olympic record 57.47, second fastest time in history. She is the first Aussie woman to win gold in the event. Canadian Kylie Masse won the silver in 57.72 and American Regan Smith took the bronze in 58.05. Coming into the Olympics, Australia had not won an individual women’s gold medal since 2008 and now they have two.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke:

Russia finished one-two with Evgeny Rylov winning his country’s first gold medal since 1996. Rylov finished in a European record 51.98 and teammate Kliment Kolesnikov took silver in 52.00. American Ryan Murphy, a Bolles alum, was third in 52.19 for his fourth Olympic career medal. “That was the best I had today, hats off to the Russian guys,” Murphy said. The field featured five of seven of the fastest swimmers in world. The U.S. team’s saw its 100 backstroke streak end at seven. The Americans had not lost a backstroke race since 1992.

The women’s 200-meter freestyle final on Tuesday will feature the second matchup between American Katie Ledecky and Aussie Ariarne Titmus.


100-meter backstroke: 1. Kaylee McKeown, AUS 57.47, 2. Kylie Masse, CAN 57.72, 3. Regan Smith, USA 58.05.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Lydia Jacoby, USA 1:04.95, 2. Tatjana Schoenmaker, RSA 1:05.22, 3. Lilly King, USA 1:05.54.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Tom Dean GB 1:44.22, 2. Duncan Scott, GB 1:44.26, 3. Fernando Scheffer, BRA 1:44.66.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Evgeny Rylov, ROC 51.98, 2. Kliment Kolesnikov, ROC 52.00, 3. Ryan Murphy, USA 52.19.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

OLYMPIC NOTEBOOK: Let The Games Begin, Opening Ceremonies Friday Morning

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, July 22, 2021—Rise and shine. Wake up early Friday morning if you want to watch the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympic Games.

Because of the time difference of 13 hours, Olympic fans in South Florida will have to tune in at 6:55 a.m. (which is 8 p.m. in Tokyo) to watch on NBC and its supporting platforms. An edited version will be replayed in prime time at 7:30 p.m.

The broadcast will focus on Team USA, the Parade of Nations and performances at the event. In addition to TV coverage, they will also be streamed on the NBC Sports app and


Here is a cheat sheet to help you keep track of the time the difference between Florida and Tokyo, which is 13 hours ahead of us.
8 a.m….9 p.m.
10 a.m….11 p.m.
Noon….1 a.m. next day
4 p.m…..5 a.m. next day
7 p.m….8 a.m. next day


After waiting 16 months, five current and three former University of Florida swimmers, will compete in the Olympics.

The current swimmers are Americans Kieran Smith and Bobby Finke; Amro Al-Wir of Jordan, Eric Friese of Germany and Alfonso Mestre of Venezuela. The former Gators are American Caeleb Dressel, a Clay High School and Bolles Club alum; Enzo Martinez-Scarpe of Uruguay and American Natalie Hinds.

Overall, 31 Gators from 15 different countries will compete in eight different sports (baseball, basketball, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and track and field.

In addition, UF head coach Anthony Nesty and former Gator head coach Gregg Troy of Gator Swim Club are U.S. men’s swimming assistant coaches. Florida alum Elizabeth Beisel is a member of the NBC broadcasting team with Rowdy Gaines, Dan Hicks and Michael Phelps.


Designer Ralph Lauren has included air conditioners in Team USA’s uniforms to help athletes during Japan’s hot and humid summer.

The parade uniform features a new wearable technology it calls “RL Cooling.” The team’s jackets are designed with a self-regulating temperature cooling device, basically, a personal air-conditioner to wear during what is expected to be one of the hottest-ever Games.

According to the brand, the device monitors and optimizes the wearer’s temperature, activating a system when the wearer is overheated that creates a “cooling sensation” that is long-lasting, regardless of the outside temperature. The battery-powered device is placed on the back of the jacket, blasting the wearer’s neck with cold air in a similar way to how computers are kept cool.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

100-Day Countdown To Tokyo Summer Olympics Begins Wednesday

By Sharon Robb
TOKYO, Japan, April 13, 2021—The 100-day countdown for the long-awaited, much-anticipated 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games begins Wednesday.

The 32nd edition of the Summer Olympics were delayed from 2020 to 2021 despite growing worry over the pandemic. A cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the Olympics after a number of Japanese regions have reported a spike in coronavirus cases since the public health emergency was lifted on March 22.

In Tokyo and five other regions authorities have limited the number of spectators in sporting venues to a maximum of 5,000 and reduced the opening hours of bars and restaurants. Several Olympic test events have been postponed until early May and late June or cancelled.

Officials have gone ahead planning for the Games this summer despite objections from many fans, media and Japanese citizens.

The Olympics are scheduled to begin July 23 with the Opening Ceremony and last until Aug. 8.

On Tuesday the Olympic torch relay ran through a mostly empty Osaka City Park. Officials re-routed the relay off city streets and barred the public.

The torch relay began three weeks ago in northeastern Japan, attempting to navigate around the pandemic with a total of 10,000 runners across the country and ending at the opening ceremony.

After last year’s postponement, organizers talked of cancelling the relay to save money. But it was never really considered because of the IOC’s largest sponsors including Coca-Cola and Toyota.

The top sponsors paid the International Olympic Committee $1 billion in the last full Olympic cycle (2013-2016). That number is expected to double when the next cycle is completed with the postponed Tokyo Games.

According to a recent Kyodo News poll, 72 percent of Japanese want the Games cancelled or postponed because of the ongoing pandemic and country’s slow vaccine rollout. In a recent Wall Street Journal story, only one percent of Japan’s population has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Olympic organizers have already taken unprecedented measures including not allowing fans to travel to Japan to watch the Games.

Still, the Olympics and Paralympics are expected to attract 15,400 athletes and thousands of judges, officials, judges, coaches and media even though numbers are expected to be scaled back.

Officials released a 33-page playbook detailing the health and safety protocols that will be in place. There are many guidelines in place for athletes, including tracking, tests and mask mandates. Fans will not be allowed to cheer or sing loudly because of the airborne virus, but are allowed to clap.

Officials have asked that athletes get vaccinated before participating, but say they will not require a vaccination before attending.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 31, has already qualified for her fifth Olympics in her signature event, 100-meter breaststroke. She will be accompanied by her longtime coach, SOFLO CEO and head coach Chris Anderson, who will also coach the Jamaican swim contingent which features Sarasota resident and Gator Swim Club’s Keanan Dols.

Dols, 22, recently surpassed the “B” qualifying standard of 2:03.26 and set a new national record of 2:02.15 in the men’s 200-meter individual medley at the Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo, California. In addition to outpacing the Olympic “B” standard, Dols broke his previous national record of 2:03.74 that he set at the International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA) Senior Cup in St. Petersburg on March 24. His time of 2:02.15 ranks as the sixth-fastest time in the event from the Carifta region.


Aussies Adjusting Body Time Clocks
When Australia’s top swimmers compete in their national championships that begin on Wednesday, the meet will look just like the Olympic format. The meet begins at night with heats in eight disciplines, followed by finals on Thursday morning. The meet ends with finals on Sunday morning. The swimmers are learning to adjust their routines and body clocks looking ahead to the Olympics.

The morning-final, evening-heat pattern is being used in Tokyo. The distinctive format is a demand of American broadcaster NBC, which wants blockbuster medal races scheduled for prime time in the United States (the same approach was taken for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing).

Aussie officials said the format is crucial. The rest of the world is doing the same format in various sports preparing for the time changes. The swim race times posted at this week’s meet will factor into team selection for the Aussies. The country’s Olympic trials are still scheduled for June in Adelaide unless the pandemic plays a role.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Anyone? Yes Please

The perennial chocolate and peanut butter powerhouse is partnering with three of the greatest U.S. Olympic athletes, Team USA and swimming: Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel.

Phelps, Ledecky and Dressel are joining forces to support Big Orange and form the Ultimate Team Reese’s.

Starting with Phelps, a 23-time U.S. Olympic gold medalist and Reese’s lover, will be the face of the Reese’s brand this summer appearing in a new ad campaign highlighting the newest member of the Reese’s family, Reese’s Ultimate Lovers Cup, a new peanut buttery candy version of Peanut Butter Cups without the chocolate.

“As America’s number one chocolate brand, we couldn’t settle for anything other than the best and that’s exactly why we’ve partnered with these legendary U.S. Olympians,” said Margo McIlvaine, Reese’s Brand Manager. “These three know exactly what it takes to be the ultimate, and we welcome them to the Ultimate Team Reese’s.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SWIMMING NOTEBOOK: “In Deep With Ryan Lochte” Docuseries Debuts Wednesday

By Sharon Robb

Ryan Lochte is back in the spotlight again on a docu-series that debuts today.

The 12-time Olympic medalist talks about his 2016 scandal in Rio de Janeiro and one last attempt to make Team USA for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

The “In Deep With Ryan Lochte” sports documentary shows the lengths a swimmer goes to achieve greatness, and for Lochte a chance at redemption. The docu-series debuts on NBC Universal’s Peacock platform.

“It was a wake-up call,” Lochte said of the 2016 scandal.

The docu-series, part of NBC Sports Films, relives the fallout of the 2016 Rio Olympics, during which Lochte alleged he and three American swimmers were robbed at gunpoint. The claims proved to be fabricated. He was suspended by USA Swimming from competition for ten months and dropped by a number of major sponsors.

“Because of what happened in Rio and everything, I was in a hole and I was climbing my way out, me and my family,” Lochte said. “And we’re still doing that. We’re still battling some things, but we are doing it together. And you’re definitely going to see that.”

The New York native was a standout as an age grouper all the way through college at University of Florida, where he broke records and took home medals. At the Olympics, he won six golds, three silvers and three bronze in Games in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Now 35, Lochte sees the scandal in Rio as eye-opening. “I never have any regrets in life,” he said. “I definitely am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and it was someone basically slapping me and being like, ‘Wake up.’ Like, ‘Grow up.'”

Lochte says his life really turned around when he and his wife, Kayla Rae Reid, welcomed their first son, Caiden, the next year. “It was, like, no longer am I just watching out for me.” A daughter, Liv, followed in 2019. Lochte since has appeared on TV competing on Dancing With the Stars and Celebrity Big Brother.

“There’s a lot of people out there that have a different perception of who I really am,” Lochte said. “I want to set the record straight. I want people to see how I’ve grown up, how I’ve matured and the person I am today.”

Lochte is the second-most decorated swimmer in Olympic Games’ history, a which has been overshadowed by controversy. If he makes the team for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, rescheduled for July 23-Aug. 8, Lochte said he will have the chance to prove himself as an athlete again.

“People thought I got to where I was in swimming because of talent, but that’s not it. I busted my ass every day,” he said. “I am 110 percent committed when I step on that pool deck.”

Lochte talks about his chances of making Team USA. He is living and training in Gainesville and is being coached by the legendary Gregg Troy who molded him into the swimmer he is today.

“So good,” Lochte said. “My coach tells me almost every other day, he’s like, ‘What are you doing differently? Times that you’re doing in practice are faster than when you were at your greatest in 2012.’ I’m like, ‘I’m just ready to rock and roll. Let’s do it.’ I’m in a better mindset, a better mood, and I have more determination and fire burning inside of me than I did before.”

Peacock, NBC Universal’s new free streaming proprietary platform, is available on Apple devices including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD; Google platforms and devices including Android, Android TV devices, Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices; Microsoft’s Xbox One family of devices, including Xbox One S and Xbox One X; and VIZIO SmartCast TVs and LG Smart TVs. Comcast’s eligible Xfinity X1 and Flex customers, as well as eligible Cox Contour customers.

Peacock is a free, ad-supported option that provides fans with more than 20,000 hours of programming. It includes next-day access to current seasons of freshman broadcast series, complete classic series, popular movies, curated daily news and sports programming including the Olympics, Spanish-language content, select episodes of marquee Peacock originals and tent-pole series, as well as curated Peacock streaming genre channels.

While the platform’s base plan is free, Peacock also offers a premium ad-supported version with more content for $4.99 per month, and an ad-free tier for $9.99 per month.

Sharon Robb can be contacted at

Swim FTL’s Kopas Wins “B” Final; Azura’s Gonzalez, Clearwater’s Aitchison, Bolles Song An Make Finals At Junior Pan Pacs

Swim FTL’s Kopas Wins “B” Final; Azura’s Gonzalez, Clearwater’s Aitchison, Bolles Song An Make Finals At Junior Pan Pacs

By Sharon Robb

August 29, 2014—It was a great day for Florida swimmers in the international spotlight at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at Kihei Aquatic Center in Maui, Hawaii.

Emily Kopas of Swim Fort Lauderdale, competing in her first major international meet for Team USA, won the “B” final of the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:09.35, lowering her seed time of 1:09.94. Her time would have placed her fourth in the championship final.

Kopas was fourth fastest qualifier in the 100-meter breaststroke in prelims but was dropped into the “B” final after two of her teammates, Lilly King and Jorie Caneta, qualified first and third respectively. Only the top two from each country qualifies for the championship finals. King (1:07.98 meet record) and Caneta (1:08.68) finished 1-2 in the finals late Thursday night.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Mateo Gonzalez, representing Mexico, qualified for the 100-meter backstroke final on opening night in 58.71 and finished eighth in finals in 58.04.

On Friday morning, Gonzalez qualified for his second final in the 100-meter butterfly in a lifetime-best 55.03, lowering his previous best of 55.24.

Mexican teammate Andy Song An of Bolles qualified sixth in Friday morning’s prelims of the 200-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 2:04.66, bettering his previous best time of 2:05.25.

In Thursday’s prelims, Song An was 18th in the 100-meter freestyle in 53.25. He was also a member of the 4×200-meter freestyle which finished seventh in 7:53.56.

Canada’s Alexandra Aitchison of Clearwater Aquatic Team (CAT) just missed a medal in the 200-meter freestyle placing fourth in a lifetime-best 2:00.81. She was fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:41.90, another lifetime-best.

Aitchison also qualified for the 100-meter freestyle “B” final (57.91) and 400-meter individual medley “A” final (4:55.08) but scratched in order to compete for the 800-meter freestyle relay. Aitchison swam leadoff leg for the relay that finished in 8:12.75.

On Friday morning, Aitchison qualified sixth in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:15.42.

In Thursday’s night finals, Team USA continued its assault in the medal race winning seven of eight gold medals for the second consecutive night.

After the first two days, Team USA has 14 of 16 gold medals, six of 16 silver and five of 16 bronze medals. No other team is even close to the Americans.

In the girls’ 100-meter freestyle, Aussie Shayna Mack came from behind to win in 54.82 ahead of China’s Menghu Zhu.

In the boys’ 100-meter freestyle, Paul Powers and Blake Pieroni went one-two in the final for Team USA and teammate Townley Haas went best-time 49.55 in the “B” final to earn the anchor leg assignment on the 4×100-meter medley relay.

Connor Hoppe of Team USA won the boys 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.68. He was fifth at the turn but negative split 29.49 on the final 50.

U.S. team captain Ella Eastin won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:43.13. She led from wire-to-wire.

In the boys 400-meter individual medley, Andrew Seliskar and Curtis Ogren finished one-two in the final. Seliskar won in a best time 4:16.05 followed by Ogren in a best time 4:17.70. Team USA also swept the top two places in the “B” final with Sean Grieshop and Corey Okubo.

Team USA swept the girls and boys 4×200-meter freestyle relays.

The five-day meet continues late Friday night.

Team USA leads a field of eight countries that includes Australia, Canada, China, Fiji, Japan, Mexico and New Zealand. The charter nations are the U.S., Australia, Japan and Canada.

The Jr. Pan Pacs are being live-streamed at Results can also be found on Meet Mobile. Prelims are 3 p.m. and finals are 11 p.m. east coast time.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Team USA Dominates Open Water 10K, Sutton Disqualified At Pac Pacific Championships

Team USA Dominates Open Water 10K, Sutton Disqualified At Pac Pacific Championships


August 22, 2010

Following in the footsteps of his marine biologist dad, older swimming brother and two water-crazed Labrador Retrievers, Chip Peterson loves the water.

That was never more evident on Sunday after spending nearly two hours in the water swimming 10,000 meters in five loops off Marine Stadium in Long Beach, Calif.

Peterson, 22, a University of North Carolina graduate and Atlantic Coast Conference Swimming Scholarship Athlete of the Year from Pine Knoll Shores, N.C., won the 10K open water race at the 2010 Mutual of Omaha Pan Pacific Championships.

The men’s race came down to a sprint. Peterson held off U.S. teammate Fran Crippen and Canadian Richard Weinberger to win the gold medal in 1 hour and 56 minutes. Crippen took silver in 1:56:02.7 and Weinberger took bronze in 1:56:02.9.

The U.S. women swept the top four spots.

Christine Jennings, 23, a 2009 University of Minnesota graduate from Longmont, Colo. who swims with Boulder Swimming, won in 2:00.33.8. Eva Fabian was second in 2:00.35.7 and Emily Brunemann was third in 2:00.37.8.

Only the top two U.S. finishers in each race were awarded medals.

For Peterson, the 2005 world 10K champion, the victory signified he has returned to championship form.

After the pack started out slowly with the leaders alternating between backstroke and slow-pace freestyle, Peterson picked up the pace.

“It was getting a bit cold,” Peterson said.

Peterson dropped the field around the 6K mark and opened up a 20-meter lead. On the last 2K loop Weinberger pulled slightly ahead and with 300 meters to go, then Crippen pulled ahead by a half-body making it a three-man race. With 50 meters to go, Peterson put in a surge and regained the lead and body-length lead to the finish.

Peterson went from 70 stroke-per-minute pace to 84 stroke-per-minute pace.

“I know the Americans the best and they were all behind me so I was thinking if I can get in the lead here and break away a little bit and make some of those guys work, that it would benefit me in the end,” Peterson said.

Peterson said it was all in the timing.

“I felt good, it’s all about timing,” Peterson said. “This is exactly the same course that Nationals was at and at Nationals I went a little bit too early, and the last couple of strokes I was struggling to finish. I think that I timed it much better this time and I was able to keep my legs going the whole way into the finish which was fantastic.”

After graduating from college in May, Peterson moved to Fullerton, Calif. to train with Olympic coach Jon Urbanchek and the FAST staff.

In the women’s race, Fabian and Jennings led for most of the race and were challenged by Aussie Melissa Gorman, who picked up the bronze because of the two-swimmer-per-country rule. Jennings was able to hold off her challengers to win.

“It means a lot,” Jennings said. “I’m just really excited. I had so many people behind me totally backing me up.

Chloe Sutton of Mission Viejo, Calif., who represented the U.S. in open water at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was disqualified just over an hour into the race after receiving her second yellow card, resulting in a red card and disqualification. Referees ruled that the infraction was the same each time and said that Sutton pulled on the turn buoy.

“I don’t really know exactly what I was disqualified for, but it’s not a big deal,” Sutton said. “I already got a gold and silver this week and this race was just for fun.”

Sutton’s disqualification seemed to change the tone of the race.

“I think it affected a lot of people’s races, on how strategy changed after that,” Jennings said. “For me, it allowed me to have better positioning behind the leaders, knowing I was up there and in better position to make my move.”

Jennings, a fifth place finisher at last year’s 10K open water nationals, was beginning to think twice about her future in the sport.

“I was to the point where if I didn’t qualify first or second to get some stipend money from USA Swimming, I probably would have had to quit swimming,” Jennings said. “And I love swimming. It’s a passion.”

Team USA finished the Pan Pacs with 51 medals—27 gold, 17 silver and seven bronze.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

1. Chip Peterson (USA), 1:56:00.0 (24:03, 47:14, 1:10:15, 1:33:19, 1:56:00)
2. Fran Crippen (USA), 1:56:02.7 (24:13, 47:19, 1:10:19, 1:33:25, 1:56:02)
3. Richard Weinberger (CAN), 1:56:02.9 (24:00, 47:31, 1:10:11, 1:33:15, 1:56:02)
4. Allan do Carmo (BRA), 1:56:04.6 (24:07, 47:42, 1:10:23, 1:33:24, 1:56:04)
5. Arthur Frayley (USA), 1:58:23 (24:10, 47:39, 1:10:23, 1:33:26, 1:58:23)
6. George O’Brien (AUS), 1:59:19.6 (24:01, 47:52, 1:11:41, 1:35:31, 1:59:19)
7. Christopher Ashwood (AUS), 1:59:24.7 (24:06, 47:59, 1:11:42, 1:35:31, 1:59:24)
8. Sean Ryan (USA), 1:59:26.1 (24:15, 1:11:32, 1:35:36, 1:59:26)
9. Michael Kleuh (USA), 1:59:26.2 (24:08, 1:11:44, 1:35:36, 1:59:26)
10. David Browne (AUS), 1:59:26.6 (24:05, 47:55, 1:11:36, 1:35:23, 1:59:26)
11. Aimeson King (CAN), 1:59:32.1 (24:03, 47:49, 1:11:34, 1:35:31, 1:59:32)
12. Rhys Mainstone (AUS), 1:59:38.6 (24:01, 47:51, 1:11:38, 1:35:31, 1:59:38)
13. Ivan Enderica (ECU), 2:00:28.3 (24:07, 47:44, 1:10:28, 1:33:29, 2:00:28)
14. Zack Chetrat (CAN), 2:02:45.1 (24:04, 47:59, 1:11:45, 1:35:52, 2:02:45)
– Andrew Gemmell (USA, DNF
– Alexander Meyer (USA), DNF
– Chad La Tourette (USA), DNS

1. Christine Jennings (USA), 2:00:33.8 (23:48, 47:46, 1:11:33, 1:36:06, 2:00:33)
2. Eva Fabian (USA), 2:00:35.7 (23:46, 47:42, 1:11:30, 1:36:03, 2:00:35)
3. Emily Brunemann (USA), 2:00:37.8 (23:50, 47:48, 1:11:36, 1:36:07, 2:00:37)
4. Haley Anderson (USA), 2:00:40.9 (23:54, 47:53, 1:11:38, 1:36:09, 2:00:40)
5. Melissa Gorman (AUS), 2:00:56.5 (23:47, 47:47, 1:11:30, 1:36:02, 2:00:56)
6. Zsofia Balazs (CAN), 2:02:23.3 (23:53, 47:50, 1:11:51, 1:36:30, 2:02:23)
7. Danielle DeFrancesco (AUS), 2:02:26.4 (23:51, 47:49, 1:11:41, 1:36:11, 2:02:26)
8. Cara Baker (NZL), 2:03:44.4 (23:50, 47:49, 1:11:43, 1:36:35, 2:03:44)
9. Nadine Williams (CAN), 2:04:06.7 (23:54, 47:53, 1:12:47, 1:38:52, 2:04:06)
10. Samantha Hoschke-Edwards (AUS), 2:04:20.6 (23:52, 47:50, 1:12:03, 1:38:02, 2:04:20)
11. Stacey Hansford (AUS), 2:06:52.1 (24:00, 48:03, 1:13:32, 1:39:50, 2:06:52)
12. Yumi Kida (JPN), 2:08:00.0 (23:56, 48:03, 1:13:26, 1:39:50, 2:08:00)
– Poliana Okimoto (BRA), DNF
– Chloe Sutton (USA), Disqualified

Results Source: Powerhouse Timing