SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Third, Vien Nguyen Fourth On Day Two Of TYR Pro Swim Series

By Sharon Robb

CLOVIS, Calif., June 14, 2019–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson and Vien Nguyen saw their first action Thursday in the TYR Pro Swim Series Long Course Meet at Clovis North Aquatics Complex.

Atkinson, 30, a four-time Olympian for Jamaica, faded to third after a slow start in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke. She lost ground in the first 25 meters and finished in 1:08.00.

Canadian record holder Sydney Pickrem won in the last 25 meters in 1:07.20 and Mexico’s Melissa Rodriguez was second in 1:07.32. Pickrem bettered her personal best from the 2019 Canadian Championships.

In morning prelims, Atkinson led a tight field in 1:09.14 to earn the top seed. Three other swimmers were within a half second behind her: Melissa Rodriguez of Mexico in 1:09.23, Breeja Larson of New York Aquatic Club in 1:09.24 and Pickrem in 1:09.61.

Atkinson has four events left: the 50-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly on Friday and 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle on Saturday.

Vietnamese Olympian Nguyen, 22, was fourth in the women’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:50.33. Pickrem won her second event in 4:40.64 and Overholt was second in 4:44.23.

Nguyen was fourth fastest in the 400-meter individual medley prelims in 4:52.42. The top seed was Evie Pfeifer of Texas in 4:46.86 who finished third in 4:44.51.

Nguyen also swam the 200-meter freestyle and finished 15th in 2:05.32 and qualified for the “B” final. She came back at night to finish second in the “B” final in 2:02.16.

Nguyen has four events left: the 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.

Other event winners were:

Leah Smith of Tucson Ford Aquatics, women’s 200-meter freestyle, 1:57.40, just ahead of Mallory Comerford of Louisville in 1:57.93 and Emily Overholt of HPC Vancouver in 1:57.97.

Trey Freeman of Baylor Swim Club won the men’s 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.00. Markus Thormeyer of HPC Vancouver was second in 1:49.33 and Townley Haas of Nova of Virginia was third in 1:49.83.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Team Elite was fourth in 1:50.01. Carter is building up for the July 12-19 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea and July 26-Aug. 11 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

Thirty-year-old Brandon Fischer of Livermore won the men’s 100-meter breaststroke in 59.86. He was the only swimmer to break 1 minute. Devon Nowicki of Michigan Lakeshore was second in 1:00.97 and Miguel de Lara Ojeda of Mexico was third in 1:01.15.

Ali DeLoof of Team Elite won the women’s 50-meter backstroke in 28.05 followed by Amy Bilquist of Scottsdale Aquatics in 28.44 and Isabelle Stadden of Aquajets in 28.64.

Justin Ress of Wolfpack Elite won the men’s 50-meter backstroke in 25.05 followed by Olympian Matt Grevers of Tucson Ford Aquatics in 25.21 and Chris Staka of Aptos Cabrillo in 25.57.

Louise Hansson of Trojan Swim Club won the women’s 100-meter butterfly in 57.36, just ahead of Kelsi Worrell Dahlia of the Cardinal Aquatics in 57.45 and Kendyl Stewart of Team Elite in 58.35.

Gianluca Urlando of Dart Swimming won the men’s 100-meter butterfly in 52.20. Giles Smith of Phoenix Swim Club was second in 52.63 and Ryan Coetzee of Tennessee Aquatics was third in 53.57.

Puerto Rico’s Jarod Arroyo of Pitchfork Aquatics won the men’s 400-meter individual medley in 4:21.65. Erick Gordillo of Guatemala was second in 4:27.00 and Brodie Young of UBC Thunderbirds was third in 4:28.18.

The four-day meet continues Friday with prelims and finals.

SOFLO is a TYR-sponsored club. It is the second year TYR is the title sponsor of the pro series. It was the Arena Pro Swim Series for the first three years.

The series offers prize money for first, second and third place finishes. First place earns $1,500, second $1,000 and third place $500.

Cash prizes were increased by at least 50 percent for each prize and a new prelim swim bonus of $1,500 was added for the top swim in prelims for both a male and female. All prize money is distributed by USA Swimming.


What: TYR Pro Swim Series

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

Where: Clovis North Aquatics Complex, 2770 E. International Ave., Fresno, Calif.

TV/Webcast schedule: June 14, noon and 8 p.m., EST,; 8 p.m.,; June 15, noon, EST, and 8 p.m., or

Of note: This is the fifth and final meet in the 2019 series….the meet is sanctioned by USA Swimming….the meet is capped at 450 swimmers….it is a long course meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Second Gold, Dylan Carter Takes Bronze On Day Five Of FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships

By Sharon Robb

HANGZHOU, China, December 15, 2018—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club won her second gold medal Saturday at the 14th FINA World Short Course Championships.

Atkinson, 30, the top-seed and world record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke, won the event in 1:03.51. She is the first woman to win the event for three consecutive world championships (won gold in 2014 and 2016). It was her third medal after winning the 50-meter breaststroke and third in the 100-meter individual medley.

American Katie Meili took silver in 1:03.63. Meili pulled away from the field along with Atkinson, who had a great start and then held on for the win to out-touch Meili. Aussie Jessica Hansen was third in 1:04.61.

“Done and done,” Atkinson said. “Beyond thankful for God’s calming guidance and keeping me mentally and physically in the game. Two golds and a bronze is the best haul at worlds yet, and to do it at 30 years old makes it even better.”

Other Florida swimmers:

1. prelims, 3. semis, Caeleb Dressel, U.S., Clay/Bolles, 100-meter freestyle, 45.98, 46.09.

5. Melanie Margalis, U.S., St. Petersburg, 200-meter individual medley, 2:07.39.

12. Marcelo Acosta, El Salvador, Azura alum, 1,500-meter freestyle, 14:45.78.

25. Isabella Paez, Venezuela, Dora, Miami Metro Aquatics, 100-meter butterfly, 59.69.

66. Jhonny Perez, Dominican Republic, Azura alum, 100-meter freestyle, 51.03.

In Saturday’s finals seven countries won seven gold medals. No world records were broken.

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won the 200-meter individual medley in 2:03.25 for her third consecutive title in the event which she holds the world and championship record in 2:01.86. It was her fourth gold medal of the meet. The U.S. finished two-three with St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis in 2:04.62 and Kathleen Baker in 2:05.64.

“It’s always nice to race in China,” Hosszu said. “I’ve got many fans throughout the year. I’ve been racing a lot in Beijing and now in Hangzhou. Obviously, I’m very happy with my results over the past couple of days. I’m happiest with this, the women’s medley gold because of the time (2:03.25).

“My training hasn’t changed that much by changing my coach. I’ve had a long swimming career, so I’m pretty aware what I need to do to perform well. Obviously, it’s really good to have a coach who can provide additional value to my training. There are little things I have changed and try to focus on. I do pay attention to recovery and try to do a lot more quality instead of quantity”.

American Olivia Smoliga won the 50-meter backstroke in an American record 25.88 successfully sweeping the sprint backstrokes. It was the only gold medal won by the U.S. on Day 5. Caroline Pilhatsch of Austria was second in a national record 25.99. Australia’s Holly Barratt was third in 26.04.

“It feels like a blur to me, it goes by so quickly,” Smoliga said. “I saw both girls off the side of me at the turn and I knew I had to have a good finish, so I tried my best to get my hands on the wall first. I think the time (25.88) is important. It shows how your training has been going, if you have improved your times from previous years. It shows what you are doing is the right thing”.

Japan’s Daiya Seto won the 400-meter individual medley in 3:56.43. Seto took off and led from start-to-finish. He was within a second of the world record of 3:55.50 held by Ryan Lochte. Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes was second in 4:02.74 and Brazil’s Brandonn Almeida was third in 4:03.71.

Brazilian world record holder Nicholas Santos knocked off South African Chad le Clos in the 50-meter butterfly in a championship record 21.81. Le Clos finished in 21.97 and Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago was third in 22.38. He was sixth fastest qualifier for the event. It was the second-ever medal for the Caribbean nation after George Bovell’s bronze in 2012 in the 100 IM.

Russia won the men’s 4×50-meter medley relay in a championship record 1:30.54. The U.S., despite Ryan Murphy leading off with a fast split of 22.73, took silver in 1:30.90 and Brazil won the bronze medal in 1:31.49.

In an exciting finish, China outlasted the U.S., 7:34.08-7:35.30 to take gold in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay. Australia took bronze in a national record 7:36.40.

The short course worlds are swum in short course meters and held in the years when FINA does not hold its world championships (currently this means in even years). The short course championship is swimming-only events where world championships feature all five aquatic disciplines.

A field of 960 swimmers, with several top names missing, from 178 countries are competing for 46 world titles over six days at the Hangzhou Olympic and International Expo Center Tennis Centre. The center is uniquely shaped like a lotus bowl with an 8,000-seat capacity.

On the sixth and final day, prelims are 9 a.m. in China, 8:30 p.m. EST in the U.S. Finals are 7 p.m. in China and 6 a.m. EST in the U.S.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Atkinson, Carter Win Gold On Opening Night Of CAC Games

By Sharon Robb

BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA, July 20, 2018—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson opened the 23rd Central American and Caribbean(CAC)Games successfully Friday at the newly-built Complejo Acuatico.

Atkinson, the oldest member of the Jamaican swim team, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.38. Her splits were 30.85 and 35.98.

Atkinson broke the previous CAC Games record of 1:07.99 set in prelims by Byanca Rodriguez Villanueva of Mexico.

Atkinson was also a member of Jamaica’s 4×100-meter mixed relay which failed to medal, placing fifth in 4:01.90.

Plantation American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago won the 100-meter freestyle in 48.95, also a CAC Games record. The previous record was 49.00 set in 2014 by Cuba’s Hanser Garcia.

Colombia leads in the gold medal count with 10 and 22 overall medals. Mexico has 23 overall medals including six golds.

More than 5,800 athletes are competing in 36 sports in the quadrennial event that features athletes from Central America, Caribbean and South America.

Fifteen other Jamaican swimmers are currently training in China as part of the Jamaica China Technical Cooperation Project on Sports Coaching. According to the Jamaican Swimming Federation, it is part of a three-year project (2018-2020).


100-meter breaststroke:
1. Alia Atkinson, JAM 1:06.83, 2. Byanca Melissa Rodriguez, MEX 1:07.80, 3. Esther GonzalezCentral, MEX 1:10.60.

400-meter freestyle:
1. Joanna Evans, Bahamas 4:11.15, 2. Allyson Macias Alba, MEX 4:14.74, 3. Helena Moreno Hernandez, CR 4:15.51.

50-meter backstroke:
1. Isabella Arcila Hurtado, COL 28.11, 2. Maria Gonzalez Ramirez, MEX 28.57, 3. Laura Jean, GLP 28.60.


Mixed 4×100-meter medley relay:
1. Mexico 3:49.61, 2. Colombia 3:50.40, 3. Venezuela 3:53.58.

200-meter butterfly:
1. Jonathan David Gomez Noriega, COL 1:57.03, CAC record, 2. Hector Ruvalcaa Cruz, MEX 1:59.13, 3. Luis Vega Torres, CUBA 1:59.23.

100-meter freestyle:
1. Dylan Carter, Trinidad & Tobago 48.95, 2. Mikel Schreuders, Aruba 49.17, 3. Jorge Iga Cesar, MEX 49.28, 5. Renzo Tjon A Joe, Surinam 49.38.

4×200-meter freestyle relay:
1. Venezuela 7:24.18, 2. Mexico 7:26.94, 3. Puerto Rico 7:27.29.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Sjostrum, Hosszu Steal Spotlight On Day One Of FINA World Cup In Hong Kong; Carter, Tretyakov, Ciesla Win For USC

By Sharon Robb

September 30, 2017—Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden and Katinka Hosszu took center stage, each winning three events on opening day of the FINA/Airweave Swimming World Cup Series Saturday in Hong Kong.

Sjostrum won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:51.77, more than a second ahead of Femke Heemskerk at Victoria Park Swimming Pool.

Sjostrum also won the 100-meter butterfly in 55.32 and 50-meter freestyle in 23.42, virtually unchallenged in those events.

Hosszu won the 50-meter backstroke in 26.24, 200-meter individual medley in 2:05.29 and 200-meter backstroke in 2:03.14, a 2.76-second margin of victory.

Sjostrum leads the series point standings with 90 points ahead of Hosszu. In the men’s standings, Chad Le Clos leads Vladimir Morozov and Kirill Prigoda.

The tour’s second cluster has more entries (six) per event because of the cancellation of the Dubai stop trimming the meets from three to two.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson of SOFLO won the 100-meter breaststroke against a less than stellar field in 1:04.09, off her best time of 1:02.36. She was also third in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:12.62. The field featured several club swimmers from Japan.

Other winners were:

Vladimir Morozov won the 100-meter freestyle in 45.91 ahead of Le Clos in 46.10. Morozov won the 100-meter individual medley in 51.64.

American Tom Shields won the 200-meter butterfly in 1:49.62. Le Clos came back to win the 50-meter butterfly in 22.52 ahead of Shields.

Kirill Prigoda won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:04.02.

Cameron van der Burgh won the 50-meter breaststroke in 25.80.

Germany’s Christian Diener won the 100-meter backstroke in 51.44.

Italy’s Gabrielle Detti won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:43.11.

China’s Li Bingjie won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:27.29.

Ayrton Sweeney of South Africa won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:07.76.

The Netherlands won the mixed 200-meter medley relay in 1:40.75 with Ranomi Kromowidjojo splitting 25.63 on the butterfly leg.

The second day of the meet continues on Sunday.


Senior Dylan Carter and freshman Nikita Tretyakov led University of Southern California men’s team to its second road win within 24 hours, 153-141, over Cal Poly on Saturday.

Carter, an American Heritage Plantation alum and Trinidad and Tobago national team member, won the 50-yard butterfly in 20.36. Carter won the 100-yard butterfly in 47.10, a NCAA B cut. Carter was also a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay.

Tretyakov was third in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:51.26.

In USC’s season-opening win over UC Santa Barbara on Friday, Carter was a member of the winning 400-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relays. Carter also won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:38.66 and was second in the 100-yard freestyle in 45.14.

Tretyakov, who swims with Swim Fort Lauderdale in the Florida Gold Coast, was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 49.55.

USC’s first home meet is Oct. 6. against Cal State Bakersfield…

Another top Florida Gold Coast swimmer and Pine Crest alum, Marta Ciesla wasted little time establishing herself her freshman year of college swimming for USC.

USC women’s team won its season-opener, 136-106, at San Diego. Ciesla won two events. Ciesla won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.86 and 100-yard freestyle in 51.92 in her Trojan debut.

Florida International University women’s team, with senior Maria Lopez, a SOFLO alum, knocked off crosstown rival University of Miami, 164.5-115.5 in FIU’s season-opener at home. FIU did not post results online at CollegeSwimming, Meet Mobile or team website after the meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Sebastian Lares, Jonathan Farah Medal, FGC Swimmers Dominate CCCAN Swimming Championships

By Sharon Robb

July 5, 2017—Sebastian Lares of South Florida Aquatic Club brought home five medals and seven best times after the recent XXX Central American and Caribbean (CCCAN) Swimming Championships at National Aquatic Centre in Balmain Couva, Trinidad & Tobago.

Lares, 12, won two gold, two silver and one bronze medal and finished fourth and fifth in other events while swimming best times in every event.

Lares won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:03.47 with a time drop of 3.79 and 200-meter individual medley in 2:23.31 with a huge time drop of 5.57.

Lares took two silver medals in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:06.55 with a 7.56 drop and 400-meter freestyle in 4:29.02 with an impressive 15.11 time drop.

Lares also finished third for a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:07.94 with a 1.25 drop.

Lares was fourth in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:24.20 with a 5.26 time drop and fifth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:28.88 with a 2.12 drop.

Lares finished with 47 points for high point.

His older brother, Andres Lares, 17, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics, won a silver medal in the 15-17 1,500-meter freestyle. He was second in 16:31.79, dropping 4.86 seconds off his previous best of 16:36.65. Lares had 14 points. His other best finish was fifth in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:11.31.

The brothers are members of the Panama national team.

SOFLO’s Jonathan Farah, 19, a sophomore-to-be at Boston College and Plantation American Heritage alum, medaled as a member of Trinidad and Tobago’s 18-and-over 800-meter freestyle relay that finished third in 8:12. Farah’s teammates were Jabari Baptiste, Sachin Sankar and Joshua Romany.

Farah was also sixth in the 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:15.96; seventh in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:19.10, another best time dropping 3.52 seconds; and 11th in the 50-meter breaststroke prelims in 31.78.

Two-time Olympian Ana Fortin, 44, of Honduras, the oldest swimmer in the CCCAN field, won a gold medal with the 400-meter freestyle relay and two silvers on the 800-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley relays.

Among current or former Florida Gold Coast swimmers best results are:

Marcelo Acosta, 20, Louisville/Azura, El Salvador: won the 1500-meter freestyle, 15:39.51; won 200-meter butterfly, 2:06.46; won 400-meter freestyle, 3:55.54; second 200-meter freestyle, 1:51.73.

Lani Cabrera, 23, Barbados: third, 200-meter freestyle, 2:10.75; fourth, 400-meter freestyle, 4:37.62.

Dylan Carter, 20, Plantation American Heritage, Trinidad & Tobago: won 100-meter butterfly, 52.73; won mixed 200-meter freestyle relay, 1:38.40; won 200-meter freestyle, 1:48.91; won 400-meter freestyle relay.

Cathy Cooper, 17, Plantation American Heritage, Panama: third on 200-meter freestyle relay, 1:42.25; third 400-meter freestyle relay, 4:01.50; second 100-meter freestyle, 58.39; fourth on 800-meter freestyle relay, 9:00.94; third 50-meter freestyle, 26.47.

Jordy Groters, 21, Missouri, Aruba: second 50-meter breaststroke, 28.57; second 100-meter breaststroke 1:04.07.

Irvin Hoost, 17, St. Brendan, Surinam: third, 400-meter freestyle relay, 3:37.44; fourth 100-meter freestyle 52.86; fourth 400-meter medley relay, 4:07.30.

Daniel Jacobs, 16, University School, Aruba: fourth, 200-meter freestyle relay, 1:43.19; first 200-meter freestyle, 1:54.82; first, 400-meter freestyle, 4:01.85.

Andres Lares, 17, Azura, Panama: second, 1500-meter freestyle, 16:31.79; fifth, 400-meter freestyle 4:11.31.

Sharntelle McLean, 32, Trinidad & Tobago: fourth, 400-meter freestyle relay, 4:14.14; third, 400-meter medley relay, 4:40.78; fourth, 100-meter freestyle 59.76.

Chade Nersicio, 15, Trinity Christian/East Coast Aquatic Club, Curacao: second, 100-meter butterfly, 1:02.27; won 50-meter butterfly, 27.59; third, 50-meter breaststroke, 34.24; won 100-meter freestyle 57.67; second, 50-meter freestyle 26.45; second 100-meter breaststroke 1:14.27.

Jhonny Perez, 19, Azura, Dominican Republic: sixth, 50-meter backstroke, 28.42; seventh, 50-meter freestyle, 24.05.

Racine Ross, 16, Pine Crest, Trinidad & Tobago: second on 400-meter medley relay, 4:33.33; sixth 100-meter butterfly, 1:04.46.

Andrea van den Berg, 18, Azura, Aruba; fifth, 800-meter freestyle, 9:56.90; fifth, 400-meter freestyle, 4:39.29.

Sidrell Williams, 20, St. Andrew’s, Jamaica: tenth, 50-meter butterfly prelims, 26.32.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Carter Wins Trinidad’s First Medals; Groters Breaks Aruban National Record

Carter Wins Trinidad’s First Medals; Groters Breaks Aruban National Record

By Sharon Robb

August 21, 2014—-Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago and Jordy Groters of Aruba, the future of international swimming, made history on Day Five of the 2014 IOC Youth Olympic Games Thursday night at the Olympic Sports Centre Natatorium in Nanjing, China.

Carter, a Plantation American Heritage alum and frequent trainer in South Florida, won his country’s first medals in swimming at the Games.

The country’s top junior swimmer took a silver medal in the 50-meter butterfly in 23.81, just behind China’s Yu Hexin in 23.69 and added a bronze medal in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.53.

After a great start, Carter led the freestyle until the final 20 meters when China’s Yu Hexin surged to win in a junior world record of 22.00. Brazil’s top junior sprinter Matheus de Santana was second in 22.43.

Carter had qualified with a 22.49 in semifinals and got out of the heats with a 24.01.

Missouri-bound Groters of Pine Crest Swimming swam back-to-back lifetime-bests and broke Aruba’s national record in the 50-meter breaststroke in the semifinals.

Groters first broke the national record in his heat in 29.03 and bettered it in the semifinal in 28.90, cracking the 29-second barrier for the first time in his career. He fell short of making it into the final and finished 11th overall.

Groters was happy with his Youth Olympics debut.

He wrote on his Facebook: “Youth Olympic semifinal was a great experience. I am very proud to have been able to represent my home Aruba at such a big stage. I swam another best time and Aruban national record (28.90) and it is the first time I go sub-29. Ended up in 11th place

and was .06 away from a spot in finals. Very satisfied with these results! Thank you everyone for your support.”

AquaKids Sharks’ Clara Smiddy tied for fourth in the 50-meter backstroke in 28.91. She tied Canadian Danielle Hanus. The top five finishers were just 55/100ths of a second apart. Smiddy was also fifth in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 26.42 and eighth in her semifinal in 26.39.

Jordan’s Lydia Musleh of Pine Crest Swimming was third in her 50-meter freestyle heat in 27.66.

Suriname’s Zuhayr Pigot of Doral Aquatics and Metro Aquatics was sixth in hi 100-meter freestyle heat in 52.70.

In other finals:

China’s women’s team won the 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:41.19.

Egypt won its first medal of the Games when Akram Ahmed won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.29.

Maaike de Waard of the Netherlands won the 50-meter backstroke in 28.36.

Host China continues to lead the medal count with 13 medals (8 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) followed by Russia (6 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze) and Italy (3 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze). Team USA is sixth with two gold medals and one bronze.

For swimming, prelims begin 10 p.m. and finals 6 a.m. East Coast time. The swimming competition ends on Friday.

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

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

China is hosting 3,800 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees at the second Youth Olympics. During 13 days of competition in 32 sports, 222 medals events will be spread over 27 competition venues.

NBC, NBCSN and Universal Sports are combining for 54.5 hours of coverage through the Closing Ceremony on August 28.

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

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

Coverage of the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team can be found at and utilizing the #2014YOG hashtag.

For more information on the Games, visit

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 177: SOFLO’s Sharntelle McLean Wins At CISC Championship

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 177: SOFLO’s Sharntelle McLean Wins At CISC Championship


June 25, 2012

South Florida Aquatic Club two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean of Trinidad and Tobago won her opening event in the Caribbean Islands Swimming Championships at the Betty Kelly-Kenning Aquatic Centre in Savaneta, Aruba.

McLean, 27, won the 50-meter butterfly in 28.24, the only swimmer under 29 seconds.

McLean also won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:04.76, nearly a minute ahead of Jenna Chaplin, 21, of the Bahamas.

McLean was second in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.72 behind Surinam’s Chinyere Pigot, 18, who trains at Metro Aquatics, in 58.36. The pair were the only swimmers under one minute.

Teammate Dylan Carter, who has trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, broke the Games record in the 50-meter butterfly in 24.53. The previous record was 25.39 held by Vereance Burrows of the Bahamas.

Carter also won the 100-meter butterfly in 56.31.

Water polo

Former Stanford star Tony Azevedo and Ryan Bailey became the first men in U.S. history to qualify for four Olympics in water polo. Joining them on the team are Layne Beaubien, Peter Hudnut, Peter Varellas and John Mann, the 2006 College Player of the Year, who is making his Olympic debut. The U.S. took a silver medal in Beijing four years ago. Ironically, there will be two Ryan Baileys at the London Games. Ryan Bailey, the track sprinter, finished third in the 100-meter dash to qualify with Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay in Eugene, Ore.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 144: Pine Crest Freshman Tyla Martin Wins Three Golds At CARIFTA

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 144: Pine Crest Freshman Tyla Martin Wins Three Golds At CARIFTA


April 14, 2012

Tyla Martin of Trinidad and Tobago took up where she left off last year in international meets by winning at the CARIFTA 2012 Swimming Championships in Nassau, Bahamas.

On Friday night, the Pine Crest High School freshman won three gold medals and broke meet and national records bringing her two-day meet total to four golds.

Martin, 14, won the 200-meter freestyle in 2:09.73, bettering her prelim time of 2:14.13 and just missing the meet record of 2:09.51. She also won the 50-meter butterfly in 29.49.

In her best race of the evening, she won the 400-meter individual medley in 5:11.99 to break her own national record of 5:13.69 she swam last year at the ASATT Invitational.

Martin is competing in seven events (100 fly, 200 free, 50 fly, 400 IM, 200 IM, 400 free and 200 back) in the 13-14 age group.

Martin also anchored the fourth place 400-meter medley relay (4:54.74).

On Thursday’s opening day, Martin won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:03.81 bettering the previous record of 1:04.74 and national record of 1:04.92 set in 1994.

Several other Florida Gold Coast swimmers did well on the second night of competition.

Metro Aquatics Zuhayr Pigot, 14, of Surinam won the 13-14 50-meter butterfly in 26.81.

Jordy Groters, 15, of Aruba and Davie Nadadores won his second gold medal of the meet in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:40.97.

Dylan Carter, 15, also of Trinidad and Tobago, won the 15-17 50-meter butterfly in 25.34. Metro Aquatics’ Diguan Pigot, 17, was fifth in 25.98. Pigot was also fourth in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:00.73.

Carter was also second in the 200 freestyle in 1:53.23 behind Joshua Romany, 16, in 1:52.46 and second in the 100-meter backstroke in 57.70 behind Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter in 57.32 and led off the winning 400-meter medley relay (3:57.83).

Twenty-two countries are competing in the Caribbean meet that ends Sunday.


Fourteen-year-old Becca Mann of Clearwater Aquatic Team (CAT) went a career-best 15:58.90 in the 1,650-yard freestyle at the Nike NASA Showcase Classic currently being held in Clearwater, breaking the 20-year-old Michelle Richardson’s record she set while swimming for Hurricane Swimming. Mann’s previous best was 16:16.38.


“I have my first ACT and my first prom tomorrow!!!!! Crazy Saturday. So excited.”—Missy Franklin

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Sharntelle McLean Returns To Coral Springs To Train For Third Olympic Games

Sharntelle McLean Returns To Coral Springs To Train For Third Olympic Games

February 1, 2012


It was like old times when two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean climbed into the pool Tuesday morning at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

McLean, 27, has returned to where it all started when she qualified for the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games for Trinidad and Tobago.

McLean trained with six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg and elite athletes from around the world. Lohberg sent eight athletes to the 2008 Olympic Games including McLean, Vlad Polyakov, Dara Torres and Arlene Semeco, all training for the 2012 London Olympics in the same pool.

“It’s nice to see some old familiar faces,” McLean said. “I was sad and happy when I was driving up the driveway this morning. Coral Springs was always my second home.

“I was sad because I had been close to Michael. He was a great coach and now he is not there. But I am still happy and blessed that I had the opportunity to experience him and now I am back training in the same pool again.”

Lohberg died last April at age 61 after nearly a three-year battle with aplastic anemia. Since 1984, Lohberg placed at least one swimmer on every Olympic team.

While McLean took three weeks off during the holidays, she has stayed active in and out of the pool.

When she wasn’t coaching Team Trinidad and Tobago and serving as coach of the Goodwill Team, she competed in both local and away meets. At the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships in Puerto Rico, she won bronze medals in the 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter butterfly.

At the ASATT Invitational, she was FINA High Point Trophy winner capturing gold medals in the 50- and 100 butterfly and 100 freestyle.

McLean is a member of the Torpedoes Swim Club. She hopes to qualify in the 50- and 100-meter freestyles. She hopes to be race-sharp by May for a qualifying meet in Barbados. She is 1.5 seconds off her Olympic qualifying cut time.

“I definitely needed some long course swimming and to train with swimmers who were on the same page as me,” McLean said. “Back home I was basically training by myself. I knew what I needed and I needed to be here because of the history I have with Coral Springs. I expect them to work my butt off.”

McLean started swimming competitively in 1997 and made her first national team at age 12.

“I decided in August to go for another Olympics,” McLean said. “It was mainly for the love of the sport and my passion. That kind of fire hasn’t died down yet.”

McLean is still considered one of the top swimmers in Trinidad and Tobago where she said she “holds my own over there.” She has been coaching age group swimmers when not training or competing.

“Coaching is a different ballgame,” McLean said. “I have a lot more respect for coaching. When I am done competing I definitely want to look into it more.

“Today I was a little shaky in the pool but at the same time I expected that,” McLean said. “I am really focused now. I am happy with my decision to come back here. It’s definitely a decision I needed to make and I think I made a good choice. It will help my confidence 100 percent being here.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 121: Martin, McLean Win Gold; Loai, Hazem Tashkandi Finish In Top 10

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 121: Martin, McLean Win Gold; Loai, Hazem Tashkandi Finish In Top 10

December 18, 2011


Tyla Martin, coming off an outstanding high school season debut, is taking up where she left off in club swimming.

Martin, 13, a freshman at Pine Crest, won a gold medal for Trinidad and Tobago on Day Three of the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago Long Course Swimming Invitational.

Martin competes internationally for Trinidad and Tobago.

Martin won the opening event, the 400-meter individual medley in a record-breaking performance. Martin won in 5:13.69 breaking a ten-year-old national record in the 13-14 age group. She smashed the 2001 record of 5:21.47 set by Ayeisha Collymore.

Martin also took a gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:06.35 and silver in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:10.96.

Martin is no stranger to breaking records. Last year she set a national record of 1:07.46 in the girls 11-12 100-meter butterfly.

Martin was selected to the Sun-Sentinel All-County first team in the 100-yard butterfly. The team is scheduled to be announced at the end of the month.

Marlins’ Dylan Carter, 14, who trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Club with SOFLO’s Keegan Boisson-Yates, continued his winning streak in the 13-14 200-meter freestyle in 1:57.19. Carter also broke a ten-year-old record in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:10.36. The previous record of 2:10.70 was held by Nicholas Bovell. Carter won the 100-meter butterfly in 58.41.

Two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean, 26, who trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Club, won another gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:05.96.

SOFLO Swimmers Top 10 At Pan Arab Games

SOFLO’s Loai Tashkandi of Saudi Arabia finished sixth in the 50-meter breaststroke Sunday on Day Two of the Pan Arab Games at the Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha.

Swimming in Lane 1, Tashkandi finished in 29.85. He was third in his heat in 30.35. Tunisia’s Wassim Elloumi won the event in 28.77.

SOFLO’s Hazem Tashkandi, also of Saudi Arabia was eighth in the 200-meter freestyle championship final in 1:55.09. His splits were 26.95, 56.28, and 1:25.44. He was fourth in his heat in 1:56.50. Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli, the top seed in 1:51.46, won in 1:48.85.

Kuwait’s Yousef Alaskari of Davie Nadadores and Plantation American Heritage won his second silver medal of the Games. He finished second in the 100-meter butterfly in 54.00 following his opening day second in the 200-meter butterfly. Mellouli won in 53.73. Alaskari has Kuwait’s only swimming medals after two days of competition. Mellouli also won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:48.85

Kuwait’s Salman Qali did not show for the 100-meter butterfly, resting for his other events.

Shark Invitational

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Les Moore, 19, of Tampa was fifth in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:54.39 on Day Three of the second annual Shark Invitational at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. The time was an NCAA Division II “B” cut time.

SOFLO’s Linea Cutter, 18, a freshman, swam second leg on the Sharks’ fifth place 800-yard freestyle relay that finished in 7:52.65.

Erin Black earned NSU’s first NCAA automatic qualifying time of the season in the 500-yard freestyle. Black, a junior from Fort Myers, won in 4:54.95, 11 seconds under the “A” cut time, earning a trip to the NCAA Division II Championships, March 14-17, in Mansfield, Texas.

The meet concludes on Monday at 10 a.m. at the NSU Aquatic Center.

Women team totals: 1. Tampa 1,139, 2. Nova Southeastern 951, 3. Florida Southern 763, 4. Rollins 358, 5. Catawba 331, 6. Lenoir Rhyne 303.

Women results: 500-yard freestyle: 1. Erin Black, NSU 4:54.95, D2A; 100-yard backstroke: 1. Katia Kruglov, CATC 58.21, D2B; 100-yard breaststroke: 1. Rae-Lynn Sheffield, FSC 1:04.51, D2B; 200-yard butterfly: 1. Catherine Parker, TAM 2:04.80, D2B;

Men team totals: 1. Tampa 1,025, 2. Florida Southern 870.50, 3. Nova Southeastern 845, 4. Catawba 529.50, 5. Lenoir Rhyne 324, 6. Rollins 293.

Men results: 500-yard freestyle: 1. Oskar Nordstrand, NSU 4:29.50 D2B; 100-yard backstroke: 1. Jeb Halfacre, FSC 49.09, D2A; 100-yard breaststroke: 1. Miguel Ferreira, FSC 54.75, D2B; 200-yard butterfly: 1. Norbert Kovacs, TAM 1:46.95, D2A; 5. Les Moore, TAM 1:54.39.

 Sharon Robb can be reached at