SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding Makes First U.S. Olympic Trials Cut, Makes “C” Final At Phillips 66 National Championships

By Sharon Robb

PALO ALTO, Calif., August 3, 2019—Kathleen Golding is living her dream.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer rose to the occasion with what her coach Chris Anderson called “a spectacular swim” Saturday at the Phillips 66 National Championships at Avery Aquatic Center.

Golding, 18, competing in only her second senior national championship, made her first U.S. Olympic Trials cut in the 400-meter freestyle in morning prelims.

“This is a dream come true,” said Golding, headed to the University of Florida this fall. “It’s what you work for. I am looking forward to going to college and what’s to come.”

Golding swam a lifetime-best 4:15.31 to earn a trip to the June 2020 Trials and chance to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Her previous best was 4:18.14. She was seeded 67th going into the race. She was 24th in prelims and qualified for the “C” final. She dropped 2.83 off her previous best.

And then, to top it off she found another gear and came back at night to better her cut time in 4:14.38 and finish 21st. Her total time drop was 3.76.

“I felt really good and strong in the morning,” Golding said. “I was really surprised it didn’t hurt that bad. I was just trying to win my heat. I wasn’t focused on the time. When I touched the wall I was surprised. I didn’t think I was going to get the Trials cut. It gave me confidence for tonight.

“I tried to come back even faster and work on my back half of the race,” Golding said. “I used my confidence from the morning to swim even faster.”

Even more satisfying was the fact Golding made the Olympic Trials qualifying standard with her longtime coach.

“I’m happy I got it with Coach, he was really happy,” Golding said. “He is the reason I am as good as I am. He’s been with me every single day at practice. It means a lot to get the cut with him.

“I had a little bit of a rough spring season, but over the summer I put in a lot of hard training and had a good section meet. It built my confidence for this meet.”

Her biggest accomplishment came less than a day after getting disqualified in the 400-meter individual medley, one of her signature events. Golding has the 200-meter individual event left to swim on Sunday.

“I honestly didn’t feel like I got disqualified,” Golding said. “I was surprised when they pulled me. It does happen and I just had to put it behind me, not think about it and focus on my other races.”

In her fourth and final event at nationals, SOFLO teammate Mary Smutny, 18, was 58th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:21.28. Smutny is headed to University of Texas this fall.

In other Saturday races:

Ally McHugh surprised the field that featured early leaders Allison Schmitt and Sierra Schmidt to win the 400-meter freestyle in 4:07.08. McHugh pulled off a 29.77 on her final 50-meter split to reach the wall first after being fourth for most of the race.

Elijah Winnington won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:47.39 to complete his sweep of the middle distance freestyles.

Breeja Larson won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.78, her fastest time since 2014.

Devon Nowicki surged in the final 50 meters to win the 100-meter breaststroke in 59.69, just 1/10th of a second ahead of Craig Benson.

Amy Bilquist won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.64, the only swimmer in the final to break one minute.

Shaine Casas won the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 52.72, fifth fastest time in the world this year.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Jaeger, Weitzeil Win On Final Day Of U.S. Olympic Trials; Young U.S. Team Now Prepares For Rio

By Sharon Robb

July 3, 2016—The U.S. Olympic swim team, one of the youngest in USA Swimming history, was finalized Sunday night, the eighth and final night of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

The U.S. will have 30 first-time Olympians, two more than the 2012 team, and 15 veterans led by five-time Olympian Michael Phelps, 31, and Katie Ledecky, 19, named Swimmers of the U.S. Olympic Trials Meet. Dave Durden of California was named top coach of the meet and will be an assistant on the Rio coaching staff.

Phelps won the 200-meter individual medley, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter butterfly. Ledecky won the 200, 400 and 800 freestyles.

National team director Frank Busch said this year’s Trials were more surprising because several top name swimmers did not qualify including Natalie Coughlin, Jessica Hardy and Matt Grevers. Plus, Missy Franklin qualified for only two individual races and Ryan Lochte, because of a nagging groin inury, qualified in one individual event.

Many of the times turned in were slower than the 2012 Trials, no world records were broken and only one American record was broken. The average age of the men’s team is 23.9 with Anthony Ervin the oldest at 35. The women’s team averages 22.3 years with Ledecky the youngest.

The U.S. may be hardpressed to repeat its 2012 medal haul of 31 total medals including 18 gold.

“We are going to have to improve for sure,” said U.S. women’s head coach David Marsh of SwimMac. The U.S. team will hold training camps in San Antonio and Atlanta before heading to Rio.

Said U.S. men’s coach Bob Bowman: “I feel like we have seen some guys step up that we haven’t had before and I can’t wait to see them go to the Games and step up again. I feel very good about where we are now, but going forward we are going to have to step up to a new level.”

In Sunday night’s finals:

1500-meter freestyle:

As expected, top-seed American record holder Connor Jaeger won in 14:47.61, fourth fastest time in the world this year. Jaeger also won the 400 freestyle. Jordan Wilimovsky, already on the team in the open water 10K, was second with a personal best 14:49.19. No one was close in the chase pack, more than a half-lap behind the leaders.

50-meter freestyle:

In a 1-2 repeat of the 100-meter freestyle finals, first-time Olympian and top seed Abbey Weitzeil swept the sprint events by winning the 50 in a best time 24.28. It was the second fastest American textile time for the second time in a row. Simone Manuel of Stanford out-touched Madison Kennedy for second in 24.33. Kennedy missed making the team by 15/100ths of a second.

“I am super excited, I have been working hard for this,” Weitzeil said.

“I was pretty nervous,” Manuel said. “Just making the team is a great accomplishment.”



50-meter freestyle: 1. Abbey Weitzeil, Canyon Swimming 24.28, 2. Simone Manuel, Stanford 24.33, 3. Madison Kennedy, SwimMAC 24.48; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 19. Marta Ciesla, Pine Crest Swimming 25.59, 25. Harper Bruens, Boca Raton/Tennessee 25.70, 75. Megan Moroney, Cavaliers 26.21, 145. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 26.70.


1500-meter freestyle: 1. Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 14:47.61, 2. Jordan Wilimovsky, TSM 14:49.19, 3. Michael McBroom, TWST 15:06.60; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 53. Blake Manganiello, AquaKids Sharks 15:46.77, 65. Joey Pedraza, Race 15:52.42.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Phelps Wins Final Race On American Soil On Day Seven Of U.S. Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb

July 2, 2016—Making his final appearance on American soil, Michael Phelps made a lasting impression Saturday night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

The five-time Olympian, fourth at the turn, had a strong underwater kick to blast past the field to win the 100-meter butterfly in 51.00. First-time Olympian Tom Shields of Cal Aquatics was second in 51.20.

After the medal awards ceremony, Phelps walked slowly off the pool deck looking into the crowd, soaking it all in for one last time.

“No way I was losing my last race on American soil,” said the world record holder and three-time Olympic gold medalist in the event. Phelps, 31, has been on the U.S. national team for 16 years.

Phelps was seeded sixth going into the race and was in Lane 7 for the first time in his career.

“I wanted my last race to be a win, this was my last swim ever on American soil,” Phelps said. “It was a special night, 51.00 gets the job done. In the last 25 meters I was trying to really dig with my legs.

“I knew I would be back in it the last 25. My wall wasn’t great, but I got the job done. That was the first time I ever swam in Lane 7, it was a weird feeling.

“I have some work to do at home if I want to be at the top of the podium in Rio. It’s going to be challenging. I have to improve some of the things I did here, but just to have the opportunity to compete in my fifth Olympics is another dream come true.”

In Saturday night’s finals:

Women’s 200-meter backstroke:

Maya DiRado of Stanford earned her third Olympic berth winning the event in a best time 2:06.90, fourth fastest time in the world this year. DiRado led from wire-to-wire. Defending Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin fought hard to get into her second individual Olympic event breaking open a close race to finish second in 2:07.89. Franklin was fourth after 100 meters but pulled away for the chance to defend her Olympic gold.

“I don’t know how I got my best time,” DiRado said. “It’s a lot of backstroke training. To do that after seven days of racing and emotional racing at that, I am really happy.”

Said Franklin: “This means so much to make it. I was a little timid tonight after what happened in the 100, I was so devastated. Tonight I kept fighting with everything I had left. To have another shot is the best feeling in the world.”

Women’s 800-meter freestyle:

Katie Ledecky, 19, of Nation’s Capital, qualified for her third Olympic event effortlessly, winning in a national championship meet record in 8:10.32. Leah Smith of Cavaliers Swimming was second in a best time 8:20.18.

“I wanted to put together a smart race and swim as fast as I could,” Ledecky said. “I didn’t quite have the leg strength to bring it in. I just focused on my own race, maintained my rhythm and tempo and put together a solid race.”

Men’s 50-meter freestyle:

Racing side-by-side, Nathan Adrian and Anthony Ervin finished one-two in the sprint. Adrian won the 21.51 to sweep the sprint events. Ervin, 35, already a member of the U.S. men’s relay, qualified for his first individual event in 21.52. Ervin was away from the sport for ten years.

“It means a lot to get to be there with my buddy and training partner,” Adrian said. “We both have a chance to win two medals for Team USA.”

Said Ervin, “I am happy to be hanging with the young ones.”

Cullen Jones was out-touched by 23/100ths of a second and failed to make the team. Bolles alum Caeleb Dressel was fourth in 21.80.

In the men’s 1500-meter freestyle prelims, Club Wolverines Connor Jaeger led from the start to become the only swimmer under the 15-minute mark. The American record holder qualified in 14:58.59. Jordan Wilimovsky, already on the U.S. team in open water, qualified second in 15:05.89.

In the women’s 50-meter freestyle semifinal: Abbey Weitzeil of Canyon Aquatics and Madison Kennedy of SwimMAC are the top two qualifiers for tonight’s final in 24.34 and 24.39.

So far, there are 25 first-timers on the U.S. men’s and women’s Olympic swim teams.

Sunday’s closing events are: women’s 50-meter freestyle and men’s 1500-meter freestyle. NBCSN is broadcasting tonight’s finals at 8 p.m. EST.



200-meter backstroke: 1. Maya DiRado, Stanford 2:06.90, 2. Missy Franklin, STARS 2:07.89, 3. Lisa Bratton, Texas A&M 2:08.20; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 10. Clara Smiddy, AquaKids Sharks/Michigan 2:10.74, 15. Tasija Karosas, Texas 2:12.42, 25. Megan Moroney, Cavaliers 2:13.12.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Nation’s Capital 8:10.32, 2. Leah Smith, Cavaliers 8:20.18, 3. Stephanie Peacock, Mission Viejo 8:24.71.


100-meter butterfly: 1. Michael Phelps, North Baltimore 51.00, 2. Tom Shields, Cal Aquatics 51.20, 3. Seth Stubblefield, Cal Aquatics 51.24; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 61. William Pisani, Lake Lytal/Seminoles 54.56.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Nathan Adrian, Cal Aquatics 21.51, 2. Anthony Ervin, Unattached 21.52, 3. Cullen Jones, SwimMAC 21.75; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 44. Jason McCormick, Boca Raton/Seminoles 23.02; 127. Gage Kohner, NU 23.57, 158. Michael Saco, Miami Swimming 24.01.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Bolles Alum Murphy Wins; SOFLO’S Aukerman, Donahue Swim Second Events Wednesday At U.S. Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb

June 28, 2016—Jacksonville-born Ryan Murphy, one of the sport’s rising young stars, has been dreaming about this moment since he was four years old.

The Bolles alum made his first U.S. Olympic team Tuesday night winning the 100-meter backstroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials in front of a packed house at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

Murphy, who turns 21 on July 2nd, is one of 10 first-timers to make the U.S. Olympic team the first three days of the Trials.

Murphy won a tight race in a lifetime-best 52.26, fastest time in the world this year. David Plummer, 30, a father of two, was second in 52.28. Defending Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers, 30, was third in 52.76 and failed to qualify.

“This is a dream come true,” Murphy said. “I started swimming at the age of 4 when this was a dream. To see it come to fruition 16 years later, I don’t know what to say right now. It was my night tonight.”

Murphy and Grevers were under world record pace for the first 50 meters. Plummer put in a late surge down the stretch and caught Grevers.

“This is just unbelievable, I am pretty speechless,” Murphy said. “It hasn’t kicked in yet. Matt Grevers paved the way for me and has been a huge inspiration.”

Plummer, who missed making the 2012 team by 12/100ths of a second, had one chance to make the team since the 100 backstroke was his only event.

“This means everything, it means so much,” Plummer said. “This is the culmination to a long and great career.”

South Florida Aquatic Club teenager Kathleen Golding made her final appearance at the meet in her second event. Golding, 15, one of the youngest in the field, competed in the 200-meter individual medley prelims and finished in 2:19.65.

SOFLO teammates Claire Donahue and Kile Aukerman compete in their second events on Wednesday. Donahue has the 200-meter butterfly and Aukerman swims the 200-meter breaststroke.

In other finals:


In the closest race of the meet so far, Townley Haas, 19, of Nova Aquatics, out-touched Conor Dwyer to win in 1:45.66. Dwyer of Trojan Swim Club, who had already made the team in the 400, was second in 1:45.67. Jack Conger was third in 1:45.77 and Ryan Lochte was fourth 1:46.62. The top four make the team for relays. Less than a second separated the top eight. “It’s still kind of a shock to me,” Haas said. “This is unbelievable. I’m not sure how I feel yet.”


Olivia Smoliga of Athens Bulldogs left Natalie Coughlin, the most decorated Olympic swimmer of all time, and defending Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, in her dust as she won big in 59.02 to make her first U.S. Olympic team. Kathleen Baker, who led at the 50, touched second in 59.29. Clara Smiddy of Michigan, a Florida Gold Coast swimmer with AquaKids Sharks, was sixth in 1:00.12. Franklin finished seventh in 1:00.24 and Coughlin, 12 years older than anyone in the field, was eighth in 1:00.48. “When the Olympics are on the line, it is so hard to stay calm,” said Smoliga, who was fourth at Trials four years ago. “This is so amazing.”


NCAA Swimmer of the Year and short course American record holder Lily King, 19, won in 1:05.20, the fastest time in the world for the last two years. “I am really excited about that time at this stage,” Smoliga said. SwimMac’s Katie Meili was second in 1:06.07. “I am so grateful to so many people who supported me along the way of this journey,” Meili said.

In the 200-meter butterfly semifinals, Michael Phelps, 30, led from start to finish to set himself up nicely for finals. The event’s two-time Olympic gold medalist finished in 1:55.17, sixth fastest time in the world this year. “It was a swim to get in tomorrow’s final,” Phelps said. “I was looking to go faster but that’s how I am, I always want to be better.”

In other semifinals, Maya DiRado was top seed in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.09 and Katie Ledecky is top seed in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.10. Her 100 split was 56.73.

Wednesday’s events are: men’s 100-meter prelim and semifinal; women’s 200-meter prelim and semifinal butterfly; men’s 200-meter prelim and semifinal breaststroke; women’s 200-meter freestyle final; men’s 200-meter butterfly final and women’s 200-meter individual medley.

NBC is broadcasting finals every night at 8 p.m. EST. USA swimming is live streaming prelims and finals at



100-meter backstroke: 1. Olivia Smoliga, Athens Bulldogs 59.02, 2. Kathleen Baker, SwimMAC 59.29, 3. Amy Bilquist, CAL Aquatics 59.37; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 6. Clara Smiddy 1:00.12, 11. Tasija Karosas, Texas 1:00.79, 24. Megan Moroney, Cavaliers 1:01.80.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, Indiana 1:05.20, 2. Katie Meili, SwimMAC 1:06.07, 3. Molly Hannis, Tennessee Aquatics 1:06.65; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 41. Emily Kopas, Michigan/Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:10.17.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Townley Haas, Nova Aquatics 1:45.66, 2. Conor Dwyer, Trojan Swim Club 1:45.67, 3. Jack Conger, NCA 1:45.77.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Ryan Murphy, Cal Aquatics 52.26, 2. David Plummer, NYAC 52.28, 3. Matt Grevers, Tucson Ford 52.76; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 27. Brandon Goldman, LSU 55.89.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Donahue Comes Up Short At U.S. Olympic Trials; SOFLO’s Golding Competes In Second Event On Tuesday

By Sharon Robb

June 27, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Claire Donahue gave it all she had but fell short in her first attempt at making her second Olympic team Monday night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials.

Swimming in Lane One, Donahue went out fast with the field in the opening 50 meters but was unable to maintain her sprinter speed in the back half of the race.

Donahue, 27, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist making her third Trials appearance, finished fifth in 58.81 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb. Her prelim time was 59.61 and semifinal time was 58.76.

Donahue has another shot when she competes in the opening round of the 200-meter butterfly on Wednesday morning.

Former University of Miami swimmer Kelsi Worrell, who transferred to University of Louisville, won the 100 butterfly and became the Cardinals’ first American Olympian in the program’s history.

Worrell, the American short course record holder, won in a lifetime-best 56.48, bettering her previous best by 4/10ths of a second. It was the second fastest time in the world this year and fifth-fastest all-time.

Vollmer, 28, defending Olympic gold medalist, American record holder, and new mother, was second in 57.21.

Vollmer and Worrell were one-two at the turn, but Worrell had a great turn off the wall and blew past Vollmer down the stretch. Even more amazing is Worrell, the oldest of six siblings, was 37th in 2012.

“This is a dream come true,” Worrell said. “I am in shock for sure. I was not expecting that to happen.”


With the crowd on its’ feet, Katie Ledecky, 19, on world record pace for most of the race, fell short of breaking her own record but won the race and trip to Rio. Ledecky finished in 3:58.98 and Leah Smith was second in a best time 4:00.65, dropping two seconds.

“My coach just told me to go, just race, get up there and go,” Ledecky said. “I couldn’t be happier, I am so happy for Leah. We are going to crush it in Rio.”

Among Ledecky’s incredible credentials is the fact she is 15-for-15 in races for gold medals.


The lights flickered and dimmed as the swimmers took off, but it didn’t seem to bother Kevin Cordes and Cody Miller, two more first-time Olympians. Cordes, who has been working with legendary coach Sergio Lopez in Singapore and training trip at South Florida Aquatic Club, won in 59.18. Miller was second in 59.26.

“I can’t believe it happened, I am so thankful,” Cordes said. “This is a dream come true. I have been working at it for a long time.”

Also in the breaststroke final, teenager Michael Andrew again lowered his national age group and world junior record with a fourth place finish in 59.82.

In the 200-meter freestyle semifinals, Ryan Lochte was third behind Connor Dwyer and Clark Smith in his heat and earned the fifth seed overall in 1:47.58.

Lochte, who missed a berth in the 400 IM on Sunday, had some incredible underwaters to compensate for a pulled groin which he had a pain shot for before he raced.

Dwyer, who is already on the team in the 400 freestyle, earned the top seed in 1:46.96. Jack Conger is the second seed in 1:47.15.

American short course record holder Lilly King earned the top seed for tonight’s 100-meter breaststroke final in 1:05.94. 2012 Olympian Breeja Larson was ninth in 1:07.62 and missed the final.

In the men’s 100-meter backstroke, David Plummer is the top seed for tonight’s final in 52.12, the fastest time in the world this year. Lochte won his semifinal race in 52.28 and is seeded second.

Olivia Smoglia is the No. 1 seed in the 100-meter backstroke in a best time 59.16. Michigan’s Clara Smiddy, longtime Florida Gold Coast swimmer for AquaKids Sharks, is fifth seed in 1:00.11 ahead of Olympic backstroke gold medalist Missy Franklin, seventh in 1:00.45 and 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin in 1:00.46. Former St. Andrew’s swimmer Tasija Karosas missed making finals, placing tenth in 1:00.79. “I didn’t expect to make semis let alone finals,” Smiddy said. “I just wanted to come in and go best times, enjoy the moment and have fun.”

SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding will compete in the 200-meter individual medley prelims on Tuesday, her second event of the Trials.

Tuesday’s events are women’s 200-meter freestyle prelim and semifinal; men’s 200-meter butterfly prelim and semifinal; women’s 200-meter individual medley prelims and semifinal; men’s 200-meter freestyle final; men’s 100-meter backstroke final; and women’s 100-meter breaststroke final.

NBC is broadcasting finals every night at 8 p.m. EST. USA swimming is live streaming prelims and finals at



100-meter butterfly: 1. Kelsi Worrell, Louisville 56.48, 2. Dana Vollmer, Cal Aquatics 57.21, 3. Kendyl Stewart, NCA 58.22; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 6. Claire Donahue, SOFLO 58.81, 35. Harper Bruens, Tenn/BRSC 1:00.28; 54. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest Swimming 1:00.78, 78. Angela Algee, Hurricanes Swimming 1:01.22

400-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Nation’s Capital 3:58.98, 2. Leah Smith, Cavaliers 4:00.65, 3. Cierra Runge, North Baltimore 4:07.04; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 47. Megan Moroney, CAV/St. Andrew’s 4:16.91, 95. Niki Urquidi, Gulliver 4:24.57, 98. Casey Francis, PSU/Pine Crest 4:26.20.


100-meter breaststroke: 1. Kevin Cordes, Foxcatcher 59.18, 2. Cody Miller, Badger 59.26, 3. Josh Prenot, Cal Aquatics 59.81; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 10. Alex Evdokimov, CSSC 1:01.14/12. 1:01.14; 61. Kile Aukerman, SOFLO 1:03.00, best time.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Donahue Makes Final; Aukerman Swims Best Time On Day One Of U.S. Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb

June 26, 2016—On an electrifying opening night at the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Claire Donahue kept her Olympic hopes alive.

Donahue, 27, making her third Trials appearance, advanced into Monday’s final of the 100-meter butterfly Sunday at CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Neb.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist advanced through a nervewracking prelim in 59.61 and much-improved semifinal in 58.76 for the seventh fastest seed in finals.

Four years ago, Donahue was in the same position and ended up qualifying for the team.

“It’s a huge relief to make final,” said Donahue, while soaking in an ice bath. “When you touch the wall, you don’t know because there are two different heats. I was waiting and waiting and feeling the pressure and then found out I was in.”

In morning prelims, Donahue shook off a few pre-race jitters.

“You try to prepare yourself as much as you can but there’s still some nervous energy left there,” Donahue said. “For me I am trying not to get swept up into it. I want to stay calm and relaxed going into finals. I am excited for the race. I know there is a lot on the line.

“I knew there would be about five people right there, I’m not surprised there are more,” Donahue said. “At Trials anything can happen and anything does happen.”

Donahue will also compete in the 200-meter butterfly on Wednesday.

SOFLO teammate Kile Aukerman, making his Trials debut in three events, finished third in his 100-meter breaststroke heat in a lifetime-best time 1:03.00. Aukerman has the 200 breaststroke on Wednesday and 200-meter individual medley on Thursday.

“It feels great, I was looking to go right around three low and maybe even a two high so what I did was pretty good,” Aukerman said.

SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding, 15, of Cooper City High School, one of the youngest swimmers at Trials, finished the 400-meter individual medley in 4:56.96 for sixth place in her heat. Golding also has the 200 IM on Tuesday.

“I didn’t do as well as I wanted to,” Golding said. “Just being here is great. I am here to have fun and see all these great people race and see how it’s done so hopefully next time I can try and make the team. This is the nicest pool I ever swam at. It’s amazing.”

Kevin Cordes, who has been training in Singapore with veteran coach Sergio Lopez and more recently at SOFLO during a training trip in Pembroke Pines, earned the top seed in the 100-meter breaststroke semifinals in an American record time of 58.94.

During morning prelims, Michael Andrew, 17, became the youngest sub-minute breaststroker in U.S. history. Andrew broke his own 17-18 national age group record in 59.96 bettering his previous mark of 1:00.37. He had the fifth fastest time going into semifinals and moved into fourth after semis. “I am blown away going under a minute for the first time,” Andrew said. “It makes me feel world-class because this is legit now.”

In a sign that the guard is changing in swimming, the first six members of the U.S. Olympic team were decided in the men’s and women’s 400-meter individual medley and men’s 400-meter freestyle.

WOMEN’S 400-METER INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Maya DiRado, 23, of Stanford qualified for her first Olympic team winning in 4:33.73, fifth-fastest time in the world this season. Florida alum Elizabeth Beisel earned the second spot in 4:36.81 to make her third Olympic team. DiRado pulled away from the field after the breaststroke leg. DiRado, who nearly quit the sport, was emotional after making the team. “This is a dream,” she said. “I turned at the 300 and thought I can’t believe this is happening. Am I in the middle of my nap? This is an unbelievable feeling. I am so overjoyed. I don’t know what life I am living, but it’s amazing.” Beisel looked relieved after clinching a spot. “It’s harder the third time around,” Beisel said. “It’s such an honor to make my third team. We are going to do awesome in Rio.”

MEN’S 400-METER INDIVIDUAL MEDLEY: Chase Kalisz of North Baltimore and Jay Litherland of Dynamo made their first Olympic team as early leader and injured Ryan Lochte faded to third. “Honestly, the whole thing went by so fast, I feel like I am in a different reality right now,” said Kalisz, who was hugged by longtime friend and training mate Michael Phelps after he got out of the pool.

For the first time since the 2000 Olympics, Lochte will not be competing in the 400 IM. Kalisz won in 4:09.54 and Litherland was second in 4:11.02. Lochte finished in 4:12.02. Lochte took it out fast in the butterfly and backstroke distancing himself from the field by a body length. Kalisz started to reel him in on the breaststroke leg and passed him at the 100-mark. Kalisz pulled away on the freestyle and Litherland caught Lochte down the final stretch.

Lochte, 31, and defending 400 IM Olympic gold medalist, swam finals despite pulling a groin muscle in morning prelims. “I did everything I could in that race,” Lochte said. “It just wasn’t enough. I thought about scratching, but it’s the Olympic Trials.” Lochte has five more opportunities to make the team.

MEN’S 400-METER FREESTYLE: Connor Jaeger of Club Wolverine, trailing after the first 200 and thinking he was out of it, pulled away for the win in 3:43.79. Florida alum Connor Dwyer of Trojan Swim Club was second in 3:44.66.



400-meter individual medley: 1. Maya DiRado, Stanford 4:33.73, 2. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF 4:36.81; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 41. Rachel Bradford-Feldman, St. Andrew’s 4:53.33, 57. Kelly Fertel, Gulliver 4:55.50, 72. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:56.96.


400-meter individual medley: 1. Chase Kalisz, North Baltimore 4:09.54, 2. Jay Litherland, Dynamo 4:11.03; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 33. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 4:26.65, 40. Sam Smiddy, AquaKids Sharks 4:27.51.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 3:43.79, 2. Conor Dwyer, Trojan Swim Club 3:44.66; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 53. Blake Manganiello, AquaKids Sharks 3:58.85.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Aukerman Gets Second Trials Cut; Donahue, Atkinson, Murillo-Valdes Win

By Sharon Robb

June 4, 2016—For the second day in a row, Kile Aukerman of South Florida Aquatic Club got his second U.S. Olympic Trials cut at the Tennessee Aquatics June Invitational.

After making his 200-meter breaststroke cut on Friday in 2:17.96, Aukerman, 23, came back and got his second cut in the 100-meter breaststroke in a lifetime-best 1:03.38. The cut time is 1:03.69.

Aukerman finished fourth in the event while teammate Jorge Murillo Valdes, 24, won his second event in 1:01.71. Murillo Valdes has already qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games for Colombia.

In other SOFLO swims:

SOFLO finished one-two in the women’s 100-meter butterfly. Claire Donahue, 27, won the event in 59.06 just ahead of teammate Amanda Kendall, 25, in 59.94.

Alia Atkinson, 27, already qualified for her fourth Olympic appearance for Jamaica, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.48.

SOFLO’s U.S. Olympic hopeful and former world champion Megan Romano, 25, was second in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:01.22 behind Elizabeth Beisel in 2:00.74.

The three-day meet concludes Sunday at the University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville. The meet features both elite and age group swimmers.

Prelims are 8:30 a.m. and finals are 5 p.m. on Sunday.



100-meter butterfly:

1. Claire Donahue, SOFLO 59.06, 2. Amanda Kendall, SOFLO 59.94, 3. Madeline Banic, Unattached 1:00.99; SOFLO: 19. Cataline Mendieta 1:04.60.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:06.48, 2. Molly Hannis, TNAQ 1:07.72, 3. Jenny Wilson, GSC 1:10.70; SOFLO: 8. Ksen Golovkina 1:14.20, 10. Monica Alvarez 1:15.31.

200-meter freestyle:

1. Elizabeth Beisel, ABF 2:00.74, 2. Megan Romano, SOFLO 2:01.22, 3. Erica Laning, TNAQ 2:02.16; SOFLO: 8. Alia Atkinson 2:08.94.

400-meter individual medley:

1. Emma Barksdale, DART 4:51.17, 2. Hannah Kastigar, ASC 4:53.00, 3. Sonia Wang, HARV 4:55.51.


100-meter butterfly:

1. Bryce Bohman, CM 53.80, 2. Luis Martinez, AU 54.04, 3. Tyler Mills, Unattached 54.35; SOFLO: 20. Alejandro Zambrano 59.18, best time.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO 1:01.71, 2. Brad Craig, TNAQ 1:02.80, 3. Michael Duderstadt, AU 1:02.98; SOFLO: 4. Kile Aukerman 1:03.38, best time, Trials cut, 17. Santiago Rivera 1:07.99, best time.

200-meter freestyle:

1. Caeleb Dressel, Bolles 1:48.39, 2. True Sweetser, GSC 1:51.71, 3. Trey Freeman, BAY 1:52.51.

400-meter individual medley:

1. Sebastian Rousseau, GSC 4:21.94, 2. Sam McHugh, BAY 4:23.68, 3. Charlie Swanson, NOVA 4:27.77.

Sharon Robb can be reached at