Caeleb Dressel, Bobby Finke, Hali Flickinger, Nic Fink Win Spots On U.S. Team; Josh Zuchowski Top FGC Finisher On Day Five Of Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 17, 2021—Caeleb Dressel of the Gator Swim Club, the next big Olympic star in men’s swimming, qualified for his second Olympics Thursday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials at CHI Health Center.

Dressel, 24, a Clay High School and Bolles Club alum won the glamour event 100-meter freestyle in a U.S. Open and pool record 47.39, second fastest time in the world this year. He was .60 off the blocks and 22.46 after the opening 50 meters.

Dressel, a two time world champion and Olympic gold medalist, is setting himself up nicely for the Tokyo Olympics where he could potentially win seven medals in one Olympics following in the footsteps of Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi.

“It’s a huge weight off my shoulders,” Dressel said. “I’m excited to get the job done and move forward. It certainly doesn’t get any easier. That hurt real bad but I’m happy with it. My goal was to get my hand on the wall first here so I got the job done.

“You can’t win five, six or seven medals if you don’t qualify for the events. I’m focused on qualifying right now.”

A giant picture of Dressel is on the outside of the downtown arena where the trials are being held.

“All the fluff that comes with it, your name on the building, is cool,” Dressel said. “But it adds a little bit different pressure to it.”

Joining Dressel on the 4×100 relay will be Zach Apple of Mission Viejo, who finished second in 47.72, Blake Pieroni third in 48.16 and newcomer Brooks Curry, 20, of LSU Tigers in 48.19. The top four automatically qualify for the relay.

In the new Olympic men’s event 800-meter freestyle, Bobby Finke, 21, of Clearwater left no doubt controlling the race and winning in 7:48.22 to make his first Olympic team. Michael Brinegar, 21, whose mom Jennifer made the Olympic team 45 years ago, competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, came on in the last 50 to surge ahead of Ross Dant to finish second in 7:49.94.

“I don’t even know how this feels to be an Olympian, I can’t come to terms with it yet,” Finke said. “I am so thankful for my friends and my family. This distance is a sprint and I don’t like sprints. It is what it is and it’s part of the program now.”

In a close men’s 200-meter breaststroke, Nic Fink, 27, of Athens Bulldogs won in a best time 2:07.55. Fink has been 17th and seventh in his last two Olympic Trials. Club teammate Andrew Wilson was second in 2:08.32.

“It’s something I can’t really describe,” Fink said. “Relief is only the beginning of what I’m feeling right now. It’s a long journey to come here. This is such an incredible meet with high ups and low downs. I’ve had so much support and help. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and to come back after getting third in the 100.”

In the women’s 200-meter butterfly, world silver medalist Hali Flickinger, 26, won in a best time 2:05.85, a U.S. Open and pool record. She turned on the jets and went 33.1 in the final stretch. She’s joined on the Olympic team by 19-year-old Regan Smith, already on the team in the 100 backstroke. They are the second and fourth fastest times in the world this year.

“I was just having so much fun,” Flickinger said. “Regan and I race each other all the time. It’s always fun to be there with her. We had a race plan in mind and all I wanted to do was execute it for him (her coach Bob Bowman).”

In one of the biggest surprises of the Trials, defending Olympic and world champion Simone Manuel failed to make it out of the 100-meter freestyle semifinals, the event she won a gold medal in at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Manuel was out of the pool for three weeks in April for various reasons including the Black Life Matters movement and pandemic. She finished in 54.17 for ninth, 2/100ths of a second from the finals. Manuel has one more chance to qualify in the 50.

World record holder Ryan Lochte, 36, looking to make his fifth Olympics team, was second fastest qualifier in the 200-meter individual medley in 1:58.48 behind Michael Andrew in 1:56.25 in prelims. He was third in his semifinal heat in 1:58.65 and qualified sixth for Friday’s final. Lochte scratched from the 200-meter backstroke to focus on the 200 IM.

“I know I have a faster swim in me 100 percent,” Lochte said after his semifinal race. “There’s no such thing as perfect races. There’s a lot I have to improve on, especially that race. That was just not a good one. I messed up in a lot of places. I’ll be better.”

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of FAST swims was 24th in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.53, off his qualifying time of 2:00.76.

Erika Pelaez, 14, of Eagle Aquatics was 38th in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.19, off her best of 55.51. She has the 50 freestyle left to swim.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming swims Friday in the 200 backstroke.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Friday’s events are: (Morning Session), women’s 800 freestyle prelims, men’s 100 butterfly prelims, women’s 200 backstroke prelims; (Evening session) women’s 200 breaststroke final, men’s 200 backstroke final, women’s 200 backstroke semifinal, men’s 200 IM final, women’s 100 freestyle final, men’s 100 butterfly semifinal.

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, today through June 19, 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, today through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.


200-meter butterfly: 1. Hali Flickinger, Sun Devils 2:05.85, 2. Regan Smith, RIPT 2:06.99, 3. Charlotte Hook, TAC Titans 2:07.92.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, St. Petersburg Aquatics 7:48.22, 2. Michael Brinegar, Mission Viejo 7:49.94, 3. Ross Dant, N.C. State 7:50.66.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Nic Fink, Athens Bulldogs 2:07.55, 2. Andrew Wilson, Athens Bulldogs 2:08.32, 3. Will Lincon, Texas Longhorns 2:08.50.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Gator Swim Club 47.39, 2. Zach Apple, MVN 47.72, 3. Blake Pieroni, SAND 48.16.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Katie Ledecky Wins Historic Double; Alex Evdokimov Top FGC Finisher On Day Four Of Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 16, 2021—The bell lap never sounded so good to Katie Ledecky who made history Wednesday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials at CHI Health Center.

In front of a standing ovation, Ledecky, 24, of Nation’s Capital Swim Club, completed a grueling double, first winning the 200-meter freestyle against a stacked field in 1:55.11 and finishing the night with another win, this time in the newest Olympic women’s event 1,500-meter freestyle in a pool record 15:40.50, bettering her previous pool record of 15:43.10 set in prelims.

Twenty nine minutes after winning the 200, she was on the podium getting her medal and 67 minutes later she was on the blocks for the 1,500.

“It went well,” Ledecky said. “It was good I had the morning off to rest up and take care of business tonight. I told our heat in there we were making history tonight. I think we were all just so fired up that we finally got this chance.”

Three-time Olympic champion and former four-time world record holder Debbie Meyer texted Ledecky the night before her races. Meyer was the first woman to win the 800-meter freestyle when it became an Olympic event at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City.

“She was saying how cool it was for her when she was the first one to win the 800,” Ledecky said. “She said it was so cool to look back at the event to see she was the first. I just tried to cherish the moment. The 1,500 has been a long time coming. I’m so glad we are finally here.”

Erica Sullivan, 21, of Sandpipers of Nevada held off clubmate Katie Grimes to finish second in 15:51.18 to make her first Olympic team.

Ledecky won the first final of the night, the 200-meter freestyle in 1:55.11. Allison Schmitt, 31, of Sun Devil Swimming made her fourth Olympic team with a second place in 1:56.79. After her swim, Schmitt got a big hug on the pool deck from good friend and former teammate Michael Phelps.

After the first 50 and 100 Ledecky was second behind Schmitt. After the 150, Ledecky put it another gear to lead by almost a second. Schmitt finished 1/100ths of a second ahead of University of Virginia’s Paige Madden.

In her 1500 race, Ledecky went out in 59.22 for the first 100 and by 150 meters she had a full body length lead and went through the 400 at 4:07.77.

The only negative was NBC cutting away for commercials after the 400. Come on NBC, seriously? The coverage resumed at 650-meters and she had extended her lead by three body lengths. She went through 1,000 at 10:25. She was seven seconds and four body lengths ahead with 300 meters to go.

“She is a true competitor, she is so tough,” said U.S. Olympic women’s and Stanford coach Greg Meehan. “She embraces training. She just loves the sport. She loves to swim. She loves being in the water. She loves being with her teammates. Every day she wants to be better.”

In the women’s 200-meter individual medley, a pair of teenagers will be going to Tokyo. Alex Walsh, 19, of Nashville Aquatic Club won by 2/100ths of a second in 2:09.32 and Kate Douglass of University of Virginia was second in 2:09.32. Favorite Madisyn Cox finished 2/100ths of a second out of second.

“I just wanted it so badly,” Walsh said. “I just put my head down. That was the hardest 15 meters. I kept thinking about all my teammates and the hard work I put in this season. I couldn’t believe I touched first. I was so happy and so excited to represent the U.S.”

Zach Harting of the Louisville Cardinals won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in hopes of filling Michael Phelps’ shoes in the event. “Those are pretty big shoes,” Harting said with a smile.

Harting won in 1:55.06 and Gunnar Bentz of Dynamo Swim Club was second in 1:55.34. Harting broke open a tight race and surged in the final meters in a lifetime-best. Harting was emotional after the race and took four bows to the crowd. Bentz threw a kiss to the scoreboard.

“A lot of people work their whole lives. They get told they can have a dream when they’re children and then they’re told that’s not the way it works when they grow up,” Harting said. “For me, ever since I was 7 and started swimming my dream was to represent the U.S. at the Olympics. Not all of us get to turn their dreams into reality. I’m really grateful for that. I worked my butt off every day for that. You can do it. This is dreams coming true.”

Reigning world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel made his Trials debut and had no problem making tonight’s 100-meter freestyle final as the top seed in 47.77. Nathan Adrian, 32, going for his fourth Olympic team came up short placing 13th in 48.92. It was the first time since 2008 he didn’t make the 100. Adrian was coming back from two bouts of testicular cancer. He still has a shot in the 50 freestyle.

Alex Evdokimov, 25, of Pinnacle Racing (VA) and formerly Coral Springs Swim Club, was ninth in the 200-meter breaststroke prelims in a lifetime-best 2:11.54 (previous best was 2:12.10) to advance into the semifinals where he finished fifth in another best time of 2:11.39 swimming in Lane 2. He was second off the blocks in 0.67.

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmers remaining each have one final race.

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of FAST swims Thursday in the 200 backstroke.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming swims Friday in the 200 backstroke.

Erika Pelaez, 14, of Eagle Aquatics swims Saturday in the 50 freestyle.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Thursday’s events are: (Morning Prelims Session), women’s 100 freestyle prelims, men’s 200 backstroke prelims, women’s 200 breaststroke prelims, men’s 200 individual medley prelims; (Evening Session), men’s 800 freestyle final, men’s 200 breaststroke final, women’s 100 freestyle semifinal, men’s 200 backstroke semifinal, women’s 200 butterfly final, men’s 100 freestyle final, women’s 200 breaststroke semifinal, men’s 200 individual medley semifinal.

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, today through June 19, 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, today through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP 1:55.11, 2. Allison Schmitt, SUN 1:56.79, 3. Paige Madden, UVA 1:56.80.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Alex Walsh, NAC 2:09.30, 2. Kate Douglass, UVA 2:09.32, 3. Madisyn Cox, TXLA 2:09.34.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP 15:40.50, 2. Erica Sullivan, SAND 15:51.18, 3. Katie Grimes, SAND 15:52.12.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Zach Harting, CARD 1:55.06, 2. Gunnar Bentz, DYNA 1:55.34, 3. Luca Orlando, DART 1:55.43.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ryan Murphy, Lilly King, Regan Smith, Kieran Smith Punch Their Ticket To Tokyo; SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding Top FGC Finisher On Day Three Of Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 15, 2021—World record holders and defending Olympic champions Ryan Murphy and Lilly King will return to the Olympics while Kieran Smith and Regan Smith make their debut in Tokyo.

Murphy, King and Regan Smith all punched their ticket to Tokyo while Kieran Smith qualified in his second event Tuesday night at CHI Health Center.

Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 25, of Ponte Vedra, Fla. won the men’s 100-meter backstroke in 52.33. Hunter Armstrong, 20, of Ohio State, seventh after the turn, moved up to finish second in 52.48. 2012 Olympic champion Matt Grevers, 36, was sixth in 53.27.

Murphy was first off the blocks (.50) and led wire-to-wire despite a late surge by Armstrong to return and try to defend his title.

“It’s incredible,” Murphy said. “It means so much to make another Olympic team and do it in front of a crowd and my family. Those guys were fast. The U.S. has always had a lot of really good young backstrokers. They seem to come out of nowhere. What an incredible swim for Hunter. It’s nice going into Tokyo knowing we have two really good guys.”

In the strongest event for the American women, Lilly King, 24, out in 30.34, won the women’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.79. King had posted a world-leading 1:04.72 in the semifinals.

Teenager Lydia Jacoby, 17, of Seward, Alaska, fifth at the turn, was a surprise second ahead of Annie Lazor in 1:05.28, second fastest swim in the world this year. Jacoby is the first swimmer from Alaska to make the Olympic swim team. King, Jacoby and Lazor have the top three times in the world this year.

“I think I’ve proven myself over these last five years,” King said. “Now I get to call myself a two-time Olympian so that’s pretty cool. Lydia is awesome. We swim completely different races. I’m glad to have a new partner headed into Tokyo.”

After winning the 400-meter freestyle, Kieran Smith of University of Florida, leading at the halfway mark, won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:45.29. Townley Haas of Nova Aquatics will return to the Olympics after finishing second in 1:45.66. Drew Kibler was third in 1:45.92 and Andrew Seliskar was fourth in 1:46.34 and will make the relay.

“I slept really well last night and I was lucky enough to have the morning off this morning and got some good rest in today,” Smith said. “I tried to put up the best time as possible tonight.”

Former world record holder Regan Smith, 19, won the women’s 100-meter backstroke in 58.35. She was first out in 27.90 and ahead of world record pace but fell off in the final 30 meters. Rhyan White, 21, of Alabama was second in 58.60 ahead of Olivia Smoliga, 26, who was looking to return to the Olympics but finished third in 58.72.

“It started to hurt really bad in the last 25 meters,” Smith said. “I could see girls on both sides of me and I just knew I had to get my hand on that wall as fast as I could. I’m just so happy. That was a lot. It’s very surreal and it hasn’t hit me yet. Maybe it will sink in more later, but I know the 10-year-old me would be so proud. This was her dream.”

In a 400-meter freestyle time trial, Jake Mitchell of Carmel Swim Club swam a best time by more than two seconds in 3:45.86, well under the FINA “A” cut time of 3:46.78 to claim the second spot in the event behind Smith.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, 20, of University of Florida was 20th in the 200-meter individual medley in a lifetime-best 2:14.93. Her previous best was 2:15.48.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming was 45th in the 200 IM in 2:18.59. She has the 200 backstroke remaining on Friday.

Erika Pelaez, 14, of Eagle Aquatics has the 100 freestyle on Thursday and 50 freestyle on Saturday left to swim.

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of FAST has the 200 backstroke left to swim on Thursday.

Alex Evdokimov, 25, of Pinnacle Racing (VA) and formerly Coral Springs Swim Club, has the 200 breaststroke left to swim on Wednesday.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Wednesday’s events are: (Morning Prelims Session), men’s 100 freestyle prelims, women’s 200 butterfly prelims, men’s 200 breaststroke prelims, men’s 800 freestyle prelims; (Evening Session), men’s 100 freestyle semifinal; women’s 200 freestyle final, men’s 200 butterfly final, women’s 200 butterfly semifinal, men’s 200 breaststroke semifinal, women’s 200 individual medley final, women’s 1,500 freestyle final.

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, today through June 19, 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, today through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.


100-meter backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, RIPT 58.35, 2. Rhyan White, BAMA 58.60, 3. Olivia Smoliga, ABSC 58.72.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Lilly King, ISC 1:04.79, 2. Lydia Jacoby, STSC 1:05.28, 3. Annie Lazor, MVN 1:05.60.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Kieran Smith, UF 1:45.29, 2. Townley Haas, NOVA 1:45.66, 3. Drew Kibler, TXLA 1:45.92, 4. Andrew Seliskar, CAL 1:46.34.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Ryan Murphy, CAL 52.33, 2. Hunter Armstrong, OSU 52.48, 3. Shaine Casas, TAMU 52.76.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ledecky, Huske, Andrew Win Spots On Olympic Team; Erika Pelaez Top FGC Finisher On Day Two Of Olympic Trials

By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 14, 2021—Katie Ledecky made her third consecutive Olympic team Monday night in front of an electrifying crowd of 8,000 at CHI Health Center.

The only time Ledecky trailed in the women’s 400-meter freestyle was coming off the blocks in third place. After that it was all Ledecky. By the halfway mark she was more than a full body length ahead with a 1:57.64 split.

Ledecky, 24, went on to win in 4:01.27. Paige Madden of NCAA women’s champion University of Virginia was second in 4:04.86.

“I was in the ready room and I had this moment, it was surreal that we are even here,” Ledecky said referring to the year’s delay because of the pandemic. “It was a great feeling to be here and lock in my spot.

“I thought I was a lot faster so I was a little surprised at the time, again it was my first race here. It’s just good to check the box and hopefully have some good swims the rest of the week.”

While the world record holder will be one of the veterans of the U.S. team, two new fresh teenage faces will compete in the 100-meter butterfly in Tokyo.

Torri Huske, 18, of Arlington Aquatic Club won the butterfly in an American, U.S. Open and course record 55.66, just off the world record of 55.48, set at the 2016 Rio Olympics by Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom. It was the second time in two days Huske lowered the American record. Huske’s swim was the third fastest performance in history and fastest time in the world this year. Huske went out in 25.65.

Claire Curzan, 16, of TAC Titans (N.C.), who scratched from the 100 backstroke heats to rest for the 100 butterfly final, was second in 56.43 and is the youngest on the U.S. team so far. Four months ago she won a state high school title in the same event.

“It was just so exciting,” Huske said. “This is something I wanted. I can’t even explain it with words. I was way more excited to race than I was nervous. This is just so surreal. I feel like it’s more than a dream come true. I can’t believe it’s really happening.”

After unprecedented back-to-back American records in prelims and semifinals, Michael Andrew, 22, of Race Pace Club finally lived up to expectations since he turned pro at age 14, winning the 100-meter breaststroke and landing a spot on his first Olympic team.

Andrew won a close race in 58.73, 1/100th of a second ahead of Andrew Wilson. Andrew led after the first 50 in 26.90 but then it came down to a sprint and touch at the end.

“We did it,” Andrew said. “I didn’t do it alone. I wouldn’t be here without my mom, my dad, my coach, my sister. We have been through a hectic season. To have my team here is a dream come true.”

Andrew is believed to be the first to ever set an American record in both the prelim and semifinal rounds at a U.S. Olympic Trials.

“It’s surreal,” Andrew said about making the team. “It’s one of those things that I have been waiting five years for this moment to come back and get to swim. I am blessed, I don’t deserve it. It’s God’s grace and I’m just so grateful to be here. We worked hard for it. It’s hard to put into words. I’m just so grateful.

Six-time Olympic champion Ryan Lochte, 36, failed to qualify for the semifinals of the 200-meter freestyle. He finishied 25th in 1:49.23. Lochte scratched from the 100 backstroke. His best shot most likely will be the 200 IM later this week.

Erika Pelaez, 14, of Eagle Aquatics was top Florida Gold Coast finisher. She won her heat and finished 23rd overall in the 100 backstroke in a lifetime-best 1:01.36. She moved from 15th to ninth in the 13-14 national age group rankings. She has the 50-and 100 freestyles left to swim. She is one of the youngest swimmers at Trials.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Kathleen Golding, 20, of University of Florida was 35th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:17.51, off her best time of 4:14.38. She has the 200 IM left to swim.

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of FAST, 41st in the 100-meter backstroke in a best time 55.91, bettering his previous best of 55.99. He has the 200 backstroke left to swim.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming has the 200 IM on Tuesday and 200 backstroke remaining and Alex Evdokimov, 25, of Pinnacle Racing (VA) and formerly Coral Springs Swim Club, has the 200 breaststroke left to swim.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Tuesday’s events are: (Morning Prelims Session), Women’s 200 freestyle prelims; men’s 200 butterfly prelims; women’s 200 individual medley prelims; women’s 1,500 freestyle prelims; (Evening Session), Women’s 200 freestyle semifinal; men’s 200 freestyle final; women’s 100 backstroke final; men’s 100 backstroke final; women’s 100 breaststroke final; men’s 200 butterfly semifinal; women’s 200 individual medley semifinal.

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, today through June 19, 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, today through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.


100-meter butterfly: 1. Torri Huske, AAC 55.66, 2. Claire Curzan, TAC 56.43, 3. Kate Douglass, UVA 56.56.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, NCAP 4:01.27, 2. Paige Madden, UVA 4:04.86, 3. Leah Smith, CLCK 4:06.27.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Michael Andrew, RPC-SI 58.73, 2. Andrew Wilson, ABSC 58.74, 3. Nic Fink, ABSC 58.80.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, May 25, 2021–How many swimmers can say their first disqualification in swimming was from their dad?

Sarah Acevedo can make that claim to fame.

It was her second or third meet with South Florida Aquatic Club. She was 9 years old competing in an age group meet in a backstroke event and missed the turn.

“He deeked me,” she said with a laugh. “For a while every time I swam the backstroke I got deeked, but my dad was the first.

“Back then I was a little bit upset with him but now I laugh about it and tell all my friends. I think it’s the funniest thing ever. In the last four years when I got disqualified, he always reminds me he was my first disqualification.”

Eight years later, Acevedo, 17, is one of SOFLO’s top seniors headed this fall to University of Tampa where she plans to major in communications and for the first semester plans to walk on the swim team.

And her dad, Hector Acevedo, is the first USA Swimming official from SOFLO selected to work next month’s U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, Neb.

“He’s missing my graduation for it, but I told him to go,” Acevedo said. “My graduation will probably be live streamed anyway. I think he’s really excited, but he’s holding it in. Everything my parents have done in officiating is definitely not because of me. They do it because they really like it.”

Acevedo played peewee soccer when she was 3. “But my dad said it wasn’t my sport so after that I was in swimming,” she said. “I love being in the water, I can’t do any land sports, I’m not very coordinated.”

She enjoyed horseback riding when she was young and still does junior lifeguard surf rescue contests but swimming is her sport.

Acevedo started swimming with the Cooper City Cyclones where she learned how to swim at age 5. She moved to SOFLO when she was 8.

“Everyone at SOFLO has always been so welcoming throughout the whole eight years that I’ve been there,” Acevedo said. “After the first year when I got to meet everyone and got comfortable, I was super happy. I love SOFLO. It’s like my second home.”

Acevedo said the biggest turning point in her swimming career was “when I moved to SOFLO. It was a lot more competitive, even for 8 and 9-year-olds. Everyone was so focused in all the groups. The coaches gave you goals. My goal was to get a JO cut when I was 10 and I got it. I knew then I could be competitive and keep with the sport for a while.”

Among her best races was the 2019 spring sectionals where she unexpectedly made finals in the 200 butterfly and then dropped four seconds off her best time. At the 2019 Cayman Islands open water event, she was second woman in the mile and second overall in the 3K. “That was my peak, I was like I’m never getting better than this,” she said.

One of her favorite SOFLO memories was her last short course Senior Championships in 2018, when she won the 800 freestyle relay with Molly, Mallory and Kayla. “I don’t think anyone really expected us to,” she said. “It was a super fun environment. Relays are always fun. You always want to do good for your team. It was just a nice memory I had.”

She also enjoyed pushing SOFLO coach Chris Anderson into the pool with her teammates after Senior Championships. “We always managed to get him in,” she said with a laugh.

Acevedo said she will miss “a lot of things” when she leaves SOFLO.

“My friends, Coach Chris and all our coaches, just the environment that we had. We’re all so close, we’re like our own little family.”

Swimming has helped Acevedo with time management outside the pool. “Especially in high school,” she said. “It helped me get my life together, do my homework and go to bed early to wake up at 5 a.m. for practice.”

Acevedo can’t imagine her life without swimming. She was out of the water during the COVID-19 lockdown and also nursed a knee injury in March, 2020.

“I had a little taste of life without swimming and it was really awful,” Acevedo said. “I don’t know where I would be if I wasn’t swimming.”

Acevedo was one of 23 graduating seniors honored last Sunday during Seniors Night in an intimate setting at Academic Village Pool.

“When we all started our freshman year of high school we all thought ahead “wow, we’re all going to stay together and graduate and do the high school experience together. It was really cool. Looking back on it, we all grew up with each other.”

Acevedo will graduate Everglades High School on June 7th.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Sweeps Team Titles; Maddie Smutny Makes U.S. Olympic Trials Cut At Piranhas Senior Invitational

By Sharon Robb
PLANTATION, March 7, 2021—South Florida Aquatic Club swept the combined, women’s and men’s team titles on the fourth and final day of the Piranhas Senior Invitational Sunday at Plantation Aquatic Center.

South Florida Aquatic Club won the combined team title with 3,639.50 points. Phoenix Swimming was runner-up with 2,665 and Azura Florida Aquatics was third with 1,325.50. Only three teams cracked 1,000-points.

SOFLO won the women’s team title with 1,962.50 points. Phoenix Swimming was second with 1,754 and Pine Crest was third with 586.

SOFLO won the men’s team title with 1,473 points. Colorado Stars were second with 901.50 and Azura Florida Aquatics was third with 815.

It was a big night for SOFLO swimmers with four wins, one U.S. Olympic Trials cut and plenty of best times.

Maddie Smutny, 15, made her first U.S. Olympic trials cut in the 200-meter butterfly. She won the event in a best time 2:14.37, dropping 1.38 seconds. She dipped under the first wave cut of 2:14.59. The second wave cut is 2:12.56. Her previous best was 2:15.75. She went 2:20.16 in prelims. Her finals splits were 1:06.08 and 1:08.29.

In the following women’s event, Smutny also swam a best time in the 100-meter freestyle in 59.59, dropping 0.06 from her previous best of 59.65 to win the “B” final and finish ninth overall.

Smutny finished third in high point with 147 points behind Erika Pelaez of Eagle Aquatics with 187 and Alexis Martino of Phoenix Swimming with 147.50.

Other Top 10 high point SOFLO swimmers were Elena Dinehart, 16, sixth with 132.50 and Alia Atkinson, 32, tied for eighth with 128 points.

Jessica Yeager, 19, won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.27, a best time by 2.45 seconds. Her previous best was 2:36.72. She went 2:38.84 in prelims.

Julio Horrego, 22, won the 200-meter breaststroke in a best time 2:18.31. He dropped 0.20 from his previous best of 2:18.51. He went 2:26.31 in prelims. Horrego finished tenth in high point with 96 points.

Juan Mora, 16, was second in the 200-meter breaststroke in a best time 2:20.23, shaving 3.38 seconds off his previous best of 2:23.61. He went 2:23.25 in prelims. Mora finished with 90 points in high point.

Dominic Bono, 17, won the 1,500-meter freestyle in a best time 16:28.94, shaving 13.56 off his previous best of 16:42.50. Bono was also third in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:09.84. Bono finished second in men’s high point with 141 points behind Keegan McKenney of Coastal Maine Aquatics with 151.

SOFLO’s women’s 400-meter freestyle relay team tied Azura Florida Aquatics for second in 4:00.87 with Olivia Dinehart, Mallory Schleicher, Maddie Smutny and Elena Dinehart.

Pine Crest’s Julia Podkoscielny got another Olympic trials cut at the meet, this time in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:14.16.

In the men’s 100-meter freestyle, St. Andrew’s Swimming’s Reese Branzell, 17, knocked off Polish Olympian Marcin Cieslak, 28, of Swim Fort Lauderdale, 50.52-51.22.

SOFLO had 49 (27 male, 22 female) athletes competing in 218 individual events and 12 relays.

In addition to SOFLO and host Plantation Swim Team 30 teams were entered. They were: Azura, Boca Raton Swim Team, Coastal Maine Aquatics, Colorado Stars, Coral Springs Swim Club, Delray Stingers, Eagle Aquatics, FAST, Aruba Giants Aquatics, Hurricane Aquatics, Inspire Swim Team, Metro Aquatics, Midtown Weston, North Palm Beach, PAQ, Phoenix (N.H.) Swimming, Pine Crest, Race (Ky.) Aquatics, Revolution Aquatics, Riptide, St. Andrew’s, Seal Beach (Calif.) Swim Club, Southern Maine Aquatic Club, Swim Fort Lauderdale, SwimFast, Webbs Tornadoes and Wahoos of Wellington.

Under stringent COVID-19 safety protocols, no spectators were allowed on deck. Only coaches, officials, volunteers, staff and athletes were allowed on deck. Those entering the pool deck had to wear masks, maintain six feet in social distancing and have their temperature checked.

: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 3,639.50, 2. Phoenix Swimming 2,665, 3. Azura Florida Aquatics 1,325.50, 4. Colorado Stars 936.50, 5. Plantation Swim Team 726, 6. Metro Aquatics 592, 7. Pine Crest Swimming 586, 8. Webbs Tornadoes 580, 9. Flood Aquatics 529.50, 10. Revolution Aquatics 452.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 1,962.50, 2. Phoenix Swimming 1,754, 3. Pine Crest 586, 4. Webb Tornadoes 491, 5. Azura 382.50, 6. tie, Metro Aquatics, Plantation Swim Team 226, 8. Eagle Aquatics 200, 9. Wellington Wahoos 197, 10. Inspire Swim Team 166.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 1,473, 2. Colorado Stars 901.50, 3. Azura 815, 4. Phoenix Swimming 753, 5. Plantation Swim Team 452, 6. Revolution Aquatics 422, 7. Metro Aquatics 366, 8. FAST 300.50, 9. Eagle Aquatics 217, 10. Coastal Maine 185.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Maddie Smutny, SOFLO 2:14.37, U.S. Olympic Trial cut, 2. Samantha Banos, SEAL 2:19.68, 3. Julimar Avila, AZURA 2:20.78; SOFLO: 7. Sara Quintero 2:31.88.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Erika Pelaez, EA 55.51, 2. Malia Amuan, PHX 58.61, 3. Michaela Chokureva, PHX 59.17; SOFLO: 8. Nathalie Valdman 1:00.24, 9. Maddie Smutny 59.59, 10. Elena Dinehart 1:00.16, 21. Michelle Marinheiro 1:02.65, 23. Nat Gembicki 1:03.41.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Jessica Yeager, SOFLO 2:34.27, 2. Micaela Sierra, AZURA 2:35.06, 3. Destiny Nelson, Unattached 2:25.87; SOFLO: 4. Olivia Dinehart 2:37.29, 9. Molly Golding 2:47.75, 10. Sophia Grubbs 2:48.30, 13. Sabrina Osorio 2:52.31, 14. Sally Golding 2:53.11, 21. Nat Gembicki 3:02.54.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Julia Podkoscielny, PC 2:14.16, 2. Celina Marquez, Unattached 2:17.56, 3. Erika Pelaez, EA 2:17.72; SOFLO: 4. Margaux McDonald 2:19.77, 6. Elena Dinehart 2:22.16, 7. Liza Whitmire 2:23.73, 8. Mallory Schleicher 2:25.26, 15. Lucy Smutny 2:32.88, 22. Alexis Christensen 2:38.17, 24. Sofia Osorio 2:43.67.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Phoenix Swimming 3:55.75 (Megan Reich, Michaela Chokureva, Malia Amuan, Alexis Martino), 2. tie, SOFLO A 4:00.87 (Olivia Dinehart, Mallory Schleicher, Maddie Smutny, Elena Dinehart), 2. Azura 4:00.87 (Julimar, Colleen Furgeson, Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Micaela Sierra).

800-meter freestyle: 1. Megan Reich, PHX 9:10.48, 2. Faith Mutschler, WOW 9:23.83, 3. Paola Gonzalez, MAC 9:33.19; SOFLO: 6. Mariangela Cincotti 10:01.49.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Joey Carbone, SAS 2:02.30, 2. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 2:03.25, 3. Gabriel Araya, AZURA 2:03.87; SOFLO: 12. Enrique Rodriguez 2:14.54, 13. Alejandro Mateus 2:17.68.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Reese Branzell, Unattached 50.52, 2. Marcin Cieslak, SFTL 51.22, 3. Joaquin Vargas, AZURA 51.48; SOFLO: 12. Michael Arias 53.92, 17. Matthew Tarafa 54.80, 18. Juan Colmenares 55.28.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Julio Horrego, SOFLO 2:18.31, 2. Juan Mora, SOFLO 2:20.23, 3. Adriel Sanes, Unattached 2:22.80; SOFLO: 13. Alex Golding 2:36.87, 14. Javier Roman 2:37.42, 20. Adrian Hernandez 2:41.74, 21. Garrett Oliver 2:41.99, 22. Alan Bertea 2:43.85.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Yeziel Morales, AZURA 2:01.51, 2. Patrick Groters, Unattached Giants Aruba 2:07.08, 3. Dominic Bono, SOFLO 2:09.84; SOFLO: 4. Lance Lesage 2:10.70, 10. Leonardo Mateus 2:19.30, 11. Adrian Hernandez 2:20.41, 12. Austin Nelson 2:21.21, 21. Tristan Wilson 2:25.10.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Azura 3:29.47 (Gabriel Araya, Joaquin Vargas, Noah Mascoll-Gomes, Yeziel Morales), 2. Colorado Stars 3:38.17, 3. SOFLO A 3:38.72 (Juan Mora, Michael Arias, Juan Colmenares, Matthew Tarafa), 4. SOFLO B 3:45.89 (Julio Horrego, Adrian Hernandez, Dominic Bono, Alex Golding).

1,500-meter freestyle: 1. Dominic Bono, SOFLO 16:28.94, 2. Hector Paz, MAC 16:47.66, 3. Philip Moldovanu, WOW 16:58.09; SOFLO: 8. Nicholas Chaimowicz 19:25.61.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

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