Aussies Set Relay World Record; Dressel Breaks American Record On Day Five Of 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships

By Sharon Robb

GWANGJU, South Korea, July 25, 2019—Caeleb Dressel held on to defend his 100-meter freestyle and flirted with a 10-year old world record on Day Five of the 18th FINA World Aquatics Championships Thursday at Nambu International Aquatics Centre.

The University of Florida and Bolles Club alum did break the American record by 2/10ths in 46.96, third fastest in history and only man to dip under 47 seconds. He was only 0.05 seconds off the 10-year-old world record of 46.91 set by Brazil’s Cesar Cielo.

“It hurt really bad to be honest,” Dressel said. “You don’t always get that magical feeling every night but you’ve just got to shut the brain off and go.

“It took 100 per cent effort and I had someone right there on my tail for me to race,” Dressel said. “I kind of shut off thinking about the race so that helped a lot and having Kyle (Chalmers) right there.”

It was Dressel’s third gold medal and fourth medal overall.

Dressel’s other golds came in the 50-meter butterfly, a non-Olympic event, and 4×100-meter freestyle relay. He took silver in the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay.

“I know I was just off the world record, but really the goal was just to swim the best race that I could, and if that was the time I got tonight, I was happy,” Dressel said. “I’m going to talk to [Coach Gregg] Troy, and I guarantee you the first thing he’s going to say is what we could have done better.”

After scratching from two events because of illness, five-time Olympic champion Katie Ledecky returned to the pool to help the U.S. win silver in the 4×200-meter freestyle behind Australia’s world record performance of 7:41.50 with Ariarne Titmus, Madison Wilson, Brianna Throssell and Emma McKeon. The previous record was 7:42.08 held by China. It was the first time the Aussies won a world title in the relay event. The U.S. had won three straight world titles.

“I wasn’t thinking about a world record,” McKeon said. “Was it a 2009 record? To break that this year is so exciting. I was hurting a lot but when it comes to a relay you really give it your all. Just touching the wall and seeing the three others celebrate, it made me so excited,” McKeon said.

Ledecky was joined by Katie McLaughlin, Melanie Margalis of St. Petersburg and Simone Manuel and finished in 7:41.87. Canada took the bronze.

Outspoken American Lilly King was disqualified from the 200-meter breaststroke prelims. She won the third heat in 2:24.56 but was disqualified for not touching the wall with both hands at the same time at the first turn of the four-lap race.

The U.S. team filed a formal protest which was denied by FINA’s appeals process and also lost a jury of appeal.

In other finals:

Boglarka Kapas out-touched Americans Hali Flickinger and Katie Drabot to win the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:06.78.

American Olivia Smoliga won the women’s 50-meter backstroke, a non-Olympic event, in 27.33. She won from Lane Two.

Japan’s Daiya Seto won the men’s 200-meter individual medley in 1:56.14, 0.42 seconds ahead of Jeremy Desplanches of Switzerland and 2017 champion Chase Kalisz, ending the Americans’ streak of winning at eight consecutive worlds.

It was the first time a non-American won the event at an Olympics or worlds since 2001, snapping a streak of 12 straight titles among Phelps (seven), Ryan Lochte (four) and Kalisz (one). Kalisz, who swept the IMs at 2017 Worlds, has the 400m IM later this week.

In other news, FINA, the sport’s international governing body, threatened to strip medals and ban swimmers who protest on podiums during the medal ceremonies under a new Code of Conduct provision. Brit Duncan Scott and Aussie Mack Horton failed to acknowledge China’s Sun Yang during two medal ceremonies. Sun is coached by Aussie Denis Cotterell.

Day Six prelims include the men’s 100-yard butterfly, women’s 200-meter backstroke, men’s 50-meter free, women’s 50-meter butterfly, women’s 800-meter freestyle and men’s 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay.

The world championships has brought together a record 2,620 athletes from 194 countries and territories around the world with 76 sets of medals up for grabs in pool swimming, open water swimming, water polo, diving and synchronized swimming.

The meet will be streamed and televised by the Olympic Channel and live timing will be available.

TV Schedule:

Live Results:

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Atkinson Among World Cup Field Racing For Prize Money; Florida Gators Open In South Florida; Poppell, Nesty Make College Head Coaching Debuts

By Sharon Robb

September 27, 2018—After missing the opening cluster, SOFLO’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will join the 2018 FINA World Cup Series for its second cluster Friday through Sunday in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

Both the men’s and women’s fields are larger than the small turnout in Kazan and Doha. The field features 185 swimmers from around the world.

Other swimmers expected to compete are Brazil’s Felipe Lima and Eteine Medeiros, Americans Michael Andrew, Kelsi Worrell Dahlia, Molly Hannis, Melanie Margalis and Kathleen Baker, Mitch Larkin, Mack Horton and Emily Seebohm of Australia, Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, Yulia Efimova of Russia, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte, Japan’s Daiya Seto and South Africa’s Chad Le Clos.

Twelve events will be raced on each of the three days in Eindhoven.

Atkinson will be joined by women’s series leader Sarah Sjostrum of Sweden and men’s leader Anton Chupkov of Russia. Sjostrum earned the maximum points and earned the $50,000 Cluster One bonus after the first two stops of the short course meters series.


After intrasquad and alumni meets the past two weeks, the college dual meet season opens Thursday through Saturday across the nation including South Florida.

University of Florida men’s and women’s teams open their season Thursday at Florida Atlantic in the first meet of the season. The Gators women’s team head further south on Friday to swim University of Miami. The Gators then head to Florida Gulf Coast also on Saturday.

The women’s team begins its first season under head coach Jeff Poppell, former Gulliver Prep head coach and aquatics director. Poppell has been at Florida since 2016 serving as an associate head coach.

The Gators women’s team returns 27 letter winners including All-Americans Sherridon Dressel and Brooke Madden. The Gator men feature 14 freshmen. Anthony Nesty makes his debut as first-year head men’s coach. Nesty has spent the last 20 seasons with the Gators.

Florida International University women’s team heads to University of Miami on Saturday. Florida State is holding an intrasquad meet on Saturday in Tallahassee. Florida Atlantic will host Gardner-Webb and North Florida on Saturday.


Five-time Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, 23, is engaged to fellow swimmer Hayes Johnson. Johnson proposed at Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Georgia. Johnson swam at University of Texas and was a member of the 2010 NCAA champion team. “Thank you for making this the easiest answer to any question I’ve ever been asked,” Franklin posted on Instagram.


South African Olympic medalist Cameron van der Burgh has relocated to London to train for his fifth FINA World Short Course Championship in Hangzhou, China, Dec. 11-16. Burgh said after 30 years in South Africa it was time to start a new journey. He will continue to compete internationally for South Africa…

American Heritage Plantation alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago was awarded the Hummingbird Silver Award from the Amateur Swimming Association of Trinidad and Tobago at this year’s Republic Day National Awards Function. Carter was honored for bringing national attention to the tiny island and for putting aquatics at the forefront. Carter was a silver medalist at the Commonwealth Games and won three gold medals at CAC. He is the first and only swimmer to medal at both the Youth Olympic Games and FINA World Junior Swimming Championships…

The 2020 Olympic Trials date were officially set for June 21-28. The Trials will be hosted by Omaha, Nebraska for the fourth time. The 2020 Olympics will be held in Tokyo five weeks after the Trials. The Trials cuts were announced by USA Swimming during Thursday’s U.S. Aquatic Sports Convention in Jacksonville and they are all faster than the 2016 cuts. The men’s 800 and women’s 1500 freestyle events will make their debut at the 2020 Trials. The 2018 Winter National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. in late November will be the first meet where swimmers can get their Trials cuts.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida’s Caeleb Dressel Wins Three Gold Medals In One Day At FINA World Aquatic Championships

By Sharon Robb

Budapest, Hungary, July 29, 2017—In the span of one hour and 42 minutes, University of Florida’s Caeleb Dressel made history Saturday night at the 17th FINA World Aquatic Championships at Duna Arena.

The former Clay High School and Bolles Club swimmer, became the first man to win three gold medals in a single night and first to win the 100 in both the freestyle and butterfly at worlds.

Dressel, 20, won his fourth, fifth and sixth gold medals in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and 4×100-mixed freestyle relay.

Dressel has already won more gold medals than every other entire national team. Great Britain is second behind him with four golds.

On Sunday, if he wins as a member of the 4×100 medley relay, he will tie Michael Phelps’ all-time record with his seventh gold in a single world championships.

In his first day of the race, Dressel won the 50-meter freestyle in an American record of 21.15. He had the quickest start to top a stacked field of sprinters.

Just 34 minutes later, Dressel won the 100-meter butterfly in 49.86, second fastest on the all-time list and only 4/100ths of a second off Phelps’ world record from 2009.

“Being that close to something feels so good and it was unexpected,” Dressel said. “It is nice to be that close to the record.”

One hour and one awards ceremony later, Dressel finished the night on the winning mixed freestyle relay with Nathan Adrian, Mallory Comerford and Simone Manuel in a world record 3:19.60.

“After the medal ceremony, it is exciting when you have to run to another race,” Dressel said. “It is physically tiring and mentally straining. You gotta take one swim at a time and recover fairly quickly.”

Dressel is the fourth American man to win three individual gold medals at one world championship joining Tim Shaw (1975), Phelps (2003, 2007) and Ryan Lochte (2011).

“There are a lot of young talented guys in USA Swimming,” Dressel said. “Plenty of talent to go around. It is not just all on me.”

Former Bolles swimmer Joseph Schooling of Singapore won his first medal, a bronze in the 100-meter butterfly which he also won at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Schooling tied for third with Great Britain’s James Guy in 50.83.

“It was a fantastic swim, a very close race,” Schooling said. “I feel lucky to have finished third in the end.”

In other races:

American Katie Ledecky won her 14th gold in worlds history in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:12.68, eight seconds slower than her world record.

“I am happy with my gold medals but there is always room for improvement,” Ledecky said. “My time wasn’t as fast as I have been in the past. You take it and it was the end of a long week with lots of ups and downs.”

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrum won the 50-meter butterfly in a championship record of 24.60.

“I know that I swim really well when I have a warm up race before,” Sjostrum said. “I got a really good start and I could feel I was swimming fast. It felt really good.”

American Kelsi Worrell failed to earn a podium spot but she did break the American record in the 50-meter butterfly in 24.48. She finished fourth among a fast women’s field. She broke the record of 25.50 set by American sprinter Dara Torres in 2009, the supersuit era. Worrell is now tied as the ninth fastest swimmer ever.

Aussie Emily Seebom knocked off Hungarian Katinka Hosszu in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:05.68. Hosszu took silver in 2:05.85, her 12th world medal.


After knocking off Serbia to get to the finals, Croatia didn’t waste its opportunity and defeated crowd favorite Hungary, 8-6, in the gold medal final. It was the first time Croatia won the gold medal in ten years since the world championships in Australia. Croatia jumped out to a 4-0 lead but Hungary rallied for a 4-4 tie. Early in the fourth, Croatia regained its advantage, 7-4 and went on to finish with another goal. Hungary goalkeeper Marton Vamos was named championship MVP. It would have been Hungary’s fourth world title in ten finals. Hungary has a record 11 medals overall—three gold,seven silver and one bronze. Also at Alfred Hajos Pool, outgoing world champion Serbia defeated Greece, 11-8, for the bronze medal.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Jessica Rodriguez Signs With University Of Florida

By Sharon Robb

April 7, 2017—Jessica Rodriguez became the first South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer to sign with the University of Florida, one of the nation’s top collegiate women’s programs.

Eight years ago when she joined SOFLO, Rodriguez never dreamed she would be swimming for a Division I program.

The dream came true on Friday when the Hialeah Gardens High School senior officially signed her letter-of-intent in front of family and friends.

Rodriguez, 18, an Academic All-American and junior national qualifier, is the total student-athlete package that Florida coaches were looking to add to their successful program.

She felt comfortable with former Gulliver Prep head coach Jeff Poppell, associate head coach at Florida, who recruited her and good friend Kelly Fertel of Miami and Gulliver Prep alum, who is finishing her freshman season with the Gators.

“I am so excited to go to Florida,” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t plan on even applying to Florida. But after visiting the campus and talking to the coaches and Kelly, I really felt comfortable there. There was just something about the coaches that I thought I would do well with them and knew I would fit in there.”

Rodriguez, an honor roll student, was also excited that Florida offers an undergrad program in veterinary medicine, which she plans to pursue.

“I can flow right into grad school after that,” she said.

Rodriguez is expected to compete in both breaststroke events, individual medley and relays.

For SOFLO, it was another milestone.

While SOFLO has had dozens of swimmers commit to Division I, II and III programs, Florida carries a stature all its own in the swimming world.

Rodriguez has been a role model for young swimmers coming up and will continue to be one as she moves on. She has been a team leader and motivator and helped several swimmers with her positivity and work ethic in training including four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson of Jamaica.

“This is all pretty surreal,” Rodriguez said. “It feels like eight years ago was just yesterday and now I am one of the oldest swimmers going to Florida. It doesn’t feel like it is actually happening.

“I am glad to be a role model to those girls,” Rodriguez added. “When you hit 14 or 15 it gets really hard and you get unmotivated as we grow and struggle at times. I want to encourage them to continue their swimming and careers as collegiate swimmers.”

Rodriguez says she is ready for the rigors of a Division I program. She plans on kicking up her dryland and pool training during the summer with SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson.

“I am up for the challenge,” Rodriguez said confidently. “A year ago when I went through a rough spot, I wasn’t sure whether I would keep swimming. Chris helped me so much last year, and encouraged me through it and really helped me come to terms. I was able to become a better athlete.”

Rodriguez plans to visit her mother’s family in the Canary Islands during spring break before returning to SOFLO. She also wants to look into dual citizenship and would love to represent Spain internationally.

Despite his busy schedule, Anderson attended the signing on Friday morning.

“I am super excited for Jessica,” Anderson said. “She is confident she is going to be very happy and that means the most to me. The fact she has worked so hard on academics the last five years and is an Academic All-American speaks volumes.

“I really feel it is a great place as far as the state of Florida for her,” Anderson said. “She is going to be very challenged but she is already starting to make adjustments to prepare herself for the rigorous workouts at Florida.”

Anderson was impressed with her swims at junior nationals and Futures two years ago, but what sets her apart is her role as a team leader.

“Anyone that’s been on a team for eight years and found a way to get to the national group has leadership skills,” Anderson said. “At Senior Championships, she was motivating the freshmen and sophomores on how to be more successful. She took that role on her own.

“She has a stake in one of Alia’s world records because she motivated her in practice and helped her through those bad days every swimmer has and motivated her to do better things. She will continue that tradition when she moves on to Florida.

“She knows how to work and motivate. When she talks, people listen. I would like to think she will continue to be a role model for our club even when she is gone. It’s really nice to have someone at Florida for our club.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Bolles Caeleb Dressel Wins Speedo Junior National Title On Final Day, Ready To Make A Splash At Florida

Bolles Caeleb Dressel Wins Speedo Junior National Title On Final Day, Ready To Make A Splash At Florida

By Sharon Robb

August 3, 2014—Rising swim star Caeleb Dressel won a junior national title on the fifth and final day of the USA Swimming Speedo Junior National Championships at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex in Irvine, California.

Dressel, 17, of the Bolles School Sharks Swim Club dominated the 50-meter freestyle race from start-to-finish to win in a lifetime-best 22.36, an 0.26 drop.

The University of Florida-bound Dressel is one of the nation’s top sprint prospects coming out of high school and was the top-ranked national recruit. He is the national high school record holder in the 50-yard freestyle in 19.29.

The former Clay High School standout holds seven national age group records including three in the 17-18 age group. Some of those records belonged to Michael Phelps.

Now he is ready for the next level at Florida.

“What a great way to finish our individual events,” Bolles coach Sergio Lopez wrote on his Facebook page.

In the 400-meter medley relay, Bolles relay of team of Dakota Mahaffey, James Daugherty, Ariel Spektor and Tyler Rice broke the 15-16 Florida swimming record in 3:50.09 and finished eighth in the final event of the meet.

Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics swept the combined (305 points) and men’s (191) team titles. Carmel Swim Club won the women’s team title with 290 points and was second overall in combined (290). Bolles was sixth in the combined team standings with 163. Bolles was seventh among the women’s teams (76) and 11th among the men’s (87).

Madison Homovich, 14, of North Carolina Aquatic Club and Townley Haas, 17, of NOVA of Virginia Aquatics were high point award winners.

In other championship finals:

Men’s 800-meter freestyle: Townley Haas, 17, of NOVA of Virginia Aquatics won his four junior national title in 8:01.82, just missing the meet record. He also won the 100, 200 and 400 freestyle races. Gainesville High School’s Eric Geunes, 16, of Gator Swim Club was 11th in 8:15.15, a 9.47 drop. Bishop Verot sophomore Santi Corredor, 15, of Swim Florida was 15th in 8:16.54, an 11.10 drop. Also in the 800, Marco Hosfeld of Swim Fort Lauderdale went a best time 8:23.88, an 0.81 drop and Boleck De Pawlikowski, 17, of Metro Aquatics went a best time 8:29.08, a 7:52.26 drop.

Women’s 1500-meter freestyle: Sierra Schmidt, 16, of North Baltimore Aquatic Club swimming unattached won in a best time 16:24.09 for her third title of the week. It was an 8.81 drop for Schmidt. Kendall Brent, 15, of Swim Florida was third in a best time 16:33.87, a 5.02 drop. Katie Duggan, 17 of Highland finished 21st in 16:55.53, dropping 10.25 off her previous best. Emma Layton, 15, of Area Tallahassee was 24th in a best time 16:58.44, a 12.94 drop.

Women’s 200-meter individual medley: Buoyed by a strong final freestyle leg, Kim Williams, 17, of Bellevue Swim Club won in a best time 2:14.58, a 3.22 drop. Williams also won the 400 IM earlier in the week. Bolles Mckenna Debever, 18, was second in the “B” race and tenth overall in a best time 2:18.30, a 1.31 drop.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Curtis Ogren, 18, of Palo Alto Stanford swept the IM events, winning the 200 IM in a best time 2:01.95 by nearly a half-body length and time drop of 0.69. Grant Sanders, 13, of Clearwater Aquatics was 13th in 2:06.32.

Women’s 50-meter freestyle: Amy Bilquist, 16, of Carmel won her third event in 25.28, just 5/100ths off the meet record and fourth all-time in 15-16 rankings. Kasey Smith, 17, of Bolles was sixth in a best time 25.89, an 0.21 drop. Pine Crest’s Marta Ciesla, 15, of Pine Crest finished ninth in a best time 25.83, an 0.23 drop.

Women’s 400-meter medley relay: SwimMAC Carolina won in 4:10.73 edging Y-Spartaquatics in 4:11.97 with relay members Stephanie Nelson, Maija Roses, Caitlin Casazza and Nora McCullagh.

Men’s 400-meter medley relay: Palo Alto Stanford broke the meet record in 3:45.86 to win with Willy Lee, Curtis Igren, Andrew Liang and Albert Gwo.

Melissa Marinheiro, 17, of South Florida Aquatic Club finished 31st in the 1500-meter freestyle in 17:06.46, 1.59 seconds off her best time. It was her fourth event of the meet. SOFLO teammate Kathleen Golding, 13, went 8.06, just off her best time, in the 800-meter freestyle time trial.

Nearly 1,100 of America’s up-and-coming swimmers competed in the five-day long course meet. After a two-day break, the Phillips 66 National Championships, featuring most of the nation’s top swimmers, get under way on Wednesday at the same Irvine, Calif. venue.

The five-day meet will serve as the USA National Team selection for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships, 2014 Jr. Pan Pacific Championships, 2015 World Championships, 2015 World University Games and 2015 Pan American Games.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Australia Dominates Commonwealth Games, Eyes Pan Pacs On Home Soil; Florida’s Dan Wallace Takes Silver

Australia Dominates Commonwealth Games, Eyes Pan Pacs On Home Soil; Florida’s Dan Wallace Takes Silver

By Sharon Robb

July 29, 2014—The sixth and final day of swimming at the Commonwealth Games was just as exciting as the first five days at Tollcross Swimming Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.

In one of the most competitive meets, Australia dominated the men’s and women’s events and is brimming with confidence for the August 21-24 Pan Pacific Championships at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre in Southport, Australia.

Of course, the Aussies will have stiffer competition in the United States and Japan. Canada is the fourth team in the four-nation meet.

Australia finished with 57 medals including 19 gold, 21 silver and 17 bronze.

England was a distant second with 28 medals (10 gold, 10 silver, 8 bronze).

South Africa had 12 medals (3 golds, 3 silver and 6 bronze). Canada finished with 11 medals (4 gold, 1 silver, 6 bronze) and host Scotland had 10 medals (3 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze).

Australia immediately left the country after the meet and will missing the Closing Ceremony. Swimmers were under an alcohol ban and curfew that prevented them from leaving the Athletes’ Village after their embarrassing showing at the 2012 London Olympics.

In Tuesday’s championship finals:

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle pulled ahead at the 250-meter mark to win her first Games gold medal in a meet record 4:04.47, fourth fastest time in the world this year. Jazz Carlin of Wales took the silver in 4:05.16 and Aussie Bronte Barratt took bronze in 4:06.02.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: British teenager Ben Proud won the splash-and-dash gold medal to join his 50 butterfly gold medal. Proud just missed a meet record in 21.92. Aussie Cameron McEvoy was second in 22.00 and Aussie James Magnussen was third in 22.10. Trinidad and Tobago’s and Bolles alum George Bovell was fifth in 22.31.

Women’s 50-meter backstroke: Wales Georgia Davies won gold in national record 27.56, second fastest time in the world this year. Brit Lauren Quigley took silver in 27.69 and Canadian Brooklynn Snodgras, a junior at Indiana University, took the bronze in a national record 27.97.

Men’s 200-meter individual medley: Aussie Daniel Tranter came from behind to knock off Chad le Clos of South Africa and University of Florida’s Dan Wallace of Scotland in a meet record 1:57.83. Le Clos was leading after the butterfly and backstroke but lost the lead on the breaststroke leg. Wallace, who was dressed in a kilt during his walk to the blocks, was second in a national record 1:58.72. Le Clos hung on for the bronze in 1:58.85.

Men’s 1500-meter freestyle: Canadian Ryan Cochrane won his second gold medal at the Games. The 25-year-old, competing in his final Games, won in 14:44.03, fastest time in the world this year. He won the gold in 2010 in 15:01.49. Aussie Mack Horton took silver in a best time 14:48.76. Daniel Jervis of Wales was third in 14:55.33.

Women’s 4×100-meter medley relay: The Aussie women swept the relays, winning the final one in a meet record 3:56.23 after a scorching 51.59 split by Cate Campbell. Meet officials said it was believed to be the fastest relay split in history in a textile suit. England was second in 3:57.03 and Canada was third.

Men’s 4×100-meter medley relay: With Adam Peaty swimming anchor, England knocked off Australia to win the gold in a meet record 3:31.51. The Aussies finished in 3:31.21. South Africa took third in 3:34.47.

Cate Campbell said she is going to ban herself from social media at future meets because she was overwhelmed by the fan support. “I was just feeling the pressure a little bit,” Campbell said. “I think I have learned a valuable lesson about social media. Even support can turn into a burden sometimes.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida Gold Coast Well-Represented At NCAA Division I Men’s Championships

Florida Gold Coast Well-Represented At NCAA Division I Men’s Championships

Written by Sharon Robb

March 27, 2013

Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships that get underway Thursday at IU Natatorium in Indianapolis.

Nicholas Schwab, a senior at Indiana and 2012 Olympian, will compete in the 500-yard freestyle. He is seeded 29th in 4:18.70 and will swim in the opening event on Thursday.

Southern Cal sophomore Cristian Quintero is seeded first in 4:13.37.

Another Florida Gold Coast swimmer, Carlos Omana, a sophomore at University of Florida, is seeded 28th in 4:18.66.

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmers entered in the meet are Florida State senior John Jessell and junior teammate Paul Murray.

A field of 235 swimmers from 51 teams will compete over three days.

Michigan is the overwhelming favorite to win the team title. The Wolverines have 510 seeded points. Based on its seeding, the Wolverines have a 211-point advantage over the rest of the field.

Cal-Berkeley, Stanford, Texas and University of Florida are the top challengers.

Florida is led by redshirt junior Sebastien Rousseau who has returned to the team, and top freshman Pavel Werner.

The Gators qualified 14 swimmers and divers, including eight from last year’s meet, for NCAAs. The Gators have finished in the Top 10 for 12 consecutive years and earned 27 All-American honors in 2012.

Florida State may be the meet’s surprise team with the mid-season addition of Pavel Sankovich. The Seminoles relays have also been impressive this season and most recently at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships.

Louisville, led by Joao de Lucca, may be another surprise and finish in the Top 10 for the second consecutive year. Former FGC swimmer and three-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov is finishing up his first season as assistant coach at Louisville.

In addition to the 500 freestyle, other Thursday events are 200-yard freestyle relay, 200-yard individual medley, 50-yard freestyle, 1-meter diving and 400-yard medley relay.

ESPN3 is streaming the event live on Friday and Saturday. Live results can also be found at

Sharon Robb can be reached at