Former Gator Wins Swim For Alligator Lighthouse Open Water Swim


ISLAMORADA, September 14, 2022—Defending champion Connor Signorin topped a field of 450 swimmers from around the nation to capture his second consecutive Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, an 8-mile open-water swim held off the Florida Keys on Saturday.

Signorin, 30, of the Tampa Bay area and former University of Florida swimmer, finished the race in 3 hours, 7 minutes and 8 seconds. Last year he won in 3:05:37.

The five time All-American and the rest of the field swam to Alligator Reef Lighthouse off Islamorada, rounded the beacon, and swam back to the start and finish points at Amara Cay Resort.

Islamorada’s Corley Smith, 17, of Coral Shores High School and Florida Keys Swim Club, coached by two-time Olympian Jon Olsen, won the women’s race in 3 hours, 43 minutes and 13 seconds.

In other divisions, Greg Hodson and Joan Wheeler had the fast two-person relay time of 4:05:44.

Lynnette Hennessey and Kolby Minckler of Hilton Head, S.C. and Joe Green from Bluffton, S.C. won the three-person class in 4:08:13.

The winning four-person team was Marty Berman, Andrew Freeman, Keith Kessler and Michael Miller of Ponte Verde in 4:27:46.

The annual swim was created by Florida Keys artist “Lighthouse Larry” Herlth to raise awareness for the need to preserve the 150-year-old Alligator Reef Lighthouse and five other aging lighthouses off the Florida Keys.

The swim also raises money for college scholarships for Keys students interested in competitive swimming.

Alligator Reef Lighthouse is named after the USS Alligator, a U.S. Navy schooner that ran aground on the reef in 1822 and sank. Despite misconceptions, there are no alligators around the lighthouse since those reptiles primarily live in fresh water.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://swim4soflo.com

Florida Gators Announce 2022-23 Schedule; SOFLO Alum Kathleen Golding Named Team Captain


By Sharon Robb
GAINESVILLE, September 14, 2022—University of Florida will open its 2022-23 men’s and women’s schedule at home against Nova Southeastern and Arkansas on Sept. 23 at the O’Connell Center Natatorium.

The season-opener is one of four home meets. Arkansas has only a women’s team. NSU has both a men’s and women’s team.

After a month of training, the Gators head to Virginia to swim defending women’s national champion Cavaliers on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Charlottesville.

Florida will then swim conference opponents on back-to-back weeks, at Georgia in Athens, Ga. on Friday, Oct. 28 in its annual rivalry before returning to Gainesville to host Tennessee on Saturday, Nov. 5.

The Gators end the 2022 calendar year with three straight invitationals: Georgia Invite, Nov. 17-19, U.S. Open, Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in Greensboro, N.C. before diving ends 2022 at the Auburn Invitational, Dec. 16-20.

The 2023 part of the schedule opens at home Florida Atlantic University, Jan. 14, before hosting a diving invitational Jan. 20-21, while simultaneously swimming Florida State on Jan. 20 in Ocala, in its final dual meet. Two weeks later, the Gators will swim in the Feb. 3-5 Auburn Last Chance Invitational.

The Gators begin the post-season at the SEC Swimming and Diving Championships Feb. 14-16 in College Station, Tex. The men will go for their 11th straight conference titles, before the Bulldog Last Chance Meet from Feb. 24-25 in Athens. Qualified divers will compete at the NCAA Diving Zones from Mar. 5-8.

The season ends at the NCAA Swimming National Championships, with the women’s meet in Knoxville, Tenn., March 15-18 and men’s meet in Minneapolis, Minn., March 22-25.

One of the highlights of the season is South Florida Aquatic Club alum Kathleen Golding will serve as one of the Gators’ team captains for the 2022-23. The two-time U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier is a senior and three-time All-American. Her marquis events are the 200 and 400 IM though she swims several other events, both sprint and distance.

Golding’s younger sister, Molly, also a SOFLO alum, will begin her sophomore season in the IM and breaststroke events.

Other Gators with South Florida and Florida Gold Coast ties are sophomore Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, who is coming off an outstanding summer; and freshman Mallory Schleicher, another SOFLO alum.

Florida’s men’s and women’s head coach Anthony Nesty was recently named the 2022 American Swimming Coaches Association George Haines Coach of the Year at the ASCA World Clinic Sept. 8 in Las Vegas. Nesty joins former Florida coaches Gregg Troy and Randy Reese as the only coaches in Gators history to win the award.

The award is annually given to the individual whose coaching contributed the most towards American swimming excellence at the world level. Nesty was one of six finalists who coached athletes that won gold medals at the FINA World Championships last June in Budapest, Hungary.

Nesty coached multiple gold medalists in Budapest, including Caeleb Dressel, Bobby Finke, Kieran Smith and UF volunteer Coach Katie Ledecky. The four combined for eight gold medals, the most golds coached by any finalist for the award the year.

Six current Gators, four former Gators and volunteer coach Katie Ledecky were named to the 2022-23 U.S. National Team.

Anna Auld, Emma Weyant, Natalie Hinds, and Katie Ledecky were selected for the women’s team, and Brennan Gravley, Jacob Mitchell, Trey Freeman, Kevin Vargas, Caeleb Dressel, Bobby Finke, and Kieran Smith were named on the men’s roster. Florida has 11 athletes on the team, tied with Texas/Longhorn Aquatics for most-represented club/college. Auld and Gravley were both selected as open water athletes in May 2022, and are active through October 31, 2022.

2022-23 UF Men’s, Women’s Schedule
Sept. 23, Nova Southeastern, Arkansas, 10 a.m.
Oct. 22, at Virginia, 10 a.m.
Oct. 28, at Georgia, 10 a.m.
Nov. 5, Tennessee, 10 a.m.
Nov. 17-19, at Georgia Invite
Nov. 30-Dec. 3, U.S. Open, Greensboro, N.C.
Greensboro, NC
Dec. 16-20, Auburn Invitational, Diving
Jan. 14, Florida Atlantic, 2 p.m.
Jan. 20-21, UF Diving Invitational
Jan. 20, Florida State at Ocala, 2 p.m.
Feb. 3-5, Auburn Last Chance
Feb. 14-18, SEC Championships, College Station, Tex.
Feb. 24-25, Bulldogs Last Chance Meet, Athens, Ga.
Mar. 5-8, NCAA Diving Zones – TBD
Mar. 15-18, Women’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, Knoxville, Tenn.
Mar. 22-25, Men’s NCAA Swimming & Diving Championships, Minneapolis

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Alia Atkinson Named FINA Athletes’ Committee Chair; Dylan Carter Selected For Committee


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 30, 2022—Five-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson was elected the first-ever chair of FINA’s Athletes’ Committee at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships.

The former longtime South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was among 20 athletes elected by their peers from their aquatic sport with six athletes later appointed and six others named honorary members by FINA, the international swimming federation. The sports represented are synchronized swimming, diving, high diving, open water swimming, swimming and water polo.

Atkinson, a four-time gold medalist at the World Swimming Championships (25-meters), will serve a four-year term. Voting took place by electronic ballots throughout the championships. Atkinson, 33, and six others ran unopposed.

“Today marks another significant step forward for both FINA and all aquatics athletes,” Atkinson said. “The Athletes’ Committee will act as a critical link between athletes and FINA.

“Having the athlete community choose those who represent them in important decisions is critical for the future development of our beloved sport.”

Atkinson’s final competitive meet was the 2021 15th FINA Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi.

British diver Jack Laugher, a three-time Olympic medalist, was named vice-chair of the committee.

The elected contingent includes nine other swimmers: former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago; Therese Alshammar of Sweden, Ireland’s Shane Ryan, Hong Kong’s Siobhán Haughey, Dmitriy Balandin of Kazakhstan, Australia’s Jessica Hansen, Papua New Guinea’s Ryan Pini, Uganda’s Jamila Nsibambi Lunkuse and Matthew Sates of South Africa.

The second diving representative elected was Maria Polyakova of Russia, a former European champion in the women’s 1-meter springboard.

Synchronized swimming is represented by Egypt’s Nehal Saafan and Bill May of the U.S. Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha, who used to train in Davie, and the Netherlands’ Ferry Weertman will represent open water swimming.

Anna Bader of Germany and Alain Kohl of Luxembourg were elected to represent high diving, along with water polo players Margarita Plevritou of Greece and Felipe Perrone Rocha of Spain.

“Athletes are the heartbeat of aquatics,” said FINA President Husain Al-Musallam. “There is no sport without athletes. This is why I am so proud to be part of these historic elections.

“With equal gender representation and athletes from all six continents across all disciplines, I have no doubt that those elected will strengthen and promote the athletes’ voice for the benefit of the entire aquatics community.”

Britain’s three-time Olympic and eight-time World Championship swimming gold medalist Adam Peaty was among the six current athletes appointed by Al-Musallam to join the Athletes’ Committee. Hungary’s Dániel Gyurta and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini are also set to serve on the panel as elected members of the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission.

The Athletes’ Committee is responsible for offering input into the organization of the World Championships and the development of technical rules, and is designed to serve as the “athletes’ voice in aquatics sport”.

This is Musallam’s first World Championships as President, which was marked by FINA’s decision to require transgender athletes to have completed transition by the age of 12 to be eligible for women’s events.

OPEN WATER SWIMMING: Florida’s Anna Auld Seventh In 25K

Brazilian Ana Cunha, who once trained in Davie, won a close race in the women’s 25K at the 19th FINA World Championships in 5:24:15.0. She was followed by Lea Boy of Germany, 5:24:15.2 and Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands, 5:24:15.3. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, representing the U.S., was seventh in 5:26:25 among a field of 15 swimmers.

Italy’s Dario Verani won the men’s 25K title in 5:02:21 followed by Axel Raymond of France, 5:02:22 and Hungary’s Peter Galicz, 5:02:35. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was unable to finish after swimming for 1:34:08 among a field of 25 swimmers.

In the men’s 10K, Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy’s won in 1:50:56 followed by teammate Domencio Acerenza, 1:50:58 and Germany’s Florian Wellbrock, 1:51:11. Azura’s Jahir Lopez of Ecuador was 46th in 2:03:23 and Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 48th in 2:05:01.

In the women’s 10K, Sharon van Rouwendaal of the Netherlands won in 2:02:29.2 followed by Leonie Beck of Germany, 2:02:29.7 and Cunha, 2:02:30. American Katie Grimes was fifth in 2:02:37.

In the men’s 5K, Germany’s Florian Wellbrock won in 52:48 followed by Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri, 52:52 and Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine, 53:13. Azura’s Maximiliano Paccot of Uruguay was 41st in 59:43.

In the women’s 5K, Cunha also won in 57:52 followed by Aurelie Muller of France in 57:53 and Italy’s Giulia Gabbreilleschi in 57:54. University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was 20th in 1:00:57. Azura’s Fatima Portillo, 19, of El Salvador was 37th in 1:04:56.

In the opening event, the 6K mixed relay, Germany (1:04:40), Hungary (1:04:43.0) and Italy (1:04:43.0) were the top three finishers. The U.S. finished seventh in 1:05:50. Twenty-three nations competed.

CARIBBEAN GAMES
The historic inaugural Caribbean Games are underway in Guadeloupe. More than 800 athletes from 29 countries began competing on Thursday. Seven sports over five days are being held. The event is being televised on Panam Sports Channel.

Panam Sports President Neven Ilic watched with sport leaders throughout the continent and wished the athletes nothing but success during the Games.

“It’s nice to see the joy of the athletes parading. They are the future of our sport and our work must focus largely on them, on the new generations. We started with the Cali 2021 Junior Pan American Games, then came the Rosario 2022 Youth South American Games and now the Caribbean has its own celebration of U-23 sport. I congratulate CANOC and Guadalupe for this fantastic and historic party and wish much success to the enthusiastic athletes.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Katie Ledecky Five-Peats At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 24, 2022–Katie Ledecky, the greatest woman swimmer of all time, won her fifth consecutive gold medal in the 800 freestyle Friday night at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships at Duna Arena.

Ledecky, 25, swimming in her “favorite event” is the first swimmer in history to win five straight world titles in the same event.

Ledecky, a grad assistant coach at University of Florida where she trains with Anthony Nesty, pulled away early in the race to win in 8:08.04, winning by nearly 11 seconds. It was the fifth fastest time in the event.

Aussie Kiah Melverton was second in 8:18.77 and Simona Quadarella of Italy was third in 8:19.00.

It was Ledecky’s 19th gold medal at world championships, moving her ahead of Ryan Lochte just behind leader Michael Phelps with 26 gold medals.

“I’m happy with it, I can’t complain,” Ledecky said. “I thought it was a little faster than that, but that’s the fastest I’ve been in a while, so really thrilled with that and really excited about the future as well.

“Year after year it’s really hard work,” Ledecky said. “In London I won my first gold ten years ago, back then they said I was a one-hit wonder and here we are, ten years later and I have another gold.

“It was a great week, probably the most fun I’ve had in a meet in a long time,” Ledecky said. “And the results showed. It’s just a really special team, and I know we’re not finished.”

There are 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers wrapping up their swims on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Friday were:

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay, (Azura, South Florida Heat, Auburn), 50 breaststroke, 43rd, 34.25.

Jahir Lopez, 17, Ecuador, (Azura) 1500 freestyle, 23rd, 16:57.92.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 50 backstroke, 33rd, 26.23.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle, 41st, 26.75.

No FGC swimmers are scheduled to compete on Saturday.

Four swimmers, including University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach, are entered in open water events which begin on Sunday with the 6K team relay (4×1500) off Lupa Beach. The 5K is Monday, 10K on Wednesday and 25K on Thursday.

In Friday night’s final events:
WOMEN’S 50 BUTTERFLY: Sarah Sjostrum of Sweden won the event for a record fourth consecutive time in 24.95. She also won the 50 fly in 2015, 2017 and 2019. She tied Michael Phelps with a record eight gold medals in butterfly events at worlds. Melanie Henique of France took silver in 25.31 and China’s Zhang Yufeli took bronze in 25.32. Americans Claire Curzan (25.43) and Torri Huske (25.45) were fifth and sixth.

MEN’S 50 FREESTYLE: In a wide open race with Caeleb Dressel and Bruno Fratus out of the field, Brit veteran sprinter Ben Proud, 27, dominated the field to win his first long course world gold medal in 21.32, 9/100ths ahead of Michael Andrew in 21.41, the American’s third individual world and fourth overall medal. Frenchman Maxime Grousset, who knocked Fratus out of a swim-off for the eighth spot in finals, was third in 21.57.

Proud had the best reaction time off the blocks in 0.57. Proud is the first British swimmer to ever win a world title in the event.

“This medal today, gold, silver, bronze, no matter what it was, it was always going to be for my brilliant team around me this year,” Proud said. “So I’m really chuffed to be able to bring something home. Big disappointment after the 50 fly. I really made a big mistake in that, but that fired me up for today and I’m much happier to be leaving a freestyle world champion.”

MEN’S 100 BUTTERFLY: Even though Hungarian Kristof Milak and American Michael Andrew turned together at the 50, it was Milak who turned it on to win his second gold medal of the meet in 50.14. Japan’s Naoki Mizunuma was second in 50.94 and Canadian Josh Liendo was third in 50.97. Andrew faltered to fourth in 51.11.

WOMEN’S 200 BACKSTROKE: In an exciting finish, Aussie Kaylee McKeown won gold in 2:05.08 just out-touching Americans Phoebe Bacon (2:05.12) and Rhyan White (2:06.96). It was the first time the U.S. won two medals in the event.

MIXED 4X100 FREESTYLE RELAY: With Mollie O’Callaghan swimming anchor, Australia broke the world record in 3:19.38 to dethrone the U.S., winners of the past three worlds since 2015. Jack Cartwright, Kyle Chalmers and Madison Wilson joined O’Callaghan on the relay. The Aussies shaved 2/100ths of a second off the 2019 record held by the U.S. Canada was second in 3:20.61 and the U.S. was third in 3:21.09.

Saturday prelim events are women’s 400IM, men’s 4×100 medley relay and women’s 4×100 medley relay. It is the final day of pool swimming.

The U.S. added five more medals to its tally of 15 gold, 8 silver and 14 bronze for 37. Australia is second with 15 total (6 golds, 8 silver, 1 bronze).

The aquatics championships that also feature diving, water polo, high diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming end July 3.

The Olympic Channel and Peacock, on the NBC platform, is televising the finals at noon each day. A highlights show will be on NBC at noon on June 26.

FINALS SCHEDULE
Saturday, June 25: 50 men’s back, 50 women’s breast, 1500 men’s free, 50 women’s free, 400 women’s IM, 4×100 men’s and women’s medley relay.

Sunday, June 26: Open water, 6K team relay.

Monday, June 27: Open water, men’s and women’s 5K.

Wednesday, June 29: Open water, men’s and women’s 10K.

Thursday, June 30: Open water, men’s and women’s 25K.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

King, Murphy, U.S. Men’s Relay Win Gold; Coral Springs Olympian Bruno Fratus Loses Swim-Off For Finals At FINA World Aquatics Championships


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 23, 2022–Americans Lilly King, Ryan Murphy and men’s 4×200 relay defied the odds to win gold at the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Thursday at Duna Arena.

Lilly King turned it on in the back half to win gold and her first world title of the meet in 2:22.41. Aussie Jenna Strauch was second in 2:23.04 and U.S. teammate Kate Douglas of University of Virginia was third in 2:23.20. It was King’s ninth career world gold medal and first in the 200. King has now won gold in every breaststroke event at worlds.

King was fifth at the final turn. “I guess I’m a distance swimmer now, which kind of stinks for me,” King said with a smile. “I knew today was about racing and I knew I would have a little bit left so I had to do it. Welcoming this new chapter of my career. I think this was my coach’s master plan all along.

“It’s awesome to win this gold,” King said. “I’m so excited to have this medal. That was a great race but that was all tactical. I think the one who wins the 200 is who can control the tactical part and the pace the best.”

Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 26, won his first-ever individual world gold medal. A year after settling for silver at the Tokyo Olympics, the newly-engaged Murphy won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:54.52, 6/10ths ahead of the field. He was third after the opening 50 and with a 28.4 split took the lead at the 100 and led the rest of the way. Brit Luke Greenback was second in 1:55.16 and U.S. teammate Shaine Casas was third in 1:55.35.

“This one hurt a lot,” Murphy said. “I knew it was going to be a competitive field. This is what I worked for. My first individual title is really cool. Being able to come into something that I have a talent for, try to be the best in the world, that never gets old.

“There’s a ton of work that goes into this, not just on my end but my coaches, my teammates. So to come in, win a medal for myself and for the people who helped me and my country is really special.”

The U.S. ended its dry spell in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay. The relay of Drew Kibler, Carson Foster, Trenton Julian and University of Florida’s Kieran Smith won in 7:00.24. Australia was second in 7:03.50 and Great Britain was third in 7:04.00. It was the first world title relay win in almost a decade since 2013.

Smith had a full three-body length and more than a 3-second lead heading into the final wall. Foster blew it open on the second leg with a 1:45.04 split and Smith turned in a 1:44.35 on anchor. The U.S. men, fourth at the 2020 Olympics, were not favored.

“Kieran and I were actually just looking at a photo taken right after we touched fourth at the Olympics last year, and it’s a pretty defeating photo,” Kibler said. “We were looking at it just before we came here, like, ‘We’re not going to experience that again.'”

Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, 32, of Coral Springs Swim Club, fastest qualifier in the 50-meter freestyle prelims in 21.71, lost a swim-off by 3/100ths of a second to end his medal hopes.

The Olympic bronze medalist was fourth in the semifinals in 21.83 tying Frenchman Maxime Grousset, 23, who came back to win the swim-off, 21.59-21.62. It was the 100th time in his career Fratus cracked 22 seconds in the event.

Fratus is one of 23 Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Other FGC swimmers who competed on Thursday are:

Dylan Carter, 26, Trinidad & Tobago, (Plantation American Heritage, USC), 50 freestyle, 17th, 22.19.

Esteban Nunez de Prado, 18, Bolivia, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 50th, 55.61.

Jenebi Benoit, 19, Grenada, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 57th, 59.63.

Leon Seaton, 18, Guyana (Azura), 50 freestyle, 70th, 25.07.

Jordan Crooks, 20, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle, 19th, 22.20.

Steven Aimable, 23, Senegal, (Azura), 100 butterfly, 43rd, 54.65.

FGC swimmers who compete on Friday:

Michaela Sierra, 17, Uruguay, (Azura, South Florida Heat, Auburn), 50 breaststroke.

Jahir Lopez, 17, Ecuador, (Azura) 1500 freestyle.

Yeziel Morales, 26, Puerto Rico, (Azura), 50 backstroke.

Jillian Crooks, 15, Cayman Islands (TS Aquatics), 50 freestyle.

In Thursday night’s final events:
WOMEN’S 100 FREESTYLE:
In an exciting finish, Australia’s Mollie O’Callaghan, 18, won her second world title in 52.67. In sixth place at the 50, O’Callaghan surged in the final 10 meters to out-touch world record holder Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden, second in 52.80. American Torri Huske, who was leading for the first 90 meters, was third in 52.92. U.S. teammate Claire Curzan was eighth in 53.81.

O’Callaghan was last at the wall before going 25.9 on the back half, outsplitting Sjostrom by 7/100ths of a second. Sjostrom is the first woman 100 free world record holder not to win a world title.

“I had to just trust myself and focus on myself especially for my back end, that is definitely my strongest point, my front end not so much,” O’Callaghan said. “It’s certainly weird at the moment to think that I’m a world champion.

“I was panicking in warm-up, I had a little bit of a cramp in my leg. I was just feeling dizzy, I just felt out of it in warm-up and I started to panic a little. But I had teammates there. I had Madi Wilson, I had the whole team and especially Dean supporting me so I guess that kind of uplifted me for this race.”

O’Callaghan is coached by Dean Boxall at St. Peters Western in Brisbane. Boxall is best known for going nutso in the stands while another one of his swimmers Ariarne Titmus won gold in the 200 and 400 freeestyles at the 2020 Olympics.

MEN’S 200 BREASTSTROKE: Australia’s Olympic champion Zac Stubblety-Cook won gold with a convincing 2:07.07. He was eighth at the 100 and third at the 150. He is the first Aussie to win a world title in the event. Japan’s Yu Hanaguruma was and Erik Persson of Sweden tied for second in 2:08.38.

In the 50-meter butterfly semifinals, Torri Huske broke the American record in 25.38 and qualified second behind Sjostrom (25.13).

Friday prelim events are women’s 50 freestyle, men’s 50 backstroke, women’s 50 breaststroke, mixed 4×100 freestyle and men’s 1500 freestyle.

The U.S. added six more medals to its tally of 14 gold, 6 silver and 12 bronze for 32. Australia is second with 12 total (4 golds, 7 silver, 1 bronze) and Italy third (4 golds, 1 silver, 3 bronze).

The swimming runs through Saturday with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features diving, water polo, high diving, open water swimming and synchronized swimming end July 3.

The Olympic Channel and Peacock, on the NBC platform, is televising the finals at noon each day. A highlights show will be on NBC at noon on June 26. The FINA facebook page is also posting competition news. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

There are huge cheers for any Hungarian swimmers from spectators at Duna Arena. FINA, the sport’s governing body, has asked fans each day to clap rather than cheer as a precaution against coronavirus infections. There were no other requests or restrictions.

FINALS SCHEDULE
Friday, June 24: 50 women’s fly, 50 men’s free, 100 men’s fly, 200 women’s back, 800 women’s free, 4×100 mixed free relay.

Saturday, June 25: 50 men’s back, 50 women’s breast, 1500 men’s free, 50 women’s free, 400 women’s IM, 4×100 men’s and women’s medley relay.

Sunday, June 26: Open water, 6K team relay.

Monday, June 27: Open water, men’s and women’s 5K.

Wednesday, June 29: Open water, men’s and women’s 10K.

Thursday, June 30: Open water, men’s and women’s 25K.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Anna Auld Top Florida Gold Coast Finisher At U.S. Open Water National Championships; SOFLO’s Wilson Makes Top 20


By Sharon Robb
FORT MYERS BEACH, April 3, 2022–University of Florida freshman Anna Auld of West Palm Beach was the top Florida Gold Coast finisher at the U.S. Open Water National and Junior Championships this past weekend at Lynn Hall Beach Park.

Despite rough weather conditions, Auld was among the Top 6 American 10K finishers qualifying for the current U.S. Open Water National Team, putting herself in position to qualify for the 2022 FINA World Championships U.S. roster.

Auld was seventh overall in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 50 seconds. With three swimmers from France among the top seven finishers, Auld qualified as fourth American.

Blair Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics just missed making the U.S. team by 1 minute and 7 seconds and one spot in 2:26:58. She was the seventh top American finisher.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson was 19th in the 7.5K in 1:55:56. The only other FGC swimmer, Erin Miller of St. Andrew’s Aquatics was ninth in 1:49:29.

Teenager Katie Grimes of Sandpipers of Nevada and Axel Reymond of France won the 10K titles.

It was Grimes’ first senior-level open water national title. She stayed with the lead pack and finished more than a minute ahead of the field.

“I really had a good time out there today, the conditions were a little rough but I’m learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Grimes said. “I was swimming with a ton of girls so I was really happy with the outcome and I’m excited for the next race.”

Conditions were not ideal with strong winds and choppy water.

Grimes was followed by Indiana University’s Mariah Denigan (2:17:50) and France’s Caroline Jouisse (2:18:34). The top six Americans were:

Grimes (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada), 2:16:40.
Mariah Denigan (Walton, Ky./Indiana University), 2:17:50.
Summer Smith (Agawam, Mass./Bluefish Swim Club), 2:21:07.
Anna Auld (West Palm Beach, Fla./University of Florida), 2:21:50.
Kensey McMahon (Jacksonville, Fla./University of Alabama), 2:22:00.
Brooke Travis (Newark, Del./NC State), 2:25:51.

France’s Axel Reymond (2:02:49) edged U.S. National Team member and University of Florida junior Brennan Gravley (2:02:53) for the top spot. Dylan Gravley, Brennan’s younger brother, finished third (2:03:13), a career-best 10K finish.

“It’s one of my favorite parts of being a USA Swimming athlete,” Brennan said when asked about qualifying for the U.S. Open Water National Team. “I feel like we have a lot of privileges, especially as open water swimmers. It was a fun venue and it was fun to come out here even with intense conditions.”

Added his brother, “I was trying to maintain my position and keep up with Brennan,” Dylan Gravley said. “I’m taking baby steps, it is another year and I was a few places upwards of where I was last year.”

The top-6 American male finishers were:
Brennan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/University of Florida), 2:02:53.
Dylan Gravley (Las Vegas, Nev./Sandpipers of Nevada/Arizona State University), 2:03:13.
Joey Tepper (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./University of Tennessee), 2:03:39.
Michael Brinegar (Columbus, Ind./Mission Viejo Nadadores/Indiana University), 2:05:44.
Simon Lamar (Sonora, Calif./Harvard University), 2:08:27.
David Heron (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo Nadadores), 2:10:20.

French swimmer Aurelie Muller won the senior 5K title ahead of Joiusse and U.S. pool Olympian Bella Sims of Sandpipers of Nevada, third and top American finisher.

Claire Weinstein of Sandpipers of Nevada won the girls 5K junior national title in 1:06:08.

Samuel Marsteiner of New Wave Swim Team won the boys 5K junior national title in 1:02:40.

The top two finishers qualified for the U.S. roster for the Sept. 1-4 FINA World Junior Open Water Championships Beau Vallon, Seychelles.

On Sunday, 16-year-old Ilya Kharun won the Junior National 7.5K race and led a 1-2 finish for the Sandpipers of Nevada Teammate Luke Ellis, 14, was second.

Please note, the full results have not been posted on usaswimming.org. South Florida Aquatic Club’s Isabelle Wilson, 14, competed in the girls 7.5K race and finished but her time has not been posted as of Sunday night.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

California Bears Win NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming And Diving Championship; Florida’s Bobby Finke Wins; Miami’s Zach Cooper Second


By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 26, 2022—California dethroned rival and defending champion Texas to win the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday night at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center.

The Cal Bears won with 487.5 points followed by Texas with 436.5 and Florida with 374 points. Cal pulled away after scoring 53 points in the 200 backstroke for a comfortable margin of victory.

Cal has now won seven NCAA men’s titles, five under head coach Dave Durden. The Bears have finished in the top two every year except 2009 and 2009 and no lower than fourth in other seasons under Durden.

University of Florida senior and two-time Olympic gold medalist Bobby Finke of St. Petersburg won the 1,650-yard freestyle in 14:22.08, the fifth fastest time ever and his second consecutive 1,650 NCAA title.

“I’ll be honest, that race was one of the sloppiest miles I’ve ever done, so I’m not really happy with how it went,” Finke said after the race. “I’m glad I got the win and the points for the Gators, but individually, I don’t think it’s the best performance I could have had.”

University of Miami senior diver Zach Cooper was second on 10-meter platform with 443.05 points just behind Purdue freshman Tyler Downs with 447.20. Cooper missed his sixth dive and had to settle for second. Florida junior Leonardo Garcia was fourth with 406.05.

In other individual events:

Cal sophomore Destin Lasco, fastest morning qualifier, won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:37.71 and was his team’s only individual winner on the final night.

LSU junior sprinter Brooks Curry won the 100-yard freestyle in 40.84 to complete his sweep.

Arizona State freshman Leon Marchand won the 200-yard breaststroke in 1:48.20 just ahead of Minnesota’s Max McHugh in 1:48.76 for his second title of the meet.

Brendan Burns of Indiana won the 200-yard butterfly in a best time 1:38.71, ahead of Georgia’s Luca Urlando in 1:38.82 to become the first Indiana swimmer to win the event since 1973 when Gary Hall Sr. did it. Before that it was Mark Spitz in 1971 and 1972. It was Burns first NCAA title.

In a thrilling final event, Texas, buoyed by anchor Danny Krueger, won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 2:46.03 ahead of Arizona State in 2:46.40 and California in 2:46.42.

ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.

The official website for the men’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-men/d1. As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central.

The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.

SATURDAY RESULTS
TEAM TOTALS:
1. California 487.5, 2. Texas 436.5, 3. Florida 374, 4. N.C. State 291, 5. Indiana 265, 6. Arizon State 236, 7. Stanford 231, 8. Georgia 194, 9. Ohio State 165, 10. Virginia 154.5, 23. University of Miami 31.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Bobby Finke, UF 14:22.28, time drop 5.42, 2. Will Gallant, NC State 14:31.34, 3. Ross Dant, NC State 14:31.72.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Destin Lasco, CAL 1:37.71, 2. Carson Foster, TEX 1:38.77, 3. Daniel Carr, CAL 1:39.06, 4. Kieran Smith, UF 1:39.39.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Brooks Curry, LSU 40.84, 2. Bjorn Seeliger, CAL 41.00, 3. Andrei Minakov, STAN 41.09.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Leon Marchand, ASU 1:48.20, 2. Max McHugh, MINN 1:48.76, 3. Matt Fallon, PENN 1:49.16.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Brendan Burns, IU 1:38.71, 2. Luca Urlando, UGA 1:38.82, 3. Nicolas Albiero, LOU 1:38.88.

Platform diving: 1. Tyler Downs, PUR 447.20, 2. Zach Cooper, UM 443.05, 3. Bryden Hattie, TENN 418.70, 4. Leonardo Garcia, UF 406.05.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Texas 2:46.03 (Drew Kibler, Cameron Auchinachie, Caspar Corbeau, Danny Krueger), 2. Arizona State 2:46.40, 3. California 2:46.42, 6. Florida 2:47.39 (Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Macguire McDuff, Kieran Smith), 17. Florida State 2:50.99.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Virginia Remains In Lead After Day Two Of NCAA Division I Women’s Championships; Miami Diver Mia Vallee Wins 1-Meter Title, Breaks NCAA Record


ATLANTA, March 17, 2022—Two individual and one relay win enabled defending champion University of Virginia to pull away from the field Thursday on Day Two of the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Center.

Virginia leads with 210 points ahead of Texas with 128 and Stanford with 123. University of Florida is tenth with 62 and University of Miami, led by individual champion diver Mia Vallee, is 16th with 27 points.

Vallee, a junior, won the 1-meter springboard title with an NCAA record 365.75 points. UM sophomore teammate Emma Gullstrand was tenth with 328.50 to earn All-American honors.

After breaking the NCAA and American record in the prelims, Virginia’s Kate Douglass came back and did it again to win the 50-yard freestyle.

After breaking the record in 20.87 during prelims, dropping 0.13, Douglass went 20.84 to re-break her own record and gave the Cavaliers their second consecutive NCAA record after Alex Walsh broke the 200 IM record in 1:50.08. The previous 50 freestyle record was 20.90 set by Cal’s Abbey Weitzeil in 2019. Virginia teammate Gretchen Walsh was also sub-21 and finished second in 20.95.

Virginia’s 200-yard freestyle relay won in 1:24.96 with Douglass on leadoff, Alex Walsh, Lexi Cuomo and Gretchen Walsh.

Sarasota’s Emma Weyant, a freshman at University of Virginia, was second in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 4:34.99, dropping 2.24 seconds off her previous best of 4:37.23.

Penn swimmer Lia Thomas became the first known transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title. She won the 500 freestyle in 4:33.24.

Three Florida Gold Coast swimmers competed.

University of Florida junior Kathleen Golding was 37th in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:57.50, a time drop of 0.13 from her previous best 1:57.63. She will compete in the 400 IM on Friday.

University of Florida freshman Anna Auld was 32nd in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 4:44.37, a time drop of 1.12 from her previous best of 4:45.49. She will also swim the 400 IM on Friday.

University of Virginia senior Jessica Nava was 55th in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.69. She competes Friday in the 100-yard butterfly.

The competition continues Friday with the Top 16 from prelims in each event advancing to finals. Prelims are 10 a.m., with finals at 6 p.m.

ESPN3 will provide digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions through Saturday.

SCHEDULE
Day 3, Friday, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay (finals only).

Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1650 freestyle (3:45 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).

The official website for the women’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-women/d1.

As the host college, Georgia Tech’s website also features the Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.

The DI Women’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.


THURSDAY RESULTS
TEAM TOTALS: 1. Virginia 210, 2. Texas 128, 3. Stanford 123, 4. Alabama 120, 5. NC State 99, 6. Louisville 95, 7. California 89, 8. Ohio State 83, 9. Michigan 66, 10. Florida 62, 16. University of Miami 27.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Lia Thomas, PENN 4:33.24, 2. Emma Weyant, UVA 4:34.99, 3. Erica Sullivan, TEX 4:35.92.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Alex Walsh, UVA 1:50.08, 2. Torri Huske, STAN 1:51.81, 3. Isabel Ivey, CAL 1:53.02.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Kate Douglass, UVA 20.84, 2. Gretchen Walsh, UVA 20.95, 3. Maggie MacNeil, MICH 21.38.

1-meter diving: 1. Mia Vallee, UM 365.75, 2. Sarah Bacon, MINN 356.60, 3. Aranza Vasquez Montano, UNC 354.75, 7. Maha Amer, UF 316.70, 10. Emma Gullstrand, UM 328.50.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Virginia 1:24.96 (Kate Douglass, Alex Walsh, Lexi Cuomo, Gretchen Walsh), 2. Alabama 1:25.47, 3. NC State 1:26.37, 9. Florida 1:27.16 (Ekaterina Nikonova, Talia Bates, Katie Mack, Micayla Cronk).

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships Begin Wednesday; Florida Gold Coast’s Golding, Auld, Nava Among Field


ATLANTA, March 15, 2022—Eleven University of Florida swimmers and divers including locals Kathleen Golding and Anna Auld and University of Virginia’s Jessica Nava will compete in the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships that begin Wednesday at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Center.

The meet begins Wednesday with timed finals of the 200 medley and 800 free relays. Individual races will start on Thursday, with the Top 16 from prelims in each event advancing to finals. Prelims will start at 10 a.m., with finals following at 6 p.m.

Florida Gold Coast swimmers Kathleen Golding and Anna Auld; Talia Bates, Elise Bauer, Leah DeGeorge, Tylor Mathieu, Ekaterina Nikonova, Amanda Ray and Mabel Zavaros will compete in the national championships based on their season-best times in seven different events.

Golding, a junior, will compete in the 200 IM and 400 IM. Auld, a freshman, will swim the 500 and 1,650 freestyles and 400 IM.

Westminster Academy alum Jessica Nava will make her final appearance for defending NCAA champion University of Virginia. The senior will compete in the 50 freestyle, 100 and 200 butterfly.

Maha Amer and Carina Lumia joined the Gators group after qualifying at NCAA Diving Zones. Amer will compete in all three events. Lumia qualified on 3-meter springboard.

Four Gator relays will also compete with the 200 freestyle relay and 400 freestyle relay hitting the qualifying standard. Both the 800 freestyle relay and 400 medley relay qualified with provisional standard times.

The Gators bring NCAA experience to the meet with Golding, Bates, Bauer, Mathieu and Ray all having competed at the championships in previous seasons.

ESPN3 will provide digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions Wednesday through Saturday.

FLORIDA STATE
The Seminoles qualified three swimmers in individual events in addition to its 200 medley relay.

Nina Kucheran, Tania Quaglieri and Edith Jernstedt will compete in individual events. Rebecca Moynihan, Zsofia Kurdi, Jenny Halden and Gloria Muzito will contribute as relay swimmers.

“We’re excited to get started tomorrow,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “We have a great group of ladies here and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can achieve.

“I always feel like having relays is the key to success and it’s a sign of a strong team. This year, it’s a little special having three relays competing.”

MEET SCHEDULE
Day 1, Wednesday, 200 medley relay (Finals only); 800 free relay (Finals only).

Day 2, Thursday, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 1-meter diving, 200 free relay (finals only).

Day 3, Friday, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay (finals only).

Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1650 freestyle (3:45 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).

The official website for the women’s championship is http://www.ncaa.com/championships/swimming-women/d1.

As the host college, Georgia Tech’s website also features the Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.

The DI Women’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at http://www.NCAA.com/gameprograms. The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Olympic Swimmers Caeleb Dressel, Lydia Jacoby Bobbleheads Unveiled


By Sharon Robb
MILWAUKEE, Wisc., February 25, 2022–The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled its limited-edition bobbleheads featuring swimmers Caeleb Dressel and Lydia Jacoby.

Dressel, a Clay High School, Bolles and University of Florida alum, is a seven-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder in three events.

Jacoby won a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke as a 17-year-old at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The first bobbleheads of Dressel and Jacoby are being produced by the Museum.

The smiling and wide-eyed Dressel bobblehead, with water up to his waist, is raising his index fingers on both hands over his head, signaling No. 1 after a gold-medal performance in the 100-meter freestyle at the Tokyo Olympics. The base, which bears his name, is transparent.

Wearing a white USA warmup jacket and pants, the smiling Jacoby bobblehead has a gold medal around her neck. With her arms extended over her head, she is holding flowers in her right hand as she celebrates her victory in the 100-meter breaststroke in Tokyo. She is standing on a patriotic base bearing her name in metallic gold.

Each bobblehead is individually numbered to 2,020 and they are only available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. The bobbleheads, which are expected to ship in July, are $30 each plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order.

Dressel left the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as the world’s most dominant swimmer. The 25-year-old Florida native won gold medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle and the 100 butterfly. He was also a member of the 400 freestyle and 400 medley gold-medal relays to become only the fifth American swimmer to win five gold medals in a single Olympic Games since 1970, joining Phelps, Mark Spitz, Eric Heiden, and Matt Biondi. He also became the first swimmer in the history of swimming at the modern Olympic Games to win gold medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly at the same Olympics. That pushed his total to seven golds after winning his first two in Rio de Janeiro in the 400 freestyle and 400 medley relays.

A member of the Cali Condors in the International Swimming League, Dressel holds world records in the 100 butterfly (long course and short course), 50 freestyle (short course) and 100 individual medley (short course). Dressel won 10 NCAA titles at Florida (2015-18).

Also known for his tattoos, Dressel’s bobbleheads will include the face of an alligator on his left forearm, an eagle with the flag of America on his left shoulder, a bear on his upper left arm, and the American flag on his left forearm.

A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Jacoby became the first swimmer from Alaska to qualify for an Olympic Games when she qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics in the 100-meter breaststroke. The 17-year-old was one of 11 teenage female swimmers to make the team.

After ranking third overall after the semifinals with a time of 1:05.72, Jacoby had a winning time of 1:04.95 in the final to garner Team USA’s first gold medal. It was the first medal won by an Alaskan-born swimmer at an Olympic Games. Her time also set a new National Age Group record for American girls in the 17-18-year-old age group. On the final day of competition, Jacoby won a silver medal as part of the 400-meter medley relay.

After the Olympics, Jacoby competed in the 2021 FINA Swimming World Cup and was the overall highest scoring female American competitor in the international competition. She won silver medals in the 50-meter breaststroke in Berlin and Budapest and in the 100-meter breaststroke in Budapest. She also won a bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke in Berlin. A graduate of Seward High School in Seward, Alaska, Jacoby committed to University of Texas starting in the fall of 2022.

“I am excited to partner with the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in the hopes of bringing fans and fellow swimmers a smile,” Jacoby said.

Said National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar, “We are excited to release these bobbleheads of Caeleb Dressel and Lydia Jacoby who have both shined on the world’s biggest staged and inspired so many across the globe. We think these fans will love these new bobbleheads featured two swimming superstars.”

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is located at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It opened to the public on February 1, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals, and teams across the country.

For more information call 1-800-414-1482 or email info@bobbleheadhall.com. The bobbleheads are only available in its online store.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com