SOFLO’s Colmenares, Rodriguez Top Four Finishes On Final Day Of CCCAN Championships; Puerto Rico Wins Team Title


By Sharon Robb
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, June 27, 2021–Javier Colmenares and Enrique Rodriguez, both representing Venezuela internationally, ended a long meet on a successful note Sunday at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Championships at San Juan Aquatic Complex.

Rodriguez, 16, was fourth in the 15-17 400-meter freestyle in 4:14.85. Rodriguez swam a best time of 4:14.36 in prelims, bettering his previous best of 4:15.30. His best event finish during the meet was second in the 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:12.56, a time drop of 1.81.

Colmenares, 14, was third in the 100-meter butterfly in a lifetime-best 59.88. It was the first time he cracked 1 minute in the event. He dropped 0.24 off his entry time of 1:00.12. He was also fourth in the 13-14 50-meter breaststroke in 31.13 after going a best time 30.76 in prelims, dropping 0.38. His previous best was 31.14.

El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta, 24, who trains with Azura, won the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.51.

Cypress Bay High School’s Nicol Bellardi, 15, of Venezuela won the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:23.43, shaving 2.04 off her previous best of 2:25.47.

Puerto Rico’s Yeziel Morales, 24, who trains with Azura, won the 200-meter backstroke in 1:59.39, the FINA “B” cut for Tokyo.

Kristen Romano, 21, of Puerto Rico won the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:13.75, another FINA “B” cut for the Tokyo Olympics and meet record.

Puerto Rico dominated the field of 14 countries to win the team title with 1,579 points after the completion of individual events. Venezuela was second with 744.

The CCCAN Championships are a biennial aquatics championship for countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The name of the event comes from the event’s organizers: the Central American & Caribbean Swimming Confederation, whose abbreviated name is CCCAN.

The CCCAN Championships are held every odd year, and began in 1960. In addition to CCCAN members, South American countries which border on the Caribbean also participate in the championships, including Suriname, Colombia and Venezuela. There are 28 federations.

BAHAMAS NATIONALS
NASSAU—Three-time Panama Olympian Edgar Crespo fell short of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in his final attempt. Crespo, 31, went 1:02.10 in the 100-meter breaststroke time trial. The FINA “B” cut was 1:01.73 and “A” cut 59.93. Sunday was the final day for swimmers to qualify. Honduras’ Julio Horrego, already qualified in the 100 breaststroke with a “B” cut, went 1:01.18 in an exhibition final.

CCCAN SUNDAY RESULTS
TEAM TOTALS
: 1. Puerto Rico 1,579, 2. Venezuela 744, 3. Dominican Republic 483, 4. Guatemala 461, 5. Virgin Islands 288, 6. Jamaica 242, 7. Honduras 212, 8. Aruba 209.5, 9. El Salvador 205, 10. Haiti 113, 11. Panama 58.5, 12. Bermuda 47, 13. Turks and Caicos 33, 14. Colombia 21.

WOMEN
400-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Nicole Mack, GUA 4:44.96; 13-14, 1. Lucero Mejia, GUA 4:33.21; 15-17, 1. Mariana Cote, VEN 4:31.01; 18-and-over, 1. Michelle Ramirez, HON 4:26.83.

50-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Melissa Diego, GUA 35.50; 13-14, 1. Andrea Perea, PUR 35.60; 15-17, 1. Krista Jurado, GUA 33.88; 18-and-over, 1. Anahi Schreuders, ARU 33.32.

100-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Monica Leydar, VEN 1:08.88; 13-14, 1. Gabi Paredes, VEN 1:06.56; 15-17, 1. Isabella Alas, ESA 1:02.27; 18-and-over, 1. Madelyn Moore, BER 1:02.21.

200-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Melissa Diego, GUA 2:27.07; 13-14, 1. Lucero Mejia, GUA 2:22.15, meet record; 15-17, 1. Nicol Bellardi, VEN 2:23.43; 18-and-over, 1. Kristen Romano, PUR 2:13.75.

MEN
400-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Dany Papadia, VEN 4:26.38; 13-14, 1. Caleb Romero, PUR 4:17.36; 15-17, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 4:03.90; SOFLO: 4. Enrique Rodriguez, VEN 4:14.85; 18-and-over, 1. Marcelo Acosta, ESA 3:58.51.

50-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Gamal Kabchi, VEN 33.62; 13-14, 1. Xavier Ruiz, PUR 29.74; SOFLO: 4. Javier Colmenares 31.13; 15-17, 1. Kito Campbell, JAM 28.55, meet record; 18-and-over, 1. Andres Martijen, DOM 28.94.

100-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Omar Oyuela, HON 1:02.68; 13-14, 1. Diego Alvarado, ESA 58.73; SOFLO: 3. Javier Colmenares, VEN 59.88; 15-17, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 57.50; FGC: 3. Renato Herran, VEN 57.86; 18-and-over, 1. Davidson Vincent, HAI 55.20.

200-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Daryan Maynard, VI 2:27.80; 13-14, 1. Xavier Ruiz, PUR 2:12.84; 15-17, 1. Max Wilson, VI 2:08.30; FGC: 2. Wisthon Rendon, VEN 2:10.77; 18-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR 1:59.39.

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

Javier Colmenares Top SOFLO Finisher On Day Three Of CCCAN Championships


By Sharon Robb
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, June 25, 2021–Venezuela’s Javier Colmenares is having the meet of his young life at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Championships at San Juan Aquatic Complex.

On Friday night, Colmenares, 14, posted his third lifetime-best of the meet finishing second in the 13-14 200-meter breaststroke in 2:28.12, shaving 2.50 seconds off his previous best of 2:30.62.

Colmenares has also had best times in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:13.31 and 1:06.76 in the 100-meter breaststroke, “a real swim for a 14-year-old,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said.

Colmenares has the 400 IM, 50 breaststroke and 100 butterfly in the FINA-sanctioned meet.

Two other SOFLO swimmers also saw action Friday night.

Andrea Santander, 19, of Venezuela was fourth in the 100-meter freestyle in 58.47, bettering her morning fifth- fastest time of 58.69.

Enrique Rodriguez, 16, of Venezuela was sixth in the 800-meter freestyle in a best time 8:55.43, dropping 2.62 seconds off his previous best.

The CCCAN Championships are a biennial aquatics championship for countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The name of the event comes from the event’s organizers: the Central American & Caribbean Swimming Confederation, whose abbreviated name is CCCAN.

The CCCAN Championships are held every odd year, and began in 1960. In addition to CCCAN members, South American countries which border on the Caribbean also participate in the championships, including Suriname, Colombia and Venezuela. There are 28 federations.

BAHAMAS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

NASSAU—Bahamas national team member Izaak Bastian, 19, of Florida State and St. Andrew’s alum won the 200-meter breaststroke in a best time 2:15.14, dropping 0.93 seconds. He was also a member of the winning 200-meter freestyle relay (1:33.65). He has the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke events left to swim.

FRIDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

1500-meter freestyle:
13-14, 1. Ariana Valle, ESA 18:04.15; 15-17, 1. Julianna Penner, VEN 17:38.23; 18-and-over, 1. Michelle Ramirez, HON 17:27.83.

50-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Riley Miller, ISV 31.78; 13-14, 1. Elizabeth Jimenez, DOM 30.41; 15-17, 1. Miriam Sheehan, PUR 29.39; FGC: 2. Nicole Bellardi, VEN 31.32; 18-and-over, 1. Celismar Guzman, PUR 29.60.

200-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Melissa Diego, GUA 2:49.54; 13-14, 1. Andrea Perea, PUR 2:48.29; 15-17, 1. Krista Jurado, GUA 2:39.81; 18-and-over, 1. Marissa Lygo, PUR 2:40.13.

100-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Nicole Mack, GUA 1:02.41; 13-14, 1. Alanis Santiago, PUR 59.31; 15-17, 1. Miriam Sheehan, PUR 57.81; FGC: 4. Nicol Bellardi, VEN 59.95; 18-and-over, 1. Madelyn Moore, BER 56.75; SOFLO: 4. Andrea Santander, VEN 58.47.

MEN
800-meter freestyle:
13-14, 1. Caleb Romero, PUR 9:05.18; 15-17, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 8:21.92; SOFLO: 6. Enrique Rodriguez, VEN 8:55.43, time drop 2.62; 18-and-over, 1. Marcelo Acosta, ESA 8:10.66.

50-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Omar Oyuela, HON 31.61; 13-14, 1. Nelson Denny, JAM 27.98; 15-17, 1. Max Wilson, ISV 26.44; FGC: 6. Wisthon Rendon, VEN 29.28; 18-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, PUR 25.66.

200-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Gamal Kabchi, VEN 2:41.29; 13-14, 1. Xavier Ruiz, PUR 2:18.97; SOFLO: 2. Javier Colmenares, VEN 2:28.12, time drop 2.50; 15-17, 1. Ryan Tirado, PUR 2:23.24; 18-and-over, 1. Tyler Christianson, PAN 2:16.96.

100-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Omar Oyuela, HON 58.81; 13-14, 1. Nelson Denny, JAM 53.61; 15-17, 1. Max Wilson, ISV 51.60; FGC: 4. Renato Herran, VEN 53.71; 18-and-over, 1. Mikel Schreuders, Aruba 50.27.

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

El Salvador’s Marcelo Acosta Wins; SOFLO’s Enrique Rodriguez Places Sixth On Opening Day Of CCCAN Championships


By Sharon Robb
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, June 23, 2021–Five-time national record holder Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador won his first event at the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation Championships Wednesday at San Juan Aquatic Complex.

Acosta, 24, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics, won the 1500-meter freestyle in 15:52.85, off his entry time of 15:04.79.

Acosta, a 2016 Olympian, has the 800 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 400 IM and 400 freestyle remaining to swim.

National record holder Michelle Ramirez, 18, of Honduras won the women’s 800-meter freestyle in a best time 9:08.81, dropping 5.78 seconds off her previous best of 9:14.59.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Enrique Rodriguez, 16, of Venezuela swam the 15-17 1500-meter freestyle as an exhibition and finished in 17:10.03, slower than his entry time of 17:06.91.

Venezuela was third in the 15-17 mixed 200-meter free relay in 1:43.91 with Fabiana Pesce and Florida Gold Coast swimmers Wisthon Rendon, Renato Herran and Nicol Bellardi.

SOFLO’s other five swimmers competing are: three-time Olympian Edgar Crespo, 33, of Panama; Miguel Cancel, 21, of Puerto Rico; Mariangela Cincotti, 17, of Venezuela; Javier Colmenares, 14, of Venezuela; and Andrea Santander, 19, of Venezuela.

The CCCAN Championships are a biennial aquatics championship for countries in Central America and the Caribbean. The name of the event comes from the event’s organizers: the Central American & Caribbean Swimming Confederation, whose abbreviated name is CCCAN.

The CCCAN Championships are held every odd year, and began in 1960. In addition to CCCAN members, South American countries which border on the Caribbean also participate in the championships, including Suriname, Colombia and Venezuela. There are 28 federations.

WEDNESDAY RESULTS
WOMEN

800-meter freestyle:
13-14, 1. Ariana Valle, ESA 9:23.05, 2. Lucero Mejia, GUA 9:38.64, 3. Sofia Garcia, VEN 9:47.61; 15-17, 1. Mariana Cote, VEN 9:08.66, 2. Rebecca Ramos, GUA 9:35.86, 3. Carolina Suraez, PUR 9:52.64; 18-and-over, 1. Michelle Ramirez, HON 9:08.81, 2. Ivana Izquierdo, PUR 9:13.08, 3. Laura Figueroa, PUR 9:32.02.

MEN
1500-meter freestyle:
13-14, 1. Caleb Romano, PUR 17:10.35, 2. Jose Nolla, PUR 18:01.98, 3. Tajhari Williams, TCI 20:30.53; 15-17, 1. Fabian Gines, PUR 16:10.06, 2. Josean Massucco, PUR 16:16.24, 3. Raul Briceno, VEN 16:29.82; SOFLO: 6. Enrique Rodriguez, VEN 17:10.03; 18-and-over, 1. Marcelo Acosta, ESA 15:52.85, 2. Alexis Soto, PUR 16:11.02, 3. Alfonso Mestre, VEN 16:38.82.

200-meter free relay:
11-12, 1 Venezuela 1:52.95, 2. Virgini Islands 1:54.29, 3. Puerto Rico 1:56.70; 13-14, 1. Dominican Republic 1:45.13, 2. Puerto Rico 1:46.22; 15-17, 1. Puerto Rico 1:41.36, 2. Dominican Republic 1:43.47, 3. Venezuela 1:43.91; 18-and-over, 1. Puerto Rico 1:37.89.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Heads Field For UANA Tokyo Qualifier That Begins Thursday In Clermont


By Sharon Robb
CLERMONT, April 28, 2021—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson heads a fast field for the UANA Tokyo Qualifier that gets under way Thursday at Orlando Health National Training Center.

The four-day meet, hosted by Azura Florida Aquatics and Montverde Academy Swimming, has attracted 300 swimmers and 74 teams from 60 nations.

As a FINA-approved event, swimmers who participate will be eligible to qualify for the July 23-August 8 Tokyo Olympic Games; Sept. 9-19 Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia; Dec. 15-20 FINA SCM World Championships in Abu Dhabi and May 13-29, 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

“The UANA Tokyo Qualifier is a significant opportunity for swimmers throughout the world to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games,” said Dale Neuberger, newly-named FINA Treasurer. “With athletes from over 60 countries competing, the state of Florida has established itself as an important and desirable location for international competition.”

UANA (Union Americana de Natación) is the international governing body in the Western Hemisphere for amateur aquatics. UANA is one of five continental regions within FINA.

Recently, Atkinson was named an an athlete member to the UANA Technical Committee for swimming through 2023.

Atkinson, 32, one of the oldest swimmers in the meet, has already qualified for her fifth Olympics in Tokyo in her signature 100-meter breaststroke event.

In addition to the 100-meter breaststroke, Atkinson is also entered in the 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly. She is seeded first in the 50-meter butterfly (26.61) and breaststroke (30.58) events, second in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.00) and third in the 100-meter butterfly (1:00.87).

She will be joined by four other SOFLO teammates: Mariangela Cincotti Serafini, 17, and Andrea Santander, 19, both of Venezuela; Julio Horrego, 22, of Honduras and Leo Mateus, 19, of Colombia.

All five swimmers are representing SOFLO.

Horrego is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events and is an Olympic hopeful. Horrego represented Honduras at the Central American and Caribbean Games where he was fifth in the 200 breast in 2:16.40 and eighth in the 200 IM in 2:05.40. At the 2018 CCCAN meet he won the 100 breast (1:03.30); 200 breaststroke (2:20.87) and 200 IM (2:04.85). He was a two-time high school state champion at Mater Academy and former Florida State swimmer.

Cincotti Serafini, headed to Drexel University in the fall, will swim the 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyle events. She will graduate from Nova Southeastern University School where she qualified for the state meet as a junior and broke school records in the 200 and 500 freestyles. She is a member of Venezuela’s national team and has competed in the Pan American and South American Games. In 2018, she qualified for the Open Water Junior World Championships in Eilat. She is a member of two Venezuelan national age group relay records.

Santander, a former Broward County High School Swimmer of the Year and state champion for Pine Crest, earned a scholarship to University of Southern California her senior year. As a junior, she represented Venezuela in international meets including the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires at age 16. She has competed in five international meets, her first three 17-18 meets and junior worlds. Santander is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyles and 200-meter individual medley.

Mateus, an Everglades High School alum currently enrolled at Yale, swims for the Colombian Swimming Federation and has limited international experience. He is entered in the 200-meter backstroke and breaststroke events and 200- and 400-meter individual medleys.

Miguel Cancel, who trains at SOFLO when he’s not attending and swimming at University of Florida, is competing unattached for Florida. Cancel, a Gulliver Prep alum where he won four individual state titles, has competed on the international scene for Puerto Rico. Among his events are the 50 butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke sprints and 200 and 400 IM.

Also competing are SOFLO’s Juan Colmenares, 17, and Javier Colmenares, 14, representing Venezuela and competing for international meet experience.

There will be several other familiar faces with Florida ties in the meet.

Aruba’s Patrick Groters, 22, coached by his brother Jordy, is a NSU University School alum. Their mother is UANA President Maureen Croes.

“I am extremely pleased with the event that UANA, together with Azura, Montverde, Orlando Health National Training Center and Greater Orlando Sports Commission, put together in a very short time,” Croes said.

“Organization of any sporting event during the pandemic is very challenging and requires more attention to details to ensure our athletes and coaches are able to do what they do best safely. I am grateful to all involved, as cooperation and willingness to support has been beyond my wildest dreams.”

Pine Crest will have a talented group of swimmers led by 16-year-old U.S. Olympic trials qualifier Julia Podkoscielny.

Host Azura has a large contingent entered led by El Salvador Olympian Marcelo Acosta, 24. He was the first swimmer from El Salvador to qualify for the Olympics with an “A” cut in 2016.

St. Andrew’s alum Izaak Bastian, 20, swimming unattached for Florida State, is representing the Bahamas as a member of the national team and national record holder.

On Thursday timed finals session begins 5 p.m. Events are women’s 1500-meter freestyle, men’s 800-meter freestyle and men’s and women’s 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter breaststroke. Friday through Sunday, prelims are 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

The meet is being shown on the Pan Am Sports TV channel available on an app which can be downloaded for free on various devices.

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

U.S., Brazil, Argentina Win Gold, Pine Crest’s Santander Swims First Relay On Day One Of XVIII Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 7, 2019—The U.S., Brazil and Argentina shared the gold medal podium on opening day of swimming Tuesday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional.

Pine Crest’s Andrea Santander swam her first event for Venezuela. The relay of Jeserik Andrein Pinto Sequera, Carla Gonzalez, Santander and Fabiana Antonel Pesce Flores finished fourth in 3:53.89 behind the U.S., Brazil and Canada.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello, with her fingernails painted with her country’s light blue and white nails, won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:10.86. She led for most of the race.

American Andrew Abruzzo won the men’s 400-meter freestyle in 3:48.41 after taking the lead at the 300-meter mark. Colombia’s Santiago Corredo was eighth in 3:56.00.

American Annie Lazor, swimming from Lane 7, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.94.

Brazil’s Joao Gomes knocked off American Cody Miller to out-touch him and win the 100-meter breaststroke 59.51-59.57. American Kevin Cordes was third in 1:00.27. Colombia’s Jorge Murillo, a former SOFLO swimmer, was fifth in 1:00.91.

Argentina’s Virginia Bardach Martin won the women’s 200-meter butterfly in 2:10.87. American Meghan Small was third in 2:12.51.

Brazil’s Leonardo de Deus won the men’s 200-meter butterfly in 1:55.85 to win his third consecutive gold medal in the event at Pan Ams. American Sam Pomajevich was second in 1:57.35. Early leader Tom Shields faded to eighth in 2:06.65.

The U.S. team overtook Brazil at the 200-meter mark to win the women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay to take the gold in 3:39.59 with Margo Geer, Lia Neal, Claire Rasmus and Meaghan Raab. Brazil was second in 3:40.39.

Brazil came back and knocked off the U.S. to win the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Nathan Adrian anchored the relay with the second fastest split of 47.70.

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

Pine Crest Swimming’s Andrea Santander Competes For Venezuela In Youth Olympic Games Sunday And Monday; NBC Will Televise


By Sharon Robb

BUENOS AIRES, October 5, 2018—Andrea Santander has the best of both worlds.

The Pine Crest swimmer will represent Venezuela when the Youth Olympic Games begin Saturday with the Opening Ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Santander, 16, will compete Sunday in the 200-meter individual medley (2:06.32) prelims at 10 a.m. EST. The final is 6:45 p.m.

On Monday, she will swim the 100-meter freestyle (52.53) at 10 a.m. The semifinal round is 6:45 p.m. and final on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. With only two swimmers competing, Venezuela will not field a relay.

Santander will return in time to finish out the remainder of the high school season including the Oct. 13 Woodson Invitational before District 11-1A, Region 4-1A and 1A state championship for the Panthers (7-0 overall, 4-0 district).

“I am kind of just training through the Youth Olympics because states are not that far from now,” Santander said. “I am not tapered but I have done pretty well before not being tapered.”

Santander, competing internationally for the fifth time, qualified for the Youth Olympic Games at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia, her first major meet against older elite swimmers. Her first three international meets were 17-18 and under meets.

NBC Olympics will televise more than 60 hours of coverage over the 13-day event exclusively on the Olympic Channel beginning with Opening Ceremonies Saturday at 7 p.m. EST.

In addition, U.S. viewers will have access to 24/7 live streaming on OlympicChannel.com’s “YOG Channel,” NBC Sports and Olympic Channel digital platforms.

Santander will be among 4,000 athletes from 206 nations, between ages 14 and 18, competing in 32 sports and 36 disciplines.

Santander said she is proud to compete for Venezuela, currently in the midst of financial and political crisis.

“I am really excited to compete for Venezuela,” Santander said. “I love being able to represent my country. It’s not just about making my family happy, it’s about making people in Venezuela happy. My country is not in great condition right now so if I can bring happiness to the country it gets me excited.”

Santander has her sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She is one of Venezuela’s top swimmers and Olympic hopeful.

“My goal is the Olympics,” Santander said. “The Youth Olympics is going to be a great experience for me. It will be a little preview for me. It will help me get a feel for the atmosphere of a higher level competition, staying at the Olympic Village and being treated like a big league athlete. I will get to meet athletes from other countries.”

Santander is enjoying her finest high school season under first-year head coach Marius Podkoscielny. She is being recruited by more than 40 Division I schools including University of Southern California where she has already toured with former Pine Crest standout Marta Ciesla, USC’s top sprinter.

“Mariusz is such a great coach,” Santander said. “He helps you go to meets when you obviously are not shaved or tapered. He tells you to go in with the mentality that it’s a state championship meet. Even when you know you are not physically ready to go best times, he gets you mentally ready and in the mindset of a champion.”

Santander is one of the Broward County’s most dominant high school swimmers. Unlike last year when she competed at junior worlds and had only three days off before high school season, this year after the Central American and Caribbean Games she had a longer break of two weeks before competing in high school meets.

“I had never had that long a break and I think it helped,” she said. “I took one college recruiting trip but I am holding back on the others until after states. I want to focus on the rest of the high school season.”

Only one other Florida Gold Coast swimmer is competing. Izaak Bastian, 17, will represent the Bahamas. The national team member will compete in the 50-meter freestyle and 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke. The Florida State freshman has been a boarder and swimmer at St. Andrew’s School in Boca Raton since he was 13.

USA Swimming is sending four boys and four girls to the Youth Olympics. They are Will Barao, Ethan Dang, Ethan Harder, Jake Johnson, Madelyn Donohoe, Kate Douglass, Kaitlynn Sims and Rhyan White.

The Youth Olympics are an International Olympic Committee event and scaled down version of the Olympic Games organized every four years for young athletes.

The “Sports Lab” concept was launched at the 2014 Nanjing Games where roller sports, skateboarding, sport climbing and wushu were featured. Since then, skateboarding and sport climbing have been added to the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. Horse polo and squash have been added to this year’s Youth Games.

It is the third Summer Youth Olympics to be held after the 2010 Singapore and 2014 Nanjing Games. The previous Games hosted 3,600 athletes over 13 days of competition.

Access to the four Youth Olympic Games venue parks will be free to attract more fans and allow more youth to experience elite sport competition. Local youth will have the opportunity to access some of the Youth Olympic Games fields of play and competitions and free “Train With Champion” sessions will be offered with Olympians.

Sports initiation, organized in 30 sports, will also enable youth to try out the sports.

Buenos Aires is also bidding against Santiago, Chile for the right to host the Pan American Games in 2023.

“Buenos Aires 2018 will have an innovative and modern approach,” 2018 Buenos Aires Chairman Gerardo Werthein told reporters.

“Instead of waiting for young people to come to the sport, the Games will aim to bring the sport, culture and education to millennials and get them involved through interactive activities.

“It will be an open event for everyone to enjoy and will have a strong focus on sustainability.”

IOC officials believe the model will act as a testing ground for the Olympic Movement as the program is shifting toward a more youth-focused and urban setting.

Argentina is also considering a possible Olympic Games bid after completing the Youth Olympics, according to Argentina president Mauricio Macri. He said the Youth Games have introduced innovations that could be implemented in other events.

“Obviously once this wonderful event is finished we will have the chance to start thinking about trying to organize the Olympic Games,” Macri said.

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

Pine Crest Wins Big In Season Opener Against Somerset


By Sharon Robb

FORT LAUDERDALE, September 7, 2018—Pine Crest, the county’s top-ranked swimming and diving team, opened the 2018 season Friday with a lopsided victory over Somerset.

The girls team won 148-31 and boys team won 139-37 at their home pool. Both teams won every individual event and all three relays.

The season-opening wins also marked the successful debut of new head coach Mariusz Podkoscielny who takes the reins from veteran Hall of Fame coach Jay Fitzgerald who retired after last season.

The girls team was led by double winners Lara Jones and Andrea Santander.

Jones, 14, a freshman, won the 200-yard freestyle in 2:02.81 and 500-yard freestyle in 5:30.61.

Santander, 16, who represents Venezuela internationally and qualified for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 7-12, won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:06.32 and 100-yard freestyle in 52.53.

Nicholas Vale, a national age group record holder for Jamaica, was a double winner for the boys team. Vale 17, won 100-yard freestyle in 47.66 and 200-yard freestyle in 1:45.17. Six other boys won individual swimming events.

Pine Crest swept the 1-meter diving titles. Ishani Singh won the girls event with 232.50 and Denny Gulia-Janovski won the boys event with 264.00. The Panthers had 10 divers in the girls and boys field, picking up 26 points.

Several South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers competed for Somerset. SOFLO’s Kyana Castro was Somerset’s top finisher, placing second in the girls’ 100-yard butterfly in 1:04.34. SOFLO’s Diego Nazario-Vazquez, 12, was third in the boys’ 200-yard freestyle in 2:06.15 and fourth in the 50-yard freestyle in 26.70.

Pine Crest’s next opponent is NSU University School on Sept. 12 at the Nova Southeastern Aquatic Complex.

GIRLS
Pine Crest 148, Somerset 31

200-yard medley relay: 1. Pine Crest 1:52.45 (Simone Vale, Sara Lin, Esther Lin, Daniela Munoz), 2. Pine Crest 1:54.06, 3. Somerset 2:01.99 (Isabella DiSalvo, Elise Larin, Katrina Del Vecchio, Kyana Castro).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Lara Jones, PC 2:02.81, 2. Flora Beleznay, PC 2:09.61, 3. Emma Gomez, PC 2:15.28, 4. Elise Larin, SOM 2:18.63.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Andrea Santander, PC 2:06.32, 2. Julia Podkoscielny, PC 2:13.33, 3. Riley Botting, PC 2:15.44, 4. Isabella Di Salvo, SOM 2:27.46.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Rachel Botting, PC 24.56, 2. Hanna Smith, PC 25.11, 3. Daniela Munoz, PC 26.02, 4. Katrina Del Vecchio, SOM 26.08, 5. Kaitlyn Barrios, SOM 28.24, 6. Kyana Castro, SOM 28.79.

1-meter diving: 1. Ishani Singh, PC 232.50, 2. Shiraz Shiff, PC 210.15, 3. Kaylee Greenberg, PC 206.40.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Esther Lin, PC 59.96, 2. Kyana Castro, SOM 1:04.34, 3. Madison Kozel, PC 1:05.48, 5. Natalia Sibug, SOM 1:14.72.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Andrea Santander, PC 52.53, 2. Rachel Botting, PC 54.85, 3. Katrina Del Vecchio, SOM 57.03, 5. Kaitlyn Barrios, SOM 1:01.29.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Lara Jones, PC 5:30.61, 2. Flora Beleznay, PC 5:41.73, 3. Emma Gomez, PC 6:00.98.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Crest 1:43.47 (Andrea Santander, Esther Lin, Lara Jones, Flora Beleznay), 2. Pine Crest 1:44.10, 3. Pine Crest 1:50.99, 4. Somerset 1:51.27 (Katrina Del Vecchio, Kaitlyn Barrios, Payola Inestroza, Natalia Sibug).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Julia Podkoscielny, PC 1:01.42, 2. Isabella Di Salvo, SOM 1:06.87, 3. Madison Kozel, PC 1:09.82.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Sara Lin, PC 1:06.83, 2. Riley Botting, PC 1:08.12, 3. Esther Lin, PC 1:11.76, 4. Natalia Sibug, SOM 1:15.94, 5. Elise Larin, SOM 1:16.39.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Crest 3:45.59 (Julia Podkoscielny, Flora Beleznay, Simone Vale, Rachel Botting), 2. Pine Crest 3:50.44, 3. Somerset 4:10.03 (Isabella Di Salvo, Kyana Castro, Kaitlyn Barrios, Elise Larin).

BOYS
Pine Crest 139, Somerset 37

200-yard medley relay: 1. Pine Crest 1:40.23 (Elvis Kotikovski, Jacob Silberman, Matthew Petreski, Joshua Hanks), 2. Somerset 2:03.03.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Nicholas Vale, PC 1:45.17, 2. Victor Lago, PC 2:01.93, 3. Diego Nazario-Vazquez, SOM 2:06.15.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Joshua Hanks, PC 2:00.17, 2. Jimmy Hart, PC 2:05.36, 3. Gabriel Munoz, SOM 2:28.09.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Luc Ferrara, PC 24.54, 2. Victor Lago, PC 25.62, 3. Nicholas Santana, SOM 26.49, 4. Diego Nazario-Vazquez, SOM 26.70.

1-meter diving: 1. Denny Gulia-Janovski, PC 264.00, 2. Allen Levitis, PC 207.30, 3. Adam Shiff, PC 159.45.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Jacob Silberman, PC 53.47, 2. Luc Ferrara, PC 1:01.05, 3. Gabriel Munoz, SOM 1:07.35.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Nicholas Vale, PC 47.66, 2. Elvis Kotikovski, PC 52.70, 3. Christopher Martinez, PC 57.15.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Antony Novak, PC 5:08.47, 2. Joshua Hanks, PC 5:14.90, 3. Roman Ferrara, PC 5:50.70

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Crest 1:29.47 (Joshua Hanks, Nicholas Vale, Jacob Silberman, Jimmy Hart), 2. Somerset 1:44.87 (Diego Nazario-Vazquez, Nicholas Santana, Edwin Reyes, Gabriel Munoz), 3. Pine Crest 1:47.00.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Elvis Kotikovski, PC 55.19, 2. Antony Novak, PC 1:05.36, 3. Ronin Jones, PC 1:16.85.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Matthew Petreski, PC 1:00.87, 2. Jimmy Hart, PC 1:02.00, 3. Jacob Silberman, PC 1:02.11.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pine Crest 3:21.58 (Nicholas Vale, Jimmy Hart, Matthew Petreski, Elvis Kotikovski), 2. Pine Crest 3:42.87, 3. Somerset 4:23.67.

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

Atkinson, Carter, Paez Win Gold At CAC Games In Colombia; FSU’s Pisani Makes Canada’s Pan Pacs Team


By Sharon Robb

BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA, July 23, 2018—Swimmers who trained and competed at local Florida Gold Coast clubs and high schools are taking center stage at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) at the Eduardo Movilla Aquatics Complex and Canadian Trials in Edmonton.

Plantation American Heritage and former USC Trojan Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago crushed the 50-meter butterfly for a gold medal in a lifetime-best 23.11 which now ranks fourth in the world. He first broke the record in prelims in 23.50.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 29, won a gold medal and broke her second CAC meet record in the 50-meter breaststroke. She won in 30.19, fourth fastest mark in the world this season, bettering the previous record of 31.14 she set in morning prelims. It is the third fastest time of her long career and just .08 what she swam at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan where she took silver.

Atkinson also won a gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly in 26.60.

“It was pretty good,” Atkinson told reporters. “I’m starting to feel the effects of the dehydration and heat, so hopefully I can continue and get better as it goes along.

“My race was a bit harder than I thought. It wasn’t as clean as I thought it would have been but hopefully in the future we’ll get it better for the finals. It was more of the effects of the dehydration and tightening of the muscles.”

Atkinson was also fourth in the 100-meter freestyle in 55.41.

Atkinson now has 12 CAC Games gold medals in her career. Atkinson’s three gold medals are the only ones won by Jamaica since the Games opened on Thursday.

Athletes are competing in near 100-degree heat during the day.

Recent Duke University graduate Isabella Paez won the gold medal in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:11.26, just .01 shy of the Games record. It was her second “A” final of the meet. She also finished fourth in the 50-meter butterfly and was a member of Venezuela’s fourth place in the 800-meter freestyle relay (8:22.92).

The Venezuelan national team member swam for Metro Aquatic Club of Miami and Ronald Reagan Doral High School before earning a scholarship to Duke where she represented the Blue Devils at the NCAA Championships.

Her mom posted on Facebook: “There are no words to see your daughter make the anthem of your country, Bravo Isa, you are a warrior, we love you mucho.”

Held every four years since 1926, the CACs are a multi-sport competition involving countries in Central America, the Caribbean, Bermuda, Mexico and the South American countries of Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

CANADIAN TRIALS

Florida State senior William Pisani, a Riviera Beach Suncoast alum and Lake Lytal Lightning club swimmer, earned a spot on Canada’s national team for the Aug. 9-12 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

Pisani earned his spot on the 32-roster men’s team with a second-place finish in the 100-meter butterfly in 53.17 at the Canadian Trials in Edmonton, Alberta.

“I am so happy for Will,” FSU head coach Neal Studd said. “He is a great example of what happens when talent works hard. His improvements here at FSU in the last two years show how well he has focused on what he does every day and making his first national team with two years until the Olympics is great timing. The future looks bright.”

Pisani also took third in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.51, just .04 off the FINA A standard, and fifth in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.92 after swimming a personal best in prelims in 49.59.

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

FGC Swimmers Nikita Tretyakov Finishes Eighth; Patrick Groters Makes Top 16 On Day Two Of FINA World Junior Championships


By Sharon Robb

INDIANAPOLIS, August 24, 2017— Russian Nikita Tretyakov of Swim Fort Lauderdale was eighth in the final of the 100-meter backstroke on Day Two of the sixth FINA World Junior Swimming Championships Thursday at Indiana University Natatorium.

Tretyakov, 18, finished in 55.57. His splits were 26.66 and 28.91.

The Russian junior national champion had placed third in the 100-meter backstroke prelims in a lifetime-best 55.14 and seventh in the semifinals in 55.45 to advance into Thursday’s final. His previous best was 56.58.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters of Aruba made the Top 16 in the 200-meter individual medley prelims. Groters placed 14th in 2:04.73. It was just off his lifetime-best 2:04.69 which he was on pace to better at the 150-meter mark.

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmers:

Belen Jesuit senior Aitor Fungairino of Metro Aquatics representing Venezuela was 16th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:50.60.

Andrea Santander, a sophomore at Pine Crest School and member of Pine Crest Swimming club team representing Venezuela, was 31st in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.93.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Jorge Depassier of Chile was 38th in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:54.55.

Miami Columbus senior Brandon Vives, representing the Dominican Republic, was 36th in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.13. He was also 41st in the 100-meter butterfly in 56.95.

Tuesday’s lineup featured eleven events. Among top performances:

American Regan Smith broke the world and meet record (59.28) set in the semifinals by Canadian Taylor Ruck to win in 59.11. The much-anticipated final had five swimmers breaking a minute. Ruck was second in 59.23.

Russian Ivan Girov broke the world junior (1:47.00) and meet record (1:47.55) in the 200-meter freestyle to win in 1:46.40.

Spain’s Hugo Gonzalez broke the meet record of 54.30 in the 100-meter backstroke to win in 54.27.

Emily Large of Great Britain won the 200-meter butterfly in a meet record 2:07.74. The previous record was 2:08.10 set in 2008 by Japan’s Natsuki Akiyama.

Germany’s Johannes Hintze lowered the meet record of 1:59.44 set by American Gunnar Bentz in 2013 to win the 200-meter individual medley in 1:59.03.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello won the 800-meter freestyle in a meet record 8:25.22. The previous mark was 8:27.55.

American Emily Weiss won the 50-meter breaststroke in 30.78.

The six-day meet, held every two years, features 630 of the best boys, ages 14-17 and girls, ages 15-18, from 93 different countries.

Morning heats are 9:30 a.m. and semifinals and finals 6 p.m.

The semifinals and finals are being broadcast by the Olympic Channel via the NBC Sports App at 6 p.m. each day and webcast on nbcsports.com. The FINA live stream is not available in the U.S. and several other countries.

THURSDAY RESULTS

WOMEN

200-meter butterfly: 1. Emily Large, Great Britain 2:07.74, championship record; 2. Suzuka Hasegawa, Japan 2:08.29, 3. Keanna MacInnes, Great Britain 2:09.64.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Emily Weiss, USA 30.78, 2. Faith Knelson, Canada 30.91, 3. Mona Lucille McSharry, Ireland 30.97.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Regan Smith, USA 59.11, world junior, championship records; 2. Taylor Ruck, Canada 59.23, 3. Jade Hannah, Canada 59.62.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Delfina Pignatiello, Argentina 8:25.22, championship record; 2. Ajna Kesely, Hungary 8:30.62, 3. A. Gestido Cons, Spain 8:30.85.

Mixed medley 4×100-meter relay: 1. Canada 3:46.36, 2. USA 3:46.80, 3. Russia 3:48.32.

MEN

100-meter backstroke: 1. Hugo Gonzalez, Spain 54.27, championship record; 2. Conor Ferguson, Ireland 54.51, 3. Daniel Martin, Romania 54.55.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Ivan Girev, Russia 1:46.40, world junior, championship record; 2. Nandor Nemeth, Hungary 1:46.79, 3. Elijah Winnington, Australia 1:46.81.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Nicolo Martinenghi, Italy 59.58, 2. Reece Whitley, USA 1:00.08, 3. Michael Andrew, USA 1:00.37.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Johannes Hintze, Germany 1:59.03, world junior and championship records; 2. Kleran Smith, USA 1:59.56, 3. Marton Barta, Hungary 2:00.14.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com
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Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Shine On International Stage: Patrick Groters Breaks National Record; Nikita Tretyakov Advances Into Final At FINA World Junior Championships


By Sharon Robb

August 23, 2017—Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters of Aruba broke a national record on opening day of the sixth FINA World Junior Swimming Championships Wednesday at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

In his opening event, Groters broke his own national record in the 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 57.02 that ranks him 17th in the world. His
previous best was 57.17. His splits were 27.53 and 29.49.

Groters finished fifth in his heat of the 100-meter backstroke and just missed the Top 16 and semifinal swim.

Two years ago at junior worlds in Singapore, Groters finished 44th in 59.88 with splits of 28.86 and 31.02.

Groters, a senior, is headed into his final high school season at University School. Last year he was a state champion in the 100-yard backstroke and runner-up in the 200-yard individual medley.

Russian Nikita Tretyakov of Swim Fort Lauderdale finished third in the 100-meter backstroke prelims in a lifetime-best 55.14 and seventh in the semifinals in 55.45 to advance into Thursday’s finals. His previous best was 56.58. The Russian junior national champion is headed to University of Southern California after the meet.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Jose Diaz of Honduras finished 42nd in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:04.34. His splits were 30.48 and 33.86. He has the 200-meter backstroke and 100-meter freestyle remaining.

Andrea Santander, a sophomore at Pine Crest School, member of Pine Crest Swimming Club team and representing Venezuela was 27th in the 400-meter individual medley in 5:03.11.

The six-day meet, held every two years, features 630 of the best boys, ages 14-17 and girls, ages 15-18, from 93 different countries.

Two individual and two relay final events were held Wednesday in addition to semifinals for the women’s 50-meter breaststroke, men’s and women’s 100-meter backstroke, men’s 100-meter breaststroke.

Canada (Kayla Sanchez, Penny Oleksiak, Rebecca Smith, Taylor Ruck) broke the junior world and championship records in the women’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:51.47. The previous record was 7:56.68 set by Australia in 2015.

Hungary won the men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay in 3:17.99. Poland took the silver in 3:18.53.

Other Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing are:

Azura Florida Aquatics Jorge Depassier of Chile is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyle.

Amarsanaa Ganbaatar of Mongolia will swim the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter breaststroke.

Morning heats are 9:30 a.m. and semifinals and finals 6 p.m.

The semifinals and finals are being broadcast by the Olympic Channel via the NBC Sports App at 6 p.m. each day and webcast on nbcsports.com. The FINA live stream is not available in the U.S. and several other countries.

WEDNESDAY FINAL RESULTS

WOMEN

400-meter individual medley: 1. Miku Kojima, Japan 4:39.14, 2. Anna Sasaki, Japan 4:40.99, 3. Anja Crevar, Serbia 4:42.24.

4×200-meter freestyle relay: 1. Canada 7:51.47, 2. Russia 7:57.33, 3. Japan 8:02.09.

MEN

400-meter freestyle: 1. Andrew Abruzzo, USA 3:49.19, 2. Balasz Hollo, Hungary 3:49.97, 3. Trey Freeman, USA 3:50.14.

4×100-meter freestyle relay: 1. Hungary 3:17.99, 2. Poland 3:18.53, 3. Australia 3:18.55.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com