WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
CORAL SPRINGS—Jillian Alexander of the Coral Springs Swim Club had a game plan going into the National Age Group Swimming Association (NASA) Showcase Classic.
The Coral Springs Charter School seventh grader wanted to drop times in all six events she entered.
On Saturday, the 12-year-old accomplished just that.
On the final day of the five-day meet, Alexander posted career-best times in her final two events, the 12-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke and 100-yard individual medley.
She finished third in the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.38 and third in the 100 IM in 1:05.59. Alexander also swam 29.89 in the 50-yard butterfly morning prelims.
“I felt really good and I am happy with all my swims,” Alexander said.
“This was my big meet for the season and I swam all my best times the whole week. I thought I would drop my times but I didn’t think I would drop this much. I was happiest with my 200 breaststroke. Coach Bruno has helped me a lot especially with my stroke.
“Usually, I am nervous before my meets, but this was a lot of fun. Everyone did really good.”
Alexander started swimming at age 3 at the urging of her parents after the family moved to Florida. She also plays soccer but now that the soccer season is over with she said she was focusing on swimming.
Other Coral Springs finishers were:
Marco Hosfeld, 14, second, 14-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke, 1:05.72 (1:08.06 prelims).
Kayla Moodie, 13, third, 13-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke, 1:10.79 (1:13.06 prelims).
Arie Van Der Vlist, 11, 11-year-olds 50-yard freestyle, 28.76 (28.96 prelims).
Eden Cooke, 10, fourth, 10-year-olds 50-yard freestyle, 27.93 (28.65 prelims).
Bogdan Cioanta, 14, fourth, 14-year-olds 50-yard freestyle, 23.13 (23.05 prelims).
Bogdan Cioanta, 14, fifth, 14-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke, 1:06.38 (1:07.61 prelims).
Catharine Cooper, 10, sixth, 10-year-olds 50-yard freestyle, 28.30 (28.82 prelims).
Kayla Moodie, 13, sixth, 13-year-olds 50-yard butterfly, 29.44 (30.07 prelims).
Audrey Mason, 11, seventh, 11-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke, 1:16.33 (1:18.16 prelims) and eighth, 11-year-olds 50-yard freestyle, 28.47 (28.32 prelims).
Rebecca Sadler, 12, ninth, 12-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke, 1:18.24.
Lindsey Sauer, 12, 11th, 12-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke, 1:19.88.
August Charni, 13, 12th, 13-year-olds 50-yard freestyle, 25.19.
Haley Wright, 13, 14th, 13-year-olds 50-yard butterfly, 31.59.
Rebecca Wilkerson, 12, 15th, 12-year-olds 100-yard breaststroke, 1:22.47.
Kayla Moodie, 13, 19th, 13-year-olds 50-yard freestyle, 27.94.
Coral Springs age group coach Bruno Darzi was pleased with his team’s week-long performance.
“I think the fact we had the JOs meet first and the chance to correct a few things helped them in this meet,” Darzi said.
“Our JO results were pretty good, too, and after Tyla (Martin) was able to perform so well at CARIFTA, I knew our other swimmers would do well, too, because they had the same preparation. I think we did the right things.”
For the younger swimmers, it was not only their biggest meet, but their first national meet.
“Some of them realized how important and big it was,” Darzi said. “They all had fun with it. I am happy with everything they did and have no regrets what we did all season. I am happy with the results.”
Even though his swimmers want to get right back in the water on Monday, Darzi told them after the meet they will have a mandatory week off before returning to training.
“Some of them want to swim but I told them it was mandatory,” Darzi said. “The other swimmers who trained just for JOs and Division IIs will be back training on Monday.”
The five-day national meet ended with New England-based Bluefish Swim Club capturing the combined team title with 2,100 points. Quest Swimming was second (1,860) and Badger Swim Club was third (1,621).
With 16 swimmers among the field of 200 swimmers, mostly from out-of-state, Coral Springs Swim Club, swimming unattached, was ninth with 621 points, the only Florida team in the Top 10.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com