WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
June 26, 2010
CORAL SPRINGS—The South Florida Aquatic Club continued its domination on Day Three of the Florida Gold Coast Coral Springs Invitational Saturday night.
The electric atmosphere of the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex helped to spark the host team’s outstanding performances that included a junior national cut time, fifteen individual and relay victories and thirty-five career-best times.
SOFLO newcomer Emily Kopas, 13, seeded first in the 13-14 100-meter breaststroke in 1 minute and 15.32 seconds, not only won the event but qualified for the Aug. 9-13 Junior National Championships in Irvine, Calif. in a career-best time of 1:14.09.
Kopas turned it on in the final 40 meters to distance herself from the field and bring it home.
Kopas was a member of STAR Swimming’s 2010 Summer Speedo Championship team in Buffalo, N.Y. before her family relocated to South Florida. She is swimming unattached according to Florida Gold Coast team transfer rules.
Kopas was also second in the 200 IM in another career-best 2:26.82.
It was a SOFLO sweep in the 100 breaststroke with Jillian Alexander, 13, second in a career-best 1:21.41. Emma Lincoln, 14, was third in a career-best 1:23.78.
Lincoln also swam back-to-back personal bests in prelims (1:09.85) and finals (1:07.83) to finish second in the 100-meter butterfly. Her previous best was 1:10.49.
Maria Lopez, 14, was third in the 100 butterfly in 1:09.05. She bettered her previous best of 1:09.75 in prelims with a 1:08.67.
Heading into the fourth and final day, SOFLO has an insurmountable lead with 1,250 points. The Davie Nadadores’ unattached team is second with 313.5 and St. Andrew’s Swimming, led by the Florida Gold Coast record performance of Quinn Cassidy in the 100 breaststroke, is third with 270 points.
Cassidy, 14, swam 1:08.76, breaking SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s 100 breaststroke record of 1:09.20 set in 2005.
SOFLO national head coach Michael Lohberg has been pleasantly surprised at the team’s performance particularly the Texas Senior Circuit swimmers competing in back-to-back meets and fighting off fatigue to swim best times.
“The atmosphere at this pool is pretty appealing,” Lohberg said. “People like to come here, people like to race here.
“I am mostly surprised about the people who swam last week in Texas. They swam pretty well there and they come back and do it again. That is pretty remarkable. It seems to me they get more confident the more they race and drop times.”
SOFLO swept the top three spots in the girls’ 10-and-under 50-meter backstroke. Eden Cooke, 10, enjoying an outstanding meet, won the event in a career-best 37.02. Her previous best was 37.52.
“I was happy because I didn’t slip off the wall this time,” Cooke said. “I’m not sure why they’re slippery, I think they oil them to make us go faster. I am really happy with all my dropped times. I didn’t expect to do this good. This gives me a lot of confidence. There’s going to be some faster people in the next meet.”
Cooke also finished second in her 100-meter butterfly debut in 1:31.84 and led off the winning 200 freestyle relay with Kelley Heron, Catharine Cooper and Bianca Monti in a best time 2:11.11.
“I was happiest with the 100 fly today because I never swam it before and I am just glad I could do it,” Cooke said. “I wanted to swim it because I have been getting better at it.”
Catharine Cooper, 10, was second in the 50 backstroke in a career-best 41.41. She was seeded 29th with a previous best of 49.89.
“When I started I slipped off the wall, it was an accident,” Cooper said. “I don’t know why, I just slipped. In the race I saw the girls ahead of me on my left and I tried kicking and doing my best.
“I have been training really hard,” said Cooper, a Ramblewood Elementary School fourth grader who has been swimming since she was 4 in Swim America. “I was pretty nervous about the meet but my dad always tells me to be confident and I just go with that.
“Every meet is actually my goal,” Cooper said. “I am training for JO’s. I love swimming. It’s my main sport.”
Bianca Monti, 10, was third in the 50 backstroke in a best time 42.01, bettering her previous best of 46.30.
Steph Campo, 12, added two more victories to her collection over the past three days. In front of a small fan club of family and friends, Campo won the 11-12 50-meter backstroke in back-to-back best times of 34.74 in prelims and 33.57 in finals. Her previous best was 35.07.
Danielle Ginzburg, 12, also swam back-to-back best times of 37.14 (prelims) and 36.46 (finals) to finish third. Her previous best was 38.01.
Campo also won the 200-meter individual medley and bettered her previous best time of 2:44.38 in prelims (2:42.38) and finals 2:36.01.
“For the 50 backstroke and 200 IM my legs were shaking because I was so tired from the whole weekend,” Campo said. “But once I got in the water it stopped and I just did it.
“I was really happy with my 200 IM,” Campo said. “I dropped two seconds in the morning which I thought was good. I thought I would drop another second tonight but I dropped 8, so that was a lot.
“I am so tired, my body is aching but I am very happy with the time drops. It means Michael is doing a good job with me. This helps me know what to do and what to work on so the next meet will be perfect.”
Marco Hosfeld, 14, had another good night for the boys’ team. For the second consecutive night he was a double winner capturing the 13-14 200-meter IM in a career best 2:21.12 and 400 freestyle in 4:21.96. He also led off the winning 200-meter freestyle relay of Dylan Sell, Blake Kelley and Joshua Cutter in a best time 1:52.52.
“I guess I was going after it (200 IM) but I wanted to go under 2:20,” Hosfeld said. “I set the goals high. I’ve been training hard and I’m not rested. I’m going fast because Michael’s a good coach.”
Other top performances for SOFLO were:
Florida Atlantic graduate Elle Weberg, 25, first in the 15-and-over 100-meter breaststroke in 1:11.89, bettering her previous best of 1:13.76.
Kelley Heron, 10, first in the 10-and-under 100 breaststroke in a career-best 1:31.76, bettering her previous best of 1:39.17. She was also second in the 200 IM in 2:53.74, bettering her best time of 3:04.66.
Courtney Marx, 18, was third in the 15-and-over 100-meter butterfly in 1:06.89, bettering her best time of 1:07.27.
Kylie Herman, 12, was third in the 11-12 100 butterfly in 1:16.85, bettering her previous best of 1:21.54.
Alex Rodriguez, 19, was second in the 15-and-over 100 breaststroke in 1:07.12 and Matthew Bellew was close behind in third place in 1:07.33.
The meet, that features more than 600 swimmers and 26 teams including Bermuda and Puerto Rico, concludes today with prelims at 8:30 a.m. and finals at 4:30 p.m.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com