Emma Lincoln SOFLO’s Top Finisher In Career-Best Swims On Day Three Of Southern Zone Championships

Emma Lincoln SOFLO’s Top Finisher In Career-Best Swims On Day Three Of Southern Zone Championships


WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB

Two years ago, Emma Lincoln went to her first USA Swimming Southern Zone Championships for experience.

This time around the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was looking for more. The 14-year-old got just that on Thursday.

Lincoln swam back-to-back career-bests and made her first zone final in the 100-meter freestyle on Day Three of the Southern Zone Championships at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center in Atlanta.

Lincoln swam a career-best 1:00.96 in morning prelims, bettering her previous best and seed time of 1:02.41 to qualify for the championship final. She came back and swam faster in finals to better her career-best in 1:00.29 and finish eighth among a fast field.

The Florida Gold Coast All-Star zone team member was SOFLO’s top finisher during a fast night of swimming.

“This is really a big stepping stone for me,” Lincoln said after the race. “Hopefully, my next step will be junior nationals and nationals.”

Unlike many of her teammates, Lincoln was tapered for the meet but even she was surprised with her swims.

“I didn’t really expect to make finals,” Lincoln said. “Before I swam I tried to find a psych sheet to see what I was seeded and to see how fast I had to swim but I couldn’t find one.

“I went in there knowing I would have to drop a lot of time to get into finals,” Lincoln said. “I wanted to try and get as close to 59 to make it in. I swam my best in prelims and I dropped enough time to get in.

“For finals I was excited. The adrenalin got me going. I am extremely happy. It is really cool to make it into finals.”

Having the experience of one zone meet under her belt, helped Lincoln’s confidence.

“I knew what to expect,” Lincoln said. “This time I really wanted to make finals and go best times. This time I was also tapered like it was my big meet for the season.

“Two years ago, it was JOs that was my big meet and I just went to zones for fun. I wasn’t on my game as much back then. This meet I was a lot more prepared. Michael (Lohberg) had me nice and prepared.”

The six-day meet features some of the fastest swimmers in the region and is the last major long course meet before junior and senior nationals in Irvine, Calif. next month.

“The competition is extremely fast,” Lincoln said. “There are so many fast times being set. It is really difficult to make finals. You really have to swim fast to make finals.”

Lincoln has the 50- and 400-meter freestyle events and open water swim left to swim.

Lincoln is a natural athlete. She has been swimming since age 8. A former basketball and soccer player, ballet and tap dancer, Lincoln discovered that her passion is swimming.

“I do get motivated when I do well,” Lincoln said. “I think my hard work got me here and I know if I work even harder I can possibly make nationals eventually.”

Lincoln plans to take two weeks off to visit family and friends in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before returning to her Weston home to get ready for school at Cypress Bay and high school and club swimming.

“This has probably been one of my bigger meets,” Lincoln said. “I made finals at a really fast meet and I am happy with my performance. It’s really been a fun meet. Everyone is getting along great.”

Five other SOFLO swimmers also swam career-best times. Other SOFLO finishers were:

Marco Hosfeld, 14, 11th in the 13-14 100-meter freestyle in a career-best 56.43, bettering his previous best of 56.65.

Steph Campo, 12, 13th in the 11-12 400-meter freestyle in a career-best 4:47.47, bettering her previous best of 4:49.86. She was also 15th in the 11-12 50-meter backstroke in 33.75.

Luke Torres, 16, 20th in the 15-18 100-meter freestyle in a career-best 55.51. His previous best was 55.62. His swam the first 50-meters was 28.51.

Brandon Goldman, 15, 21st, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:18.35.

Tyla Martin, 13, 22nd, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:33.02.

Diego Rodriguez, 12, tied for 41st in the 11-12 50-meter backstroke in a career-best 37.59. His previous best was 38.00.

Anne Kuczynski, 15, 45th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:03.63, career-best. Her previous best was 1:04.53.

The Florida Gold Coast All-Star Zone team won another individual event on Thursday night. Daniel Spas, 15, won the boys’ 15-18 100-meter freestyle in 52.77, his second career-best of the day. He was the fastest qualifier in morning prelims in 52.86, bettering his previous career-best of 53.55.

Individual Southern Zone champions were:

GIRLS

Michelle Turek, 13, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 58.43, career-best.

Kaitlyn Dressel, 17, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 58.65, career-best.

Asia Seidt, 12, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 32.00, career-best.

Ashley Leclair, 14, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:20.25, career-best.

Lily Tang, 15, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:19.32, career-best.

Carly Straight, 12, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:34.27, career-best.

Caty Hulsey, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:02.01, career-best.

Savannah Napier, 17, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:57.84, career-best.

BOYS

Gunnar Bentz, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 53.46, career-best.

Daniel Spas, 15, Gold Coast, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 52.77, career-best.

Ethan Young, 12, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 29.75, career-best.

Alex Katz, 14, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:09.38, career-best.

Thomas Nguyen, 18, 15-18-meter backstroke, 2:08.14, career-best.

Preston Padden, 12, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:24.96, career-best.

Gunnar Bentz, 14, Zones Georgia, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 4:34.78, career-best.

Christian Carbone, 16, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:32.65, career-best.

Other Florida Gold Coast All-Star finishers were:

Samuel Smiddy, 16, second, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:36.52, career-best.

Rose Smiddy, 11, third, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:38.97, career-best.

Quinn Cassidy, 14, third, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:11.82, career-best.

Nicolas Medina, 12, fourth, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:27.62, career-best.

Megan Moroney, 13, fourth, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:22.60, career-best.

Michael Christian, 17, fourth, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:09.42, career-best.

Evandro Silva, 18, sixth, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:41.32.

Andrew Smiddy, 18, ninth, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 4:48.44.

Austin Manganiello, 17, ninth, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:13.82, career-best.

Quinn Cassidy, 14, 10th, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 57.86.

Zoie Balthazar, 14, tenth, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 1:01.12.

Arianna Noya, 13, 11th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:18.94.

Boleck Depawlikowski, 14, 12th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 4:56.23, career-best.

Isa Paez, 14, 13th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:21.57.

Andres Reyes-Capo, 16, 13th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 54.95.

Jessica Nederlanden, 17, 13th, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:26.61.

Brittany Hammond, 15, 16th, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 5:20.64.

Namilla Sanchez, 12, 16th, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:50.35, career-best.

Alex Cronin, 12, 16th, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 4:54.21, career-best.

Boleck Depawlikowski, 14, 16th, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:21.09.

Vicky Ho, 17, 18th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:00.84.

Jessie Randolph, 15, 19th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:00.86, career-best.

Hannah Vandersluis, 15, 19th, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 5:26.07.

Jonathan Farah, 12, 19th, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 34.12.

Alejandro Vassallo, 14, 19th, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:22.58.

Alexa Rivera, 11, 20th, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 34.07, career-best.

John Floyd, 14, 22nd, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 58.03.

Michael Christian, 17, 24th, 100-meter freestyle, 55.60.

Dashley Reyes, 15, 25th, 15-18 400-meter individual medley, 5:56.72.

Alejandro Vassallo, 14, 25th, 13-14 400-meter individual medley, 5:11.23.

Luis Santiesteban, 14, 25th, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 58.37, career-best.

Tanner Fuller, 12, 26th, 11-12 400-meter freestyle, 5:06.10, career-best.

Dashley Reyes, 15, 27th, 15-18 200-meter backstroke, 2:43.33.

Jessica Nederlanden, 17, 29th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:01.70.

Hank Contich, 12, 31st, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 35.55, career-best.

Zoie Balthazar, 14, 33rd, 13-14 200-meter backstroke, 2:38.48.

Fatimah Westbrook, 11, 39th, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 38.86 career-best.

Julio Horrego, 11, 41st, 11-12 50-meter backstroke, 37.59.

Sivan Fraiman, 15, 41st, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:03.25, career-best.

Annie Valls, 14, 41st, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 1:04.22, career-best.

Amanda Montesino, 17, 43rd, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:03.28.

Digby Nothard, 14, 48th, 13-14 100-meter freestyle, 1:02.32.

Hannah Vandersluis, 15, 59th, 15-18 100-meter freestyle, 1:05.53, career-best.

The six-day meet continues today with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. Friday events are 200-meter butterfly, 50-meter butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter medley relay.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com.

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