WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
August 23, 2010
Some of the top high school and club swimmers converged on the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex and Academic Village Pool Monday for the first official day of practice.
After SOFLO’s successful summer, head coach Michael Lohberg and CEO Chris Anderson are excited and have “high hopes” for the 2010-2011 season.
More than 30 high schools from Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach were represented by swimmers at both complexes.
Swimmers were coming off a two to four-week rest after the long course season.
After their first day of school, swimmers went through an hour of dryland training with seniors coach Dave Cowmeadow and Lohberg followed by a light pool workout despite overcast skies and light rain.
Among the first-day turnout were Tyla Martin (St. Andrew’s) and Keegan Boisson-Yates (Taravella), coming off an impressive summer representing Trinidad and Tobago at international meets; Brandon Goldman (St. Thomas Aquinas), Anne Kuczynski (Douglas), Steph Campo (Coral Springs Charter), Luke Torres (American Heritage), Marco Hosfeld (Douglas) and Lindsey McKnight, who has transferred from Douglas to American Heritage as a junior.
The club’s other large group of high school swimmers trained with coach Chris Jackson. At the same time, Coral Springs, Coral Glades, Douglas and Coral Springs Charter’s teams worked out at the complex.
“We have big plans this year, all of us, swimmers and coaches, and that excitement I think you can feel,” Lohberg said. “They really want to be a part of something special. We have an excellent team together this year and I am really looking forward to doing something with them.”
The SOFLO coaching staff and high school coaches in the tri-county area have a good rapport when it comes to club coaches working with high school swimmers.
“It is to the benefit of everybody,” Lohberg said. “They can train here where they are used to and then compete for their high school. It’s the best solution because they get the best training they can have and at the same time represent their school successfully.”
The public and private schools open the dual meet season on Sept. 7 while the first invitational is the Sept. 11 St. Andrew’s September Splash.
The most welcome news for the 2010 high school season is the elimination of the high-tech swimsuits that were worn to smash virtually all records. While the records will stand, the National Federation of State High school Associations Swimming and Diving Rules Committee have limited the swimmers to one textile suit.
The style/shape for males will not extend above the waist or below the top of the kneecap and for females will not extend beyond the shoulders or below the top of the kneecap and will not cover the neck.
“These high-tech suits had fundamentally altered the sport and became more similar to equipment rather than a uniform,” said Becky Oates, NFHS assistant director and liason to the swimming and diving rules committee.
Added Lohberg, “We really have to swim again. I totally despised the suit because it changed the competition totally. It rewarded people who were not deserving and others who were technically very clean had very little benefits so the odds were different. The best swimmers didn’t always come through last year. I think it will be corrected now and they will have to swim.”
Ten minutes away at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines, Anderson greeted more than 120 swimmers including a large turnout of eighth and ninth graders, on the first day.
“Today’s practice was really cool,” Anderson said. “We focused on all the senior groups especially the developmental senior group.”
Anderson and his staff worked on basics refresher and stroke drills. He plans to focus solely on one stroke per week for the next four weeks. This week is freestyle followed by butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke.
“I am excited about re-doing all our groups and putting some different coaches in different areas,” Anderson said.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com