SOFLO Kicks Off Busy Ten-Day Swim Meet Schedule

SOFLO Kicks Off Busy Ten-Day Swim Meet Schedule


February 10, 2011

South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers and coaches will be busy over the next ten days with six meets.

On Friday, SOFLO kicks off its ambitious schedule with the Comets 8-and-unders competing at the Broward South Sizzler, hosted by the Davie Nadadores at Nova Southeastern University Aquatic Complex.

“I am excited about this weekend,” SOFLO CEO and coach Chris Anderson said. “We have such a diverse range of swimmers. We have a lot of different things going on as swimmers.

“(Comets coach) George Mersinger is taking 26 of our 8-and-unders and that is the biggest sizzler turnout we have ever had in February. I am excited about that.”

Thirteen girls and thirteen boys will compete for the Comets.

The girls entered are Sophia Bedoya, 8, Katrina Del Vecchio, 7, Trinity Hoyos, 8, Isabella Lizarazo, 7, Michelle Marinheiro, 8, Kylie McIntosh, 7, Gretchen Montgomery, 7, Zoe Mutombo, 7, Emma Perera, 8, Sara Quintero, 7, Analucia Raimont, 7, Madison Ramon, 8, and Annabell Tigue, 8.

The boys entered are Miguel Crespo, 6, Dylan Face, 8, Tanner Gibson, 7, Anthony Gutierrez, 8, Ryan Heron, 7, Akira Huang, 8, Sebastian Lares, 6, Jie Hoon Lee, 8, Nicolas Rossi, 7, Daniel Saliba, 7, Derek Tom, 8, Marcos Vazquez, 8 and Fernando Ziehm, 6.

Coral Springs Swim Club’s 8-and-unders will compete in the Broward North Sizzler hosted by Sunrise at Tamarac Caporella Aquatic Complex.

On Friday and Saturday, forty-four SOFLO swimmers will compete in the Plantation Swim Team Senior Invitational at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.

Only the 1500-meter freestyle will be held on Friday. The remaining events are Saturday.

The girls are Leonie Davies, 14, Gabriella Fawaz, 15, Amber Hunter, 15, Maria Lopez, 15, Marcella Marinheiro, 16, Melissa Marinheiro, 13, Victoria Sage, 16, Brittany Williford, 18, Katie Brennan, 17, Kristina Brennan, 15, Linea Cutter, 17, Philomena Fiorenzi, 15, Gina Gautieri, 17, Nicole Gautieri, 14, Brianna Giordanella, 15, Emily Greenwood, 16, Allison Kopas, 12, Anne Kuczynski, 16, Emma Lincoln, 15, Lindsey McKnight, 16, Jenna Moodie, 15, Lucia Morris, 17, Kristina Nork, 16, Natasha Payamps, 15, Lindsey Sauer, 13, and Nichole Schein, 17. 

The boys are Xavier Brown, 16, Roger Capote, 15, Daniel Lee, 16, Javier Menchaca, 15, Ivan Parada, 16, Marc Rojas, 16, Brian Arnaud, 17, Keegan Boisson-Yates, 15, Joshua Cutter, 15, Kyle Desrosiers, 15, Brandon Goldman, 15, Mauricio Hidalgo, 17, Marco Hosfeld, 14, Derek Maguire, 17, Bryce Pierce, 14, Vlad Polyakov, 27, Abbas Qali, 18 and Valerio Rasi, 17.

Across town on Saturday and Sunday, up-and-coming SOFLO swimmers will compete in FLA’s Broward Developmental Meet at Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO’s girls competing are Daniela Ache, 10, Melanie Alicea, 11, Delaney Biro, 9,  Kelly Cifuentes, 9, Caitlin Coote, 11, Monica Cordero, 10, Alexandra Crespo, 10, Amana Cuomo, 13, Megan Damon, 12, Daniela Gomez, 11, Emma Gomez, 11, Katalina Gomez, 12,  Catalin Grant, 10, Chloe Hannah, 10, Zariya Harris, 11, Alisa Huang, 12, Annita Huang, 9, Amanda Jaffem 9, Karla Jimenez, 10, Alisa Kislych, 12, Amanda Kopas, 8,  Rachel Ling, 15, Julie Mason, 9, Molly Mason, 7, Olivia Mason, 7, Anna Montgomery, 10, Linda Mylly, 11, Isabella Pittinger, 11, Natalia Rossi, 9, Sarah Schimansky, 7, Isabel Shashaty, 10, Lauren Simm, 11, Lilian Skopp, 11, Carly Swanson, 13, Sarah Thompson, 10, Nicole Venema, 10, Cara Virgin, 7, and Hannah Virgin, 10.

SOFLO’s boys contingent is Felipe Bravo, 9, Marco Crespo, 12, Jack Davies, 12, Nelson Diaz, 14, Nicholas Dworet, 10, Christopher Face, 12, Aaron Garber, 9, Joshua Garber, 11, Cameron Ginsberg, 9, Darron Ginsberg, 14, Quinn Grudzinski, 11, Miguel Hernandez, 11, Brandon Iglesias, 9, Christian Kopecki, 11, Lorenzo Lanaro, 10, Ji Won Lee, 15, Curtis Marcoux, 11, Leonardo Mateus, 9, Leonardo Mazon, 9, Nicholas Montes, 10, Sergio Morizot-Leite, 10, William Perry III, 14, Nicolas Raimont, 11, Diego Rodriguez, 13, Gabriel Saavedra, 9, Julian Sachez, 11, Teddy Sandoval, 14, Gian Savino, 9, Derek Schwab, 17, Ethan Tyson, 10, and Sam Walters, 10.

Five days later, several SOFLO swimmers including Dara Torres, Alia Atkinson, Vlad Polyakov, Emily Kopas and Marc Rojas, will travel to Columbia, Missouri for the Feb. 18-21 USA Swimming Grand Prix to compete against some of the top swimmers in the U.S.

The sixth and final meet is on Feb. 18-20, the Comets will host the Florida Gold Coast Invitational for 14-and-unders at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines. 

“Basically, this is the last tune-up for SOFLO-registered swimmers before we go into the championship season,” Anderson said. “We have  put in a lot of work since the last weekend of November and it’s time to reap the benefits.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Issue 29, Ian Thorpe Still To Be Inducted Into ISHOF Despite Comeback

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK: Issue 29, Ian Thorpe Still To Be Inducted Into ISHOF In May Despite Comeback


February 9, 2011

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe’s coming out of retirement will not affect his induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame on May 6 in Fort Lauderdale.

The 28-year-old Australian heads a star-studded list of inductees and will take time out from training in Abu Dhabi and Europe to attend the ceremony.

“Because Ian has met the four-year retirement period and is now eligible the fifth year, his induction will continue,” said ISHOF’s Bob Duenkel.

“It is a similar situation to Mark Spitz and more than likely with swimmers staying in the sport longer, it could happen again. For example, (SOFLO’s) Dara Torres was really close to the induction period some years ago.”

Thorpe retired from swimming in November 2006 and didn’t think about returning to international swimming until he saw the London Olympic facility and started to get the itch to get back into the pool.

Thorpe is currently training for the 2012 London Olympics. He specified he will compete on relays but didn’t rule out individual events including the 100- and 200-meter freestyles which would set up another showdown with Olympic superstar Michael Phelps. Thorpe beat Phelps in the 200-meter freestyle in 2004.

“Thorpedo” won three Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Games and two more in Athens in 2004. Thorpe also won 11 world titles and 10 Commonwealth Games gold medals.

“It wasn’t something I have taken lightly,” Thorpe told reporters referring to his comeback. “I went to see the swimming venue for the London Olympics and it’s an extraordinary venue. I could taste it, which is something I haven’t felt for a very, very long time.

“I didn’t get back into the pool to get fit, I got back into it for no other reason than to get back to the stage where I could compete at an elite level.”

Thorpe has already signed Swimming Australia’s drug testing policy to be eligible for the Australian selection trials in March 2012.

Under FINA regulations, Thorpe can’t compete in a meet for nine months after registering.

“There are still things in swimming that I haven’t done that I would like to achieve,” Thorpe said.

Joining Thorpe in the 2011 inductee class for the 46th annual ISHOF Honors Weekend during the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix (May 5-8) are American swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg, synchro swimmers Miya Tachibana of Japan, water polo player Aleksandar Sostar of Yugoslavia, open water swimmer Michael Reed of Great Britain, Hungary water polo coach Denes Kemeny, contributor Thomas Hoad of Australia, Pioneer Re Calcaterra and gold medallion recipient Prince Albert of Monaco.

Tickets are available at or by calling 954-462-6536.

California, Stanford Remain No. 1

After a week of upsets among the men’s Top 25, there was little change among the top six in the most recent TYR/CSCAA Division I dual meet rankings.

The latest poll sets up an interesting showdown between No. 1 Cal and No. 2 Stanford in men’s swimming. The Stanford women, ranked No. 1, will put their ranking on the line this weekend against No. 4 California.

The final poll will be released at the end of next week’s conference championships.

MEN: 1.California, 2. Stanford, 3. Auburn, 4. Texas, 5. Florida, 6. Arizona, 7. Southern California, 8. Tennessee, 9. Michigan, 10. Georgia, 11. Ohio State, 12. Virginia, 13. North Carolina, 14. Indiana, 15. Minnesota, 16. UNLV, 17. Alabama, 18. Texas A&M, 19. Louisville, 20. Purdue, 21. Florida State, 22. LSU, 23. South Carolina, 24. Navy, 25. Iowa.

WOMEN: 1.Stanford, 2. Georgia, 3. Auburn, 4. tie, California, Texas, 6. Southern California, 7. tie, Arizona, Florida, 9. Tennessee, 10. Texas A&M, 11. Virginia, 12. North Carolina, 13. Minnesota, 14. Indiana, 15. Louisville, 16. Michigan, 17. Wisconsin-Madison, 18. Arkansas, 19. Ohio State, 20. Purdue, 21. UCLA, 22. Florida State, 23. SMU, 24. San Diego State, 25. Arizona State. 

Two Gators Named To Community Service Team

University of Florida juniors Brian Howell and Anna-Liisa Pold, both Californians, were named to the 2011 Southeastern Conference Swimming and Diving Community Service Team.

“It’s always a positive thing when you see student-athletes doing great things and getting involved in the community,” Gators coach Gregg Troy said.

“This is a tremendous example of two student-athletes making good choices and doing good things in their lives.”

Pold, a junior and 2008 Olympian for Estonia, volunteered more than 44 hours this past semester at the Alachua County Crisis Center and participated in the MLK Day Service Project, feeding the homeless at Gainesville’s St. Francis House.

Howell, also a junior and an Academic All-American, volunteered at ten different community service events since last August. He was also involved with the Climb for Cancer event along with Pold, and servied as a tour guide to several local elementary schools at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

Both will compete in the Feb. 16-19 SEC Swimming Championships at the UF’s Stephen O’Connell Center.

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Talk Of Jamaica

Local officials in Jamaica called SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson’s performance at last weekend’s 16th Karl Dalhouse Memorial International Swim Meet inspiring for the next generation of swimmers in Jamaica.

The two-time Olympian that represents Jamaica internationally, won all six of her events and broke five meet records at the FINA world qualifying event. In addition to competing, the Jamaican Sportswoman of the Year Runner-up gave clinics and her autograph was much in demand.

“I am just trying to soak it all in, I am not used to this kind of attention,” Atkinson, 22, told local reporters of her return to Jamaica for a swim meet for the first time in ten years.

“Alia’s presence was significant,” said meet director Brian James. “Her presence I think elevated the performances of many of the other female swimmers, so much that a number of them actually made CARIFTA qualifying times at the meet.”

The Tornadoes won the three-day meet with 1,076 points. Host club “Y” Speedos Swim Club was second with 964.

Sharon Robb can be reached at