WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
May 12, 2011
After weeks of training, racing will take center stage this weekend for South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers.
Five-time Olympian Dara Torres heads a thirty-three swimmer SOFLO contingent entered in the Friday Night Sprint Night and IM Xtreme Challenge meets Friday through Sunday at the Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.
“We are getting in some racing, it’s a practice meet for us,” said SOFLO co-head coach Bruno Darzi.
On Friday beginning at 5:30 p.m., men’s and women’s racing in the 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke, 50-meter breaststroke and 50-meter freestyle will be held.
The IMX Challenge is Saturday and Sunday with two sessions each day.
IMX is one of several programs USA Swimming promotes to help swimmers reach the next level in swimming. The series is designed to help various age group swimmers compete in multiple events and gauge their progress.
Swimmers, ranked based on power points accumulated in the meet’s individual events they compete in, will get to see how they stack up not only against teammates but the rest of the nation.
SOFLO’s Academic Village Pool site hosted an IMX meet for SOFLO, Coral Springs and Comets swimmers and visiting Nu-Finmen club team from New York in late April.
Nineteen men and fourteen women will represent SOFLO this weekend.
Torres, 44, will swim the 50-meter freestyle Friday night. She holds the American record in 24.07 which she swam at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
It will be her third meet since the 2009 Rome World Championships and reconstructive knee surgery.
The five-time Olympian bettered her 2012 Olympic trials qualifying time of 25.90 she swam at the Feb. 19 Missouri Grand Prix, where she swam prelims and finals in her signature event two weeks ago at the Gulf Coast Swim Team Spring Masters Meet in Fort Myers where she swam 25.68.
After extensive rehab and dryland training, Torres is getting back into race shape. She will also compete in the Mare Nostrum Series meet in Rome in June and Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships according to SOFLO co-head coach Bruno Darzi.
SOFLO’s girls entered are: Kristina Brennan, 15; Jenna Deal, 13; Philomena Fiorenzi, 15; Emily Greenwood, 16; Allison Kopas, 12; Emily Kopas, 14; Anne Kuczynski, 16; Emma Lincoln, 15; Tyla Martin, 13; Lindsey McKnight, 17; Kristina Nork, 16; Natasha Payamps, 15; and Julie Stupp, 25.
SOFLO’s boys entered are: Nawaf Al-Wazzan, 24; Leo Andara, 24; Gianpaolo Barelli, 18; Matthew Bellew, 26; Keegan Boisson-Yates, 15; August Charni, 14; Kyle Desrosiers, 15; Brandon Goldman, 16; Mauricio Hidalgo, 17; Marco Hosfeld, 15; Tomas Kloosterman, 15; Derek Maguire, 17; Robert O’Gorman, 16; Bryce Pierce, 14; Valerio Rasi, 18; David Stoddard, 13; Hazem Tashkandi, 18; Loai Tashkandi, 20; and Luke Torres, 16.
IF YOU GO
What: Friday Night Sprint Night and IM Xtreme Challenge
Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second St.
Schedule: Friday, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sessions 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets. For more information call 954-452-2526.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org