July 7, 2011
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
Joey Pedraza, who grew up swimming in the Florida Gold Coast, and Alicia Mathieu were winners on opening night of the Speedo Champion Series’ Southern Zone Sectional Championships at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville.
Pedraza, 23, swimming unattached for the Gainesville Swim Club, won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:14.26, bettering his seed time of 8:17.22.
The Cuban-born Pedraza, a Pine Crest alum, is coming off his senior year at University of Florida, where he was an All-American and SEC Academic honor roll student.
The top local men’s finisher was University of Florida-bound Carlos Omana, 18, of the Metro Aquatic Club of Miami, third in 8:23.71.
Mathieu, 19, also swimming unattached for the Gainesville Swim Club, won the women’s 1500-meter freestyle in 16:33.55, bettering her seed time of 16:44.88.
Fort Lauderdale Aquatics had two finishers in the top five. Briana Emig, 20, was third in 16:48.55, bettering her seed time of 17:05.02. Damaris Iriondo, 18, was fifth in 17:09.46.
The four-day meet continues Friday with a full schedule of prelim events beginning at 9 a.m.
A field of 661 swimmers and 55 teams are competing including sixteen Florida Gold Coast teams SOFLO, AK Sharks, City of Hialeah Storm, Davie Nadadores, Florida Keys, FLA, Golden Panther Aquatics, Jupiter Dragons, Lake Lytal, Metro Aquatics, North Palm Beach, Pine Crest, Rockway, St. Andrew’s Swimming, Shark Aquatics and SwimFast.
On Friday, South Florida Aquatic Club’s Taylor McKnight is scheduled to compete in the 100-meter butterfly and Tyler Sell is entered in the 200-meter freestyle. Sell, seeded No. 1 in the 800-meter freestyle, did not compete.
Other Thursday local results:
Women’s 1500-meter freestyle: 22. Amanda Ford, St. Andrew’s 17:43.99, 25. Geena Squartino, SwimFast 17:51.10, 27. Clara Smiddy, AK Sharks 17:55.27, 28. Flavia Segatto, FLA 17:58.43, 37. Daniela Vega Monroy, Lake Lytal 18:09.58, 42. Macarena Marcos, FLA 18:14.50, 43. Rose Smiddy, AK Sharks 18:15.82, 53. Alejandra Gonzalez, MAC 18:38.07, 55. Chelsea Onstott, FLA 18:46.49, 56. Lorena Guercio, Davie Nadadores 18:51.13, 59. Shelby Pearce, Jupiter 19:02.78.
Men’s 800-meter freestyle: 3. Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 8:23.71, 6. Ryan Rosenbaum, FLA 8:28.94, 26. Lance Rutkin, FLA 8:48.47, 28. Alexander Tarr, Shark Aquatics 8:48.73, 48. Aaron Tam, Metro Aquatics 9:10.52.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org