SOFLO Second Kids Triathlon Building Interest In The Sport

SOFLO Second Kids Triathlon Building Interest In The Sport

October 5, 2011


After another successful kids triathlon, the sport of triathlon is taking off at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

Several South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers of all ages took turns competing in the second SOFLO Kids Triathlon on Saturday, Oct. 1.

With parents, coaches and friends watching the event, organized by SOFLO triathlon coach Steve Mlujeak, the triathlon was a nice change from early morning swim workouts.

Nicholas Perera, 12, and Julia Montgomery, 13, turned in the fastest times in the first two waves. Perera edged Marc Rojas, 17, 40:31-40:38. Montgomery finished in 41:24.

It was definitely a family affair.

Christopher Perera, 7, was the top boys finisher in the third wave in 15:28 and Emma Perera, 7, was the top girls finisher in 18:10. 

Mlujeak, an elite cyclist and race director, is hoping to hold a bike and transition clinic to help athletes improve their triathlon skills for the next triathlon.

Mlujeak and SOFLO CEO and Coach Chris Anderson created the kids’ triathlon to encourage health, fitness and camaraderie.

The event was designed for any child, ages 10-and-under and 11-and up age groups, regardless of athletic ability or previous triathlon experience.

The fun and safe event, that ended in less than two hours, was held on the Academic Village campus that included a track, pool and trail, and observed USAT rules (USA Triathlon, the sport’s governing body). 

Youth triathlons (swim-bike-run event) are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. because they are easy to stage at any distance and don’t necessarily have to be held at a beach, lake or busy public streets.

The venue was one of the safest since it was held on the Academic Village campus.

The well-organized triathlon featured three waves.

The first wave was for SOFLO boys in the bronze, senior, silver, gold and national groups. The second wave was for girls in the bronze, senior, silver, gold and national groups. The third wave combined the boys and girls from the asteroids, meteorites and dippers.

The opening swim event simulated an open water course in the pool without lane lines with the distance of 1,200 yards for the first and second waves and 500 yards for the third wave.

The bike portion was held on the school’s running track. Waves one and two biked 2.5 miles or ten laps on the track. The third wave was 3.1 miles or four laps.

The run portion was two miles or two laps around the water tank for the first and second waves and half-mile or two laps for wave three.

Every athlete received a free t-shirt. Second and third place finishers received Nike merchandise provided by Nike, one of SOFLO’s major sponsors. The winners were awarded medals provided by the booster club and a cycling computer donated by Bike America bike shops.

SOFLO hopes to host at least two each year and may have its swimmers compete in other triathlons around the county the more the proficient they become in the sport.



Wave 1: 12-and-under, 1. Nicholas Perera, Bronze, 12, 40:31, 2. Matthew Menocal, Bronze, 12, 41:58, 3. Ricardo Roche, Bronze, 12, 42:14; 13-and-over, 1. Marc Rojas, National, 17, 40:38, 2. Jordan Colon, Gold, 14, 41:27, 3. Jose Miguel Fernandez, Silver, 15, 45:26.


Wave 2: 12-and-under, 1. Kelly Heron, Bronze, 12, 41:45, 2. Stephanie Mlujeak, Bronze, 12, 43:19, 3. Jessica Rodriguez, Bronze, 12, 45.50; 13-and-over, 1. Julia Montgomery, S.D., 13, 41:24, 2. Lilli Calero, Bronze, 13, 48:39, 3. Christina Villegas, Silver, 13, 49:35.


1.Tie, Raphael Rodriguez, Asteroid, 9, 16:21 and Matthew Liang, Asteroid, 10, 16:21, 3. CJ Kopecki, Asteroid, 12, 18:09, 4. Brandon Moran, Asteroid, 10, 19:04.

1.Tomas Pelaez, Meteorites, 10, 19:35, 2. Lorenzo Lanaro, Meteorites, 11, 19:38, 3. Brandon Currasco, Meteorites, 11, 20:45.

1.Christopher Perera, Dipper, 7, 15:28, 2. Ryan Heron, Dipper, 7, 16:01, 3. Akira Huang, Dipper, 8, 18:05.


1.Anna Montgomery, Asteroid, 11, 19:41, 2. Katherine DeBarros, Asteroid, 11, 22:32, 3. Anita Huang, Asteroid, 10, 26.50, 4. Valentina Diaz, Asteroid, 12, 27:25.

1.Emma Perera, Dipper, 7, 18:10, 2. Sara Quintero, Dipper, 7, 18.30, 3. Gretchen Montgomery, Dipper, 8, 18:55.

1.Nathalia Rossi, Meteorite, 10, 22:42. 2. Catalina Lizarazo, Meteorite, 11, 22:53, 3. Nathalie Simms, Meteorite, 9, 25:00, 4. Brittany Parra, Meteorite, 10, 25.40.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 85: SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov Headed To Indonesia For Olympic Qualifier

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 85: SOFLO’s Vlad Polyakov Headed To Indonesia For Olympic Qualifier

October 5, 2011


Two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov of Kazakhstan left Wednesday for Jakarta, Indonesia and the Oct. 10-13 Asian Age Group Swimming Championships.

Polyakov, 27, training for the 2012 London Olympics at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, will attempt to try and qualify for his third Olympic Games in the FINA-ratified meet hosted in Palembang.

Only swimming qualifying times achieved at competitions approved by FINA, the sport’s international governing body, can be accepted as “A” entry times for the 2012 Olympics.

Polyakov will compete in the open 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, both Olympic events, and 50-meter breaststroke during the seventh age group meet that got under way on Wednesday at two venues.

The large age group meet is held every two years. The last Asian Games meet was hosted by Tokyo in 2009 following the World Aquatic Championships in Rome. Polyakov broke the Asian record in the 50-meter breaststroke at that meet.

Polyakov will loosen up with the 50-meter breaststroke on Monday, swim the 100 breaststroke on Tuesday and 200 breaststroke on Wednesday.


Olympian Eric Shanteau, 28, who qualified for the 2008 Olympics a week after being diagnosed with testicular cancer, has been cancer-free for three years and continues to give back for a good cause. Shanteau’s second annual Swim For Your Life fundraiser for Livestrong, Lance Armstrong’s cancer advocacy group will be held Saturday at the Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Shanteau’s home state of Georgia. The event will feature a 1K and 5K race and open water swim clinic. Several of his Olympic friends including Katie Hoff and Ous Mellouli will compete. Shanteau is currently training in California in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events for the 2012 Olympic trials in Nebraska…Former UCLA men’s swim coach Ron Ballatore, coach of the 1982 UCLA NCAA men’s champion team and several Olympic gold medalists and world record holders including Tom Jager, Brian Goodell and Brian Hayes, is battling throat cancer. The five-time Olympic coach last coaching position was at University of Florida. Ballatore lives in Gainesville, where his daughter Angelina, is captain of the Gators women’s swim team…

Germany’s top open water swimmers Thomas Lurz (114 points) and Angela Maurer (98 points) were named overall winners of the FINA 10K Marathon Swimming World Cup 2011 Series. Lurz won the final event in Hong Kong in 1 hour, 58 minutes and 15.70 seconds. Since 2007, Lurz has 17 victories in the World Cup Series. American Emily Bruneman won the women’s race in 2:10:59. Maurer finished second in the race in 2:11:02…

Senior Leah Daniel and sophomore Alex Valder of Florida Gulf Coast were named Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Women’s Swimmer and Diver of the Week after defeating Florida International, 66-44, and University of Miami, 151-148 last weekend. FGCU competes this weekend in the All-Florida Invite in Gainesville…FGCU head coach Neal Studd, former Florida Atlantic coach, will serve as head coach of St. Lucia at the upcoming Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. Studd will coach FGCU swimmer Danielle Beaubrun of St. Lucia. The two also teamed up at the World Championships in Shanghai this past summer…

Olympian Brooke Bennett of Tampa will compete in her first meet in four years at the Oct. 14-16 Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic in Orlando. She is entered in five events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at