SOFLO’s Marc Rojas Takes Eighth In Final State 2A Meet Appearance

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas Takes Eighth In Final State 2A Meet Appearance

November 12, 2011


Competing in his fourth and final state meet appearance, Marc Rojas of Pembroke Pines Charter landed in the championship final.

The senior and former state champion finished eighth in the 100-yard breaststroke Saturday night at the FHSAA State Class 2A Swimming and Diving Championships at the Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando.

Rojas turned in his best time of 59.20 in morning prelims to qualify eighth and finished eighth in 59.89.

For the second year in a row, Mitchell High junior Devin McCaffrey won the state title in 56.97. Last year he won in 58.70

Rojas was also 11th in the 200-yard individual medley prelims in 1:57.32, bettering his seed time of 2:01.52 and finished fourth in the consolations and 12th overall in 1:58.57.

Rojas joined teammates Ivan Parada, Blake Kelley and freshman Jose Gomez on the 200-yard medley relay team that finished 12th in 1:43.36, bettering their season best of 1:43.54.

Competing in his second state meet, Parada, a junior, was 18th in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.13 (bettering his previous time of 50.34) and 21st in the 100-yard backstroke in 56.57.

Pembroke Pines Charter sophomore diver Natasha Chew was 14th in the 1-meter diving with 298.50 points.

Tallahassee Chiles won the girls team title with 298.5 points and Riviera Beach Suncoast was second with 183.

Gainesville won the boys team title with 219 points and Mosley was second with 178 points. It was Gainesville coach Rob Ramirez’ first state crown in 25 years of coaching. Ramirez has twenty Top 10 finishes at the FHSAA state finals.

The top Broward finisher was Lance Rutkin, a junior at Fort Lauderdale, who took the silver medal in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:30.33, an automatic All-American time. He was also fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:41.64.


1.Tallahassee Chiles 298.5, 2. Suncoast 183, 3. Martin County 136, 4. Holy Names 119, 5. Gainesville 102, 6. Lakewood Ranch 99, 7. Gulf Coast 95, 8. Pace 93, 9. Washington 88, 10. Sebastian River 86, 11. Lincoln 76, 12. Cape Coral 75, 13. Estero 74, 14. Columbia 68, 15. Osceola 66, 16. Mosley 50, 17. Edgewater 45, 18. Creekside 42, 19. Forest Hill 40, 20. Tarpon 37, 21. Spoto 31, 22. Eastside 29.5, 23. Mitchell and Pensacola 29, 25. Lakewood, Orange Park and Ponte Vedra, 28, 28. Fort Lauderdale 21, 29. Nease and Leon, 20, 31. Stanton and Bartram Trail 18, 33. Seabreeze and Fort Myers, 17, 35. Land O Lakes 13, 36. Naples 12, 37. Choctawhatchee 11, 38. Lemon Bay and Strawberry Crest 10, 40. Niceville, 9, 41. Clay and Titusville, 7, 43. Dreyfoos and Arnold, 6, 45. Sunlake and Belleview 5, 47. Fort Walton Beach 4, 48. King, Pembroke Pines Charter and Wolfson, 3, 51. Dunedin 1.


200-yard medley relay: 1. Chiles 1:48.36 (Mary Sinatra, Lia Lombardi, Alyssa Yambor-Maul, Delaney Barnard), 2. Suncoast 1:50.20, 3. Gainesville 1:50.47, 8. Martin County 1:55.09, Fort Lauderdale, DQ.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Danielle Valley, Lakewood Ranch 1:48.17, 2. Cece Williams, Chiles 1:49.49, 3. Macey Arnold, Martin County 1:51.37.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Kelsey Buckley, Tarpon 2:01.40, 2. Hannah Burns, Columbia 2:03.84, 3. Alex Merritt, Lincoln 2:05.51.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Delaney Barnard, Chiles 23.85, 2. Jena Zander, Orange Park 24.03, 3. Giorgie Graves, Spoto 24.22, 7. Kaylee Petik, Fort Lauderdale 24.61.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Alyssa Yambor-Maul, Chiles 55.98, 2. Olivia Weekley, Pace 56.45, 3. Caroline Page, Pace 57.22.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Alex Merritt, Lincoln 50.31, 2. Kelsey Buckley, Tarpon 50.81, 3. Delaney Barnard, Chiles 51.86, 20. Chloe Adams, Fort Lauderdale 55.31.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Danielle Valley, Lakewood Ranch 4:43.56, 2. Cece Williams, Chiles 4:55.33, 3. Julie Suarez, Forest Hill 4:56.99.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Holy Names 1:39.18 (Mary Green, Konner Brewer, Tori Litschgi, Clare Fleming), 2. Washington 1:39.36, 3. Chiles 1:40.35.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Elise Haan, Gulf Coast 56.14, 2. Caroline Page, Pace 56.67, 3. Alyssa Yambor-Maul, Chiles 56.72, 9. Kaylee Petik, Fort Lauderdale 59.31.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Hannah Burns, Columbia 1:04.44, 2. Tie, Lia Lombardi, Chiles 1:05.40 and Meghan Haila, Creekside 1:05.40.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Chiles 3:31.37 (Cecelia Williams, Alyssa Yambor-Maul, Lia Lombardi, Delaney Barnard0, 2. Martin County 3:33.25, 3. Suncoast 3:37.52.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Delaney Dye, Leon 459.20, 2. Sarah Frangoul, Edgewater 450.40, 3. Amanda Maser, Mitchell 411.05, 14. Natasha Chew, Pembroke Pines Charter 298.50.


1.Gainesville 219, 2. Mosley 178, 3. Barron Collier 158, 4. Miami Belen Jesuit 131.5, 5. Martin County 117, 6. Gulf Breeze 111, 7. Tampa Jesuit 101, 8. Chiles 98, 9. Lakewood Ranch 85.5, 10. Sebastian River 74, 11. Paxon 69, 12. Fort Myers 63, 13. Pace 62, 14. Clay 55, 15. Eastside 54, 16. Gulf Coast 50.5, 17. Winter Haven 50, 18. Ponte Vedra 48, 19. Fort Lauderdale 44, 20. Mitchell 40, 21. Harmony 39, 22. Titusville 38, 23. Creekside 29, 24. Milton 27, 25. Pembroke Pines Charter 26, 26. Dreyfoos, Lincoln, and Lecanto, 24, 30. Fort Walton Beach 23, 31. Robinson 22, 32. Leon 20, 33. Tavares 19, 34. Bartram Trail 18, 35. Nease 16, 36. Rutherford and Osceola 15, 38. Lakeland 14, 39. Suncoast 11, 40. Pensacola and Edgewater 9, 42. Washington 8, 43. Ida Baker 7, 44. Oakleaf and Stanton 6, 46. Jensen Beach, Mater, Dunedin, Palmetto Ridge and Sunlake 5, 51. Cypress Lakes and Vanguard 4, 53. New Smyrna Beach 3, 54. King 2.5, 55. Land O Lakes 1.


200-yard medley relay: 1. Mosley 1:38.33 (Michael Whitehead, Chet Seaman, Brandon Yates, Caleb Champagne), 2. Martin County 1:38.43, 3. Paxon 1:38.48; SOFLO: 12. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:43.36 (Ivan Parada, Marc Rojas, Blake Kelley, Jose Gomez).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Tyler Rocca, Gainesville 1:38.87, 2. Julian Ballestas, Belen Jesuit 1:39.06, 3. PJ Dunne, Gulf Breeze 1:40.63, 4. Lance Rutkin, Fort Lauderdale 1:41.64.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Caeleb Dressel, Clay 1:51.13, 2. Mack Martinock, Martin County 1:51.15, 3. Evan Jacob, Creekside 1:53.80; SOFLO: 12. Marc Rojas, Pembroke Pines Charter 1:58.57.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Ian Apple, Paxon 20.74, 2. David Lambert, Winter Haven 20.95, 3. Ryan Funk, Pace 21.02, 20. Conor Heatherman, Fort Lauderdale 22.84.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Devin McCaffrey, Mitchell 49.10, 2. Ryan Funk, Pace 49.50, 3. Sean Ledford, Sebastian River 50.19, 18. Kryan Nichlany, Archbishop McCarthy 54.56.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Will Kazokas, Lakewood Ranch 45.78, 2. Ian Apple, Paxon 45.82, 3. Julian Ballestas, Belen Jesuit 45.83; SOFLO: 18. Ivan Parada, Pembroke Pines Charter 49.13, 20. Ryan Hall, Archbishop McCarthy 49.52.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Michael Messuri, Fort Myers 4:29.79, 2. Lance Rutkin, Fort Lauderdale 4:30.33, 3. Chris Swanson, Jesuit 4:30.79

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Gulf Breeze 1:27.04 (Adam Gunn, Luke means, Adam Foley, PJ Dunne), 2. Barron Collier 1:27.21, 3. Mosley 1:27.99, 4. Belen Jesuit 1:28.62, 11. Fort Lauderdale 1:31.90.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Tyler Rocca, Gainesville 50.70, 2. Benjamin Borgert, Gainesville 50.88, 3. Alex Dehner, Chiles 52.27; SOFLO: 21. Ivan Parada, Pembroke Pines Charter 56.57.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Devin McCaffrey, Mitchell 56.97, 2. Caeleb Dressel, Clay 57.92, 3. Andrew Wojcik, Sebastian River 58.17; SOFLO: 8. Marc Rojas, Pembroke Pines Charter 59.89.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Gainesville 3:09.58 (Tyler Rocca, Benjamin Borgert, Gregory Prybylski, Cameron Guy), 2. Barron Collier 3;12.28, 3. Jesuit 3:15.03.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Kalonji Cole, Leon 457.80, 2. Zachary Duval, Fort Walton Beach 434.00, 3. Keith Knudsen, Sebastian River 424.60.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 108: SOFLO’s Dara Torres Ties For Third At Minneapolis Grand Prix

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 108: SOFLO’s Dara Torres Ties For Third At Minneapolis Grand Prix

November 12, 2011


Dara Torres took another step in trying to qualify for her sixth Olympic Games Saturday night at the Minneapolis Grand Prix at University of Minnesota.

The South Florida Aquatic Club five-time Olympian, looking to gauge her training and race against quality swimmers, got exactly what she was looking for.

The 44-year-old Torres tied Kara Lynn Joyce, 26, of Colorado Stars, for third place in the 50-meter freestyle in 25.30 seconds, faster than her morning qualifying time of 25.46.

Amanda Weir, 25, of Swim Atlanta won the sprint race in 25.04. Jessica Hardy, 24, of Trojan Swim Club was second in 25.10. Teenage phenom Missy Franklin was sixth in 25.59.

“I’ll take it right now,” Torres said. “I guess I am trying to defy the odds a little bit and sort of pushing the limits to see what I can do.”

SOFLO teammate Jessie Alcaide, 27, working her way back into shape and shot at qualifying for the U.S. Olympic trials, was 52nd in the 50-meter freestyle in 27.70 among a field of 104 swimmers.

SOFLO’s two-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov, swimming in Lane 6, put on a late surge in the final 30 meters and finished the 200-meter breaststroke final in 2:15.84. Clark Burckle of Tucson Ford overtook early leader Brendan Hansen to win in 2:14.42. Hansen finished second in 2:14.82.

The highlight of the evening was Michael Phelps and two more victories for the second night in a row.

In the midst of his toughest training phase, Phelps looked impressive in his wins in the 200-meter butterfly in 1:56.12 and 100-meter backstroke in 53.71 to add to his Friday wins in the 200-meter freestyle and 100-meter butterfly.

Ryan Lochte, also in the midst of heavy training, was fourth in the 100-meter backstroke in 55.80 and 13th in the 400-meter freestyle in 3:58.82.

“The last probably three or four weeks has probably been the most challenging weeks I’ve had since before Beijing,” Phelps told reporters. “So, there’s been a lot of work that’s getting taken care of. We’re on the right path. We just have to be able to stay on this path for the next couple months.”

Phelps gave his medals away to fans including a young girl wearing a Gophers t-shirt and also stayed around to sign autographs for fans.

Most swimmers at the meet are in heavy training, untapered and wearing slow suits.

In other championship finals:

Women’s 200-meter butterfly: Kathleen Hersey, 21, of Longhorn Aquatics led from wire-to-wire to win by a body length in 2:09.84. Hersey was the early leader at 1:01.93 ahead of Allison Schmitt. Despite a late surge by Schmitt in the final 50 meters Hersey held on to her lead.  Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore was second in 2:11.26.

Men’s 200-meter butterfly: Phelps, 26, swimming in Lane 5 led after the first 100 in 55.62 and led by nearly a body length for the remainder of the race to win in 1:56.12. China’s Wu Peng, 24, of Club Wolverine was second in 1:57.67 and Tyler Clary, 21, of Fast Swim Team was third in 1:59.63.

Men’s 50-meter freestyle: Frenchman Fred Bousquet, 30, of Auburn Aquatics was out quick and had no problem winning in 22.17.  Brett Fraser, 22, of Gator Swim Club and Cayman Islands was second. Masters swimmer Brian Jacobsen swam a 23.42 to qualify for the U.S. trials at age 37 joining Steve West and Jeff Commings.

Women’s 100-meter backstroke: Missy Franklin, 16, of the Colorado Stars led at the first 50 in 29.92 and turned it on in last 30 meters, to win in 59.69. Margaret Meyer, 22, of Ford Tucson was second in 1:01.24. Franklin was the only swimmer under a minute. “I am so happy with everything that is going on right now,” Franklin said. “I think I’ve had some of my fastest in-season times, so I’m absolutely thrilled.”

Women’s 400-meter freestyle: Schmitt, 21, of North Baltimore came back to win the distance event in 4:07.78.  Chloe Sutton, 19, of Mission Viejo was second in 4:08.18.

Men’s 400-meter freestyle: Ous Mellouli, 27, of Tunisia  led from wire-to-wire to win in 3:49.60. China’s Zhang Lin was second in 3:50.48 and Yannick Agnel, 19, France was third in 3:50.52.

Women’s 200-meter breaststroke: 1:09.33 Rebecca Soni, 24, of Trojan Swim Club went out fast (1:09.33) and won by a body length in 2:24.77. Ashley McGregor, 18, of Pointe-Claire was second in 2:29.23.

SOFLO’s O’Shaughnessy, Bandy, Kuczynski Compete

A day after knocking off UCLA for the first time in ten years, No. 23-ranked Arizona State’s women’s team dropped a lopsided 198-99 loss to No. 5-ranked USC in a Pac-12 matchup Saturday at Mona Plummer Aquatic Center. SOFLO’s Caroline Kuczynski was a member of the runner-up 200-yard medley relay that finished in 1:41.81, an NCAA “B” cut time. USC won in 1:41.43. She was also second in the 100-yard butterfly in 55.99 and fourth in the 200-yard butterfly in 2:03.34. She finished the day with a second place in the 200-yard freestyle relay that finished in 1:35.26…

Former Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer Kevin Bandy, a junior at Louisville, was second in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:51.34 to help the Cardinals defeat Notre Dame, 191-109. He was also seventh in the 100-yard butterfly in 51.70…

In the two-day Rutgers Quad Meet that ended Saturday, SOFLO’s Ryan O’Shaughnessy of Seton Hall won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:11.30, won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:54.21, and was second in the 100-yard breaststroke in 59.34 in Texas Christian’s 191-156 win over the Pirates at the Rutgers Aquatics Center in New Brunswick, N.J. O’Shaughnessy was also fourth in the 100-yard butterfly in 51.87, a member of the winning 400-yard freestyle relay that won in 3:15.94, second-place 200-yard freestyle relay team that finished in 1:26.81, third place 200-yard medley relay in 1:38.26 and third place 400-yard medley relay in 3:32.16.

FINA World Cup

Olympians Ian Thorpe of Australia and Kosuke Kitajima of Japan struggled at the FINA World Cup in Tokyo on Saturday. Kitajima finished fifth in both the 50- and 200-meter breaststroke in front of his hometown crowd. He finished in 26.99 in the 50 and 2:06.36 in the 200 in his first meet since the World Championships in July. Thorpe, in the midst of a comeback, failed to qualify for the 100-meter freestyle final, placing 12th in prelims in 49.45. Thorpe withdrew from the 100-meter individual medley. Among individual winners was Sweden’s Therese Alshammar in the 100-meter butterfly in 55.95 for her 14th gold medal and Japan’s Ryo Takayasu in the 50-meter butterfly in 22.68.

Sharon Robb can be reached at