December 31, 2011
WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
1.Coral Springs Swim Club’s six-time Olympic coach and SOFLO co-founder Michael Lohberg , 61, passed away in April after nearly a three-year battle with aplastic anemia, leaving a huge void in the swimming world.
2.For the second year in a row, SOFLO was awarded USA Swimming’s Bronze Medal Club Excellence Award for 2012. Less than two years old, SOFLO was ranked ninth overall among 97 USS national clubs and top Florida team in the Bronze Medal category.
3.Five-time Olympian Dara Torres, 44, continued her quest to make her sixth U.S. Olympic team by swimming the Olympic qualifying cut time in the 50-meter freestyle in 25.90 at the Feb. 19 Missouri Grand Prix. She bettered her time at a low key masters meet in Fort Myers in 25.68 for the June 25-July 2 U.S. trials in Omaha, Neb. Torres is on a remarkable comeback after undergoing state-of-the art knee surgery.
4.Two-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 22, captured a silver medal in the 200-meter individual medley at her biggest international meet, the Pan American Games in Mexico. It ended a 12-year medal drought by Jamaican swimmers at the Pan Am Games. She also broke five of her national records.
5.Tiffany Oliver made her first Olympic trials cut in the 50-meter freestyle (26.31) at the Charlotte UltraSwim, named Florida State’s Rookie of the Year and makes All-ACC Academic Team her freshman season.
6.Nick Schwab, 20, won first international gold medal in record-breaking performance at the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships. Representing the Dominican Republic, he won the 200-meter individual medley in a meet record and career-best 2:08.90.
7.The Coral Springs City Commission passed a resolution to name the 50-meter Olympic pool at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex after Lohberg to honor his distinguished coaching career and keeping his legacy alive.
8.SOFLO made the national spotlight in age group swimming after shattering five national age group records in the 200- and 400-meter freestyle and 200- and 400-meter medley relays for boys 11-12. Cristian Rossi, Tristan Celestin, Alfredo Mesa Jr., Julien Pinon and Juan Lucas added their names to the record book.
9.SOFLO coach Rose Lockie named ASCA Age Group Coach of the Year. In 2011, Lockie had five national age group records as a coach and coached four of the five individual national age group champion swimmers.
10.Julien Pinon, 12, broke 25-year-old Florida Gold Coast record in the 11-12 200-meter freestyle in career-best 2:04.14 at Coral Springs Invitational.
11.Tristan Celestin, 12, broke a 20-year-old Florida Gold Coast record in the 11-12 50-yard breaststroke in 29.59 at the March FGC Short Course Championships and broke it again at Winter Championships in 29.35.
12.SOFLO won its first FGC Short Course Junior Olympics, winning the combined team title with 943 ahead of FLA (895.5) and Metro Aquatics (804).
13.SOFLO won the combined and boys team titles at Speedo Winter Championships.
14.SOFLO won the girls and boys team titles at Broward County Sprint Championships.
15.SOFLO was ranked Top 40 in nation in USA Swimming Virtual Club Championships for first time.
16.Pembroke Pines police officer Jen Martin of SOFLO won six gold medals and two silver medals all in career-best times at the World Police and Fire Games.
17.Swim Miami event dedicated to SOFLO six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg. SOFLO swimmers and coaches shine in the water including winners Samuel Quintero, Alfredo Mesa Jr., Leonie Davies and Coach Megan Garland.
18.SOFLO senior Luke Torres of Plantation American Heritage signed with Division 1 University of Florida, one of the nation’s top men’s programs.
19.Barbara Protzman of SOFLO/Coral Springs Masters team played a key role in GOLD Coast Masters going five-for-five in U.S. Masters swimming Short Course Yards relay national records in the women’s 55-plus age group. It was the first time the same relay broke all the relay records for an age group for one course in the same season and just two meets.
20.Caroline Kuczynski, coming off the NCAA Division I Championships, won her first medal at a major international meet at the Canadian World Championship Trials in the 50-meter butterfly in a career-best 27.27 and qualified to represent Canada at the World University Games in China in August, her first major international meet.
21. Thirty-six SOFLO swimmers ranked among FGC IMX Top 16.
22. SOFLO launches official website (swim4soflo.com) on April 1 hoping to become a prototype for other USS clubs with daily content on its club swimmers, local, high school, state, national and international swimming scene.
For the second year, South Florida Aquatic Club continued to shine at every level of swimming and 2012, the Olympic year, will be the year it shines even brighter.
Thank you swimmers, parents, coaches and volunteers for a great year.
Happy New Year!!!
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com