SOFLO’s Rojas, Quintero Go The Distance, Win Overall Titles At Distance Challenge

SOFLO’s Rojas, Quintero Go The Distance, Win Overall Titles At Distance Challenge


May 9, 2012

Marc Rojas and Samuel Quintero of South Florida Aquatic Club won the overall titles at the Comets Distance Challenge Wednesday night at the Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

Rojas, 18, a senior at Pembroke Pines Charter, won the mixed 1500-meter freestyle in a career-best time of 16:56.01 bettering his previous best of 17:21.18.

Melissa Marinheiro, 15, of West Broward, was the top girls’ finisher. She placed second overall in 17:48.66, also a best time. Her previous best was 18:23.48.

SOFLO swept nine of the top 10 places in the 1500 event. Of the 31 SOFLO swimmers who had seeded times, 23 of them dropped time.

Quintero, 11, won the mixed 12-and-under 800-meter freestyle in a best time of 10:29.39. His previous best was 12:41. In a close race, Quintero edged Gaia Fella, 12, of Davie in 10:30.83.

Jennifer Rodriguez, 11, was the top SOFLO girls’ finisher placing fifth in a best time of 10:51.59. Her previous best was 12:46.

Of the 13 SOFLO swimmers who had seeded times, all 13 bettered their previous best times. SOFLO also swept nine of the top 10 places.

Delaney Biro, 10, Sarah Schimansky, 9 and Megan Schimansky, 12, who trained at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, successfully completed the races. Biro finished her first 800-meter freestyle in 12th place in 11:48.96. Sarah Schimansky, 9, finished 32nd in her first 800-meter freestyle in 13:12.96.

Megan Schimansky, 12, finished her first 1500-meter distance race in 48th place in 21:09.10.

A field of 108 swimmers competed in the unique event.


Mixed 12-and-under 800-meter freestyle

1.Samuel Quintero, SOFLO 10:29.39, 2. Gaia Fella, Davie Nadadores 10:30.83, 3. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 10:35.34, 4. Andres Lares, SOFLO 10:40.59, 5. Jennifer Rodriguez, SOFLO 10:51.59, 6. Brandon Moran, SOFLO 10:57, 7. Vanessa Mesa, SOFLO 11:00.67, 8. Annita Huang, SOFLO 11:04.42, 9. Bryant Segui, Unattached-SOFLO 11:09.98, 10. Matthew Liang, SOFLO 11:26.83.

Mixed 1500-meter freestyle

1.Marc Rojas, SOFLO 16:56.01, 2. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 17:48.66, 3. Alexander Viloria, SOFLO 18:21.48, 4. Geena Squartino, SwimFast 18:21.65, 5. Alfredo Mesa, SOFLO 18:26.14, 6. Nicholas Perera, SOFLO 18:26.34, 7. Jacob Walters, SOFLO 18:20.12, 8. Leonie Davies, SOFLO 18:31.38, 9. Julien Pinon, SOFLO 18:33.80, 10. Jordan Colon, SOFLO 18:39.18.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 151: Phelps, Lochte, Coughlin In Final Stretch At Charlotte UltraSwim

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 151: Phelps, Lochte, Coughlin In Final Stretch At Charlotte UltraSwim


May 9, 2012

With less than seven weeks remaining until the U.S. Olympic trials in Omaha, the nation’s top swimmers are heading down the final stretch of their preparations.

Only the top two swimmers in each individual event at the June 25-July 2 trials at Qwest Center will stamp their ticket to the Summer Olympics in London.

And that makes every meet, starting with this week’s Charlotte UltraSwim Grand Prix, so very important.

Only two Grand Prix events remain, the other is in Santa Clara, Calif., May 31-June 3.

Swimmers are now focused on fine tuning, honing strokes, starts and walls, and above all looking for confidence-building going into the Trials, the final stepping stone to the world’s biggest stage for swimming.

Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Natalie Coughlin head the field for the Charlotte UltraSwim in North Carolina that begins on Thursday.

The sixth stop on the Grand Prix Series will be held at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Most of the nation’s top swimmers and Olympic favorites including Rebecca Soni, Katie Hoff, Brendan Hansen, Allison Schmitt, Jessica Hardy and Ricky Berens are in the field.

Timed finals are on Thursday beginning at 4 p.m. Prelims and finals are Friday through Sunday with finals at 6 p.m. The meet will be webcast at Universal Sports will broadcast the event live, 6-8:30 p.m. on Saturday and 6-8 p.m. on Sunday.

FINA Diving, ISHOF Inductions This Weekend

South Florida will have an Olympic-feel to it this weekend with the USA Diving Grand Prix at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. Most of the world’s top divers including the U.S. begin competing on Thursday. The meet will serve as a tune-up for the June 17-24 U.S. Olympic trials in Seattle. Six members of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team will battle the best from China, Australia, Mexico and Canada. Former Plantation diver Kassidy Cook, who turned 17 on Wednesday, will compete in the individual and synchro 3-meter events…

Brazilian four-time Olympian Gustavo Borges heads an impressive lineup for the 48th annual induction ceremony for the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale Saturday night. Joining Borges are Domenico Fioravanti, Jozsef Szabo, Tian Liang, Jill Sudduth, Jesus Miguel Rollan Prada, Chad Hundeby, Laszlo Kiss, Frank Kurtz, Eldon Godfrey and Dr. Julio Maglione, current FINA president. For tickets call 954-462-6536.

Brady Bunch Does Torres, Lochte In

Olympians Dara Torres of the Coral Springs Swim Club and Ryan Lochte of Daytona Beach teamed up on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” this past week. When the topic was “The Brady Bunch,” Torres and Lochte decided to rely on the audience for the right answer. The swimmers were eliminated on the fifth question after being asked, “If the opening credits of “The Brady Bunch” were a tic-tac-toe board, which of the groupings would make a winning combination. The correct answer was Jan, Alice and Peter. Torres and Lochte had hoped to win $1 million for the U.S. Olympic Committee but left instead with $10,000. “We didn’t get that far but at the end of it we got $10,000 for charity,” Lochte said. “I was hoping Dara would answer that because she’s way older than me.” Gymnasts Dominique Dawes and Jonathan Horton won $25,000 for the USOC….Also earlier this week, Lochte also appeared with his mother Ileana on NBC’s Today Show with Matt Lauer and other Olympic hopefuls and their moms. Lochte’s mom was his first swim coach. The appearance was part of Procter and Gamble’s series about the Mom Behind the Olympic athlete.


USA Swimming national team coach Frank Busch said that all ten lanes will be used during prelims of the U.S. Olympic trials. He also said that fly-over starts would be used during prelims as well….Gary Hall Jr. was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Sharon Robb can be reached at