WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
June 20, 2012
Three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson heads a large contingent of South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers for the FLA International Invitational that begins on Thursday at Florida Atlantic University Aquatic Complex in Boca Raton.
Atkinson, 23, is competing in six events including all three breaststroke events. It will be her last meet before heading to training camp before the 2012 Olympics where she will represent Jamaica and her coach Chris Anderson will be on the coaching staff for Jamaica.
SOFLO has nearly 100 swimmers competing in the four-day meet including 9-year-olds Kyana Castro, Trinity Hoyos, Michelle Marinheiro, Emma Perera and 8-year-old Sara Quintero of the Comets.
The boys’ contingent is led by Florida State’s Alex Rodriguez, 21, college-scholarship-bound Xavier Brown, 17, and Marc Rojas, 18, and 9-year-olds Nicolas Drolet, John Paul Handal, Akira Huang, Nicolas Rossi and 9-year-old Sebastian Lares of the Comets.
Other familiar faces on the team are Bianca Muniz, 20, and Shawn Clark, 25.
IF YOU GO
What: FLA International Invitational
Schedule: Thursday, finals 4:30 p.m.; Friday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m., Saturday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5:30 p.m.
Where: Florida Atlantic University Aquatic Complex, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton
Admission: Admission $6 per session includes heat sheet; two-day pass, $20, all-session pass, $35. For information call 954-468-5590.
Inaugural Michael Lohberg Invitational Honors Six-Time Olympic Coach’s Legacy And Spirit
Three-time Olympian Arlene Semeco, Brandon Goldman and Luke Torres are among several former swimmers of six-time Olympic coach Michael Lohberg who will honor his legacy and spirit at the inaugural meet named in his honor.
The inaugural Michael Lohberg Invitational begins Thursday and ends Sunday at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.
Lohberg died April 4, 2011 at age 61 after a lengthy battle with aplastic anemia.
Over seventeen years, Lohberg built a world-class program at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. He coached CSSC to nine Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympic Championships and was inducted into the 2009 Broward County Sports Hall of Fame. He also co-founded the South Florida Aquatic Club based at Coral Springs and Pembroke Pines.
Semeco, 28, who will represent Venezuela next month at the London Olympics, is seeded first in the 50-meter freestyle ahead of Lindsey McKnight, also a former Lohberg swimmer, and Megan Moroney, members of St. Andrew’s Swimming’s junior national team champion.
Semeco is also seeded first in the 100-meter freestyle in 54.92.
Semeco was one of a record eight CSSC swimmers Lohberg coached to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Lohberg qualified at least one swimmer for six Olympic Games from 1984 to 2008. He had four swimmers make the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Junior National qualifier Brandon Goldman, 17, one of Lohberg’s prized pupils, and Tristan Celestin, 13, are each seeded in four events.
Among Florida Gold Coast teams competing are St. Andrew’s, Rockway, Martin County, Miami Beach, Hialeah, Blue Marlins and Heritage Aquatics.
SOFLO’s top seeds are:
Brandon Goldman, 17, 400-meter individual medley, 4:39.27; 100-meter backstroke 59.26; 50-meter backstroke, 28.49; 200-meter backstroke, 2:08.60
Gina Gautieri, 19, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:16.61; 50-meter breaststroke, 35.79
Luke Torres, 18, 100-meter butterfly, 56.69; 50-meter breaststroke, 30.60; 100-meter freestyle, 53.48
Catharine Cooper, 12, 50-meter freestyle, 28.95; 100-meter freestyle 1:03.30
Tristan Celestin, 13, 50-meter freestyle, 26.92; 50-meter butterfly, 29.44; 50-meter breaststroke, 33.18; 100-meter freestyle, 1:00.48
Isabella Pittinger, 12, 100-meter backstroke, 1:14.63; 50-meter backstroke 34.26
Steph Campo, 14, 100-meter backstroke, 1:11.58; 50-meter backstroke, 33.57; 200-meter backstroke, 2:29.91
Collin Burt, 13, 50-meter backstroke, 30.89
Christian Carlson, 12, 50-meter backstroke, 35.51
Emily Greenwood, 17, 50-meter backstroke, 31.55
Breaststroker Gina Gautieri, after finishing her freshman year at Bucknell, is in the field and seeded first in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke.
The meet is sponsored by the Coral Springs Swim Club and Coral Springs Aquatic Complex. Volunteers will wear t-shirts with Lohberg’s likeness and special medals have been designed for the meet.
The meet will feature prelims and finals, Friday through Sunday except for relays, 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter individual medley. Thursday’s opening session are timed finals for all swimmers.
Age groups are 10-and-under, 11-12, 13-14 and 15-and-over. Meet director is Charlie Alexander.
IF YOU GO
What: Michael Lohberg Invitational
Schedule: Thursday, 5 p.m. timed finals; Friday, 8:30 a.m. prelims, 5:30 p.m. finals, Saturday, 8:30 a.m., finals, 5:30 p.m., Sunday, 8:30 a.m., finals, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, 12441 Royal Palm Blvd.
Admission: $3 per session, heat sheets $2 per session. For information call 954-340-5032.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com