WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
July 11, 2012
Tiffany Oliver, fresh off the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, heads the South Florida Aquatic Club contingent for the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships that begin Thursday in Fort Lauderdale.
The four-day meet features some of the top swimmers in the Florida Gold Coast and around the state.
Oliver, 19, who swam a best time during her first Olympic Trials, will compete in her specialty events, the 50- and 100-meter freestyles.
Oliver will be joined by three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 23, who will race the 100-meter breaststroke before departing for the London Olympics on Sunday with her coach Chris Anderson. Atkinson, the lone swimmer representing Jamaica in London, is the top seed in the event in 1:08.45.
College-bound swimmers Xavier Brown, 17, and Marc Rojas, 18, head the boys’ contingent.
Other SOFLO swimmers competing are Roger Capote, 16, Jordan Colon, 15, Amber Hunter, 16, Evelin Jimenez, 17, Rachel Ling, 17, Maria Lopez, 16, Marcella Marinheiro, 17, Melissa Marinheiro, 15, Alex Monti, 14, Carlo Morante, 19, Bianca Muniz, 20, Ivan Parada, 17, Alex Rodriguez, 21, Jessica Rodriguez, 13, Samantha Stinemire, 13, Gustavo Valery, 14, and Jacob Walters, 16.
University of Florida-bound Luke Torres, 18, of SOFLO has the most ambitious schedule swimming in six events including the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyle, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly.
Torres will be joined by SOFLO teammates Jessie Alcaide, Jillian Alexander, Brian Arnaud, Keegan Boisson-Yates and Gina Gautieri, who all train at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.
The annual meet features some of the top swimming talent in the U.S. including top seeds Andreina Pinto, Shaune Fraser, Alejandro Gomez, Thomas Veale and Sarah Bateman.
The Speedo Champions Series features several meet stops in the southern, central, western and eastern zones. The Fort Lauderdale meet is the fourth meet on the southern zone schedule for the year.
IF YOU GO
What: Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships
Where: Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, 501 Seabreeze Blvd.
Schedule: Thursday, timed finals 5 p.m.; Friday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Saturday, prelims, 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m., Sunday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 4 p.m.
Admission: $3 per session, heat sheets, $3 per session. For information, call 954-828-4579.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org