WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
July 17, 2012
Months of long course training and preparation meets comes down to this weekend when swimmers compete in the Florida Gold Coast 14-and-Under Junior Olympic Swimming Championships in Plantation.
South Florida Aquatic Club is sending nearly 100 swimmers including 68 swimmers from its Academic Village Pembroke Pines training site.
The three-day meet is the regular season-ending long course meters meet for most swimmers ages 14 and younger looking to swim best times and finish among the top three.
Forty-one swimmers have qualified in seven individual events. They are Camila Alvarez, 10; Kyana Castro, 9; Katherine De Barros, 11; Isabella Di Salvo, 10; Kelley Heron, 12; Annita Huang, 11; Vanessa Mesa, 10; Bianca Monti, 12; Abolade Oyetunji, 12; Andrea Pereira, 11; Delanie Perez, 12; Jennifer Rodriguez, 11; Jessica Rodriguez, 13; Monica Rodriguez, 14; Samantha Stinemire, 14; Carly Swanson, 14; Anabel Vazquez, 10; Andres Arias, 12; Ryan Capote, 14; Nicolas Drolet, 9; John Paul Handal, 9; C.J. Kopecki, 13; Andres Lares, 12; Jie Hoon Lee, 9; Juan Lucas, 13; Leonardo Mateus, 10; Alfredo Mesa, 13; Alexander Monti, 14; Brandon Moran, 11; Nicholas Perera, 12; Julien Pinon, 13; Kevin Porto, 12; Samuel Quintero, 11; Ricardo Roche, 12; Rafael Rodriguez, 10; Cristian Rossi, 13; Nicolas Rossi, 9; Gabriel Segui, 11; Jonathan Strod, 13; Derek Tom, 10; and Gustavo Valery, 14.
Three others qualified in six individual events. They are Sarah Bucaro, 12; Lilliana Calero, 14; and Natasta Testa, 13.
At age 8, Comets swimmer Sara Quintero is the team’s youngest JO swimmer. She qualified in the 400-meter freestyle in 6:17.65.
SOFLO/Comets top-seeded swimmers are:
Kelley Heron, 12, 11-12 200-meter backstroke, 2:37.74; 100-meter breaststroke, 1:23.72; 200-meter freestyle, 2:20.55; 200-meter individual medley, 2:39.79; 50-meter breaststroke 38.99; 1,500-meter freestyle, 19:08.33.
Julien Pinon, 13, 13-14 50-meter freestyle, 26.17; 200-meter individual medley, 2:21.31.
Vanessa Mesa, 10, 10-and-under, 400-meter freestyle, 5:19.94; 100-meter backstroke, 1:22.12.
Rafael Rodriguez, 10, 400-meter freestyle 5:19.55; 200-meter freestyle 2:25.27; 100-meter freestyle 1:09.36.
Kevin Porto, 12, 50-meter backstroke, 35.28.
Samantha Stinemire, 14, 50-meter backstroke, 32.89.
Nicholas Perera, 12, 1500-meter freestyle, 18:26.34.
SOFLO has the top three seeds in the 11-12 50-meter backstroke with Kevin Porto, Andres Lares and Christian Carlson.
Time trials will be held only on Saturday after the morning prelim session.
In addition to SOFLO, top teams competing are Metro Aquatics, Davie Nadadores, Lake Lytal Lightning and Pine Crest Swimming.
IF YOU GO
What: Florida Gold Coast 14-and-Under Junior Olympics
Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 N.W. Second St.
Schedule: Friday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Saturday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.
Admission: $3 per session, heat sheets $3 per session.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com