St. Thomas Sweeps Region 4-3A Titles; SOFLO’s Marinheiro, Lopez, Walters Shine

St. Thomas Sweeps Region 4-3A Titles; SOFLO’s Marinheiro, Lopez, Walters Shine



November 3, 2012

Marcella Marinheiro of West Broward High School has been training for her moment at the Region 4-3A Swimming and Diving Championships all season long.

On a chilly Friday night at Plantation Aquatic Complex, the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer’s hard work paid off when she won the 100-yard backstroke in a best time 58.62. She was seeded fourth going into the event in 1:02.75 behind Amanda Tipton of Nova, Sammy Stinemire of St. Thomas and Meagan Abad of South Plantation.

Marinheiro was also fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:54.46.

By virtue of her win, Marinheiro, a senior, will return to next week’s state meet for her final appearance. The winner of each event automatically qualifies for next Friday’s Class 3A State Meet at the Orlando YMCA. After all region meets are completed Saturday night, the top 20 fastest times in each event advance. The psych sheets will be posted Sunday on

“I am extremely happy because I have been trying to go 58 in all those dual meets and I end up finally doing it,” Marinheiro said. “Hopefully, I will do better at states.

Marinheiro was pushed by Stinemire and Tipton in the championship race.

“My opponents were really strong so I knew I had to go fast if I wanted to win and make my goal time,” Marinheiro said. “So as the competition went on I felt confident and feeling good. This is my last year. I wanted to win so I am really happy.

“I have been training extremely hard and dedicating myself. I know as you get older it’s hard to drop a lot of time but I know if I swim my best it will come out. I am extremely excited about going back to states. I hope I do really good and drop even more time.”

West Broward was dealt a severe blow when its 400-yard freestyle relay, that had qualified for state last year, was disqualified during morning prelims for a false start.

“It was upsetting because last year we did really good with that relay at states. It is what it is. I had to get over it quick and focus on my races. We still had the 200 medley relay which should get in, too. We just have to deal with it and focus.”

SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro of West Broward was second in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:06.82. The event was strong with SOFLO distance swimmers with four of them qualifying in the top eight. Kylie Herman of Cypress Bay was third in 5:16.81, Haley Wright of Cypress Bay was fourth in 5:17.25 and Daniela Jimenez of Hialeah Gardens was seventh in 5:28.38.

Melissa Marinheiro was also second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:54.14.

Herman and Carly Swanson of SOFLO were third for Cypress Bay in the 200-yard freestyle relay which is expected to qualify for state. Hialeah Gardens’ sixth-place relay with SOFLO sisters Evelin and Daniela Jimenez and Lopez may also sneak into states. The trio also were members of the fourth place 400 freestyle relay. Herman was also eighth in the 200-yard freestyle in 2:00.50 and is on the bubble for a state berth.

SOFLO’s Maria Lopez of Hialeah Gardens was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 57.04. In a repeat of districts, she finished runner-up to rival Isabella Paez of Reagan. Lopez was also sixth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:56.09.

Amber Hunter of West Broward won the consolation final of the 100-yard butterfly in 59.64 and 100-yard backstroke in 1:03.86, both best times. Her seed time in the butterfly was 1:00.30 and 1:05.44 in the backstroke.

Jacob Walters of West Broward made huge improvement  in his events at the region meet. Walters, who gave up band to focus on his swimming this season, was fifth in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.95 and winning the consolation final of the 200-yard freestyle in 1:47.40, both best times.  The senior was seeded seventh in the 200 freestyle in 1:50.29 and sixth in the 100 butterfly in 54.49.

“I would be really happy if I made states,” Walters said. “I decided to give up band and focus on my swimming. I’ve been training really hard and getting better. I was hoping to do well.”

West Broward freshman Alex Monti of SOFLO was eighth in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:14.95 in his region meet debut. SOFLO teammate Roger Capote, a senior at American High, came back to win the consolation final in 4:56.34.

Jonathan Strod of Cypress Bay won the consolation final of the 200-yard individual medley in 2:05.43. Roger Capote of American won the consolation final of the 500-yard freestyle in 4:56.34.

With clutch wins in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays, St. Thomas Aquinas clinched the boys’ crown with 342.50 points, ahead of Miami Palmetto with 327 and Nova with 222.

“I thought it was going to be close, Miami Palmetto is so good,” Raiders coach Marty Grady said. “Our kids did a great job. They kept their composure and swam very, very hard in the last five events to get a good win for St. Thomas. It was exciting, The kids did a great job.

“We stepped up today and we are going to have to step up even more next week,” Grady said. “We’ll find out Sunday if we got everyone in but I believe we will. I think there are five teams that can win next week (Palm Harbor, Miami Palmetto, St. Thomas, Boca Raton and Sarasota Riverview). We’ll see…on to state.”

The Raiders were led by individual champions Brandon Goldman in the 100-yard backstroke in 52.35 and diver Jack Harrington. Goldman, a senior team captain, was second in the 200-yard individual medley and also led off the runner-up 200-yard medley relay and anchored the winning 400-yard freestyle relay to clinch the title. Harrington won the 1-meter title with 461.60 points.

The Raider girls had a little more wiggle room going into the final event, capturing the girls team title with 291 points. Miami Palmetto was runner-up with 248.50.

“We swam a little flat this morning but turned it around this evening,” said Raiders girls coach Jimmy Parmenter. “A couple of people are going to be left home. Hopefully, we will get enough in. It’s a waiting game until Sunday.

“We finished 11th last year at state. We graduated a lot of seniors (twelve) last year, so this is a young team. Our freshmen pulled us through this meet with our backstrokers, breaststrokers and divers. A top 10 finish I will be real excited with this year.”

The Raiders came from behind to win the 400-yard freestyle relay with a strong anchor leg from Sophia Oliva and finished third in the 200-yard medley relay and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle relay. In the final relay event, Reagan had a huge lead after the first three legs but faded on the final leg while Oliva turned it on to clinch it for St Thomas.

“Good thing you need four swimmers,” Parmenter said. “I didn’t know they didn’t have a fourth swimmer. I was a little nervous there. Their first couple legs were really good.”

Emma Lincoln, a junior at Cypress Bay, was a region champion in the 200-yard freestyle in a season-best and All-American consideration time of 1:51.26 (bettering her seed time of 1:56.22) and runner-up by just a tenth of a second in the 100-yard freestyle in another season-best 52.08 (bettering her seed time of 54.26). She is virtually assured two individual state berths. The only other Broward winner was Western diver Alexa Elkins.



TEAM TOTALS: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 291, 2. Miami Palmetto 248.50, 3. Coral Reef 223.50, 4. Cypress Bay 217, 5. Reagan 152, 6. Nova 148, 7. West Broward 143, 8. South Plantation 142, 9. Hialeah Gardens 122, 10. Miami Beach 111, 11. Northeast 98, 12. Coral Gables 67, 13. Western 55, 14. Our Lady of Lourdes 41, 15. Southwest Miami 40, 16. Ferguson 35, 17. Cooper City 28, 18. American 27, 18. Flanagan 27, 20. Miami 19, 21. Mourning 15, 21. Dr. Krop 15, 23. Hialeah 11, 24. South Dade 10.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Miami Palmetto 1:51.10, 2. Coral Reef 1:51.63, 3. St. Thomas Aquinas 1:53.30 (Sammy Stinemire, Natalya Wozab, Kristina Brennan, Carolina Vargas), 4. West Broward 1:53.77 (Marcella Marinheiro, Melissa Marinheiro, Amber Hunter, Whitney Johnson), 10. Cypress Bay 2:02.37 (Jessica Modrak, Alemy Barreto, Andrea Vallejo, Carly Swanson).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Emma Lincoln, CB 1:51.26, 2. Arianna Noya, REA 1:52.96, 3. Melissa Marinheiro, WB 1:54.14, 4. Marcella Marinheiro, WB 1:54.46, 6. Maria Lopez, HG 1:56.09, 8. Kylie Herman, CB 2:00.50, 9. Veronica Postolski, CB 2:02.53, 11. Daniela Jimenez, HG 2:03.87.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Kelly Fertel, CR 2:08.83, 2. Mia Fiorenzi, STA 2:11.22, 3. Veronica Gruelach, MB 2:14.49, 11. Whitney Johnson, WB 2:25.51.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Carla Robles, CR 24.31, 2. Zoie Balthazar, SP 24.38, 3. Osianna McReed, NE 24.65, 7. Kristina Brennan, STA 25.15.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Alexa Elkins, WES 474.90, 2. Gabriella Comunale, STA 425.40, 3. Jennifer Huchler, CB 382.75.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Isabella Paez, REA 55.11, 2. Maria Lopez, HG 57.04, 3. Arianna Noya, REA 57.49, 7. Evelin Jimenez, HG 59.44, 9. Amber Hunter, WB 59.64, 15. Whitney Johnson, WB 1:03.69, 17. Haley Wright, CB 1:04.79.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Daniela Johnson, MP 51.58, 2. Emma Lincoln, CB 52.08, 3. Khamai Simpson 52.99, 10. Kristina Brennan, STA 55.46, 17. Evelin Jimenez, HG 58.91.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Isabella Paez, REA 5:00.13, 2. Melissa Marinheiro, WB 5:06.82, 3. Kylie Herman, CB 5:16.81, 4. Haley Wright, CB 5:17.25, 7. Daniela Jimenez, HG 5:28.38.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Miami Palmetto 1:39.54, 2. Coral Reef 1:41.13, 3. Cypress Bay 1:41.38 (Emma Lincoln, Veronica Postolski, Carly Swanson, Kylie Herman), 6. Hialeah Gardens 1:42.91 (Evelin Jimenez, Daniela Jimenez, Kelly Aleman, Maria Lopez).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Marcella Marinheiro, WB 58.62, 2. Sammy Stinemire, STA 59.58, 3. Amanda Tipton, NOVA 1:00.34, 9. Amber Hunter, WB 1:03.86, 12. Veronica Postolski 1:06.06.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Tie, Kelly Fertel, CR 1:07.18, 2. Daniela Johnson, MP 1:07.18, 3. Fatimah Westbrook, NE 1:09.37.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 3:38.17 (Kristina Brennan, Carolina Vargas, Mia Fiorenzi, Sophia Oliva), 2. Cypress Bay 3:40.03, 3. Reagan 3:41.99, 4. Hialeah Gardens 3:42.68 (Evelin Jimenez, Daniela Jimenez, Kelly Aleman, Maria Lopez).


TEAM TOTALS: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 342.50, 2. Miami Palmetto 327, 3. Nova 222, 4. Miami Columbus 150, 5. Cypress Bay 133, 6. Reagan 117.50, 7. Ferguson 106, 8. Mourning 105, 9. South Plantation 103, 10. Hialeah Gardens 93, 11. West Broward 81, 12. Dr. Krop 74, 13. Miami Beach 72, 14. Coral Gables 66, 15. Miami Sunset 42, 16. American 41, 17. Western 39, 18. Braddock 37, 19. Cooper City 23, 20. Miami 20, 21. South Broward 17, 21. Coral Reef 17, 21. Flanagan 17, 24. North Miami Beach 12, 25. Miami Killian 2.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Miami Palmetto 1:38.87, 2. St. Thomas Aquinas 1:39.26 (Brandon Goldman, Gabriel Perez Silva, Alex Lilley, RJ Moore), 3. Nova 1:41.01, 8. Cypress Bay 1:46.39 (Carlos Gallego, Bowie Suen, Rafael Ramirez, Alexander Bryan), 11. American 1:49.84 (Ryan Capote, Roger Capote, Ivan Montoya, Raphael Mora), 12. Flanagan 1:51.24 (Fernando Quintero, Jake Edelstein, Nick Dolce, Gustavo Valery).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Derek Chait, MP 1:43.47, 2. Bradley Adan, MC 1:43.65, 3. Francisco Parra, CB 1:44.16, 6. Kyle Desrosiers, STA 1:46.05, 9. Jacob Walters, WB 1:47.40.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Sam Smiddy, MP 1:54.27, 2. Brandon Goldman, STA 1:55.31, 3. Katana Sato, SP 1:59.84, 9. Jonathan Strod, CB 2:05.43.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Anthony Soto, CG 21.73, 2. Facundo Betancor, MI 22.18, 3. Jose Gonzalez, REA 22.37, 3. RJ Moore, STA 22.37, 14. Ryan Capote, AM 23.92.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Jack Harrington, STA 461.60, 2. Corey Balko, WB 385.20, 3. Jonathan Rub, MOR 202.80.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Bradley Adan, MC 51.78, 2. Samuel Smiddy, MP 52.02, 3. Alex Lilley, STA 52.77, 5. Jacob Walters, WB 52.95, 13. Francisco Alvarez, WES 56.22.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Nicholas Coard, DK 47.27, 2. Francisco Parra, CB 47.94, 3. Anthony Soto, CB 47.96, 18. Ryan Capote, AM 51.50.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Derek Chait, MP 4:39.85, 2. Blake Manganiello, MP 4:42.38, 3. Luis Rivadeneria, FERG 4:44.41, 4. Kyle Desrosiers, STA 4:47.09, 8. Alexander Monti, WB 5:14.95, 9. Roger Capote, AM 4:56.34.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 1:28.01 (Alex Lilley, Kearn Kurbanalo, Gabriel Perez Silva, RJ Moore), 2. Miami Palmetto 1:28.30, 3. Nova 1:31.80, 9. West Broward 1:36.36 (Jacob Walters, Alexander Monti, Francis Callahan, William Perry), 13. American 1:41.17 (Roger Capote, Raphael Mora, Gualberto Plaza, Ryan Capote), 16. Flanagan 1:42.39 (Fernando Quintero, Zachary Anders, Nick Dolce, Gustavo Valery).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Brandon Goldman, STA 52.35, 2. Francisco Alvarez, WES 54.03, 3. Robert Castano, MC 54.25, 14. Fernando Quintero, FLAN 59.04, 15. Gustavo Valery, FLAN 59.47.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Juan Olano, MSUN 59.88, 2. Joseph Hunt, MP 1:00.88, 3. Alexander Reid, MB 1:01.01, 10. Roger Capote, AM 1:04.54, 12. Jonathan Strod, CB 1:05.17, 13. Bowie Suen, CB 1:05.29.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas 3:12.61 (Alex Lilley, Alex Behnam, Kyle Desrosiers, Brandon Goldman), 2. Miami Palmetto 3:15.13, 3. Nova 3:18.48, 8. Cypress Bay 3:26.24 (Carlos Neira, Carlos Gallego, Jonathan Strod, Francisco Parra), 11. West Broward 3:37.26 (Will Perry, Alexander Monti, Jiewon Lee, Jacob Walters), 12. Western 3:39.57 (Patrick Funderburk, Julio Mata, Jaide Francis, Francisco Alvarez).

Sharon Robb can be reached at