SOFLO Dominates Opening Night Distance Event

SOFLO Dominates Opening Night Distance Event


September 28, 2013

South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers dominated opening day of the three-day Florida Gold Coast Friday Distance-IMX/IMR Challenge at Academic Village Pool.

SOFLO swept the top four places in the girls’ open 1,650-yard freestyle to open the meet.

Melissa Marinheiro, 16, won the event in 17:28.51, a senior championship cut time.

She was followed by Kelley Heron, 14, in a best time 18:11.89 dropping from 18:20.16; Maria Lopez, 17, in 18:29.14 and Lilli Calero, 15, in a best time 18:57.95, dropping from 19:00.72.

The SOFLO foursome is in the midst of the high school season.

Marinheiro’s younger sister, Michelle Marinheiro, 10, finished 14th in a best time 20:34.77, dropping from 21:52.23.

In the boys distance event, CJ Kopecki, 14, of SOFLO won the boys title in 17:14.57, a best time and senior championships qualifying cut time. He bettered his previous best of 12:21.30.

SOFLO swept the next ten places including Ervin Marin, 13, 17:19.15; Juan Lucas, 14, best time 17:31.43 dropping from 17:59.96 and Jordon Colon, 16, best time 17:35.75, dropping from 17:38.56.



1,650-yard freestyle:

1.Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 17:28.51, SOFLO: 2. Kelley Heron 18:11.89, best time, 3. Maria Lopez 18:29.14, 4. Lilli Calero 18:57.95, best time, 7. Jennifer Rodriguez 19:30.71, best time, 8. Vanessa Mesa 19:32.45, best time, 9. Alexandra Crespo 19:55.29, best time, 10. Delanie Perez 20:02.01, 11. Katherine DeBarros 20:08.67, 12. Annita Huang 20:10.01, 13. Elise Larin 20:16.65, best time, 14. Michelle Marinheiro 20:34.77, best time, 15. Isabella DiSalvo 20:36.04, best time.


1,650-yard freestyle:

1.CJ Kopecki, SOFLO 17:14.57, best time; SOFLO; 2. Ervin Marin 17:19.15, 3. Juan Lucas 17:31.43, best time, 4. Jordan Colon 17:35.75, best time, 5. Rafael Rodriguez 17:42.64, best time, 6. Jonathan Strod 17:44.93, 7. Kevin Porto 17:47.24, 8. Gustavo Valery 17:55.61, 9. Ryan Capote 17:55.90, best time, 10. Leonardo Mateus 18:37.26, best time.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

All-Florida Invite Kicks Off Season With Several FGC, SOFLO Swimmers

All-Florida Invite Kicks Off Season With Several FGC, SOFLO Swimmers


September 27, 2013

University of Florida will host the three-day All-Florida Invitational at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville.

The Gators head the field of college teams that also includes Florida State, University of Miami, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida Southern, North Florida and Nova Southeastern.

It is the fourth year the statewide meet will be hosted by the Gators.

“The first meet is always good because it gives you an end of the season flavor real early,” said Florida coach Gregg Troy. “You get to see a lot of people swimming a lot of different events.”

Added first-year Florida State coach Frankie Bradley: “We’ve only been training a couple of weeks, but we’re up for the test.

“I’m excited to see the whole team in competition. The biggest challenge for our swimmers is to race as hard as they can and as fast as they can even though they are under the stress of training.”

Several Florida Gold Coast swimmers will be competing including Luke Torres, Ryan Rosenbaum, Quinn Cassidy and Austin and Blake Manganiello, Carlos Omana, Daniel Spas, Thomas Veale, Lindsey McKnight of Florida; Tiffany Oliver, Alex Rodriguez, David Knight, Michael Lewark, Jemal LeGrand, Dylan Marsolek, Kevin Matheus, Jason McCormick, Juan Sequera, Philip Sims, Anthony Soto, Ashley Hicks and Paul Murray of Florida State; Marcella Marinheiro of Florida Gulf Coast and Alec Wathen of Florida Southern.

SOFLO’s Oliver, a top sprinter, was voted team captain for her senior year.

The meet follows the NCAA Championship schedule format.

Florida Swim Network is broadcasting the championship finals each night on Friday (at 7 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at