SOFLO’s Marc Rojas Verbally Commits To Florida State

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas Verbally Commits To Florida State


October 16, 2013

Marc Rojas knew it was only a matter of time.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer and sophomore at national champion Indian River State College, verbally committed to Florida State on Wednesday.

“Everything I did in the past was just building blocks to get to be where I am at now,” Rojas said. “The ultimate goal was to get into a great college and swimming the times I needed to do to get there.

“I think this is No. 1 for me in swimming,” Rojas said. “I worked really hard in and out of the water.”

Rojas is excited to swim for FSU first-year coach Frankie Bradley, a former Indian River head coach and Florida Gold Coast and Florida State Seminoles swimmer.

“When I took my trip to Florida State I felt very comfortable with the team and the head coach,” Rojas said. “I felt a connection with the school and coaches. I saw I would be a good addition to the team.”
Rojas will have two years of eligibility with the Seminoles.
“Going to a junior college was good but now I will be experiencing the whole package at Florida State and I am pretty excited about that. Of course, I still want to do great things here at Indian River.”

Rojas is defending junior college national champion in the mile (15:38.80) and was third in the 500-yard freestyle (4:33.52). He may be swimming the breaststroke after a breakthrough summer where he made his first U.S. Open cut (1:03.72) at senior zones.

“We are still talking about what I am going to swim at the big meets and nationals,” Rojas said. “My 100 breaststroke is pretty good. I want to drop some bombs.”

After winning a state high school title in the 100-yard breaststroke at Pembroke Pines Charter his sophomore year, the only boy from Broward County to win a state title that year, Rojas hit a rough patch.

“I had a kind of slump my junior year,” Rojas said. “I had to develop mental toughness when I wasn’t doing well in the water. It was a huge factor in my training.

“It wasn’t until my senior year of summer I had the meet of my life. I wish I had those times in my senior year at the beginning but everything happens for a reason.”

The “meet of my life” Rojas was referring to was the August Senior Southern Zone Long Course Championships in Plantation where he swam a lifetime-best and his first-ever U.S. Open qualifying standard (1:03.72).

Rojas splits were 29.68 and 34.04. The qualifying standard is 1:04.69. His seed time going into the meet was 1:05.97 for the third seed.

It was his seventh event of the weeklong meet but most memorable. He swam best times in nearly every event.

“Last summer I was training for the mile to make my standardized cut to help me get into a good college but it wasn’t working out, I wasn’t hitting my pace in practice,” Rojas said. “When in doubt, go to the breaststroke. I switched my mile mentality to the breaststroke.”

After finishing his sophomore year at Indian River, Rojas plans to take a summer class at Indian River and return to SOFLO to train with head coach Chris Anderson for a few summer meets before heading off to FSU.

SOFLO is fast-becoming a pipeline for FSU where SOFLO swimmers Tiffany Oliver and Alex Rodriguez are currently competing.

“I am on the right path, I am swimming fast,” Rojas said. “I am really fortunate to be going to Florida State. Everything is falling into place. I just learned that everything will be okay if you just believe in yourself.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Head Field For Mike Horgan Fall Invitational At Lake Lytal

SOFLO Swimmers Head Field For Mike Horgan Fall Invitational At Lake Lytal

Written by Sharon Robb

October 16, 2013

South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers are among top teams competing in the third annual Mike Horgan Fall Invitational Meet at Lake Lytal in West Palm Beach.

The three-day meet gets under way on Friday.

The Florida Gold Coast Top 16 Fall Invitational is named in honor of one of the most beloved and well-respected coaches in the Florida Gold Coast.

Horgan, Lake Lytal’s head developmental coach, died of a heart attack at age 50 in August, 2011.

A double lung transplant recipient in 2000, Horgan had cystic fibrosis his entire life but never let it damper his enthusiasm as a tireless teacher and coach.

SOFLO swimmers will get an opportunity to swim against several Palm Beach County teams including host Lake Lytal Lighting, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, St. Andrew’s Swimming and Wellington Wahoos.

Other teams entered are Coral Springs Swim Club, Plantation Swim Team, Metro Aquatics, Pine Crest Swimming, Miami-Dade County Aquatic Club, Team FLA and Pompano Beach Piranhas.

Each day all events are timed finals.

The field also includes U.S. national team open water swimmer Joey Pedraza and Joshua Romany of Trinidad and Tobago.

Among SOFLO swimmers entered are Molly Golding, 10; Brandon Moran, 12; Annita Huang, 12; CJ Kopecki, 14; Sara Quintero, 9; Leonardo Mateus, 11; Kyana Castro, 11; Kathleen Golding, 13; Rafael Rodriguez, 11; Jonathan Strod, 14; Kevin Porto, 13; Alejandro Mateus, 8; Alex Golding, 9; Katherine Del Vecchio, 10; Joseph Lee, 10; Isabella DiSalvo, 11; Elizabeth Chevaldova, 8; Elizabeth Chevaldova, 8; Abolade Oyetunji, 14; Andres Arias, 13; Mikaela Dr Gracia, 12, and Alexandra Crespo.


What: Mike Horgan Fall Invitational Meet

When: Friday-Sunday

Where: Lake Lytal Aquatic Park, 3645 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach

Schedule: Friday, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., timed finals; Saturday sessions, 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., timed finals; Sunday sessions, 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., timed finals.

Admission: $3 per session, heat sheets $3 per session. For more information call 561-310-4924 or go to

Sharon Robb can be reached at