By Sharon Robb

November 21, 2013

South Florida Aquatic Club, runners-up for the combined team title in last year’s meet, started off on a good note Thursday night at the 23rd annual Florida Gold Coast Winter Championships.

The four-day meet was rain-soaked by the end of the night when wind and rain moved in.

Kopecki, 14, won the 1,000-yard freestyle in a lifetime-best 9:59.67, nearly a minute drop from his previous best of 10:39.26. It was also the first time he broke 10 minutes. Kopecki also swam anchor leg on SOFLO’s winning 800 freestyle relay.

Kevin Porto, 13, was third in 10:14.85, also a best time and drop from 10:49.44.

SOFLO’s 13-14 800-yard freestyle relay won in 7:24.32 with Ervin Marin, Juan Lucas, Kevin Porto and CJ Kopecki.

SOFLO also finished runners-up in both the girls and boys 800-yard freestyle relay.

The girls team of Amber Hunter, Maria Lopez, Kylie Herman and Melissa Marinheiro were second in 7:52.89.

The boys team of Julien Pinon, Ryan Capote, Jordan Colon and Gustavo Valery was second in 7:07.72.

Kathleen Golding, 13, won the 400-yard individual medley in a best time 4:29.69.

Melissa Marinheiro, 16, was third in the 1,000-yard freestyle in a best time 10:16.09.

“We did really well,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said. “Our young kids stepped it up. We had a lot of younger boys step it up in the 400 IM and 1,000 freestyle. We have new names emerging.

“It was a good night for scoring points across the board with a lot of best times,” Anderson said.



400-yard individual medley:

11-12, 1. Andrea Santander, FLA 4:41.38; SOFLO: 12. Anabel Vazquez 5:25.20; 13-14, 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:29.69, best time; SOFLO: 4. Jessica Rodriguez 4:42.71, 9. Delanie Perez 4:55.88, best time, 21. Jennifer Rodriguez 5:09.47, best time, 23. Katherine DeBarros 5:11.90, best time; 15-16, 1. Rachael Bradford-Feldman, SAS 4:21.58; 17-and-over, 1. Darby Goodwin, SAS 4:32.18.

800-yard freestyle relay:

13-14, 1. Pine Crest 8:20.67, 3. SOFLO 8:23.18 (Kelley Heron, Stephanie Mlujeak, Delanie Perez, Jessica Rodriguez); Open, 1. St. Andrew’s Swimming 7:44.73, 2. SOFLO 7:52.89 (Amber Hunter, Maria Lopez, Kylie Herman, Melissa Marinheiro).

1,000-yard freestyle:

Open, 1. Joanna Evans, SWIFT 10:04.63; SOFLO: 3. Melissa Marinheiro 10:16.19, best time, 11. Kelley Heron 10:58.50, 16. Lilli Carlero 11:05.57.


400-yard individual medley:

Open, 1. Jordy Groters, Unattached 3:58.88; SOFLO: 14. Jordan Colon 4:14.38, best time, 21. Ervin Marin 4:19.33, 29. Jonathan Strod 4:22.64, best time, 32. CJ Kopecki 4:23.28, best time; 52. Ricardo Roche 4:44.00, best time, 56. Samuel Quintero 4:49.50, best time, 61. Bryant Segui 4:57.29, best time, 67. Brandon Moran 5:09.05.

800-yard freestyle relay:

13-14, 1. SOFLO 7:24.32 (Ervin Marin, Juan Lucas, Kevin Porto, CJ Kopecki); Open, 1. Azure 7:00.08, 2. SOFLO 7:07.72 (Julien Pinon, Ryan Capote, Jordan Colon, Gustavo Valery).

1,000-yard freestyle:

11-12, 1. Austin Kinsler, MTSC 11:07.78; 13-14, 1. CJ Kopecki, SOFLO 9:59.67, best time; SOFLO: 3. Kevin Porto 10:14.85, best time, 8. Ricardo Roche 10:39.32, best time, 14. Matthew Menocal 11:01.64, best time, 15. Samuel Quintero 11:04.10, best time; 15-16, 1. Nico Medina, Unattached 9:37.75; 17-and-over, 1. Joey Pedraza, Unattached 9:13.95.


What: 23rd annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Swimming Championships

When: Thursday-Sunday

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second St.

Schedule: FRIDAY—Session 3, 8:30 a.m.-11:11 a.m.; 500 freestyles, 11:27 a.m.-1:08 p.m.; Session 4, 8:30 a.m.-11:17 a.m.; 500 freestyles, 11:27 a.m.-12:39 p.m.; Session 5, Finals, 5-7:48 p.m.; SATURDAY—Session 8, 8:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.; Session 9, 8:30 a.m.-12:50 a.m.; Finals, 5-7:57 p.m.; SUNDAY— Session 10, 8:30 a.m.-12:46 p.m.; 1650s, girls 1:10-2:52 p.m., boys 1:10-3:07 p.m.; Session 14, 8:30 a.m.-12:57 p.m.; 1650s, girls 1:10-2:52 p.m., boys 1:10-3:07 p.m.; Finals, 5-7:09 p.m.

Live Streaming: Florida Swim Network will broadcast the finals live on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is the first Florida Gold Coast meet FSN has broadcast.

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets per session. For more information go to

Sharon Robb can be reached at