By Sharon Robb
December 31, 2013
After an outstanding year in 2012, South Florida Aquatic Club raised the bar even higher in 2013.
From the complete team effort SOFLO got at Winter Championships to three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson taking another huge step in the international spotlight, SOFLO earned well-deserved respect.
Buoyed by depth, talent and good coaching, SOFLO swimmers broke records, won races and dropped time throughout the short course and long course seasons.
As we ring in the New Year on Wednesday, let’s reflect on some of the highlights.
SOFLO’s top ten for 2013 were:
1.SOFLO sweeps the combined, girls and boys team titles at the 23rd annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Championships for the first time in the club’s history.
2.SOFLO is named Nike Swim Team of the Month in December.
3.SOFLO coach Chris Anderson is named Nike Swim Coach of the Month in December.
4.SOFLO’s three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson has breakthrough international season on the FINA World Cup circuit and cashes in on her biggest payday ($136,000) winning gold, silver and bronze medals and breaking her own national records.
5.SOFLO makes history by winning Senior Championships and Junior Olympics in the same season.
6.Longtime SOFLO swimmer Marc Rojas makes first senior national cut and signs with the Florida State Seminoles.
7.SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver wins first ACC title, makes Florida State history with a school record in the 50-yard freestyle (22.17) and two gold medals and goes on to compete at NCAA Championships.
8.SOFLO’s Julien Pinon heads overseas to compete in several international meets and training camps for France to pick up valuable international experience for the future. The American Heritage sophomore then returned in the fall to help his high school team win its first boys’ state team title.
9.SOFLO’s Melissa Marinheiro pulls off a hat trick and a half, competing at the state high school meet, junior nationals, Winter Championships and senior nationals in six weeks.
10.SOFLO defends its title at the FLA International Invitational for its first major long course season win.
Now entering its 14th year, the first ten as Comets Swim Team and fourth year as SOFLO, swimmers, coaches, Booster Club, parents and volunteers pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.
The year 2013 was an outstanding year and 2014 will shine even brighter.
Happy New Year!!!
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org