By Sharon Robb

March 14, 2014

Teenage phenom Michael Andrew continued his record-breaking ways Friday night at the Speedo Championships Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Andrew, 14, the youngest male swimmer to turn pro, broke the national age group record in the 100-meter butterfly.

Andrew, who has already broken most of the 13-14 national age group records in yards, is now turning his sights on meters.

In his first final of the four-day meet, Andrew went 54.59, shaving 4/10ths of a second off his previous best of 54.98 that he swam at the U.S. Open last summer.

Andrew, just a month away from his 15th birthday, broke the previous national age group record of 54.80 set by Justin Lynch in 2011.

Andrew finished second behind Croatian Olympian Mario Todorovic, 25, who won in 54.43. Andrew was also second in the 100-meter butterfly in 54.59.

SOFLO SWIMMERS SHINE

South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers had another good day of swimming led by veteran Olympian Alia Atkinson, swimming well in her off events.

Atkinson, 25, the three-time Jamaican Olympian, was second in the 200-meter freestyle in a best time and Jamaican national record 2:02.85. Teammate Melissa Marinheiro, 16, was fifth in 2:06.79.

Atkinson was also second in the 100-meter butterfly in the 1:01.16.

Kathleen Golding, at 13, the youngest swimmer in the championship final, finished fourth in the 400-meter individual medley in 5:03.73.

SOFLO “A” women won the 800-yard freestyle relay in 8:35.94 with Melissa Marinheiro, Olivia Katcher, Alia Atkinson and Kathleen Golding, ahead of runner-up Blue Dolfins in 8:50.06. The “B” relay of Kelley Heron, Maria Lopez, Amber Hunter and Delanie Perez was fifth in 9:05.01.

SOFLO’s men’s 800-yard freestyle “A” relay of Ryan Capote, Gustavo Valery, C.J. Kopecki and Ervin Marin was seventh in 8:29.72 and “B” relay of Nelson Diaz, Kevin Porto, Alex Monti and Jonathan Strod was ninth in 8:41.87.

“We swam pretty well,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said. “They are all swimming really great. I definitely think our kids were excited watching the competition especially Michael Andrew.

“Our kids are so focused on our SOFLO team and what we have to do to be successful,” Anderson said.

SOFLO swimmers started off strong in morning prelims.

In morning prelims, Atkinson and Marinheiro were the fifth and sixth fastest seeds respectively in the 200-meter freestyle. Atkinson went 2:06.53 and Marinheiro, coming off the mile on Thursday, went 2:06.83, just off her best time of 2:06.22.

Atkinson also earned the second seed in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:02.82, off her best time of 1:02.52. Florida International University-bound Maria Lopez, 18, earned the No. 8 seed in 1:04.90. She finished seventh.

In the 100-meter breaststroke, Jessica Rodriguez, 15, swam a best time 1:17.24 dropping from 1:19.11. She finished 11th overall in 1:18.08.

Golding, 13, the youngest seed in the 400-meter individual medley final, qualified fourth in 5:03.53. In the same event, Jessica Rodriguez earned a spot in the “B” final in a best time 5:14.62, dropping from 5:16.66.

In the men’s 400-meter individual medley, C.J. Kopecki qualified for the “B” final in a best time 4:53.16, breaking 5 minutes for the first time and bettering his previous best of 5:04.61. He finished 12th in 4:52.45, another best time for the teenager who is having the month of his life in swimming.

SOFLO teammate Ervin Marin, 14, was 25th in the 400 IM in 4:57.31, dropping 6.21 from his prelim time of 5:03.52.

SOFLO leads the women’s team standings with 271 points ahead of Blue Dolfins with 190. Azura Florida Aquatic leads the men’s standings with 326 and combined team standings with 409 points.

The four-day meet, which has attracted 451 swimmers including Olympians and national-caliber swimmers and 75 teams, continues Saturday with prelims and finals. The meet is being hosted by Plantation Swim Team and City of Plantation.

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura Florida Aquatic 409, 2. Blue Dolfins 396, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 383, 4. Pine Crest Swimming 251, 5. Swim Fort Lauderdale 151, 6. Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club 143, 7. Loyola Blakefield 140, 8. FLA 120, 9. Swim Florida 108, 10. Plantation Swim Team 99.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 271, 2. Blue Dolfins 190, 3. Guelph Marlin Aquatic Club 136, 4. Pine Crest 131, 5. Plantation Swim Team 91.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 326, 2. Blue Dolfins 206, 3. Pine Crest 120, 4. Loyola Blakefield 116, 5. SOFLO 112.

WOMEN’S EVENTS

200-meter freestyle: 1. Patricia Castro Ortega, SwimMAC 2:00.88, 2. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 2:02.85, 3. Paige Schultz, TSC 2:02.94, 4. Clara Smiddy, AquaKids Sharks 2:04.73, 5. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 2:06.79.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Martha McCabe, TSC 1:11.54, 2. Valentina Artemeva, Bolles 1:11.64, 3. Genevieve Robertson, GMAC 1:12.19, 4. Emily Kopas, Unattached 1:12.50, 5. Kelly Fertel, Rockway 1:13.98; SOFLO: 11. Jessica Rodriguez 1:18.08, 31. Delanie Perez 1:21.74.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Theresa Michalak, Unattached 1:01.01, 2. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:01.16, 3. Danielle D’Aoust, GMAC 1:03.49, 4. Mary Clancy, LBA 1:03.98, 5. Tyla Martin, Unattached 1:04.07; SOFLO: 7. Maria Lopez 1:04.90.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Theresa Michalak, Unattached 4:49.06, 2. Vanessa Treausre, TSC 4:56.23, 3. Emily Brunemann, CW 4:56.28, 4. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 5:03.73, 5. Allison Kopas, Unattached 5:05.74; SOFLO: 16. Jessica Rodriguez 5:20.32.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. SOFLO “A” 8:35.94, 2. Blue Dolfins 8:50.06, 3. Pine Crest 8:56.82, 4. Azura 8:59.70, 5. SOFLO “B” 9:05.01.

MEN’S EVENTS

200-meter freestyle: 1. Michael Klueh, Club Wolverine 1:50.95, 2. Nikita Denisyako, GSC 1:52.85, 3. Nicholas Alexiou, Unattached 1:53.41, 4. Frank Despond, TSC 1:54.09, 5. Joshua Romany, Azura 1:54.82; SOFLO: 29. C.J. Kopecki 2:03.76

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Zachary Hayden, Club Wolverine 1:02.37, 2. Anton Lobanov, Bolles 1:03.28, 3. Alex Morgan, Azura 1:06.43, 4. Alex Evdokimov, CSSC 1:06.44, 5. Jordy Groters, Pine Crest 1:06.67.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Mario Todorovic, Bolles 54.43, 2. Michael Andrew, IS, 54.59, 3. Luke Torres, Unattached 55.00, 4. Luis Martinez, Azura 55.02, 5. Zack Chetrat, TSC 55.41.

400-meter individual medley: 1. John Fulginiti, BD 4:37.66, 2. Blake Manganiello, Unattached 4:37.86, 3. Eric Stobbe, Unattached 4:38.17, 4. Colin Roddy, LBA 4:42.20, 5. Zachary Hoelting, LBA, 4:42.63; SOFLO: 12. C.J. Kopecki 4:52.45, 25. Ervin Marin 4:57.31.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Azura “A” 7:58.80, 2. Blue Dolfins 8:00.98, 3. Azura “B” 8:01.34, 4. Pine Crest 8:13.54, 5. Swim Florida 8:22.01.

IF YOU GO

What: Speedo Championships Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

When: Saturday-Sunday

Schedule: Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.

Where: Plantation Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street, Plantation

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets per session. For information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

http://www.swim4soflo.com

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