By Sharon Robb

March 20, 2014

Defending champion South Florida Aquatic Club got off to a good start on opening day of the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships Friday at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

In front of a packed house, SOFLO girls opened the evening session with a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:37.03 with Maria Lopez, Olivia Katcher, Alia Atkinson and Melissa Marinheiro and ended the night with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:30.65 with Kathleen Golding, Marinheiro, Lopez and Katcher.

Against a talented field, SOFLO relied on depth and talent to score points. After Day One, SOFLO leads the combined team standings with 973 points and women’s team standings with 509 points. Azura Florida Aquatic leads the men’s team standings with 538.

Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson won three individual events. Atkinson, 25, won the 100-yard freestyle in 49.69; 50-yard breaststroke in 27.02; and 500-yard freestyle in 4:52.35.

Atkinson and Kathleen Golding swept the top two spots in the 500 freestyle. Golding was second in 4:55.09. Both swimmers turned in best times.

Melissa Marinheiro, 16, won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:53.64. Marinheiro was also second in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:02.88.

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas, 20, was second in the 50-yard breaststroke in 25.94. Teammate Jordan Colon, 16, was third in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 4:45.59, dropping from 4:55.05.

SOFLO’s Julien Pinon, swimming unattached because he competed overseas for his French club, won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:51.67. He was also second in the 100-yard freestyle in 46.12.

“We definitely did a great job of coming together as a team and continuing the concept of Junior Olympics and Speedo Championships,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said. “Our entire club came together today in prelims and finals. Our depth again is helping us be successful.

“We know we are going to have to work much harder in being creative with our relays for the next two days,” Anderson said. “I think one of the biggest surprises of the meet is the continuation of our JO athletes going best times.”

Anderson was also impressed by the return of several collegiate athletes who wanted to swim and take a leadership role with their club teammates including Marc Rojas, Bianca Muniz, Marcella Marinheiro, Alex Rodriguez and Matthew Gonzalez.

“Seeing them come back is something special,” Anderson said. “They have taken on a leadership role for our athletes and are competing well.”

Several other Florida Gold Coast swimmers turned in some outstanding swims.

Amanda Tipton, 17, of Swim Fort Lauderdale was a double winner capturing the open 200-yard backstroke in 2:00.06 and 200-yard butterfly in 2:03.69.

Allison Kopas, 15, swimming unattached and one of three talented sisters in the sport, was also a double winner. Kopas won the 200-yard backstroke in 2:02.01 and 200-yard butterfly in 2:03.44.

In the men’s competition, Nikita Tretyakov, 15, and Thiago Sickert, 25, both swimming unattached were double winners.

Tretyakov won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:49.50 and 100-yard freestyle in 46.10. Sickert won the 100-yard freestyle in 43.37 and 50-yard breaststroke in 25.63.

“As far as Senior Championships, this is one of the most competitive fields,” Anderson said. “We have some pretty solid athletes and great swims. That’s what makes it so exciting to be swimming against these swimmers and doing well.”

The three-day meet continues on Saturday with prelims at 8:30 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.

Florida Swim Network and Swimmer Joe Auer will live stream the finals on Saturday and Sunday nights for the first time at Academic Village Pool.

The meet features 50 teams, 600 athletes, 75 coaches, 40 officials and 40 volunteers. SOFLO has 67 swimmers competing including 38 male and 29 females.

The meet, hosted by South Florida Aquatic Club, Comets Booster Club and City of Pembroke Pines, is providing visiting swimmers, coaches and parents great hospitality, a social area for swimmers, vendors, meet announcer, covered stands and ample parking.

FRIDAY RESULTS

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 973, 2. Azura Florida Aquatic 837, 3. Metro Aquatics 679, 4. Gulliver Swim Club 485, 5. Miami Swimming 384, 6. Coral Springs Swim Club 375, 7. Swim Fort Lauderdale 365, 8. AquaKids Sharks 244, 9. PAQ 213, 10. Heritage Aquatic Team, 195.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 509, 2. Gulliver 328, 3. Azura 299, 4. Miami Swimming 253, 5. MAC 203.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 538, 2. MAC 476, 3. SOFLO 464, 4. Coral Springs 212, 5. Swim Fort Lauderdale 204.

GIRLS

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. SOFLO “A” 1:37.03 (Maria Lopez, Olivia Katcher, Alia Atkinson, Melissa Marinheiro) 2. PAQ 1:38.40, 3. Azura Florida Aquatic 1:38.77, 4. Miami Swimming 1:38.90, 6. SOFLO “B” 1:40.23 (Amber Hunter, Kelley Heron, Bianca Muniz, Kathleen Golding).

200-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Allison Kopas, Unattached 2:02.01, 2. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 2:02.88, 3. Natalie Aulicini, GRSC 2:08.02, 4. Lindsay Manganiello, AquaKids Sharks 2:08.12; SOFLO: 5. Jessica Rodriguez 2:11.33, 12. Stephanie Mlujeak 2:17.49, 16. Carly Swanson 2:22.61; Open, 1. Amanda Tipton, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:00.06, 2. Megan Schimansky, CSSC 2:05.14, 3. Kathleen Ligon, GRSC 2:05.27, 4. Emily Kopas, Unattached 2:05.85; SOFLO: 5. Marcella Marinheiro 2:07.05, 6. Kelley Heron 2:08.17, 15. Katherine DeBarros 2:20.41, 16. Isabella DiSalvo 2:21.00.

100-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Kelly Harrington, FLA 52.10, 2. Nicole Urquidi, GRSC 52.29, 3. Samantha Roth, CSSC 53.46, 4. Kelly Fertel, Rockway 54.06; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 49.69, 2. Jennifer Marquez, Azura 51.88, 3. Dorothy Morgan, Miami Swimming 52.40, 4. Alina Schulhofer, PAQ 52.93; SOFLO: 15. Marcella Marinheiro 54.18, 16. Amber Hunter 54.35.

200-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Allison Kopas, Unattached 2:03.44, 2. Namilla Sanchez, GRSC 2:04.48, 3. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 2:05.05, 4. Brooke Ellis, GRSC 2:06.06; SOFLO: 8. Jessica Rodriguez 2:14.81, 9. Kylie Herman 2:16.16, 15. Natasha Testa 2:26.04; Open, 1. Amanda Tipton, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:03.69, 2. Laura Gutierrez, Azura 2:03.73, 3. Josefina Lorda Taylor, Unattached 2:03.76, 4. Julia Talamo, MAC 2:12.06; SOFLO: 5. Delanie Perez 2:15.37, 7. Amber Hunter 2:18.57.

50-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Kelly Fertel, Rockway 30.45, 2. Kelly Harrington, FLA 30.55, 3. Fatimah Westbrook, Pompano 31.12, 4. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 31.23; SOFLO: 14. Star Fassler 33.89; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 27.02, 2. Caitlin Ahern, Swim Fort Lauderdale 29.25, 3. Anna Valls, Miami Swimming 29.53, 4. Emily Kop,as Unattached 29.58; SOFLO: 14. Bianca Muniz 33.42, 19. Jennifer Rodriguez 34.22.

500-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 4:53.64, 2. Nicole Urquidi, GRSC 4:59.57, 3. Namilla Sanchez, GRSC 5:00.72, 4. Allison Kopas, Unattached 5:04.13; SOFLO: 7. Kylie Herman 5:13.15, 17. Lilli Calero 5:27.53; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 4.52.35, 2. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:55.09, 3. Daniella Vandenberg, Azura 5:01.21, 4. Geena Squartino, SwimFast 5:02.57; SOFLO: 9. Kelley Heron 5:16.15.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. SOFLO “A” 3:30.65 (Kathleen Goolding, Melissa Marinheiro, Maria Lopez, Olivia Katcher), 4. SOFLO “B” 3:36.10 (Amber Hunter, Alia Atkinson, Bianca Muniz, Kelley Heron).

BOYS

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Azura Florida Aquatic 1:25.92, 2. Coral Springs Swim Club 1:26.07, 3. Metro Aquatics 1:27.10, 4. SOFLO “A” 1:27.12 (Ryan Capote, Matthew Gonzalez, Marc Rojas, Alejandro Zambrano), 10. SOFLO “B” 1:31.07 (Xavier Brown, Gustavo Valery, Endi Babi, Ervin Marin).

200-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyakov, Unattached Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:49.50, 2. Fernando Alatorre, Azura 1:52.32, 3. Alejandro Carriazo, MAC 1:52.58, 4. Nico Medina, Azura 1:56.44; SOFLO: 5. Juan Lucas 1:57.45, 8. Ryan Capote 1:59.59, 11. Alfredo Mesa 2:01.86, 12. Gustavo Valery 2:02.67; Open, 1. Vicente Andrade, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:48.26, 2. Nick Carter, GRSC 1:48.59, 3. Mateo Gonzalez, Azura 1:49.92, 4. Marco Hosfeld, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:51.82; SOFLO: 9. Esteban Diaz-Velasco 1:58.97, 15. Ricardo Roche 2:06.55, 17. Rafael Rodriguez 2:07.28.

100-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyakov, Unattached 46.10, 2. Julien Pinon, Unattached 46.12, 3. Raphael Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 46.26, 4. Cody Cline, Wellington Wahoos 46.99; SOFLO: 7. Ryan Capote 48.54, 17. Alfredo Mesa 49.96; Open, 1. Thiago Sickert, Unattached 43.37, 2. Carlos Herrera, Azura 44.87, 3. Renzo Tjon A Joe, Unattached 46.20, 4. Kyle Desrosiers, CSSC 47.52; SOFLO: 18. Matthew Gonzalez 49.32, 19. Alejandro Zambrano 49.62.

200-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Julien Pinon, Unattached 1:51.67, 2. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 1:53.33, 3. Alejandro Carriazo, MAC 1:53.58, 4. Nico Medina, Azura 1:53.95; SOFLO: 9. Jonathan Strod 2:00.83; Open, 1. Enzo Pazos, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:52.80, 2. Nicholas Nord, GRSC 1:53.13, 3. Matheus Borges, Azura 1:53.74, 4. Austin Saunders, Pompano 1:54.45; SOFLO: 6. Nelson Diaz 1:55.67, 9. C.J. Kopecki 1:56.92, 10. Alejandro Zambrano 1:59.87, 11. Endi Babi 1:57.59, 15. Ervin Marin 1:59.86, 18. Matthew Gonzalez 2:01.26.

50-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Julio Horrego, Hialeah 27.15, 2. Luis Llenin, MAC 27.96, 3. Tristan Celestin, Azura 28.17, 4. Jonathan Farah, HAT 29.07; SOFLO: 11. Alex Monti 30.21, 15. Brendan Cassie 30.74, 16. Baldwin Suen 31.02, 18. Cristian Rossi 31.32; Open, 1. Thiago Sickert, Unattached 25.63, 2. Marc Rojas, SOFLO 25.94, 3. Carlos Herrera, Azura 26.12, 4. Alex Morgan, Azura 26.38; SOFLO: 18. Bowie Suen 29.85.

500-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Cody Cline, Wellington 4:34.40, 2. Alexander Arrieta, MAC 4:35.90, 3. Jordan Colon, SOFLO 4:45.59, 4. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:47.38; SOFLO: 6. Juan Cluas 4:52.07, 7. Alex Monti 4:52.41, 14. Alfredo Mesa 4:59.95, 15. Jonathan Strod 5:01.75, 17. Gustavo Valery 5:03; Open, 1. Marco Hosfeld, Swim Fort Lauderdale 4:33.84, 2. Marcelo Acosta, Unattached 4:38.75, 3. Matthew Fisher, FLA 4:45.26, 4. C.J. Kopecki, SOFLO 4:46.94; SOFLO: 11. Kevin Porto 4:50.80, 15. Rafael Rodriguez 4:59.24, 16. Ricardo Roche 5:00.20, 21. Matthew Menocal 5:10.68, 23. Gabriel Segui 5:26.23.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Coral Springs Swim Club 3:08.39, 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 3:09.11, 3. Metro Aquatics 3:09.75, 4. Azura 3:12.06, 7. SOFLO “A” 3:16.19 (Matthew Gonzalez, Alejandro Zambrano, Marc Rojas, Endi Babi), 9. SOFLO “B” 3:19.88 (Ryan Capote, Xavier Brown, Juan Lucas, Alfredo Mesa).

IF YOU GO

What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships

When: Saturday-Sunday

Schedule: Saturday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m. prelims, finals 5 p.m.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines.

Webcast: Florida Swim Network will live stream the meet on Saturday and Sunday night and Swimmer Joe Auer will conduct poolside interviews.

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets per session.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

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