By Sharon Robb

June 12, 2014

South Florida Aquatic Club started off on a good note with two wins and nine best times on opening day of the Gulf Coast Swim Team Summer Long Course Invitational at the Florida Gulf Coast Aquatic Center in Fort Myers.

Golding , 13, a former Nike Swimmer of the Month and USA Swimming Southern Zone Select camp selection, won the 800-meter freestyle in a career-best 9:05.61, shaving 29.66 seconds off her previous best time.

It was the first of ten events Golding is entered in.

Rafael Rodriguez, 12, enjoying his best season, also won the 800-meter freestyle in a best time 9:06.99, with a huge time drop of 1:28.35.

It was the first time Rodriguez broke the 10-minute barrier. His previous best was 10:35.34.

Rodriguez has nine more events over the next three days.

The only other Florida Gold Coast winner was Marcelo Acosta, 17, of Azura Florida Aquatics in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:27.30.

The four-day meet continues on Friday. SOFLO is among 22 teams along with several out-of-state teams including Canton City Schools, Charger Aquatics, Germantown Academy, Lobo Aquatic Club, Riviera Swim Team, Waves Bloomington and Tide Swimming. Nearly 600 swimmers are entered.

The field features an impressive combination of age group and elite swimmers headed by Emma Svensson, 21, of Swim Florida and Swedish national team and Brazil Olympian Felipe Lima, 29, of Azura Florida Aquatics.



400-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. McKenna Fiore, Gulf Coast 5:27.06.

800-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Nicole Rodriguez, Gulf Coast 10:50.14; 11-12, 1. Olivia Graham, SYS 9:50.54; 13-14, 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 9:05.91, best time; SOFLO: 12. Delanie Perez 10:25.61, best time, 14. Alexandra Crespo 10:29.01, best time, 17. Abolade Oyetunji 10:31.99, best time, 23. Katherine DeBarros 10:59.43; 15-and-over, 1. Danielle Valley, SYS 9:01.52; SOFLO: 23. Maria Lopez 10:03.82, 26. Stephanie Mlujeak 10:34.72.

1500-meter freestyle:

13-14, 1. Mackenzie Arena, BNY 17:45.10; 15-and-over, 1. Kendall Brent, SWIM 17:10.57; SOFLO: 2. Kylie Herman 19:06.01.


400-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Cole Firlie, SYS 5:01.93; SOFLO: 13. Alejandro Mateus 6:24.91, best time.

800-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 9:06.99, best time; SOFLO: 6. Leonardo Mateus 9:58.89, best time, 10. Nicolas Rossi 10:29.77, best time; 13-14, 1. Alexander Webster, SYS 8:56.86; SOFLO: 3. Kevin Porto 9:07.15, best time, 4. CJ Kopecki 9:09.32; 15-and-over, 1. Marcelo Acosta, Azura 8:27.30; SOFLO: 21. Matthew Menocal 9:47.86.

1500-meter freestyle:

13-14, 1. Brendan Firlie, SYS 17:28.66; 15-and-over, 1. Carter Page, SYS 16:31.10; SOFLO: 10. Ronald Santos 18:10.83.


What: Gulf Coast Swim Team Summer Invitational

When: Thursday-Sunday

Where: FGCU Aquatic Center, 10501 FGCU Lake Parkway, Fort Myers

Schedule: Thursday, 11 a.m.; Friday-Sunday, morning sessions 8 a.m., afternoon sessions noon; Friday-Saturday, finals 6 p.m.; Sunday finals 5:30 p.m.

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets. For information call 239-560-4820.

Sharon Robb can be reached at