By Sharon Robb
July 11, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club teenager Kathleen Golding qualified for her first Junior Nationals Friday night on the second day of the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships at the Orlando YMCA.
Against an impressive field, Golding, 13, won the “B” final of the 400-meter individual medley cracking the 5-minute mark in a best time 4:57.67, dropping nearly six seconds from her previous best of 5:02.19.
Golding is the club’s first swimmer to crack the 5-minute barrier in the individual medley event.
She will travel to the July 30-August 3 Speedo Junior National Championships in Irvine, Calif. at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Complex.
“It was a nice swim,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said. “When she got to the breaststroke we knew she had it, we pretty much knew it was there. Winning the “B” heat at this meet is pretty nice.”
Golding was ecstatic with her swim. She said she was less nervous in finals than she was in prelims.
“I felt okay in prelims,” she said. “I was only a second off my best time which is pretty good. I was just really nervous this morning. I wasn’t that nervous tonight.
“I went out good in the fly. My backstroke is my weakest point but I went faster than I normally do. By the time I got to the breaststroke the rest was just downhill since breaststroke and freestyle are my best.”
Golding, a former Nike Swimmer of the Month, has been improving ever since she arrived at SOFLO with her family.
“I think the biggest difference has been my dryland training,” Golding said. “I had never done that much until I got here. It’s made me a lot stronger. I was pretty confident I would make junior nationals. I’ve been training pretty hard. I am so excited.”
Golding also anchored the fourth place 800-meter freestyle relay.
Joining Golding in California will be SOFLO teammate Melissa Marinheiro, 17, who swam a best time in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:05.69 and re-qualified for junior nationals with the “B” cut time.
SOFLO three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 25, tuning up for the July 24-August 2 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, won the 100-meter breaststroke in a pool record and Speedo Champion Series meet record 1:06.86, just off her best time of 1:06.79, nearly two seconds ahead of Katie Hoff, 25, of Hurricanes Swimming, second in 1:08.60.
“As far as a tuneup swim we are right back on track again,” Andrson said of Atkinson who was coming off an illness that prevented him from swimming in the final grand prix meet in California. “I am very excited for her at the Commonwealth Games. She has set up herself up to be successful there.”
SOFLO was fourth in the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:39.64 with Melissa Marinheiro, Maria Lopez, Olivia Katcher and Kathleen Golding.
“We have depth with our women on the relays,” Anderson said
SOFLO’s Ronald Santos posted his second lifetime best during the meet in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:59.32.
SOFLO’s parents’ contingent held up a banner in the stands wishing SOFLO swimmer Delanie Perez a Happy 14th Birthday. “You are our champion,” it read.
Gator Swim Club pulled ahead of opening-day leader Scarlet Aquatics of New Jersey in the combined team standings, 379-336. South Florida Aquatic Club is fifth with 186 points.
Gator Swim Club leads the men’s team standings and Scarlet Aquatics leads the women’s team standings. SOFLO’s women’s tream is second with 167 points.
Other individual winners were:
Two-time Olympian Katie Hoff, 25, of Hurricanes Swimming, gearing up for nationals, won the 200-meter freestyle in a best time 1:58.29, the only swimmer to go under 2 minutes. Her previous best was 1:58.99. It was the fourth fastest time by a U.S. swimmer this year. Olympian Elizabeth Beisel, 21, of Bluefish was second in 2:00.41 and Megan Moroney, 17, of St. Andrew’s Swimming was third in 2:02.23.
Dan Wallace, 21, of Gator Swim Club won the 200-meter freestyle in 1:49.76, just ahead of teammate Andrea D’Arrigo in 1:49.83.
Jared Pike, 23, of Club Seminole won the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:02.41, bettering his previous best of 1:02.62. Teammate Juan Sequera, 20, was second in 1:03.44.
Olympic gold medalist Claire Donahue, 25, of Western Kentucky won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:00.17 ahead of Natalie Hinds, 20, in 1:00.51.
Pavel Sankovich, 24, of Club Seminole won the 100-meter butterfly in 52.88 ahead of Gator Swim Club’s Marcin Cieslak, 22, in 53.94. David Knight, 21, of North Palm Beach Swim Club was the top male Florida Gold Coast finisher placing third in 54.19.
Elizabeth Beisel, 21, of Bluefish came back to win the 400-meter individual medley in 4:35.84, a wide margin of victory over runner-up Jessica Thielmann, 20, of Gator Swim Club in 4:48.74.
Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, 20, of Gator Swim Club won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:20.37 just ahead of Connor Signorin, 22, in 4:20.80
The four-day meet continues on Saturday. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5 p.m.
Saturday’s events are 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter individual medley, 50-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley relay.
COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Gator Swim Club 379, 2. Scarlet Aquatics 336, 3. St. Andrew’s Swimming 278, 4. T2 Aquatics 214, 5. South Florida Aquatic Club 186, 6. Tampa Bay Aquatics 163, 7. Club Seminole 161, 8. Swim Florida 146, 9. Blue Dolfins 143, 10. Metro Aquatics 142.
MEN’S TEAM TOTALS: 1. Gator Swim Club 243, 2. Scarlet Aquatics 142, 3. Blue Dolfins 139, 4. St. Andrew’s Swimming 121, 5. Tampa Bay Aquatics 120, 22. SOFLO 19.
WOMEN’S TEAM TOTALS: 1. Scarlet Aquatics 194, 2. SOFLO 167, 3. St. Andrew’s Swimming 157, 4. Gator Swim Club 136, 5. T2 Aquatics 113.
1.Katie Hoff, Hurricanes Swimming 1:58.29, 2. Elizabeth Beisel, Bluefish 2:00.41, 3. Megan Moroney, St. Andrew’s Swimming 2:02.23. 4. Lindsey McKnight, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:03.49; SOFLO: 25. Melissa Marinheiro 2:05.69, best time, 43. Kathleen Golding 2:09.72, 91. Marcella Marinheiro 2:13.69, 96. Kylie Herman 2:14.19, 97. Olivia Katcher 2:14.26.
1.Alia Atkinson, South Florida Aquatic Club 1:06.86, 2. Katie Hoff, Hurricanes 1:08.60, 3. Emily Kopas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:10.71; SOFLO: 26. Jessica Rodriguez 1:16.51, 47. Kelley Heron 1:19.72, 71. Delanie Perez 1:22.54.
1.Claire Donahue, Western Kentucky 1:00.17, 2. Natalie Hinds, COM 1:00.51, 3. Chelsea Britt, Club Seminole 1:01.09; SOFLO: 29. Maria Lopez 1:05.78; SOFLO: 32. Maria Lopez 1:05.77, 68. Amber Hunter 1:07.94, 82. Marcella Marinheiro 1:08.98, 96. Kylie Herman 1:09.99, 98. Olivia Katcher 1:10.01.
400-meter individual medley:
1.Elizabeth Beisel, Bluefish 4:35.84, 2. Jessica Thielmann, Gator Swim Club 4:48.74, 3. Jordan Smith, PA 4:52.38; SOFLO: 9. Kathleen Golding 4:57.67, best time, 29. Jessica Rodriguez 5:19.38.
800-meter freestyle relay:
1.Gator Swim Club 8:28.87 (Lindsey Trematerra, Hannah Burns, Tierney Shimansky, Kahra Williams), 2. Scarlet Aquatics “B” 8:30.48, 3. Golden Panther Aquatics 8:37.60, 4. South Florida Aquatic Club “A” 8:39.64 (Melissa Marinheiro, Maria Lopez, Olivia Katcher, Kathleen Golding), 9. South Florida Aquatic Club “B” 8:46.36 (Kylie Herman, Marcella Marinheiro, Alia Atkinson, Kelley Heron).
1.Dan Wallace, Gator Swim Club 1:49.76, 2. Andrea D’Arrigo, Gator Swim Club 1:49.83, 3. Mateo De Angulo, Club Seminole 1:51.45; SOFLO: 58. Ronald Santos 1:59.32, best time, 96. Ryan Capote 2:03.27, 103. Juan Lucas 2:03.61, 115. Matthew Gonzalez 2:04.89, 124. Gustavo Valery 2:06.09.
1.Jared Pike, Club Seminole 1:02.41, 2. Juan Sequera, Club Seminole 1:03.44, 3. Jason Coombs, Blue Dolfins 1:03.63; SOFLO: 29. Marc Rojas 1:08.93, 56. Jordan Colon 1:12.17, 59. Ervin Marin 1:12.60, best time, 102. Bowie Suen 1:17.21.
1.Pavel Sankovich, Club Seminole 52.88, 2. Marcin Cieslak, Gator Swim Club 53.92, 3. David Knight, North Palm Beach 54.19; SOFLO: 106. Alfredo Mesa 1:01.58, 115. Matthew Gonzalez 1:02.27, 123. Ervin Marin 1:03.71, 126. Jonathan Strod 1:04.69.
400-meter individual medley:
1.Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Gator Swim Club 4:20.37, 2. Connor Signorin, PAA 4:20.80, 3. Juan Sequera, Club Seminole 4:24.39; SOFLO: 65. Ervin Marin 4:54.19, 77. Jordan Colon 4:59.71, 89. Jonathan Strod 5:08.84.
800-meter freestyle relay:
1.Gator Swim Club 7:42.29 (Diego Decarvalho, True Sweetser, Eric Geunes, Marcin Cieslak), 2. Unattached Gator Swim Club 7:49.05, 3. T2 Aquatics 7:51.35; SOFLO: 11. SOFLO “A” 8:07.78 (Ronald Santos, Marc Rojas, Jordan Colon, Ryan Capote), 16. SOFLO “B” 8:13.19 (Matthew Gonzalez, Juan Lucas, Ervin Marin, Alfredo Mesa).
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com