SOFLO’s Atkinson, Anderson Open Camp; Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter Will Train With SOFLO

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Anderson Open Camp; Jamaica’s Timothy Wynter Will Train With SOFLO

By Sharon Robb

July 16, 2014—In preparation for the July 23-August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the Jamaican national team has settled into training camp in Corby, England.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson leads the six-swimmer contingent that is currently training at the Corby East Midlands International Pool, just 200 miles south of the Scottish border in the heart of England.

Alia Atkinson is joined on the team roster by Jevon Atkinson (no relation), Zara Bailey, Trudi Ann Patrick, Dominic Walter and Timothy Wynter.

Jevon Atkinson came out of retirement to represent his country in Scotland. Diver Yona Knight-Wisdom will also represent Jamaica at the Games. It is the first time Jamaica will be represented in diving.

Sarasota YMCA teenagers Michelle and Keanan Dols were also named to the Jamaican national team for the Games but will not be attending the Commonwealth Games.

Three of SOFLO’s top age group swimmers, Jordon Colon, Star Fassler and Olivia Katcher also made the trip and is training with the international team.

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson and Atkinson have trained at the facility before in preparation for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Jamaica Commonwealth team and staff are being treated like royalty.

The city’s Mayor, Anthony Dady, met with the team and sixteen local school children also visited for autographs and question-and-answer session about the importance of education and the Commonwealth competition.

Two local radio stations also interviewed Anderson, Alia Atkinson and Jevon Atkinson, who trained with SOFLO (formerly Comets Swim Team) from 2004 to 2008 and qualified for the 2008 Olympics.

SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson is serving as head coach of the Jamaican team during the camp and Commonwealth Games.

“We made it,” Anderson said. “Our training trip is growing better than expected. We had a solid post-travel washout and very good morning workout gym session and then power and speed workout at night. I am excited to see how it goes.”

In other SOFLO news:

One of Jamaica’s top swimmers Timothy Wynter will be training with the South Florida Aquatic Club at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

Wynter, 18, has three national records in the 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke and four short course records in the 50- and 100 backstroke and 50- and 100-meter butterfly.

Wynter competed in the Short Course World Championships in Istanbul, Turkey at age 16.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

South Florida Aquatic Club Ready To Defend Title At FGC Long Course Junior Olympics

South Florida Aquatic Club Ready To Defend Title At FGC Long Course Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb

July 15—South Florida Aquatic Club is hoping to add another chapter to its history book.

The defending champions will be after their fifth JO long course title when the Florida Gold Coast 14-and-Under Long Course Junior Olympics begin on Friday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO has won four JO long course titles and ten JO titles overall. Its’ most recent JO title was the FGC 14&Under Short Course Junior Olympics in Coral Springs.

With depth, balance and talent, SOFLO is hoping to collect the winning team trophy on Sunday night.

In last year’s long course JOs, SOFLO won the combined team title with a record 563.50 points and boys’ team title with 388.50.

This week, SOFLO has 58 swimmers and 36 relays teams competing in 22 relay events.

“It’s tough not to be there but I have full confidence in the athletes and coaches,” said SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson, who is coaching overseas. “Our kids have done the work and set themselves up to be successful.”

Anderson, the Jamaican head coach, is in England for a training camp before the July 24-Aug. 2 Commonwealth Games in Scotland. SOFLO three-time Olympian Alia Atkinson heads the international field.

Among SOFLO’s top-seeded swimmers are Sara Quintero, 10, in the 400-meter freestyle (5:17.12). She is also seeded third in the 100-meter butterfly (1:23.89).

Kathleen Golding, 13, is seeded first in the 200-meter freestyle (2:09.25) and second in the 50-meter freestyle (28.28) and 200-meter breaststroke (2:47.31).

Golding, a junior national qualifier, is coming off an outstanding Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championship meet in Orlando.

Kelley Heron, 14, is seeded second in the 200-meter backstroke (2:30.19) and third in the 200-meter individual medley (2:32.80).

Marianna Serrao, 12, is seeded second in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:23.74).

Erika Pelaez, 8, is seeded second in the 50-meter backstroke (38.85),

Alexandra Crespo, 13, is seeded third in the 1500-meter freestyle (19:37.65).

Vanessa Mesa, 12, is seeded third in the 200-meter freestyle (2:19.59).

Rafael Rodriguez, 12, is seeded first in four events: 400-meter freestyle in 4:24.64, 200-meter freestyle (2:07.94), 200-meter individual medley (2:22.79), 1500-meter freestyle (17:17) and seeded second in the 100-meter butterfly (1:0726).

Ervin Marin, 14, is seeded second in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:38.99), 400-meter individual medley (4:57.31) and 200-meter individual medley (2:19.76) and third in the 200-meter freestyle (2:04.27) and 100-meter butterfly (1:01.64).

Leonardo Mateus, 12, is seeded second in the 200-meter freestyle (2:14.56) and third in the 100-meter backstroke (1:12.69) and 200-meter backstroke (2:38.37).

Kevin Porto, 14, is seeded third in 1500-meter freestyle (17:47.63).

SOFLO will have its work cut out for it against a competitive FGC field that also includes Azura Florida Aquatics, Jupiter Sea Dragons, St. Andrew’s Swimming, Gulliver Swim Club, Hialeah, Miami-Dade and Pine Crest Swimming.


What: 14 & Under Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics

When: Friday-Sunday

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

Schedule: Friday, Session 1, 8:30-11:42 a.m., Session 2, 10-and-under timed finals, 12:45-2:23 p.m., Session 3, 6-8:14 p.m.; Saturday, Session 4, 8:30 a.m.-12:13 p.m., Session 5, timed finals, 1:15-3:10 p.m., Session 6, 6-8:35 p.m.; Sunday, Session 7, 8:30-11:18 a.m., Session 8, 10-and-under timed finals, noon-1:27 p.m.; Session 9, 2:30-5:58 p.m.; Session 10, 6:30-7:48 p.m.

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

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Pembroke Pines Police Officer Jennifer Martin Competes Wednesday In Can-Am Police-Fire Games

Pembroke Pines Police Officer Jennifer Martin Competes Wednesday In Can-Am Police-Fire Games

By Sharon Robb

July 15, 2014—-Pembroke Pines police officer Jennifer Martin, who trains with the South Florida Aquatic Club, will make her debut at the 2014 Can-Am Police-Fire Games in York County, Pa.

Martin, 33, a top masters swimmers and open water swimmer, is one of the nation’s top swimmers in police and fire competitions.

At the 2013 Florida Police and Fire Games, Martin won four events and broke three meet records.

Martin is entered in 10 events, eight individual and two relays. She will compete in the 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 50 breaststroke, 50 butterfly, 100 freestyle, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 100 butterfly, 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.

The swimming event will be held Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m. at the Graham Aquatic Center YMCA. The pool is 8 lanes, 25 yards. Swimmers will compete against the clock.

The Games, held every two years, feature police, fire, EMS and other first responders from all over North America. It rotates between sites in the U.S. and Canada.

Through July 20, athletes will compete in more than 50 sporting events at over 30 venues in York County.

Swimming is among the traditional athletic competitions that will be held along with hockey, volleyball, soccer, softball, golf and cycling. There will also be industry-specific events such as toughest firefighter alive and toughest competitor alive. The EMS challenge and Olympic lifting will make its debut this year.

Martin departed Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday. The Games opened on Sunday.

All event proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Sharon Robb can be reached at