SOFLO’s Ryan Capote Top Finisher On Opening Night Of FGC Senior Championships

SOFLO’s Ryan Capote Top Finisher On Opening Night Of FGC Senior Championships

By Sharon Robb

July 25, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Ryan Capote was top finisher on opening night of the Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Championships Friday at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions in Coral Springs.

Capote, 16, finished third in the 100-meter freestyle in a lifetime best 54.22, lowering his previous best of 55.86. He first lowered his time in prelims in 54.78, fourth fastest time of the morning.

SOFLO teammate Juan Lucas won the “B” final of the 200-meter backstroke in 2:13.82, just off his best time of 2:13.55.

Despite several non-Florida Gold Coast teams dominating events, it was a good night for FGC swimmers.

Nicole Urquidi of Gulliver Swimming was a double winner. Urquidi, 16, won the 100-meter freestyle in 57.94 and 400-meter freestyle in 4:19.66. Urquidi lowered her best time of 59.07 in the 100 freestyle prelims in 59.41.

Gulliver Swimming’s third individual title was Nick Carter, 24, in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:06.41, lowering his previous best of 2:10.08. He first lowered it in prelims in 2:09.80.

Azura Florida Aquatics won two individual titles and one relay title. Azura is the top Florida Gold Coast team in the boys’ competition, leading with 177 points. Empire Swimming leads the combined and girls team totals.

Jennifer Marquez, 23, won the 100-meter freestyle in a best time 56.88, dropping from 58.15.

Joe Ortiz, 22, won the 100-meter freestyle in a best time 51.32, dropping from 51.93.

Azura Florida Aquatics won the 400-meter freestyle relay in 3:32.81 with Arvin Moradi, Joe Ortiz, Mateo Gonzalez and Marcelo Acosta.

Pine Crest Swimming won three individual titles.

Mike Schreuders, 15, won the 100-meter freestyle in a best time 51.80, dropping from 53.03.

University of Missouri-bound Jordy Groters, 18, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.16, bettering his previous best by 1/100th of a second.

Alexander Graudins, 23, won the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 3:55.52, dropping from 3:56.86.

University of Michigan-bound Emily Kopas, 17, of Swim Fort Lauderdale won the 50-meter breaststroke in 32.78.

Jupiter Dragons’ Alex Cronin, 16, won the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:07.35, a huge time drop from 4:16.62. He first lowered it in prelims in 4:11.14.

Westminster Academy won the 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:35.91 with Logan Lassley, Anthon Barbar, Andrew Halliburton and Zachary Trosper.

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


COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Empire Swimming 427, 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 341, 3. Quest Swimming 320, 4. Miami Swimming 311, 5. Clearwater 262, 6. Azura Florida Aquatics 248, 7. Peru 234, 8. Gulliver Swim Club 225, 9. Greenwood Swimming 185, 10. Pine Crest Swimming 184; 17. SOFLO 54.

BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 177, 2. Metro Aquatics 172, 3. Empire Swimming 159, 4. Quest Swimming 154, 5. Clearwater 152; 15. SOFLO 41.

GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Empire Swimming 268, 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 241, 3. Greenwood Swimming 185, 4. Miami Swimming 184, 5. Quest Swimming 166; 20. SOFLO 13.


200-meter freestyle relay:

1.Quest Swimming, Va. 1:46.98, 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:50.62, 3. Miami Swimming 1:51.18, 21. SOFLO “A” 2:00.32 (Carly Swanson, Liz Travieso, Abolade Oyetunji, Kylie Herman), 24. SOFLO “B” 2:03.21 (Jessica Rodriguez, Astrid Rigau, Lilli Calero, Natasha Testa).

200-meter backstroke:

15-16, 1. Beatrice Thompson, Empire Swimming; SOFLO: 21. Liz Travieso 2:41.32, best time, 32. Carly Swanson 2:49.67; Open, 1. Megan Brown, Greenwood Swimming 2:18.14.

100-meter freestyle:

15-16, 1. Nicole Urquidi, Gulliver Swimming 57.92; SOFLO: 59. Carly Swanson 1:06.58, 60. Lilli Calero 1:06.64, 78. Liz Travieso 1:08.63, 93. Natasha Testa 1:13.15; Open, 1. Jennifer Marquez, Azura Florida Aquatics 56.88; SOFLO: 45. Kylie Herman 1:02.33, 69. Abolade Oyetunji 1:03.59, 102. Whitney Johnson 1:06.93, 117. Astrid Rigau 1:08.74.

200-meter butterfly:

15-16, 1. Beatrice Thompson, Empire Swimming 2:18.66; SOFLO: 18. Jessica Rodriguez 2:42.47, 23. Natasha Testa 2:47.81; Open, 1. Megan Brown, Greenwood Swimming 2:17.70; SOFLO: 20. Kylie Herman 2:37.35.

50-meter breaststroke:

15-16, 1. Lauryn Harvard, Unattached 33.89; SOFLO: 9. Jessica Rodriguez 35.02, 45. Star Fassler 41.18, 54. Natasha Testa 43.71; Open, 1. Emily Kopas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 32.78; SOFLO: 50. Whitney Johnson 41.45.

400-meter freestyle:

15-16, 1. Nicole Urquidi, Gulliver Swimming 4:1.966; SOFLO: 24. Lilli Calero 4:52.87; Open, 1. Maggie Harman, Virginia Gators 4:24.80; SOFLO: 13. Kylie Herman 4:38.63.

400-meter freestyle relay:

Open, 1. Quest Swimming 3:57.02, 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 4:01.71, 3. Coral Springs Swim Club 4:02.96. 20. SOFLO “A” 4:25.23 (Kylie Herman, Carly Swanson, Lilli Calero, Abolade Oyetunji).


200-meter freestyle relay:

Open, 1. Westminster Academy 1:35.91 (Logan Lassley, Anthony Barbar, Andrew Halliburton, Zachary Trosper), 2. Miami Swimming 1:36.13, 3. Boca Raton Swimming 1:36.91.

200-meter backstroke:

15-16, 1. Clark Beach, Quest Swimming 2:07.50; SOFLO: 9. Juan Lucas 2:13.82, 16. Alfredo Mesa 2:19.95; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver Swimming 2:06.41.

100-meter freestyle:

15-16, 1. Mike Schreuders, Pine Crest Swimming 51.80; SOFLO: 3. Ryan Capote 54.22, 21. Alfredo Mesa 56.81, best time, 23. CJ Kopecki 57.11, best time, 30. Gustavo Valery 57.53, 44. Juan Lucas 58.69, 62. Cristian Rossi 59.46, best time, 98. Bryan Moran 1:04.49, best time, 99. Tyler Gibson 1:05.47, 103. Brandon Fratianni 1:06.60, 106. Mathew Delvalle 1:09.96; Open, 1. Joe Ortiez, Azura Florida Aquatics 51.31; SOFLO: 101. Xavier Brown 59.72, 105. Bowie Suen 59.93.

200-meter butterfly:

15-16, 1. Jean Monteagudo, Peru 2:06.92; SOFLO: 14. CJ Kopecki 2:18.20; Open, 1. Vance Sanders, Clearwater Aquatics 2:03.11; SOFLO: 19. Matthew Gonzalez 2:20.19.

50-meter breaststroke:

15-16, 1. Alex Bank, Princeton Tigers 30.93; SOFLO: 11. Brendan Cassie 33.10, 34. Tyler Gibson 37.65, best time, 47. Brandon Fratianni 42.39, best time, 49. Bryan Moran 43.93, best time; Open, 1. Jordy Groters, Pine Crest Swimming 29.16; SOFLO: 43. Bowie Suen 34.68, best time.

400-meter freestyle:

15-16, 1. Alex Cronin, Jupiter Dragons 4:07.35; SOFLO: 13. Esteban Diaz-Velasco 4:22.81; Open, 1. Alexander Graudins, Pine Crest Swimming 3:55.52.

400-meter freestyle relay:

Open, 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 3:32.81 (Arvin Moradi, Joe Ortiz, Mateo Gonzalez, Marcelo Acosta), 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 3:34.60, 3. Miami Swimming 3:36.41, 16. SOFLO “A” 3:50.30 (Juan Lucas, Ryan Capote, CJ Kopecki, Cristian Rossi), 22. SOFLO “B” 4:04.70 (Esteban Diaz-Velasco, Xavier Brown, Brendan Cassie, Bowie Suen).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Silver At Commonwealth Games

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Takes Silver At Commonwealth Games

By Sharon Robb

July 25, 2014—The gold medal slipped away from Alia Atkinson in the final 15 meters at Tollcross Swimming Centre Friday at the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer was sitting pretty to win her first gold medal in her third Commonwealth Games appearance after breaking meet and national records and moving up to third in the world rankings in the 50-meter breaststroke after the semifinals.

But defending champion Leiston Pickett of Australia came along and played spoiler, winning the sprint breaststroke event by 8/100ths of a second ahead of Atkinson.

Pickett won in 30.59 and Atkinson was second in 30.67. Atkinson won the first silver medal by a Jamaican swimmer at the Commonwealth Games. The last Jamaican to win a medal at the Games was Janelle Atkinson in 2002 with two bronze medals in the 400- and 800-meter freestyles in Manchester, England.

Atkinson and her SOFLO coach Chris Anderson had hopes of not only winning the gold medal but breaking the 30-second barrier and flirting with the world record of 29.48 in finals.

Atkinson went out fast early in the race after a great start. She looked to be in control until the final 15 meters when Pickett surged ahead and just out-touched her.

It was Jamaica’s first medal in any sport at the Games. Despite not winning gold, Atkinson was still pleased.

“I am ecstatic, even though when I look back I wanted to win the gold medal,” Atkinson said. “Any of the times in my other races would have won this race.”

Atkinson has two more chances at gold in the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event, and 200-meter breaststroke. The heats and final for the 200-meter breaststroke are Saturday and heats and semifinal of the 100-meter breaststroke on Sunday.

In other championship finals, powerhouse Australia dominated the gold medal stand on Day Two of the meet. The Aussies won four gold medals.

Men’s 50-meter butterfly: British teenager Benjamin Proud, 19, outsprinted an experienced field to win England’s first swimming gold medal with a Commonwealth Games and national record of 22.93, the fastest time in the world this year. South Africa took the silver and bronze medals. Roland Schoeman, 34, was second in 23.13 to win his fourth consecutive medal at the Games. 200 butterfly Olympic champion Chad Le Clos was third in 23.36. “I am beyond excited,” Proud said. “Tears almost came into my eyes. I was just trying to make it feel like a normal race, not the Commonwealths.”

Florida alum Brett Fraser of the Cayman Islands was fifth in 23.66.

Bolles’ Joseph Schooling of Singapore finished seventh in 23.96. His 23.43 prelims time places him 13th in the 2014 world rankings and also tied for the Asian record. Schooling and his teammates are being coached by Bolles head coach Sergio Lopez.

Men’s 200-meter freestyle: Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes overtook early leader and teammate Cameron McEvoy to win in 1:45.08, the fastest time in the world this year. McEvoy took silver in 1:45.56. Calum Jarvis of Wales took the bronze in 1:46.53. Defending champion Robbie Renwick of Scotland was fifth in 1:46.79.

Men’s 400-meter individual medley: Scotland’s Dan Wallace of University of Florida won his country’s third gold medal in swimming by coming from behind and overtaking early leader Sebastien Rousseau of South Africa to win in 4:11.20. Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes was second in 4:12.04 and Rousseau faded to third in 4:13.09.

Men’s 100-meter backstroke: Brit Chris Walker-Hebborn broke the meet record and won in 53.12. Aussie Mitch Larkin won silver in 53.59 and Brit Liam Tancock and Aussie Josh Beaver tied for the bronze in 53.75.

Women’s 100-meter butterfly: Canadian Katerine Savard caught early leader Siobhan O’Connor of England to win in a meet record 57.40. O’Connor settled for the silver medal in 57.45 and Aussie Emma McKeon took the bronze in 57.66.

Men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay: Australia held off South Africa to win in a meet record 3:13.44 with Tommaso D’Orsogna, Matt Abood, James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy. South Africa was second in 3:15.17 and England was third in 3:16.37.

In the semifinals, Bahamian and Bolles alum Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace earned the third seed in the 50-meter freestyle in 24.42, sixth fastest time in the world this year.

Canadian Sinead Russell of the University of Florida is the third seed in the 100-meter backstroke in 59.91.

Sharon Robb can be reached at