Rodriguez, Santander Win FGC’s First Southern Zone Age Group Titles; FGC Second Among Boys

Rodriguez, Santander Win FGC’s First Southern Zone Age Group Titles; FGC Second Among Boys

By Sharon Robb

July 29, 2014–Rafael Rodriguez of South Florida Aquatic Club and Andrea Santander of Gulliver Swim Club gave the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team its first victories Tuesday on the opening day of USA Swimming Southern Zone Age Group Championships in San Antonio, Texas.

Rodriguez, 12, won the 11-12 400-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 4:18.36. He bettered his previous best time (4:24.64) by more than six seconds. Last year Rodriguez was ninth in the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 4:34.28.

Arik Katz, 12, of Florida Swimming was second in 4:20.72, also a best time, lowering his previous best of 4:26.29.

SOFLO’s Leonardo Mateus, 12, was sixth in a best time 4:33.43, dropping from 4:36.65.

Santander, 12, won the girls 11-12 400-meter freestyle in a lifetime-best 4:30.18. Her previous best was 4:34.49. Emma Weyant, 12, of Florida Swimming was fourth in 4:38.44.

It was a good day for the state of Florida.

In the girls 800-meter freestyle, Christina Cianciolo, 13, won the 13-14 800-meter freestyle in a best time 9:13.95, dropping 0.63 seconds. Ryley Ober, 13, also of Florida Swimming was fourth in a best time 9:23.28, with a huge time drop of 22.91.

Alex Webster, 14, of Florida Swimming was second in the 13-14 800-meter freestyle in 16:42.62. Webster was one of three swimmers in the top five. Brett Riley, 14, was fourth in a best time 16:50.39, dropping 9.01 seconds and Matthew Nutter, 14, was fifth in 16:54.21, also a best time dropping from 19.57 seconds.

Alexander Arrieta, 16, of Florida Gold Coast was third in a best time 16:34.88, dropping 5.68.

The Zone Championships feature top regional swimmers at the age group level. The meet continues through Saturday with prelims and finals.


COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida 60, 2. Georgia 41, 3. Southeastern 36, 4. Florida Gold Coast 30, 5. North Carolina 22, 6. South Carolina 11, 7. South Texas 10, 8. Mississippi, North Texas 7, 9. Louisiana 4, 10. West Texas 2, 11. Kentucky 1.

BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida 28, 2. Florida Gold Coast 21, 3. Southeastern 16, 4. Georgia 15, 5. South Carolina 11.

GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida 32, 2. Georgia 26, 3. North Carolina 21, 4. Southeastern 20, 5. Florida Gold Coast 9.


400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Andrea Santander, FGC 4:30.18, best time, 4. Emma Weyant, FL 4:38.44, 9. Olivia McMurray, FL 4:44.89, 11. Ashton Bedlack, FL 4:48.80, 17. Vanessa Mesa, FGC 4:55.58.

800-meter freestyle:

13-14, 1. Christina Cianciolo, FL 9:13.95, 4. Ryley Ober, FL 9:23.28, 11. Marissa Brannan, FGC 9:42.42, 15. Eriana Temperino, FGC 9:52.68; 15-18, 1. Emma Cole, GA 9:02.95, 3. Morgan Tankersley, FL 9:09.19, 4. Peyton Palsha, FL 9:10.53, 7. Makayla Ayers, FL 9:19.04, 12. Chloe Bedard-Khalid, FGC 9:33.38.


400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, FGC 4:18.36, best time, 2. Arik Katz, FL 4:20.72, best time, 6. Leonardo Mateus, FGC 4:33.43, best time, 11. Michael Morton, FL 4:39.94, 16. Jason Brzozowski, FL 4:44.78, 22. Andres Wong, FGC 4:47.76.

800-meter freestyle:

13-14, 1. Alex Ballard, GA 16:23.50, 2. Alex Webster, FL 16:42.62, 4. Brett Riley, FL 16:50.39, best time, 5. Matthew Nutter, FL 16:54.21; 15-18, 1. Christopher Robinson, SE 16:26.44, 3. Alexander Arrieta, FGC 16:34.88, best time, 4. Christopher Holmes, FL 16:40.16, best time, 6. Cody Cline, FGC 16:50.52, best time, 9. Miguel Basalo, FGC 17:03.18.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Eleven SOFLO Swimmers Ready For Southern Zone Senior And Age Group Meets

Eleven SOFLO Swimmers Ready For Southern Zone Senior And Age Group Meets

By Sharon Robb

July 28, 2014—The Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented with talented swimmers when the Southern Zone Age Group Championships get under way Tuesday in San Antonio, Texas.

South Florida Aquatic Club has five swimmers on the team. They are Vanessa Mesa, Leonardo Mateus, Rafael Rodriguez, Delanie Perez and Ervin Marin.

Mateus will compete in six 11-12 events: 400-meter freestyle (4:36.65), 200-meter freestyle (2:14.56), 50-meter backstroke (34.35), 100-meter backstroke (1:10.35), 100-meter freestyle (1:03.61) and 200-meter individual medley (2:29.94).

Perez and Marin will each swim five events.

Perez will swim the 200-meter breaststroke, 400-meter individual medley, 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter butterfly.

Marin will compete in the 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter individual medley and 50-meter freestyle:

The remainder of the FGC team:

11-12 Girls: Gabriella Beltrano, Delaney Biro, Nicole Gomez, Jocelyn Ruiz, Andrea Santander, Jennifer Secrest and Stephanie Suarez.
11-12 Boys: Joshua Balbi, Michael Fernandez, Santiago Gomez, Bryan Rivero, Aaron Rodriguez, Andres Wong.
13-14 Girls: Marissa Brannan, Emily Cordovi, Mary Smutny, Haley Jerew, Victoria Miyamato, Melannie Vargas, Eriana Temperino.
13-14 Boys: Adrian Aguilar, Maximilian Asnis, Kyle Talton, Alberto Gomez, Diego Mateus, Bryan Quintero, Fernando Rodriguez.
15-16 Girls: Cloe Bedard-Khalid, Elizabeth Zubero, Whitaker Johnston, Sara Lacusky, Arianna Noya, Kaleigh Newcomb, Alexa Rivera, Rose Smiddy.
15-16 Boys: Alexander Arrieta, Miguel Basalo, Cody Cline, Adrian Moya, Andreas Rintel, Jonathan Farah, Luke Smutny, Sebastian Vargas.

Eight FGC coaches are accompanying the team.

Julie Smiddy is head coach and Greg Stallwort will serve as her assistant.

The age group coaches are Richard Garza (11-12 girls), Marcelo Gatti (11-12 boys), Erin Sayre (13-14 girls), Norman Abril (13-14 boys), Cathy Silvera (15-16 girls) and John Shipman (15-16 boys).

On Monday after arriving, FGC swimmers seemed to be excited about the local store offering 20 different types of jerky, including Angus and spicy turkey. They posted a photo of the display case on the FGC Zone Team Facebook page.


SOFLO will have six swimmers competing in the Southern Zone Senior Long Course Championships that also get underway Tuesday at Florida Gulf Coast Aquatic Center.

Jordan Colon, 17, Esteban Diaz-Velasco, 15, Matthew Gonzalez, 19, Marcella Marinheiro, 19, Kevin Porto, 14, and Ronald Santos, 18, will represent SOFLO.

Colon, coming off a training session in Corby, England with the Jamaican national team, will compete in six events: 200-meter breaststroke (2:32.39), 50-meter breaststroke (33.19), 200-meter freestyle (2:09.16), 400-meter freestyle (4:33.22), 100-meter breaststroke (1:09.68) and 200-meter individual medley.

Diaz-Velasco will compete in the 200-meter backstroke (2:18.14), 50-meter backstroke (30.01), 200-meter freestyle (2:09.11), 50-meter butterfly (30.47), 100-meter backstroke (1:05.45) and 50-meter freestyle (23.64).

Gonzalez is entered in three events, 200-meter butterfly (2:00.23), 200-meter freestyle (2:06.35) and 50-meter butterfly (28.21).

Marinheiro, a sophomore at Florida Gulf Coast, will compete in her home pool. She will swim the 100-meter freestyle (1:01.43), 200-meter backstroke (2:28.91), 50-meter backstroke (31.79), 50-meter butterfly (29.61), 100-meter backstroke (1:07.92) and 100-meter butterfly (1:08.85).

Porto and Santos are competing in the 800-meter freestyle. Porto is seeded at 9:07.15 and Santos seeded at 8:50.30.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5 p.m. The meet ends on Saturday.

Sharon Robb can be reached at