American Heritage Sweeps Relays, Wins Second State 2A Boys Title With SOFLO’s Pinon, Kopecki

By Sharon Robb

November 14, 2014—On a chilly, wind-swept night, American Heritage Plantation won its second consecutive boys team title at the Pinch-A-Penny FHSAA State 2A Swimming and Diving Championships Friday at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.

The undefeated Patriots finished their perfect season with an 81-point margin of victory over runner-up Tampa Jesuit. American Heritage finished with 265 points. Tampa Jesuit had 184.

“I couldn’t be happier with how the kids performed, they did a very good job,” American Heritage coach Nobutaka Tan. “They put a lot of pressure on themselves. They had such high expectations and knew what needed to be done. I am very proud of them.

“The first time winning you always remember, but the second time is more satisfying. Everyone knew who we were this time around. I told every one of our kids they had a bull’s eye on their chest, that we weren’t the underdog anymore.”

The Patriots didn’t waste any time piling up the relay points by winning all three to total 120 points.

“That was the task the boys were given, we talked about winning all three relays coming in here,” Tan said. “Our kids were pretty pumped on the relays.”

American Heritage took the lead after the opening relay and never relinquished it.

“I did know we were leading but I also reminded the kids that every swim and every relay counts, it kept them on their toes,” Tan said. “They knew we had enough of a gap after the 200 free relay but I told them not to worry about the points and do one swim at a time.”

American Heritage defended its title in the 200-yard medley relay winning in a season-best 1:36.90 with Nico Medina, Jonathan Farah, Fernando Bohorquez and Taylor Eaddy. Medina, Bohorquez and Eaddy were repeat relay state champions.

American Heritage, third last year in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:27.24, won the event in 1:27.21 with Eaddy, Chris Garcia, Bohorquez and Julien Pinon, who swam a 21.30 anchor leg split. Eaddy, Garcia and Pinon were members of last year’s relay.

The Patriots, second in last year’s 400-yard freestyle relay, won in 3:09.17 with Eaddy, Garcia, Medina and Pinon. Pinon, Medina and Garcia were on last year’s relay.

Pinon, a junior and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, was the only American Heritage swimmer to finish among the top three in individual events.

Seeded fourth after prelims, Pinon was third in the 200-yard freestyle in a season-best 1:38.66, the fastest time in the county this year. His previous best was 1:41.92. He was also second in the 100-yard freestyle in 46.01, another best time.

“Julien did a hell of a job this meet,” Tan said. “He has been like this all season long. He was on top for us this season. He did a really nice job for us.”

Pinion’s SOFLO teammate CJ Kopecki, a freshman, had an outstanding state meet for American Heritage. Kopecki won the “B” final in the 200-yard freestyle in a best time 1:44.07 and finished eighth in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:45.26 after going a best time 4:42.17 in prelims.

“CJ came out and did an excellent job as a freshman,” Tan said. “Making the finals in the 500 free, he did a phenomenal job.”

SOFLO teammate Esteban Diaz-Velasco of Somerset was sixth in the 100-yard backstroke in a best time 54.26.

SOFLO’s Ervin Marin of Mater Lakes, making his state meet debut as a freshman, won the “B” final in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:00.47 and went a best time 1:00.41 in prelims. He was also 11th in the 200-yard individual medley in a best time 1:58.38. SOFLO teammate Ricardo Roche of Somerset also turned in a best time along with Kevin Porto of Mater Lakes, making his state meet debut, swam a best time.

“Our kids all swam best times at a very competitive meet,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said.

The girls’ competition came down to a two-way fight between Gulliver Prep and Suncoast, the classic private vs. public school matchup.

Gulliver Prep, fourth last year, relied on its depth to win with 240 points. Suncoast, buoyed by two relay victories, finished runner-up with 185 after finishing fifth last year.

Defending champion Pensacola Washington was third with 172.

Gulliver Prep was led by individual state champion Kelly Fertel in the 200-yard individual medley (2:03.54). It was a season-best for the top morning seed, dropping from her seed time of 2:04.36.

Fertel was also second in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:04.57. Niki Urquidi was third in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 500 freestyle. Namilla Sanchez and Brooke Ellis also finished in the Top 8.

Gulliver Prep picked up 42 points from its three distance swimmers in the 500 freestyle. Urquidi, Sanchez and Alicia Mancilla finished 4-5-6.

With Gulliver leading Suncoast, 200-183, going into the final event, Urquidi, Sanchez, Mancilla and Fertel left no doubt by winning the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:32.58.

Suncoast won the 200-yard medley and 200-yard freestyle relay titles. The Chargers out-touched Pensacola Washington to win the 200-yard medley relay in 1:46.25-1:46.93 with Fabiana Ingram, Francesca Vandersluis, Ashley Boggs and Jena Pisani. The same foursome won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:36.21.

St. Brendan senior Zuhayr Pigot won the 50-yard freestyle in 20.42 and Fisher Crist of Cardinal Gibbons was third in 21.14. Pigot was also second in the 100 butterfly in 49.70.

Tori Bindi of Gulf Breeze, Sophie Cattermole of Lemon Bay, Sherridon Dressel of Clay and Steffen Mount of Pensacola Washington were double winners.

Bindi, a junior swept the 50 (23.49) and 100-yard freestyles (50.89).

Cattermole, a senior, won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:47.39 and 500-yard freestyle in 4:48.22.

Dressel, younger sister of record holder Caleb Dressel, won the 100-yard butterfly in 54.56 and 100-yard backstroke in 54.63. It was her second state title in the backstroke.

Mount won the 200 freestyle in 1:37.65 and 100 butterfly in 49.16.

American Heritage freshman Catharine Cooper was third in the 100 freestyle in 52.00 and fourth in the 50 freestyle in 23.86. Cooper also led off the Patriots’ third place 400-yard freestyle relay that finished in 3:35.58 with teammates Lindsay Hay, Marissaa Brannan and Alexandra Pacitti and secured a ninth place finish overall among the 43-team field.

Cooper is scheduled to leave Saturday for Veracruz, Mexico where she will represent Panama in the XXII Central American and Caribbean Games.

Broward County, a hotbed for high school diving, swept the boys and girls 1-meter springboard titles.

Cardinal Gibbons sophomore Zach Allen, third last year, won the boys title with 499 points.

Pompano Beach sophomore Carolyn Ehrlich won the girls crown with 432.20 points.

Florida Swim Network will host the 2014 Florida High School Mythical Championship and Recap Show on Sunday night at 7 p.m.


1. Gulliver Prep 240, 2. Suncoast 185, 3. Pensacola Washington 172, 4. Holy Names 155, 5. Estero 133, 9. American Heritage Plantation 106, 16. Coral Springs Charter 48, 20. Pompano Beach 37, 22. Doral 28, 30. Cardinal Gibbons 12, 36. St. Brendan 7.


200-yard medley relay: 1. Suncoast 1:46.25 (Fabiana Ingram, Francesca Vandersluis, Ashley Boggs, Jena Pisani), 2. Washington 1:46.93, 3. Holy Names 1:49.30, 4. Gulliver Prep 1:49.83 (Alicia Mancilla, Kelly Fertel, Brooke Ellis, Corina Scheuren), 10. Coral Springs Charter 1:52.96 (Stephanie Campo, Jillian Alexander, Delaney Biro, Rebecca Wilkerson), 11. Doral 1:54.01 (Melannie Vargas, Andrea Perez-Hickman, Karen Soriano, Nastassja Posso), 14. American Heritage 1:55.79 (Lindsay Hay, Audrey Mason, Gabrianna Banks, Marissaa Brannan).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Sophie Cattermole, LBAY 1:47.38, 2. Kaitlyn Hauser, EST 1:48.28, 3. Niki Urquidi, GP 1:49.94, 4. Jena Pisani, SUN 1:51.77, 7. Namilla Sanchez, GP 1:54.01, 9. Stephanie Campo, CSC 1:54.41.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Kelly Fertel, GP 2:03.54, 2. Isabella Penkwitz, BOOK 2:05.05, 3. MacKenzie Stumpf, TS 2:05.43, 5. Brooke Ellis, GP 2:08.99, 16. Rebecca Wilkerson, CSC 2:17.63.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Tori Bindi, GB 23.49, 2. Fabiana Ingram, SUN 23.64, 3. Jordan MacDonald, TITUS 23.83, 4. Catharine Cooper, AH 23.86.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Sherridon Dressel, CLAY 54.56, 2. Isabella Penkwitz, BOOK 56.61, 3. Jordan MacDonald, TITUS 56.85, 10. Alicia Mancilla, GP 58.41, 11. Brooke Ellis, GP 58.48.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Tori Bindi, GB 50.89, 2. Jena Pisani, SUN 51.66, 3. Catharine Cooper, AH 52.00, 23. Lindsay Hay, AH 56.54, 13. Corina Scheuren, GP 55.23.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Sophie Cattermole, LBAY 4:48.22, 2. Kaitlyn Hauser, EST 4:51.52, 3. Savannah Bowser, CCOR 4:56.02, 4. Niki Urquidi, GP 4:56.12, 5. Namilla Sanchez, GP 5:02.20, 6. Alicia Mancilla, GP 5:04.11, 8. Stephanie Campo, CSC5:05.18, 9. Alexandra Pacitti, AH 5:08.36, 15. Marissaa Brannan, AH 5:18.15.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Suncoast 1:36.21 (Fabiana Ingram, Ashley Boggs, Jena Pisani, Francesca Vandersluis), 2. Washington 1:37.82, 3. Gulliver Prep 1:38.84 (Niki Urquidi, Corina Scheuren, Brooke Ellis, Namilla Sanchez), 6. American Heritage 1:40.44 (Catharine Cooper, Lindsay Hay, Marissaa Brannan, Alexandra Pacitti).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Sherridon Dressel, Clay 54.63, 2. Emma Strom, CHOC 55.64, 3. Brooke Ferrar, WASH 56.66, 4. Fabiana Ingram, SUN 57.35

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Dani Keymont, MI 1:02.18, 2. Kelly Fertel, GP 1:04.57, 3. MacKenzie Stumpf, TS 1:05.36, 10. Rebecca Wilkerson, CSC 1:09.02, 11. Jillian Alexander, CSC 1:09.39.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Gulliver Prep 3:32.58 (Niki Urquidi, Namilla Sanchez, Alicia Mancilla, Kelly Fertel), 2. Estero 3:33.32, 3. American Heritage 3:35.58 (Catharine Cooper, Lindsay Hay, Marissaa Brannan, Alexandra Pacitti).

1-meter diving: 1. Carolyn Ehrlich, PB 432.20, 2. Megan Galbreath, CC 425.80, 3. Meg Barnhorst, POVA 399.15.


1. American Heritage Plantation 265, 2. Tampa Jesuit 184, 3. Clay 146, 4. Doral 143, 5. Gulliver Prep 123, 7. Suncoast 97, 14. Cardinal Gibbons 60, 15. Pompano Beach 58, 20. St. Brendan 37, 23. Dreyfoos 30, 27. Mater Lakes 23, 33. Somerset 13, 46. Coral Springs Charter 5.5.


200-yard medley relay: 1. American Heritage 1:36.90 (Nico Medina, Jonathan Farah, Fernando Bohorquez, Taylor Eaddy), 2. Tampa Jesuit 1:37.04, 3. Clay 1:37.44.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Steffen Mount, WASH 1:37.65, 2. William Pisani, SUN 1:38.03, 3. Julien Pinon, AH 1:38.66, 7. Chris Garcia, AH 1:43.67, 16. Sebastian Vargas, AH 1:46.61; SOFLO: 9. CJ Kopecki, AH 1:44.07.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Matt Holmes, ROCK 1:51.28, 2. Austin Sellers, TJ 1:52.23, 3. Jordan Wheeler, LOL 1:52.27, 8. Jonathan Farah, AH 1:58.13, 9. Fernando Bohorquez, AH 1:55.97; SOFLO: 11. Ervin Marin, Mater Lakes 1:58.38.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Zuhayr Pigot, STB 20.42, 2. Emir Muratovic, RID 20.45, 3. Fisher Crist, CG 21.14, 11. Jacob Rogatinsky, AH 22.75.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Steffen Mount, WASH 49.16, 2. Zuhayr Pigot, SB 49.70, 3. Tyler Graves, SPO 49.85, 6. Fernando Bohorquez, AH 51.32, 8. Taylor Eaddy, AH 51.92, 17. Chris Garcia, AH 53.03.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Emir Muratovic, RID 45.04, 2. Julien Pinon, AH 46.01, 3. Grady Heath, CLAY 46.43, 14. Carlos Rodriguez, AH 49.52

500-yard freestyle: 1. Shawn Lemarie, NAP 4:31.92, 2. Miguel Cancel, GP 4:32.16, 3. Theodore Smith, BAY 4:32.38, 9. Nico Medina, AH 4:39.66, 14. Sebastian Vargas, AH 4:52.83, 23. Nicholas Pacitti, AH 5:00.13; SOFLO: 8. CJ Kopecki, AH 4:45.26, 10. Kevin Porto, Mater Lakes 4:45.39, 19. Ricardo Roche, Somerset 4:55.48.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. American Heritage 1:27.21 (Taylor Eaddy, Chris Garcia, Fernando Bohorquez, Julien Pinon), 2. Suncoast 1:28.25, 3. Lincoln Park 1:29.67.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Dakota Mahaffey, CLAY 48.82, 2. William Pisani, SUN 49.78, 3. Alberto Gomez, DOR 52.77, 6. Esteban Diaz-Velasco, SOM 54.26, 8. Nico Medina, AH 56.96, 14. Jonathan Farah, AH 56.05, SOFLO: 16. Kevin Porto, Mater Lakes 56.60.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Austin Sellers, TJ 55.59, 2. Tyler Graves, SPO 57.74, 3. Cory Klemm, CCOR 58.16; 23. Diego Rodriguez, AH 1:04.91; SOFLO: 9. Ervin Marin, Mater Lakes 1:00.47.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. American Heritage 3:09.17 (Taylor Eaddy, Chris Garcia, Nico Medina, Julien Pinon), 2. Jesuit 3:10.49, 3. Clay 3:11.92, 4. Doral 3:15.02 (Alberto Gomez, Joseph Perez, Alex Arrieta, Adrian Moya).

1-meter diving: 1. Zach Allen, CG 499.00, 2. Nolan Mallet, DREY 490.30, 3. Jonathan Geraghty, LP 401.15

Sharon Robb can be reached at


Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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