By Sharon Robb
December 13, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Timothy Wynter may just be following in the footsteps of three-time Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson.
The Jamaican has been training with SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson since the Commonwealth Games and his progress has been remarkable.
In his Speedo Winter Junior National Championships debut in Federal Way, Wash., Wynter, 18, qualified for the “C” final of the 200-yard backstroke where he finished third in a lifetime-best 1:46.70. His prelim time was 1:47.76.
During the four-day meet, he also competed in the 100-yard butterfly, 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. He had four best times including back-to-back best times in the 200-yard backstroke.
It was only the sixth time Wynter has competed in short course yards. “I am still learning about racing short course,” Wynter said.
Wynter will swim a 200 freestyle long course time trial on Sunday morning before returning to South Florida. SOFLO teammates Melissa Marinheiro and Jessica Rodriguez will also time trial.
Wynter graduated in May from a boarding school in Massachusetts and took a gap year to focus on his training in swimming. He plans to start college (still undecided) next August. He first met SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson at the 2012 World Short Course Championships. He has known Atkinson since he was 11.
“I am training toward qualifying for the Jamaican Olympic team,” said Wynter who broke his first long course national record at age 15.
“It’s been a great experience here training,” Wynter said. “I already see major improvement. My training regimen is changed in and out of the pool and I feel a lot stronger.”
Wynter was pleased with his final race of the meet.
“For my 200 I tried to be as relaxed as possible,” Wynter said. “I settled my nerves and my start felt really good. I felt it was pretty fast. I tried to keep my tempo for the full 200.
“I normally get nervous before all my races. It’s not a bad nervous, it’s more of an adrenaline rush. It’s what I do before every race. I am very pleased with my swims and I know I am only going to get better.”
Anderson was also pleased with Wynter’s showing.
“It was a good swim and I was very, very pleased with it,” Anderson said. “It was a nice way for him to close the meet. He’s been training well. He is working on staying consistent. He has great potential and is something special.”
In other SOFLO news, top Florida Gold Coast official Allan Golding made his national debut as an official at the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships. Golding and his wife have four children who swim at SOFLO, including Kathleen, who competed this past week.
BOLLES WINS IN COACH’S LAST APPEARANCE
Bolles Sharks won the combined and men’s team titles.
With its incredible depth and talent, Bolles won the combined team title with 591 points, a 61-point cushion over runner-up Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics with 530. Scottsdale Aquatic Club was third with 477.
Bolles was the only Florida team in the Top 20.
Bolles won the boys’ team title with 426 points, more than 100 points ahead of runner-up Palo Alto Stanford with 307. Nitro Swimming was third with 300.
Scottsdale Aquatic Club and Y-Spartaquatics Swim Club tied for the women’s team title with 235 points. Bolles was sixth with 165 points.
For Bolles’ coach Sergio Lopez the victory was bittersweet. It was his last appearance with his team. The 45-year-old was recently named head coach of the Singapore Swimming Association’s national team and will leave Jacksonville on Dec. 26.
For nearly eight years, Lopez has been head coach and aquatics director at Bolles. In 2008, Bolles won its first junior national title in Lopez first year with the team.
“Working with the swimmers, coaches and parents, we became a family and built something special from Day One when I got to Bolles,” Lopez said. “It’s been a very good experience watching them do what they did. It shows us that the work we have done had continuity. There is a special meaning here for me since it is my last one.”
Throughout the day, the hashtags on Bolles Facebook page were all-telling: Win This Championship, We Rolling, Believe, Strategy, Championship Drive, On A Mission, Keep Pushing, Mission Accomplished and We Believed.
“In the morning we did a very good job positioning ourselves,” Lopez said. “We had one more final than them. I thought if we could stay the same way at night we would win the meet.
“We are very excited,” Lopez said. “It was a good team effort. We had some very good swims. We had some young kids here and we had swimmers who were at the state meet four weeks ago on a second taper.”
Bolles ended the night with an exciting victory and junior national title in the 400-yard freestyle relay in 2:57.76 with Tyler Rice, Jabari Baptiste, Grady Heath and Andrea Vergani.
In other South Florida highlights:
Marta Ciesla, 16, of Pine Crest Swimming was fifth in the 100-yard freestyle “A” final in 49.29.
Marco Guarente, 17, of Azura Florida Aquatics was fifth in the “B” final in 2:01.48 less than 24 hours after the 100-yard breaststroke where he went 55.86 to finish fourth in the “B” final.
Laine Morgan, 18, of Miami Swimming was fifth in the “C” final of the 100-yard freestyle in 50.80.
Lindsey Swartz, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming was eighth in the “B” final of the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:16.22.
In other final day highlights:
Buoyed by Abbey Weitzeil’s blistering American, U.S. Open and 17-18 NAG 100-yard freestyle (22.29, 24.00 splits) record of 46.29 on leadoff leg, Canyons Aquatics won the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:18.51. Other relay members were Tamara Santoyo, Mik Ranslem and Alexa Skorus-Neely.
Ryan Hoffer, 16, of Scottsdale became the first 15-16 swimmer to crack the 43-second mark in the 100-yard freestyle in 42.67, his fifth 15-16 NAG record and fourth win of the meet. He went 43.05 in morning prelims. His record time ranks eighth in the nation this year at every level including pro and college.
Ella Eastin, 17, of SOCAL Aquatics broke the 17-18 NAG record in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:54.37.
Sean Grieshop, 16, of Nitro Swimming broke the 15-16 NAG and meet records in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 14:45.40. The previous NAG record was 14:51.81 and previous meet record was 14:55.32. Grieshop’s previous best was 15:01.15.
Gabrielle Kopenski, 14, of Texas Ford Aquatics won the 1,650-yard freestyle in a meet record 15:56.39.
SOFLO and Bolles were among 27 swim clubs competing from around the state. Others were Azura Florida Aquatics, South Florida Aquatic Club, Loggerhead Aquatics, Miami Swimming, Highlander Aquatics, Southwest Stars, Academy Aquatics, Blue Dolfins, Gator Swim Club, Central Florida, West Florida, Area Tallahassee, Makos Aquatics, Swim Florida, Patriot Aquatics, Pine Crest Swimming, Tampa Bay Aquatics, Greater Tampa, Coral Springs Swim Club, Clearwater Aquatics, Charlotte County, Wahoos of Wellington, Kissimmee Swimming, Fast Lane Aquatics, West Florida and St. Augustine.
COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Bolles School Sharks 591, 2. Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics 530, 3. Scottsdale 477; FLORIDA: 26. Highlander 63, 35. Gator Swim Club 44, 43. Pine Crest Swimming 32, 56. Azura Florida Aquatics 25.5, 70. Blue Dolfins 19, 109. Tampa Bay Aquatics 5.5, 111. Greater Tampa Swimming Association 5, 121. Southwest Stars 2.
MEN’S TEAM TOTALS: 1. Bolles 426, 2. Palo Alto Stanford 307, 3. Nitro Swimming 300; FLORIDA: 29. Azura Florida Aquatics 25.5, 38. Blue Dolfins 19, 49. Academy Aquatics 10, 60. Tampa Bay 5.
WOMEN’S TEAM TOTALS: 1. tie, Scottsdale Aquatic Club, Spartaquatics 235, 3. Palo Alto Stanford 223; FLORIDA: 6. Bolles School Sharks 165, 18. Highlander 63, 25. Gator Swim Club 44, 32. Pine Crest Swimming 32.
200-yard backstroke: 1. Taylor Ruck, Scottsdale 1:53.13, 2. Erin Earley, Hopkins Mariner 1:54.61, 3. Abby Richter, Boulder City 1:54.88; FLORIDA: 17. Erin Falconer, Patriot Aquatics 1:58.15, 23. Morgan Tankersley, Greater Tampa Swimming 2:00.16, 30. Katie Duggan, Highlander 1:59.96, 54. Sherridon Dressel, Bolles 2:01.77, 59. Annika Kollevoll, Bolles 2:02.11, 60. Abi Wilder, Bolles 2:02.16, 61. Abbey Duncan, Clearwater 2:02.19, 77. Ashley Boddiford, Blue Dolfins 2:03.22, 84. Chloe Miller, Bolles 2:04.06, 88. Harley Lopez Miro, Bolles 2:04.21.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Stanzi Moseley, Roadrunner 48.44, 2. Taylor Ruck, Scottsdale 48.54, 3. Katrina Konopka, Spartaquatics 48.86 FLORIDA: 5. Marta Ciesla, Pine Crest Swimming 49.29, 15. Katie Schorr, STAR 50.50, 21. Laine Morgan, Miami Swimming 50.80, 23. Claire Rasmus, Bolles 51.41, 40. Kasey Schmidt, Bolles 51.00, 47. tie, Abby Burke, Highlander 51.17 and Sherridon Dressel, Bolles 51.17, 49. Alena Kraus, MACG 51.18, 55. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 51.31, 67. Morgan Tankersley, GTSA 51.52, 73. Nata Gvakharia Mgebrishvi, Bolles 51.61, 89. Emma Layton, ATAC 51.90, 96. Lindsey Trematerra, GSC 51.98, 99. Taylor Anderson, Tampa Bay 52.05, 109. Paulina Watson Valero, Bolles 52.14, 112. Gracie Redding, Highlander 52.21, 119. Catharine Cooper, CSSC 52.29, 127. Paige Hamilton, Highlander 52.44.
200-yard breaststroke: 1. Emma Schanz, Spokane Waves 2:10.85, 2. Lauren Barber, Jewish Community 2:10.89, 3. Vanessa Pearl, Metroplex Aquatics 2:13.37; FLORIDA: 9. Annie Kyriakidis, Bolles 2:13.52, 16. Lindsey Swartz, Pine Crest Swimming 2:16.22, 22. Olga Lapteva, Bolles 2:17.17, 26. Hannah Burns, Gator Swim Club 2:17.59, 70. Emily Jurich, Pine Crest Swimming 2:20.72, 72. Isabel Ivey, Gator Swim Club 2:20.88, 77. Jessica Rodriguez, South Florida Aquatic Club 2:21.40, 94. Kathleen Golding, South Florida Aquatic Club 2:22.70, 99. Dani Gordon, JCLA 2:23.13, 111. Lauren Peavy, ATAC 2:28.09.
200-yard butterfly: 1. Ella Eastin, SOCAL Aquatics 1:54.37, 2. Ruby Martin, Iowa Flyers 1:56.68, 3. Sonia Wang, Aquazot 1:56.82; FLORIDA: 15. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest Swimming 2:00.49, 48. Carley Lowe, Highlander 2:02.42, 51. Annie Kyriakidis, Bolles 2:02.53, 59. Hannah Burns, Gator Swim Club 2:03.27, 71. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 2:04.02, 78. Kahra Williams, Gator Swim Club 2:04.47, 83. Gracie Redding 2:04.86, 88. Alena Kraus, MACG 2:05.14, 97. Chloe Miller, Bolles 2:05.76, 107. Isabel Ivey, Gator Swim Club 2:06.64.
1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Gabrielle Kopenski, TFA 15:56.39, 2. Erin Earley, HMST 16:08.20, 3. Haley Rowley, TOPS 16:11.17; FLORIDA: 11. Kahra Williams, Gator Swim Club 16:26.76, 12. Katie Duggan, Highlander 16:27.91, 25. Emma Layton, ATAC 16:44.40, 33. Kensey McMahon, Bolles 16:51.37, 37. Katelyn Kilpatrick, CFM 16:52.64, 41. Melissa Marinheiro, South Florida Aquatic Club 16:57.13.
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Canyons Aquatic Club 3:18.51 (Abbey Weitzeil, Tamara Santoyo, Mik Ranslem, Alexa Skorus-Neely), 2. Spartaquatics 3:20.75, 3. Scottsdale 3:20.91; FLORIDA: 5. Bolles “A” 3:23.06 (Kasey Schmidt, Sherridon Dressel, Nata Gvakharia Mgebrishvi, Claire Rasmus), 8. Highlander Aquatic Club 3:23.57 (Paige Hamilton, Abby Burke, Gracie Redding, Katie Duggan), 18. Southwest Stars 3:26.24 (Sofia Bernard, Katie Schorr, Emily Kliewer, Sarah Passilla), 19. Gator Swim Club 3:26.86, 29. Bolles “B” 3:28.50 (Lindsey Trematerra, Kahra Williams, Isabel Ivey, Hannah Burns).
200-yard backstroke: 1. Michael Taylor, Dynamo 1:42.61, 2. Braxton Flowers, CFSC 1:44.24, 3. Brennan Balogh, Lincoln Select 1:44.29; FLORIDA: 13. Andy Song An, Bolles 1:47.79, 19. Timothy Wynter, South Florida Aquatic Club 1:46.70, 32. Zachary Poti, Blue Dolfins 1:48.58, 51. Dakota Mahaffey, Bolles 1:49.96, 57. Mateo Gonzalez, Azura 1:50.10, 68. Jake Gibbons, Bolles 1:50.65, 121. Fernando Alatorre, Azura 1:53.28, 128. Robert Ballestas, Miami Swimming 1:54.31, 130. Ziemowit Sokolowski, Bolles 1:55.38.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Ryan Hoffer, Scottsdale 42.67, 2. Tabahn Afrik, Michigan Lakeshore 43.88, 3. Andrea Vergani, Bolles 43.91; FLORIDA: 7. Tyler Rice, Bolles 44.50, 10. Jabari Baptiste, Bolles 44.72, 35. Cody Cline, Wahoos of Wellington 45.81, 39. Raiz Tjon-A-Joe 45.87, 47. Jhonny Perez, Unattached 46.04, 50. Hans Schroeder, CCS 46.08, 54. Cooper Hoffman, Tampa Bay 46.13, 59. Scott Bole, Bolles 46.25, 62. tie, Noah Hensley, Blue Dolfins 46.29 and Mateo Gonzalez, Azura 46.29, 66. Grady Heath, Bolles 46.35, 82. Stefan Spiric, West Florida 46.75, 111. Andy Song An, Bolles 49.55.
200-yard breaststroke: 1. Thomas Brewer, Current Swimming 1:57.04, 2. Carson Sand, East Bay Aquatic 1:58.09, 3. Joe Kmak, Palo Alto Stanford 1:58.58; FLORIDA: 6. James Daugherty, Bolles 2:01.00, 10. Rio Kurihara, Bolles 1:59.34, 11. Austin Sellers, AAC 2:00.07, 13. Marco Guarente, Azura 2:01.48, 58. Leonis Lau, Bolles 2:05.14, 59. John Fulginiti, Blue Dolfins 2:05.35, 64. Daniel Pereira, Azura 2:05.53, 81. Ben Whitty, Blue Dolfins 2:06.31, 99. Jason Tillotson, SWIM 2:08.16, 102. John Legge, West Florida 2:08.57, 103. Richard Graves, AAC 2:08.71.
200-yard butterfly: 1. Michael Thomas, Upper Dublin 1:44.33, 2. Matthew Grauslys, Executive Swimming 1:45.14, 3. Javier Barrena, Bolles 1:46.01; FLORIDA: 8. Joey Carbone, Bolles 1:49.18, 37. Ariel Spektor, Bolles 1:50.27, 64. Robert Ballestas, Miami Swimming 1:52.03, 70. Noah Hensley, Blue Dolfins 1:52.22, 82. Eric Geunes, Gator Swim Club 1:52.93, 83. Joshua Monacelli, Highlander 1:53.05, 87. Pablo Martinez, Bolles 1:53.18, 90. Zachary Poti, Blue Dolfins 1:53.35, 93. Marco Leo, SWIM 1:53.65, 102. Gian Garcia, Bolles 1:56.75
1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Sean Grieshop, Nitro Swimming 14:45.40, 2. Taylor Abbott, Nitro Swimming 15:01.46, 3. Sam Magnan, Parkland Aquatics 15:05.26; FLORIDA: 40. Eric Geunes, Gator Swim Club 15:43.38, 45. Jake Gibbons, Bolles 15:46.03, 64. Brandon Christian, West Florida 16:15.80.
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Bolles 2:57.76 (Tyler Rice, Jabari Baptiste, Grady Heath, Andrea Vergani), 2. Palo Alto Stanford 2:59.55, 3. Scottsdale 2:59.73; FLORIDA: 14. Bolles “B” 3:03.86 (Scott Bole, Ariel Spektor, Nicholas Hackettm Dakota Mahaffey), 16. Blue Dolfins 3:04.93 (Zachary Poti, John Fulginiti, Jackson Auer, Noah Hensley).
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com