By Sharon Robb

December 9, 2014—After watching teammate Alia Atkinson win gold and tie a world record at the recent FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships, South Florida Aquatic Club’s contingent at the Speedo Winter Junior National Championships have a little added motivation.

“It’s definitely going to play into it at this meet,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said.

“It added to the momentum our kids already had after states and winter championships. They have been building off each other and it’s positive momentum.”

SOFLO has qualified four swimmers for the four-day meet that begins on Wednesday with a relay-only session at Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, Wash.

SOFLO qualifiers are Florida Gulf Coast-bound Melissa Marinheiro, 17, Jamaican national record holder Timothy Wynter, 18, Jessica Rodriguez, 15, and Kathleen Golding, 14.

A field of more than 1,100 swimmers will compete in the short course yards meet. The prelims and finals will be webcast live at Prelims are noon and finals at 8 p.m. EST.

“This is one of our biggest groups going in a long time,” Anderson said. “I am really excited to see them representing us at the national level. They have been training well and they are going after best times and second swims.

“They were all inspired at what Alia did and know that anything is possible.”

The state of Florida will be well-represented with 27 teams having qualified at least one swimmer.

In addition to SOFLO, other Florida teams competing are Bolles, Loggerhead Aquatics, Miami Swimming, Highlander Aquatics, Southwest Stars, Azura Florida Aquatics, 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.

Bolles has the largest contingent with 32 swimmers.

Sharon Robb can be reached at