By Sharon Robb

January 8, 2015—After its most successful club season in 2014, South Florida Aquatic Club will begin its quest to raise the bar again when it opens the long course season this weekend.

SOFLO will compete in the Gulliver Long Course Senior Invitational in Miami.

The two-day meet that begins on Saturday, has attracted most of the Florida Gold Coast’s top teams including Azura Florida Aquatics, St. Andrew’s Swimming, Gulliver and SOFLO.

All three sessions are timed finals for individual events. There are no relays and the meet will not be scored.

At 43, Lisa Margaret Blackburn, one of the newest members of SOFLO, is the oldest swimmer entered. The Bermuda national record holder is training full-time for major meets including the Pan American Games and 2016 Rio Olympics.

Blackburn will compete in the 50-meter freestyle, 200-meter breaststroke and 100-meter breaststroke.

SOFLO has 17 swimmers—nine women and eight men—entered in 60 individual events. They are Alana Acevedo, 13; Esteban Diaz-Velasco, 15; Eiza Gantus, 13; Kathleen Golding, 14; Zariya Harris, 15; Kelley Heron, 15; Victoria Lumelski, 16; Leonardo Mateus, 13; Stephanie Mlujeak, 16; Simon Ortiz, 16; Abby Oyetunji, 16; Julien Pinon, 16; Sebastian Sevilla 13; Jonathan Strod, 16; Carly Swanson, 17; and Gustavo Valery, 16.

Among top seeds are:

Virginia-bound Megan Moroney, 17, of St. Andrew’s Swimming entered in four events: 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter freestyle.

Other top seeds are: Niki Urquidi, 17, of Gulliver in the 50-meter freestyle; Marco Guarente, 17, of Azura in the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke; Franco Lupoli, 20, of Azura in the 400- and 1500-meter freestyle; Kelly Fertel, 17, of Gulliver in the 100-meter breaststroke; Nick Carter, 24, of Gulliver in the 100-meter backstroke; and Rachael Bradford-Feldman, 17, of St. Andrew’s Swimming.

Urquidi and Fertel are members of the 2A state high school girls champion team. Fertel won an individual state title in the 200-yard medley relay and second in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The men’s field also features high school state champion Brody Heck of St. Andrew’s Swimming, who swept the 50- and 100-yard freestyles for Boca Raton High School.

IF YOU GO:

What: Gulliver Long Course Senior Invitational

When: Saturday, Session 1, timed finals 8:30 a.m., 200 butterfly, 50 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 400 freestyle; Session 2, timed finals, 3:30 p.m., 100 breaststroke, 200 freestye, 100 butterfly, 400 individual medley; Sunday, Session 3, timed finals, 10 a.m., 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 800 freestyle, 1500 freestyle.

Where: Marian Krutulis Aquatic Facility, Gulliver Prep, 6575 SW 88th St., Miami

Admission: $3, heat sheets $3 per session.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

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