By Sharon Robb

March 15, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club posted its highest finish in team history at the four-day Speedo Sectional Championships that ended Sunday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO finished fourth in the combined team standings with 639 points; the women’s team finished second with 395 points and men’s team was sixth with 244 points at the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships.

It was SOFLO’s best finish since it’s been competing in the meet since 2002.

“This is huge for the team,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said. “It shows how well-rounded we are. I thought we could do it. It’s nice to see it actually come true.”

“We swam pretty solid, I’m pretty happy,” Anderson said. “I think we turned some heads. It shows that the things that we are doing really work. We are getting it done and that’s a testimony to our entire staff.”

SOFLO competed against a world-class field over four days. Several of its swimmers did not swim a full schedule of races. World record holder Alia Atkinson swam only two races. Valentina Artemova didn’t compete on the third day in favor of training. Lisa Blackburn swam prelims but not finals on Sunday. A handful of swimmers were unattached and unable to score points.

“Those things alone and the fact we basically gave away 200 points is a good sign we can still do better,” Anderson said. “We had another overall team performance to finish the meet.”

Carolina Colorado of Colombia, swimming unattached for SOFLO, was second in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:15.84. Colorado finished fourth among high point awards with 85 points.

Melissa Marinheiro was sixth in the 800-meter freestyle in 9:16.85. SOFLO teammates Lilli Calero, Jessica Rodriguez, Kathleen Golding, Jennifer Rodriguez, Carly Swanson and Marinheiro all swam best times.

Colombia’s Jorge Murillo-Valdes, competing unattached for SOFLO, won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:16.43, his fastest unshaved and unrested time. He was among the Top 15 high point with 55 points.

CJ Kopecki finished seventh in the 200-meter butterfly in a career-best 2:09.09. It was the first time he broke 2:10. Teammate Julien Pinon swam a best time 52.88 in the 100-meter freestyle, the first time he cracked 53 seconds.

Timothy Wynter was eighth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:13.80.

Rafael Rodriguez was eighth in the 1500-meter freestyle in a best time 16:49.01. Leonardo Mateus also swam a best time 17:16.79.

“It’s good to see our men’s team is emerging from a little boy team to a powerhouse in the Gold Coast and that’s what we are trying to achieve,” Anderson said.

“I think what we did at this meet is definitely going to build confidence. I am ecstatic what’s happening with the older athletes. I really feel they are stepping up and emerging into world-class swimming. I feel that is where SOFLO is heading.”

SUNDAY RESULTS

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 855.50, 2. Seacoast Swimming Association 747, 3. Phoenix Swimming 695, 4. South Florida Aquatic 639, 5. Gator Swim Club 625, 6. Bluefish 621, 7. Blue Dolfins 576, 8. Swim Fort Lauderdale 292, 9. Auburn Aquatics 246.50, 10. Greater Holyhoke YMCA 236.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Seacoast 550, 2. SOFLO 395, 3. Gator Swim Club 355, 4. Swim Fort Lauderdale 276, 5. Phoenix Swimming 263.50.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 725.50, 2. Phoenix Swimming 431.50, 3. Bluefish 359, 4. Blue Dolfins 343, 5. Gator Swim Club 270, 6. SOFLO 244.

HIGH POINT AWARDS

WOMEN: 1. Andreina Pinto, Gator Swim Club 100, 2. Kyra Sarazen, Seacoast 92, 3. Erin Voss, Greater Holyhoke YMCA 87; SOFLO: 4. Carolina Colorado 85, 14. Valentina Artemova 49, 16. Kathleen Golding 48, 25. Claire Donahue 37, 32. Alia Atkinson 34, 34. Melissa Marinheiro 32, 41. Lisa Blackburn 24, 61. Kelley Heron 12, 68. Jessica Rodriguez 10.

MEN: 1. Maxwell Miranda, Bluefish 88, 2. Carlos Herrera, Azura 77, 3. Pawel Korzeniowski, Poland 76; SOFLO: 14. Jorge Murillo Valdes 55, 39. Timothy Wynter 28, 40. CJ Kopecki 26, 42. Rafael Rodriguez 23, 46. Julien Pinon 22, 47. Marc Rojas 21, 207. Samuel Asnis 1.

WOMEN

800-meter freestyle: 1. Andreina Pinto, Gator Swim Club 8:44.62, 2. Luisa Braga, Unattached 9:05.50, 3. Kate Magill, Seacoast 9:07.78; SOFLO: 6. Melissa Marinheiro 9:16.85, 26. Kylie Herman 9:50.78, 38. Lilli Calero 10:07.70, best time.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Andreina Pinto, Gator Swim Club 2:12.26, 2. Isabel Reis, Seacoast 2:17.95, 3. Alena Kraus, MACG 2:18.11.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Sandrine Mainville, Canada 55.58, 2. Michelle Williams, Unattached 56.07, 3. Hannah Riordan, Auburn Aquatics 56.19; SOFLO: 23. Melissa Marinheiro 1:01.26, best time.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Martha McCabe, Canada 2:26.74, 2. Hilda Luthersdottir, Gator Swim Club 2:27.71, 3. Lindsey Swartz, Pine Crest 2:37.03; SOFLO: 10. Jessica Rodriguez 2:42.72, best time, 17. Kathleen Golding 2:47.78, best time, 31. Jennifer Rodriguez 2:55.00, best time.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Erin Voss, HYV 2:10.80, 2. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO-Unattached 2:15.84, 3. Kyra Sarazen, Seacoast 2:19.79; SOFLO: 17. Kelley Heron 2:27.15, 32. Jessica Rodriguez 2:39.41, 74. Carly Swanson 2:39.22, best time.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Blue Dolfins 4:05.72 (Madison Floyd, Kaitlyn Hunt, Ashley Boddiford, Kelsey Hahn), 2. Phoenix Swimming 4:08.47, 3. North Shore 4:09.37, 5. SOFLO A 4:05.32 (Kelley Heron, Kathleen Golding, Melissa Marinheiro, Kylie Herman), 26. SOFLO B 4:24.30 (Abolade Oyetunji, Star Fassler, Jessica Rodriguez, Lilli Calero).

MEN

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Alejandro Gomez, Gator Swim Club 15:48.25, 2. Franco Lupoli, Azura 16:05.35, 3. Luke Nelson, Seacoast 16:07.57; SOFLO: 8. Rafael Rodriguez 16:49.01, best time, 17. Leonardo Mateus 17:16.79, best time.

200-meter butterfly: 1. Marcin Cieslak, Gator Swim Club 2:00.53, 2. Zack Chetrat, Unattached 2:00.64, 3. Maxwell Miranda, ABF 2:00.79; SOFLO: 7. CJ Kopecki 2:09.09, best time.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Pawel Korzeniowski, Poland 50.16, 2. Marcelo Chierighini, Auburn Aquatics 50.35, 3. Renzo Tjon A Joe, Auburn Aquatics 50.44; SOFLO: 11. Julien Pinon 52.88, best time.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Jorge Murillo-Valdes, SOFLO-Unattached 2:16.43, 2. Nicholas D’Innocenzo, Gator Swim Club 2:17.22, 3. Marco Guarente, Azura 2:20.78.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Zachary Poti, Blue Dolfins 2:03.86, 2. Quinn Cassidy, Unattached 2:05.42, 3. Michael Choate, ABF 2:07.34; SOFLO: 8. Timothy Wynter 2:13.80.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Azura 3:31.66 (Marco Guarente, Raiz Tjon-A-Joe, Mateo Gonzalez, Carlos Herrera), 2. Bluefish 3:37.85, 3. Lake Lytal Lightning 3:39.40, 11. SOFLO A 3:44.79 (CJ Kopecki, Timothy Wynter, Ryan Capote, Alfredo Mesa), 22. SOFLO B 3:59.79 (Ricardo Roche, Rafael Rodriguez, Leonardo Mateus, Esteban Diaz-Velasco).

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

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