By Sharon Robb

March 20, 2015—Two-time defending champion South Florida Aquatic Club turned in one of its finest opening night performances in a major meet Friday night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

SOFLO swimmers broke three national records and two Florida Gold Coast records.

After Day One, SOFLO leads the combined team scoring with 1,283 points. Gulliver Swim Club is second with 890.50 and Swim Fort Lauderdale is third with 672. SOFLO leads the men’s standings with 625 followed by Azura Florida Aquatics, 498, and Gulliver, 449 and women’s standings with 658 followed by Gulliver with 441.50 and Swim Fort Lauderdale with 356.

Three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson, 26, of SOFLO, was a triple winner breaking three national records and Florida Gold Coast record with career-best times.

Atkinson won the 200-yard butterfly in 1:57.71, bettering her previous time of 2:01.00. She also broke the FGC record of 1:58.71 set a year before she was born by Pam Hayden.

Atkinson also won the 50-yard breaststroke in 26.86, bettering her previous time of 26.96 and 100-yard individual medley in 54.01. Her previous time was 54.41.

Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes, swimming unattached for SOFLO, was a double winner. He broke the Florida Gold Coast record of three-time Olympian Vlad Polyakov of Coral Springs Swim Club in the 50-yard breaststroke in 24.74. The previous record of 24.82 was set in 2009. Valdes also won the 100-yard individual medley in 51.31. Both were career-best times.

SOFLO’s Kelley Heron, 15, won the 100-yard individual medley in a career-best 59.87. It was the first time she cracked one minute and won her first senior age group title in the event. Her previous best was 1:01.13.

SOFLO swept the women’s 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays. SOFLO won the 200 free relay in 1:33.95 with Atkinson, Kathleen Golding, Valentina Artemeva and Lisa Blackburn and 400 free relay in 3:27.88 with Artemeva, Melissa Marinheiro, Atkinson and Golding.

Golding, 14, finished second in the 500-yard freestyle in a career-best time 4:54.43. She was also second in the 100-yard freestyle in 51.58.

Jessica Rodriguez was second in the 15-16 50-yard breaststroke in 30.59 and 100-yard individual medley in 1:01.31. Artemeva was second in the open in 27.68 followed by teammate Lisa Blackburn (29.84), a national record holder in Bermuda and at 43, the oldest swimmer competing in the meet.

Colombian Carolina Colorado, swimming unattached for SOFLO, was second in the 100-yard individual medley in 56.77.

Jamaican national record holder Timothy Wynter of SOFLO was second in the open 200-yard backstroke in 1:54.17 and 100-yard individual medley in 53.54. Julien Pinon, swimming unattached for SOFLO, was second in the 200-yard butterfly in 1:49.41 and third in the 100-yard individual medley in 53.63. Teammate Ervin Marin was second in the 50-yard breaststroke in 27.73. CJ Kopecki was third in the 15-16 500-yard freestyle in 4:40.20 and Rafael Rodriguez was second in the open 500-yard freestyle in 4:44.37.

“The kids swam phenomenal,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said. “For sure this was one of our better nights in a major meet.

“It was an overall team effort. The 15-16 and Open categories have our people competing, racing and having fun.”

SOFLO’s pro swimmers had a big night, all swimming career-best times in the finals. “If those kids are producing now, they are all going to go faster,” Anderson said.

SOFLO has the largest contingent of swimmers (61) in the meet.

“The girls are having fun, the guys are having fun,” Anderson said. “They are competing. It looks like they want to race and swim fast in their home pool. We did well last year but it’s an entirely different mood this year. It’s a more mature mood of both fun and fast racing. We are showing that we are more than just an age group club.”

In other opening night highlights:

Kyla Valls, 16, of Miami Swimming was a double winner. Valls outsprinted Catharine Cooper of Coral Springs Swim Club to win the 100-yard freestyle in 51.41-51.75. She came back in the next event to win the 200-yard butterfly in a best time 2:02.65, dropping from 2:02.77.

Nick Carter, 25, of Gulliver Swimming won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:46.93 and 100-yard freestyle in 46.08.

Brothers Raphael and Philippe Marcoux of Swim Fort Lauderdale finished one-two in the 100-yard freestyle, 45.97-46.52. Raphael was also second in the 100-yard individual medley in 53.31.

Swim Fort Lauderdale swept the men’s relays. The 200-yard freestyle relay of Philippe Marcoux, Raphael Marcoux, Scott Clark and Nikita Tretyakov won in 1:25.18. The foursome also won the 400 free relay in 3:07.94.

A field of more than 500 swimmers from 32 teams are competing in the three-day meet.

The meet has attracted most of the Florida Gold Coast teams. In addition to SOFLO and Azura, among teams entered are St. Andrew’s Swimming, Miami Swimming, Gulliver, Coral Springs Swim Club, Pompano Beach, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Wahoos of Wellington, Metro Aquatics, Lake Lytal Lightning, AquaKids Sharks, Performance Aquatics, Boca Raton and Plantation Swim Team.

FRIDAY RESULTS

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,283, 2. Gulliver 890.50, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 672, 4. Miami Swimming 560, 5. Azura Florida Aquatics 546, 6. Metro Aquatics 454, 7. Coral Springs Swim Club 392, 8. Pompano Beach 258, 9. Boca Raton Swim Team 213, 10. Plantation Swim Team 200.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 658, 2. Gulliver 441.50, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 356, 4. Miami Swimming 334, 5. Pompano Beach Piranhas 231.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 625, 2. Azura 498, 3. Gulliver 449, 4. Swim Fort Lauderdale 316, 5. Metro Aquatics 280.

WOMEN

200-yard freestyle relay: Open, 1. SOFLO A 1:33.95 (Alia Atkinson, Kathleen Golding, Valentina Artemeva, Lisa Blackburn), 2. Miami Swimming 1:37.50, 3. Gulliver 1:37.71, 10. SOFLO B 1:41.58 (Melissa Marinheiro, Kelley Heron, Carly Swanson, Liz Travieso).

200-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Allison Kopas, SFTL 2:04.20, 2. Caroline Schirmer, SAS 2:05.77, 3. Melannie Vargas, MDC 2:05.89; SOFLO: 4. Kelley Heron 2:06.04, 9. Star Fassler 2:17.70, 11. Stephanie Mlujeak 2:16.58, 15. Abby Oyetunji 2:19.67; Open, 1. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO Unattached 1:56.23, 2. Amanda Tipton, SFTL 1:58.67, 3. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 2:03.41; SOFLO; 17. Carly Swanson 2:15.44, 19. Isabella DiSalvo 2:15.88.

100-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 51.41, 2. Catharine Cooper, Coral Springs 51.75, 3. Caroline Schirmer, SAS 53.32; SOFLO: 7. Kelley Heron 54.41; Open, 1. Laine Morgan, Miami Swimming 51.42, 2. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 51.58, 3. Andrea Santander, Gulliver 51.63; SOFLO: 10. Melissa Marinheiro 53.49, 17. Kylie Herman 55.15, 20. Vanessa Mesa 55.98.

200-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 2:02.65, 2. Brooke Ellis, Gulliver 2:03.72, 3. Victoria Miyamoto, Pompano Beach 2:08.71; SOFLO: 4. Jessica Rodriguez 2:10.33, 8. Natasha Testa 2:22.34; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:57.71, 2. Kelly Fertel, Gulliver 2:03.95, 3. Laine Morgan, Miami Swimming 2:05.89; SOFLO: 10. Kylie Herman 2:15.73.

50-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Fatimah Westbrook, Pompano Beach 30.30, 2. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 30.59, 3. Victoria Miyamoto, Pompano Beach 31.26; SOFLO: 12. Star Fassler 33.33; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 26.86, 2. Valentina Artemeva, SOFLO 27.68, 3. Lisa Blackburn, SOFLO 29.84; SOFLO: 12. Delanie Perez 32.48, 13. Elise Larin 32.49, 15. Jennifer Rodriguez 32.96.

100-yard individual medley: 15-16, 1. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 59.87, 2. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 1:01.31, 3. Brooke Ellis, Gulliver 1:01.33; SOFLO: 7. Star Fassler 1:02.98, 19. Raquel Lugo 1:08.94; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 54.01, 2. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO Unattached 56.77, 3. Laine Morgan, Miami Swimming 58.03; SOFLO: 6. Lisa Blackburn 58.55, 7. Kathleen Golding 58.67, 17. Elise Larin 1:05.57, 18. Vanessa Mesa 1:05.85, 19. Isabella DiSalvo 1:06.34.

500-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Luisa Braga, Azura Unattached 4:59.68, 2. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 5:03.27, 3. Victoria Miyamoto, Pompano Beach 5:05.15; SOFLO: 10. Lilli Calero 5:24.07; Open, 1. Nicole Urquidi, Gulliver 4:51.53, 2. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:54.43, 3. Andrea Santander, Gulliver 4:54.46; SOFLO: 4. Melissa Marinheiro 4:56.53; SOFLO: 10. Kylie Herman 5:12.50.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. SOFLO A 3:27.88 (Valentina Artemeva, Melissa Marinheiro, Alia Atkinson, Kathleen Golding), 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 3:32.17, 3. Gulliver 3:32.37, 11. SOFLO B 3:43.72 (Kelley Heron, Abby Oyetunji, Kylie Herman, Carly Swanson).

MEN

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:25.18 (Philippe Marcoux, Raphael Marcoux, Scott Clark, Nikita Tretyakov) 1:25.18, 2. Miami Swimming 1:26.91, 3. Metro Aquatics 1:26.99, 5. SOFLO A 1:28.03 (Timothy Wynter, Ryan Capote, Alfredo Mesa, Ervin Marin), 10. SOFLO B 1:30.07 (Matthew Menocal, Bruno Berti, CJ Kopecki, Kevin Porto).

200-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyakov, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:46.29, 2. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:49.14, 3. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 1:51.46; SOFLO: 6. Esteban Diaz-Velasco 1:54.29, 7. Juan Lucas 1:56.35, 8. Kevin Porto 1:57.73, 14. Ricardo Roche 2:00.89, 16. Bruno Berti 2:03.11, 19. Matthew Menocal 2:08.32; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 1:46.93, 2. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 1:54.17, 3. Nicolas Oberndorfer, Gulliver 1:55.23; SOFLO: 4. Jonathan Farah, Unattached 1:56.50, 9. Jordan Colon 2:00.37, 12. Leonardo Mateus 2:04.70, 13. Samuel Quintero 2:08.69.

100-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Raphael Marcoux, SFTL 45.97, 2. Philippe Marcoux, SFTL 46.52, 3. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 47.30; SOFLO: 10. Alfredo Mesa 49.59, 11. CJ Kopecki 48.33, 14. Gustavo Valery 49.92, 15. Kevin Porto 50.01, 16. Max Asnis, SOFLO Unattached 50.05, 18. Matthew Menocal 50.55; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 46.08, 2. Joao Vyttor Silveira, Unattached CSSC 46.70, 3. AJ Reid, Miami Swimming 47.13; SOFLO: 7. Ryan Capote 48.28, 8. Timothy Wynter 48.37.

200-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 1:48.28, 2. Julien Pinon, SOFLO-Unattached 1:49.41, 3. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:49.71; SOFLO: 4. CJ Kopecki 1:53.79, 9. Juan Diaz 1:59.81, 10. Max Asnis, SOFLO Unattached 2:01.04; Open, 1. Rob Ballestas, Miami Swimming 1:50.54, 2. Nicholas Nord, Gulliver 1:51.17, 3. Fernando Bohorquez, Azura 1:52.02; SOFLO: 6. Jonathan Farah, SOFLO Unattached 1:58.10.

50-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Tristian Celestin, Azura 27.65, 2. Ervin Marin, SOFLO 27.73, 3. Jose Pascual, Coral Springs 27.87; SOFLO: 17. Ricardo Roche 30.07, 19. Brendan Cassie 30.14; Open, 1. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO Unattached 24.74, 2. AJ Reid, Miami Swimming 27.10, 3. Francisco Calderon, Azura 28.24; SOFLO: 11. Brandon Moran 31.64, 12. Samuel Quintero 31.88, 18. Simon Ortiz 38.23.

100-yard individual medley: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyakov, SFTL 50.47, 2. Raphael Marcoux, SFTL 53.31, 3. Julien Pinon, SOFLO Unattached 53.63; SOFLO: 5. Ervin Marin 55.07, 10. Juan Lucas 57.61, 15. Alfredo Mesa 56.97, 19. Gustavo Valery 57.69; Open, 1. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO Unattached 51.31, 2. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 53.54, 3. AJ Reid, Miami Swimming 53.61; SOFLO: 4. Jonathan Farah, Unattached 54.84, 10. Ryan Capote 56.92, 11. Rafael Rodriguez 56.93.

500-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 4:31.35, 2. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 4:38.90, 3. CJ Kopecki, SOFLO 4:40.20; SOFLO: 5. Ervin Marin 4:43.79, 9. Juan Lucas 4:48.63, 10. Kevin Porto 4:40.35, 11. Samuel Asnis, Unattached 4:49.93, 13. Max Asnis, Unattached 4:50.97, 16. Ricardo Roche 4:52.10, 18. Matthew Menocal 4:52.79; Open, 1. Franco Lupoli, Azura 4:27.13, 2. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 4:44.37, 3. Nicholas Nord, Gulliver 4:45.25; SOFLO: 4. Jordan Colon 4:47.48, 8. Ryan Capote 4:51.90, 9. Leonardo Mateus 4:53.93.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Swim Fort Lauderdale 3:07.94 (Philippe Marcoux, Raphael Marcoux, Scott Clark, Nikita Tretyakov), 2. Metro Aquatics 3:09.76, 3. Gulliver 3:09.89, 7. SOFLO A 3:15.20 (Timothy Wynter, Ryan Capote, Alfredo Mesa, CJ Kopecki), 9. SOFLO B 3:17.67 (Ervin Marin, Kevin Porto, Matthew Menocal, Bruno Berti).

IF YOU GO

What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships

When: Today-Sunday

Schedule: Saturday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. prelims, 5-7:15 p.m. finals; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-12:01 p.m. prelims, 5-7:30 p.m. finals.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheet per session. For information call 954-538-3721.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

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