By Sharon Robb
July 23, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club begins its quest to add another chapter to its history books when the 14&Under Florida Gold Coast Summer Long Course Junior Olympics begin Friday in Plantation.
Last year SOFLO defended its title and swept the combined, boys and girls team titles.
It was the second consecutive year the 16-year-old club won back-to-back short course and long course titles the same year, fifth consecutive JO title and 11th overall JO title.
SOFLO would like to continue the winning tradition but it won’t be easy. The field features 807 athletes and 41 teams.
SOFLO, buoyed with depth and talent, has 66 swimmers (35 girls and 31 boys) entered in 363 individual events and 22 relay events in the three-day meet.
Other top teams competing are Azura, led by Elvis Kotikovski, 13; Gulliver Prep, led by Emily Cordovi, 14; East Coast Aquatic Club led by Joshua Zuchowski, 11; Pine Crest, led by Joshua Hanks, 12; and Metro Aquatics led by Adrian Aguilar, 14.
SOFLO’s top seeds are defending champion Rafael Rodriguez, 13; Erika Pelaez, 9; Jie Hoon Lee, 12; and Kyana Castro, 12.
Defending champion Kathleen Golding, 14, will not compete in her final JO meet. She is among ten SOFLO swimmers who will compete in next week’s Futures Championship Meet in West Lafayette, Ind. Her family will be well-represented with her sister Molly, 12, and brother Alex, 11, competing in JOs.
IF YOU GO
What: 14 & Under Florida Gold Coast Summer Long Course Junior Olympics
Schedule: Friday, 9 a.m. prelims, 6 p.m. finals; Saturday, 9 a.m. prelims, 6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. prelims, finals 6 p.m.
Where: Plantation Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street, Plantation
Admission: $3 per session, $5 prelim heat sheet per session, $3 finals heat sheet. For information call 954-452-2526.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org