By Sharon Robb
July 29, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will make history when they compete in one of three inaugural USA Swimming Futures Championships.
The Futures Championships are a trio of meets in Greensboro, N.C., Mt. Hood, Ore. and West Lafayette, Ind.
SOFLO along with several Florida Gold Coast and Florida Swimming swimmers will compete against other swimmers from the mid-region of the United States in the four-day meet that begins on Thursday.
The meets are designed to bridge the gap between Sectionals and Junior Nationals enabling swimmers not qualified for Junior Nationals to compete in their own meet.
While the meets are intended for swimmers ready to make the jump to Junior National level, the meets are technically an open age meet not limited to 18-and-unders.
SOFLO swimmers will compete at Purdue’s Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette. The meet in Indiana is larger and more competitive than the other two meets.
South Florida Aquatic Club has nine swimmers competing in the meet. “This is really a great opportunity for these swimmers to rise to the occasion,” SOFLO CEO and head coach Chris Anderson said.
Florida State senior Marc Rojas leads the SOFLO contingent.
Rojas will be joined by French junior national age group champion Julien Pinon, Ryan Capote, Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, CJ Kopecki, Ervin Marin, sisters Marcella and Melissa Marinheiro of Florida Gulf Coast and Jessica Rodriguez.
SOFLO has also entered six boys and girls relays.
Pinon, 16, is seeded third in the 200-meter freestyle.
Melissa Marinheiro, 18, is seeded fourth in the 800-meter freestyle, the opening event of the meet. Teammate Kathleen Golding, 14, one of the youngest swimmers in the meet, is seeded eighth.
Golding is seeded second in the 400 IM and fourth in the 200 IM. Melissa Marinheiro is also seeded fourth in the 400 freestyle and fourth in the 1500 freestyle.
Thursday’s opening day events are the 800-meter freestyle, 1500-meter freestyle and 800-meter freestyle relay, all timed finals.
The remainder of the meet will be prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org