By Sharon Robb
October 11, 2015—Kathleen Golding is making a lasting impression in her first year of high school swimming.
The Cooper City High School freshman, who has already qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, won two events and broke a meet record in her debut at the Broward County Athletic Association Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday at the Plantation Aquatic Complex.
Golding, who turned 15 on Sunday, won the 200-yard individual medley in a season-best and county-leading 2:06.86. In her final individual event of the night, Golding won the 100-yard butterfly breaking a nine-year-old meet record in 56.80, another season-best and county-leading time.
The previous butterfly record was 57.30 set by Ileana Lucos of Cypress Bay in 2006.
Golding, who is undefeated in high school swimming, was neither shaved or tapered for the daylong meet.
“The 100 fly was my last individual race and it was the last time I swam it as a 14-year-old so I wanted to give it my all,” Golding said. “It was so much fun to swim it.”
Golding led her team to a Top 10 finish, with the Cowboys placing sixth with 194 points. She also led off the Cowboys’ third-place 200-yard medley relay that finished in 1:56.69 with teammates Solana Capalbo, Natasha Testa and Jordan Cook and fourth place 400-yard freestyle relay that was fourth in 3:52.96 with teammates Kalene Kennedy, Testa and Capalbo.
“I really didn’t think I was going to do that well,” Golding said. “I thought I would probably win but not being tapered I didn’t think my times would be so good. I wanted to get the 200 IM record since it’s my best event but it didn’t happen.”
Golding is enjoying the best year of her young swimming career. She already has a U.S. Olympic Trials cut time in the 200-meter individual medley in a lifetime-best 2:18.67. The gymnast-turned-swimmer has been training with the South Florida Aquatic Club since her family moved to Florida and has been blossoming ever since. She is one of three swimming siblings in her family. Her mom swam at Acadia University in Canada and her dad is a top swim official.
“I love Florida, there is really good swimming here,” Golding said. “When I was 8, my goal was to go to the Olympics. It’s always been my goal. Now that we moved down here, it’s starting to become a reality.”
Golding has districts and regions where she hopes to qualify for her first state meet. If she wins a state title, she would be the first Cooper City freshman to win.
“I really like high school swimming and my teammates,” Golding said. “It’s more laidback. It’s more about having fun and it is really, really fun.
“If I don’t win states I won’t be too upset, but obviously I would love to win as a freshman. I know that’s really hard for a freshman. That would be super cool for my school. They have never had a state finalist.”
SOFLO teammates Kelley Heron of Pembroke Pines Charter was third in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:01.42, matching her season-best. Ryan Capote of Pembroke Pines Charter was second in the 50-yard freestyle in a season-best 21.86 and third in the 100-yard freestyle in a season-best 48.00. Pembroke Pines Charter boys team, coached by SOFLO coach Rose Lockie, was fourth with 324.5 points.
Cypress Bay boys and St. Thomas Aquinas girls won the team titles. Cypress Bay won with 517.50 points and St. Thomas Aquinas was runner-up with 426 points.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the underdog going in, won another title with 499.50 points. The Raiders picked up key points by winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:53.12 and 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:44.88 with the same foursome of Samantha Stinemire, Natalya Wozab, Quinn Connor and Sarah Asseraf. The Raiders edged Cypress Bay, runner-up with 477, for the second consecutive year.
On a big night for parity in high school swimming, six meet records were broken.
Raphael Marcoux of Fort Lauderdale won four events and broke three records. The Harvard-bound senior won the 50-yard freestyle in 21.02 and 100-yard freestyle in a record 45.78. He was also a member of two record-breaking relays. He finished with 10 career titles over three years at the BCAA meet.
Fort Lauderdale High boys team broke two relay records in the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays in 1:25.68 and 3:11.02 respectively with Raphael Marcoux, James Dika, Tyler Zuyus and Philippe Marcoux.
“I am so proud of them,” said Flying L’s coach Debbie Cavanaugh. “Both our boys and girls finished third overall. I couldn’t ask for a better group of young athletes.”
Marco Guarente, who competes internationally for Venezuela, was a double winner with two meet records. Guarente won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:52.75 and 100-yard breaststroke in 56.57.
Senior Andrea van den Berg of Cypress Bay, who also competes internationally for Aruba, was a double winner in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events in season-bests 1:57.63 and 5:13.16.
Fort Lauderdale senior Fatimah Westbrook also won two events in the 50-yard freestyle in 24.18 and 100-yard breaststroke in 1:07.80.
Logan Downey of South Plantation won the boys 1-meter diving title with 370.90 points. Karlee Price of St. Thomas Aquinas won the girls title with 304.70 points. It was the third BCAA title for each of the two-time state champions.
GIRLS TEAM TOTALS
1.St. Thomas Aquinas 499.5, 2. Cypress Bay 477, 3. Fort Lauderdale 364, 4. Cardinal Gibbons 240, 5. Pompano Beach 219, 6. Cooper City 194, 7. Nova 188, 8. Coral Glades 182, 9. Deerfield Beach 141, 10. Taravella 137.5.
200-yard medley relay: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas (Samantha Stinemire, Natalya Wozab, Quinn Connor, Sarah Asseraf) 1:53.12, 2. Cardinal Gibbons 1:56.23, 3. Cooper City 1:56.69.
200-yard freestyle: 1. Andrea van den Berg, CB 1:57.63, 2. Cameron Thomas, WES 1:58.39, 3. Kelly Gest, CG 2:00.24.
200-yard individual medley: 1. Kathleen Golding, CC 2:06.86, 2. Megan Schimansky, CGL 2:14.54, 3. Sarah Asseraf, STA 2:15.15.
50-yard freestyle: 1. Fatimah Westbrook, FTL 24.56, 2. Courtney Stewart, PB 24.63, 3. Allora Williams, PHS 24.64.
100-yard butterfly: 1. Kathleen Golding, CC 56.80, 2. Racine Ross, HH 59.66, 3. Sarah Asseraf, STA 1:00.27.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Courtney Stewart, PB 53.85, 2. Emiliana Pelaez, CB 54.21, 3. Kelly Gest, CG 55.49.
500-yard freestyle: 1. Andrea van den Berg, CB 5:13.16, 2. Marianna Serrao, CB 5:18.64, 3. Julianna Russell, CG 5:25.42.
200-yard freestyle relay: 1. St. Thomas Aquinas (Quinn Connor, Sarah Asseraf, Carly Hyman, Emily Puia) 1:44.88, 2. Cypress Bay 1:44.93, 3. Fort Lauderdale 1:45.41.
100-yard backstroke: 1. Megan Schimansky, CGL 59.77, 2. Samantha Stinemire, STA 1:01.02, 3. Kelley Heron, PPC 1:01.42.
100-yard breaststroke: 1. Fatimah Westbrook, FTL 1:07.80, 2. Savannah Yates, CG 1:08.76, 3. Daniela Kim, CB 1:10.46.
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Cypress Bay (Savannah Yates, Julianna Russell, Brooke Gest, Kelly Gest) 3:48.64, 2. St. Thomas Aquinas 3:45.89, 3. Cypress Bay 3:48.64.
1-meter springboard diving: 1. Karlee Price, STA 304.70, 2. Carolyn Ehrlich, PB 224.55, 3. Leanne Sheffer, SP 222.85.
BOYS TEAM TOTALS
1.Cypress Bay 517.5, 2. St. Thomas Aquinas 426., 3. Fort Lauderdale 422, 4. Pembroke Pines Charter 324.5, 5. Pompano Beach 236, 6. Monarch 199, 7. Douglas 185, 8. West Broward 143, 9. Western 128, 10. Cooper City 113.
200-yard medley relay: 1. Cypress Bay (Eduardo Pineiro-Barros, Jonathan Strod, Carlos Gallego, Luiz Renato Freire) 1:45.02, 2. Pompano Beach 1:45.07, 3. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:45.21.
200-yard freestyle: 1. Tyler Zuyus, FTL 1:43.13, 2. Andres Lares, PPC 1:44.48, 3. Padraic Cassidy, STA 1:45.57.
200-yard individual medley: 1. Marco Guarente, CB 1:52.75, 2. James Dika, FTL 2:00.90, 3. Eric Veit, CB 2:01.91.
50-yard freestyle: 1. Raphael Marcoux, FTL 21.02, 2. Ryan Capote, PPC 21.86, 3. Kearn Kurbanali, STA 22.57.
100-yard butterfly: 1. Carlos Gallego, CB 53.94, 2. Daniel Lobaton, CC 54.28, 3. Quinn Roth, MHS 54.37.
100-yard freestyle: 1. Raphael Marcoux, FTL 45.78, 2. Philippe Marcoux, FTL 46.36, 3. Ryan Capote, PPH 48.00.
500-yard freestyle: 1. Padraic Cassidy, STA 4:44.27, 2. Eduardo Pineiro-Barros, CB 4:45.56, 3. James Dika, FTL 4:49.41.
200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Fort Lauderdale (Philippe Marcoux, Tyler Zuyus, James Dika, Raphael Marcoux) 1:26.84, 2. Cypress Bay 1:28.49, 3. St. Thomas Aquinas 1:31.48.
100-yard backstroke: 1. Philippe Marcoux, FTL 52.74, 2. Andres Lares, PPC 53.66, 3. Tyler Zuyus, FTL 54.75.
100-yard breaststroke: 1. Marco Guarente, CB 56.57, 2. Victor Fajer, WH 1:01.62, 3. Eric Veit, CB 1:02.00.
400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Fort Lauderdale (Philippe Marcoux, James Dika, Tyler Zuyus, Raphael Marcoux) 3:11.02, 2. Cypress Bay 3:12.24, 3. St. Thomas Aquinas 3:22.55.
1-meter springboard diving; 1. Logan Downey, SP 370.90, 2. Zach Allen, CG 319.75, 3. Sky Geovanni, FTL 253.70.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com