Sixteen SOFLO Swimmers Will Compete This Weekend At FHSAA State 1A, 2A Meets

By Sharon Robb

November 5, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented at the Pinch-A-Penny FHSAA State 1A and 2A Swimming and Diving Championships this weekend at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.

Sixteen SOFLO swimmers will represent seven Broward and Dade high schools on Friday and Saturday.

SOFLO’s CJ Kopecki, a sophomore, and senior Jonathan Farah will compete for American Heritage Plantation boys team going for a three-peat when they compete Saturday in the Class 2A meet.

The Patriots are two-time defending state champions and are hoping to win another boys’ team title. It is American Heritage’s third year of competing in the 2A competition.

SOFLO teammate Annita Huang, a freshman, will make her state meet debut after an outstanding season. The Patriots’ girls team is led by sprinter Catharine Cooper of Swim Fort Lauderdale.

In the girls 2A competition, Gulliver Prep is expected to repeat as state champions. Last year the girls team won 240-185 over Riviera Beach Suncoast.

This year Gulliver Prep, with three loaded relays and talented individuals, is expected to win by at least 200 points. Eighth grader Andrea Santander, a top Florida Gold Coast swimmer, will make her state meet debut.

Other SOFLO swimmers are:

Archbishop McCarthy: Wyatt Jennessee, junior; Isabel Shashaty, sophomore

Goleman: Delanie Perez, sophomore

Mater Lakes: Ervin Marin, junior; Brandon Moran, freshman; Kevin Porto, sophomore

Sagemont: Samuel Quintero, sophomore

Somerset Academy: Esteban Diaz Velasco, junior; Eduardo Graziano, senior; Elise Larin, freshman; Ricardo Roche, sophomore

University School: Sam Asnis, Maxamillian Asnis

In one of the nation’s fastest high school state meets, Jacksonville Bolles is expected to add another page to its very large history book during the FHSAA State 1A meet on Friday night.

The Bolles boys team have won 27th consecutive team titles and the girls team have won 24rd straight team titles.

Quintero, a sophomore at Sagemont, will compete on relays in Friday’s Class 1A meet.


What: Pinch-A-Penny FHSAA State 1A Swimming and Diving Meet

When: Friday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5:30 p.m. finals

Where: Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, 931 S.E. Ruhnke St., Stuart.

Admission: $9 per session, parking $5.

What: Pinch-A-Penny FHSAA State 2A Swimming and Diving Meet.

When: Saturday, 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. finals

Where: Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, 931 S.E. Ruhnke St., Stuart.

Admission: $9 per session, parking $5.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Atkinson Finishes Out FINA/Airweave World Cup Series In Dubai This Weekend

By Sharon Robb

November 5, 2015—The FINA/Airweave World Cup Series, featuring Florida swimmers Alia Atkinson and Marta Ciesla, comes to a close in Dubai on Friday and Saturday.

Atkinson, 26, three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson who trains with South Florida Aquatic Club, is coming off the Doha meet where she won a gold medal in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Atkinson is seeded first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.21 and 50-meter breaststroke (30.11). Atkinson is also entered in the 200-meter individual medley (2:14.75), 200-meter breaststroke (2:25.48), 50-meter freestyle (25.90) and 50-meter butterfly (26.65).

Atkinson has won $36,750 in prize money during the series this year.

Ciesla, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming is seeded fifth (25.07) in the 50-meter freestyle in her second international meet. She also competed in Doha where she finished sixth in her international debut.

Ciesla is representing the U.S. as a member of USA Swimming’s 14-member 18-and-under squad that also includes University of Florida-bound Maxime Rooney, who took a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle in Doha.

Ciesla, a junior defending high school state champion, decided not to compete in the FHSAA State 1A Swimming and Diving Championships on Friday to represent her country.

Dubai is hosting the World Cup for the fifth time. The field features 440 international swimmers and 350 club swimmers from 56 nations according to host officials.

A star-studded field is led by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and South African Cameron Van der Burgh, who lead the overall points series and will each earn an additional $100,000 bonus.

The field also features Aussies Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohm; Brazilian Bruno Fratus; American Anthony Ervin, Adam Peaty of Great Britain and Rikke Pederson of Denmark.

Prelims are 3 a.m. EST and finals 11 a.m. EST.

The full eight-leg World Cup is being held in long course leading up to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The top three finishers in each event earn $1,500, $1,000 and $500. There is also a $10,000 payout for world records and cluster bonuses awarded from $50,000 to $5,000 among the top six.

The World Cup events are being live-streamed for free on FINATV.

Sharon Robb can be reached at