By Sharon Robb

April 28, 2016—Kathleen Golding, Sebastian Lares and Valerie Vank are among top-seeded South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers in this weekend’s IMX-IMR Challenge at Academic Village Pool.

Several top Florida Gold Coast swimmers will join SOFLO swimmers over the next three days at IMX-IMR Challenge.

In addition to SOFLO, among other FGC clubs entered are AquaKids Sharks, Plantation Swim Team, Hialeah Swim Club, SwimFast and Flying Fish.

Among other top-seeded swimmers are Julio Horrego of Hialeah Swim Club, Isabella Chambers of Plantation Swim Team, and siblings Luke and Mary Smutny of AquaKids Sharks.

The meet opens Friday at 5:30 p.m. with the open 200-meter individual medley and 13-and-over 400-meter individual medley. The meet continues through Sunday.

Not only will swimmers get some much-need racing in but will also get a chance to see how they stack up against the rest of the nation’s age group swimmers.

The up-and-coming swimmers will compete in the IMR Challenge. All sessions are timed finals.

The USA Swimming-sanctioned meet is a fun, motivational meet to help young swimmers reach the next level in their swimming careers.

The IM (Ready) Challenge allows swimmers to see how they compare to other swimmers around the nation in their age group. Swimmers must compete in all the events required for their age group to establish a score.

Once a swimmer competes in each IMR Challenge event at least once in an official meet, swimmers and parents can check their rankings on USA Swimming’s website.

The IMX (Xtreme) Challenge is the next step-up from the IMR competition. It includes a series of five or six events. Once swimmers complete the IMX program they can also see where their score ranks nationally, among their local LSC and own swim club.


What: SOFLO IMX-IMR Challenge

When: Friday, Friday, 5:30 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, IMX/IMR Challenge, 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17191 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines

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


SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson and Megan Romano left Thursday morning for Louisville, Ky. where the elite pair will compete in the inaugural TYR Derby Pro Swim Meet Friday at the University of Louisville.

It is part of a fundraising weekend for the Cardinals’ swim program.

Friday night’s pro swim meet will feature 16 of the best men and women pro swimmers from around the world.

Romano is a 2013 world champion and NCAA champion. Atkinson is a three-time Olympian for Jamaica and world short course record holder.

The pros, in addition to competing for prize money, will team with members of the Louisville swim team to hold a Drowning Prevention Clinic and also be part of a dinner with contributors.

Sharon Robb can be reached at