Atkinson, Murillo, Rojas Compete Friday At Arena Pro Series

By Sharon Robb

May 12, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will begin competing Friday in the Arena Pro Swim Series at the newly-renovated Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Three-time Jamaican Olympian Atkinson opens with the 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly.

Atkinson has the world’s 13th best time in the 100-meter breaststroke this year. Katie Meili is the top seed in the event. At last summer’s Pan American Games, Meili took gold while Atkinson settled for the silver.

Atkinson has an ambitious schedule with six events over three days. She will also compete in the 50- and 200-meter breaststroke, 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle.

Colombian Jorge Murillo and Marc Rojas swim the 100-meter breaststroke. Both are also entered in the 50- and 200-meter breaststroke events.

Atkinson and Murillo are already qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero. Rojas is trying to make his U.S. Olympic trials cut.

In Thursday opening day distance action:

Marcelo Acosta, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics was top Florida Gold Coast finisher, placing third in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:05.79.

Connor Jaeger, 25, of Club Wolverine won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.49.

Ashley Twichell, 26, ofCal Aquatics won the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:11.19.

Cammile Adams, 24, of SwimMAC won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:33.79. She was also sixth in the 1500 in 16:44.84.

The field features 30 national team members and more than 500 swimmers.

A full schedule of long course events begin on Friday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m.

Only three Arena Pro Swim Series meets remain including this weekend’s event in Charlotte, Santa Clara and Indianapolis.

NBC Sports Live Extra will stream Saturday’s and Sunday’s final sessions live. NBC Sports Network will air tape-delayed television coverage of the meet from noon to 3 p.m. The entire meet will also be live streamed at



1500-meter freestyle:

1.Ashley Twichell, Cal Aquatics 16:11.19, 2. Kristel Kobrich, CHI 16:16.15, 3. Gillian Ryan, Michigan 16:32.21.

800-meter freestyle:

1.Cammile Adams, SwimMAC 8:33.79, 2. Verity Abel, Duke 8:49.52.


800-meter freestyle:

1.Connor Jaeger, Club Wolverine 7:54.49, 2. Zane Grothe, Badger 7:57.00, 3. Marcelo Acosta, Azura 8:05.79.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Ready For This Weekend’s All-Florida Sr. Circuit Meet

By Sharon Robb

May 12, 2016—A talented group of South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers, headed by U.S. Olympic hopeful Megan Romano and Suriname’s Raiz Tjon-A-Joe, will compete Friday through Sunday in the All-Florida Senior Circuit Meet at Florida Gulf Coast University Aquatics Center in Fort Myers.

The three-day meet, which is also serving as an Olympic Trials qualifier, is fast, according to meet officials.

Seventeen teams, including several from the Florida Gold Coast, are entered.

SOFLO is sending 13 swimmers to the meet. They are:

Tjon-A-Joe, 18, a national record holder, 100-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke. Tjon-A-Joe is seeded first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.92.

Romano, 25, a former world champion, 50- and 400-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke. Romano is seeded first in the 100 backstroke in 1:01.94 and 400 freestyle in 4:18.98 and second in the 50 freestyle in 25.69.

Catalina Mendieta, 26, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke.

Ksen Golovkina, 26, 100-meter breaststroke, 50-meter freestyle.

Monica Alvarez, 27, 100-meter breaststroke.

Max Asnis, 16, 200- and 400-meter freestyles, 100- and 200-meter butterfly.

Sam Asnis, 17, 200- and 400-meter freestyles.

Juan Diaz, 16, 100- 200- and 400-meter freestyles, 100- and 200-meter butterfly and 200-meter backstroke.

Kelley Heron, 16, 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter breaststroke.

CJ Kopecki, 16, 200-meter freestyle, 400-meter individual medley.

Ervin Marin, 16, 200-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke.

Emiliana Pelaez, 17, 50- and 200-meter freestyle, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke.

Santiago Rivera, 19, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly.

Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 6 p.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at