SOFLO’s Atkinson, Murillo-Valdes Swim Final Olympic Tune-up At This Week’s Southern Zone South Sectional Championship

By Sharon Robb

July 6, 2016—Four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson and first-time Olympian Jorge Murillo Valdes of South Florida Aquatic Club will have one final pre-Olympic tune-up at the Speedo Southern Zone South Sectional Championship that begins Thursday at Orlando YMCA Aquatic Center.

Atkinson, 27, is entered in Friday’s 100-meter breaststroke and 50-meter backstroke. Murillo-Valdes will swim the 100-meter breaststroke, also on Friday.

Atkinson is seeded first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:05.93 and fifth in the 50-meter backstroke in 30.35. Murillo-Valdes, 24, is seeded first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:00.53.

At the Aug. 5-21 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Atkinson will swim the 100-meter breaststroke and Murillo-Valdes will swim the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events.

Atkinson and Murillo-Valdes will be joined by SOFLO teammates: Max Asnis, Sam Asnis, Tyler Bland, Ryan Capote, Juan Diaz, Esteban Diaz-Velasco, Kathleen Golding, Molly Golding, Kylie Herman, Kelley Heron, CJ Kopecki, Luke Lezotte, Ervin Marin, Marcella Marinheiro, Melissa Marinheiro, Leonardo Mateus, Delanie Perez, Kevin Porto, Samuel Quintero, Santiago Rivera, Ricardo Roche, Jennifer Rodriguez, Jessica Rodriguez, Rafael Rodriguez, Juan Serna and Alejandro Zambrano.

Kathleen Golding, 15, coming off her first U.S. Olympic trials, is seeded second in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:53.68 and 200-meter individual medley in 2:18.67.

SOFLO has also entered 24 men’s and women’s relays.

Among teams competing are Bolles, Gator Swim Club, Gulliver Swim Club, Hurricane Aquatics, Sarasota YMCA, Miami Swimming, Westminster Academy, Metro Aquatics, Scarlet (N.J.) Aquatics and Highlander Aquatics.

The stacked field includes Andrea Pinto of Gator Swim Club, Arkady Vyatchanin, swimming unattached; Isabella Paez of Metro Aquatics, who just missed making the Venezuelan Olympic team; Belarus Olympian Pavel Sankovich and South African Olympian Sebastian Rousseau of Gator Swim Club.

The meet opens on Thursday with the women’s 1500-meter freestyle, men’s 800-meter freestyle, 200 medley and 200 freestyle relays.


What: Southern Zone South Sectional Championship

When: Thursday-Sunday

Scheduled: Thursday, timed finals 5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals; Sunday, 9 a.m. prelims, 4 p.m. finals.

Where: YMCA Aquatic Center, 8422 International Drive, Orlando

Admission: $5. Meet host YMCA of Central Florida. For more information 407-363-1911.

Sharon Robb can be reached at