SOFLO’s Roche, Rodriguez Shine, Mixed Medley Relay Wins At Southern Zone South Sectional Championship

By Sharon Robb

July 7, 2016—Ricardo Roche and Rafael Rodriguez led South Florida Aquatic Club on opening night of the Speedo Southern Zone South Sectional Championship Thursday at Orlando YMCA Aquatic Center.

Roche, 16, dropped 10.88 seconds in the 800-meter freestyle to finish in a lifetime-best 8:41.75. His previous best was 8:52.63.

Rafael Rodriguez, 14, was seventh in the 800-meter freestyle in a best time 8:37.49, dropping 6.63 seconds off his previous best. Rodriguez qualified for the Aug. 4-7 Futures Championships at Georgia Tech in Atlanta with his cut time.
Rodriguez was SOFLO’s top finisher.

SOFLO’s mixed medley relay turned in its’ best time of 1:52.19, buoyed by four-time Olympian Alia Atkinson’s 29.89 breaststroke split. Atkinson was joined on the relay by Roche, swimming his third relay of the night, Kathleen Golding and Ryan Capote.

On Friday, Atkinson and fellow SOFLO Olympian Jorge Murillo Valdes will compete in the breaststroke in a final pre-Olympic tune-up. 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.

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.



1500-meter freestyle:

1.Lara Hernandez-Tome, Sarasota 17:06.69, 2. Marcella Ruppert-Gomez, Gulliver 17:11.70, 3. Junseo Kim, Scarlet Aquatics 17:21.65.

200-meter medley relay:

1.Trinity Prep 1:57.39, 2. FIU Swimming 1:58.96, 3. SOFLO “A” 1:59.09 (Kelley Heron, Alia Atkinson, Kathleen Golding, Melissa Marinheiro), 19. SOFLO “B” 2:07.69.

200-meter freestyle relay:

1.Gator Swim Club 1:46.87, 2. Scarlet Aquatics 1:47.23, 3. Bolles 1:47.29, 9. SOFLO “A” 1:50.31, 28. SOFLO “B” 1:59.13.

200-meter mixed medley relay:

1.South Florida Aquatic Club “A” 1:52.19 (Ricardo Roche, Alia Atkinson, Kathleen Golding, Ryan Capote), 2. Scarlet Aquatics 1:53.74, 3. Blue Dolfins 1:54.90, 10. SOFLO “B” 2:02.37 (Marcella Marinheiro, Samuel Quintero, Kylie Herman, CJ Kopecki).

200-meter mixed freestyle relay:

1.Scarlet Aquatics 1:44.28, 2. Blue Dolfins 1:44.29, 3. Lake Lytal Lightning 1:45.46, 6. SOFLO “A” 1:48.36 (Juan Serna, Melissa Marinheiro, Kylie Herman, Luke Lezotte), 11. SOFLO “B” 1:50.43 (Esteban Diaz-Velasco, Jennifer Rodriguez, Delanie Perez, Juan Diaz).


800-meter freestyle:

1.Brendan Firlie, Sarasota 8:24.90, 2. Eric Guenes, Gator Swim Club 8:26.75, 3. Jackson Karofsky, Scarlet Aquatics 8:29.13; SOFLO: 7. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 8:37.49, best time, 15. Ricardo Roche 8:41.75, best time, 31. Max Asnis 9:00.43, 43. Sam Asnis 9:12.72, 46. Leonardo Mateus 9:16.75, 48. Kevin Porto 9:26.70, best time.

200-meter medley relay:

1.Tampa Bay Aquatics 1:46.53, 2. Metro Aquatics 1:46.62, 3. Bolles 1:46.67, 18. SOFLO “A” 1:54.23 (Ricardo Roche, Ervin Marin, Juan Diaz, Ryan Capote), 22. SOFLO “B” 1:55.62 (Esteban Diaz-Velasco, Tyler Bland, CJ Kopecki, Luke Lezotte).

200-meter freestyle relay:

1.Westminster Academy 1:34.77, 2. Trinity Prep 1:34.77, 3. Metro Aquatics 1:35.27, 19. SOFLO “A” 1:41.21 (Luke Lezotte, Ervin Marin, Juan Serna, Ryan Capote), 24. SOFLO “B” 1:42.72 (Kevin Porto, Max Asnis, Esteban Diaz-Velasco, Ricardo Roche).


What: Southern Zone South Sectional Championship

When: Friday-Sunday

Scheduled: 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


Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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