SOFLO’s Atkinson Wins Final Olympic Tuneup On Day Two Of Southern Zone South Sectional Championship

By Sharon Robb

July 8, 2016—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson competed in her final individual race until the Rio Summer Olympics Friday night at the Speedo Southern Zone South Sectional Championship at Orlando YMCA Aquatic Center.

Atkinson, 27, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.80 in her final tuneup race in her signature event.

Atkinson was also ninth in the 50-meter backstroke in a best time 29.78. Her previous best was 30.35.

Several SOFLO swimmers turned in some outstanding times against a top-caliber breaststroke field.

Kathleen Golding, 15, turned in a best time in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:13.21. She first bettered her previous best time of 1:19.03 in prelims in 1:15.87. She had a 5.82-second time drop.

Jennifer Rodriguez, 15, swam back-to-back best times in 1:16.99 in the final and 1:17.96 in prelims. Her previous best was 1:19.92, a drop of 2.93.

Molly Golding, 13, also swam back-to-back best times with a 1:18.33 in the final and 1:19.27 in prelims, bettering her previous best of 1:22.01 by 3.68 seconds.

Ervin Marin, 16, swam back-to-back best times with 1:08.65 in the final and 1:08.95 in prelims, a 2.59-second drop bettering his previous best of 1:11.24.

In the 50-meter backstroke, Kevin Porto, 15, broke 30 seconds for the first time. He swam 29.39 in prelims and came back and lowered it in finals in 29.19 for a 0.20 drop. His previous best was 30.10.

Ryan Capote, 18, also broke 30 seconds with back-to-back best times of 29.99 in prelims and 29.60 in finals. He shaved 0.39 off his previous best of 30.00.

Ricardo Roche will join SOFLO teammate Rafael Rodriguez at the Aug. 4-7 Futures Championships in Atlanta after swimming his best time and qualifying cut of 4:40.98 in the 400-meter individual medley. He swam 4:42.75 in prelims.He had a 9.75 time drop off his previous best of 4:50.73. Roche will compete in Atlanta instead of Zones.

Rodriguez had made his Futures cut in the 800-meter freestyle in a best time 8:37.49 on Thursday. In the 400 IM, Rodriguez swam back-to-back best times in 4:47.79 in finals and 4:48.48 in prelims, shaving 3.94 seconds off his previous best of 4:51.73.

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.



200-meter freestyle:

1. Andrea Pinto, Gator Swim Club 1:59.94, 2. Kendall Dawson, FSLA 2:01.72, 3. Matea Samardzic, SCAR 2:02.16.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:06.80, 2. Hilda Luthersdottir, Gator Swim Club 1:08.57, 3. Caroline White, Trinity Prep 1:11.73; SOFLO: 17. Kathleen Golding 1:13.21, best time, 20. Jessica Rodriguez 1:16.99, 21. Jessica Rodriguez 1:16.95, best time, 28. Molly Golding 1:18.33, best time, 30. Kelley Heron 1:18.75.

50-meter backstroke:

1. Naomi Ruele, FIU 29.27, 2. Caitlin Brooks, Gator Swim Club 29.48, 3. Lydia Ware, Seminole 30.03; SOFLO: 9. Alia Atkinson 29.78, best time, 18. Kelley Heron 31.69

100-meter butterfly:

1. Isabella Paez, MAC 59.89, 2. Claire Maiocco, Trinity Prep 1:01.40, 3. Andrea Pinto, Gator Swim Club 1:02.16.

400-meter individual medley:

1. Matea Samardzic, Scarlet 4:42.26, 2. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:54.64, 3. Grace Patrice, Sarasota 5:00.86.

800-meter freestyle relay:

1. Scarlet Aquatics 8:29.06, 2. Sarasota YMCA 8:30.18, 3. Gator Swim Club 8:32.59, 7. SOFLO “A” 8:49.55 (Kathleen Golding, Marcella Marinheiro, Melissa Marinheiro, Kelley Heron) 20. SOFLO “B” 9:23.51 (Kylie Herman, Jennifer Rodriguez, Jessica Rodriguez, Molly Gooding).


200-meter freestyle:

1. Andrea D’Arrigo, Gator Swim Club 1:49.85, 2. Eric Geunes, Gator Swim Club 1:53.61, 3. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:54.05.

100-meter breaststroke:

1. Juan Sequera, Metro Aquatics 1:03.11, 2. Mark Szaranek, Gator Swim Club 1:04.52, 3. Paxton Rhoads, Tampa Bay 1:05.15; SOFLO: 19. Ervin Marin 1:08.65, best time.

50-meter backstroke:

1. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 26.14, 2. Ayooluwakunmi Ogunfeibo, Seminole 26.73, 3. Leighton Mayers, Scarlet 26.95; SOFLO: 15. Kevin Porto 29.19, best time, 25. Ryan Capote 29.60, best time.

100-meter butterfly:

1. Pavel Sankovich, Seminole 53.77, 2. Mark Szaranek, Gator Swim Club 54.09, 3. Noah Lense, Tampa Bay 55.39.

400-meter individual medley:

1. Sebastian Rousseau, Gator Swim Club 4:21.28, 2. Jonathan Gomez, Scarlet 4:29.01, 3. Nicholas Brown, EAJ 4:29.65; SOFLO: 12. Ricardo Roche 4:40.98, best time, 14. Ervin Marin 4:44.79, 21. Rafael Rodriguez 4:47.79, best time

800-meter freestyle relay:

1. Gator Swim Club 7:38.49, 2. Sarasota YMCA 7:46.03, 3. Scarlet Aquatics 7:48.63, 11. SOFLO A 8:02.75 (Rafael Rodriguez, Juan Diaz, Sam Asnis, Ricardo Roche), 20. SOFLO “B” 8:15.11 (Max Asnis, Ryan Capote, Esteban Diaz-Velasco, CJ Kopecki).


What: Southern Zone South Sectional Championship

When: Saturday-Sunday

Scheduled: 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