By Sharon Robb
While all eyes will be on four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson and her quest to win her first Olympic medal and first-time Olympians Timothy Wynter and Jorge Murillo-Valdes this weekend in Rio de Janeiro, their South Florida Aquatic Club teammates will also be competing in Minnesota, North Carolina and Georgia.
Claire Donahue and Marc Rojas will compete at the Aug. 2-6 U.S. Open in Minneapolis.
Rojas is entered in Wednesday’s 200-meter breaststroke (2:18.97) and Donahue in Thursday’s 100-meter butterfly (58.08) on Thursday.
The five-day Southern Zone Age Group Championships also begin at Triangle Aquatic Center, hosted by TAC Titans Swim Team in Cary, N.C.
The zone championships feature top regional swimmers at the senior and age group levels who qualify for these meets within the four designated zones (Eastern, Central, Southern and Western.)
SOFLO’s Paige Lane, Sebastian Lares, Leonardo Mateus and Juan Serna are members of the Florida Gold Coast zone team.
The fourth meet of the week is the Aug. 4-7 Futures Championships at Georgia Tech’s McCauley Aquatic Center in Atlanta.
This is the second year of existence for the meet designed to bridge the gap between sectional meets and junior nationals. The gap has grown in recent years as junior level swimmers have become faster, requiring faster time standards to keep a reasonable number of participants. The meet is designed for swimmers to make the leap to junior nationals. This year the series went from three to four meets.
The other Futures meets are being hosted by College Park, Md., Austin, Tex. and Stanford, Calif. The sites are chosen to help reduce travel and costs for many participants.
SOFLO will have a large contingent of swimmers at the Futures meet. They are Max Asnis, Ryan Capote, Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, CJ Kopecki, Luke Lezotte, Ervin Marin, Melissa Marinheiro, Ricardo Roche, Jessica Rodriguez, Rafael Rodriguez, Emiliano Pelaez and Rojas.
Golding, 15, a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, will compete in five events: 200 freestyle (2:07.97), 100 butterfly (1:03.28), 50 freestyle (26.78), 400 freestyle (4:26.97) and 100 freestyle (57.55). Golding is seeded third in the 100 freestyle.
Marinheiro, 19, will compete in four events: 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles. Marinheiro is seeded seventh in the 1500.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com