By Sharon Robb
September 8, 2016—Javiar Roman-Martinez of South Florida Aquatic Club is busy getting back into shape at Academic Village Pool.
After taking a month off during the summer, the up-and-coming age group swimmer is looking forward to racing and dropping time.
The 13-year-old Pioneer Middle School seventh grader is working with new SOFLO age group coach Lynnette Hudnell and Silver Group. “She’s cool,” Roman said about his new coach.
Roman has been swimming since he was 4 years old. He learned to swim in his native Venezuela and when his parents moved to South Florida in 2010 he first swam for Swim Fort Lauderdale but switched to SOFLO.
“I liked the sport the minute I was in the water,” Roman said. “I started to get competitive.”
When he joined SOFLO, it was instant chemistry.
“I like everything about SOFLO,” Roman said. “I like the coaches and attitude of everyone around. Everyone likes to work and it’s friendly. Everyone is friends with everyone. It’s a great swimming environment.”
His favorite events are the long course 200 and 400 freestyles, 100 and 200 breaststroke.
“I like the longer events,” Roman said. “I don’t like the way it feels when you swim the 50 freestyle all out. You are tired and out of breath.
“When you swim a 400, you work for it. When you finish and you lowered your time you feel tired, but it’s a good tired because you worked for it.”
Roman also swims the 50 breaststroke, 50 and 100 freestyles, 50 and 100 butterfly and 200 individual medley. He plans on swimming the 400 IM now that he has aged up into 13-14.
One of Roman’s best meets was this past season’s Florida Gold Coast Long Course Junior Olympics.
“We had this amazing relay on the first day,” Roman said referring to the 400 freestyle relay which Roman swam anchor on and SOFLO won. “It was my favorite. We got first in all three relays.”
Roman would love to swim in high school and college and maybe even the Olympics one day. His mom, Marilde Martinez, competed for Venezuela in its nationals championships. She now swims for SOFLO Masters.
“Right now my main goal is getting into shape,” Roman said. “I am working on that.”
Roman has compete in soccer, baseball, tennis and karate but plans on staying with swimming. He also manages to fit in playing the bassoon in his middle school band.
“Swimming has helped me manage my time,” Roman said. “It’s also helped me open myself to new people. I was shy. Now I am meeting more people because of swimming.
“Swimming is a passion that started as a hobby. When you like something you stay with it and keep it going because you like it. After I tried it I just said to myself ‘let’s keep going.’ I am excited about the future.”
The TYR Swimmer of the Month award, chosen by the SOFLO coaching staff, is awarded each month to the swimmer who excels at both swim meets and practice sessions.
Each TYR Swimmer of the Month will receive a free TYR mini backpack.
TYR, a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories, is one of the nation’s top companies.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org