By Sharon Robb
November 16, 2016—A field of 1,100 swimmers and more than 50 teams including South Florida Aquatic Club will compete Thursday through Sunday at the 26th annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex.
SOFLO is sending 21 swimmers of all ages, from age groupers to Olympians and national record holders to the four-day meet. The swimmers will compete in 82 individual events and two relays.
SOFLO’s swimmers entered are: Fernando Barreto, 10; Kaitlyn Barrios, 10; Mariann Catalasan, 10; Kerry Cunningham, 10; Luna Delgado, 10; Fiorella DiSalvo, 8; Nathaniel Garrick, 11; Logan Gonzalez, 11; Luke Lezotte, 15; Jonathan Lozano, 9; Yannai Michael, 12; Sabrina Osorio, 11; Sofia Osorio, 11; Leah Pando, 10; Giada Porven, 8; Rafael Rodriguez, 14; and Aldo Zepeda, 11.
Some of SOFLO’s older swimmers are also in the field including Marc Rojas, 22; Santiago Rivera, 19; Bermuda national record holder Lisa Blackburn, 44; and four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, who missed out on an Olympic medal in Rio de Janeiro and then bounced back with a short course world record at the FINA World Cup Series.
Atkinson, 27, is seeded first in the 100-yard breaststroke in 57.29, the only swimmer under a minute. Rojas, 22, is seeded first in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Most of Florida Gold Coast teams will be represented including Azura, Pine Crest, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Miami Swimming, Boca Raton Swim Team and AquaKids Sharks.
Azura returns as defending champion in the boys and combined. Pine Crest is defending girls champion.
There are also teams from New York, Ecuador, Jamaica and Bahamas entered. Several swimmers are not competing, choosing instead to focus and train for next month’s junior nationals.
IF YOU GO
What: 26th annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Championships
Schedule: Thursday, 5 p.m.; Friday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Saturday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals.
Where: Plantation Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second St., Plantation.
Admission: $5 adults, $3 children. Heat sheets available for free online at http://www.swimpst.com and on meet mobile. Special session passes are also available. For information call 954-452-2525.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for results and questions.