By Sharon Robb

November 17, 2016—On a chilly night, Rafael Rodriguez of South Florida Aquatic Club won his only event at the 26th annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Championships at Thursday Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Rodriguez, 14, coming off a successful high school season at Pembroke Pines Charter, won the 13-14 1,650-yard freestyle in a best time 16:09.78. He dropped 6.11 seconds off his previous best of 16:15.89. He won by a wide margin of victory and totaled 11 points. Azura’s Cristian Tortola, 14, was second in 16:37.58.

It is the only event Rodriguez is entered in for the four-day meet since he is competing in Orlando in three weeks.

“That was a test as far as his distance race,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said. “It was the first time he swam and was under 1 minute for all his 100s. It was quite a feat. We are looking for him to go better than 16:05 when he goes to the Orlando meet in three weeks. He did pretty well. It was a nice swim for him.”

SOFLO teammate Yannai Michael, 12, also had an outstanding swim breaking 30 seconds for the first time in the 50-yard butterfly. Michael finished tenth in a best time 29.54, dropping 1.08 seconds off his previous best of 30.62. “It was a big deal for Yannai to break 30 seconds, that was a nice swim for him,” Anderson said.

Michael also finished fourth in the 50-yard breaststroke in 33.68, a another best time with a 0.22 drop. Michael is entered in six other events. Michael is one of 21 SOFLO swimmers competing in one or more races this weekend.

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 is defending champion in the boys and combined. Pine Crest is defending girls champion. After the first day, Azura leads combined (229.5) and men (161) and Pine Crest leads the women’s (109).

THURSDAY RESULTS

GIRLS

1,650-yard freestyle:

12-and-under, 1. Kiara Caamano, NPB 18:27.65; 13-14, 1. Anna Auld, ECAC 17:07.23; 15-16, 1. Sidney Starman, FFSC 17:47.53; 17-and-over, 1. Andrea Van Den Berg, Azura 17:38.84.

50-yard butterfly:

Open, 1. Carolina Colorado, Azura 25.49; 15-16, 1. Racine Ross, PC 25.67; 13-14, 1. Heidi Smithwick, Jupiter 26.41; 11-12, 1. Athena Kovacs, SFTL 26.85.

50-yard backstroke:

Open, 1. Carolina Colorado, Azura 26.46; 15-16, 1. Annabella Lyn, PC 27.74; 13-14, 1. Gabby Beltrano, Unattached 27.72; 11-12, 1. Athena Kovacs, SFTL 27.50; SOFLO: 25. Sofia Osorio 34.62, best time.

50-yard breaststroke:

Open, 1. Patricia Casellas, Azura 29.49; 15-16, 1. Savannah Yates, PC 30.03; 13-14, 1. Heidi Smithwick, Jupiter 31.61; 11-12, 1. Isabella Chambers, PST 32.45; SOFLO: 16. Sabrina Osorio 37.51, best time.

BOYS

1,650-yard freestyle:

12-and-under, 1. Christian Proscia, FAST 18:49.23; 13-14, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 16:09.78; 15-16, 1. Andres Lares, Azura 16:07.15; 17-and-over, 1. Bernardo Abascal, Azura 15:33.54.

50-yard butterfly:

Open, 1. Runar Borgen, PAQ 21.44; 15-16, 1. Tyler Zuyus, PB 22.45; 13-14, 1. Joshua Balbi, SAS 24.42; 11-12, 1. Matthew Tarafa, Hialeah 25.60; SOFLO: 10. Yannai Michael 29.54, best time.

50-yard backstroke:

Open, 1. Runar Borgen, PAQ 23.46; 15-16, 1. Tyler Zuyus, PB 24.39; SOFLO: 7. Luke Lezotte 25.96, best time; 13-14, 1. Joshua Balbi, SAS 25.47; 11-12, 1. Carter Hewitt, ECAC 29.43; SOFLO: 17. Nathaniel Garrick 33.79, best time.

50-yard breaststroke:

Open, 1. Marcos Lavado, Azura 26.71; 15-16, 1. Jorge Depassier, Azura 27.74; 13-14, 1. Cameron Brown, Azura 28.39; 11-12, 1. Aiden Kohanyi, Unattached 30.88; SOFLO: 4. Yannai Michael 33.68, best time.

IF YOU GO

What: 26th annual Florida Gold Coast Speedo Winter Championships

When: Friday-Sunday

Schedule: 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 sha11cats@aol.com for results and questions.

http://www.swim4soflo.com

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