Pereira Leads SOFLO On Opening Night Of GCST Winter Invitational

By Sharon Robb

January 13, 2017—Alessandro Pereira of South Florida Aquatic Club was top finisher on opening night of the GCST Winter Invitational Friday at Florida Gulf Coast University Aquatics Center in Fort Myers.

Pereira, 10, won the 200-yard individual medley in an exciting race. Pereira turned in a best time 2:28.32, just ahead of runner-up Nicholas Cavic, 10, of the Sarasota YMCA Sharks in 2:28.91.

Pereira was also runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:44.24, also a best time.

SOFLO’s top girls’ finisher was Leah Pando in the 200-yard individual medley. Pando, 10, finished fourth in 2:44.80. She was also seventh in the 500-yard freestyle in 6:24.97, a best time.

Sarah Acevedo, 13, was fifth in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 5:31.06. Emma Twombly, 12, was eighth in the distance event in 5:52.05.

Giada Porven, 8, was seventh in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:58.85 and Mia Escudero, 12, was eighth in a best time 5:21.83.

SOFLO is fourth overall with 31 points. Sarasota YMCA Sharks, with its full team, lead with 279 points. Swim Florida is second with 151. SOFLO is the only Florida Gold Coast swim team competing.

Gulf Coast Swim Team is hosting eleven clubs and 609 swimmers, including 16 from SOFLO, during the three-day meet. The meet, which continues on Saturday, is SOFLO’s first road trip of the New Year.


TEAM RESULTS: 1. Sarasota YMCA Sharks 279, 2. Swim Florida 151, 3. Gulf Coast 58, 4. SOFLO 31, 5. Carrollwood Village 20, 6. Greater Tampa 16, 7. Charlotte County 15, 8. Swim Florida Unattached 9, 9. YMCA Sea Dragons 3, 10. Blue Wave, 0, 11. Tornadoes Swim Club 0.


500-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Addison Sauickie, Sarasota YMCA 5:48.16; SOFLO: 7. Leah Pando 6:24.97, best time; 11-12, 1. Michaela Mattes, Sarasota YMCA 5:12.03; SOFLO: 8. Emma Twombly 5:52.05; 13-14, 1. Rachel Moran, Swim Florida 5:24.68; SOFLO: 5. Sarah Acevedo 5:31.06, best time; 15-and-over, 1. Phoebe Langius, Swim Florida 5:18.11.

200-yard individual medley:

10-and-under, 1. Jessica Beede, Greater Tampa 2:34.26; SOFLO: 4. Leah Pando 2:44.80, 7. Giada Porven 2:58.85.

400-yard individual medley:

11-12, 1. Sumner Chmielewski, Sarasota YMCA 4:45.52; SOFLO: 8. Mia Escudero 5:21.83, best time; 13-14, 1. Mikayla Puckett, Gulf Coast 4:42.38; 15-and-over, 1. Shae Clifton, Swim Florida 4:40.23.


500-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Nicholas Cavic, Sarasota YMCA 5:40.46; SOFLO: 2. Alessandro Pereira 5:44.24, best time; 11-12, 1. Liam Custer, Sarasota YMCA 5:19.96; SOFLO: 11. Lucas Porven 6:21.42; 13-14, 1. Ryan Staunch, Swim Florida 4:44.05; SOFLO: 19. Christian Vasquez 5:58.36, best time; 15-and-over, 1. Santi Corredor, Swim Florida 4:36.70.

200-yard individual medley:

10-and-under, 1. Alessandro Pereira, SOFLO 2:28.32, best time.

400-yard individual medley:

11-12, 1. John Kirby, Sarasota YMCA 4:58.86; 13-14, 1. Ian Brann, Sarasota YMCA 4:28.87; 15-and-over, 1. Santi Corredor, Swim Florida 4:08.47.


What: GCST Winter Invitational

When: Saturday-Sunday

Schedule: Saturday and Sunday morning session 8:30 a.m. (13-14 and senior); Saturday and Sunday distance sessions begin 15 minutes following the end of the morning sessions. Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions will begin approximately 30 minutes after the distance session ends.

Where: Lee County/Florida Gulf Coast University Aquatics Center, 10501 FGCU Blvd. S., Fort Myers.

Sharon Robb can be reached at