By Sharon Robb
February 23, 2017—Victoria Torres is a quick study.
The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer only started competitive swimming two years ago and has already made remarkable progress in Coach Luis Soler’s Asteroids Group.
Torres, 12, a seventh grader at Pembroke Pines Charter, switched from martial arts including Ju Jitsu and Muy Thai to swimming in 2015 and has yet to regret her decision.
“I was getting really tired of martial arts and decided I wanted to transfer to a new sport,” Torres said. “My cousin Anna in Colorado is a really good swimmer on a travel team so I decided to follow in her footsteps and give swimming a try.”
Torres’ progress in the pool has been remarkable. She attributes her athleticism and fitness level from martial arts to helping her pick up swimming quickly.
“I think martial arts helped me a lot with my endurance and ability to do things longer because it’s really hard,” Torres said.
“I am a quick learner,” she said. “I love being in the water. I like swimming and I love getting tired after a workout. I hate it and I love it at the same time. You can’t really get injured unless you do your stroke wrong.”
Her time improvements keep her motivated, she said. They have been impressive drops.
At the Jan. 27-29 TYR SOFLO Open, Torres had five best times. Torres dropped 1.57 in the 50-yard breaststroke in 34.91; 0.51 in the 50-yard freestyle in 30.43; 3.20 in the 50-yard backstroke in 37.35; 0.83 in the 50-yard butterfly in 38.15; and 1.86 in the 100-yard individual medley in 1:16.81.
At the Feb. 11-12 Pine Crest Panther Invite earlier this month, she had a huge 5.74 time drop in the 200-yard freestyle for a best time 2:29.82. She also dropped 4.44 in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:17.77 to finish third and 0.68 in the 50-yard freestyle in 29.75, just shy of her JO cut.
“Dropping times motivates me,” Torres said. “I don’t know why I perform really well. I think when I am with my friends they encourage me to do well and I relax.”
Torres started in SOFLO’s Dippers and is working her way up the ladder. Her goal is to get to Bronze Group before she turns 13 in October.
She would also like to get a few more Junior Olympic qualifying times. She has her JO cuts in the 50- and 100-yard breaststroke events. She is knocking on the door in the 50-yard freestyle.
“I want to try to get more JO times,” said Torres, who competes next in the March 3-5 Area 3 Championships with her SOFLO teammates in her home pool at Academic Village. The meet is a short course developmental championship meet.
“I would like to improve my strokes, too,” she said. “I want to stay with swimming for a long time.”
Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack.
SOFLO sponsor TYR is a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org