SOFLO’s Golding, Atkinson, Women’s Relay Win At Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone Sectionals; SOFLO Women Move Into Fifth

By Sharon Robb

ORLANDO, July 7, 2017—After a slow start and a few disqualifications on opening day, South Florida Aquatic Club bounced back quickly Friday at the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships at the YMCA of Central Florida Aquatic Center.

Kathleen Golding, Alia Atkinson and women’s 800-meter freestyle relay came up big for SOFLO against a strong field.

Golding, 16, a 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, won the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 4:50.65, shaving 3.03 off her previous best of 4:53.68. Golding was the top seed after morning prelims in 4:58.47.

Golding was also ninth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:12.96, another best time dropping 0.25 off her previous best of 1:13.21. She was 14th in the 50-meter backstroke in a best time 31.52, dropping 0.79.

Golding has 29 points in high point.

Atkinson, 28, preparing for the World Cup Series, won the 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter butterfly.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian, seeded first after prelims, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:07.61. Her best time is 1:05.93.

Atkinson also won the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 59.94, breaking 1 minute and bettering her previous best of 1:02.70. She first improved her time in prelims in 1:00.83, second fastest in the morning. Then she dropped time again at night and dropped 2.76 seconds knocking off top-seeded Isabella Paez, 21, of Metro Aquatics.

Atkinson has 40 points in high point.

Golding and Atkinson were also members of the winning 800-meter freestyle relay that won in 8:26.12 and finished ahead of Gator Swim Club, Scarlet Aquatics and Sarasota YMCA Sharks. Kelley Heron and Melissa Marinheiro were also members of the winning relay.

Heron was also eighth in the 50-meter backstroke in 31.25 after going 31.07 in prelims.

The women’s team success led to SOFLO’s fifth place in team standings with 137 points. SOFLO is sixth among combined teams with 264 and ninth in the men’s standings with 71.

In the boys’ competition, SOFLO’s Lance Lesage, 14, broke the 30-second barrier in the 50-meter backstroke in 29.51. His previous best was 30.25, dropping 0.74.

Kevin Porto, 17, broke 2 minutes in the 200-meter freestyle in 1:59.47, shaving 1.68 seconds off his previous best of 2:01.15. Juan Diaz nearly broke 2 minutes, swimming a best time 2:00.07 dropping 0.82 off his previous best.

Rafael Rodriguez, 15, was eighth in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:41.31. He swam a best time of 4:40.34 in prelims, shaving 4.33 seconds off his previous best of 4:44.67.

Marc Rojas, 23, finished ninth in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:06.02 in his last tuneup meet before his FINA World Championships debut in Hungary representing the Dominican Republic.

CJ Kopecki, 17, broke 1 minute in the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 59.04, shaving 1.04 seconds off his previous best of 1:00.08.
SOFLO has 23 swimmers (14 men and 9 women) competing in 127 individual events and 24 relay teams in 12 relay events against several stacked teams with college and international swimmers.

In addition to SOFLO, other top teams entered are Gator Swim Club, Sarasota YMCA, Gulliver Swim Club, Club Seminole and Trinity Prep.
The Speedo Sectionals Series display some of the top swimming talent across the U.S. The series has several stops.


COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Scarlet Aquatics 548.5, 2. Gator Swim Club 509, 3. Metro Aquatics 292, 4. Club Seminole 290, 5. Bolles 284, 6. South Florida Aquatic Club 264.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Scarlet Aquatics 294, 2. Gator Swim Club 226, 3. Metro Aquatics 223, 4. Bolles 143, 5. Club Seminole 124, 9. SOFLO 71.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Gator Swim Club 249, 2. Scarlet Aquatics 164.5, 3. Swim Florida 154.5, 4. Bolles 141, 5. SOFLO 137.


200-meter freestyle: 1. Olivia McMurray, SWIM 2:03.05 and Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 2:03.05, 3. Andreina Pinto, Metro Aquatics 2:03.99; SOFLO: 28. Melissa Marinheiro 2:09.73.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:07.61, 2. Natalie Pierce, Club Seminole 1:10.61, 3. Taylor Grabenhorst, Bolles 1:12.86; SOFLO: 9. Kathleen Golding 1:12.96, time drop, 22. Molly Golding 1:16.81, time drop, 28. Jessica Rodriguez 1:17.72, 39. Jennifer Rodriguez 1:18.96.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Caitlin Brooks, Gator Swim Club 29.27, 2. Skye Carey, FIU 30.03, 3. Fabiana Ingram, Lake Lytal Lightning 30.27; SOFLO: 8. Kelley Heron 31.25; SOFLO: 23. Kayla Cunningham 32.16, 69. Isabella Di Salvo 34.73.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 59.94, 2. Isabella Paez, Metro Aquatics 1:00.47, 3. Talia Bates 1:01.21, 24. Maria Lopez, FIU 1:05.89.; SOFLO: 56. Kelley Heron 1:06.97;

400-meter individual medley: 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:50.65, time drop, 2. Junseo Kim, SCAR 4:54.56, 3. Carley Lowe, Highlander 4:56.38.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. SOFLO A (Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, Melissa Marinheiro, Alia Atkinson) 8:26.12, 2. Gator Swim Club 8:30.29, 3. Scarlet Aquatics 8:32.89, 21. SOFLO B 9:13.85 (Molly Golding, Jennifer Rodriguez, Kayla Cunningham, Isabella Di Salvo).

200-meter freestyle: 1. Jan Switkowski, Gator Swim Club 1:49.16, 2. Khader Baqlah, Gator Swim Club 1:49.54, 3. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 1:51.97; SOFLO: 44. Kevin Porto 1:59.47, time drop, 51. Ricardo Roche 2:00.01, 52. Juan Diaz 2:00.07, time drop, 53. Rafael Rodriguez 2:00.08, 57. Max Asnis 2:00.19, 69. Heath Brames 2:01.22, 81. CJ Kopecki 2:02.19, 91. Juan Serna 2:02.89.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Grant Sanders, Unattached 1:02.68, 2. Jared Pike, Unattached 1:03.05, 3. Juan Sequera, Club Seminole 1:03.09; SOFLO: 9. Marc Rojas 1:06.02; SOFLO: 29. Samuel Quintero 1:09.49, time drop, 74. Luis Villanueva 1:13.79.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Corey Main, Gator Swim Club 26.15, 2. Dakota Mahaffey, Bolles 26.76, 3. Bayley Main, Gator Swim Club 26.87; SOFLO: 16. Kevin Porto 29.16, 25. Lance Lesage 29.51, time drop.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Jan Switkowski, Gator Swim Club 53.51, 2. Grant Sanders, Unattached 54.52, 3. Sterling Crane, EAJ 55.57; SOFLO: 31. Max Asnis 58.55, time drop, 41. CJ Kopecki 59.04, time drop, 55. Juan Serna 59.82, 63. Luis Villanueva 1:00.08, 72. Juan Diaz 1:00.53, time drop.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Jonathan Gomez, SCAR 4:25.25, 2. Johannes Calloni, SCAR 4:27.83, 3. Jackson Karofsky, SCAR 4:28.66; SOFLO: 8. Rafael Rodriguez 4:42.31, time drop, 13. Ricardo Roche 4:42.68, 16. CJ Kopecki 4:50.34, 21. Luis Villanueva 4:47.12, 26. Samuel Quintero 4:47.60, best time.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Gator Swim Club 7:39.03, 2. Scarlet Aquatics 7:44.77, 3. Gator Swim Club 7:45.85, 13. SOFLO A (Juan Diaz, Ricardo Roche, Kevin Porto, Rafael Rodriguez) 8:02.64, 14. SOFLO B (Heath Brames, Max Asnis, CJ Kopecki, Juan Serna) 8:03.31.

What: Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional LCM Championship
When: Saturday-Sunday
Schedule: Saturday-Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. prelims, 4 p.m. finals.
Where: YMCA of Central Florida Aquatic Center, 8422 International Drive, Orlando.
Of note: Admission is $5 per session, heat sheets are $3 per session and there is an all-sessions pass available. There is a sectional event page on the Florida Swimming website ( Florida Gold Coast and Florida Swimming athletes head the field. Out-of-section and international swimmers are also in the field. YMCA Central Florida is hosting the meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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