By Sharon Robb
PLANTATION, March 7, 2018—South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented at the Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships that begin Thursday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.
Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, Paige Lane, Mallory Schleicher, Luke Lezotte, Heath Brames and CJ Kopecki head SOFLO’s contingent that will be tested by an impressive field that includes several post-grads and Olympians including Ryan Lochte of the Gator Swim Club.
Gator Swim Club, led by the 33-year-old Olympian, Andrea D’Arrigo, 22, Isabel Ivey, 17, Mason Wilby, 18, and Talia Bates, 17, heads the competitive field.
After opening his racing season at the Florida Area Championships last weekend in Jacksonville, Lochte has entered seven events in the Plantation meet: 200 freestyle, 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 200 individual medley, 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 400 freestyle.
Lochte will be joined by Corey Main, who also trains with the Gator Swim Club along with Florida State alums Jared Pike and SOFLO’s Marc Rojas and Bruno Fratus.
Rojas, 24, is entered in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke events. Rojas, who represents the Dominican Republic internationally, is seeded second in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:03.61. Heron is seeded second in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:05.33. Golding is seeded second in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:17.19 and third in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.24.
Other SOFLO swimmers competing are: Alana Acevedo, Michael Arias, Kyana Castro, Maya Coffey, Katrina Del Vecchio, Juan Diaz, Molly Golding, John Paul Handal, Jie Hoon Lee, Lance Lesage, Jacqueline Lugo, Leonardo Mateus, Nicolas Munoz, Juan Pablo Pineda, Kevin Porto, Sara Quintero, Ricardo Roche, Jennifer Rodriguez, Rafael Rodriguez, Nicolas Rossi, Juan Serna and Luis Villanueva.
SOFLO is seeded first in the women’s 200-meter medley relay and mixed 200-meter medley relay.
A field of more than 600 swimmers from 60 teams and 20 unattached teams will compete over four days in one of four designated USA Swimming zones. The others are Eastern, Central and Western Zone Sectionals. The meet attracts some of the top swimming talent from across the United States and internationally.
Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatic, AquaKids Sharks, East Coast Aquatic Club, Boca Raton Swim Team, Pine Crest Swimming, North Palm Beach, Martin County, Hurricane Swim Club, TS Aquatics, and host Plantation Swim Team.
Out-of-state teams include North Andover YMCA, Arizona Aquatic Club, City of Lafayette Aquatics, Elmwood Sharks, Falfins Swimming, Franco’s Fins, Peddie Aquatics and Oro Valley Swim Team.
IF YOU GO
What: Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships
Schedule: Thursday, timed finals 5 p.m.; Friday, Saturday and Sunday, prelims 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.
Where: Plantation Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street.
Of note: Admission is $5 and heat sheets are $3 per session. For more information call 954-452-2526.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com