SOFLO’s Rafael Rodriguez Top Finisher, SOFLO Leads Combined Team Standings On Day One Of Speedo Champion Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, March 8, 2018–Rafael Rodriguez was South Florida Aquatic Club’s top finisher at the Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships Thursday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Rodriguez, 16, was fourth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:34.12. He has 26 points for high point after the opening day of competition.

Nicolas Rossi, 14, was 11th in the 800 in a best time 8:56.73, shaving 9.12 seconds off his previous best. He has 16 points.

Leonardo Mateus, 16, was 12th in the 800 in 8:56.8715 points. Ricardo Roche, 18, was 16th in 9:06.36

2012 Hungarian Olympian Gergely Gyurta, 26, swimming unattached, won the 800 in 8:02.97, an 11-second margin of victory. Abigail Kilgallon of Scarlet Aquatics and University of Minnesota-bound won the 1500 freestyle in 17:30.06.

SOFLO men’s 200-meter freestyle relay team was third in 1:39.75 with Heath Brames, Juan Serna, Rafael Rodriguez and Luke Lezotte. The relay dropped 2.97 off its seed time. Azura won in 1:34.74.

SOFLO was fifth in the women’s 200-meter medley relay in 2:03.60 with Kelley Heron, Jennifer Rodriguez, Kathleen Golding and Paige Lane. Gator Swim Club won in 2:00.89. Gator Swim Club won in 2:00.89.

SOFLO men’s team was also fifth in the 200-meter medley relay in 1:52.51 with Lance Lesage, Juan Pablo Pineda, Rafael Rodriguez and Heath Brames. Azura won in 1:46.66. Azura won in 1:46.66.

SOFLO was sixth in the women’s 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:52.80 with Kathleen Golding, Katrina Del Vecchio, Kelley Heron and Paige Lane. East Coast Aquatic Club won in 1:49.10.

SOFLO was seventh in the mixed 200-meter medley relay in 1:57.15 with Kelley Heron, Juan Pablo Pineda, CJ Kopecki and Kathleen Golding. Gator Swim Club won in 1:53.11.

SOFLO was also seventh in the mixed 200-meter freestyle relay in 1:46.59 with Juan Serna, Maya Coffey, Paige Lane and Luke Lezotte. Gator Swim Club won in 1:40.90.

South Florida Aquatic Club leads the combined team standings with 534 points ahead of Azura with 510 and East Coast Aquatic Club with 381. The men’s team is second with 240 behind Azura with 258 and the women’s team is third with 152 behind East Coast Aquatic Club with 187 and Bolles with 184.

The four-day meet continues on Friday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.

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.


What: Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championship
When: Friday-Sunday

Schedule: 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