By Sharon Robb
PLANTATION, March 11, 2018—South Florida Aquatic Club captured its first-ever combined team title at the Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships Sunday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.
After leading the first two days and trailing going into the fourth and final day, SOFLO swimmers rallied to win with 1,642 points to overtake third day leader Azura Florida Aquatic, that finished runner-up with 1,591. Gator Swim Club was third with 1,588.
SOFLO’s margin of victory was 51 points. The meet featured 60 teams and more than 600 swimmers.
SOFLO women finished second with 715 behind East Coast Aquatic Club with 962. SOFLO men were third with 785 begind Azura with 1,170 and Gator Swim Club with 942.
It was one of the most impressive fields assembled for the four-day meet and featured Olympic and national champions including 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte of Gator Swim Club making SOFLO’s win even more special.
“It takes a team” was SOFLO’s mantra throughout the meet. SOFLO depended on its talented relays and individual swimmers throughout the meet to add another page to the team’s successful history.
Kathleen Golding, 17, won the 100-meter freestyle in 56.94, just off her best time of 56.20. Paige Lane was 18th in a best time 59.82, cracking 1 minute for the first time and dropping 0.26.
Golding was also fourth in the 200-meter breaststoke in 2:42.02. Her sister Molly, 14, was fifth in a best time 2:43.00, dropping 0.52.
Rafael Rodriguez, 16, was third in the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:35.43. Nicolas Rossi, 14, was eighth in a best time 16:59.87, breaking 17 minutes for the first time and dropping 3.26 seconds off his previous best.
Rodriguez was also fourth in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:07.28. Luis Villanueva, 18, was 15th in 2:18.15.
Kelley Heron, 18, was fifth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:23.90.
Ricardo Roche, 18, was fifth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:12.36. Lance Lesage, 15, was tenth in 2:16.06. Nicolas Munoz, 15, was 22nd in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:24.89, dropping 0.94 seconds.
Mallory Schleicher, 14, was eighth in the 800-meter freestyle in a best time 9:27.28, dropping 0.04 from her previous best.
Heath Brames, 18, was 21st in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.09 after going 55.84 in prelims
SOFLO women were seventh in the 400-meter freestyle relay in 4:05.41 with Paige Lane, Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron and Katrina Del Vecchio.
SOFLO men were also seventh int he 400-meter freestyle in 3:43.67 with Heath Brames, Kevin Porto, Juan Serna and Rafael Rodriguez.
COMBINED TEAM TOTALS
1. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,642, 2. Azura Florida Aquatic 1,591, 3. Gator Swim Club 1,588, 4. East Coast Aquatic Club 1,223, 5. Bolles 1,136.5, 6. Blue Dolfins 1,086, 7. Scarlet Aquatics 1,004, 8. Pine Crest Swimming 945, 9. Swim Florida 846, 10. North Palm Beach Swim Club 787.
WOMEN TEAM TOTALS
1. East Coast Aquatic Club 962, 2. South Florida Aquatic Club 715, 3. Bolles 700, 4. Blue Dolfins 651, 5. North Palm Beach Swim Club 616.
MEN TEAM TOTALS
1. Azura Florida Aquatic 1,170, 2. Gator Swim Club 942, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 785, 4. Race Aquatics Swim Club 468, 5. Bolles 436.5.
Sharon Robb can be contacted at email@example.com