Defending Champion SOFLO Heads Field For FGC Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, March 14, 2018—Defending champion South Florida Aquatic Club is ready to add another title to its impressive list of accomplishments at this weekend’s Florida Gold Coast 14&Under Junior Olympic Short Course Championships.

With a talented contingent of swimmers, SOFLO will attempt to win a record eighth consecutive and ninth overall combined short course team title in the club’s 18-year history.

Last year SOFLO, which led after every evening session, won the combined team title with 935 points at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO qualified 54 swimmers (27 girls and 27 boys) in 277 individual events for JOs. SOFLO also has entered 38 relays.

Among SOFLO top-seeded swimmers are:

Kayla Cunningham, 14, 200-yard backstroke, 2:03.70. It is one of seven events she is qualified in.

Valerie Vank, 12, 200-yard breaststroke, 2:30.52. It is one of seven events she is qualified in.

Alejandro Mateus, 12, 400-yard individual medley, 4:48.16. It is one of seven events she is qualified in.

SOFLO swimmers making their final JO short course appearance before aging up and hoping to make a lasting impression are: Sarah Acevedo, Brennan Binder, Juan Colmenares, Kayla Cunningham, Mark Andre De Gracia, Molly Golding, Yannai Michael, Jena Legaspi, Sara Quintero, Anthony Robaina, Javier Roman, Mallory Schleicher and Christian Vasquez.

More than 600 swimmers and 43 teams are entered. The top six finishers in each JO event qualify for the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team. Among FGC teams competing at Pine Crest, Azura, East Coast, Metro Aquatics, North Palm Beach, Miami Swimming, Wahoos of Wellington, Gulliver and AquaKids Sharks.


What: Florida Gold Coast 14&Under Junior Olympics Short Course Championships.

When: Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m., prelims; 5 p.m. finals.

Where: Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions 12441 Royal Palm Blvd., Coral Springs.

Of Note: Admission is $5 for prelims and $3 for finals. Heat sheets will not be sold at the gate. Heat sheets are free and can be located at Meet organizers will run two pools with the boys in the East pool and girls in the West pool. Ten lanes will be used for both pools. For questions call 954-340-5032.

Sharon Robb can be reached at