SOFLO Captures Ninth Florida Gold Coast Short Course 14&Under Junior Olympics Title

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, March 18, 2018—South Florida Aquatic Club found a way to win—again.

The early leaders of the Florida Gold Coast 14&Under Short Course Junior Olympics clinched the combined team title on the third and final day at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

With less swimmers and superstars than years’ past, SOFLO won with 846 points finishing ahead of Flood Aquatics with 717.50 and Pine Crest Swimming with 708.50.

It was a record eighth consecutive and ninth overall in the club’s 18-year history.

“It’s definitely getting harder each year to win,” said SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson. “With the group that we have I can’t stress enough how our coaches maximized their strengths. Our experienced coaches took the strength of club and exploited the rest of the Gold Coast with it.”

Every point mattered for SOFLO. In past years, depth was always the key but this year’s meet was a little different.

“Our strengths was really taking advantage of athletes we have in the water,” Anderson said. “We found a way to basically win in four different ways–depth, the middle distance quality, depth of relays and specifying different strokes.

“Our girls were swimming out of their minds in individual races. They may not have been able to swim six races but they could do three very strong ones and that’s what we had to do.

“We’re not as strong as we used to be, but we had a good handle on it. We looked at where they were at in September, adjusted in December, coached them better and they were ready to go.

“We are going to continue to find ways to win the big championships,” Anderson said. “It is a culture of winning. The coaches feel it and know it as well.”

Last weekend SOFLO won its first Southern Zone South Sectional Championships with depth and fed off that momentum at JOs. Thirty-two of the sectional swimmers all scored and competed on multiple JO teams.

“Winning sectionals was something we had never done in the past and we did it with depth,” Anderson said.

“This week if you looked at us on paper there was no way we would be in the top two,” Anderson said. “We were suppose to get third place. After the first day of the meet we found a way to win. Our younger swimmers, the 10-and-unders, did a great job. It worked out well.”

SOFLO swimmers that competed in their final JO short course appearance before aging up all played a vital role in the team victory. They were Sarah Acevedo, Brennan Binder, Juan Colmenares, Kayla Cunningham, Mark Andre De Gracia, Molly Golding, Yannai Michael, Jena Legaspi, Anthony Robaina, Javier Roman, Mallory Schleicher and Christian Vasquez.

SOFLO’s 11-12 boys scored 254 points; 13-14 girls 178 points; 13-14 boys 138 points; 11-12 girls scored 114; 10-and-under girls scored 83; and 10-and-under boys score 79. The majority of SOFLO swimmers had at least one best time.

Among SOFLO’s top three finishers were:

Giada Porven, second, 200-yard individual medley, 2:35.70, time drop.

Jonathan Lozano, second, 200-yard individual medley, 2:31.52, time drop.

Mallory Schleicher, third, 1,650-yard freestyle, 17:33.42.

Valerie Vank, third, 50-yard breaststroke, 31.77.

Alejandro Mateus, third, 200-yard individual medley, 2:12.92, time drop; third, 1,650-yard freestyle, 18:26.33, time drop.

Lucas Porven, third, 200-yard butterfly, 2:16.91, time drop.

SOFLO’s A 200-yard freestyle relay was third in 1:45.30 with Diego Nazario-Vazquez, Christian Tijero, Aldo Zepeda and Alejandro Mateus.

“The most satisfying win is always the first,” Anderson said. “As far as upping the quality and reputation of being a very competitive team, this is definitely one of the most satisfying ones. Coaching up the kids and watching the kids and coaches perform at the championship level was very satisfying.”

More than 600 swimmers and 36 teams competed. The top six finishers in each JO event qualify for the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team.

Among FGC teams were Pine Crest, Azura, East Coast, Metro Aquatics, North Palm Beach, Miami Swimming, Wahoos of Wellington, Gulliver and AquaKids Sharks.


1. South Florida Aquatic Club 846, 2. Flood Aquatics 717.50, 3. Pine Crest Swimming 708.50, 4. St. Andrew’s 650.50, 5. Jupiter 544, 6. East Coast Aquatic 426, 7. Swim Fort Lauderdale 388, 8. Metro Aquatics 339, 9. Gulliver 334, 10. Hialeah Storm 278.


10-and-under, 1. Tania Mantilla, YMCA of South Florida 69; SOFLO: 10. tie, Giada Porven 26 and Mariana Pinto, 26, 31. Sarah Vasquez 3.

11-12, 1. Aspen Gersper, SAS 77; SOFLO: 12. Valerie Vank 31, 20. Alexis Christensen 14, 28. Luna Delgado 6, 35. Kerry Cunningham 5.

13-14, 1. Anna Auld, East Coast Aquatic 70; SOFLO: 10. Molly Golding 34, 11. Kayla Cunningham 33, 13. Mallory Schleicher 29.50, 30. Victoria Torres 7.50, 32. Sarah Acevedo 5.


10-and-under, 1. George Gonzalez, Metro Aquatics 77; SOFLO: 2. Jonathan Lozano, 61.

11-12, 1. Steven Curtis, Jupiter Dragons 75; SOFLO: 7. Alejandro Mateus 55, 12. Christian Tijero 32, 13. Alessandro Pereira 31, 14. Lucas Porven 22, 19. Aldo Zepeda 16, 29. Javier Colmenares 7, 41. Diego Nazario-Vazquez 1.

13-14, 1. Joshua Zuchowski, FAST 77; SOFLO: 13. Javier Roman, 30, 16. Juan Colmenares 23, 25. Yannai Michael 11, 29. Brennan Binder 7, 33. Moises Rodriguez 5, 36. Enrique Rodriguez 4


200-yard individual medley:
10-and-under, 1. Giola Balzano, EA 2:33.04; SOFLO: 2. Giada Porven 2:35.70, time drop, 8. Sarah Vasquez 2:43.54, time drop, 11. Fiorella DiSalvo 2:45.56; 11-12, 1. Erika Pelaez, EA 2:10.84; 13-14, 1. Emily Trieschmann,SAS 2:05.86; SOFLO: 9. Molly Golding 2:11.96, time drop.

50-yard backstroke
10-and-under, 1. Mia Guerrero, Azura 32.59; SOFLO: 9. Mariana Pinto 34.40, time drop, 16. Abigail-Marie Natino 35.61, time drop; 11-12, 1. Aspen Gersper, SAS 26.44; 13-14, 1. Megan Murphy, ECAC 25.57; SOFLO: 8. Kayla Cunningham 28.04, time drop.

50-yard breaststroke:
10-and-under, 1. Elyse Wood, GRSC 37.27; SOFLO: 11. Mariana Pinto 40.14, time drop; 11-12, 1. Sara Lin, PC 31.20; SOFLO: 3. Valerie Vank 31.77; 13-14, 1. Heidi Smithwick, JDST 29.25; SOFLO: 4. Victoria Torres 30.79, time drop, 8. Molly Golding 31.03, time drop.

200-yard butterfly:
11-12, 1. Casey Perez, BMHG 2:15.13; SOFLO: 5. Luna Delgado 2:24.18, time drop; 13-14, 1. Anelis Roque, MAC 2:05.81; SOFLO: 7. Sarah Acevedo 2:10.99, time drop, 8. Kayla Cunningham 2:11.92.

100-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Tania Mantilla, YSF 1:00.42; SOFLO: 5. Mariana Pinto 1:04.12, time drop, 14. Giada Porven 1:06.38, time drop, , 17. Fiorella Di Salvo 1:07.05; 11-12, 1. Aspen Gersper, SAS 52.40; 13-14, 1. Megan Murphy, ECAC 51.61.

200-yard freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. St. Andrew’s 1:40.90, 5. SOFLO A 1:50.09 (Hartley Pitters-Hinds, Anastasia Lutz, Alexis Christensen, Valerie Vank), 11. SOFLO B 1:53.38 (Kaitlyn Barrios, Luna Delgado, Natalia Sibug, Reagan Lowe).

400-yard freestyle relay:
13-14, 1. East Coast 3:35.57, 5. SOFLO A 3:44.50 (Kayla Cunningham, Mallory Schleicher, Sarah Acevedo, Molly Golding), 21. SOFLO B 3:56.17 (Emma Twombly, Sabrina Osorio, Jena Legaspi, Victoria Torres).

1,650-yard freestyle:
11-12, 1. Mariana Cote, Azura 18:22.01; 13-14, 1. Anna Auld, ECAC 16:34.66; SOFLO: 3. Mallory Schleicher 17:33.42, 13. Sarah Acevedo 18:36.69.


200-yard individual medley:
10-and-under, 1. George Gonzalez, MAC 2:24.39; SOFLO: 2. Jonathan Lozano 2:31.52, time drop, 14. Derek Hau 2:54.67; 11-12, 1. Steven Curtis, JDST 2:11.73; SOFLO: 3. Alejandro Mateus 2:12.92, time drop, 5. Christian Tijero 2:15.40, time drop, 8. Lucas Porven 2:20.75, time drop, 9. Javier Colmenares 2:22.04, time drop; 13-14, 1. Joshua Zuchowski, FAST 1:53.92; SOFLO: 8. Juan Colmenares 2:03.09, time drop, 9. Javier Roman 2:03.30, time drop, 10. Yannai Michael 2:05.73, time drop.

50-yard backstroke:
10-and-under, 1. Anthony Pineiro, MAC 33.42; SOFLO: 4. Jonathan Lozano 34.10, time drop; 11-12, 1. Noah Smith, FAST 26.80; SOFLO: 6. Aldo Zepeda 30.19, time drop; 13-14, 1. Joshua Zuchowski, FAST 23.61.

50-yard breaststroke:
10-and-under, 1. George Gonzalez, MAC 33.14; SOFLO: 15. Derek Hau 41.67; 11-12, 1. Steven Curtis, JDST 30.38; 13-14, 1. Joshua Hanks, PC 26.84; SOFLO: 6. Javier Roman 28.54, time drop.

200-yard butterfly:
11-12, 1. Kaii Winkler, Unattached 2:09.86; SOFLO: 3. Lucas Porven 2:16.91, time drop, 4. Alessandro Pereira 2:18.32, time drop; 13-14, 1. Joshua Zuchowski, FAST 1:53.82; SOFLO: 5. Brennan Binder 2:03.91, time drop, 8. Juan Colmenares 2:05.94, time drop.

100-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Antoine Sharp, LLL 1:02.52; SOFLO: 4. Jonathan Lozano 1:03.48, time drop; 11-12, 1. Steven Curtis, JDST 52.51; SOFLO: 10. Diego Nazario-Vazquez 58.08; 13-14, 1. Varis Monroe, NPB 47.12.

200-yard freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. Flood Aquatics 1:43.18, 3. SOFLO A 1:45.30 (Diego Nazario-Vazquez, Christian Tijero, Aldo Zepeda, Alejandro Mateus), 10. SOFLO B 1:51.99 (Alessandro Pereira, Javier Colmenares, Kevin Moya, Lucas Porven).

400-yard freestyle relay:
13-14, 1. Hialeah 3:21.44, 4. SOFLO A 3:27.44, 11. SOFLO B 3:38.02.

1,650-yard freestyle:
11-12, 1. John Trieu, FAST 18:06.03; SOFLO: 3. Alejandro Mateus, 18:26.33, time drop; 13-14, 1. Dominic Bono, AKS 16:41.54.

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s