SOFLO’s Rafael Rodriguez Wins Crippen Sunset Mile At Open Water Festival

By Sharon Robb

FORT MYERS, April 16, 2018—Rafael Rodriguez of South Florida Aquatic Club won the Crippen Sunset Mile during the Open Water Festival this past weekend at Miromar Lakes Beach & Golf Club.

Rodriguez, 16, representing the Florida Gold Coast Open Water All-Stars, won the men’s and age group titles and was second overall in 16:06. Rodriguez was also second in his age group in the 5K open water swim in 59:21 and Leonardo Mateus was fourth in 1:02.

SOFLO teammate Leonardo Mateus was third in his age group in the Crippen Sunset Mile in 16:11.

Bailey Sampson of Central Florida Marlins won the overall and women’s title in 15:15. SOFLO’s Mallory Schleicher was fifth in 17:39 and was sixth in the 5K open water race in 28:47.

SOFLO’s Fiorella DiSalvo was fourth in the 1K open water swim in 10:04.

The Sunset Mile Swim is named after Fran Crippen, a top American long distance swimmer and U.S. national team member, who transitioned from pool swimming to open water in 2006. He died in 2010 at age 26 during a FINA 10K World Cup race in the United Arab Emirates.

Swimmers from Florida, Maryland and Texas competed in the Open Water Festival. The two-day event was hosted by Gulf Coast Swim Team and featured several top open water elite and age group swimmers.

RESULTS (Times Unofficial)

GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida Swimming 138, 2. Maryland Swimming 78, 3. Florida Gold Coast 71, 4. Gulf Swimming 37, 5. South Texas Open Water 15.


1. Bailey Sampson, Central Florida 15:15; SOFLO: 5. Mallory Schleicher 17:39, 44. Emma Twombly 20:46, 62. Fiorella DiSalvo 26:50

1. Haley Anderson, Trojan Swim Club 2:02:21, 2. Rebecca Mann, Trojan Swim Club 2:02:48, 3. Kathryn Campbell, TSM 2:03:01.

Open, 1. Erica Sullivan, Sandpipers 26:35; 15-16, 1. Shannon Campbell, Florida Swimming 29:30.70; 13-14, 1. Kelsey Swartout, Florida Swimming 28:24.10; SOFLO: 6. Mallory Schleicher 28:47.20, 35. Emma Twombly 33:18.

11-12, 1. Emma Guglielmello, Gulf Coast 31:00.

10-and-under, 1. Brooke Billitto, Florida Swimming 9:33.50; SOFLO: 4. Fiorella Di Salvo 10:04.10.

3×333-meter freestyle relay:
10-and-under, 1. Maryland Swimming 11:09.90.

3×333-meter freestyle team pursuit
14-and-under, 1. Florida Swimming 16.51, 2. Maryland Swimming B 17.21, 3. Florida Gold Coast A 17.42 (Emily Trieschmann, Mallory Schleicher, Rylie Barnhardt, Reese Andres), 4. Maryland Swimming B 18.05, 5. Florida Gold Coast B 18.18 (Paige Munna, Sarah Acevedo, Maris Proscia, Emma Twombly).

3×333-meter freestyle team pursuit
1. Florida Swimming 32.58, 4. Florida Gold Coast A 36.50, 6. Florida Gold Coast B 39.25.

1. Caroline Benda, Maryland Swimming 16:43; SOFLO: 16. Mallory Schleicher 17:01, 46. Emma Twombly 19:00


BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida Swimming 150, 2. Florida Gold Coast 66, 3. Maryland Swimming 55, 4. Gulf Swimming 54, 5. South Texas Open Water 52.


1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 16:06; SOFLO: 3. Leonardo Mateus 16:11, 24. Enrique Rodriguez 18:32, 69. Alejandro Mateus 23:37, 71. Gavin Sheyda 23:37.7.

1. Taylor Abott, Tennessee 1:55:02, 2. Brennan Gravley, Sandpipers 1:55:04, 3. David Heron, Tennessee 1:56:19.

Open, 1. Cale Russell, Florida Swimming 1:01:01; 15-16, 1. Ryan Staunch, Florida Swimming 59:18.80; SOFLO: 2. Rafael Rodriguez 59:21.60, 4. Leonardo Mateus 1:02:15; 13-14, 1. Spencer Howery, Florida Swimming 1:00.36; SOFLO: 12. Enrique Rodriguez 1:07.40.

11-12, 1. Dean Jones, Gulf Coast 29:36; SOFLO: 6. Alejandro Mateus 32:08.

1. Cale Russell, Florida Swimming 31:21; SOFLO: 11. Rafael Rodriguez 32:27, 20. Leonardo Mateus 32:59.

1. Spencer Howery, Florida Swimming 16:12; SOFLO: 10. Enrique Rodriguez 16:46, 23. Alejandro Mateus 17:34, 84. Gavin Sheyda 20:42.

10-and-under, 1. Parker Seluk, Florida Swimming 8:43.

1,000-meter freestyle relay:
10-and-under, 1. Florida Swimming 9:27.50, 2. Maryland Swimming 9:48.30, 3. Florida Gold Coast 10:39.30 (no names listed).

3×333-meter freestyle team pursuit
14-and-under, 1. Florida Swimming 16.22, 4. Florida Gold Coast 17.39, 8. Florida Gold Coast 20.42 (Chipper Edwards, Enrique Rodriguez, Alejandro Mateus, Gavin Sheyda).

3×333-meter freestyle team pursuit relay
1. Florida Swimming 32.08, 4. Florida Gold Coast 33.16 (Leonardo Mateus, Christian Perez, Rafael Rodriguez), 8. Florida Gold Coast B 41.19.

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.

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