By Sharon Robb
GAINESVILLE, July 2, 2018—The championship season begins Friday for South Florida Aquatic Club.
After months of training and competing in local meets, swimmers have a jam-packed schedule of top meets over the next seven weeks.
First up is the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships that begin Friday at the University of Florida’s O’Connell Center Pool in Gainesville.
After this week’s four-day meet there is the July 13-15 Area 3 Developmental Championships; July 19-22 FGC Junior Olympics; July 27-29 FGC Senior Championships; July 31-Aug. 4 Junior Nationals; July 31-Aug. 4 Southern Zones; and Aug. 2-5 Futures Championships.
Marc Rojas, 24, and Kathleen Golding, 17, lead SOFLO’s 17-swimmer contingent at sectionals. SOFLO will also field 19 relay teams for 12 relay events.
The remaining SOFLO squad is: Maya Coffey, 16; Jonathan Farah, 20; Molly Golding, 15; John Paul Handal, 15; Kelley Heron, 18; C.J. Kopecki, 18; Paige Lane, 15; Lance Lesage, 15; Melissa Marinheiro, 21; Leonardo Mateus, 16; Juan Pineda, 16; Ricardo Roche, 18; Rafael Rodriguez, 16; Juan Serna, 16; and Robert Wilson, 15.
In addition to SOFLO, among other teams entered are host Gator Swim Club, Bolles, Sarasota YMCA, Gulliver Swim Club, Club Seminole, Westminster Academy, Trinity Prep, Metro Aquatics, Swim Florida, Highlander and Hurricane Aquatics.
The field will be star-studded headed by Caeleb Dressel, Ryan Lochte, Kelly Fertel, Penny Oleksiak, Jared Pike, Hannah Burns and Morgan Tankersley.
In last year’s south sectional meet in Orlando, SOFLO was sixth in combined among a field of 60 teams; the women were sixth and men finished seventh.
The Speedo Sectionals Series display some of the top swimming talent across the U.S. The series has several stops in various zones.
IF YOU GO
What: Speedo Champions Series: Southern Zone South Sectional Championship
Schedule: Friday, 5 p.m., timed finals; Saturday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals; Sunday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5 p.m. finals; Monday, 9 a.m. prelims, 4 p.m. finals.
Where: University of Florida, O’Connell Center Pool, Gainesville.
Of note: Gator Swim Club is hosting the four-day meet. Admission is $5. For more information call 352-375-4683, ext. 4545.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org