Open Water Swimming Takes Center Stage Friday Through Sunday At Miami Marine Stadium; Schleicher, Bono Lead SOFLO Contingent

By Sharon Robb

May 2, 2019—South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented at the elite, age group and masters levels Friday through Sunday at the USA Swimming Nationals Open Water 10K/5K and Swim Miami 2019.

The USA Swimming National Championships Series begins Friday with the 10K. The women’s race is 8 a.m. and men’s race at 10:30 a.m. The top two men and top two women in the 10K races will advance to the 18th FINA World Championships in July in South Korea where they can qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a Top 10 finish. The 10K has been an Olympic event since 2008.

Heading the men’s 10K field are Olympian Jordan Wilimovsky and Brendan Casey. Ashley Twichell and Haley Anderson are the top women in the field.

SOFLO’s Mallory Schleicher and Dominic Bono will compete Saturday in the 5K Junior National Championships 16-and-under races. The boys race is 8 a.m. and girls race at 8:05 a.m.

The 5K national championships are Sunday. The men’s race is 7:30 a.m. and women’s race is 7:35 a.m.

The competitors at the Open Water National Championships will be racing on a course that’s similar to what they will face at Worlds and the Olympics. The water will be around 80 degrees and salty, and the course will be protected, meaning there will be fewer waves.

The course was chosen to mimic what qualifiers will face in the future because it’s important to choose swimmers who perform best under those conditions, according to USA Swimming Open Water Director Bryce Elser.

“I’m really excited they’re mimicking World Championships as closely as possible,” Anderson said. “I think it’s really important to start acclimating as soon as possible for the race we’re going to have at Worlds. The more chances you get to race in something like that, the better.”

The open water national championships will serve as the selection event for spots on U.S. rosters, too.

Swim Miami 2019 also returns to Miami Marine Stadium. The course is an amazing pristine, generally calm water environment that will definitely allow all ages and abilities to enjoy the open water event.

Four races will be held in Sunday’s Swim Miami 2019: 800-meters, Miami Mile, 5K (3.1 miles) and 10K (6.2 miles). There is also the K-9 Krawl World Championships, a human and dog duathlon where owner and dog swim 200 yards and run 400 yards.

Swim Miami is the longest-standing open water swim on the East Coast and one of the largest in the U.S.

SOFLO has entered 23 age group swimmers (17 girls and 6 boys) and three masters swimmers.

The age group swimmers are Sophia Bedoya, 16, mile; Alexander Blandon, 17, mile; Alexis Christensen, 13, mile; Elena Dinehart, 14, 5K; Elise Dinehart, 10, mile; Olivia Dinehart, 14, 5K; Pilar Duranti, 11, 800; Genesis Escobar, 11, 800; Sophia Grubbs, 14, 5K; Anastasia Lutz, 12, mile; Alejandro Mateus, 13, mile; Leonardo Mateus, 17, mile; Sabrina Osorio, 14, mile; Sofia Osorio, 14, mile; Martin Petkov, 10, 800; Lucy Smutny, 16, 5K; Lydia Smutny, 10, mile; Madeline Smutny, 13, 5K; Ventura Torres, 17, mile; Victoria Torres, 14, mile; Juan Vallmitjana, 10, 800; Olivia Ware, 15, 10K; and Isabelle Wilson, 12, 5K.

The masters swimmers are Emmanuel Butmankiewicz, 33, in the mile; Hawaii Ironman Evelyn Salama, 45, 5K; and Kristen Vlaun, 46, 10K.

SOFLO coach Chris Anderson will also be involved in the event. His boat will serve as the officials’ boat for every race throughout the weekend.

The course is one lap for the mile, three laps for the 5K and six laps for the 10K.

Saturday is mandatory check-in for all events 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday’s schedule is 7-8:45 a.m. check-in; 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sponsor Expo Open; 7:30 a.m., USA Swimming Nationals Open Water 5K; 8:30 a.m., 800 Meter Male (All Ages); 8:32 a.m., 800 Meter Female (All Ages); 8:34 a.m., Special Olympics 800 M (All); 8:40 a.m., 10K Male (All Ages); 8:42 a.m., 10K Female (All Ages); 10 a.m., 5K 18-and-under (Male); 10:02 a.m., 5K 18-and-under (Female); 10:04 a.m., 5K 19-39 years old (Male); 10:06 a.m., 5K 19-39 years old (Female); 10:08 a.m., 5K 40-and-older (Male); 10:10 a.m., 5K 40-and-older (Female); 10:15 a.m., Miami Mile 18 and under (Male); 10:17 a.m., Miami Mile 18 and under (Female); 10:19 a.m., Miami Mile 19-39 years old (Male); 10:21 a.m., Miami Mile 19-39 years old (Female); 10:23 a.m., Miami Mile 40 and older (Male); 10:25 a.m., Miami Mile 40 and older (Female); 10:27 a.m. Special Olympics 1 Mile (All); 12:15 p.m., K-9 KRAWL; Awards ceremony. Awards will be going on simultaneously as events finish.

Every swimmer will be awarded a limited edition finisher medal. The overall top men three men and women will also earn awards.

The finish time limits are: 10K Swim: 4 hours; 5K Swim: 2 hours; Miami Mile: 1 hour and 800 meters: 30 minutes.

Proceeds benefit the H2Os Foundation. The H2Os Foundation through grants, generous donations, events, and strategic corporate partnerships offers children and youth a unique opportunity to learn a lifesaving skill, and more importantly a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Live coverage of each race from Miami will be available each morning at The webcast schedule is Friday at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.; Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 7:30 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at