By Sharon Robb
GAINESVILLE, July 10, 2018—The championship season continues Thursday for the South Florida Aquatic Club Sharks.
After months of training and competing in local meets, SOFLO’s talented swimmers have a packed schedule of top meets in July and August.
First up is the Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships that begin Thursday at University of Florida’s O’Connell Center Pool.
After this week’s four-day meet there is the July 18-21 FGC Junior Olympics, July 26-28 FGC Senior Championships and Aug. 1-4 USA Swimming Futures Championships.
Mary Smutny, Kathleen Golding, Lance Lesage and Rafael Rodriguez lead SOFLO’s 23-swimmer contingent at sectionals. SOFLO will also field 24 relay teams.
Smutny, 18, will swim five events: 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle, 200-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle.
Golding, 18, will swim five events: 50-meter backstroke, 400-meter individual medley, 50-meter freestyle, 400- and 800-meter freestyle.
Lesage, 16, will swim six events: 200-meter freestyle, 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke, 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter backstroke.
Rodriguez, 17, will swim six events: 800-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter individual medley, 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter butterfly.
Other SOFLO qualifiers are: Sarah Acevedo, 15, Dominic Bono, 16, Marco Cabrera Duarte, 18, Juan Colmenares, 15, Molly Golding, 16, Sally Golding, 15, Kelley Heron, 19, Philopatier Ibrahim, 16, Paige Lane, 16, Sebastian Lares, 15, Jacqueline Lugo, 17, Leonardo Mateus, 17, Juan Pablo Pineda, 17, Sara Quintero, 15, Mallory Schleicher, 15, Miguel Sierra, 16, and Robert Wilson, 16.
Alex Golding, 15, and Alejandro Mateus, 14, will swim relays only.
In addition to SOFLO, other top teams entered are host and defending champion Gator Swim Club, Bolles, Sarasota YMCA, Azura, Gulliver Swim Club, Club Seminole, Westminster Academy, Trinity Prep, Metro Aquatics, Swim Florida, Highlander and Hurricane Aquatics.
Among top elite swimmers entered are Santiago Corredor, Andrea D’Arrigo, Marco Guarente, Evita Leter and Corey Main.
At last year’s event, SOFLO finished fifth (1,050 points) among combined teams behind host Gator Swim Club (3,007), Bolles (1,453), East Coast Aquatic Club (1,169) and Swim Florida (1,061) among 60 teams. SOFLO men finished fourth (481) and women (491) were fifth.
The Speedo Sectionals Series showcases some of the top swimming talent across the U.S. The series has several stops in various zones.
IF YOU GO
What: 2019 Speedo Championship Series: Southern Zone South Sectional Championships, LCM
Schedule: Thursday, timed finals 5 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. prelims, finals 4 p.m.
Where: University of Florida, Stephen O’Connell Center Pool, 250 Gale Lemerand Drive, Gainesville.
Of note: Gator Swim Club is hosting the four-day meet. The tournament was capped at 650 swimmers. Admission is $5. For more information call 352-338-9300.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com