By Sharon Robb
STUART, July 17, 2019—It’s Show Time for South Florida Aquatic Club and another opportunity to make a little more history in Florida Gold Coast swimming.
South Florida Aquatic Club will try and build on its winning tradition and legacy at this week’s Florida Gold Coast 14&Under Long Course Summer Junior Olympic Championships.
The four-day meet begins Thursday at Sailfish Splash Water Park. Last year the final night of the meet was cancelled because of bad weather.
SOFLO is going after its tenth consecutive JO long course team title and 11th overall in club history. SOFLO has also won back-to-back short and long course JO titles six times.
In March, SOFLO won the FGC 14&Under Short Course JOs for a record tenth overall combined in the club’s 19-year history. SOFLO won the boys title with 524 points ahead of runnerup FAST (401). SOFLO girls finished runnerup by just 18 points behind Pine Crest.
SOFLO, defending champion in combined, has qualified 58 individual swimmers in 302 events. SOFLO has also entered 40 relay teams where it will rely on its depth to pick up points against talented but less deep FGC teams.
Last year SOFLO won the combined team title with 579.50 ahead of runner-up Pine Crest with 448 and FAST with 414.50. Pine Crest girls won with 378 and SOFLO was second with 297. FAST boys won with 321.50 and SOFLO boys were runnerup with 282.50 points.
SOFLO swimmers making their final JO long course meet appearance are 14-year-olds Samuel Bullen, Elena Dinehart, Olivia Dinehart, Nathaniel Garrick, Logan Gonzalez, Sophia Grubbs, Zackary Harris, Christopher Hau, Matthew Kim, Alejandro Mateus, Sabrina Osorio, Sofia Osorio, Madeline Smutny, Yanjun Wang and Aldo Zepeda.
The younger contingent includes Mariann Catalasan, 13, Alexis Christensen, 13, Javier Colmenares, 13, Fiorella DiSalvo, 11, Shelby Evans, 9, Felix Gonzalez, 12, Derek Hau, 11, Jaden Amores, 12, Gabriela Avila, 12, Sophia Avila, 10, Hashan Ekanayake, 12, Marvan Ekanayake, 12, Genesis Escobar, 11, Alessandra Gendarmi, 10, Ryan Harries, 10, Adrian Hernandez, 13, Luca Hincapie, 12, Dahlia Hirsh, 12, Connor Jimenez, 10, Benjamin Kim, 11, Ava Kuznik, 13, Sofia Lugo, 10, Anastasia Lutz, 12, Alessio Mazzi, 12, Stefano Mazzi, 11, Ethan McPeek, 12, Alexander Miller, 12, Kevin Moya, 12, Diego Nazario-Vazquez, 13, Austin Nelson, 13, Leah Pando, 13, Nicholas Pelaez, 12, Isabella Perry, 10, Mariana Pinto, 11, Hartley Pitters-Hinds, 13, Natalia Sibug, 13, Lydia Smutny, 10, Alexandra Strong, 10, Christian Tijero, 13, Juan Vallmitjana, 10, Sarah Vasquez, 11, Oleksii Viazmetinov, 10, and Isabelle Wilson, 12.
The meet features 14-and-under swimmers who have achieved the JO time standards for the event entered.
Among top teams in the meet are Pine Crest, Azura, FAST, Jupiter, Hialeah, Swim Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise.
It is the fourth time the meet will be co-hosted by FGC clubs Martin County Swimming and North Palm Beach Swim Club at Sailfish Splash Water Park, site of the annual FHSAA State High School Swimming and Diving meet for the past six years.
IF YOU GO
What: 14&Under Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics
Schedule: Thursday, timed finals 6 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, prelims, 9 a.m., finals 6 p.m.
Where: Sailfish Splash Waterpark, 931 SE Ruhnke, Stuart.
Defending 2018 champions: Combined, SOFLO; Boys, FAST (Flood Aquatics Swim Team); Girls, Pine Crest.
Of note: Admission is $5 per session. Heat sheets will not be sold and will be available at http://www.martincountyswimming.org. Martin County Swimming and North Palm Beach Swim Club are co-hosting the meet. Results will be available on Meet Mobile or http://www.martincountyswimming.org. For more information call Jim McCombs, 772-485-3239.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com