Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships Begin Friday At Coral Springs; Azura Looking For Three-Peat

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, July 24, 2019—The championship season continues this weekend for South Florida Aquatic Club at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Championships.

SOFLO will have 45 swimmers in 191 individual events and 18 relays trying to improve on last year’s eighth place finish among combined teams with 481 points.

Azura Florida Aquatics defended its title with 1,328 points and Pine Crest Swimming was second with 1,080 points.

Kelley Heron, 19, is SOFLO’s only top seed in the 200-meter backstroke 2:20.58.

Several collegians back for the summer will add to the talented field assembled for the three-day meet at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Among SOFLO’s entries are Rafael Rodriguez, 17, Lucy Smutny, 16, Nicolas Rossi, 16, Robert Wilson, 16, Sarah Acevedo, 15, Dominic Bono, 16, Alex Golding, 15, John Paul Handal, 16, Philopatier Ibrahim, 16, Melissa Marinheiro, 22, Michelle Marinheiro, 16, Leonardo Mateus, 17, Yannai Michael, 15, Abby Oyetunji, 19, and Christian Kopecki, 20.

In March, South Florida Aquatic Club won the FGC Senior Short Course Championships at Academic Village Pool. SOFLO won the combined team title with 3,287 points for the first time in meet history. It was the first time SOFLO totaled 3,000 or more points in any Florida Gold Coast meet. Azura Florida Aquatics was second with 2,579 and East Coast Aquatic Club was third with 2,099 points.

SOFLO secured its place in the record books and made history by winning both seniors and JO titles in the same short course season for the sixth time in the team’s 19-year history.

SOFLO is coming off winning last weekend’s FGC Long Course Junior Olympics.

Pine Crest’s Andrea Santander, 17, will use the meet as a tuneup before she leaves for Lima, Peru for the Pan American Games for Venezuela.


What: Florida Gold Coast Senior LCM Championships.

When: Friday-Sunday

Schedule: Friday, prelims 8:30 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.; Saturday, prelims 8:30 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

Where: Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions, 12441 Royal Palm Blvd., Coral Springs.

Of note: Admission is $5 per session for prelims and $3 per session for finals. Concession stand will be available. Forty-eight teams are entered and 16 unattached teams. Azura Florida Aquatics is two-time defending champion.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com