New Date Announced For 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Athletes Now Have Target Date

By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, March 30, 2020—And now SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson, fellow Olympians and Olympic hopefuls from around the world have a target date.

The Summer Olympics and Paralympics have been rescheduled for nearly one year later with the date set for July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympics were rescheduled for Aug. 24-Sept. 5.

The new Olympic dates would conflict with the scheduled world championships in track and swimming, but those events are now expected to also be pushed back. The IAAF World Track Championships are expected to be rescheduled for 2022. No word on the swimming event just yet.

The delay will cost at least $5.8 billion.

“The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. “I believe the international federations have accepted the games being held in the summer.

“It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world.”

Tokyo organizers said Monday the Opening Ceremony will take place July 23, 2021, almost exactly one year after the Games were scheduled to start this year.

“The schedule for the Games is key to preparing for the Games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”

Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Mori said a spring Olympics was considered but holding the games later gives more space to complete the many qualifying events that have been postponed by the virus outbreak.

Muto said the decision was made Monday and the IOC said it was supported by all the international sports federations and was based on three main considerations: to protect the health of athletes, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and the international sports calendar.

According to FINA, the sport’s international governing body, announced several guidelines on Monday:

*All athletes and teams who already had qualified for the Olympic Games will keep their status for the 2021 Games.

*FINA was informed all test events that were postponedare expected to be rescheduled in 2021.

*FINA will finalize the dates and program for the 2021 World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka.

Atkinson, a four-time Jamaican Olympian and world short course record holder, along with her SOFLO coach Chris Anderson, will be making their fifth historic Olympic appearance for Jamaica. Atkinson is already qualified.

“I think for me it’s just getting back my mindset, not thinking about the short-term goals in five months, but thinking of it in a year,” Atkinson said. “Plus, trying to get back to the things that I was working on without thinking that time is running out. Now I have much more time.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

2020 Summer Olympic Games Postponed, Moved To 2021

By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, March 24, 2020–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson will have to wait a little longer to make a historic fifth Olympic appearance.

After weeks of speculation, it’s official: the 2020 Summer Olympics, originally scheduled to begin on July 24 in Tokyo, Japan and end Aug. 9, have been postponed to a later date because of the global coronavirus pandemic and will not take place until 2021.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made what athletes, coaches and parents knew was inevitable official on Tuesday.

This is the first time the Olympic Games have been postponed although the major international event has been canceled three times because of war.

At 31, the four-time Jamaican Olympian was looking forward to competing in her fifth and probably final Olympics. SOFLO aquatics director and head coach Chris Anderson has coached Atkinson at all four Olympics.

“I do believe it was the best choice,” said the short course breaststroke world record holder. “A great majority of athletes across the board were on the same page. There is such a sense of relief.

“I don’t really have mixed emotions,” Atkinson said. “I think you have to consider everything. If every country competed there was a high probability of getting it. If one person has it, everyone in the Athletes’ Village is confined so that would increase the odds of getting it even more. And if the virus had died down in an athlete’s country and that athlete returned home with it, a whole second wave of the virus would start.”

Canadian Olympic swimming hopeful Bill Pisani already knew his country wasn’t going to the Summer Olympics, but it really hit home on Monday when he learned the Games were being postponed.

Pisani, 21, of West Palm Beach received an email from his swim federation on Sunday night that Canada was boycotting the Olympics because of COVID-19.

“For sure I have mixed emotions,” said Pisani, who grew up swimming in the Florida Gold Coast with the Lake Lytal Lightning and graduated from Florida State last year.

“The most emotion came when I was reading the email that it was postponed. I thought ‘oh wow this is the reality now.’ The more I think about it, it was absolutely the right decision.”

Pisani was pleased to see Canada join forces with Australia boycotting the Games and pressuring the International Olympic Committee to postpone the event until 2021.

“As the son of a Canadian who’s working in a hospital right now at the forefront of this invisible war and as an Olympic hopeful who has dedicated so much of his life to chase the Olympic dream, I am more proud than ever to be Canadian,” said Pisani, referring to his country’s boycott.

Pisani’s mom Lisa is a physical therapist. Recently, her hospital, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, had its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

“I think there was more of a sigh of relief for all athletes around the world,” Pisani said. “There were just too many questions left unanswered. Hosting the Olympics would have put so many people in danger. It makes us as athletes feel more secure and safe.”

The Canadian Olympic Trials were scheduled for March 30-April 5 in Toronto. Pisani was a favorite to at least make a relay.

“Over the past two years, the Olympic dream had become so close to reality for me,” Pisani said. “It was getting exciting as time went on and this year the closer we got to our Olympic trials it was the most excited I have been about swimming. Everything has definitely changed.”

Sid Cassidy of Boca Raton, St. Andrew’s School aquatics director and longtime swim coach, is vice chairman of the FINA technical open water swimming committee. He has been working Olympic events since 2008.

“I think at this point the athletes had it right,” said Cassidy, who was set to serve as referee for the men’s and women’s 10K races.

“It is hard when you see athletics taking a back seat,” Cassidy said. “Of course, I am disappointed they are not going to do it this year, but it certainly seems to be the best decision.

“There is no easy way to redirect your life. A lot of the talk is to be stronger and learn from it but it doesn’t take away any of the pain. This is very different from the 1980 Olympic boycott, this involves the whole world. I am happy for the athletes knowing but not happy with the reality.”

The U.S. swimming trials were scheduled for June 21-28 in Omaha. The pandemic had already disrupted the training of every elite athlete and Olympic hopeful in the U.S.

The postponement and rescheduling to no later than the summer of 2021 will already add to a crowded 2021 schedule that features the 2021 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, July 16-Aug. 1. Track and field will also have a conflict with its Aug. 6-15, 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Florida State swim coach Neal Studd echoed Cassidy’s sentiments after watching his swim program’s NCAA season end early because of COVID-19. The men’s team was expected to finish in the Top 10 for the first time.

FSU had eight swimmers at World Championships and six at University Games. Studd was the 2012 St. Lucia Olympic coach and has coached several student-athletes on the international level.

“If anything this gives it some clarity,” Studd said. “Now we get to re-set and plan accordingly.

“There are bigger problems than sports right now. There is a big picture here and bigger place in the world. Obviously though I would rather be at NCAAs and Canadian trials.”

Mariusz Podkoscielny, two-time Olympian for Poland in 1988 and 1992, now head swim coach at Pine Crest School, said problems were already beginning to surface because of the lack of out-of-competition drug tests during the pandemic.

“There is the aspect that the Olympic competition would not be fair, that the way of preparation is not on a level playing field,” Podkoscielny said. “There are issues of people taking advantage of illegal supplements without conducting the out-of-competition drug testing. It would give athletes a green light to do it.”

Podkoscielny said the COVID-19 is bigger than any sports event including the Olympics.

“The majority of athletes are going to feel relieved,” Podkoscielny said. “These are not the circumstances to get ready for the Olympics or think about the Olympics. People’s lives are changing daily.

“If I were an athlete right now I would be heartbroken not going. There will be disappoitment but it is right thing to do. Everyone agrees with that.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida High School Activities Association Postpones All Athletic Spring Events

By Sharon Robb

March 19, 2020—The Florida High School Activities Association, the state’s governing body for all high school sports, has postponed all athletic events indefinitely.

While most athletic venues including swimming pools have been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the official announcement came after Governor Ron DeSantis announced that schools would remain closed until at least April 15.

Standardized testing was also cancelled for the school year. Online learning is set to begin on March 30.

The FHSAA’s official statement said:

“In response to Governor DeSantis’ closure of Florida Schools through April 15th, and following the Florida Department of Education Guidance Memorandum from March 17, 2020, the FHSAA has made the decision to postpone all scheduled FHSAA meetings, conferences and athletic events until further notice.

“Pending schools are back in session and afforded the opportunity to resume activities after April 15th, by Federal, State and Local authorities, the FHSAA will follow the recommendations and guidance available to us at that time regarding the continuance of all FHSAA spring sports and other planned meetings and conferences.”

The suspension of high school sports in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade started Monday.

With nine different sports including water polo, the spring season is the busiest for the FHSAA.

DeSantis said on Tuesday parents have the option to hold students back a grade after this school year, but the FHSAA added that students would not gain additional athletic eligibility. FHSAA bylaws state that students have only eight consecutive semesters of eligibility.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Defending Champion SOFLO Heads Field For This Week’s FGC Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, March 9, 2020—It’s time for the South Florida Aquatic Club Sharks to make a little more history at this week’s Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympic Short Course Championships at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

The defending champions will attempt to win their 11th JO short course title overall including ten consecutive and 21st JO short course and long course titles overall.

SOFLO has won back-to-back short and long course JO title seven times in the club’s 20-year history and are hoping to make it eight by the end of July.

SOFLO has 45 qualified swimmers entered in 222 individual events and 34 relay teams in 22 relay events for the three-day, short course yards meet that begins Friday and ends Sunday.

The 14-year-old SOFLO swimmers are making their final JO short course appearance before aging up and hope to make a lasting impression.

Among SOFLO’s top-seeded swimmers are:

Ryan Harries, 10, 100-yard breaststroke, 1:20.26; 50-yard breaststroke 36.69.

Maddy Smutny, 14, 200-yard butterfly, 2:05.02.

Alejandro Mateus, 14, 100-yard butterfly, 53.70; 200-yard individual medley, 2:03.82; 200-yard butterfly, 1:58.83.

Mariana Pinto, 12, 500-yard freestyle, 5:17.08; 200-yard freestyle, 2:00.34; 1,650-yard freestyle, 18:21.91.

Javier Colmenares, 13, 200-yard breaststroke, 2:16.33.

Connor Jimenez, 10, 50-yard backstroke, 32.78.

More than 600 swimmers and 40 teams are entered. The top six finishers in each JO event qualify for the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team.

Among FGC teams competing are Pine Crest Swimming, Azura Florida Aquatics, East Coast, Heritage Aquatics, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, TS Aquatics, Metro Aquatics, North Palm Beach, Miami Swimming, Jupiter Dragons, Wahoos of Wellington, Midtown Weston, Pompano Beach Piranhas, Ransom Everglades, FAST, Swim Fort Lauderdale and Gulliver.

Last year SOFLO won the combined team title with 936 points and Pine Crest was runner-up with 670 and boys’ team title with 524.5 and FAST with 401. Pine Crest won the girls’ team title with 429 and SOFLO was runner-up with 411 points.


What: Florida Gold Coast 14&Under Junior Olympic Short Course Championships.

When: Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m., prelims; 4:30 p.m. finals. Prelims warmup 7:30 a.m., finals warmup 3:30 p.m.

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

Of Note: Admission is $5 (cash only) for prelims and finals. Heat sheets will not be sold at the gate. Heat sheets are free and can be located at Meet organizers will run two 25-yard pools with the boys in the East pool and girls in the West pool. Ten lanes will be used for both pools. For questions call 954-340-5032.


13-14 200-yard freestyle relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2012, 1:35.14.

11-12 200-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 2:01.58.

13-14 200-yard backstroke: Clara Smiddy, 2010, 1:56.98.

10-and-under 50-yard freestyle: Andrea Santander, 2012, 25.87.

11-12 50-yard freestyle: Aspen Gersper, 2018, 23.46.

13-14 50-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 22.86.

10-and-under 100-yard breaststroke: Andrea Santander, 2012, 1:11.53.

11-12 100-yard breaststroke: Sara Lin, 2018, 1:04.93.

13-14 100-yard breaststroke: Lindsey McKnight, 2018, 1:01.73.

10-and-under 100-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2015, 1:02.09.

11-12 100-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2017, 55.82.

13-14, 100-yard butterfly: Jessica Nava, 2014, 54.05.

10-and-under 100-yard individual medley: Andrea Santander, 2012, 1:04.80.

11-12 100-yard individual medley: Megan Moroney, 2010, 59.27.

13-14 100-yard individual medley: Olivia Dinehart, 2019, 57.52.

10-and-under 500-yard freestyle: Becca Heller, 2004, 5:25.63.

11-12 500-yard freestyle, Trina Jackson, 1990, 4:52.79.

13-14 500-yard freestyle, Michelle Richardson, 1984, 4:42.14.

11-12 400-yard freestyle relay, St. Andrew’s, 2018, 3:42.49.

13-14, 800-yard freestyle relay, FLA Aquatics, 2008, 7:38.59.

10-and-under 200-yard medley relay: Eagles Aquatics, 2019, 2:03.35.

11-12 200-yard medley relay: St. Andrew’s, 2018, 1:52.43.

13-14 200-yard medley relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2019, 1:46.55.

11-12 200-yard breaststroke: Sara Linn, 2018, 2:24.28.

13-14 200-yard breaststroke: Emily Kopas, 2010, 2:16.02.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 2:02.20.

11-12 200-yard freestyle: Andrea Santander, 2014, 1:51.84.

13-14 200-yard freestyle: Lauren Driscoll, 2008, 1:46.27.

10-and-under 50-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2015, 27.40.

11-12 50-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2017, 25.17.

13-14 50-yard butterfly: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 24.78.

10-and-under 100-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 1:01.87.

11-12 100-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 56.68.

13-14 100-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 54.03.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay: North Palm Beach, 2014, 1:54.56.

11-12 400-yard individual medley: Chelsea Britt, 2007, 4:28.63.

13-14 400-yard individual medley: Kathleen Golding, 2015, 4:17.41.

11-12 400-yard medley relay: St. Andrew’s, 2018, 4:08.89.

13-14 400-yard medley relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2019, 3:53.92.

10-and-under 200-yard individual medley: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 2:18.57.

11-12 200-yard individual medley: Clara Smiddy, 2008, 2:03.50.

13-14 200-yard individual medley: Lindsey McKnight, 2008, 2:00.65.

10-and-under 100-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 56.58.

11-12 100-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 51.01.

13-14 100-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 49.14.

10-and-under 50-yard backstroke: Gabriela Mendez, 2018, 28.67.

11-12 50-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 26.33.

13-14 50-yard backstroke: Megan Murphy, 2018, 25.14.

10-and-under 50-yard breaststroke: Bianca Nieto, 2018, 33.57.

11-12 50-yard breaststroke: Sara Lin, 2018, 30.36.

13-14 50-yard breaststroke: Heidi Smithwick, 2018, 29.25.

11-12 200-yard butterfly: Chelsea Britt, 2007, 2:05.41.

13-14 200-yard butterfly: Chelsea Britt, 2008, 1:59.91.

11-12 200-yard freestyle relay: St. Andrew’s 2018, 1:40.90.

13-14 400-yard freestyle relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2019, 3:31.54.

11-12 1,650-yard freestyle: Sharla Milne, 2004, 17:16.96.

13-14 1,650-yard freestyle: Michelle Richardson, 1984, 16:11.84.


13-14 200-yard freestyle: Metro Aquatics, 2013, 1:30.14.

11-12 200-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:52.47.

13-14 200-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 1:45.67.

10-and-under 50-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 25.87.

11-12 50-yard freestyle: Marlon Matute, 2019, 22.45.

13-14 50-yard freestyle: Tiago Pereira, 2018, 20.92.

10-and-under 100-yard breaststroke: 2018, George Gonzalez, 2018, 1:11.03.

11-12 100-yard breaststroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:01.02.

13-14 100-yard breaststroke: Izaak Bastian, 2015, 57.19.

10-and-under 100-yard butterfly: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 59.37.

11-12 100-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 54.11.

13-14 100-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 49.80.

10-and-under 100-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 1:02.78.

11-12 100-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 53.95.

13-14 100-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2018, 51.90.

10-and-under 500-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 5:08.77.

11-12 500-yard freestyle: Rafael Rodriguez, 2014, 4:51.15.

13-14 500-yard freestyle: Aitor Fungarino, 2015, 4:33.22.

11-12 400-yard freestyle relay: Rockway, 2008, 3:37.58.

13-14 800-yard freestyle relay: FLST, 1998, 7:06.26.

10-and-under 200-yard medley relay: East Coast Aquatic Club, 2015, 2:02.44.

11-12 200-yard medley relay: FAST, 2017, 1:49.75.

13-14 200-yard medley relay: FAST, 1:39.50.

11-12 200-yard breaststroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 2:11.45.

13-14 200-yard breaststroke: Izaak Bastian, 2015, 2:04.13.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 1:56.41.

11-12 200-yard freestyle: Rafael Rodriguez, 2014, 1:49.19.

13-14 200-yard freestyle: Julien Pinon, 2013, 1:40.78.

10-and-under 50-yard butterfly: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 27.24.

11-12 50-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 24.61.

13-14 50-yard butterfly: Tiago Pereira, 2018, 22.64.

10-and-under 100-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 59.61.

11-12 100-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 53.00.

13-14 100-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 48.76.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay: East Coast Aquatics, 2015, 1:50.06.

11-12 400-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 4:07.81.

13-14 400-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 3:53.06.

11-12 400-yard medley relay: FAST, 2017, 4:02.34.

13-14 400-yard medley relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2016, 3:38.46.

10-and-under 200-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 2:12.67.

11-12 200-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:55.75.

13-14 200-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2018, 1:50.21.

10-and-under 100-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 54.83.

11-12 100-yard freestyle: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 50.12.

13-14 100-yard freestyle: Daniel Spas, 2009, 46.18.

10-and-under 50-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 27.78.

11-12 50-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 24.65.

13-14 50-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 22.78.

10-and-under 50-yard breaststroke: George Gonzalez, 2018, 32.50.

11-12 50-yard breaststroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 27.68.

13-14 50-yard breaststroke: Izaak Bastian, 2015, 26.52.

11-12 200-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:58.23.

13-14 200-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 1:49.62.

11-12 200-yard freestyle relay: City of Hialeah Storm, 2017, 1:38.76.

13-14 400-yard freestyle relay: FLST 1998, 3:16.02.

11-12 1,650-yard freestyle: Rafael Rodriguez, 2014, 16:26.95.

13-14 1,650-yard freestyle: Tyler Sell, 2007, 15:45.40.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Bono, Atkinson Lead SOFLO; SOFLO Finishes Fifth On Final Day Of Southern Zone South Sectionals; Next Up, FGC Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, March 8, 2020—Alia Atkinson and Dominic Bono were top finishers for South Florida Aquatic Club on the fourth and final day of the the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships Sunday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Atkinson, 31, four-time Jamaican Olympian, won the 100-meter freestyle in 56.80. Aruba’s Allyson Ponson of Azura was second in 57.40 to make it a one-two finish among top Caribbean swimmers. It was Atkinson’s fourth win of the meet.

Atkinson scratched from the 200-meter breaststroke final. She qualified fifth in 2:41.47 in morning prelims.

SOFLO women’s 400-meter freestyle relay of Gaby Banks, Mallory Schleicher, Olivia Dinehart and Elena Dinehart was fourth in 4:03.04.

Dominic Bono, 16, was third in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.22 and was SOFLO’s top boys’ finisher.

Azura Florida Aquatics defended its title winning the combined team title with 2,223.5 points and men’s team title with 1,254.5 points. Bluefish Swim Club won the women’s team title with 1,464 and Azura was second with 969.

SOFLO finished fifth among combined teams, fifth among women’s teams and eighth among men’s teams.

In high point, Atkinson finished fourth among women with 128 and Schleicher was seventh with 123 tied with Pine Crest’s Julia Podkoscielny. Summer Smith, 16, of Bluefish was first with 161.

Yeziel Morales, 24, of Azura was men’s high point winner with 173 points. Azura swimmers swept the top four places in high point. Bono was SOFLO’s top high point swimmer tied for 30th with 68 points.

SOFLO had 31 qualified swimmers (16 boys and 15 girls) compete in 140 individual events and 12 relay events race in the long course meet.

A large field competed over four days in one of four designated USA Swimming zones. The others were Eastern, Central and Western Zone Sectionals. The meet attracted some of the top swimming talent from across the United States and internationally.

Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered were Azura Florida Aquatics, FAST, North Miami Swim Team, North Palm Beach, Coral Springs Swim Club, Gulliver, TS Aquatics and host Plantation Swim Team.

Defending champions are Azura Florida Aquatics (1,116.5) and Sarasota YMCA (1,432). SOFLO, with 35 swimmers, was third among both the girls (852) and boys (776) teams last year.

The championship season continues this weekend with the FJC Junior Olympics Friday through Sunday at Coral Springs Aquatic Center.

: 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 2,223.5, 2. Bluefish Swim Club 2,183, 3. Scarlet 1,718, 4. Bolles 1,669, 5. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,315.5, 6. Colorado Stars 1,286.5, 7. Spartan 1,089, 8. Mesa 917, 9. Pine Crest Swimming 666, 10. Unattached Azura 625.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Bluefish 1,464, 2. Azura 969, 3. Scarlet 882, 4. Bolles 878, 5. SOFLO 840.5, 6. Pine Crest Swimming 497, 7. Colorado Stars 492, 8. Mesa 456, 9. Spartam 341, 10. Gator Swim Club 309.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 1,254.5, 2. Scarlet 836, 3. Colorado Stars 794.5, 4. Bolles 791, 5. Spartan 748, 6. Bluefish 719, 7. Unattached Azura 505, 8. SOFLO 475, 9. Mesa 461, 10. PAQ 352.


400-meter freestyle relay:
1. Azura 3:55.28, 2. Bluefish 3:57.34, 3. Scarlet 4:01.27, 4. SOFLO A 4:03.04 (Gaby Banks, Mallory Schleicher, Olivia Dinehart, Elena Dinehart), 19. SOFLO B 4:25.03 (Jennamarie Brames, Sara Quintero, Sally Golding, Sabrina Osorio).

800-meter freestyle:
1. Michelle Morgan, PS 8:52.65, 2. Anna Auld, ECAC 8:53.29, 3. Leah Degeorge, BSS 8:58.53; SOFLO: 6. Mallory Schleicher 9:12.86.

200-meter butterfly:
1. Lockett Bowley, BSS 2:16.42, 2. Summer Smith, ABF 2:16.83, 3. Sumner Chmielewski, SRQ 2:19.04; SOFLO: 9. Maddy Smutny 2:19.69, time drop 0.75, 30. Sara Quintero 2:31.51, 35. Elena Dinehart 2:34.30.

100-meter freestyle:
1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 56.80, 2. Allyson Ponson, Azura 57.40, 3. Megan Hansen, BD 58.04; SOFLO: 18. Gaby Banks 59.76, time drop, 0.98, 26. Olivia Dinehart 1:00.57.

200-meter breaststroke:
1. Taylor Grabenhorst, Unattached 2:32.49, 2. Ella Smith, ABF 2:37.49, 3. Micaela Sierra, CSSC 2:27.70; SOFLO: 5. Olivia Dinehart 2:38.61, 14. Molly Golding 2:47.32, 30. Sophia Grubbs 2:55.22, 31. Sally Golding 2:56.56.

200-meter backstroke:
1. Erika Pelaez, EA 2:16.211, 2. Celina Marquez, Azura 2:16.34, 3. Julia Podkoscielny, PCS 2:16.90; SOFLO: 19. Elena Dinehart 2:26.69.


400-meter freestyle relay:
1. Azura 3:29.65, 2. PAQ 3:35.31, 3. Colorado Stars 3:36.79, 10. SOFLO A 3:42.90 (Michael Arias, Juan Mora, Juan Colmenares, Miguel Sierra), 16. SOFLO B 3:50.45 (Nicolas Rossi, Sebastian Lares, Philopatier Ibrahim, Manuel Melendez).

1500-meter freestyle:
1. Joshua Parent, ABF 15:46.71, 2. Joaquin Vargas, Unattached 16:00.36, 3. John Vandeusen, BSS 16:02.73; SOFLO: 13. Dominic Bono 16:42.50.

200-meter butterfly:
1. Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz, SAS 2:00.43, 2. Martin Espernberger, BSS 2:02.27, 3. Gabriel Araya, Azura 2:02.36; SOFLO: 23. Miguel Sierra 2:15.92.

100-meter freestyle:
1. Runar Borgen, PAQ 51.28, 2. Daniel Ramirez, WA 51.58, 3. Kent Olsen-Stavrakas, STAR 51.78; SOFLO: 23. Michael Arias 55.59, 24. Juan Mora 55.80.

200-meter breaststroke:
1. Raphael Windmuller, Unattached 2:17.91, 2. William Heck, BSS 2:22.68, 3. William Henry, SRQ 2:23.05; SOFLO: 16. Juan Mora 2:31.75, 24. Alex Golding 2:36.26.

200-meter backstroke:
1. Yeziel Morales, Azura 2:02.95, 2. Fernando Ruvalcaba Cruz, SASA 2:07.33, 3. Dominic Bono, SOFLO 2:01.22; SOFLO: 26. Miguel Sierra 2:18.74, time drop, 0.48.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Atkinson, Schleicher Lead SOFLO On Day Three Of Southern Zone South Sectionals

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, March 7, 2020—Alia Atkinson of South Florida Aquatic Club won two more events at the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships Saturday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian and one of the oldest swimmers in the meet at age 31, won the 50-meter breaststroke in 31.37 and 50-meter butterfly in 27.30. She also won the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday in 1:09.36. She scratched from the 100-meter butterfly.

Atkinson, who has 96 points in high point, has the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter breaststroke left to swim on Sunday, the fourth and final day of the USA Swimming meet.

Mallory Schleicher, 16, was third in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:21.95, shaving 0.96 off her previous best time. She has 99 points in high point.

SOFLO women’s 400-meter medley relay of Elena Dinehart, Olivia Dinehart, Maddy Smutny and Schleicher was fourth in 4:28.41.

Defending champion Azura Florida Aquatics regained the combined team standings lead with 1,671.5 points. Bluefish Swim Club is second with 1,622.

SOFLO is fifth among combined teams with 1,022.5 points. The women’s team is fourth with 661.5 and men’s team eighth with 361.

SOFLO has 31 qualified swimmers (16 boys and 15 girls) competing in 140 individual events and 12 relay events race in the long course meet.

A large field is competing over four days in one of four designated USA Swimming zones. The others are Eastern, Central and Western Zone Sectionals. The meet attracts some of the top swimming talent from across the United States and internationally.

Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatics, FAST, North Miami Swim Team, North Palm Beach, Coral Springs Swim Club, Gulliver, TS Aquatics and host Plantation Swim Team.

Defending champions are Azura Florida Aquatics (1,116.5) and Sarasota YMCA (1,432). SOFLO, with 35 swimmers, was third among both the girls (852) and boys (776) teams last year.

: 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 1,671.5, 2. Bluefish 1,622, 3. Bolles 1,216, 4. Scarlet 1,090, 5. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,022.5, 6. Colorado Stars 981.5, 7. Spartan 945, 8. Mesa 680, 9. Pine Crest Swimming 514, 10. Unattached Azura 437.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Bluefish 1,059, 2. Azura 744, 3. Bolles 673, 4. SOFLO 661.5, 5. Scarlet 569, 6. Pine Crest Swimming 384, 7. Mesa 378, 8. Colorado Stars 360, 9. Spartan 275, 10. Gator Swim Club 249.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 927.5, 2. Spartan 670, 3. Colorado Stars 621.5, 4. Bluefish 563, 5. Bolles 543, 6. Scarlet 521, 7. Unattached Azura 362, 8. SOFLO 361, 9. Mesa 302, 10. Race Aquatics 240.


100-meter backstroke:
1. Celina Marquez, Azura 1:03.54, 2. Anna Freed, SRQ 1:04.08, 3. Julia Podkoscielny, PCS 1:04.45; SOFLO: 14. Elena Dinehart 1:07.40.

50-meter breaststroke:
1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 31.37, 2. Carly Schwab, BSS 33.69, 3. Lucia Miller, SAS 33.91; SOFLO: 11. Molly Golding 35.24, time drop, 0.53.

50-meter butterfly:
1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 27.30, 2. Lismar Lyon, Unattached 27.52, 3. Olivia Peoples, BSS 28.20.

200-meter individual medley:
1. Summer Smith, ABF 2:19.02, 2. Celina Marquez, Azura 2:21.73, 3. Andrea Santander, PCS 2:22.13; SOFLO: 11. Mallory Schleicher 2:22.53, time drop 3.20, 19. Olivia Dinehart 2:23.41, time drop 4.01, 26. Molly Golding 2:28.52.

50-meter freestyle:
1. Erika Pelaez, EA 26.10, 2. Allyson Ponson, Azura 26.12, 3. Manita Satianchokwisan, BSS 26.52; SOFLO: 11. Gaby Banks 27.28.

400-meter freestyle:
1. Michelle Morgan, PS 4:18.02, 2. Olivia McMurray, SWIM 4:18.05, 3. Mallory Schleicher, SOFLO 4:21.95, time drop 0.96; SOFLO: 19. Olivia Dinehart 4:34.23.

400-meter medley relay:
1. Bluefish A 4:22.62, 2. Azura 4:22.90, 3. Bluefish B 4:26.79, 4. SOFLO A 4:28.41 (Elena Dinehart, Olivia Dinehart, Maddy Smutny, Mallory Schleicher), 10. SOFLO B 4:37.27 (Lucy Smutny, Molly Golding, Sara Quintero, Gaby Banks).


100-meter backstroke:
1. Yeziel Morales, Azura 57.60, 2. Fernando Ruvalcaba Cruz, SASA 58.01, 3. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 58.13.

50-meter breaststroke:
1. Raphael Windmuller, Unattached 28.92, 2. Tomas Peribonio, GSC 29.33, 3. Matteo Zampese, Azura 29.42; SOFLO: 15. Juan Mora 31.46.

50-meter butterfly:
1. Runar Borgen, PAQ 24.58, 2. Kent Olsen-Stavrakas, STAR 24.80, 3. Abbas Qali, Azura 25.26; SOFLO: 13. Miguel Sierra 26.51, time drop, 0.10.

200-meter individual medley:
1. Tomas Peribonio, GSC 2:03.88, 2. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 2:06.89, 3. Matheo Mateos, Unattached 2:09.92; SOFLO: 16. Dominic Bono 2:16.30, 29. Philopatier Ibrahim 2:18.59.

50-meter freestyle:
1. Bruno Fratus, CSSC 22.16, 2. Renzo Tjon-A-Joe, CSSC 22.39, 3. Emir Muratovic, CS 23.18.

400-meter freestyle:
1. Santiago Corredor, GSC 3:55.38, 2. Joaquin Vargas, Unattached 3:55.95, 3. Gabriel Araya, Azura 3:59.34; SOFLO: 32. John Paul Handal 4:23.59.

400-meter medley relay:
1. Azura 3:48.64, 2. Spartan AC 3:52.71, 3. Colorado Stars 3:57.94, 7. SOFLO A 4:02.49 (Dominic Bono, Juan Mora, Miguel Sierra, Michael Arias), 18. SOFLO B 4:18.86 (Juan Colmenares, John Paul Handal, Philopatier Ibrahim, Sebastian Lares).


What: 2020 Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

When: Sunday, prelims 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street.

Of note: Admission is $5. For more information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Schleicher, Dinehart Shine; SOFLO Fourth Among Teams After Day Two Of Southern Zone South Sectionals

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, March 6, 2020—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson got South Florida Aquatic Club off to a good start Friday at the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Atkinson, 31, won the 100-meter breaststroke, her signature event, in 1:09.36. SOFLO teammate Olivia Dinehart, 15, was third in 1:13.05. She went a best time 1:12.99 in morning prelims, dropping 0.45.

Mallory Schleicher, 16, had another good finals night, placing second in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 4:53.96, shaving 4.13 seconds off her previous best and giving Pine Crest state champion Julia Podkoscielny, 15, a run for her money in the final 50 meters. Podkoscielny won the event in 4:52.49, also a best time dropping 1.40 seconds.

Schleicher and Olivia Dinehart were also members of the runner-up women’s 800-meter relay team along with Elena Dinehart and Maddy Smutny that won in 8:41.60, faster than their seed time of 8:42.62.

SOFLO’s top boys’ finisher was Dominic Bono, 16, in the 400-meter individual medley. He finished 11th in a best time 4:42.20, dropping 0.94 off his previous best.

After two days of competition, SOFLO is fourth in combined with 676, fourth in the women’s with 412 and seventh in the men’s with 264. In the combined, Bluefish Swim Club overtook defending champion Azura for the lead, 1,126-1,037. Azura leads the men’s team standings with 570 and Bluefish leads the women’s with 710.

SOFLO has 31 qualified swimmers (16 boys and 15 girls) competing in 140 individual events and 12 relay events race in the long course meet.

A large field is competing over four days in one of four designated USA Swimming zones. The others are Eastern, Central and Western Zone Sectionals. The meet attracts some of the top swimming talent from across the United States and internationally.

Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatics, FAST, North Miami Swim Team, Coral Springs Swim Club, Gulliver, TS Aquatics and host Plantation Swim Team.

Defending champions are Azura Florida Aquatics (1,116.5) and Sarasota YMCA (1,432). SOFLO, with 35 swimmers, was third among both the girls (852) and boys (776) teams last year.

: 1. Bluefish Swim Club 1,126, 2. Azura 1,037, 3. Bolles 838, 4. SOFLO 676, 5. Scarlet Aquatics 643, 6. Colorado Stars 636, 7. Spartan Aquatics 575, 8. Mesa Aquatics 483, 9. Gator Swim Club 291, 10. Pine Crest Swimming 257.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Bluefish 710, 2. Azura 467, 3. Bolles 436, 4. SOFLO 412, 5. Scarlet Aquatics 322, 6. tie, Mesa, Colorado Stars, 8. Gator Swim Club 194, 9. Pine Crest Swimming 183, 10. Spartan Aquatic Club 181.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 570, 2. Bluefish 416, 3. Bolles 402, 4. Spartan Aquatic 394, 5. Colorado Stars 374, 6. Scarlet Aquatics 321, 7. SOFLO 264, 8. Mesa Aquatics 221, 9. Race Aquatics 163, 10. FAST 141.


200-meter freestyle:
1. Erika Pelaez, EA 2:03.88, 2. Brynn Wright, ABF 2:04.72, 3. Summer Smith, ABF 2:05.30.

100-meter breaststroke:
1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:09.36, 2. Allison Henry, NRG 1:12.75, 3. Olivia Dinehart, SOFLO 1:13.05; SOFLO: 13. Molly Golding 1:15.79.

50-meter backstroke:
1. Celina Marquez, Azura 29.84, 2. Emma Harvey, PSU 30.29, 3. Gabriela Donahue, BD 30.54; SOFLO: 14. Gaby Banks 32.48.

100-meter butterfly:
1. Madeline Burt, SWIM 1:01.62, 2. Erika Pelaez, EA 1:01.86, 3. Lismar Lyon, Unattached 1:02.22; SOFLO: 23. Molly Golding 1:06.24, 31. Elena Dinehart 1:07.31.

400-meter individual medley:
1. Julia Podkoscielny, PCS 4:52.49, 2. Mallory Schleicher, SOFLO 4:53.96, time drop, 4.13, 3. Anna Freed, SRQ 4:54.95.

800-meter freestyle relay:
1. Bluefish 8:32.28, 2. SOFLO A 8:41.60 (Mallory Schleicher, Olivia Dinehart, Elena Dinehart, Maddy Smutny), 3. Azura 8:42.43.


200-meter freestyle:
1. Santiago Corredor, GSC 1:51.56, 2. Joaquin Vargas, Unattached 1:51.60, 3. Gabriel Araya, Azura 1:52.61.

100-meter breaststroke:
1. Raphael Windmuller, Unattached 1:03.54, 2. William Heck, BSS 1:04.84, 3. Tomas Peribonio, GSC 1:05.03; SOFLO: 15. Juan Mora 1:08.14, time drop, 0.27.

50-meter backstroke:
1. Blake Wilton, STAR 26.59, 2. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 27.38, 3. Raphael Santos, PCS 27.85, SOFLO: 16. Juan Colmenares 29.69.

100-meter butterfly:
1. Daniel Ramirez, WA 55.16, 2. Martin Espernberger, BSS 55.20, 3. Abbas Qali, Azura 55.32; SOFLO: 21. Rafael Rodriguez 58.21, 27. Miguel Sierra 58.62.

400-meter individual medley:
1. Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz, SASA 4:23.88, 2. Tomas Peribonio, GSC 4:26.45, 3. Joshua Parent, ABF 4:29.09; SOFLO: 11. Dominic Bono 4:42.20, time drop, 0.94.

200-meter backstroke time trial:
1. Leonardo Mateus, SOFLO 2:19.80.

800-meter freestyle relay:
1. Azura 7:48.15, 2. Bluefish Swim Club 7:58.79, 3. Gulliver 8:01.74, 7. SOFLO A 8:11.64 (Rafael Rodriguez, Philopatier Ibrahim, Sebastian Lares, Dominic Bono).


What: 2020 Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

When: Saturday-Sunday

Schedule: Saturday and Sunday, prelims 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street.

Of note: Admission is $5. For more information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at