By Sharon Robb
PLANTATION, March 4, 2020—Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will be among South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers at the Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championship that begins Thursday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.
Atkinson, 31, will compete in six events, including her signature event 100-meter breaststroke. She is seeded first in the event in 1:06.83. She is also seeded first in the 100-meter butterfly in 1:00.13; 50-meter breaststroke in 30.19; 50-meter butterfly in 26.54; 100-meter freestyle in 55.41; and 200-meter breaststroke in 2:31.
SOFLO will have 31 qualified swimmers (16 boys and 15 girls) compete in 140 individual events and 12 relay events race in the long course meet.
Atkinson will be joined by teammates Sarah Acevedo, 16; Michael Arias, 17; Dominic Bono, 16; JennaMarie Brames, 16; Juan Colmenares, 16; Alana Deo, 16; Elena Dinehart, 15; Olivia Dinehart, 15; Alex Golding, 15; Molly Golding, 16; Sally Golding, 15; Sophia Grubbs, 14; John Paul Handal, 17; Christopher Hau, 15; Sebastian Lares, 15; Jena Legaspi, 16; Alejandro Mateus, 14; Leonardo Mateus, 18; Manuel Melendez, 16; Yannai Michael, 15; Juan Mora, 15; Garrett Oliver, 17; Sabrina Osorio, 15; Sara Quintero, 16; Rafael Rodriguez, 16; Nicolas Rossi, 16; Mallory Schleicher, 16; Miguel Sierra, 16; Lucy Smutny, 16; and Madeline Smutny, 14.
Six events will open the meet on Thursday. They are the 1,500 freestyle, 800 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 200 freestyle relay, 200 mixed medley relay and 200 mixed free relay.
A large field will compete 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.
Heading the elite field are Santiago Corredor, 20, of Gator Swim Club, seeded first in the 800- 400- and 200-meter freestyles; Josh Zuchowski, 15, of FAST, seeded first in the 50-meter backstroke; Celina Marquez, 20, of Azura, seeded first in the 50-meter backstroke and 100-meter backstroke; Gabriel Araya, 20, of Azura, seeded first in the 100-meter butterfly; Aruba’s Allyson Ponson, 24, of Azura, seeded first in the 50-meter freestyle; and Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, 30, of Coral Springs Swim Club, seeded first in the 50-meter freestyle.
Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatic, East Coast Aquatic Club, North Palm Beach, Martin County, Coral Springs Swim Club, Sunrise, 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.
IF YOU GO
What: 2020 Southern Zone South Sectional Championships
Schedule: Thursday, timed finals 5 p.m.; Friday, 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 email@example.com