By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, July 28, 2020—After more than four months of not racing, South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers got in some much-needed competition in a unique format.
Observing stringent COVID-19 guidelines, SOFLO hosted its first intrasquad training meet Saturday at Academic Village Pool after ten weeks of training with some good results, bettering several seed times.
In a safe environment, thirty 15-and-over athletes in the Gold and National/Pro groups competed with ten in each heat, another ten warming up or warming down and ten in the bullpen area. The same seeded heats were maintained to avoid any cross contamination between heats. Every swim was about thirty minutes apart.
“We are excited about hosting our first meet,” SOFLO CEO and head coach Chris Anderson said. “We are doing these meets within our training sessions. The great thing is we can test them in a few events and see where they are at as far as our training goals moving into the future.
“I also wanted them to understand the meet flow to see how this works,” Anderson said. “We do feel this will be a model going into the fall. It’s important that we take these swims very seriously.
“There are things we can control right in front of us,” Anderson said. “One of them is their conduct, the way they are focused and basically what they are doing in the pool right now as far as training and improving themselves. I want them to pick that one thing they need to do better and focus on that.
“And, if we can keep focusing on what we are doing and improving ourselves, whenever the time is going to come for high school swimming, Nationals, Futures, Juniors, Winter Champs and all the other icon meets we may go to and compete at, we will be ready. The only thing right now is improving ourselves.
“Coach Lou and the rest of the coaching staff are very proud of where we are at. I really do feel our coaching staff and officials have worked very hard of trying to set up a template for us to at least get in some checks down during this pandemic in a safe manor to see where they are at.”
Juan Mora, 16, was impressive as a triple winner in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:46.18 (1:46.19 seed time); 200-yard individual medley in 2:01.16, (2:04.68 seed time); and 50-yard breaststroke in 27.78 (27.82 seed time).
In the mixed 15-and-over 50-yard breaststroke National/Pro competition, Julio Horrego finished first in 26.94 just ahead of Alia Atkinson in 26.99. Horrego was a double winner. He also won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:44.22 (1:55.01 seed time).
Rafael Rodriguez was also a double winner in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:57.12 and 50-yard backstroke in 24.48.
Mora finished first in the men’s point standings for Gold in the pentathlon with 1,837 ahead of Juan Colmenares, 16, with 1,475.
JennaMarie Brames, 16, finished first in the women’s point standings for Gold with 1,222. Daniela Curbelo, 17, is second with 1,094.
Four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson, 31, was first in the women’s National/Pro point standings with 2,712 followed by Gabby Banks with 1,877 and Molly Golding, 17, with 1,795.
Rafael Rodriguez, 18, was first in the men’s National point standings with 2,022. Julio Horrego, 21, was second with 2,016.
The second SOFLO Training Intrasquad meet for the same 15-and-over groups is set for Aug. 1, 6-10:45 a.m. The 15-and-under groups including Silver and younger 13-14 age groups will have the opportunity to do the same format Aug. 15 and Aug. 22. Some events will be scaled down.
“We are very, very lucky and very fortunate that we are still able to train in a healthy atmosphere,” Anderson said.
Intrasquad Meet One Results
1. Juan Mora 1:46.18, 2. Juan Colmenares 1:50.53, 3. Zackary Harris 1:54.45.
200-yard individual medley:
1. Juan Mora 2:01.16, 2. Juan Colmenares 2:07.42, 3. Manuel Melendez 2:08.72.
1. Juancamilo Rivero 25.13, 2. Alejandro Mateus 26.05, 3. Ryan Alfonso 27.46.
1. Juan Colmenares 26.54, 2. Nathaniel Garrick 28.20, 3. Matthew Kim 30.45.
1. Juan Mora 27.78, 2. Manuel Melendez 29.05, 3. Anthony Robaina 30.16.
1. Julio Horrego 1:44.22, 2. Rafael Rodriguez 1:44.48, 3. Sebastian Lares 1:45.36.
200-yard individual medley:
1. Rafael Rodriguez 1:57.12, 2. Julio Horrego 1:58.40, 3. Philopatier Ibrahim 1:59.44.
1. Miguel Sierra 23.38, 2. Philopatier Ibrahim 24.82, 3. Matthew Tarafa 25.04.
1. Rafael Rodriguez 24.48, 2. Sebastian Lares 25.85, 3. Dominic Bono 26.94.
1. Julio Horrego 26.94, 2. Alia Atkinson 26.99, 3. Joseph Lee 28.66.
Combined Events Open Points
Women 15-and-over Pentathlon (Gold)
1. JennaMarie Brames 1,222, 2. Daniela Curbelo 1,094, 3. Sabrina Osorio 972.
Women 15-and-over Pentathlon (National)
1. Alia Atkinson 2,712, 2. Gabby Banks 1,877, 3. Molly Golding 1,795.
Men 15-and-over Pentathlon (Gold)
1. Juan Mora 1,837, 2. Juan Colmenares 1,475, 3. Manuel Melendez 1,323.
Men 15-and-over Pentathlon (National)
1. Rafael Rodriguez 2,022, 2. Julio Horrego 2,016, 3. Miguel Sierra 1,871.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com