Battle Of The Sharks: SOFLO Takes On Sarasota Y In Unique Virtual Meet Friday And Saturday

By Sharon Robb

PEMBROKE PINES, October 1, 2020–Who has the bigger bite? Two of the state’s top swim clubs, South Florida Aquatic Club Sharks and Sarasota Y Sharks will compete in a virtual dual meet Friday and Saturday.

In what promises to be a competitive age group meet at their respective home pools Academic Village Pool and Selby Aquatic Center, SOFLO and Sarasota Y will see how they match up.

The two-day meet, which gets underway on Friday at 6 p.m., is sanctioned by the Florida Gold Coast and Florida Swimming and will adhere to strict COVID-19 safety measures and precautions including no fans. No parents or friends will be allowed to congregate outside the pool fencing. The meet will be run without volunteers other than a limited number of officials and ten lane timers.

Those interested in watching the races can view the livestream on Facebook or YouTube. The Booster Club donated $2,500 for video equipment to help enhance video production. The results will also be posted on Meet Mobile.

Three sessions are scheduled. On Friday at 6 p.m., 13-and-over swimmers will open the meet. On Saturday at 8 a.m., the 12-and-unders will race followed by another session for the 13-and-over at 1 p.m. There are six events: three on Friday and three on Saturday. The races will be a minute and a half apart. Top five from each team score.

With 177 swimmers, SOFLO has the largest contingent and virtual meet in the state. Ninety-eight swimmers will compete in 553 individual events and eight relays in the 13-and-over. Seventy-nine swimmers will race in 280 individual events and four relays in 12-and-under.

“Training has been going wonderfully over the last couple of weeks so we are super excited about the meet coming up this weekend,” said SOFLO CEO and Chris Anderson, who held a motivational Zoom team meeting for seniors Thursday night. Anderson stressed that the psych sheets are posted online for added motivation.

“This is a virtual dual meet against another Florida club that’s just as competitive and just as good as we are,” Anderson said. “We should be racing.

“One of the elements that we missed over the summer is we did intrasquad meets, but a little bit of that competitiveness wasn’t really there,” Anderson said. “We really want you guys looking up the events you’re in and eyeing the competition and eyeing your teammates and motivating your teammates by looking at the psych sheet.

“For the first time in my coaching career other than junior national championships, the psych sheet is really going to come into huge play in motivating yourselves and getting yourselves mentally and emotionally prepared for the swim meet.

“The really cool thing about the swim meet is it’s in a college format as close as we could possibly get. Some of the 200s are on the first day and on the following day we’re doing the 100s and shorter races.”

Anderson talked about the increase in SOFLO’s base training with more yardage in the last sixteen days, the benefits of leg work in July and August and large amount of kicking this past week and how it should translate into successful swims and time drops in this weekend’s meet.

“It’s really paying off and we are very excited about you guys leading into the weekend, using all these new leg weapons that we have, getting in and out of our turns a little bit better as we go through,” Anderson said.

“With all that base training I would like to think you guys have a lot of confidence to take out your races this week. I really feel we are going to see some really sweet swims. I think you guys are going to be ready to go.”

Sarasota Y, in its 58th year as a swim club, is led by 2021 Olympic Trials qualifiers Emma Weyant, 18, Gracie Weyant, 14, Michaela Mattes, 15, and Addie Sauickie, 14.

SOFLO’s four-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will use the meet as a tuneup for the upcoming International Swimming League’s second season that begins Oct. 16 in a controlled bubble in Hungary. She will compete for a new team, London Roar.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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