SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Ready For This Weekend’s ISL Championship Finals


By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, November 19, 2020–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson is more than ready to “battle and be better” for this weekend’s International Swimming League final at Duna Arena.

The four-time Jamaican Olympian will wind up her second pro season when she competes with the London Roar. The three other teams making it to the final are defending champion Energy Standard, Cali Condors and LA Current.

The Energy Standard leads in rating points with 2,291 followed by the Cali Condors, 2,222 and London Roar, 2,007.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Atkinson told Sports Max TV. “Right now, we’re third but we’re pretty close to second and first. I really think we can pull something out. I think we can surprise some people and just do our best.

“Six weeks is a long time. Everybody is excited to go home but as a team I think we’re focused and ready to go into the finals and produce the best times they can. I know we will give it 100 per cent effort.”

Clay High School and Bolles Club alum Caeleb Dressel of the Cali Condors is coming off last week’s world record performance in the 100-meter individual medley (49.88). In last year’s final, he broke the world record in the 50-meter freestyle in 20.24.

The London Roar’s Kira Toussaint of the Netherlands and Adam Peaty of Great Britain are also coming off world records. Toussaint, who swam for Florida Gulf Coast for two seasons before transferring to Tennessee for her final two seasons, broke the 50 backstroke mark in 25.60 and Peaty broke the 100 breaststroke in 55.49.

The pro season, held in a “bubble” under strict COVID-19 guidelines, started with 300 swimmers and 10 international teams. Competition was held over six weeks.

Atkinson, 31, is ranked first in the 100-meter breaststroke (1:02.66) and fourth in the 50-meter breaststroke (29.20). Atkinson has also lowered her Jamaican national record in the 100 butterfly twice (57.13 last weekend).

“The butterfly was fantastic, I wanted to go 56 but like the 100 breast you have to take it step by step,” Atkinson said. “I haven’t done that race in like six years, so considering that it is a pretty good time. Hopefully, as I swim it some more I will get faster and faster.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO Hosts Last Chance Age Group Dual Meet Saturday


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, November 19, 2020—There will be plenty of good racing on Saturday when South Florida Aquatic Club hosts its first swim meet with limited visiting teams and swimmers at Academic Village Pool.

SOFLO, which competed in virtual meets against Sarasota Sharks and Mason Manta Rays last month, will host the Last Chance Age Group Dual Meet on Saturday in three sessions (8-10:19 a.m., 1-3:21 p.m. and 4-5:23 p.m.)

Under strict COVID-19 guidelines, SOFLO will host a limited number of swimmers from Plantation Swim Team, Boca Raton Swim Club and Midtown Weston Aquatics in the day-long short course yards meet.

The meet will give swimmers a “last chance” to make qualifying cut times for the Dec. 10-13 30th annual Speedo Winter Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex. Several swimmers already have cut times but are trying to add other events.

The SOFLO meet features three sessions: 13-and-over, 8 a.m. start; 12-and-under, 1 p.m. start; and developmental, 4 p.m. start. No spectators are allowed to attend, adhering to strict COVID-19 guidelines. The meet will be live streamed on SOFLO’s YouTube site.

As meet host, SOFLO and Comets Swim Team Booster Club have taken enhanced health and safety measures for swimmers, coaches, officials and volunteer timers.

Among SOFLO’s top-seeded swimmers are:

Sara Quintero, 17, 50-yard backstoke, 28.57.

Javier Colmenares, 14, 200-yard freestyle, 1:53.45; 100-yard freestyle, 52.60.

Izzy Wilson, 14, 400-yard individual medley, 4:52.28; 200-yard backstroke, 2:21.54.

Paige Lane, 18, 100-yard freestyle, 52.53; 50-yard butterfly, 26.22.

Molly Golding, 17, 50-yard breaststroke, 30.70.

Robert Wilson, 18, 100-yard freestyle, 47.20.

Andres Lares, 20, 200-yard backstroke, 1:53.68.

Ethan Hall, 10, 100-yard backstroke, 1:16.82; 50-yard backstroke, 36.08; 100-yard freestyle, 1:05.33.

Gianna Martin, 9, 100-yard breaststroke, 1:26.74; 50-yard breaststroke, 40.14.

Ethan Phan, 8, 50-yard breaststroke, 51.22; 100-yard individual medley, 1:41.91.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com