Bragging Rights On Line This Weekend In Dual Meet With Plantation Swim Team

By Sharon Robb
PLANTATION, February 9, 2022—In a unique club swim meet format, South Florida Aquatic Club and Plantation Swim Team will swim in a dual meet this weekend at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

The short course yards meet opens Friday with two sessions at 4 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. and concludes Saturday with one session at 8 a.m. The meet will not be scored.

The opening session events are 14-and-under 25-yard butterfly, 25-yard backstroke, 25-yard breaststroke and 25-yard freestyle in a sizzler format. The second session events are mixed 50-yard butterfly, 50-yard backstroke, 400-yard individual medley, 50-yard breaststroke and 50-yard freestyle.

SOFLO has entered 125 swimmers (65 boys and 60 girls) in 714 individual events and 40 relays in four relay events.

Among SOFLO swimmers competing are Jaden, Jenesys and Jianna Amores, Amelie Bicerne, Genesis Escobar, Sofia Gomez, Amanda Grubbs, Ryan Harries, Christie Ann Lumsden, Noah Mejias, Nicholas Pelaez, Ellie and Ethan Phan, Valentina and Maximiliano Remmele, Alexandra Strong, David Valdiviezo, Juan Vallmitjana, Sarah Vasquez and Leonardo Zuluaga.

Spectators will be allowed in a designated area. Spectators will be charged a $5 entrance fee (cash only).

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, February 8, 2022–Valentina Remmele has worked hard for everything she has accomplished in and out of the pool.

From learning to speak English and adjusting to a new country, to earning six BB cuts in her young swimming career, the 10-year-old Gator Run Elementary School fourth grader has overcome some major hurdles.

She said she was more happy than surprised when she got her first BB cuts in the SOFLO meet because she trained hard with Coach Rose.

Her mother Mabel Fernandez, a former swimmer herself in Santiago de Chile, credits SOFLO coaches Andrea Golding and Rose Lockie with helping her daughter and putting her on a successful path.

“She started with Coach Rose in December and the next meet she got her six BBs,” Fernandez said. “She has to work very hard but she gets the results. I am so proud of her. I was a college swimmer for four years but I started when I was 18. I am so happy she is starting so young.”

Fernandez has enjoyed watching her daughter’s progress. She also has fun socializing with the parents while watching practice.

“They have a very nice group,” Fernandez said. “The Meteorites now are almost all ex-Dippers and very good kids. The mothers have fun and the kids are very nice. They are so happy when they come to swim. We are so happy at SOFLO. It is such a nice place.”

Valentina’s parents met in Chile. Her father is German and her mother is from Spain and lived in Germany for 15 years. Their children were born in South America. The family moved to South Florida three years ago. The children can speak Spanish and German. Valentina has been learning English through Broward County Public School’s ESOL program which her mother said is fantastic.

“She worked a lot to learn English, writing and reading,” her mother said. “It was difficult at the beginning but she is having fun with it. The kids do it a lot better than me and my husband. Our family is from all around the world. It’s a mix of genes and history.”

Remmele has been swimming for four years. She started in SOLFO’s Dipper program and is now a Meteorite.

“I like that my brother swims with me,” said Remmele, referring to her 12-year old brother Maximiliano, who swims in Bronze group. “I like my friends at the pool. I like to compete. I like how my body feels in the water.”

Said her mother, “Valentina is the smallest of the siblings. She has two bigger brothers. She has always been very athletic. She has followed in their footsteps. Now it’s her turn.”

Remmele, who plays the piano, cycled and played tennis but it was swimming she fell in love with after watching her brother Max compete.

Her favorite strokes are breaststroke and butterfly. Her biggest goal for the future is to qualify for the Junior Olympics. She would also like to swim in high school and college.

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack.

SOFLO sponsor TYR is a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies.

TYR, created by athletes, is named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology. Among its female-sponsored athletes are 2020 Olympians Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, Lilly King, Annie Lazor, Ashley Twichell and other elite swimmers Melanie Margalis, Molly Hannis and Kelsi Dahlia.

Sharon Robb can be reached at