FGC Junior Olympics Begins Thursday, March 10th At Coral Springs Aquatic Complex

By Sharon Robb
CORAL SPRINGS, March 3, 2022—The championship season continues for South Florida Aquatic Club when the Florida Gold Coast 14-and-Under Junior Olympics Championships begins Thursday, March 10th at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Metro Aquatic Club of Miami is defending champion after winning the title for the first time in more than ten years in March, 2021.

South Florida Aquatic Club has traditionally done well at JOs. SOFLO has won ten overall combined short course team titles including nine straight until last year.

SOFLO has qualified 59 swimmers for the second consecutive year. Thirty-one boys and 28 girls will compete in 285 individual events.

The meet begins Thursday, March 10th at 5:30 p.m. with the boys and girls 1,650-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley. The meet continues Friday, Saturday and Sunday with prelims at 8:30 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m.

SOFLO’s Guillermo Mantilla, 10, is seeded first in the 50-yard freestyle in 27.70 and 100-yard freestyle in 1:01.09.

With so much parity in the meet, there is no clear cut favorite in the team competition. Among top team favorites are Jupiter Dragons, Metro Aquatics, St. Andrew’s, Wellington and SOFLO.

SOFLO’s 14-year-olds making their final JO short course appearance are Jaden Amores, Amelie Bicerne, Genesis Escobar, Katelyn Gembicki, Andres Gonzalez, Mia Guerrero, Derek Hau, Benjamin Kim, Tania Mantilla, Isabella Montes, Abraham Penaloza, Mariana Pinto, Carlos Rincon, Felipe Rodriguez and Sarah Vasquez.

The top six finishers in each JO event qualify for the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Heads Field For Piranhas Senior Invitational That Begins Thursday

By Sharon Robb
PLANTATION, March 2, 2022—Olympian Julio Horrego heads South Florida Aquatic Club’s 12-swimmer contingent for the Piranhas Senior Invitational at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

The four-day meet begins Thursday at 5 p.m. with the women’s 800-meter freestyle, men’s 1500-meter freestyle, 200-meter medley relay, 200-meter freestyle relay and mixed 200-meter medley and 200-meter freestyle relays.

The meet follows a full schedule Friday through Sunday with prelims at 8:40 a.m. and prelims at 5 p.m.

Horrego, 23, a member of the 2020 Honduran Olympic team, is entered in three events. He will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke, 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle. Horrego is seeded first in the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.18, first in the 50 breaststroke in 28.35 and 11th in the 100 freestyle in 53.09.

Other SOFLO swimmers competing are Gabriela Avila, 15, Amelie Bicerne, 14, Mariann Catalasan, 15, Javier Colmenares, 15, Dahlia Hirsh, 15, Alejandro Mateus, 16, Sabrina Osorio, 17, Sofia Osorio, 17, Wisthon Rendon, 17, Ricardo Roche, 22, and Enrique Rodriguez, 17.

SOFLO swimmers will compete in 23 individual events.

The meet is expected to be fast. Among teams entered are Bolles, Sarasota Sharks, Azura Florida Aquatics, Webbs Tornadoes, TS Aquatics, Midtown Weston, Southern Utah, Eagle Aquatics and Flood Aquatics.

Some of the top swimmers expected to compete are Erika Pelaez of Eagle Aquatics, Michaela Mattes of Sarasota Sharks, Abbas Qali of Azura, Josh Zuchowski of Flood Aquatics, Nicole Frank Rodriguez of Azura, Gracie Weyant of Sarasota Sharks, Addison Sauickie of Sarasota Sharks, Yeziel Morales of Azura, Zarek Wilson of TS Aquatics, Liam Custer of Sarasota Sharks, Davidson Vincent of Azura and Carter Lancaster of Bolles.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com