SOFLO Leads FGC Junior Olympics After Day One; Katelyn Gembicki, Connor Jimenez Top Finishers


By Sharon Robb
CORAL SPRINGS, March 10, 2022—South Florida Aquatic Club took an early lead on Day One of the Florida Gold Coast 14-and-Under Junior Olympics Championships Thursday at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

South Florida Aquatic Club leads the combined (85), girls (42) and boys (43) team standings after opening day action.

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.

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

Depth, particularly in the distance events, was the name of the game for SOFLO on opening night.

SOFLO’s 11-12 boys led the age group competition with 27 points ahead of St. Andrew’s Aquatics with 18. SOFLO’s 13-14 girls led the age group competition with 22 points ahead of Swim Fort Lauderdale with 15. SOFLO 10-and-under boys are second with 10 points and 11-12 girls are second with 20 points.

Among SOFLO’s top finishers with some impressive time drops were:

Jemma Baldwin, 11-12, 1,650 freestyle, fourth, 19:16.64, time drop 17.52.

Sofia Gomez, 11-12, 1,650 freestyle, ninth, 19:42.89, time drop 23.09.

Katelyn Gembicki, 13-14, 1,650 freestyle, third, 18:05.61, time drop 56.40.

Amelie Bicerne, 13-14, 1,650 freestyle, fourth, 18:18.05.

Mackenzie McPherson, 11-12, 400 IM, fifth, 5:05.07, time drop 10.14.

Saree Young, 11-12, 400 IM, sixth, 5:15.83, time drop 4.72.

Connor Jimenez, 11-12, 1,650 freestyle, third 18:52.48, time drop 27.35.

Ryan Harries, 11-12, 1,650 freestyle, fourth, 19:10.35.

Martin Petkov, 11-12, 1,650 freestyle, seventh, 20:03.23.

Juan Vallmitjana, 13-14, 1,650 freestyle, fifth, 16:44.51, time drop 18.83.

Mason Jimenez, 13-14, 1,650 freestyle, 17th, 17:50.82, time drop 25.11.

Toma Petkov, 10-and-under, ninth, 500 freestyle, 6:29.89, time drop 13.46.

Maximiliano Remmele, 400 IM, sixth, 4:54.92, time drop 8.45.

Noah Mejias, 400 IM, eighth, 5:01.20, time drop 10.11.

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

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.

THURSDAY RESULTS
COMBINED TEAM TOTALS
: 1. SOFLO 85, 2. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 53, 3. Wahoos of Wellington 48, 4. Coral Springs Swim Club 27, 5. Metro Aquatics 26, 6. tie, Eagle Aquatics, Jupiter Dragons 22, 8. Plantation Swim Team 20, 9. tie, Pompano Beach Piranhas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 19.

GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 42, 2. Wahoos of Wellington 40, 3. Eagle Aquatics 22, 4. tie, Coral Springs Swim Club, St. Andrew’s Aquatics 17.

BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 43, 2. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 36, 3. tie, Metro Aquatics, Plantation Swim Team 20, 5. Blue Marlins of Hialeah Gardens 15.5.

GIRLS
1,650-yard freestyle:
11-12, 1. Veronica Metz, WOW 17:56.47, 2. Allison Connors, WOW 18:35.94, 3. Makayla Montnegro, MWA 18:43.62; SOFLO: 4. Jemma Baldwin 19:16.64, AAA, 9. Sofia Gomez 19:42.89, AA.

13-14, 1. Gioia Balzano, EA 17:30.30, 2. Da’jah German, SFTL 17:55.18, 3. Katelyn Gembicki, SOFLO 18:05.61, AAA, 4. Amelie Bicerne 18:18.05, AAA, 7. Amanda Grubbs 18:38.28, SRCH, 8. Sarah Vazquez 18:43.31 SRCH, 12. Mariana Pinto 19:02.96, SRCH.

500-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Penelope Lopez-Casula, EA 5:28.21, 2. Gia Euseppi, NPB 5:49.51, 3. Grace Weeks, CSSC 5:56.38.

400-yard individual medley:
11-12, 1. Allison Kelly, JDST 4:46.93, 2. Allison Connors, WOW 4:56.47, 3. Madison Abinuman, WOW 4:56.84; SOFLO: 5. Mackenzie McPherson 5:05.07, AA, 6. Saree Young 5:15.83, FGJO.

BOYS
1,650-yard freestyle:
11-12, 1. Felipe Alvarez, PST 18:24.88, 2. Matthias Orlandini, RANS 18:50.85, 3. Connor Jimenez, SOFLO 18:52.48, AAA; SOFLO: 4. Ryan Harries 19:10.35, AA, 7. Martin Petkov 20:03.23, A.

13-14, 1. George Gonzalez, MAC 16:03.28, 2. Lucas Fernandez-Chung, MAC 16:37.13, 3. Dillon Metz, WOW 16:40.22; SOFLO: 5. Juan Vallmitjana 16:44.51, AAA, 17. Mason Jimenez 17:50.82, SRCH.

500-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Luke Reid, SAS 5:38.66, 2. Rainier Leyva Riestra, BMHG 5:38.87, 3. Guillermo Mantilla, SOFLO 5:51.54, AAA, 9. Toma Petkov 6:29.89, A.

400-yard individual medley:
11-12, 1. Duy Vuong, JDST 4:44.22, 2. Caleb Caponera, SAS 4:45.94, 3. Becket Menacho, Pb 4:47.25; SOFLO: 6. Maximiliano Remmele, 4:54.92, AA, 8. Noah Mejias 5:01.20, AA.

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