Fifteen SOFLO Swimmers Compete In FGC-FL All-Star Meet; SOFLO’s Mantilla, Vallmitjana Top Finishers On Day One

By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, March 25, 2022—South Florida Aquatic Club has fifteen swimmers competing at the 2022 Florida Gold Coast vs. Florida All-Star Meet Friday through Sunday at Indian River State College.

The talented swimmers assembled on the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team, who qualified at the FGC Junior Olympics at Coral Springs are: 10-and-under, Christie Ann Lumsden; Guillermo Mantilla and Toma Petkov; 11-12, Jemma Baldwin, Laila Harran, Ryan Harries, Connor Jimenez and Joseph Blake-Natino; 13-14, Jaden Amores, Jenesys Amores, Amelie Bicerne, Elise Dinehart, Amanda Grubbs, Lydia Smutny and Juan Vallmitjana.

SOFLO age group coach Isidro (Issy) Planell, based at SOFLO’s Miami campus, is a member of the All-Star coaching staff for the 13-14 boys. In 2020, he was All-Star coach for the 11-12 year olds.

On a chilly Friday, Juan Vallmitjana, 13, and Guillermo Mantilla, 10, were SOFLO’s top finishers.

Vallmitjana was third in the 1,000-yard freestyle in a best time 9:51.62, dropping 36.29 from his entry time of 10:27.91.

Mantilla was also third in the 500-yard freestyle in a best time 5:48.24, dropping 3.30 seconds from his entry time of 5:51.54.

Mantilla was also a member of the winning 10-and-under mixed 200-yard medley relay in 2:03.90 along with Eric Macedo, Kira Perry and Penelope Lopez-Casula. FGC also won the 11-12 relay.

Florida Swimming leads Florida Gold Coast in combined 87-51, boys 33-12 and girls 24-21.


1,000-yard freestyle:
11-12, 1. Izzy Riva, FL 10:41.92, 2. Veronica Metz, FGC 10:53.45, 3. Allison Connors, FGC 11:04.16; SOFLO: 8. Jemma Baldwin 11:44.86.
13-14, 1. Neala Klein, FL 10:17.93, 2. Cher Patrick, FL 10:22.95, 3. Nicole Shanks, FL 10:37.69, 4. DaJah German, FGC 10:50.75; SOFLO: 6. Amelie Bicerne 11:15.99.
500-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Gia Euseppi, FGC 5:42.52, 2. Skylar Revere, FL 5:43.91, 3. Grace Weeks, FGC 5:55.50.

1,000-yard freestyle:
13-14, 1. Dillon Brigman, FL 9:43.71, 2. Kingsley Wickstrom, FL 9:51.57, 3. Juan Vallmitjana, FGC 9:51.62.
11-12, 1. Lincoln Driesse, FL 10:41.48, 2. Liam Schermerhorn, FL 10:44.63, 3. Felipe Alvarez, FGC 10:49.98; SOFLO: 6. Connor Jimenez 11:11.88, time drop 28.69, 8. Ryan Harries 11:33.01, time drop 7:37.34.
500-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Matthew Shit, FL 5:27.20, 2. Kallen Garnier-Chan, FL 5:44.90, 3. Guillermo Mantilla, FGC 5:48.24.
Mixed 200-yard medley relay:
13-14, 1. Florida Swimming A 1:39.12,2. Florida Swimming B 1:43.16, 3. Florida Gold Coast A 1:43.46, 7. Florida Gold Coast D 1:51.16 (Jaden Amores, Emma Han, Adriano Brunetti, Amanda Grubbs).
11-12, 1. Florida Gold Coast A 1:51.52 (Allison Kelly, Tessa Broedell, Duy Vuong, Brian Hamilton), 2. Florida Swimming A 1:52.43, 3. Florida Swimming B 1:53.62, 4. Florida Gold Coast B 1:53.92, 7. Florida Gold Coast C 1:56.63, 8. Florida Gold Coast D 1:57.91.
10-and-under, 1. Florida Gold Coast A 2:03.90 (Guillermo Mantilla, Eric Macedo, Kira Perry, Penelope Lopez-Casula), 2. Florida Swimming A 2:04.07, 3. Florida Swimming B 2:07.45, 5. Florida Gold Coast B 2:12.14, 6. Florida Gold Coast Swimming 2:15.31, 7. Florida Coast Swimming C 2:16.06.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Some of the time drops are from long course to short course entry times.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, March 25, 2022–Sofia Lugo set herself up for success through hard work and dedication.

And because of it, the Falcon Cove Middle School seventh grader had outstanding BB Championship and Junior Olympic meets.

At BBs, she got four more Junior Olympic cuts in the 500 freestyle, 200 butterfly, 100 backstroke and 200 IM. And at JOs, she competed in ten events, including three relays and posted five best times.

“I had two or three JO cuts from all separate meets before that,” Lugo said. “I knew that I needed to get more because I knew I was capable of more than two or three JO cuts. At the BB Championship meet I was so happy. It was definitely my favorite meet of the season so far.

“My best meet was probably the BB championship meet because I had so much fun. I went out and started with the 500 and dropped lots of time in that and I was very excited. And then I went out and did my 200 fly and I dropped between 8 and 10 seconds. I was so excited about getting that JO cut. The 200 fly was the one event that I really wanted to get the JO cut in. That’s what made my meet perfect.”

Her coach and teammates were happy for her as well. They see firsthand how hard she works.

“She had a phenomenal BBs,” said her Silver Group coach Jack Davies. “She has put forth an incredible amount of work this season to set herself up with a full slate of events for JOs. I’m incredibly excited to follow the next challenges she sets for herself in and out of the pool.”

Lugo, 13, started swimming when she was 3 and competing at age 7. She followed in the footsteps of her older sisters, Jacque and Raquel.

“My siblings started swimming and I had no idea what was going on when I was dropped off at the pool,” Lugo said. “I enjoyed watching it and it started to get me excited to swim. I finally started to understand what I was actually suppose to be doing when I started.”

You can hear it in her voice how much she loves the sport.

“I do love swimming,” she said. “There are so many aspects to it that are so unique, unlike every other sport, that I love so much. There is no other sport where you’re having to do so much work on your body and you can’t even breathe at the same time. I don’t know what specific part but I just love the feeling of being in the water. Running can be so tiring, but for me I can never get tired of swimming.”

Swimming has helped her outside the pool as well.

“It’s definitely helped with time management especially in school when I have to get assignments done,” Lugo said. “It’s made me more organized with my things, too.” That includes her artwork and shopping for vinyl records.

While she is versatile in all strokes, her favorite is butterfly.

“Especially when you are all stretched out, it just feels so good in the water, ” Lugo said. “I used to be a freestyler, but at some point it sparked in me where I became a butterflier when I turned 13.”

The sky is the limit for Lugo who has plenty of goals to keep her busy training in the pool.

“Since I already have a full set of JO cuts for 13-14, I’m trying to work on getting some more senior champs cuts,” Lugo said. “I have four right now.”

She would also like to swim high school in two years at Cypress Bay where her sisters swam.

“Both of my sisters were in it and they tell me all the time to do it because they had so much fun and enjoyed it so much,” Lugo said.

“I am very excited about the future. I have many goals that people think are probably unattainable at this current time. I do want to go under a minute in my 100 fly which seems like a big goal for someone who just turned 13, but I think I’m capable of it and I want to do it. I want to swim in Futures and other major meets. I know what it will take.”

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

Freshmen Steal Spotlight, Florida Wins Second Relay On Day Two Of NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming And Diving Championship

By Sharon Robb
ATLANTA, March 24, 2022—Freshmen swimmers took center stage Thursday at the NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships at Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Center.

Georgia freshman Matthew Sates broke the meet and pool record in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:06.61. Sophomore teammate Jake Magahey was second in 4:07.39 and Texas freshman Luke Hobson was third in 4:08.42. Olympian and early leader Kieran Smith of Florida was fourth in 4:08.68.

Arizona State freshman Leon Marchand became the first swimmer to go under 1:38 in the 200-yard individual medley. He won in 1:37.69 breaking Caeleb Dressel’s U.S. Open record of 1:38.13. His splits were 21.42, 24.32, 28.41 and 23.54.

Purdue freshman diver Tyler Downs won the 1-meter springboard title with 383.65 points.

LSU junior Brooks Curry won the 50-yard freestyle in 18.56, 3/100ths of a second ahead of Bjorn Seeliger of California in 18.59.

In a thrilling final event, Florida won the 200-yard freestyle relay in a pool record 1:14.11 ahead of California (1:14.36) and Texas (1:14.41). The Gator relay swimmers were Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Will Davis and Smith swimming anchor in 18.59. It was the Gators’ second relay win of the meet.

Individual event competition continues Friday morning. The top 16 advance to finals at 6 p.m. and relays will be included at the end of each finals session.

ESPN3 is providing digital broadcast coverage for preliminary and finals sessions. Additionally, ESPNU will air a two-hour show at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 5. Links can be found on WatchESPN or at the Championship Central webpage.

The official website for the men’s championship is As the host institution, Georgia Tech’s website also has Championship Central, where heat sheets and results will be updated each day.

The DI Men’s Swimming & Diving Program can be viewed at The program is free to view and can be downloaded and printed.

All prelims, 10 a.m., all finals 6 p.m.

Day 3, Friday, 400 IM, 100 butterfly, 200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke, 100 backstroke, 3-meter diving, 400 medley relay (finals only).

Day 4, Saturday, 200 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, 200 butterfly, platform diving, 1650 free (4:05 p.m. start), 400 free relay (finals only).


500-yard freestyle: 1. Matthew Sates, UGA 4:06.61,2. Jake Magahey, UGA 4:07.39, 3. Luke Hobson, TEX 4:08.42, 4. Kieran Smith, UF 4:08.68, 7. Alfonso Mestre, UF 4:11.98, 10. Bobby Finke, UF 4:11.74, 11. Trey Freeman, UF 4:12.70.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Leon Marchand, ASU 1:37.69, 2. Destin Lasco, CAL 1:38.21, 3. Luca Urlando, UGA 1:39.22.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Brooks Curry, LSU 18.56, 2. Bjorn Seeliger, CAL 18.59, 3. Jordan Crooks, TENN 18.60, 9. Adam Chaney, UF 18.75, 11. Will Davis, UF 18.99.

1-meter diving: 1. Tyler Downs, PUR 383.65, 2. Jordan Rzepka, PUR 372.60, 3. Conor Casey, STAN 370.55.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Florida 1:14.11 (Adam Chaney, Eric Friese, Will Davis, Kieran Smith), 2. California 1:14.36, 3. Texas 1:14.41.

Sharon Robb can be reached at