SOFLO Swimmers Start Strong On Opening Night Of 14&Under FGC Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb
STUART, July 14, 2022—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers got off to a great start in the distance events at the 14&Under Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics Thursday at Sailfish Splash Waterpark.

Jemma Baldwin, Mackenzie McPherson and Juan Vallmitjana finished runners-up in their events.

Baldwin, 11, was second in the 1500-meter freestyle in a best time 19:34.69. She shaved 30.55 seconds off her previous best and dipped under 20 minutes for the first time in her young career.

McPherson, 12, was second in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 5:43.04.

Vallmitjana, 13, was second in the 1500-meter freestyle in a best time 17:03.92, dropping 33.47 seconds off his previous best.

Other top six SOFLO finishers were:
Toma Petkov, 10, 400 freestyle, third, 5:33.76, time drop 16.91.
Christie Ann Lumsden, 10, 400 freestyle, fourth, 5:20.32, time drop 6.60.
Ethan Hall, 12, 400 IM, fourth 5:36.30, time drop 3.57.
Mason Jimenez, 14, 1500 freestyle, fifth, 18:14.04.
Sarah Vasquez, 14, 1500 freestyle, sixth, 19:08.68, time drop 16.28.
Saree Young, 12, 400 IM, 5:56.72, sixth, best time.
Eric Ferrer, 11, 1500 freestyle, sixth, 19:32.71, tme drop 4.83.
Michael Barber, 10, 400 freestyle, sixth, 5:47.00, time drop 13.30.
Noah Mejias, 11, 400 IM, sixth, 5:40.84, time drop 12.25.

SOFLO has one of its largest contingents with 64 qualified swimmers (33 boys, 31 girls) in 274 individual events and relays.

At last summer’s JOs, SOFLO won the girls team title with 262 points ahead of Metro Aquatics with 234. SOFLO boys’ team finished second with 246.50 behind Metro Aquatics with 346 points. Metro Aquatics won the combined team title with 610 points. Defending champion SOFLO was second with 546.50.

The meet is being co-hosted by Martin County, Florida Gold Coast Swimming, Martin County Swimming and North Palm Beach Swim Club for the sixth time.


1500-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Veronica Metz, WOW 18:44.76; SOFLO: 2. Jemma Baldwin 19:34.69, time drop 30.55, 9. Sofia Gomez 20:37.44, time drop 7.48, 13. Sofia Rodriguez 21:03.40, time drop 19.12.
13-14, 1. Da’jah German, SFTL 18:28.55; SOFLO: 6. Sarah Vasquez 19:08.68, time drop 16.28, 8. Amelie Bicerne 19:19.32, 14. Mariana Pinto 20:21.94.

400-meter freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Jilliam Henriquez, PST 5:03.49; SOFLO: 4. Christie Ann Lumsden 5:20.32, time drop 6.60.

400-meter individual medley:
11-12, 1. Zoe Schnoeller, SFTL 5:40.51; SOFLO: 2. Mackenzie McPherson 5:43.04, best time yards 5:05.07, 6. Saree Young 5:56.72, best time yards 5:15.83.

1500-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Felipe Alvarez, PST 18:41.68; SOFLO: 6. Eric Ferrer 19:32.71, time drop 4.83, 14. Atharv Agashe 21:37.13.
13-14, 1. Fredreick Rosenthal, PCS 17:03.41; SOFLO: 2. Juan Vallmitjana 17:03.92, time drop 33.47, 5. Mason Jimenez 18:14.04.

400-meter freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Mason Shepley, LLL 5:27.24; SOFLO: 3. Toma Petkov 5:33.76, time drop 16.91, 6. Michael Barber 5:47.00, time drop 13.30.

400-meter individual medley:
11-12, 1. Caleb Caponera, SAS 5:30.71; SOFLO: 4. Ethan Hall 5:36.30, time drop 3.57, 6. Noah Mejias 5:40.84, time drop 12.25, 7. David Valdiviezo 5:43.63, time drop 12.65.

14&Under Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics

WHEN: Thursday-Sunday

WHERE: Sailfish Splash Park, 931 SE Ruhnke, Stuart.

TIMELINE: Friday, 8:30 a.m.-12:40 p.m., 5:30-6:49 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-1:23 p.m., 5:30-6:46 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-12:24 p.m., 5:30-7:13 p.m.

ADMISSION: $5 per session. Heat sheets will not be sold but will be available at or A concession stand will be available. The venue will open to spectators, athletes and coaches at 7 a.m. each morning and 4 p.m. each afternoon.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Author: South Florida Aquatic Club - SOFLO Swimming

Welcome to the South Florida Aquatic club, a premier community swim team dedicated to providing opportunity and encouragement to all team members, from the beginner to the seasoned Olympic athlete in their pursuit of excellence. The year-round development program for competitive swimming features life-enhancing qualities including integrity, discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship and health and fitness. We invite you to navigate the club’s portal for information about the team.

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