By Sharon Robb
CORAL SPRINGS, July 19, 2022–After successful BB Championships and Junior Olympics, South Florida Aquatic Club’s championship season continues this weekend with the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.
The three-day meet gets under way Friday with prelims at 8:30 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.
St. Andrew’s Aquatics is defending long course champions after winning its first-ever title last August.
In one of the closest finishes, St. Andrew’s Aquatics won the combined team title. Defending seven-time champion SOFLO finished runner-up in combined with 1,295.50, 151.50 points behind St. Andrew’s Aquatics with 1,446. Jupiter Dragons were third with 1,064.50. They were the only teams to crack the 1,000-point barrier among a field of 35 teams.
St. Andrew’s Aquatics also won the boys team title with 1,143. SOFLO was second with 790 and Swim Fort Lauderdale was third with 675.
Jupiter Dragons, led by Heidi Smithwick, winner of seven individual and relay events, won the girls’ team title with 710.50 points, just 41.50 points ahead of Gulliver Swim Club with 669. Pine Crest was third with 665.50. SOFLO was fourth with 505.50 and St. Andrew’s Aquatics was sixth with 303.
Because of bad weather and impending storms moving in from the Everglades, the final night session was cancelled and results were morning timed finals. The 400-meter medley relays and fast heats of the 1500 freestyles were not contested.
St. Andrew’s swimmers dedicated the win to longtime head coach Sid Cassidy, who underwent coronary angioplasty and stent surgery and was unable to be at the meet. But this year Cassidy will be at the meet celebrating his one-year successful surgery anniversary.
In March, SOFLO won its eighth senior championship title at the short course meet. SOFLO swept all three team titles.
SOFLO topped a field of 36 teams to win the combined team title with a record 2,048 points topping its previous record of 2,007 set at last year’s short course championships. TS Aquatics finished runner-up with 946 points for its best finish in a major championship meet. Pine Crest Swimming was third with 673.5.
SOFLO won the women’s team title with 1,072.5, also a record, ahead of TS Aquatics with 579.5 and Pine Crest Swimming with 530. SOFLO won the men’s team title with 976 points ahead of Metro Aquatics with 465 and Azura Florida Aquatics with 421.
This year the field is wide open with Azura Florida Aquatics with its talent-laden relays as the heavy favorite.
SOFLO has 29 swimmers (19 boys and 10 girls) entered in 131 individual events and 16 relays in eight relay events. After senior champs, SOFLO swimmers have Zones and Futures remaining to end the summer.
Dominic Bono, 19, Olivia Dinehart, 17, Elena Dinehart, 17, Enrique Rodriguez, 17, Agustin Rodriguez, 17, Maddie Smutny, 17, Aldo Zepeda, 17, and Sara Quintero, 18, head SOFLO’s contingent.
University of Georgia junior Connor Haigh, 20, swimming unattached for SOFLO, is top seed in the 200 breaststroke in 2:18.54 and 100 breaststroke in 1:04.37.
The star-studded field features U.S. junior national team members and Florida commit Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming and Stanford-bound Josh Zuchowski, 18, of FAST. Both are prepping for the Aug. 24-27 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii where they will represent the U.S. internationally. Zuchowski is also competing at senior and junior nationals. Podkoscielny is swimming one event (200 backstroke) at this weekend’s meet and will also compete at Futures.
Among other top-seeded swimmers are Heidi Smithwick, 18, of Jupiter Dragons; Daniel Ramirez, 29, of Westminster Academy; Gabriel Araya, 23, of Azura; Mia Zahab, 20, of Golden Panthers; Dylan Felt, 18, of Swim Fort Lauderdale; Emily Trieschmann, 19, of Nova Southeastern; Paola Gonzalez, 16, swimming unattached; Lismar Lyon, 21, of Midtown Weston; Steven Aimable, 23, of Azura; Matheo Mateos, 21, of Azura; Maria Jose Arrua, 23, of Azura; Alyssa Bozzuto, 16, of FAST; Carlin Hughes, 15, Lake Lytal Lightning; Cortes Robles, 18, of Azura; and Matheus Siniscalchi, 16, of Azura.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Florida Gold Coast LCM Senior Championships.
WHERE: Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions, Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, 12441 Royal Palm Blvd.
TIMELINES BEFORE SCRATCHES: Friday, 8:30-11:35 a.m., 5-7:37 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30-11:49 a.m., 5-7:31 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-12:32 p.m., 5-7:29 p.m.;
ADMISSION: $5 per sessions for prelims and finals. There will be a concession stand available. Heat sheets are available at http://www.swimcssc.com or Meet Mobile. For more information call swim office 954-340-5032.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org