SOFLO’s DeLuna Wins Senior Title, Rodriguez Makes Futures Cut; Azura Leads On Day Two Of FGC Senior Championships

By Sharon Robb
CORAL SPRINGS, July 23, 2022–It was a night of first-time accomplishments for SOFLO swimmers Gabriella DeLuna and Enrique Rodriguez at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships Saturday at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

DeLuna, 15, won her first senior title in the 400-meter individual medley in a best time 5:11.04, shaving 1.43 seconds off her previous best of 5:12.47. Her splits were 1:08.96 butterfly, 1:22.66 backstroke, 1:29.20 breaststroke and 1:10.22 freestyle. She was the fastest qualifier in morning prelims in 5:13.03.

Rodriguez, 17, made his first USA Swimming Futures cut in the 200-meter freestyle, winning the C final in a best time 1:57.72, dropping 0.59 off his previous best of 1:58.31.

University of Georgia’s Connor Haigh, 20, who has been training at SOFLO and swimming unattached in the meet, won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:19.56. SOFLO’s Manuel Melendez, 18, was sixth in a best time 2:33.71, dropping 0.15.

Dominic Bono, 19, was third in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:42.19.

SOFLO’s 400-meter freestyle relay team of Aldo Zepeda, Enrique Rodriguez, Manuel Melendez and Agustin Rodriguez pulled off a sixth place in 3:39.48, also a Futures cut time.

Michelle Marinheiro, 19, was fourth in the C final of the 200-meter freestyle in a best time 2:12.77, dropping 1.37 seconds off her previous best. She was also eighth in the B final in a best time 1:07.17, dropping 0.74.

Sabrina Osorio, 17, was third in the B final of the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:53.11 and Mariann Catalasan, 16, was fifth in the B final in a best time 2:53.69, dropping 1.60.

Ana Villamil, 17, was second in the C final of the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 1:06.18, dropping 0.19. Gabriela Avila, 15, was sixth in the 100 butterfly in 1:07.59. Villamil was also seventh in the 400 IM in a best time 5:37.14, dropping 6.76.

Hashan Ekanayake, 15, won the D final in the 200-meter freestyle in a best time 2:02.10 with a time drop of 0.35.

Alexander Miller, 15, was third in the B final of the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:37.39.

Adrian Hernandez, 16, was fourth in the D final of the 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.22 and Jaden Amores, 15, was fifth in a best time 1:01.31, dropping 0.08.

In a close battle for combined, Azura leads Flood Aquatics, 1,277-1,240. Flood Aquatics leads the women’s with 585 and Azura leads the men’s with 754. SOFLO is third among women’s teams and fourth in the combined and men’s team standings.

The three-day meet concludes Sunday 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.

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.

1. Azura Florida Aquatics 1,277, 2. Flood Aquatics 1,240, 3. TS Aquatics 803, 4. South Florida Aquatic Club 746, 5. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 481, 6. Pompano Beach 476.50, 7. Plantation Swim Team 367, 8. T2 Aquatics 359, 9. Wahoos of Wellington 356, 10. Swim Fort Lauderdale 343.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Flood Aquatics 585, 2. Azura 523, 3. SOFLO 409, 4. TS Aquatics 352, 5. Midtown Weston 306.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 754, 2. Flood Aquatics 655, 3. TS Aquatics 451, 4. SOFLO 337, 5. Swim Fort Lauderdale 328.

200-meter freestyle: 1. Emily Trieschmann, NSU 2:04.49, 2. Heidi Smithwick, JUP 2:05.70, 3. Eriana Temperino, GPA 2:08.28; SOFLO: 20. Michelle Marinheiro 2:12.77, time drop 1.37.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Elizabeth Maradyn, GPA 2:39.37, 2. Paola Gonzalez, UN 2:42.00, 3. Madison Sipowski, FAST 2:44.09; SOFLO: 11. Sabrina Osorio 2:53.11, 13. Mariann Catalasan 2:53.69, time drop 1.60.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Lismar Lyon, MWA 1:01.67, 2. Heidi Smithwick, JUP 1:02.55, 3. Nicole Aguilar, WOW 1:02.80; SOFLO: 16. Michelle Marinheiro 1:07.17, time drop 0.74, 18. Ana Villamil 1:06.18, time drop 0.19, 22. Gabriela Avila 1:07.59.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Gabriella DeLuna, SOFLO 5:11.04, time drop 1.43, 2. Lilia Blanco, PB 5:13.63, 3. Paola Gonzalez, UN 5:15.19; SOFLO: 7. Ana Villamil 5:37.14, time drop 6.76.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Azura A 3:54.67 (Julimar Avila, Sirena Rowe, Lucia Miller, Nicole Frank Rodriguez), 2. TS Aquatics 3:58.94. 3. FAST 4:00.46, 11. SOFLO A 4:11.87 (Michelle Marinheiro, Gabriela Avila, Ana Villamil, Sara Quintero), 18. SOFLO B 4:28.74 (Gabriella DeLuna, Mariann Catalasan, Sabrina Osorio, Sofia Osorio).

200-meter freestyle: 1. Dylan Felt, SFTL 1:52.58, 2. Thomas Flower, NSU 1:52.73, 3. Varis Monroe, FAST 1:53.42; SOFLO: 17. Enrique Rodriguez 1:57.72, time drop 0.59, 25. Hashan Ekanayake 2:02.10, time drop 0.35.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Connor Haigh, UN/Georgia/SOFLO 2:19.56, 2. Jacques Sonnier, BR 2:24.92, 3. Noah Sipowski, FAST 2:26.47; SOFLO: 6. Manuel Melendez 2:33.71, time drop 0.15, 11. Alexander Miller 2:37.39.

100-meter butterfly: 1. Steven Aimable, Azura 54.47, 2. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 54.69, 3. Esteban Nunez Del Prado, Azura 55.98; SOFLO: 28. Adrian Hernandez 1:01.22, 29. Jaden Amores 1:01.31, time drop 0.08.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Matheo Mateos, Azura 4:32.22, 2. Mariano Sosa, Azura 4:39.62, 3. Dominic Bono, SOFLO 4:42.19.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Azura A 3:28.49 (Davidson Vincent, Gabriel Araya, Matheo Mateos, Steven Aimable), 2. FAST 3:28.86, 3. TS Aquatics 3:34.92, 6. SOFLO A 3:39.48 (Aldo Zepeda, Enrique Rodriguez, Manuel Melendez, Agustin Rodriguez), 17. SOFLO B 3:48.03 (Alexander Miller, Nathaniel Garrick, Marvan Ekanayake, Adrian Hernandez).

WHAT: Florida Gold Coast LCM Senior Championships.

WHEN: Friday-Sunday.

WHERE: Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions, Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, 12441 Royal Palm Blvd.

TIMELINES: 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 or Meet Mobile. For more information call swim office 954-340-5032.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, July 23, 2022–Eva Ortiz is a quick study when it comes to competitive swimming.

Just ask her South Florida Aquatic Club age group coach Andrea Golding. Ortiz joined her Little Dippers group in January at age 10.

“She is a hard worker, she listens to everything and she is very coachable,” Golding said. “She quietly worked her way and then before we knew it I had to move her into my Dippers group in March. Then she started competing.”

Ortiz competed in the SOFLO 10-and-Under Meet in April in her first two events, 50 freestyle and 50 breaststroke.

“Ortiz got her first B cut in the 50 breast in her very first meet,” Golding said.

“I think the swim meet I was most excited about was my first-ever meet,” Ortiz said. “I was so nervous. I did all right. It got me motivated.”

After that she competed in the Plantation Swim Team long course dual meet “which is pretty challenging for Dippers,” Golding said. “She did the 50 free, 50 back and 50 fly and she got her second B cut in her 50 back.”

Then she competed in the FIU Long Course meet and earned her third B cut in the 100 freestyle, swam her 50 backstroke even faster and got her BB cut in the 100 breaststroke.

“At that point when you have a swimmer in your group who was just on pre-team in January and then moving into Little Dippers you’re like whoa.”

Ortiz competed in the North Miami meet and had “another fantastic meet” getting her B cut in the 50 fly.

“Here we have all of a sudden a swimmer who has a B cut in every stroke and caught my attention. I just realized I can’t keep her in Dippers any longer.

“The nice thing is what I’ve seen the last few months she has gone from always being in the back of the lane to leading a lane. I see a little smile and little bit of a twinkle in her eye.

“As a coach it’s really nice to see her gain some confidence in what she is able to do and how she approaches her practice because clearly she has some baseline talent there. I’m really excited to see her with the challenge of the next level up. I think she will progress very quickly.”

The 11-year-old is expected to move up to Meteorites for the next chapter in her young swimming career.

Ortiz, a sixth grader at Franklin Academy Pembroke Pines played soccer and gymnastics. She learned to swim in a lessons program when she was a toddler. She loves the sport and joined her first club SOFLO a year ago.

“I did a lot of other sports before swimming but I really didn’t like them,” Ortiz said. “I like going in the water so I went and tried out for swimming. I like competing and training equally. I am trying to get better.”

Since she started swimming Ortiz has improved her time management and study skills, according to her mom Niurka. “Everything fell into place for her. We’re happy with how well she has been able to manage to swim and maintain her grades.”

Ortiz is focused on making good grades in school and swimming but also has time to be a computer wiz. She also loves to draw, collects Hello Kitty and Pusheen stuffed animals and collectibles and spend time with her athletic family.

Her dad Felipe played football at Clemson and also competed in marathons and triathlons including the Ironman. He’s played a big part in her swimming taking her to practice and also helping her with her pool starts off the blocks. Her brother Gavin has been playing golf since he was 5 and her older sister Maya used to be a fencer.

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack. Ortiz joins SOFLO teammates Sally Golding (April), Natalie Gembicki (March), Sofia Lugo (February) and Valentina Remmele (January) as 2022 Swimmers of the Month.

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 ESPY Sportswoman of the Year Katie Ledecky, 2020 Olympians Simone Manuel, Lilly King, Annie Lazor, Ashley Twichell and other elite swimmers Melanie Margalis, Molly Hannis and Kelsi Dahlia.

Sharon Robb can be reached at