SOFLO Among Teams At Santa Claus Holiday Sprint Invitational Saturday At Lake Lytal

By Sharon Robb
WEST PALM BEACH, December 1, 2022—South Florida Aquatic Club’s young up-and-coming swimmers will compete at the annual Santa Claus Holiday Sprint Invitational Saturday at Lake Lytal Aquatic Center.

SOFLO has 16 swimmers competing in 63 individual events.

Gregory Miralles, 8, is seeded first in the 7-8 25-yard freestyle in 18.84 and 25-yard breaststroke in 27.15.

Maya Barrizonte, 8, is top seed in the 7-8 25-yard butterfly in 20.59.

Other SOFLO swimmers entered are: Molly Barber, 7; Mason Barrizonte, 9; Lincoln Callaway Coy, 9; Victoria Colmenares, 8; Andres Gomez, 7; Camila Juanes, 10; Thiago Mantilla, 6; Daniel Mantjos, 11; David Mendoza, 8; Lilith Napoles, 9; Mateo Naranjo, 8; Sarah Naranjo, 8; Christopher Pozo, 8; and Mattias Tejada, 11.

In addition to SOFLO, other Florida Gold Coast teams competing are Wahoos of Wellington, Martin County, North Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Jupiter Dragons, FAST, Tsunamis Swim Team, RATS and host Lake Lytal Lightning.

Each of the three meet sessions were capped at 225 swimmers. Admission is $5. Meet programs are available for free online or on Meet Mobile.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ledecky Wins 800, Makes 2024 U.S. Olympic Trial Cut On Day One Of Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships

By Sharon Robb
GREENSBORO, N.C., November 30, 2022—It was only fitting the world’s all-time greatest swimmer was the first to qualify for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials at the Toyota U.S. Open Swimming Championships Wednesday at Greensboro Aquatic Center.

University of Florida grad assistant Katie Ledecky of Gator Swim Club won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:13.90, 31.89 seconds under the time standard. The three-time defending Olympian champion and world record holder in the event took the lead and was never challenged by the field.

Ledecky was coming off her double world record swims in the 800 and 1500 at the short course meters FINA World Cup. Ledecky has the 200, 400 and 1500 freestyles left to swim.

Four other women met the trials time standard: Michaela Mattes (8:37.99) of Sarasota Sharks, Cavan Gormsen (8:38.15), Caroline Pennington (8:42.93) and Katrina Bellio (8:43.24).

In an exciting men’s race, Brazil’s top seed Guilherme Costa, 24, won the men’s 800 freestyle in 7:54.10, just ahead of Florida’s Alfonso Mestre of Venezuela in 7:54.80. The pair were the only two swimmers to crack 8 minutes.

South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented by 2020 Olympian Julio Horrego in the four-day meet. The 24-year-old Honduran Olympian and national record holder will compete in the 100-meter breaststroke on Friday and 200-meter breaststroke on Saturday.

The four-day meet has attracted both U.S. and international swimmers and expected to be one of the most competitive.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Katie Ledecky, Gator Swim Club 8:13.90, 2. Michael Mattes, Sarasota Sharks 8:37.89, 3. Cavan Gormsen, LIAC 8:38.15, 5. Emma Weyant, UN 8:41.16.
800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Cougar Aquatics 8:25.21.
800-meter freestyle: 1. Guilherme Costa, Brazil 7:54.10, 2. Alfonso Mestre, Florida 7:54.80, 3. Stephen Steverink, Brazil 8:01.08.
800-meter freestyle relay: 1. NSW Swim 7:22.51, 2. SwimMAC 7:39.90.
Sharon Robb can be reached at