South Florida Aquatic Club Goes Virtual With Training During COVID-19 Lockdown

By Sharon Robb

PEMBROKE PINES, April 6, 2020—After a dress rehearsal on Friday, South Florida Aquatic Club age group swimmers went virtual on Monday to maintain their health and fitness during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The brainchild of veteran age group coach Rose Lockie, the dryland sessions for Groups A and B were fun, challenging and educational. Lockie’s sessions are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the lockdown is lifted.

Coach Andrea Golding will hold sessions for the Dippers and Meteorites on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Lockie used an I.M. FIT sprint workout from U.S. Olympian and nine-time world champion Katie Hoff of CG Sports Network while incorporating her own ideas to conform to her swimmers.

Lockie watches Hoff’s daily online workout broadcasts, takes notes and researches before devising her own lesson plans. She first tries the ideas out on her son Travis, who joined her on Monday’s virtual broadcast, to see if they work or not.

By the looks of Monday’s two virtual classes, the swimmers seem to be enjoying the virtual training.

There were a variety of exercises and drills, from jumping jacks, burpees and squats to planks, starts, stretching and streamlining. To start each segment, Lockie, who coached from her home, started out clapping her hands to start a drill but could not be heard by her swimmers so whistled instead.

“Are you out of your mind,” joked Travis, who was sitting beside when she started whistling. “The whistling is better, isn’t it? Lockie asked her swimmers. Despite a brief hearing loss, Travis helped his mom demonstrate a few of the more intricate drills.

The swimmers, working out in their homes and backyards, also seemed to enjoy Lockie’s feedback and critiques. Even some of the swimmers’ dogs and cats were getting into the act.

“Let’s go Mariana….Juan, what are you doing, you’ve just been disqualified…that’s it, keep going….keep going Sophia…keep going Sarah…come on guys, this is something we have done a 1,000 times…good job Pilar, she’s got the balance…did everyone understand that…this squat position is for ankle flexibility which is what you need for swimming….it’s a stretch, not a big deal…get those knees all the way up, please…Sophia, if you keep going around in circles you’re going to get dizzy…please remember your hips do not touch the ground…Benji, that’s it, you got it….keep going, keep going, keep going…guys it’s only 40 seconds…very nice job guys.”

There was also a “who could hold the longest plank challenge” at the end of each session. Sarah Vasquez won Group A in 4:38 and Matthew Jimenez won Group B in 4:30.

Lockie also made sure to ask her swimmers about their home schooling and how they were doing with their homework stressing the importance of education during the lockdown.

“I was looking for different stuff I thought would be fun and beneficial for the kids that was all related to swimming,” Lockie said. “CG Sports Network runs something every day. I adjust them slightly for the kids. It’s been fun doing it actually.”

Lockie uses Zoom video conferencing to enable her to see each swimmer working out while the swimmers can also see Lockie and interact with her.

There is an eight swimmer-to-one coach ratio, adhering to USA Swimming guidelines. For the opening session, Lockie had 16 swimmers and another coach and for the second session seven swimmers with Lockie.

“I think the kids are enjoying it,” Lockie said. “They all know it’s not mandatory, it’s optional. All but two of my swimmers signed up. The dryland training is really beneficial. The coaches need to stay connected with the kids. We’re all working together.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Michael Phelps Shares Advice About Mental Health Of Athletes During COVID-19 Lockdown

By Sharon Robb

April 3, 2020—Michael Phelps, one of the greatest athletes of all-time, has great insight and first-hand experience when it comes to athletes’ mental health.

The world record holder and Olympic gold medalist has been a public advocate for mental health and has talked openly about his own struggles.

Phelps said the coronavirus lockdown is hard for anyone, but for athletes including swimmers, there is an extra mental strain to go from a highly active lifestyle of training and competing to isolation and boredom.

The most decorated athlete in Olympic history had a mentally tough time after the 2012 London Olympics Games. He was arrested for drunk driving and ended up battling depression and anxiety. He was suspended by USA Swimming and he spent nearly two months in rehab.

Phelps, 34, married with two sons, is now involved with several business ventures and swimwear company.

“Your whole life is based on the play and then you get an unexpected turn of events,” Phelps said. “Mental health is of the utmost importance.

“As athletes, we’re so regimented,” Phelps said. “At this point, all the work is done. We’re just fine-tuning the small things to get to this point. Now it’s like, ‘Oh … we’re not competing.’ All these emotions start flaring up. I really think mental health is so important right now.”

Phelps said the key is keeping things as simple as possible.

“Just control what you can control,” he said. “We’re in such uncharted waters. We’re getting all these big questions thrown at us: What if? What if? What if? It’s so hard to understand. We’re having a hard time just wrapping our head around it.”

While stay-at-home orders in effect across the country can take their toll on swimmers and other athletes of all ages, experts recommend athletes stick to routines, focus on what can be controlled and use their extra time for a hobby or online virtual training with their coaches and trainers to maintain their mental health.

Phelps also feels for Olympians and Olympic hopefuls who had their dream of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics put on hold and now rescheduled for 2021.

“There’s such a wave of emotions,” Phelps said. “Honestly, my first thought was I was relieved (about the postponement). Now, there’s more of a chance that we can beat this thing and do what we need to do to save as many lives as possible.”

Phelps is also among some of the world’s greatest athletes that have joined together to create “Athletes For Relief” raising money for COVID-19 response efforts.

Phelps has joined Steph Curry, Simone Biles, Jack Nicklaus, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Hawk and more than 100 athletes for disaster philanthropy to support those impacted by the pandemic.

The athletes and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy have launched The athletes have donated signed memorabilia for fans to bid on through May 1.

Unlike a typical auction, all fans who donate a minimum of $25 for an item will be entered into a raffle at the end of the campaign. All proceeds will go to Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which is supporting frontline healthcare workers and clinics, food security, and distribution of needed products, with a focus on assistance to vulnerable communities.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

New Date Announced For 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, Athletes Now Have Target Date

By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, March 30, 2020—And now SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson, fellow Olympians and Olympic hopefuls from around the world have a target date.

The Summer Olympics and Paralympics have been rescheduled for nearly one year later with the date set for July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympics were rescheduled for Aug. 24-Sept. 5.

The new Olympic dates would conflict with the scheduled world championships in track and swimming, but those events are now expected to also be pushed back. The IAAF World Track Championships are expected to be rescheduled for 2022. No word on the swimming event just yet.

The delay will cost at least $5.8 billion.

“The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said. “I believe the international federations have accepted the games being held in the summer.

“It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world.”

Tokyo organizers said Monday the Opening Ceremony will take place July 23, 2021, almost exactly one year after the Games were scheduled to start this year.

“The schedule for the Games is key to preparing for the Games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”

Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Mori said a spring Olympics was considered but holding the games later gives more space to complete the many qualifying events that have been postponed by the virus outbreak.

Muto said the decision was made Monday and the IOC said it was supported by all the international sports federations and was based on three main considerations: to protect the health of athletes, to safeguard the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport, and the international sports calendar.

According to FINA, the sport’s international governing body, announced several guidelines on Monday:

*All athletes and teams who already had qualified for the Olympic Games will keep their status for the 2021 Games.

*FINA was informed all test events that were postponedare expected to be rescheduled in 2021.

*FINA will finalize the dates and program for the 2021 World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka.

Atkinson, a four-time Jamaican Olympian and world short course record holder, along with her SOFLO coach Chris Anderson, will be making their fifth historic Olympic appearance for Jamaica. Atkinson is already qualified.

“I think for me it’s just getting back my mindset, not thinking about the short-term goals in five months, but thinking of it in a year,” Atkinson said. “Plus, trying to get back to the things that I was working on without thinking that time is running out. Now I have much more time.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

2020 Summer Olympic Games Postponed, Moved To 2021

By Sharon Robb

TOKYO, Japan, March 24, 2020–South Florida Aquatic Club’s Alia Atkinson will have to wait a little longer to make a historic fifth Olympic appearance.

After weeks of speculation, it’s official: the 2020 Summer Olympics, originally scheduled to begin on July 24 in Tokyo, Japan and end Aug. 9, have been postponed to a later date because of the global coronavirus pandemic and will not take place until 2021.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made what athletes, coaches and parents knew was inevitable official on Tuesday.

This is the first time the Olympic Games have been postponed although the major international event has been canceled three times because of war.

At 31, the four-time Jamaican Olympian was looking forward to competing in her fifth and probably final Olympics. SOFLO aquatics director and head coach Chris Anderson has coached Atkinson at all four Olympics.

“I do believe it was the best choice,” said the short course breaststroke world record holder. “A great majority of athletes across the board were on the same page. There is such a sense of relief.

“I don’t really have mixed emotions,” Atkinson said. “I think you have to consider everything. If every country competed there was a high probability of getting it. If one person has it, everyone in the Athletes’ Village is confined so that would increase the odds of getting it even more. And if the virus had died down in an athlete’s country and that athlete returned home with it, a whole second wave of the virus would start.”

Canadian Olympic swimming hopeful Bill Pisani already knew his country wasn’t going to the Summer Olympics, but it really hit home on Monday when he learned the Games were being postponed.

Pisani, 21, of West Palm Beach received an email from his swim federation on Sunday night that Canada was boycotting the Olympics because of COVID-19.

“For sure I have mixed emotions,” said Pisani, who grew up swimming in the Florida Gold Coast with the Lake Lytal Lightning and graduated from Florida State last year.

“The most emotion came when I was reading the email that it was postponed. I thought ‘oh wow this is the reality now.’ The more I think about it, it was absolutely the right decision.”

Pisani was pleased to see Canada join forces with Australia boycotting the Games and pressuring the International Olympic Committee to postpone the event until 2021.

“As the son of a Canadian who’s working in a hospital right now at the forefront of this invisible war and as an Olympic hopeful who has dedicated so much of his life to chase the Olympic dream, I am more proud than ever to be Canadian,” said Pisani, referring to his country’s boycott.

Pisani’s mom Lisa is a physical therapist. Recently, her hospital, Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, had its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

“I think there was more of a sigh of relief for all athletes around the world,” Pisani said. “There were just too many questions left unanswered. Hosting the Olympics would have put so many people in danger. It makes us as athletes feel more secure and safe.”

The Canadian Olympic Trials were scheduled for March 30-April 5 in Toronto. Pisani was a favorite to at least make a relay.

“Over the past two years, the Olympic dream had become so close to reality for me,” Pisani said. “It was getting exciting as time went on and this year the closer we got to our Olympic trials it was the most excited I have been about swimming. Everything has definitely changed.”

Sid Cassidy of Boca Raton, St. Andrew’s School aquatics director and longtime swim coach, is vice chairman of the FINA technical open water swimming committee. He has been working Olympic events since 2008.

“I think at this point the athletes had it right,” said Cassidy, who was set to serve as referee for the men’s and women’s 10K races.

“It is hard when you see athletics taking a back seat,” Cassidy said. “Of course, I am disappointed they are not going to do it this year, but it certainly seems to be the best decision.

“There is no easy way to redirect your life. A lot of the talk is to be stronger and learn from it but it doesn’t take away any of the pain. This is very different from the 1980 Olympic boycott, this involves the whole world. I am happy for the athletes knowing but not happy with the reality.”

The U.S. swimming trials were scheduled for June 21-28 in Omaha. The pandemic had already disrupted the training of every elite athlete and Olympic hopeful in the U.S.

The postponement and rescheduling to no later than the summer of 2021 will already add to a crowded 2021 schedule that features the 2021 FINA World Aquatic Championships in Fukuoka, July 16-Aug. 1. Track and field will also have a conflict with its Aug. 6-15, 2021 World Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore.

Florida State swim coach Neal Studd echoed Cassidy’s sentiments after watching his swim program’s NCAA season end early because of COVID-19. The men’s team was expected to finish in the Top 10 for the first time.

FSU had eight swimmers at World Championships and six at University Games. Studd was the 2012 St. Lucia Olympic coach and has coached several student-athletes on the international level.

“If anything this gives it some clarity,” Studd said. “Now we get to re-set and plan accordingly.

“There are bigger problems than sports right now. There is a big picture here and bigger place in the world. Obviously though I would rather be at NCAAs and Canadian trials.”

Mariusz Podkoscielny, two-time Olympian for Poland in 1988 and 1992, now head swim coach at Pine Crest School, said problems were already beginning to surface because of the lack of out-of-competition drug tests during the pandemic.

“There is the aspect that the Olympic competition would not be fair, that the way of preparation is not on a level playing field,” Podkoscielny said. “There are issues of people taking advantage of illegal supplements without conducting the out-of-competition drug testing. It would give athletes a green light to do it.”

Podkoscielny said the COVID-19 is bigger than any sports event including the Olympics.

“The majority of athletes are going to feel relieved,” Podkoscielny said. “These are not the circumstances to get ready for the Olympics or think about the Olympics. People’s lives are changing daily.

“If I were an athlete right now I would be heartbroken not going. There will be disappoitment but it is right thing to do. Everyone agrees with that.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida High School Activities Association Postpones All Athletic Spring Events

By Sharon Robb

March 19, 2020—The Florida High School Activities Association, the state’s governing body for all high school sports, has postponed all athletic events indefinitely.

While most athletic venues including swimming pools have been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the official announcement came after Governor Ron DeSantis announced that schools would remain closed until at least April 15.

Standardized testing was also cancelled for the school year. Online learning is set to begin on March 30.

The FHSAA’s official statement said:

“In response to Governor DeSantis’ closure of Florida Schools through April 15th, and following the Florida Department of Education Guidance Memorandum from March 17, 2020, the FHSAA has made the decision to postpone all scheduled FHSAA meetings, conferences and athletic events until further notice.

“Pending schools are back in session and afforded the opportunity to resume activities after April 15th, by Federal, State and Local authorities, the FHSAA will follow the recommendations and guidance available to us at that time regarding the continuance of all FHSAA spring sports and other planned meetings and conferences.”

The suspension of high school sports in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade started Monday.

With nine different sports including water polo, the spring season is the busiest for the FHSAA.

DeSantis said on Tuesday parents have the option to hold students back a grade after this school year, but the FHSAA added that students would not gain additional athletic eligibility. FHSAA bylaws state that students have only eight consecutive semesters of eligibility.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Defending Champion SOFLO Heads Field For This Week’s FGC Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, March 9, 2020—It’s time for the South Florida Aquatic Club Sharks to make a little more history at this week’s Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympic Short Course Championships at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

The defending champions will attempt to win their 11th JO short course title overall including ten consecutive and 21st JO short course and long course titles overall.

SOFLO has won back-to-back short and long course JO title seven times in the club’s 20-year history and are hoping to make it eight by the end of July.

SOFLO has 45 qualified swimmers entered in 222 individual events and 34 relay teams in 22 relay events for the three-day, short course yards meet that begins Friday and ends Sunday.

The 14-year-old SOFLO swimmers are making their final JO short course appearance before aging up and hope to make a lasting impression.

Among SOFLO’s top-seeded swimmers are:

Ryan Harries, 10, 100-yard breaststroke, 1:20.26; 50-yard breaststroke 36.69.

Maddy Smutny, 14, 200-yard butterfly, 2:05.02.

Alejandro Mateus, 14, 100-yard butterfly, 53.70; 200-yard individual medley, 2:03.82; 200-yard butterfly, 1:58.83.

Mariana Pinto, 12, 500-yard freestyle, 5:17.08; 200-yard freestyle, 2:00.34; 1,650-yard freestyle, 18:21.91.

Javier Colmenares, 13, 200-yard breaststroke, 2:16.33.

Connor Jimenez, 10, 50-yard backstroke, 32.78.

More than 600 swimmers and 40 teams are entered. The top six finishers in each JO event qualify for the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team.

Among FGC teams competing are Pine Crest Swimming, Azura Florida Aquatics, East Coast, Heritage Aquatics, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, TS Aquatics, Metro Aquatics, North Palm Beach, Miami Swimming, Jupiter Dragons, Wahoos of Wellington, Midtown Weston, Pompano Beach Piranhas, Ransom Everglades, FAST, Swim Fort Lauderdale and Gulliver.

Last year SOFLO won the combined team title with 936 points and Pine Crest was runner-up with 670 and boys’ team title with 524.5 and FAST with 401. Pine Crest won the girls’ team title with 429 and SOFLO was runner-up with 411 points.


What: Florida Gold Coast 14&Under Junior Olympic Short Course Championships.

When: Friday-Sunday, 9 a.m., prelims; 4:30 p.m. finals. Prelims warmup 7:30 a.m., finals warmup 3:30 p.m.

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

Of Note: Admission is $5 (cash only) for prelims and finals. Heat sheets will not be sold at the gate. Heat sheets are free and can be located at Meet organizers will run two 25-yard pools with the boys in the East pool and girls in the West pool. Ten lanes will be used for both pools. For questions call 954-340-5032.


13-14 200-yard freestyle relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2012, 1:35.14.

11-12 200-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 2:01.58.

13-14 200-yard backstroke: Clara Smiddy, 2010, 1:56.98.

10-and-under 50-yard freestyle: Andrea Santander, 2012, 25.87.

11-12 50-yard freestyle: Aspen Gersper, 2018, 23.46.

13-14 50-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 22.86.

10-and-under 100-yard breaststroke: Andrea Santander, 2012, 1:11.53.

11-12 100-yard breaststroke: Sara Lin, 2018, 1:04.93.

13-14 100-yard breaststroke: Lindsey McKnight, 2018, 1:01.73.

10-and-under 100-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2015, 1:02.09.

11-12 100-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2017, 55.82.

13-14, 100-yard butterfly: Jessica Nava, 2014, 54.05.

10-and-under 100-yard individual medley: Andrea Santander, 2012, 1:04.80.

11-12 100-yard individual medley: Megan Moroney, 2010, 59.27.

13-14 100-yard individual medley: Olivia Dinehart, 2019, 57.52.

10-and-under 500-yard freestyle: Becca Heller, 2004, 5:25.63.

11-12 500-yard freestyle, Trina Jackson, 1990, 4:52.79.

13-14 500-yard freestyle, Michelle Richardson, 1984, 4:42.14.

11-12 400-yard freestyle relay, St. Andrew’s, 2018, 3:42.49.

13-14, 800-yard freestyle relay, FLA Aquatics, 2008, 7:38.59.

10-and-under 200-yard medley relay: Eagles Aquatics, 2019, 2:03.35.

11-12 200-yard medley relay: St. Andrew’s, 2018, 1:52.43.

13-14 200-yard medley relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2019, 1:46.55.

11-12 200-yard breaststroke: Sara Linn, 2018, 2:24.28.

13-14 200-yard breaststroke: Emily Kopas, 2010, 2:16.02.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 2:02.20.

11-12 200-yard freestyle: Andrea Santander, 2014, 1:51.84.

13-14 200-yard freestyle: Lauren Driscoll, 2008, 1:46.27.

10-and-under 50-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2015, 27.40.

11-12 50-yard butterfly: Athena Kovacs, 2017, 25.17.

13-14 50-yard butterfly: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 24.78.

10-and-under 100-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 1:01.87.

11-12 100-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 56.68.

13-14 100-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 54.03.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay: North Palm Beach, 2014, 1:54.56.

11-12 400-yard individual medley: Chelsea Britt, 2007, 4:28.63.

13-14 400-yard individual medley: Kathleen Golding, 2015, 4:17.41.

11-12 400-yard medley relay: St. Andrew’s, 2018, 4:08.89.

13-14 400-yard medley relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2019, 3:53.92.

10-and-under 200-yard individual medley: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 2:18.57.

11-12 200-yard individual medley: Clara Smiddy, 2008, 2:03.50.

13-14 200-yard individual medley: Lindsey McKnight, 2008, 2:00.65.

10-and-under 100-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2017, 56.58.

11-12 100-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 51.01.

13-14 100-yard freestyle: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 49.14.

10-and-under 50-yard backstroke: Gabriela Mendez, 2018, 28.67.

11-12 50-yard backstroke: Erika Pelaez, 2019, 26.33.

13-14 50-yard backstroke: Megan Murphy, 2018, 25.14.

10-and-under 50-yard breaststroke: Bianca Nieto, 2018, 33.57.

11-12 50-yard breaststroke: Sara Lin, 2018, 30.36.

13-14 50-yard breaststroke: Heidi Smithwick, 2018, 29.25.

11-12 200-yard butterfly: Chelsea Britt, 2007, 2:05.41.

13-14 200-yard butterfly: Chelsea Britt, 2008, 1:59.91.

11-12 200-yard freestyle relay: St. Andrew’s 2018, 1:40.90.

13-14 400-yard freestyle relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2019, 3:31.54.

11-12 1,650-yard freestyle: Sharla Milne, 2004, 17:16.96.

13-14 1,650-yard freestyle: Michelle Richardson, 1984, 16:11.84.


13-14 200-yard freestyle: Metro Aquatics, 2013, 1:30.14.

11-12 200-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:52.47.

13-14 200-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 1:45.67.

10-and-under 50-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 25.87.

11-12 50-yard freestyle: Marlon Matute, 2019, 22.45.

13-14 50-yard freestyle: Tiago Pereira, 2018, 20.92.

10-and-under 100-yard breaststroke: 2018, George Gonzalez, 2018, 1:11.03.

11-12 100-yard breaststroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:01.02.

13-14 100-yard breaststroke: Izaak Bastian, 2015, 57.19.

10-and-under 100-yard butterfly: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 59.37.

11-12 100-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 54.11.

13-14 100-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 49.80.

10-and-under 100-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 1:02.78.

11-12 100-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 53.95.

13-14 100-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2018, 51.90.

10-and-under 500-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 5:08.77.

11-12 500-yard freestyle: Rafael Rodriguez, 2014, 4:51.15.

13-14 500-yard freestyle: Aitor Fungarino, 2015, 4:33.22.

11-12 400-yard freestyle relay: Rockway, 2008, 3:37.58.

13-14 800-yard freestyle relay: FLST, 1998, 7:06.26.

10-and-under 200-yard medley relay: East Coast Aquatic Club, 2015, 2:02.44.

11-12 200-yard medley relay: FAST, 2017, 1:49.75.

13-14 200-yard medley relay: FAST, 1:39.50.

11-12 200-yard breaststroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 2:11.45.

13-14 200-yard breaststroke: Izaak Bastian, 2015, 2:04.13.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 1:56.41.

11-12 200-yard freestyle: Rafael Rodriguez, 2014, 1:49.19.

13-14 200-yard freestyle: Julien Pinon, 2013, 1:40.78.

10-and-under 50-yard butterfly: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 27.24.

11-12 50-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 24.61.

13-14 50-yard butterfly: Tiago Pereira, 2018, 22.64.

10-and-under 100-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 59.61.

11-12 100-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 53.00.

13-14 100-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 48.76.

10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay: East Coast Aquatics, 2015, 1:50.06.

11-12 400-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 4:07.81.

13-14 400-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 3:53.06.

11-12 400-yard medley relay: FAST, 2017, 4:02.34.

13-14 400-yard medley relay: Pine Crest Swimming, 2016, 3:38.46.

10-and-under 200-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 2:12.67.

11-12 200-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:55.75.

13-14 200-yard individual medley: Josh Zuchowski, 2018, 1:50.21.

10-and-under 100-yard freestyle: Kaii Winkler, 2017, 54.83.

11-12 100-yard freestyle: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 50.12.

13-14 100-yard freestyle: Daniel Spas, 2009, 46.18.

10-and-under 50-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2015, 27.78.

11-12 50-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 24.65.

13-14 50-yard backstroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 22.78.

10-and-under 50-yard breaststroke: George Gonzalez, 2018, 32.50.

11-12 50-yard breaststroke: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 27.68.

13-14 50-yard breaststroke: Izaak Bastian, 2015, 26.52.

11-12 200-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2017, 1:58.23.

13-14 200-yard butterfly: Josh Zuchowski, 2019, 1:49.62.

11-12 200-yard freestyle relay: City of Hialeah Storm, 2017, 1:38.76.

13-14 400-yard freestyle relay: FLST 1998, 3:16.02.

11-12 1,650-yard freestyle: Rafael Rodriguez, 2014, 16:26.95.

13-14 1,650-yard freestyle: Tyler Sell, 2007, 15:45.40.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Bono, Atkinson Lead SOFLO; SOFLO Finishes Fifth On Final Day Of Southern Zone South Sectionals; Next Up, FGC Junior Olympics

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, March 8, 2020—Alia Atkinson and Dominic Bono were top finishers for South Florida Aquatic Club on the fourth and final day of the the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships Sunday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Atkinson, 31, four-time Jamaican Olympian, won the 100-meter freestyle in 56.80. Aruba’s Allyson Ponson of Azura was second in 57.40 to make it a one-two finish among top Caribbean swimmers. It was Atkinson’s fourth win of the meet.

Atkinson scratched from the 200-meter breaststroke final. She qualified fifth in 2:41.47 in morning prelims.

SOFLO women’s 400-meter freestyle relay of Gaby Banks, Mallory Schleicher, Olivia Dinehart and Elena Dinehart was fourth in 4:03.04.

Dominic Bono, 16, was third in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:01.22 and was SOFLO’s top boys’ finisher.

Azura Florida Aquatics defended its title winning the combined team title with 2,223.5 points and men’s team title with 1,254.5 points. Bluefish Swim Club won the women’s team title with 1,464 and Azura was second with 969.

SOFLO finished fifth among combined teams, fifth among women’s teams and eighth among men’s teams.

In high point, Atkinson finished fourth among women with 128 and Schleicher was seventh with 123 tied with Pine Crest’s Julia Podkoscielny. Summer Smith, 16, of Bluefish was first with 161.

Yeziel Morales, 24, of Azura was men’s high point winner with 173 points. Azura swimmers swept the top four places in high point. Bono was SOFLO’s top high point swimmer tied for 30th with 68 points.

SOFLO had 31 qualified swimmers (16 boys and 15 girls) compete in 140 individual events and 12 relay events race in the long course meet.

A large field competed over four days in one of four designated USA Swimming zones. The others were Eastern, Central and Western Zone Sectionals. The meet attracted some of the top swimming talent from across the United States and internationally.

Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered were Azura Florida Aquatics, FAST, North Miami Swim Team, North Palm Beach, Coral Springs Swim Club, Gulliver, TS Aquatics and host Plantation Swim Team.

Defending champions are Azura Florida Aquatics (1,116.5) and Sarasota YMCA (1,432). SOFLO, with 35 swimmers, was third among both the girls (852) and boys (776) teams last year.

The championship season continues this weekend with the FJC Junior Olympics Friday through Sunday at Coral Springs Aquatic Center.

: 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 2,223.5, 2. Bluefish Swim Club 2,183, 3. Scarlet 1,718, 4. Bolles 1,669, 5. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,315.5, 6. Colorado Stars 1,286.5, 7. Spartan 1,089, 8. Mesa 917, 9. Pine Crest Swimming 666, 10. Unattached Azura 625.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Bluefish 1,464, 2. Azura 969, 3. Scarlet 882, 4. Bolles 878, 5. SOFLO 840.5, 6. Pine Crest Swimming 497, 7. Colorado Stars 492, 8. Mesa 456, 9. Spartam 341, 10. Gator Swim Club 309.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 1,254.5, 2. Scarlet 836, 3. Colorado Stars 794.5, 4. Bolles 791, 5. Spartan 748, 6. Bluefish 719, 7. Unattached Azura 505, 8. SOFLO 475, 9. Mesa 461, 10. PAQ 352.


400-meter freestyle relay:
1. Azura 3:55.28, 2. Bluefish 3:57.34, 3. Scarlet 4:01.27, 4. SOFLO A 4:03.04 (Gaby Banks, Mallory Schleicher, Olivia Dinehart, Elena Dinehart), 19. SOFLO B 4:25.03 (Jennamarie Brames, Sara Quintero, Sally Golding, Sabrina Osorio).

800-meter freestyle:
1. Michelle Morgan, PS 8:52.65, 2. Anna Auld, ECAC 8:53.29, 3. Leah Degeorge, BSS 8:58.53; SOFLO: 6. Mallory Schleicher 9:12.86.

200-meter butterfly:
1. Lockett Bowley, BSS 2:16.42, 2. Summer Smith, ABF 2:16.83, 3. Sumner Chmielewski, SRQ 2:19.04; SOFLO: 9. Maddy Smutny 2:19.69, time drop 0.75, 30. Sara Quintero 2:31.51, 35. Elena Dinehart 2:34.30.

100-meter freestyle:
1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 56.80, 2. Allyson Ponson, Azura 57.40, 3. Megan Hansen, BD 58.04; SOFLO: 18. Gaby Banks 59.76, time drop, 0.98, 26. Olivia Dinehart 1:00.57.

200-meter breaststroke:
1. Taylor Grabenhorst, Unattached 2:32.49, 2. Ella Smith, ABF 2:37.49, 3. Micaela Sierra, CSSC 2:27.70; SOFLO: 5. Olivia Dinehart 2:38.61, 14. Molly Golding 2:47.32, 30. Sophia Grubbs 2:55.22, 31. Sally Golding 2:56.56.

200-meter backstroke:
1. Erika Pelaez, EA 2:16.211, 2. Celina Marquez, Azura 2:16.34, 3. Julia Podkoscielny, PCS 2:16.90; SOFLO: 19. Elena Dinehart 2:26.69.


400-meter freestyle relay:
1. Azura 3:29.65, 2. PAQ 3:35.31, 3. Colorado Stars 3:36.79, 10. SOFLO A 3:42.90 (Michael Arias, Juan Mora, Juan Colmenares, Miguel Sierra), 16. SOFLO B 3:50.45 (Nicolas Rossi, Sebastian Lares, Philopatier Ibrahim, Manuel Melendez).

1500-meter freestyle:
1. Joshua Parent, ABF 15:46.71, 2. Joaquin Vargas, Unattached 16:00.36, 3. John Vandeusen, BSS 16:02.73; SOFLO: 13. Dominic Bono 16:42.50.

200-meter butterfly:
1. Hector Ruvalcaba Cruz, SAS 2:00.43, 2. Martin Espernberger, BSS 2:02.27, 3. Gabriel Araya, Azura 2:02.36; SOFLO: 23. Miguel Sierra 2:15.92.

100-meter freestyle:
1. Runar Borgen, PAQ 51.28, 2. Daniel Ramirez, WA 51.58, 3. Kent Olsen-Stavrakas, STAR 51.78; SOFLO: 23. Michael Arias 55.59, 24. Juan Mora 55.80.

200-meter breaststroke:
1. Raphael Windmuller, Unattached 2:17.91, 2. William Heck, BSS 2:22.68, 3. William Henry, SRQ 2:23.05; SOFLO: 16. Juan Mora 2:31.75, 24. Alex Golding 2:36.26.

200-meter backstroke:
1. Yeziel Morales, Azura 2:02.95, 2. Fernando Ruvalcaba Cruz, SASA 2:07.33, 3. Dominic Bono, SOFLO 2:01.22; SOFLO: 26. Miguel Sierra 2:18.74, time drop, 0.48.

Sharon Robb can be reached at