SOFLO Boys Rally To Win Boys Team Title On Final Day Of 29th Speedo Winter Championships

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, December 15, 2019—The odds may have been stacked against them after a slow start the first two days, but South Florida Aquatic Club made it interesting and rallied to win the boys’ team title on the fourth and final day of the 29th annual Speedo Winter Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

Trailing Azura Florida Aquatics by 54.50 points (611.50-557) in the boys’ competition, SOFLO rallied to defend and win the boys team title, 882.50-854. Last year SOFLO won with 873.5 points. Metro Aquatics was third with 737.50.

Azura Florida Aquatics won the combined team title with 1,469. Defending champion South Florida Aquatic Club finished second with 1,441.50 points, just 28.5 points behind. Azura Florida Aquatics also won the girls team title with 615 points. SOFLO was third with 559.

SOFLO was buoyed by the return of five of the six swimmers (Gaby Banks, Olivia Dinehart, Mallory Schleicher, Miguel Sierra, Rafael Rodriguez), coming off the Speedo Junior Winter National Championships-East meet that ended Saturday in Atlanta.

Among SOFLO individual champions were:

Madeline Smutny, 13-14 200-yard butterfly, 2:05.62.

Alia Atkinson, 17-and-over, 100-yard breaststroke, 58.57; 100-yard individual medley, 55.09.

Boys 10-and-under 200-yard freestyle relay, 2:00.13 (Connor Jimenez, Ryan Harries, Oleksii Viazmetinov, Juan Vallmitjana).

Boys 11-12 400-yard freestyle relay, 3:50.41.

Olivia Dinehart, 13-14, 100-yard individual medley, 57.52, time drop.

Alejandro Mateus, 13-14 200-yard butterfly, 1:58.83, time drop.

Philopatier Ibrahim, 15-16, 200-yard butterfly, 1:53.27.

Ryan Harries, 10-and-under, 100-yard breaststroke, 1:20.26, time drop.

Kevin Moya, 11-12, 200-yard freeyle, 1:58.16, time drop.

Miguel Sierra, 15-16, 200-yard freestyle, 1:41.51, time drop.

Juan Mora, 15-16, 100-yard individual medley, 52.48, time drop.

Connor Jimenez, 10-and-under, 50-yard backstroke, 32.78, time drop.

SOFLO’s top high point finishers in each age group were:

Girls 10-and-under, 16. Alessandra Gendarmi, 13 points.

Boys 10-and-under, 2. Juan Vallmitjana, 55 points just one point behind Adrian Rendon of Midtown Weston.

Girls 11-12, 7. Mariana Pinto, 48 points.

Boys 11-12, 3. Kevin Moya, 67 points.

Girls 13-14, 4. Elena Dinehart, 59 points.

Boys 13-14, 6. Alejandro Mateus, 56 points.

Girls 15-16, 8. Molly Golding, 41 points.

Boys 15-16, 1. Dominic Bono, 66 points.

Girls 17-and-over, 8. Alia Atkinson, 33 points.

Boys 17-and-over, 10. Leonardo Mateus, 33 points.

The Winter Champs was one of three meets SOFLO swimmers competed in this past week. The others were the Speedo Winter Junior Championships-East in Atlanta that ended on Saturday and Sunrise Holiday Championships, that also ended on Sunday.

SOFLO had 91 swimmers in 507 individual events and 48 relays in 28 relay events.

Most Florida Gold Coast teams were represented including Azura Florida Aquatics, Blue Marlins, Boca Raton Swim Team, Club Seminole, City of Miami Parks, Pine Crest, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Heritage Aquatics, Jupiter Dragons, Miami Swimming, Wahoos of Wellington, Westminster Academy, TS Aquatics, East Coast Aquatic, YMCA of South Florida and Metro Aquatics among other teams.

1. Azura Florida Aquatics 1,469, 2. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,441.50, 3. Metro Aquatics 1,252.50, 4. St. Andrew’s 1,048.50, 5. Midtown Weston 704, 6. Jupiter Dragons 588, 7. Wahoos of Wellington 561.50, 8. Pine Crest Swimming 494, 9. TS Aquatics 440.50, 10. Gulliver 413.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 882.50, 2. Azura Florida Aquatics 854, 3. Metro Aquatics 737.50, 4. St. Andrew’s 461, 5. Midtown Weston 221, 6. Eagle Aquatics 215.50, 7. Swim Fort Lauderdale 209.50, 8. TS Aquatics 205.50, 9. Jupiter Dragons 192, 10. Ransom Everglades 175.50.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 615, 2. St. Andrew’s 587.50, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 559, 4. Metro Aquatics 515, 5. Midtown Weston 483, 6. Wahoos of Wellington 479, 7. Pine Crest 415, 8. Jupiter Dragons 396, 9. Gulliver 302, 10. TS Aquatics 235.


200-yard freestyle relay:
10-and-under, 1. Wahoos of Wellington 1:57.94, 6. SOFLO A 2:09.40 (Sofia Gomez, Jemma Baldwin, Mackenzie McPherson, Alessandra Gendarmi).

400-yard freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. Gulliver 3:54.66, 5. SOFLO A 4:03.84 (no names given), 10. SOFLO B 4:20.45 (Pilar Duranti, Sofia Lugo, Lydia Smutny, Elise Dinehart); 13-14, 1. Midtown 3:36.95, 2. SOFLO A 3:38.63 (Olivia Dinehart, Madeline Smutny, Elena Dinehart, Anastasia Lutz), 10. SOFLO B 3:54.40 (Sophia Grubbs, Hartley Pitters-Hins, Kaitlyn Barrios, Isabelle Wilson); Open, 1. Azura 3:29.19, 3. SOFLO A 3:34.92 (Gaby Banks, Mallory Schleicher, Sally Golding, Sarah Acevedo), 16. SOFLO B 3:50.94 (Sara Quintero, Jennamarie Brames, Leeann Ranalli, Jena Legaspi).

100-yard butterfly:
10-and-under, 1. Alera Hurwitz, WOW 1:04.15.

200-yard butterfly:
11-12, 1. Neala Klein, WEST 2:17.86; SOFLO: 6. Fiorella Di Salvo 2:28.33; 13-14, 1. Madeline Smutny, SOFLO 2:05.62; SOFLO: 3. Elena Dinehart 2:08.76, time drop; 15-16, 1. Anna Auld, ECAC 2:05.00; SOFLO: 5. Sarah Acevedo 2:06.75, 7. Molly Golding 2:09.28, 8. Sara Quintero 2:09.71; 17-and-over, 1. Amanda Kopas, Azur 2:08.89.

100-yard breaststroke:
10-and-under, 1. Tessa Broedell, JUP 1:16.41; 11-12, 1. Kiera Rampersad, NMST 1:09.87; 13-14, 1. Sara Lin, PC 1:04.94; SOFLO: 5. Sophia Grubbs 1:07.79, time drop; 15-16, 1. Lucia Miller, SAS 1:05.40; SOFLO: 3. Molly Golding 1:06.49; 17-and-over, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 58.57.

50-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Alera Hurwitz, WOW 26.88.

200-yard freestyle:
11-12, 1. Leorah Rotchin, WOW 1:59.58; SOFLO: 2. Mariana Pinto 2:00.34, time drop; 13-14, 1. Erika Pelaez, EA 1:48.63; SOFLO: 5. Elena Dinehart 1:57.14, 7. Madeline Smutny 2:00.01; 15-16, 1. Heidi Smithwick, JUP 1:53.26; SOFLO: 7. Jennamarie Brames 2:00.52, 8. Sarah Acevedo 2:01.44, 10. Sally Golding 2:04.60; 17-and-over, 1. Allyson Ponson, AZ 1:51.46.

100-yard individual medley:
10-and-under, 1. Madison Abinuman, WOW 1:09.82; 11-12, 1. Sofia Jorge, MAC 1:03.55; SOFLO: 7. Fiorella Di Salvo 1:06.75, time drop; 13-14, 1. Olivia Dinehart, SOFLO 57.52, time drop; 15-16, 1. Lucia Miller, SAS 58.58; SOFLO: 5. Mallory Schleicher 1:00.19, time drop, 9. Molly Golding 1:01.83; 17-and-over, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 55.09, SOFLO: 6. Gaby Banks 1:00.84, time drop.

50-yard backstroke:
10-and-under, 1. Alera Hurwitz, WOW 31.49; SOFLO: 10. Alessandra Gendarmi 37.86.

100-yard backstroke:
11-12, 1. Lena Lajko, SFTL 1:02.50; SOFLO: 8. Fiorella Di Salvo 1:06.81; 13-14, 1. Erika Pelaez, EA 54.03; SOFLO: 3. Elena Dinehart 59.66; 15-16, 1. Anelis Roque, MAC 58.04; 17-and-over, 1. Celina Marquez, Azura 53.31.


200-yard freestyle relay:
10-and-under, 1. SOFLO A 2:00.13 (Connor Jimenez, Ryan Harries, Oleksii Viazmetinov, Juan Vallmitjana).

400-yard freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. SOFLO A 3:50.41 (no names given); 13-14, 1. Metro Aquatics 3:24.90; 7. SOFLO A 3:32.05 (Adrian Hernandez, Javier Colmenares, Logan Gonzalez, Alejandro Mateus); Open, 1. Azura 3:03.72, 3. SOFLO A 3:10.75 (Robert Wilson, Juan Mora, Miguel Sierra, Rafael Rodriguez), 6. SOFLO B 3:13.85 (Michael Arias, Juan Colmenares, Philopatier Ibrahim, Juan Pablo Pineda).

100-yard butterfly:
10-and-under, 1. Bruno Sinchi, CM 1:04.87; SOFLO: 5. Juan Vallmitjana 1:12.83, time drop.

200-yard butterfly:
11-12, 1. Lucas Bailey, ECAC 2:08.12; SOFLO: 8. Derek Hau 2:27.71, time drop; 13-14, 1. Alejandro Mateus, SOFLO 1:58.83, time drop; 15-16, 1. Philopatier Ibrahim, SOFLO 1:53.27; SOFLO: 3. Dominic Bono 1:54.55, time drop; 17-and-over, 1. Gabriel Araya, Azura 1:45.14.

100-yard breaststroke:
10-and-under, 1. Ryan Harries, SOFLO 1:20.26, time drop; SOFLO: 4. Oleksii Viazmetinov 1:24.67, 8. Connor Jimenez 1:25.84, time drop; 11-12, 1. George Gonzalez, MAC 1:05.81; SOFLO: 8. Derek Hau 1:14.99, time drop; 13-14, 1. Aiden Kohanyi, TSA 59.90; SOFLO: 4. Logan Gonzales 1:04.15, time drop, 5. Javier Colmenares 1:04.49, time drop; 15-16, 1. Michael Fernandez, SAS 57.08; SOFLO: 2. Juan Mora 58.36, time drop, 8. Christopher Hau 1:02.98, 10. Yannai Michael 1:03.03, time drop; 17-and-over, 1. Carlos Nava, MAC 56.41; SOFLO: 3. Juan Pablo Pineda 57.37, 6. Rafael Rodriguez 59.64, time drop.

50-yard freestyle:
10-and-under, 1. Emihlio Reveron, EA 27.57; SOFLO: 2. Juan Vallmitjana 28.03, time drop.

200-yard freestyle:
11-12, 1. Kevin Moya, SOFLO 1:58.16, time drop; 13-14, 1. Daniel Givskov, SFTL 1:45.34; SOFLO: 7. Alejandro Mateus 1:51.72, time drop; 15-16, 1. Miguel Sierra, SOFLO 1:41.51, time drop; SOFLO: 5. Philopatier Ibrahim 1:43.83, 10. Sebastian Lares 1:47.30; 17-and-over, 1. Daniel Ramirez, WA 1:35.95; SOFLO: 10. Robert Wilson 1:48.43.

100-yard individual medley:
10-and-under, 1. Adrian Rendon, MWA 1:10.51; SOFLO: 2. Connor Jimenez 1:11.26, time drop, 5. Ryan Harries 1:15.86, 8. Oleksii Viazmetinov 1:16.54; 11-12, 1. George Gonzalez, MAC 59.35; SOFLO: 3. Kevin Moya 1:01.93, time drop; 13-14, 1. Finn Winkler, EA 55.26; SOFLO: 8. Logan Gonzalez 59.49, time drop, 9. Javier Colmenares 59.64; 15-16, 1. Juan Mora, SOFLO 52.48, time drop; 17-and-over, 1. Steven Aimable, Azura 51.53; SOFLO: 2. Rafael Rodriguez 53.02, 9. Leonardo Mateus 56.48, time drop.

50-yard backstroke:
10-and-under, 1. Connor Jimenez, SOFLO 32.78, time drop; SOFLO: 2. Juan Vallmitjana 33.73, time drop.

100-yard backstroke:
11-12, 1. Jack Harvey, WA 52.06; SOFLO: 3. Dominic Bono 53.04, time drop, 4. Miguel Sierra 53.68, 8. Sebastian Lares 56.14; 13-14, 1. Daniel Givskov, SFTL 54.21; SOFLO: 6. Alejandro Mateus 56.18, time drop; 15-16, 1. Jack Harvey, WA 52.06; SOFLO: 3. Dominic Bono 53.04, time drop, 4. Miguel Sierra 53.68, 8. Sebastian Lares 56.14; 17-and-over, 1. Yeziel Morales, Azura 48.66.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Gaby Banks, Pine Crest’s Nicholas Vale Will Compete For Jamaica In FINA World Junior Championships That Begin Tuesday

By Sharon Robb

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY, August 19, 2019—Gaby Banks of South Florida Aquatic Club and Nicholas Vale of Pine Crest Swimming are among Jamaica’s eight-swimmer contingent in the seventh FINA World Junior Swimming Championships that begin Tuesday.

The six-day meet will feature the world’s best under-18 swimmers competing at the state-of-the-art Danube Arena.

Banks, 16, will compete in four events: 50-meter freestyle (26.65), 200-meter freestyle (2:15.05), 50-meter backstroke (34.29) and 200-meter individual medley.

Banks will be a senior at Cypress Bay High School when the swim season begins.

Vale will compete in five events: 100-meter freestyle (53.87); 200-meter freestyle (1:57.03); 400-meter freestyle (4:14.61); 50-meter butterfly (25.41); and 100-meter butterfly (57.95).

Vale, 18, will be a freshman at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

Other past and present Florida Gold Coast swimmers competing are:

Izaak Bastian, Bahamas, St. Andrew’s alum: 50-meter freestyle (23.18); 50-meter breaststroke (28.20); 100-meter breaststroke (1:02.41); and 200-meter breaststroke (2:18.03).

Rodolfo Falcon, Cuba, Azura: 400-meter freestyle (4:06.27); 800-meter freestyle (8:24.40); and 1500-meter freestyle (16:00.80).

Luis Bucaro, Guatemale, Cypress Bay/TS Aquatics: 50-meter freestyle (26.24); 100-meter freestyle (55.01); 200-meter freestyle (1:57.84); and 400-meter freestyle (4:10.61).

Alex Joachim, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Azura: 50-meter freestyle (26.08); 100-meter freestyle (54.96); 50-meter backstroke (29.35); 50-meter breaststroke (31.44); 200-meter breaststroke (NTA); 50-meter butterfly (NTA); 100-meter butterfly (NTA); and 200-meter butterfly (2:18.15).

The U.S. team features 45 talented swimmers from 39 clubs across 19 different states.

Emerging talents such as U.S. National Team members Luca Urlando (Sacramento, California./DART Swimming) and Chase Travis (Warren, N.J./Somerset Valley YMCA) will look to showcase their talents on the world stage. Urlando and National Junior Team teammate Carson Foster (Montgomery, Ohio/Mason Manta Rays) will have the largest schedule of events competing in five races each.

“As we look at the teams we put together, we see swimmers that are already close to or breaking world junior records,” Team USA men’s head coach Billy Doughty said. “The youth coming up through United States swimming is pretty exciting.”

Added Team USA women’s head coach Crystal Keelan: “There’s a lot of fast kids out there, but some of the swims [by junior athletes] have been a little bit shocking and pretty exciting. We’re looking forward to seeing what they can do in international competition against the world’s best.”


MEN: 50 Free: David Curtiss, USA, 22.25; 100 Free: Andrei Minakov, RUS, 48.50; 200 Free: Luca Urlando, USA, 1:46.51; 400 Free: Jake Mitchell, USA, 3:48.09; 800 Free: Aleksandr Egorov, RUS, 7:52.04; 1500 Free: Franko Grgic, CRO, 14:56.55; 50 Back: Thomas Ceccon, ITA, 25.16; 100 Back: Thomas Ceccon, ITA, 53.60; 200 Back: Jan Cejka, CZE, 1:57.51; 50 Breast: Vladislav Gerasimenko, RUS, 27.77; 100 Breast: Alexander Zhigalov, RUS, 1:00.75; 200 Breast: Shoma Sato, JPN, 2:09.42; 50 Fly: Thomas Ceccon, ITA, 23.46; 100 Fly: Andrei Minakov, RUS, 50.83; 200 Fly: Luca Urlando, USA, 1:53.84; 200 IM: Carson Foster, USA, 1:58.69; 400 IM: Carson Foster, USA, 4:13.39; 4×100 free: Russia, 3:18.11; 4×200 free: United States, 7:16.42; 4×100 medley: Russia, 3:35.17.

WOMEN: 50 Free: Gretchen Walsh, USA, 24.85; 100 Free: Gretchen Walsh, USA, 54.13; 200 Free: Claire Tuggle, USA, 1:58.21; 400 Free: Lani Pallister, AUS, 4:06.57; 800 Free: Lani Pallister, AUS, 8:25.66; 1500 Free: Lani Pallister, AUS, 16:06.84; 50 Back: Daria Vaskina, RUS, 27.51; 100 Back: Daria Vaskina, RUS, 59.46; 200 Back: Rye Ulett, USA, 2:09.70; 50 Breast: Benedetta Pilato, ITA, 29.98; 100 Breast: Kayla van der Merwe, GBR, 1:07.12; 200 Breast: Evgeniia Chikunova, RUS, 2:21.07; 50 Fly: Anastasiya Shkurdai, BLR, 25.87; 100 Fly: Anastasiya Shkurdai, BLR, 57.39; 200 Fly: Lillie Nordmann, USA, 2:07.43; 200 IM: Anastasia Gorbenko, ISR, 2:11.92; 400 IM: Alba Vazques Ruiz, ESP, 4:40.64; 4×100 free: United States, 3:40.20; 4×200 free: China, 7:52.30; 4×100 medley: Russia, 4:01.83.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Breaks Second National Record; El Salvador’s Celina Marquez Of Azura Breaks National Record; Carter Takes Bronze Day Three Of XVIII Pan American Games

By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 9, 2019—Patrick Groters of Aruba continued to make history for his country with a second national record Thursday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional Aquatic Center.

The former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming alum just missed his second final, placing ninth in the men’s 100-meter backstroke and making “B” final but did break his second national record for Aruba in a personal-best 56.20. He broke his own record of 57.17 set in 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships.

In an exciting “B” final race, Groters was second in another best time and lowering his national record in 55.82 just 4/100ths of a second behind Azura’s Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico in 55.78. Groters is being coached by his older brother Jordy.

Morales finished fourth in his heat in 56.53. He finished fifth overall in 200-meter backstroke on Wednesday in 2:00.27.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Celina Marquez, 20, of El Salvador swam a national record in the 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 1:01.92. Her previous best was 1:02.92 in April at the Puerto Rico Open. She also swam 1:02.96 at the recent FINA World Aquatic Championships. She earned the fifth-fastest time. Her splits were 29.96 and 31.96, breaking the national record by more than two and a half seconds. In finals, she finished seventh in 1:03.07.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago 100-meter won a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke final in 54.42.

Groters’ Aruba teammate Mikel Schreuders, 20, swam the fastest time in his career to break a national record in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.08. His splits were 23.74 and 25.34 to earn the third seed for final. His previous best was 49.17 swam at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean Games. He came back at night to finish sixth in 49.21.

Azura’s Allyson Ponson of Aruba won the “B” final in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.06. In prelims she was ninth in 57.28 to make “B” final.

Former SOFLO swimmer Jorge Murillo won the “B” final in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:13.59 after going 2:14.09 in his heat. He was also a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in 3:55.22.

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Surinam was fourth in the 100-meter freestyle heats in 49.73.

Azura and Cypress Bay alum Marco Guarente, now at Florida, qualified for the “A” final of 200-meter breaststroke, where he finished seventh in 2:14.40.

Azura alum Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, now at Louisville, was fifth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:00.98.

Mateo Gonzalez of Mexico, a Sagemont and Azura alum qualified for the “B” final on Wednesday in 100-meter butterfly and finished second in 54.09.

Azura alum Luis Martinez won a silver medal in 100-meter butterfly in 51.63 behind American Tom Shields in 51.59 Wednesday night.

Azura alum Jose Angel Martinez of Mexico, now at Texas A&M, was fifth in 200-meter butterfly in 1:59.23 Wednesday night.

Azura’s Julio Horrego of Honduras was fourth in the “B” final of 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.90 after going 2:18.21 in his heat.

Doral alum Isabella Paez was a member of Venezuela’s mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fourth in its heat in 4:03.18.

American Heritage alum Cathy Cooper of Panama was a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in its heat in 4:06.11 and sixth in finals in 3:58.10.

Individual winners on Thursday night:

American Margo Greer, top qualifier, led from start-to-finish to win the 100-meter freestyle in 54.17.

Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini outsprinted American Nathan Adrian to win the 100-meter freestyle in 48.09 and snap the Americans win streak. Adrian finished in 48.17.

American Anne Lazor won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record 2:21.40.

American William Licon won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record of 2:07.62.

American Phoebe Bacon won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.47, the only swimmer under 1 minute.

American Daniel Carr won the 100-meter backstroke in 53.50.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello continues to dominate the distance events winning the 800-meter freestyle in 8:29.42. American Mariah Denigan was second in 8:34.18. U.S. teammate Becca Mann, a former Clearwater swimmer, was fifth in 8:38.25.

American Andrew Abruzzo won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.70.

Brazil won the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:48.61. The U.S. team of Anne Lazor, Kendyl Stewart, Cody Miller and Nathan Adrian was disqualified for an illegal second dolphin kick on Miller’s breaststroke.

The U.S. won 11 medals including six gold on Day 3 and broke two Pan American records.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships Begin Friday At Coral Springs; Azura Looking For Three-Peat

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, July 24, 2019—The championship season continues this weekend for South Florida Aquatic Club at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Championships.

SOFLO will have 45 swimmers in 191 individual events and 18 relays trying to improve on last year’s eighth place finish among combined teams with 481 points.

Azura Florida Aquatics defended its title with 1,328 points and Pine Crest Swimming was second with 1,080 points.

Kelley Heron, 19, is SOFLO’s only top seed in the 200-meter backstroke 2:20.58.

Several collegians back for the summer will add to the talented field assembled for the three-day meet at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Among SOFLO’s entries are Rafael Rodriguez, 17, Lucy Smutny, 16, Nicolas Rossi, 16, Robert Wilson, 16, Sarah Acevedo, 15, Dominic Bono, 16, Alex Golding, 15, John Paul Handal, 16, Philopatier Ibrahim, 16, Melissa Marinheiro, 22, Michelle Marinheiro, 16, Leonardo Mateus, 17, Yannai Michael, 15, Abby Oyetunji, 19, and Christian Kopecki, 20.

In March, South Florida Aquatic Club won the FGC Senior Short Course Championships at Academic Village Pool. SOFLO won the combined team title with 3,287 points for the first time in meet history. It was the first time SOFLO totaled 3,000 or more points in any Florida Gold Coast meet. Azura Florida Aquatics was second with 2,579 and East Coast Aquatic Club was third with 2,099 points.

SOFLO secured its place in the record books and made history by winning both seniors and JO titles in the same short course season for the sixth time in the team’s 19-year history.

SOFLO is coming off winning last weekend’s FGC Long Course Junior Olympics.

Pine Crest’s Andrea Santander, 17, will use the meet as a tuneup before she leaves for Lima, Peru for the Pan American Games for Venezuela.


What: Florida Gold Coast Senior LCM Championships.

When: Friday-Sunday

Schedule: Friday, prelims 8:30 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.; Saturday, prelims 8:30 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

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

Of note: Admission is $5 per session for prelims and $3 per session for finals. Concession stand will be available. Forty-eight teams are entered and 16 unattached teams. Azura Florida Aquatics is two-time defending champion.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Atkinson Double Winner; SOFLO Third Among Teams On Day Two Of Speedo Champion Series Southern Zone South Sectionals

By Sharon Robb

PLANTATION, March 8, 2019—South Florida Aquatic Club men’s and women’s teams are third after Day Two of the of the Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships Friday at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

The women’s team is third with 393 points. Sarasota YMCA leads with 630 and East Coast Aquatic Club is second with 461 points.

The men’s team is also third with 355 points. Azura Florida Aquatics is first with 485 and Sarasota YMCA is second with 370.

Four-time Jamaican Olympian and world short course record holder Alia Atkinson, 30, won two events. Atkinson won her signature event 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.79. She also won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:01.38 just ahead of Talia Bates of Gator Swim Club in 1:01.42. Atkinson has 64 points in high point.

Mary Smutny, 18, finished third in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:04.16. She was third fastest in morning prelims in 2:05.48. Smutny has 42 points in high point.

Rafael Rodriguez, 17, finished fourth in the 400-meter individual medley in 4:39.27. He was second fastest in morning prelims in 4:39.05. He has 65 points in high points.

Mallory Schleicher, 15, posted back-to-back best times in the 200-meter freestyle. Seeded 2:11.74, she went 2:10.64 in morning prelims and 2:07.69 in finals for a 4.05 time drop.

Schleicher also has back-to-back best times in the 400-meter individual medley. She went 5:06.74 in morning prelims and came back at night in 5:04.62. She was seeded in 5:07.59. Schleicher has 49 points in high points.

Robert Wilson, 16, swam back-to-back best times in the 200-meter freestyle. Seeded 2:01.18, he went 2:00.61 in prelims and 2:00.22 in finals for an 0.96 time drop. He has four points in high point.

Lance Lesage, 16, broke 2 minutes in the 200-meter freestyle and had back-to-back best times. Seeded 2:02.67, he lowered it first in morning prelims in 2:01.18 and broke 2 minutes in finals in 1:59.78 for a total time drop of 2.89. Lesage has 20 points in high point.

Juan Pablo Pineda, 16, had back-to-back best times in the 100-meter breaststroke. Seeded in 1:08.50, he lowered it in morning prelims in 1:08.50 and bettered in finals in 1:07.92 for an 0.77 time drop. He has 15 points in high point.

Javier Roman, 15, has back-to-back best times in the 400-meter individual medley. Seeded 4:56.25, he went 4:54.75 in morning prelims and bettered it in 4:52.33 for a 3.92 time drop. He has four points in high point.

SOFLO has 35 qualified swimmers compete in 155 individual events and 12 relay events race in the long course meet.

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

Among Florida Gold Coast teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatic, East Coast Aquatic Club, Boca Raton Swim Team, North Palm Beach, Martin County, Coral Springs Swim Club, Sunrise, TS Aquatics, and host Plantation Swim Team. Bolles, Sarasota and Pensacola are top Florida teams.

The four-day meet continues Saturday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5 p.m.


GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Sarasota YMCA 630, 2. East Coast Aquatic Club 461.5, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 393, 4. Barrington Swim Club 334.5, 5. Azura Florida Aquatics 285.

BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura Florida Aquatics 485, 2. Sarasota YMCA 370, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 355, 4. Metro Aquatics 272, 5. Colorado Stars 269.


200-meter freestyle:
1. Emma Weyant, SYS 2:01.97, 2. Nikki Miller, Unattached 2:03.38, 3. Mary Smutny, SOFLO 2:04.16; SOFLO: 25. Mallory Schleicher 2:07.69, time drop.

100-meter breaststroke:
1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:08.79, 2. Shayna Fetes, SAS 1:13.99, 3. Micaela Sierra, CSSC 1:15.60; SOFLO: 12. Molly Golding 1:16.85.

50-meter backstroke:
1. Caitlin Brooks, GSC 28.92, 2. Celina Marquez, Azura 30.16, 3. Megan Murphy, ECAC 30.22.

100-meter butterfly:
1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 1:01.38, 2. Talia Bates, GSC 1:01.42, 3. Abigail Gibbons, BD 1:01.47; SOFLO: 12. Mary Smutny 1:05.12.

400-meter individual medley:
1. Sumner Chmielweski, SYS 4:55.06, 2. Michaela Mattes, SYS 4:56.36, 3. Michelle Morgan, PS 4:56.69; SOFLO: 5. Mallory Schleicher 5:04.62, time drop, 6. Kathleen Golding 5:06.96.

800-meter freestyle relay:
1. Sarasota YMCA A 8:27.30, 2. East Coast Aquatic Club 8:36.35, 3. Sarasota YMCA B 8:40.73, 5. SOFLO A 8:42.62 (Mary Smutny, Mallory Schleicher, Olivia Dinehart, Kathleen Golding), 14. SOFLO B 9:05.32 (Sarah Acevedo, Sara Quintero, Elena Dinehart, Molly Golding).


200-meter freestyle:
1. Santiago Corredor, GSC 1:52.33, 2. Gabriel Araya, Unattached 1:53.62, 3. Julian Hill, GSC 1:53.79; SOFLO: 21. Robert Wilson 2:00.22, time drop, 25. Lance Lesage 1:59.78, time drop.

100-meter breaststroke:
1. Ryaan Hatoum, BERK 1:05.20, 2. Lukas Macek, Unattached 1:05.29, 3. Hector Rodriguez, BD 1:06.54; SOFLO: 12. Juan Pablo Pineda 1:07.92, time drop.

50-meter backstroke:
1. Steven Aimable, Unattached 27.16, 2. Payton Plumb, SUSA 27.50, 3. Matheo Mateos, Azura 27.58; SOFLO: 9. Lance Lesage 27.88, time drop.

100-meter butterfly:
1. Gabriel Araya, Unattached 55.63, 2. Kamarl Muhammad, Unattached 55.63, 3. Blake Wilton, STAR 55.82; SOFLO: 11. Rafael Rodriguez 57.71.

400-meter individual medley:
1. Alexander Gusev, SYS 4:30.94, 2. Joshua Zuchowski, FAST 4:39.01, 3. Matheo Mateos, Azura 4:39.13; SOFLO: 4. Rafael Rodriguez 4:39.27, 18. Leonardo Mateus 4:49.78, 20. Dominc Bono 4:50.46, 21. Javier Roman 4:52.33.

800-meter freestyle relay:
1. Azura 7:58.36 (Matheo Mateos, Franco Lupoli, Sidrell Williams, Juan Zapata), 2. Sarasota YMCA 7:59.40, 3. Metro Aquatics 8:01.45, 4. SOFLO A 8:02.50 (Rafael Rodriguez, Robert Wilson, Philopatier Ibrahim, Lance Lesage), 12. SOFLO B 8:19.80 (Nicolas Rossi, Michael Arias, Leonardo Mateus, Dominic Bono).


What: 2019 Speedo Championship Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championship

When: Saturday-Sunday

Schedule: Saturday-Sunday, prelims 9 a.m. and finals 5 p.m.

Where: Plantation Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street.

Of note: Admission is $5. For more information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Kathleen Golding Will Compete In TYR Pro Swim Series Opener In Austin

By Sharon Robb

January 11, 2018—After a break from competition, Kathleen Golding of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete against some of the world’s best at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Austin, Texas.

The meet begins on Thursday at Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center and will continue through Sunday.

The TYR Pro Swim Series at Austin is the first of six stops for the series and will be swum in long course meters. Prelims will begin 9 a.m. CST Thursday through Saturday with finals beginning at 6 p.m. CST on Thursday and 5:40 p.m. CST on Friday and Saturday.

On Thursday and Friday will be conducted in the traditional prelims-finals format with the top 16 swimmers from prelims advancing to the ‘A’ and ‘B’ finals.

On Saturday, the 400 freestyle will have two heats of finals with the addition of a “shoot-out style final” for the 50 meter events. The competition concludes on Sunday at 8 a.m. CST with the timed finals of the men’s and women’s 1500 meter freestyle.

Golding, 17, a 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, opens Thursday with the 400-meter individual medley in which she is seeded 16th in 4:50.65. It is the first of seven events for the talented swimmer.

Golding is also entered in the 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter individual medley, 50-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly.

SOFLO teammates Marc Rojas, 23, Rafael Rodriguez, 16, and Kelley Heron, 18, were entered but opted not to compete.

The meet will also feature the newly-created SwimSquad Battles that will be featured during the entire series. Four retired Olympians (Lenny Krayzelburg, Jason Lezak, Natalie Coughlin and Caitlin Sandeno), drafted the entire U.S. National Team along with a few 2016 Olympians. Four squads of six swimmers each will compete for points and prize money that will be awarded to a charity of their choice at the en of the series.

TYR is the official outfitter for South Florida Aquatic Club.

NBC Sports will provide live coverage of the TYR Pro Swim Series at Austin on the NBC Sports App on Thursday, and on live television on NBC Sports Network on Friday and Olympic Channel on Saturday. Each finals broadcast will begin at 7 p.m. ET. A live webcast of prelims will be available online at

AquaKids Sharks Hailey Jerew, 17, and Mary Smutny, 17; and Azura Florida Aquatic’s Patricia Casellas, 27, Luis Flores, 23, Edson Lima, 23, Daniel Torres, 26, and Gonzalo Vegas, 20 will also compete for the Florida Gold Coast.

Florida Gold Coast college swimmers Marcelo Acosta and Rachael Bradford Feldman will compete for University of Louisville.

Acosta has two swims that rank in the top-10 of Division I. Acosta owns the fifth-ranked time in the 1,000 freestyle (8:57.04), as well as the sixth-ranked time in the 1650 freestyle (14:45.42). Rachael Bradford-Feldman already has an 800-yard freestyle relay NCAA ‘A’ cut time of 6:58.41, also a school record.

Other meet stops are Atlanta, Mesa, Ariz., Indianapolis, Santa Clara, Columbus and U.S. Nationals.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida Gold Coast Well-Represented At FINA World Junior Championships That Begin Wednesday

By Sharon Robb

August 22, 2017—The next generation of swimming talent will be showcased when the sixth FINA World Junior Swimming Championships begin Wednesday at Indiana University Natatorium in Indianapolis.

The six-day meet, held every two years, will feature 630 of the best boys, ages 14-17 and girls, ages 15-18, from 93 different countries.

Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented at the meet.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Patrick Groters, representing Aruba, heads the field of talented South Florida swimmers.

Groters, a senior, is also headed into his final high school season at University School. Last year he was a state champion in the 100-yard backstroke and runner-up in the 200-yard individual medley.

Andrea Santander, a sophomore at Pine Crest School and member of Pine Crest Swimming’s club team, will represent Venezuela. She is coming off a gold medal performance at Futures in Nashville. Santander also broke two Venezuela national records including the 2002 100-meter freestyle record of 57.53 held by Arlene Semeco of Coral Springs Swim Club. Santander swam 57.22.

Azura Florida Aquatics will have three swimmers competing at junior worlds. Jorge Depassier of Chile is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter freestyle.

Jose Diaz of Honduras will compete in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke and 100-meter freestyle.

Amarsanaa Ganbaatar of Mongolia will swim the 100-meter freestyle and 200-meter breaststroke.

Team captains voted for the U.S. team are Michael Andrew, Grace Ariola, Madison Homovich, Erica Sullivan and Reece Whitley. The U.S. roster has 24 girls and 18 boys.

Morning heats are 9:30 a.m. and semifinals and finals 6 p.m.

Wednesday’s events are: men’s 400-meter freestyle, women’s 50-meter breaststroke, men’s 100-meter backstroke, women’s 400-meter individual medley, men’s 100-meter breaststroke, women’s 100-meter backstroke, men’s 4×100 freestyle relay and men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay.

The semifinals and finals are being broadcast by the Olympic Channel via the NBC Sports App at 6 p.m. each day and webcast on The FINA live stream is not available in the U.S. and several other countries.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida Gold Coast’s Groters, Pigot, Van den Berg, Williams Win Gold At CARIFTA

Florida Gold Coast’s Groters, Pigot, Van den Berg, Williams Win Gold At CARIFTA

By Sharon Robb

April 24, 2014

Brothers Jordy and Patrick Groters of Aruba and Zuhayr Pigot of Suriname took up where they left off Wednesday night and Daniella van den Berg of Aruba and Sidrell Williams of Jamaica shared the spotlight.

The Florida Gold Coast and international age group stars picked up more gold to add to their medal haul on Day Three of the 29th CARIFTA Swimming Championships Thursday night at the Piscina Olimpico Roly Bislik in Oranjestad, Savaneta, Aruba.

Jordy Groters, 17, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming, seeded third going into finals, won the 15-17 200-meter individual medley in 2:10.08. Jamaica’s Keanan Dols, 15, of Jamaica, the top-seed, finished third in a best time 2:10.87, lowering his previous best of 2:14.30.

Also in the 200 IM, Jonathan Farah, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago and American Heritage, making his international debut, was fifth in 2:19.27. Matthew Lyn, 16, of Jamaica was tenth in a best time 2:20.74.

Jordy Groters, the top morning seed, also took a silver medal in the 50-meter breaststroke in 29.37 and Wayne Denswil, 17, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics took the bronze in a best time 30.31. Jordy Groters, swimming leadoff leg, took another silver medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay.

Patrick Groters, 14, of Aruba and Pine Crest Swimming won the 13-14 200-meter individual medley in 2:16.91. Groters swam back-to-back best times including 2:18.91 in prelims bettering his previous best of 2:23.30.

Zuhayr Pigot, 16, of Suriname and Metro Aquatics won the 15-17 100-meter freestyle in a best time 51.59, dropping from 52.40, followed by fifth-seed Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados in a best time, 52.70, dropping from 53.10 for the silver medal. Jabari Baptiste, 16, of Trinidad and Tobago was fourth in 53.14.

After winning relay gold earlier in the meet, Daniella van den Berg, 17, of Aruba and Azura Florida Aquatics won her first individual gold medal in the 15-17 200-meter butterfly in a best time 2:25.52, dropping from 2:31.41.

Sisters Daniella and Andrea, 15, van den Berg won relay gold leading Aruba to a gold medal in the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:50.77 with teammates Ginayla Arends and Rebecca Maduro.

Daniella Van den Berg also took a bronze medal in the 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:28.02, dropping from 2:29.06.

Jamaica’s Sidrell Williams, 17, of St. Andrew’s Swimming, seeded second, won the 200-meter butterfly in a lifetime-best 2:09.66, dropping from 2:15.39. It was the first of two gold medals for Williams. Christian Selby, 16, of Barbados took the bronze in 2:14.00 and Kean Dols, 15, of Jamaica was fifth in 2:19.31 after going a best time 2:14.53 in prelims, dropping from 2:24.41.

Jamaica’s Matthew Lyn, 16, Keanan Dols, 15, Sidrell Williams, 17, and Nico Campbell, 16, won the 800-meter freestyle relay in 8:05.78 in the final event of the night.

Nicolas Vale, 12, of Jamaica and Azura Florida Aquatics won two more silver medals. He took second in the 11-12 200-meter individual medley in a best time 2:30.49. His previous best was 2:33.43. Vale, seeded third after prelims, also took second in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:27.49, another best time dropping from 2:31.82.

Annabella Lyn, 13, of Jamaica and Pine Crest Swimming, was eighth in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:45.39 after going a best time of 2:43.50 in prelims dropping from 2:48.37.

The Caribbean Free Trade Association-sponsored meet, which features most of the top junior age group swimmers in the Caribbean, is a qualifier for both the Youth Olympic Games and Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships.

The meet concludes on Saturday with the open water 5K events.

Sharon Robb can be reached at