South Florida Aquatic Club Three-Peats At FGC Senior Championships; Sweeps All Three Titles For First Time


By Sharon Robb

March 22, 2015—Just when you think it can’t get any better, it did for South Florida Aquatic Club.

Not only did SOFLO get its three-peat, but swept all three team titles—combined, women’s and men’s—for the first time in the club’s 15-year history Sunday night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

For the third year in a row, SOFLO won the combined and women’s team titles and for the first time the men’s team title.

It was also the third year in a row SOFLO has won both the Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics and Senior Championships in the short course season.

SOFLO won the combined team title with a team record 3,080.50 points. SOFLO has never amassed 3,000 points in any major meet. Gulliver Swim Club was second with 2,356 and Swim Fort Lauderdale was third with 2,045.

SOFLO won the women’s team title with 1,697.50 points followed by Swim Fort Lauderdale with 1,087 and Gulliver Swim Club with 1,059.50.

SOFLO made more history by winning the men’s team title for the first time with 1,383 points. Gulliver Swim Club was second with 1,296.50 and Azura Florida Aquatics with 1,217.50.

The men’s victory was even more impressive because several of its swimmers were unattached including Jorge Murillo Valdes, Julien Pinon, Jonathan Farah and Max and Sam Asnis.

After getting dunked in the pool for only the third time in his coaching career, SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson was still somewhat shocked at his team’s accomplishments.

“I am really shocked we found a way on our staff to actually win the men, women and combined for the first time and combined three years in a row,” a soggy Anderson said.

“I am extremely happy. We had 23 people in our Asteroids and lessons program come up over the last five years and be point scorers and be on our relays. It’s a huge testament to what we are doing.”

SOFLO dominated the meet from the opening day buoyed by depth, talent and relays.

“It is slightly overwhelming to cultivate a team and culture of getting the kids to work hard for a goal and to actually pull it off three years in a row,” Anderson said. “I’m not sure I envisioned three years in a row.

“To win the men’s title is a huge feather in our cap. That was our weakest part but we actually worked hard at the 10-11 age group to perform when they got to this level. This was a six-year long term plan.”

While winning the first two years was great, Anderson said this time around “for sure is the sweetest.

“For our volunteers, officials and coaching staff to be able to do this three years in a row; for our men to click like they did; for our women to continue their success and to have the pros fire on all cyclinders is a huge accomplishment,” Anderson said.

“I’m not complacent, but I am very happy where we are at. Of course, there is more to do. We want to take our senior kids to the next level but as far as the clear path, the right path, we have definitely taken the right road.”

Three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson broke another Jamaican national record, this time in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.74, bettering her previous best of 23.01. Atkinson also won her signature event, the 100-yard breaststroke in 58.08.

Atkinson was also a member of SOFLO’s winning 200-yard medley relay in 1:43.53 with teammates Kelley Heron, Valentina Artemeva and Kathleen Golding.

Other individual winners for SOFLO were:

Kelley Heron won the 15-16 100-yard backstroke in 58.22 and second in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:08.44.

Jessica Rodriguez won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:05.01 and was fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:09.94.

Carolina Colorado, swimming unattached for SOFLO, won the open 100-yard backstroke in 53.72 and 200-yard individual medley in 2:02.62. Colorado was also second in the 50-yard butterfly in 24.76.

Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes won the 100-yard breaststroke in 53.62 and was second in the 50-yard butterfly in 22.88.

Other SOFLO finalists were:

Melissa Marinheiro was second in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 17:05.16. She was also tenth in the 50-yard butterfly in 27.28 and tenth in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.08.

Kathleen Golding was second in the open 200-yard individual medley in 2:03.60. She was also fourth in the 50-yard butterfly in 26.02 and sixth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.63.

Valentina Artemeva was second in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:01.37 and second in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.85.

SOFLO’s women’s 400-yard medley relay was second in 3:54.72 with Heron, Rodriguez, Artemeva and Golding.

Kylie Herman was fifth in the 1,650-yard freestyle in 18:10.04 and Lilli Calero was ninth in 18:42.45.

Natasha Testa was seventh in the 50-yard butterfly in 27.67 and Jessica Rodriguez in 27.92.

CJ Kopecki was second in the 1,650-yard freestyle in a career-best 16:12.62, dropping from 16:12.62. Ricardo Roche was sixth in 16:38.91, Jordan Colon was nineh in 16:44.72 and Juan Diaz was tenth in 16:45.96.

Timothy Wynter was second in the 100-yard backstroke in 52.94 and fourth in the 50-yard butterfly in 23.14.

Julien Pinon, swimming unattached for SOFLO, was second in the 50-yard butterfly in 23.27, third in the 100-yard backstroke in 52.53 and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:55.88.

Juan Lucas was seventh in the 100-yard backstroke in 54.48, Esteban Diaz-Velasco was eighth in 54.54 and Bruno Berti was tenth in 55.97.

Jonathan Farah, swimming unattached, was third in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:01.81 and fifth in the 100-yard backstroke in 53.92 and Ryan Capote was seventh in 55.36.

Ervin Marin was fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:00.60, seventh in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:58.04 and tenth in the 50-yard butterfly in 24.39.

Bruno Berti was eighth in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.55.

A field of more than 500 swimmers from 32 teams competed in the three-day meet that was hosted by SOFLO for the second consecutive day.

The meet featured most of the Florida Gold Coast teams. In addition to SOFLO and Azura, among teams entered are St. Andrew’s Swimming, Miami Swimming, Gulliver, Coral Springs Swim Club, Pompano Beach, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Wahoos of Wellington, Metro Aquatics, Lake Lytal Lightning, AquaKids Sharks, Performance Aquatics, Boca Raton and Plantation Swim Team.

SUNDAY RESULTS

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 3,080.50, 2. Gulliver Swim Club 2,356, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 2,045, 4. Miami Swimming 1,368.50, 5. Azura Florida Aquatics 1,357.50, 6. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami 1,262.50, 7. Coral Springs Swim Club 1,069.50, 8. Boca Raton Swim Team 672, 9. Pompano Beach Piranhas 572, 10. Plantation Swim Team 474.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 1,697.50, 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 1,087, 3. Gulliver Swim Club 1,059.50, 4. Miami Swimming 863.50, 5. Coral Springs Swim Club 560.50, 6. Metro Aquatics 527.50, 7. Pompano Beach Piranhas 491, 8. Boca Raton Swim Team 408, 9. Wahoos of Wellington 395, 10. Performance Aquatics 384.50.

MEN’S TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 1,383, 2. Gulliver 1,296.50, 3. Azura 1,217.50, 4. Swim Fort Lauderdale 958, 5. Metro Aquatics 735, 6. Coral Springs Swim Club 508, 7. Miami Swimming 505, 8. Miami Dade County 281, 9. YMCA of Broward County 280.50, 10. AquaKids Sharks 280.

WOMEN HIGH POINT: 1. Allison Kopas, SFTL 191, 2. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 180.50, 3. Laine Morgan, Miami Swimming 177, 4. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 165, 5. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 162; SOFLO: 7. Carolina Colorado 159, 8. Kelley Heron 152, 10. Kathleen Golding 147, 14. Melissa Marinheiro 134, 28. Valentina Artemeva 84, 32. Star Fassler, 82, 37. Kylie Herman 76, 50. Lisa Blackburn 55,66. Liz Travieso 42, 68. Lilli Calero 39, 72. Natasha Testa 37, 81. Delanie Perez 28, 85. Elise Larin 26, 92. Jennifer Rodriguez 22, 99. Abby Oyetunji 19, 108. Vanessa Mesa 16, 121. Jennifer Martin 11, 121. Stephanie Mlujeak 11, 121. 11, 131. Alexandra Crespo 8, 142. Isabella DiSalvo 4, 151. Raquel Lugo 2.

MEN HIGH POINT: 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 192, 2. Nikita Tretyakov, SFTL 188, 3. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 183, 4. Luke Smutny, AK Sharks 176, 5. Julien Pinon, SOFLO 164; SOFLO: 8. Ervin Marin 156, 10. Jonathan Farah 145, 11. Timothy Wynter 131, 13. Jorge Murillo Valdes 122, 15. CJ Kopecki 117, 17. Ryan Capote 104, 28. Juan Lucas 93, 46. Jordan Colon 62, 46. Kevin Porto 62, 48. Bruno Berti 59, 60. Leonardo Mateus 49, 61. Ricardo Roche 48, 63. Max Asnis 47, 69. Esteban Diaz-Velasco 40, 70. Samuel Quintero 39,73. Juan Diaz 36, 80. Rafael Rodriguez 32, 82. Gustavo Valery 31, 92. Alfredo Mesa 26, 112. Sam Asnis 16, 117. Brandon Moran 14, 125. Matthew Menocal 10, 127. Gabriel Segui 9, 137. Brendan Cassie 6, 145. Simon Ortiz 3.

WOMEN

200-yard medley relay: 1. SOFLO 1:43.53 (Kelley Heron, Valentina Artemeva, Alia Atkinson, Kathleen Golding), 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:46.88, 3. Miami Swimming 1:47.79.

100-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 58.22, 2. Melannie Vargas, Miami-Dade 58.62, 3. Brooke Ellis, Gulliver 1:00.01; SOFLO: 11. Liz Travieso 1:02.41; Open, 1. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO 53.72, 2. Laine Morgan, Miami Swimming 56.10, 3. Amanda Tipton, Swim Fort Lauderdale 56.33; SOFLO: 19. Carly Swanson 1:03.01.

1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Catalina Galea Berraud, Swim Fort Lauderdale Unattached 17:01.55, 2. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 17:05.16, 3. Cloe Bedard-Khalid, Metro Aquatics 17:11.31; SOFLO: 5. Kylie Herman 18:10.04, 9. Lilli Calero 18:42.45, 13. Alexandra Crespo 19:53.37.

50-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 26.21, 2. Isabella Pittinger, Coral Springs 26.78, 3. Paloma Sanchez, Miami Swimming 26.93; SOFLO: 7. Natasha Testa 27.67, 9. Jessica Rodriguez 27.92, 13. Liz Travieso 28.45; Open, 1. Catalina Mendieta, PAQ 24.74, 2. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO Unattached 24.76, 3. Kelly Harrington, Boca Raton 24.95; SOFLO: 4. Kathleen Golding 26.02, 10. Melissa Marinheiro 27.28, 14. Vanessa Mesa 27.77, 17. Carly Swanson 28.19.

100-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 1:05.01, 2. Allison Kopas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:05.96, 3. Fatimah Westbrook, Pompano Beach 1:07.08; SOFLO: 13. Kelley Heron 1:11.11; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 58.08, 2. Valentina Artemeva, SOFLO 1:01.37, 3. Caitlin Ahern, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:04.26; SOFLO: 6. Kathleen Golding 1:06.63, 13. Elise Larin 1:09.44, 17. Delanie Perez 1:11.22.

50-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Catharine Cooper, Coral Springs Swim Club 23.79, 2. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 24.34,3. Fatimah Westbrook, Pompano Beach 24.75; SOFLO: 15. Liz Travieso 26.00, 17. Abby Oyetunji 26.10; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 22.74, 2. Valentina Artemeva, SOFLO 23.85, 3. Kelly Harrington, Boca Raton 24.01; SOFLO: 10. Melissa Marinheiro 25.08, 11. Jennifer Martin 24.98, 18. Vanessa Mesa 25.61, 20. Carly Swanson 25.78.

200-yard individual medley: 15-16, 1. Allison Kopas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:04.79, 2. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 2:08.44, 3. Brooke Ellis, Gulliver 2:08.55; SOFLO: 5. Jessica Rodriguez 2:09.94; Open, 1. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO Unattached 2:02.62, 2. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 2:03.60, 3. Amanda Tipton, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:04.75; SOFLO: 17. Delanie Perez 2:16.99, 19. Kylie Herman 2:18.39.

400-yard medley relay: 1. Swim Fort Lauderdale 3:50.75 (Amanda Tipton, Caitlin Ahern, Elizabeth Zubero, Allison Kopas), 2. SOFLO 3:54.72 (Kelley Heron, Jessica Rodriguez, Valentina Artemeva, Kathleen Golding), 3. Miami Swimming 3:56.61.

MEN

200-yard medley relay: 1. Metro Aquatics 1:35.90 (Aitor Fungairino, Bernardo Lima, Alejandro Carriazo, Adrian Moya), 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:37.11, 3. Metro Aquatics 1:37.38, 4. SOFLO A 1:37.49 (Timothy Wynter, Ervin Marin, Juan Lucas, Ryan Capote), 10. SOFLO B 1:42.73 (Gustavo Valery, Brendan Cassie, Alfredo Mesa, Bruno Berti).

100-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyakov, Swim Fort Lauderdale 48.90, 2. Alberto Gomez, Miami-Dade 50.86, 3. Julien Pinon, SOFLO Unattached 52.53; SOFLO: 7. Juan Lucas 54.48, 8. Esteban Diaz-Velasco 54.54, 10. Bruno Berti 55.97, 14. Kevin Porto 56.04, 20. Ricardo Roche 58.43; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 48.49, 2. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 52.94, 3. Nicolas Oberndorfer, Gulliver 53.50; SOFLO: 5. Jonathan Farah, SOFLO Unattached 53.92, 7. Ryan Capote 55.36, 15. Leonardo Mateus 58.34.

1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Franco Lupoli, Azura 15:35.65, 2. CJ Kopecki, SOFLO 16:12.62, 3. Matthew Fisher, Boca Raton 16:13.98; SOFLO: 6. Ricardo Roche 16:38.91, 9. Jordan Colon 16:44.72, 10. Juan Diaz 16:45.96, 13. Kevin Porto 16:48.37, 16. Sam Asnis 16:59.80, 19. Matthew Menocal 17:10.16.

50-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Raphael Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 22.91, 2. Julien Pinon, SOFLO 23.27, 3. Maximilian Garcia-Del Pozo, Metro Aquatics 23.45; SOFLO: 10. Ervin Marin 24.39, 13. Juan Lucas 24.73, 17. CJ Kopecki 25.13, 19. Alfredo Mesa 25.21, 20. Gustavo Valery 25.25; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 22.19, 2. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO Unattached 22.88, 3. Rob Ballestas, Miami Swimming 23.13; SOFLO: 4. Timothy Wynter 23.14.

100-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Tristian Celestin, Azura 59.35, 2. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 59.40, 3. Jose Pascual, Coral Springs 59.92; SOFLO: 4. Ervin Marin 1:00.60, 17. Brendan Cassie 1:04.89; Open, 1. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO Unattached 53.62, 2. AJ Reid, Miami Swimming 59.04, 3. Jonathan Farah, SOFLO Unattached 1:01.81; SOFLO: 14. Samuel Quintero 1:07.95, 16. Gabriel Segui 1:09.12.

50-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Raphael Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 21.08, 2. Philippe Marcoux, Swim Fort Lauderdale 21.45, 3. Nikita Tretyakov, Swim Fort Lauderdale 21.47; SOFLO: 8. Brunto Berti 22.55, 14. Gustavo Valery 22.81; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 21.04, 2. Julius Petzold, Miami Swimming 21.30, 3. Joseph Donato, Miami Dade 21.59; SOFLO: 11. Ryan Capote 21.69, 12. Timothy Wynter 22.04.

200-yard individual medley: 15-16, 1. Niktia Tretyakov, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:50.64, 2. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:51.90, 3. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 1:53.03; SOFLO: 4. Julien Pinon 1:55.88, 7. Ervin Marin 1:58.04, 16. Max Asnis 2:04.03, 17. Bruno Berti 2:04.99, 20, Ricardo Roche 2:06.43; Open, 1. Carlos Herrera, Azura 1:51.68, 2. Nicholas Nord, Gulliver 1:56.59, 3. Jonathan Farah, SOFLO Unattached 1:57.59; SOFLO: 14. Leonardo Mateus 2:06.40, 17. Gabriel Segui 2:12.50.

400-yard medley relay: 1. Metro Aquatics 3:28.83, 2. Gulliver 3:32.59, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 3:33.82; 6. SOFLO A 3:37.40 (Timothy Wynter, Ervin Marin, Juan Lucas, Ryan Capote).

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

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SOFLO Leads FGC Senior Championships After Day Two


By Sharon Robb

March 21, 2015—Jessica Rodriguez and Kathleen Golding highlighted another good showing of South Florida Aquatic Club swims Saturday night at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

Rodriguez, 16, won the 200-yard breaststroke in a career-best time 2:17.38, nearly three seconds ahead of Allison Kopas, 16, of Swim Fort Lauderdale. Her previous best was 2:19.68.

Golding, 14, won the women’s 400-yard individual medley in 4:17.41, also a career-best time, lowering her previous best of 4:21.14. She topped an impressive field that included Kelly Fertel, 17, of Gulliver and Amanda Tipton, 18, of Swim Fort Lauderdale.

“Those were two good solid times peaking into national level swims,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said.

Three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson, 26, broke her national record in the 100-yard butterfly, winning in 52.62, nearly three seconds ahead of teammate Carolina Colorado.

Earlier, Colorado, 27, swimming unattached for SOFLO, had knocked off Atkinson in the 50-yard backstroke, 25.07-25.42.

SOFLO’s Valentina Artemeva, 28, was second in the 200-yard breaststroke in a career-best 2:16.48, bettering her previous best of 2:20.97.

Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes, 23, swimming unattached for SOFLO, won the 200-yard breaststroke in a best time 1:57.81, the only swimmer in the field to dip under 2 minutes. His previous best was 2:04.55.

SOFLO won the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay in 7:32.27 with Atkinson, Kelley Heron, Melissa Marinheiro and Golding.

Entering the third and final day, South Florida Aquatic Club will go after a three-peat. SOFLO is trying to win the Senior Championships and Junior Olympics in the same short course season and looks to be in the driver’s seat.

SOFLO leads the combined team standings with 2,068.50 points. Gulliver Swim Club is second with 1,519.50 points and Swim Fort Lauderdale is third with 1,301. The top three teams are the only ones to break 1,000 points.

SOFLO also leads the women’s team standings with 1,109.50 points ahead of Gulliver (695.50) and the men’s results with 959 points, also ahead of Gulliver (824).

Among other top SOFLO swims:

Juan Lucas, 16, won the B final of the 100-yard butterfly in 53.40 with an impressive time drop. His previous best was 55.63. CJ Kopecki, 15, was second in the B final in the 100-yard butterfly in 53.63.

Ervin Marin, 15, was third in the 400-yard individual medley in a best tie 4:06.54. His previous best was 4:07.57. Marin was third in the 200-yard breaststroke in a best time 2:09.24, dropping from 2:09.91. Marin also won the B final of the 200-yard freestyle in a best time 1:44.23, dropping from 1:45.39.

Florida State-bound Jordan Colon, 17, won the B final of the 50-yard backstroke in a best tie 27.01, dropping from 28.14.

Kelley Heron, 15, was second in the 50-yard backstroke in a best time 27.78, dropping from 28.19.

Abby Oyetunji, 15, was second in the B final of the 200-yard freestyle in a best time 1:58.82, the first time she cracked 2 minutes. Her previous best was 2:02.32.

Anderson was impressed with the team’s second day swims.

“This is the meet we really tried to focus on and really tried to peak at,” Anderson said. “We wanted to finish off the short course season right before long course and end on a high note as far as short course.

“Our swimmers had some great time drops and swims. Tonight goes to the Gold Group and National Group. They did a really good job executing their races.

“Our kids are really improving, building confidence and pushing their bodies a lot stronger because of pride which we have been trying to do and instill in these kids for a while now,” Anderson said.

A field of more than 500 swimmers from 32 teams are competing in the three-day meet, the last major meet of the short course season for age group swimmers.

The meet has attracted most of the Florida Gold Coast teams. In addition to SOFLO and Azura, among teams entered are St. Andrew’s Swimming, Miami Swimming, Gulliver, Coral Springs Swim Club, Pompano Beach, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Wahoos of Wellington, Metro Aquatics, Lake Lytal Lightning, AquaKids Sharks, Performance Aquatics, Boca Raton and Plantation Swim Team.

SATURDAY RESULTS

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 2,068.50, 2. Gulliver 1,519.50, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 1,301, 4. Miami Swimming 931, 5. Azura Florida Aquatics 858.50, 6. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami 784, 7. Coral Springs Swim Club 617.50, 8. Boca Raton Swim Team 434.50, 9. Pompano Beach Piranhas 380, 10. Plantation Swim Team 310.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 1,109.50, 2. Gulliver 695.50, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 686, 4. Miami Swimming 538, 5. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami 337.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 959, 2. Gulliver 824, 3. Azura Florida Aquatics 775.50, 4. Swim Fort Lauderdale 615, 5. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami 447.

WOMEN

200-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 1:51.02, 2. Caroline Schirmer, St. Andrew’s 1:52.76, 3. Allison Kop,as Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:55.31; SOFLO: 10. Lilli Calero 2:03.18, 12. Abby Oyetunji 1:58.82; Open, 1. Nicole Urquidi, Gulliver 1:49.14, 2. Alina Schulhofer, PAQ 1:50.33, 3. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 1:51.49; SOFLO: 15. Kylie Herman 1:57.85.

50-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Melannie Vargas, Miami Dade 27.09, 2. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 27.78, 3. Paloma Sanchez, Miami Swimming 28.39; SOFLO: 4. Jessica Rodriguez 28.87, 6. Liz Travieso 29.20, 10. Star Fassler 29.52; Open, 1. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO Unattached 25.07, 2. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 25.42. 3. Laine Morgan, Miami Swimming 26.07; SOFLO: 8. Melissa Marinheiro 27.65, 13. Kathleen Golding 27.98.

200-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 2:17.38, 2. Allison Kopas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:20.73, 3. Victoria Miyamoto, Pompano Beach 2:22.34; SOFLO: 8. Star Fassler 2:32.92; Open, 1. Kelly Fertel, Gulliver 2:15.26, 2. Valentina Artemeva, SOFLO 2:16.48, 3. Elizabeth Zubero, Swim Fort Lauderdale 2:18.95; SOFLO: 5. Lisa Blackburn 2:23.00, 11. Delanie Perez 2:32.85, 15. Elisa Larin 2:37.88.

100-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Kyla Valls, Miami Swimming 56.20, 2. Caroline Schirmer, St. Andrew’s 58.97, 3. Natalya Wozab Unattached 1:00.12; SOFLO: 4. Kelley Heron 1:00.37, 15. Natasha Testa 1:02.04; Open, 1. Alia Atkinson, SOFLO 52.62, 2. Carolina Colorado, SOFLO 54.01, 3. Catalina Mendieta, PAQ 55.80; SOFLO: 18. Kylie Herman 1:01.46, 19. Vanessa Mesa 1:01.63.

400-yard individual medley: 15-16, 1. Allison Kopas, Swim Fort Lauderdale 4:25.31, 2. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 4:31.77, 3. Brooke Ellis, Gulliver 4:32.85; SOFLO: 8. Star Fassler 4;48.48; Open, 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:17.41, 2. Kelley Fertel, Gulliver 4:19.72, 3. Amanda Tipton, Swim Fort Lauderdale 4:21.02; SOFLO: 6. Kylie Herman 4:50.26, 7. Jennifer Rodriguez 4:50.50.

800-yard freestyle relay: Open, 1. SOFLO 7:32.27 (Alia Atkinson, Kelley Heron, Melissa Marinheiro, Kathleen Golding), 2. Gulliver 7:37.97, 3. Swim Fort Lauderdale 7:47.56.

MEN

200-yard freestyle: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyakov, Swim Fort Lauderdale 1:38.57, 2. Julian Pinon, SOFLO Unattached 1:40.37, 3. Luke Smutny, AquaKids Sharks 1:40.50; SOFLO: 8. CJ Kopecki 1:44.46, 11. Ervin Marin 1:44.23, 15. Kevin Porto 1:46.11, 16. Max Asnis 1:47.21, 18. Alfredo Mesa 1:48.33, 19. Juan Lucas 1:49.46; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 1:39.21, 2. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 1:42.47, 3. Bryce Pierce, Coral Springs 1:43.08; SOFLO: 5. Ryan Capote 1:45.70, 17. Jordan Colon 1:48.37.

50-yard backstroke: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyajov, Swim Fort Lauderdale 23.62, 2. Julien Pinon, Unattached SOFLO 24.57, 3. Jose Llanio, Metro Aquatics 24.88; SOFLO: 6. Bruno Berti 25.57, 9. Gustavo Valery 25.69, 10. Juan Lucas 25.74, 13. Esteban Diaz-Velasco 26.07, 14. Kevin Porto 26.33, 20. Alfredo Mesa 27.29; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 22.42, 2. Rob Ballestas, Miami Swimming 25.04, 3. Julius Petzold, Miami Swimming 25.22; SOFLO: 8. Ryan Capote 26.19, 11. Jordan Colon 27.01, 16. Leonardo Mateus 28.25.

200-yard breaststroke: 15-16, 1. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 2:06.84, 2. Jose Pascual, Coral Springs 2:07.09, 3. Ervin Marin, SOFLO 2:09.24; SOFLO: 16. Ricardo Roche 2:19.55; Open, 1. Jorge Murillo Valdes, SOFLO Unattached 1:57.81, 2. Marco Guarente, Azura 2:01.99, 3. Cole Moreno, Gulliver 2:17.06; SOFLO: 8. Samuel Quintero 2:24.33.

100-yard butterfly: 15-16, 1. Nikita Tretyakov, Swim Fort Lauderdale 49.47, 2. Julien Pinon, SOFLO Unattached 50.05, 3. Luke Smutny, AquaKids 50.39; SOFLO: 11. Juan Lucas 53.40, 12. CJ Kopecki 53.63, 20. Alfredo Mesa 56.13; Open, 1. Nick Carter, Gulliver 49.16, 2. Rob Ballestas, Miami Swimming 50.15, 3. AJ Reid, Miami Swimming 51.34; SOFLO: 9. Jonathan Farah, SOFLO Unattached 53.18, 16. Jorge Murillo Valdes 52.26, 17. Timothy Wynter 52.34.

400-yard individual medley: 15-16, 1. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 3:57.77, 2. Alberto Gomez, Miami Dade 4:02.21, 3. Ervin Marin, SOFLO 4:06.54; SOFLO: 5. CJ Kopecki 4:09.79, 11. Max Asnis 4:21.07, 16. Bruno Berti 4:29.18, 23. Matthew Menocal 4:36.23; Open, 1. Marco Guarente, Azura 4:04.82, 2. Nicholas Nord, Gulliver 4:06.49, 3. Nicolas Oberndorfer, Gulliver 4:11.26; SOFLO: 5. Jonathan Farah 4:16.00, 13. Leonardo Mateus 4:26.55, 18. Brandon Moran 4:48.18.

800-yard freestyle relay: Open, 1. Metro Aquatics 6:48.72 (Alejandro Carriazo, Alejandro Arrieta, Aitor Fungairino, Miguel Madeira), 2. Swim Fort Lauderdale 6:56.57, 3. Gulliver 6:56.96, 5. SOFLO 7:10.99 (Ryan Capote, Kevin Porto, CJ Kopecki Timothy Wynter).

IF YOU GO

What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships

When: Today, 8:30 a.m.-12:01 p.m. prelims, 5-7:30 p.m. finals.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheet per session. For information call 954-538-3721.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Host SOFLO Goes For Three-Peat At FGC Senior Championships


By Sharon Robb

March 19, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club, coming off successful Junior Olympic and Speedo Champion Series meets, will try to keep the momentum going at this weekend’s Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships.

The host and defending champion will try to win its third consecutive senior title when the three-day meet gets under way Friday at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

SOFLO is trying to sweep both the JO and Senior Championship meets for the third year in a row during the same season.

The 15-year-old club has been working towards moments like this since its early years of existence.

Last year SOFLO won the combined team title with 1,740 points and women’s team title with 977 points. Azura Florida Aquatics defending men’s champion.

A field of more than 500 swimmers from 32 teams will compete for the next three days. Host SOFLO is the largest team with 62 swimmers. Azura has the second largest contingent.

“We are going to do it the same way we have the last two years,” SOFLO coach Chris Anderson said. “We have the depth but this year we have a lot more quality to go with it.

“We had a wonderful team dinner tonight,” Anderson said. “The kids are very motivated about doing their best and excited about being a team player. They are motivated to cheer on their training partners and do best times. It’s going to be a great meet.”

The meet has attracted most of the Florida Gold Coast teams. In addition to SOFLO and Azura, among teams entered are St. Andrew’s Swimming, Miami Swimming, Gulliver, Coral Springs Swim Club, Pompano Beach, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Wahoos of Wellington, Metro Aquatics, Lake Lytal Lightning, AquaKids Sharks, Performance Aquatics, Boca Raton and Plantation Swim Team.

Among SOFLO’s top seeds are three-time Jamaican Olympian and world record holder Alia Atkinson, 26, competing in nine events; Colombian Jorge Murillo Valdes, 23, swimming unattached for SOFLO; Valentina Artemeva, 28, Melissa Marinheiro, 17, Kelley Heron, 15, Jessica Rodriguez, 16, and Ervin Marin, 15.

Among Azura’s top-seeds are Tristan Celestin, 16; Franco Lupoli, 21; Fernando Alatorre, 16; Marco Guarente, 18; Mateo Gonzalez, 18; and Carlos Herrera, 20.

Swim Fort Lauderdale, Gulliver, Coral Springs Swim Club, St. Andrew’s Swimming, Miami Swimming, AquaKids Sharks, Pompano Beach Piranhas, Lake Lytal Lightning and Metro-Dade also have top-seeded swimmers.

IF YOU GO

What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships

When: Friday-Sunday

Schedule: Friday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. prelims, 5-7:30 p.m. finals; Saturday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. prelims, 5-7:15 p.m. finals; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-12:01 p.m. prelims, 5-7:30 p.m. finals.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheet per session. For information call 954-538-3721.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO Swimmers Shine On Day One Of IMX-IMR Challenge

SOFLO Swimmers Shine On Day One Of IMX-IMR Challenge


By Sharon Robb

October 4, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers and coaches got the opportunity to gauge their progress at the IMX-IMR Challenge Saturday at Academic Village Pool.

Several SOFLO swimmers turned in best times while competing against teammates and other Florida Gold Coast swimmers.

Among SOFLO’s top finishers posting best short course times were:

Sara Quintero, 100-yard individual medley, 1:13.82.

Molly Golding, 200-yard individual medley, 2:26.23; 500-yard freestyle, 5:44.52.

Kathleen Golding, 200-yard backstroke, 2:11.06.

Joseph Lee, 200-yard individual medley, 2:22.36; 500-yard freestyle, 5:32.02.

Rafael Rodriguez, 200-yard individual medley, 2:04.74.

Nicolas Rossi, 1,650-yard freestyle, 19:06.06.

Ervin Marin, 200-yard breaststroke, 2:13.40.

Both the IMR and IMX programs are USA Swimming-sanctioned.

The IMR Challenge allows swimmers to see how they compare to other swimmers around the nation in their age group.

Swimmers must compete in all the events required for their age group to establish a score. Once a swimmer competes in each IM Ready event at least once in an official meet, swimmers and parents can check their rankings on USA Swimming’s website.

The IMX (Xtreme) Challenge is the next step-up from the IMR competition. It includes a series of five or six events. Once swimmers complete the IMX program they can also see where their score ranks nationally, among their local LSC and own swim club.

In addition to host SOFLO, other Florida Gold Coast clubs competing are Boca Raton Swim Team, AquaKids Sharks, Metro Aquatics, Kendall, Coral Springs Swim Club, North Miami and Hialeah Storm. Several high school swimmers, heading into the second month of the season, are also competing.

SATURDAY RESULTS

GIRLS

200-yard freestyle relay:

12-and-under, 1. SOFLO “C” 1:54.47 (Amy-Nicole Toro, Sally Golding, Leah Pando, Katrina Del Vecchio), 2. SOFLO “B” 2:00.56, 3. SOFLO “H” 2:10.22; 13-and-over, 1. SOFLO “A” 1:44.59 (Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, Carly Swanson, Melissa Marinheiro), 2. SOFLO “B” 1:47.62, 3. Boca Raton Swim Team 1:47.82.

100-yard individual medley:

10-and-under, 1. Sara Quintero, SOFLO 1:13.82, best time, 2. Michelle Fernandez, HSC 1:14.55, 3. Erika Pelaez, SOFLO 1:17.33.

200-yard individual medley:

11, 1. Molly Golding, SOFLO 2:26.23, best time, 2. Margaret Miao, AquaKids Sharks 2:31.55, 3. Kayla Cunningham, SOFLO 2:33.61; 12, 1. Claudia Acosta, Hialeah 2:22.38, 2. Kyana Castro, SOFLO 2:23.48, 3. Maddy Schain, AquaKids Sharks 2:29.51.

400-yard individual medley: 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:28.26, 2. Cloe Bedard-Khalid, Metro Aquatics 4:36.00, 3. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 4:39.76.

100-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Michelle Fernandez, Hialeah 1:03.02, 2. Sara Quintero, SOFLO 1:04.19, 3. Becca Montero, AquaKids Sharks 1:06.10.

500-yard freestyle:

11-12, 1. Molly Golding, SOFLO 5;44.52, best time, 2. Kayla Cunningham, SOFLO 5:55.75, best time, 3. Katrina Del Vecchio, SOFLO 6:04.59.

200-yard backstroke:

13-14, 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 2:11.06, best time, 2. Gabriela Fernandez, Hialeah 2:22.25, 3. Annita Huang, SOFLO 2:22.88; 15-and-over, 1. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 2:08.22, 2. Rose Smiddy, AquaKids Sharks 2:12.56, 3. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 2:13.65.

200-yard breaststroke:

13-14, 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 2:27.24, 2. Hailey Jerew, AquaKids Sharks 2:33.85, 3. Delanie Perez, SOFLO 2:35.81; 15-and-over, 1. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 2:24.28, 2. Rebecca Wilkerson, CSSC 2:29.34, 3. Arianna Noya, Metro Aquatics 2:29.53.

BOYS

200-yard freestyle relay:

12-and-under, 1. SOFLO “F” (Roberto Garrido, Aldo Zepeda, Odin Farkas, John Paul Handal), 2. SOFLO “D” 2:06.01, 3. SOFLO “H” 2:06.44; 13-and-over, 1. SOFLO “A” 1:30.07 (Ryan Capote, Ervin Marin, Gustavo Valery, Timothy Wynter), 2. SOFLO “B” 1:34.26, 3. Boca Raton Swim Team 1:34.95.

100-yard individual medley:

10-and-under, 1. Matthew Tarafa, Hialeah 1:12.01, 2. Nikita Efimov, North Miami 1:12.25, 3. Zackary Harris, SOFLO 1:12.32.

200-yard individual medley:

11, 1. Joseph Lee, SOFLO 2:22.36, best time, 2. Michael Arias, SOFLO 2:25.81, 3. John Paul Handal, SOFLO 2:26.16; 12, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 2:04.74, best time, 2. Leonardo Mateus, SOFLO 2:15.28, best time, 3. Eiza Gantus, SOFLO 2:25.64, best time.

400-yard individual medley: 1. Julio Horrego, Hialeah 4:06.40, 2. Ervin Marin, SOFLO 4:11.95, 3. Alejandro Carriazo, Metro Aquatics 4:13.87.

100-yard freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Matthew Tarafa, Hialeah 1:02.41, 2. Agustin Rodriguez, Hialeah 1:02.68, 3. Zackary Harris, SOFLO 1:02.74, best time.

500-yard freestyle:

11-12, 1. Joseph Lee, SOFLO 5:32.02, best time, 2. Michael Arias, SOFLO 5:35.76, best time, 3. Nicolas Rossi, SOFLO 5:35.90, best time.

1,650-yard freestyle mixed:

8-12, 1. Nicolas Rossi, SOFLO 19:06.06, best time, 2. Eiza Gantus, SOFLO 19:14.29, 3. Janet D’Alessandro, AquaKids Sharks 19:44.13; 13-14, 1. Adrian Aguilar, Metro Aquatics 16:49.57, 2. Juan Diaz, Unattached 17:38.27, 3. Marianna Serrao, SOFLO 18:23.17.

200-yard backstroke:

13-14, 1. Bryan Rivero, Hialeah 2:07.88, 2. Lester Machado, Hialeah 2;15.30, 3. Michael Fernandez, Hialeah 2:19.29; 15-and-over, 1. Timothy Wynter, SOFLO 1:54.35, 2. Alejandro Carriazo, Metro Aquatics 1:58.85, 3. Julio Horrego, Hialeah 1:58.92.

200-yard breaststroke:

13-14, 1. Ervin Marin, SOFLO 2:13.40, best time, 2. Adrian Aguilar, Metro Aquatics 2:19.62, 3. Ricardo Roche, SOFLO 2:27.74; 15-and-over, 1. Julio Horrego, Hialeah 2:06.34, 2. Jordan Colon, SOFLO 2:14.88, 3. Bernardo Lima, Metro Aquatics 2:16.15.

Full results can be found at swim4soflo.com or meet mobile.

IF YOU GO

What: IMX-IMR Challenge

When: Sunday

Schedule: Sunday, Session 4, 8:30-10:21 a.m.; Session 5, 11:30 a.m.-2:42 p.m.

Where: Academic Village Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines

Admission: $3 per session, $3 heat sheets. For information call 954-538-3721.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

South Florida Aquatic Club Earns Level 4 USA Swimming Highest Club Ranking

South Florida Aquatic Club Earns Level 4 USA Swimming Highest Club Ranking


By Sharon Robb

October 1, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club is among one of the nation’s top USA Swimming club teams.

It’s nothing that SOFLO swimmers, coaches and parents didn’t already know since the club started in 2010, but it is now official after USA Swimming awarded its highest Level 4 status.

The Comets, the original team at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines before changing its name to SOFLO to encompass all of South Florida, had reached only Level 3 status in its fourteen years of existence.

The Club Recognition Program offers USA Swimming club members a working blueprint for developing strong, stable, financially-sound and athletically productive organizations.

Designed by USA Swimming’s Club Development Committee, comprised mostly of coaches, the voluntary program presents four levels of achievement across four component areas deemed critical to long-term club success.

The program encourages clubs to establish organizational goals and to benchmark their progress toward those goals.

“It’s the highest we have ever been,” SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson said. “It’s the last leg and the completion of the recognition program. You can’t get any higher than Level 4. We have risen so quickly.”

It didn’t come automatically.

It was the hard work of swimmers and coaches, parents, volunteers, sponsors and Comets Booster Club that SOFLO was able to reach the pinnacle of age group swimming.

Only two clubs in the Florida Gold Coast have Level 4 status.

SOFLO, which has an 18-member staff including eight coaches, met all Level 4 requirements to help create a “great club” including business and organizational success; parent and volunteer development; coach development and education; and athlete development and education.

SOFLO swimmers and coaches have excelled at every level from the Olympic and world level to age group and sizzler meets. SOFLO has also sent several swimmers to college swim programs at the NCAA Division I, II and III and NAIA levels.

In July, SOFLO added to its amazing run in the Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics by sweeping the combined, boys and girls team titles.

It was the second consecutive year the talented swimmers won back-to-back short course and long course titles in the same year. It was also SOFLO’s fifth consecutive JO title and 11th overall.

“It’s definitely been about the building blocks in the club support system,” Anderson said. “Basically, our infrastructure of the club allows us to get to these levels much quicker than normal. It’s also the experience of our staff and head coach.

“I am very excited about it,” Anderson said. “It’s a great reward for what we are doing and the realization that SOFLO is doing things correctly and doing it better than most.

“I still think we can do more,” Anderson said. “This doesn’t mean we stop doing what we are doing because we are Level 4. We need to go into new areas to make the club more efficient.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Bovell, Other Elite Swimmers In Dubai For FINA World Cup Second Leg

SOFLO’s Atkinson, Bovell, Other Elite Swimmers In Dubai For FINA World Cup Second Leg


By Sharon Robb

August 30, 2014—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Golden Girl will resume her medal quest Sunday at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.

Three-time Jamaican Olympian Alia Atkinson will try and add to her medal haul during the second leg of the FINA/Mastbank World Cup.

Atkinson, winner of two gold medals in Doha earlier this week, will compete in the 50- and 100-meter breaststroke and 100-meter individual medley.

In the series-opener, Atkinson won the 50- (29.12) and 100-meter breaststroke (1:03.79) events and pocketed $3,000 in prize money, $1,500 for each win. She also picked up bonus points and prize money for second best performance in the sprint breaststroke.

On Sunday, Atkinson is the top seed among a 14-swimmer field in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.91, more than 3 seconds ahead of Americans Laura Sogar and Breeja Larson. She is also seeded first in the 50-meter breaststroke in 28.94, nearly 2 seconds ahead of Sogar. She is seeded second behind Hosszu in the 100-meter individual medley in 58.42.

Bolles’ Carolina Colorado of Colombia will also compete in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events. She won two bronze medals and $1,000 in Doha.

Heading the field is Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, who broke three short course world records and a suitcase-full of medals of every color. She won ten medals including seven gold.

“I am excited to be back in Dubai,” the Iron Lady said. “I’m happy with how I went in Doha but I want to set more world records. I’m feeling good.

“I missed a couple of world records in Doha so I hope to get them here,” Hosszu said.

Others in the field are South African Chad le Clos, Tunisia’s Ous Mellouli and Gergo Kis of Hungary, Aussie Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Bolles alum George Bovell of Trinidad & Tobago.

It is the fourth time Dubai will host the World Cup Series. A field of 235 swimmers from 38 countries will compete over two days.

The Dubai stop is the second and last of Cluster One of the FINA World Cup three-cluster series.

In other World Cup news, the Guinness Book of World records recognized the United Arab Emirates Al Jasmi brothers, the night before the Dubai meet.

The four brothers Obaid, Saeed, Bakheet and Faisal, competed on the 400-meter freestyle relay together at the 2010 World Short Course Championships in Dubai, a first in swimming. It was the first time a full set of brothers competed on the same relay at a world championship.

The foursome finished 14th out of 15 teams in 3:35.72.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Amber Hunter

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Amber Hunter


SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Amber Hunter

High School: West Broward

College: New York University

Amber Hunter said goodbye to her second family last week.

The longtime Comets Swim Team and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer left for college and next chapter in her life.

“Today was my last official practice with SOFLO,” Hunter wrote on her Facebook page.

“I can’t even begin to say how thankful I am to have been a part of such an amazing team for the past ten years.

“The pool became my home and my teammates became my family. I’ll miss it incredibly but I’m excited for what the future has in store.”

Hunter started swimming with the Comets ten years ago. She was a top butterflier, ranked among the state’s Top 75 swimmers and was one of the club’s Nike Swimmers of the Month.

“Ten years is a long time,” Hunter said. “It’s hard to remember not swimming and being around everybody.”

She got her introduction to the pool when her mom Terri signed her up for lessons at a Pennsylvania pool. When she and her family moved to South Florida, she joined the Comets.

“I guess I liked it and we continued,” Hunter said.

“When we first moved to Florida I really enjoyed the sport,” Hunter said. “I did a few other sports (soccer and softball) but I stuck with swimming.”

The hard part for Hunter during the team’s annual banquet and her final week of practice with her longtime teammates and coaches was knowing it was probably all for the last time, at least until the holiday break.

“I’m not really saying goodbye, I know I will see them,” Hunter said. “I will keep in touch with my close friends and will be able to see how they are doing. It’s not a serious goodbye, I know I will be back.

“I know it will be a change for sure. It is bittersweet. I am going off to college with bigger goals but I am leaving SOFLO/Comets where I got my start.”

When Hunter started searching for colleges, academics was always the priority for the aspiring writer. She would like to write fiction novels and get involved with publishing and editing other novels.

“Academics was the first thing I wanted and I wanted a college that had the major I wanted,” she said.

“NYU did offer Division 3 swimming and has a sanctioned team,” Hunter said. “I have the best of both worlds with academics and swimming.

“Division 3 is a little bit of a different atmosphere. There is less stress on swimmers. It’s for swimmers who want to be there since there are no swimming scholarships.”

Hunter has plenty of memories from club and high school swimming. Her sophomore year West Broward had a strong 400-yard freestyle relay. “That was a fun relay to race at state,” she said.

“My senior year I made state in the 100 butterfly and finished tenth, second in consolations,” Hunter said. “I didn’t get the times I wanted exactly but I had a lot of fun.

“Swimming really helped me learn a lot of lessons when I was growing up. I learned how to manage my time and about dedication. I think that’s why I stayed in the sport so long. I was focused on my goals and putting in the work paid off in the end.

“It was a lot of fun being part of a team. The team dynamic was great and so was the atmosphere. It was a great thing to be able to stay with a team for so long. I know I am going far away but I am looking forward to the challenge and starting the next chapter of my life.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com