SOFLO Sweeps Combined, Men, Women Team Titles To Capture Ninth Title At FGC Short Course Swimming Senior Championships

By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, March 19, 2023—South Florida Aquatic Club rose to the occasion on the fourth and final day of the Florida Gold Coast Short Course Swimming Senior Championships Sunday at Academic Village Pool.

SOFLO swept the combined, men and women’s team titles and captured its ninth combined team title in the team’s history.

Already leading the combined and women’s categories after three days, the men’s team overtook early leader Azura Florida Aquatics on the final day to make it a clean sweep.

SOFLO, with talent and depth, won the combined with 1,981 points. Azura was second with 1,033. They were the only teams to crack the 1,000-point barrier.

SOFLO women won with 1,101, the only team to break 1,000 points. FAST was runnerup with 721.

In the closest team competition, SOFLO men came up big to win with 880 points ahead of Azura with 862.

Among SOFLO top finishers on Sunday were:

Maddie Smutny won the 200-yard butterfly in 2:02.85. Elena Dinehart was third in 2:04.61.

Olivia Dinehart won the 100-yard freestyle in 50.87 and 200-yard breaststroke in 2:13.94. She was also second in the 100-yard individual medley in 51.03.

Elena Dinehart was second in the 200-yard backstroke in 2:02.36.

Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego won the 200-yard breaststroke in 2:00.26 just ahead of Giulian Martin of Hurricanes Swimming in 2:00.95. Javier Colmenares was third in 2:02.91. Horrego was also second in the 100 IM in 50.20.

Ricardo Roche was third in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:49.14. Austin Nelson was fourth in 1:52.46.

There were several other standout swims by top Florida Gold Coast swimmers.

Dylan Smiley of Miami Country Day was a double winner in the 200-yard buttrfly in 1:46.25 and 100-yard IM in 49.56.

Julia Podkoscielny of Pine Crest won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:55.97.

Ekaterina Malyshev of Wahoos of Wellington won the 100-yard individual medley in 50.87.

Kaii Winkler of Eagle Aquatics won the 100-yard freestyle in a 15-16 national age group record 41.96.

Yeziel Morales of Azura won the 200-yard backstroke in 1:44.13.

SOFLO was among 33 teams from Broward, Palm Beach and Metro-Dade competing over four days. In addition to host SOFLO, FGC teams competing are: Azura, Blue Marlins, Boca Raton, Bravo, Coral Springs, Eagle Aquatics, FAST, Gulliver, Heritage Aquatic Team, Hialeah, Hurricane Aquatics, Jupiter Dragons, Lake Lytal Lightning, Martin County, Metro Aquatics, Miami Country Day, Miami Swimming, Midtown Weston, North Miami, North Palm Beach, Olympus, PAQ, Pine Crest, Plantation, Pompano Beach Piranhas, Ransom Everglades, St. Andrew’s Aquatics, Sunrise Swimming, Swim Fort Lauderdale, TS Aquatics and Wellington.

: 1. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,981, 2. Azura Florida Aquatics 1,033, 3. FAST 922, 4. Pine Crest 728.5, 5. Eagle Aquatics 710, 6. TS Aquatics 696.5, 7. Plantation 478.5, 8. Ransom Everglades 424, 9. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 353, 10. Wellington 331.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 880, 2. Azura 862, 3. Eagle Aquatics 539.5, 4. Ransom Everglades 353, 5. Hurricane Aquatics 329.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SOFLO 1,101, 2. FAST 721, 3. Pine Crest 643, 4. TS Aquatics 446.5, 5. Wellington 272.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Maddie Smutny, SOFLO 2:02.85, 2. Emma Herrera, FAST 2:02.98, 3. Elena Dinehart, SOFLO 2:04.61; SOFLO: 5. Michelle Marinheiro 2:08.04, 6. Gabriella DeLuna 2:08.38, 16. Tania Mantilla 2:24.11.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Olivia Dinehart, SOFLO 50.87, 2. Alyssa Bozzuto, FAST 51.03, 3. Erin Miller, PC 52.02; SOFLO: 10. Natalie Gembicki 53.37, 15. Maddie Smutny 53.06, 19. Ana Villamil 54.23.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Olivia Dinehart, SOFLO 2:13.94, 2. Julia Podkoscielny, PC 2:14.35, 3, Ekaterina Malyshev, WOW 2:16.11; SOFLO: 9. Sophia Grubbs 2:27.94, 11. Ana Villamil 2:24.43, 15. Sabrina Osorio 2:30.63.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Julia Podkoscielny, PC 1:55.97, 2. Elena Dinehart, SOFLO 2:02.36, 3. Erin Miller, PC 2:07.01; SOFLO: 8. Gabriella DeLuna 2:09.42, 9. Izzy Wilson 2:11.59.

100-yard individual medley: 1. Ekaterina Malyshev, WOW 50.87, 2. Olivia Dinehart, SOFLO 51.03, 3. Alyssa Bozzuto, FAST 52.02; SOFLO: 7. Gabriella DeLuna 52.86, 8. Natalie Gembicki 52.87, 14. Sophia Grubbs 1:01.74, 16. Valerie Vank 1:02.02, 24. Izzy Wilson 1:04.05.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Dylan Smiley, MCD 1:46.25, 2. Yeziel Morales, AZ 1:47.23, 3. Davidson Vincent, AZ 1:48.82; SOFLO: 9. Alejandro Mateus 1:56.84, 12. Wisthon Rendon 1:55.34, 14. Enrique Rodriguez 1:56.87.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Kaii Winkler, EA 41.96, 2. Leif Bouwman, JDST 44.64, 3. Marcoaurelio Lopez-Casula, EA 45.89.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Julio Horrego, SOFLO 2:00.26, 2. Giulian Martin, CANE 2:00.95, 3. Javier Colmenares, SOFLO 2:02.91; SOFLO: 7. Manny Melendez 2:06.53, 19. Stephen Kim 2:14.39, 23. Derek Hau 2:16.13, 25. Abraham Penaloza 2:18.20.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Yeziel Morales, AZ 1:44.13, 2. Kaii Winkler, EA 1:45.91, 3. Ricardo Roche, SOFLO 1:49.14; SOFLO: 4. Austin Nelson 1:52.46, 9. Wisthon Rendon 1:55.19, 10. Jaden Amores 1:57.99, 18. Alejandro Mateus 2:01.55, 25. Nicholas Pelaez 2:01.52.

100-yard individual medley: 1. Dylan Smiley, MCD 49.56, 2. Julio Horrego, SOFLO 50.20, 3. Finn Winkler, EA 50.63; SOFLO: 6. Luciano Gonzalez 52.62, 10. Ricardo Roche 53.24, 14. Javier Colmenares 52.91, 18. Manny Melendez 53.79, 22. Derek Hau 55.71.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Florida Gold Coast’s Pelaez, Winkler, Zuchowski Named To 2022-23 Junior National Team

By Sharon Robb
COLORADO SPRINGS, September 20, 2022—Erika Pelaez, Kaii Winkler and Josh Zuchowski were named to the USA Swimming 2022-23 National Junior Team.

USA Swimming recently announced the 72-member team. Most of it is comprised of swimmers that helped the U.S. team win 19 gold medals and 46 total medals at last month’s Junior Pan Pacific Championships.

Sixty-one 61 clubs from 26 states are represented. California leads with nine swimmers and City of Richardson (Tex.) Swim Team leads among clubs with three swimmers (Giovanni Linscheer, Levi Sandidge and Campbell Chase).

Of the 72 athletes, 47 have represented the U.S. internationally; 43 are first-timers. Five swimmers – Lucy Bell, Keaton Jones, Justina Kozan, Claire Tuggle and Natalie Manion – have been on the National Junior Team for at least the last three years. Kozan and Maximus Williamson are the only swimmers to qualify in four events each.

Among the team’s top names are Junior Pan Pacs standouts Thomas Heilman, Anna Moesch, Zhier Fan and Maggie Wanazek. A total of 45 swimmers qualified for Olympic Trials in 2021.

“We are very excited to welcome the infusion of up-and-coming talent into the National Junior Team Program,” said Erik Posegay, USA Swimming National Junior Team Program Director.

“The ‘22-’23 team features numerous medalists from our 2022 Mel Zajac and Junior Pan Pacific Championships teams, as well as some fresh faces ready to make an impact this coming year. It will be exciting to build off our first full year returning to international competition and using that experience to propel us forward to next summer. It was great to see 12 National Junior Team members from the ‘21-’22 squad move on to the National Team this year, and we hope to see that number continue to grow year after year.”

Pelaez, 16, of Eagle Aquatics and South Florida Heat is among 35 girls from around the nation named to the team. She qualified in the 50 and 100 freestyles and 100 backstroke.

Pelaez is coming off the July 26-30 Phillips 66 National Championships where she was a two-time finalist in the 100 backstroke (sixth, 1:00.33) and 100 freestyle (seventh, 54.69).

Winkler, 16, also of Eagle Aquatics and South Florida Heat, is coming off an outstanding Junior Pan Pacs performance. He qualified for the junior national team in the 50 and 100 freestyles.

Winkler won two relay gold medals. He swam anchor leg on the U.S. boys’ winning 4×100-meter freestyle relay that won in world junior record of 3:15.79. Winkler’s split was 48.95, second fastest on the relay. It was the only world junior record of the meet.

Winkler also won the “B” final in the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 53.94. Winkler anchored the winning 4×100-meter medley relay that finished in a Junior Pan Pac record 3:36.65. He also tied in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.50 to win his first individual silver medal in a best time.

U.S. teammate Josh Zuchowski of FAST qualified for the national junior team in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and 200 IM.

Zuchowski, beginning his freshman year at Stanford, won two silver medals at Junior Pan Pacs. He was second in the 200-meter backstroke and was top American in a best time 1:58.16. He also won silver in the 100 backstroke in a best time 54.51.

The National Junior Team roster was picked based on long course meter times achieved between January 1, 2022 through and including August 31, 2022. Only times loaded into the USA Swimming SWIMS Database from a USA Swimming-sanctioned competition, a FINA-approved competition, or an international competition between January 1, 2022 through August 31, 2022. Relay lead-offs, time trials and intermediate splits were not considered.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Winkler Wins Second Relay Gold, Ties For Silver Sprint Medal; Podkoscielny Wins Second “B” Final; Team USA Sweeps Team Titles

By Sharon Robb
HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 28, 2022—Kaii Winkler of Team USA left a lasting impression at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at Mark Takai Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.

On the fourth and final day on Saturday, Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics, won his second gold relay medal of the meet on the 4×100-meter medley relay. Winkler anchored the winning relay that finished in a Junior Pan Pac record 3:36.65 with teammates Daniel Diehl, Zhier Fan and Thomas Heilman just edging the Aussies who finished in 3:36.96. His 100 freestyle split was 49.18. He held off Aussie anchor Flynn Southam who turned in a 47.87 final split.

On Friday, Winkler swam anchor leg on the U.S. boys’ winning 4×100-meter freestyle relay that won in world junior record of 3:15.79. Winkler’s split was 48.95, second fastest on the relay. It was the only world junior record of the meet. Winkler also won the “B” final in the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 53.94.

Also on Saturday, Winkler tied U.S. teammate Diggory Dillingham in the 50-meter freestyle in 22.50 to win his first individual silver medal in a best time. Aussie Flynn Southam won in 22.36. Winkler swam back-to-back best times, 22.74 in prelims, bettering his previous time of 23.03, dropping 0.53 and dipping below 23 seconds for the first time.

U.S. teammate Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming, won her second “B” final of the meet in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:15.79, just off her best time of 2:15.08. She went 2:16.54 in prelims and came back to win the “B” final and finish ninth overall. She also won the 400 IM “B” final in 4:47.34.

Josh Zuchowski of FAST, two-time silver medalist, was second in the “B” final and tenth overall in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:02.88 after going 2:03.09 in prelims off his best time of 2:01.92. The Stanford-bound Zuchowski, 18, swept the 100 and 200 backstrokes for silver.

The talented trio represented the U.S. internationally for the first time and were among emerging stars from four Pan Pac charter nations (U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia) and other non-European teams New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Singapore.

GIRLS: 1. USA 235, 2. Japan 171, 3. Australia 148, 4. Canada 112, 5. New Zealand 33, 6. Singapore 23, 7. Fiji 8.
BOYS: 1. USA 224, 2. Australia 171, 3. Japan 162.5, 4. Canada 102.5, 5. Singapore 39, 6. New Zealand 17, 7. Fiji 4.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Michael Mattes, US 16:24.02, 2. Ruka Takezawa, JPN 16:25.19, 3. Tiana Kritzinger, AUS 16:26.63.
200-meter individual medley: 1. Mio Narita, JPN 2:11.22, 2. Ashley McMillan, CAN 2:13.31, 3. Gracie Weyant, US 2:14.36, 9. Julia Podkoscielny, US 2:15.79.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Milla Jansen, AUS 25.19, 2. Anna Moesh, USA 25.32, 3. Erin Gemmell, USA 25.46.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Kotomi Kato, JPN 2:26.55, 2. Yuri Matsumoto, JPN 2:27.46, 3. Piper Enge, USA 2:27.93, 4. Gracie Weyant, USA 2:32.21.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. USA 4:02.14 (Maggie Wanezek, Piper Enge, Alex Shackell, Erin Gemmell), 2. Japan 4:04.01, 3. Australia 4:05.84.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Joshua Staples, AUS 7:56.29, 2. Hiroyoshi Miyaki, JPN 7:57.64, 3. Alec Enyeart, US 8:02.92.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Maximus Williamson, USA 1:59.01, 2. Tomoyuki Matsushita, JPN 2:00.64, 3. William Petric, AUS 2:00.82, 10. Josh Zuchowski, USA 2:02.88.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Flynn Southam, AUS 22.36, 2. tie, Diggory Dillingham, USA and Kaii Winkler, USA 22.50.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Asahi Kawashima, JPN 2:11.81, 2. Yamato Okadome, JPN 2:12.19, 3. Nicholas Mahabir, SGP 2:12.50.

4×100-meter medley relay: 1. USA 3:36.65 (Daniel Diehl, Zhier Fan, Thomas Heilman, Kaii Winkler), 2. Australia 3:36.96, 3. Japan 3:40.35

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Winkler Wins Relay Gold, Breaks World Junior Record; Zuchowski Wins Second Silver Medal On Day Three Of Junior Pan Pacs

By Sharon Robb
HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 27, 2022—Kaii Winkler of Eagle Aquatics turned in a world-record performance Friday at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships at Mark Takai Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.

Winkler, 16, swam anchor leg on the U.S. boys’ winning 4×100-meter freestyle relay that won in world junior record time of 3:15.79 with teammates Thomas Heilman, Henry McFadden and Daniel Diehl.

Winkler’s split was 48.95, second fastest on the relay. Diehl had the fastest in 48.66. It was the first world junior record of the meet. The previous record was 3:15.80.

Winkler also won the “B” final in the 100-meter butterfly in a best time 53.94 after finishing ninth in prelims in 54.36. His previous best was 54.18. Winkler has the 50 freestyle, his specialty event, left to swim.

U.S. teammate Josh Zuchowski of FAST won his second silver medal for the U.S. The Stanford-bound Zuchowski, 18, finished second in the 200-meter backstroke and was top American in a best time 1:58.16. He dropped 0.26 off his previous best of 1:58.42. Earlier in the week, Zuchowski also won silver in the 100 backstroke in a best time 54.51. He went 1:58.98 in prelims. Japan’s Hidek Takehara won in a Junior Pan Pac record 1:57.00, breaking American Jack Conger’s 2012 record of 1:57.20. Zuchowski has the 200 IM left to swim on the final day.

U.S. teammate Julia Podkoscielny, 17, of Pine Crest Swimming, was 19th in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:15.68. She has the 200 IM left to swim on Saturday.

The talented trio are representing the U.S. internationally for the first time and are among emerging stars from four Pan Pac charter nations (U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia) during the competitive four-day meet. In addition to the four charter nations, other select non-European Swimming League (LEN) are competing including New Zealand, Fiji and Singapore.

Competition concludes on Saturday with prelims at 3 p.m. EST and finals at 11 p.m. EST. All sessions will be streamed at

Saturday events are: 200 IM, 50 freestyle, 200 breaststroke and 4×100 medley relay.

GIRLS: 1. U.S. 168, 2. Japan 117, 3. Australia 111, 4. Canada 78, 5. New Zealand 20, 6. Singapore 12, 7. Fiji 8.
BOYS: 1. U.S. 164, 2. Australia 122, 3. Japan 104.5, 4. Canada 77.5, 5. Singapore 22, 6. New Zealand 16, 7. Fiji 7.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Erin Gemmell, US 4:05.07, 2. Jamie Perkins, AUS 4:06.64, 3. Jillian Cox, US 4:06.84.
100-meter butterfly: 1. Alex Shackell, US 58.58, 2. Airi Mitsui, JPN 58.67, 3. Bailey Hartman, US 58.71.
200-meter backstroke: 1. Yuzuki Mizuno, JPN 2:09.17, 2. Mio Narita, JPN 2:09.67, 3. Kennedy Noble, US 2:11.32.
4×100-meter freestyle relay: 1. U.S. 3:37.99 (Kayla Wilson, Anna Moesch, Erin Gemmell, Alex Shackell), 2. Australia 3:39.04, 3. Canada 3:40.90.

400-meter freestyle: 1. Joshua Staples, AUS 3:48.36, 2. Rex Maurer, US 3:49.86, 3. Alec Enyeart, US 3:51.07.
100-meter butterfly: 1. Thomas Heilman, US 51.98, 2. Jesse Coleman, AUS 52.23, 3. Tomoyuki Matsushita, JPN 53.38.
200-meter backstroke: 1. Hidekazu Takehara, JPN 1:57.00, 2. Josh Zuchowski, US 1:58.16, 3. Keaton Jones, US 1:58.98.
4×100-meter freestyle relay: 1. U.S. 3:15.79 (Thomas Heilman, Henry McFadden, Daniel Diehl, Kaii Winkler), world junior record, 2. Australia 3:18.06, 3. Japan 3:19.94.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Podkoscielny, Zuchowski, Winkler Represent U.S. At Junior Pan Pacs That Begin Wednesday

By Sharon Robb
HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 23, 2022—The Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented when the Junior Pan Pacific Championships begin Wednesday at the K. Mark Takai Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center.

Julia Podkoscielny of Pine Crest Swimming, Josh Zuchowski of Flood Aquatics Swim Team (FAST) and Kaii Winkler of Eagle Aquatics are among 41 athletes representing the U.S. It has been called the best team USA Swimming has ever sent to the meet.

The talented trio, representing the U.S. internationally for the first time, will be among emerging stars from four Pan Pac charter nations (U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia) on display during the competitive four-day meet.

In addition to the four charter nations, other select non-European Swimming League (LEN) will also compete including New Zealand, China, Fiji, Singapore, South Korea and Ecuador. The meet is for countries that border the Pacific Ocean.

The event is the marquis junior international event on the 2022 calendar for the U.S.

USA Swimming’s selection process was the fastest 18 & unders (born in 2004 or later) from the U.S. International Trials in April. They were limited to 20 boys and 20 girls on the roster, though the roster wound up with 20 girls and 21 boys.

Podkoscielny, headed into her senior season at Pine Crest School, is an early University of Florida commit for the fall of 2023.

Podkoscielny tuned up for Pan Pacs at the USA Swimming Futures Championship in Cary, N.C. where she won two events, the 200 backstroke (2:13.86) and 400 individual medley (4:46.37); was second in the 100 backstroke (1:02.31) and 200 IM (2:15.08) and third in the 200 breaststroke (2:34.32). She also got in some racing at the Speedo Sectionals in Plantation where she competed in the 200 IM (2:16.45) and 400 IM (5:00.21).

Podkoscielny was ranked ninth on SwimSwam’s Way Too Early Recruit Ranks for the class of 2023. As an eighth grader, she was already one of Florida’s top high school swimmers.

Zuchowski, headed to Stanford on Sept. 6, fine tuned at the Speedo Junior National Championships where he made three finals. He won the 200 backstroke (1:58.42), was third in the 100 backstroke (55.18) and third in the 200 IM (2:01.92). He also won the 200 backstroke (2:01.13) and 200 IM (2:05.37) and was second in the 100 butterfly (54.69) at the FGC Long Course Senior Championships. At Speedo Sectionals, he won the 100 backstroke (56.34), 200 backstroke (2:02.98) and 50 backstroke (27.09).

Zuchowski is an 11-time national age group record holder, eight-time high school state champion and state 200 IM record holder for King’s Academy.

Kaii Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics (100 freestyle) is a junior with the South Florida Heat. He is ranked ranked first in the state and seventh in the nation among 2024 recruits. He was a state 1A runner-up in the 200 freestyle in 1:36.78.

At the USA Swimming Futures Championship, he was third in the 100 freestyle (49.75). At Speedo Sectionals, he won the 100 freestyle (50.47) and 200 freestyle (1:52.19). He was also third in the 50 freestyle (23.58) and 200 IM (2:07.46) and third in the 50 butterfly (25.18).

Podkoscielny is entered in the 400 IM; Zuchowski in the 100 and 200 backstroke and Winkler the 100 freestyle although they may be added to other events and relays by the coaching staff.

Two other Floridians are on the roster: Michaela Mattes of Sarasota Sharks (800/1500 freestyle); and Gracie Weyant of Sarasota Sharks (200 breaststroke).

Headlining the U.S. roster are National Age Group record holders Erin Gemmell (Potomac, Md./Nation’s Capital Swim Club) and Thomas Heilman (Crozet, Va./Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA). Sixteen swimmers are members of this year’s National Junior Team including Podkoscielny and Zuchowski.

The Junior Pan Pacific Championships coaching staff features head coach Brent Arckey (Sarasota Sharks) and assistant coaches Chuck Batchelor (SwimMAC Carolina), Tom Kleiboeker (Tsunami Swim Team of K.C.), Ginny Nussbaum (Long Island Aquatic Club), Chris Plumb (Carmel Swim Club) and Gary Taylor (Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA).

Competition will take place through Saturday with prelims at 3 p.m. ET and finals at 11 p.m. ET. All sessions will be streamed at

Wednesday’s events are: 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter butterfly, men’s 1500-meter freestyle, women’s 800-meter freestyle and 4×100-meter mixed medley relay.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Ana Villamil Makes First Futures Cut; SOFLO Finishes Third, Azura Wins Combined At FGC Senior Championships

By Sharon Robb
CORAL SPRINGS, July 24, 2022–South Florida Aquatic Club had another swimmer make her USA Swimming Futures cut at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships Sunday at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Ana Villamil, 15, got her first Futures cut in the 100-meter breaststroke with a best time of 1:15.70, dropping 0.40 off her previous best.

South Florida Aquatic Club finished third in combined (1,179), men’s (556) and women’s (623) team standings. Azura won the combined (2,042) and men’s titles (1,181). FAST won the girls team title (927).

University of Georgia’s Connor Haigh, 20, swimming unattached and training at SOFLO, won the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:04.40. Haigh swept the breaststroke events.

Michelle Marinheiro, 19, was ninth in the 1500-meter freestyle in a best time 18:28.02, dropping 13.09 seconds. Felix Gonzalez, 15, was also ninth in a best time 17:07.96, dropping 1:12.52. Hashan Ekanayake dropped 29.43 off his time to finish 12th in 17:16.58.

Aldo Zepeda, 17, won the B final of the 100-meter backstroke in 1:01.22. Enrique Rodriguez, 17, was fourth in the B final in 1:02.51.

Enrique Rodriguez, 17, was also second in the B final of the 200 IM in 2:15.09 and tenth overall. Adrian Hernandez, 16, was third in the C final in 2:19.13.

Gabriella DeLuna, 15, won the C final in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:10.03. DeLuna was sixth in the 200 IM in 2:29.44. DeLuna finished third in high point with 104 points.

Mariann Catalasan, 16, won the C final in the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:19.82, dropping 0.58.

High point winners were: (15-16), Paola Gonzalez, 16, Unattached, 177 and Landon Kyser, 16, of Heritage Aquatics, 157; (17-and-over) Heidi Smithwick, Jupiter Dragons, 115 and Dylan Felt, Swim Fort Lauderdale, 158.

SOFLO had 29 swimmers (19 boys and 10 girls) entered in 131 individual events and 16 relays in eight relay events. After senior champs, SOFLO swimmers have Zones and Futures remaining to end the summer.

1. Azura Florida Aquatics 2,042, 2. Flood Aquatics 1,853, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 1,179.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Flood Aquatics 927, 2. Azura 861, 3. SOFLO 623.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 1,181, 2. Flood Aquatics 926, 3. SOFLO 556.

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Fatima Portillo, Azura 17:42.23, 2. Jessica Smith, WOW 17:45.94, 3. Gabriela Robles Cortes, Azura 18:07.50; SOFLO: 9. Michelle Marinheiro 18:28.02, time drop 13.09.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Ava Fasano, FAST 1:06.72, 2. Anelis Roque, GPA 1:07.21, 3. Riley Macvane, NPB 1:07.88; SOFLO: 8. Nicole Sowell 1:10.17, 17. Gabriella DeLuna 1:10.03.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Elizabeth Maradyn, GPA 1:15.24, 2. Alyssa Bozzuto, FAST 1:15.35, 3. Ana Villamil, SOFLO 1:15.70, time drop 0.40; SOFLO: 11. Gabriella DeLuna 1:18.86, time drop 0.82, 17. Mariann Catalasan 1:19.82, time drop 0.58, 21. Sabrina Osorio 1:21.03.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Lismar Lyon, MWA 25.87, 2. Sirena Rowe, Azura 25.93, 3. Heidi Smithwick, JUP 26.39; SOFLO: 16. Ana Villamil 28.51, 26. Gabriela Avila 28.66, time drop 0.36.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Giulianna Garcia, TSA 2:26.64, 2. Eriana Temperino, GPA 2:27.23, 3. Lilia Blanco, PB 2:28.68; SOFLO: 6. Gabriella DeLuna 2:29.44, 27. Mariann Catalasan 2:41.44

400-meter medley relay: 1. Azura A 4:23.30 (Solana Capalbo, Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Julima Avila, Sirena Rowe), 2. FAST 4:30.49, 3. Azura B 4:31.97, 6. SOFLO A 4:39.49 (Sara Quintero, Ana Villamil, Gabriella DeLuna, Michelle Marinheiro), 7. SOFLO B 4:46.98 (Sofia Osorio, Mariann Catalasan, Gabriela Avila, Sally Golding).


1500-meter freestyle: 1. Dylan Felt, SFTL 15:45.51, 2. Philip Moldovanu, WOW 15:56.69, 3. Matheus Siniscalchi, Unattached 16:16.92; SOFLO: 9. Felix Gonzalez 17:07.96, 12. Hashan Ekanayake 1716.58, time drop 29.43, 18. Dominic Bono 17:26.55, 28. Nicholas Pelaez 18:06.80, time drop 10.56.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Noah Smith, FAST 57.88, 2. Landon Kyser, HAT 59.21, 3. Mariano Sosa, Azura 59.61; SOFLO: 9. Aldo Zepeda 1:01.22, 12. Enrique Rodriguez 1:02.51, 15. Jaden Amores 1:03.59, 19. Adrian Hernandez 1:04.25.

100-meter breaststroke: 1. Connor Haigh, Unattached/Georgia/SOFLO, 1:04.40, 2. Giulian Martin, HA 1:04.57, 3. Noah Sipowski, FAST 1:06.14; SOFLO: 10. Manuel Melendez 1:08.79, 30. Alexander Miller 1:14.10.

50-meter freestyle: 1. Steven Aimable, Azura 23.22, 2. Varis Monroe, FAST 23.30, 3. Daniel Ramirez, WA 23.41.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 2:05.37, 2. Landon Kyser, HAT 2:06.95, 3. Esteban Nunez Del Prado, Azura 2:08.37; SOFLO: 10. Enrique Rodriguez 2:15.09, time drop 4.40, 18. Adrian Hernandez 2:19.13, time drop 1.70, 20. Jaden Amores 2:20.91, 29. Nicholas Pelaez 2:22.88, time drop 4.10, 30. Felix Gonzalez 2:22.91, time drop 1.86.

400-meter medley relay: 1. Azura A 3:48.73 (Mariano Sosa, Brandon Moran, Davidson Vincent, Steven Aimable), 2. FAST 3:49.15, 3. Azura B 3:59.30, 7. SOFLO A 4:06.61 (Aldo Zepeda, Manuel Melendez, Agustin Rodriguez, Enrique Rodriguez), 11. SOFLO B 4:12.26 (Dominic Bono, Alexander Miller, Jaden Amores, Hashan Ekanayake).

PLEASE NOTE: After receiving them the first two days, final full team results were not provided by meet organizers.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Podkoscielny, Winkler, Zuchowski Named To USA Swimming Junior Pan Pacific Championship Team

By Sharon Robb
COLORADO SPRINGS, May 15, 2022—Three Florida Gold Coast swimmers were named to the USA Swimming Junior Pan Pacific Championship team, it was announced Monday.

Julia Podkoscielny of Pine Crest Swimming, Kaii Winkler of Eagle Aquatics and Josh Zuchowski of Flood Aquatics Swim Team (FAST) qualified for the Aug. 24-27 Junior Pan Pacs in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The trio is among 41 of the nation’s top junior swimmers.

Podkoscielny of Fort Lauderdale will swim the 400-meter individual medley. Winkler of Miami will be entered in the 100-meter freestyle and Zuchowski of Jupiter will swim the 100 and 200-meter backstroke events. The events listed are what they qualified in but swimmers will also be allowed to choose additional events. It will be the first international team trip for all three swimmers.

Brent Arckey of the Sarasota Sharks will coach the U.S. team. Arckey coached 2020 Olympic medalist Emma Weyant in the 400 IM. Two members of his team, Gracie Weyant (200 breaststroke) and Michaela Mattes (800/1500 freestyle) also qualified for Pan Pacs.

The only other Florida swimmer named was Kayla Wilson of Tide Swimming and Virginia Beach, Fla. She will swim the 100 and 200 freestyle.

The team is regarded as the best the U.S. will be sending to the meet. USA Swimming’s selection criteria chose the fastest 18-and-unders from the U.S. International Trials in April. The roster features 20 girls and 21 boys.

At the 2018 Junior Pan Pacs, the U.S. led the medal count with 54, including 27 gold medals in 35 events. Australia, Japan, Canada, China and New Zealand were also medalists.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Podkoscielny, Pelaez, Stoneburg, Zuchowski Named To 2021-22 U.S. National Junior Team

By Sharon Robb
COLORADO SPRINGS, October 19, 2021—Four South Florida swimmers were named to the 2021-22 U.S. National Junior Team, USA Swimming announced.

They are Julia Podkoscielny, Blair Stoneburg, Erika Pelaez and Josh Zuchowski. It is the first time in more than 10 years, four South Florida swimmers earned the honor.

Podkoscielny represents Pine Crest Panthers Swimming and Pine Crest School; Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics and Jensen Beach High School; Zuchowski of FAST and King’s Academy; and Pelaez of Eagle Aquatics and South Florida Heat.

Podskoscielny is a University of Florida commit; Stoneburg has verbally committed to University of Wisconsin-Madison and Zuchowski is headed to Stanford.

Pelaez was selected for her 100 freestyle swim at the Piranhas Senior Invitational (55.51).

Stoneburg was selected for the 1500 freestyle (16:37.08) at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis.

Podkoscielny was chosen for the 400 individual medley (4:44.83) at the Piranhas Senior Invitational.

Zuchowski was selected for the 200 backstroke (2:00.22) at the U.S. Olympic trials in a time trial.

To be eligible for selection, athletes had to be 18 years or younger and eligible to represent the U.S. in international competition on September 1, 2021.

The performance criteria to select the National Junior Team include the top two athletes in each individual Olympic event, as well as additional female athletes who have a World Ranking within, and including, the top 75 in an individual Olympic event and additional male athletes who have a World Ranking within, and including, the top 100 in an individual Olympic event that have also achieved a time faster or equal to the established time standards.

The 72 pool swimmers and seven open water swimmers selected are from 26 states and 61 clubs.

With four athletes apiece, Nation’s Capital Swim Club and TAC Titans had the most swimmers on the team. Sandpipers of Nevada and SwimMAC each had three selections. North Carolina is the highest-represented state with 10 athletes, followed by California with eight.

Athletes will remain named to the National Junior Team until August 31, 2022.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Mallory Schleicher, Three Other Florida Gold Coast Swimmers Chosen For USA Swimming National Select Camp

By Sharon Robb
COLORADO SPRINGS, September 30, 2021—Mallory Schleicher of South Florida Aquatic Club and Cooper City High School is one of 102 athletes invited by USA Swimming to the 2020 National Select Camp.

USA Swimming released its lineup of 102 swimmers, 51 boys and 51 girls, who will attend the USA Swimming National Select Camps, postponed from the fall of 2020 to October 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Schleicher, a University of Florida commit, will be joined by Heidi Smithwick of Jupiter Dragons, Erika Pelaez of Eagle Aquatics and Stanford-bound Josh Zuchowski of Flood Aquatics Swim Team (FAST).

Schleicher was selected for her 400 individual medley (4:53.96); Smithwick, the 50 freestyle (25.90); Pelaez, the 100 freestyle (56.03); and Zuchowski, the 200 backstroke (2:00.76).

This camp is designed for the top USA Swimming member athletes in the nation to have a once-in-a-lifetime camp experience.

According to USA Swimming, during the three-day camps, the 51 boys and 51 girls attending will experience the day-to-day routine of a National Team athlete.

The campers will learn from top aquatic professionals about post-race recovery, drug and supplement rules, psychological training skills, nutrition and race strategy. 2020 Tokyo Olympic alumni of the program include Katie Ledecky, Michael Andrew, Lily King, Hali Flickinger, Kieran Smith and Bobby Finke.

Swimmers were selected from the SWIMS database using their top time throughout the January 1, 2019-August 31, 2020, qualifying period. The three-fastest athletes of each gender, aged 14-16, in each Olympic event earned an invitation. After that, the six swimmers with the best IMX scores and the top-three open water swimmers, who weren’t already selected, were included to round out the 51 slots per gender.

The National Select Camps are scheduled for October 7-10, 2021 (girls) and October 14-17, 2021 (boys) at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center in Chula Vista, California. The swimmers will be joined by established staff members chosen from various teams around the country.

USA Swimming is hosting the 2020 camp athletes in October 2021 (originally slated for January 2021 due to the Olympic year). The 2022 camps will be held in October 2022.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

It’s Show Time: U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials Get Under Way Sunday; SOFLO’s Golding, FGC’s Podkoscielny, Zuchowski, Evdokimov Compete

By Sharon Robb
OMAHA, Neb., June 12, 2021—The long hours of hard work, dedication and sacrifice come down to the next eight days when swimmers from across the nation, including South Florida, compete in the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center.

After a year delay because of the pandemic, all eyes will be on stars Caeleb Dressel, Katie Ledecky, Ryan Murphy, Simone Manuel, Michael Andrew, Lilly King, Ryan Lochte and Regan Smith.

Dressel, 24, former Clay High School, Bolles Club and University of Florida standout and 13-time world champion, qualified for seven events and is the top seed in the 50-meter freestyle (21.04, US record), 100-meter freestyle (46.96, US record) and 100-meter butterfly (49.50, world record), all three of which he is the reigning world champion.

Dressel also qualified 11th in the 200-meter freestyle (1:47.31), ninth in the 200-meter butterfly (1:56.29) and 14th in the 200-meter individual medley (1:59.97).

Bolles alum Ryan Murphy, 25, who swept the backstrokes at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is looking to regain his world’s best role after being beaten at world championships. He is looking to extend the U.S. streak of winning every Olympic men’s backstroke title dating to 1996.

Ledecky, 24, can make the Olympic team in five events including relays with an eye on making history in Tokyo. She is a favorite in the 200, 400, 800 and 1500 freestyles. She holds the world record in the 400, 800 and 1500.

No American woman has won more than four gold medals at one Olympics. In the 800 freestyle, Ledecky owns the 23 fastest times in history and every Olympic and world title dating to her Olympic debut in 2012 at age 15. In the 1500, she owns the 10 fastest times in history.

At age 36, Ryan Lochte, who has been training with Gregg Troy in Gainesville for the past three years, is trying to tie the record (of Michael Phelps and Dara Torres) for most Olympic appearances by a U.S. swimmer. Dressel has also been training with Troy.

“I’d give him a very serious chance of medaling and winning at the Olympics, not just making the U.S. team,” Dressel said. “I’m not really buying the whole old-man thing anymore. He knows how to get up and boogie.”

Lochte is seeded 15th in the 400-meter individual medley, which opens the trials. He’s entered in six events over the eight-day meet, although it’s unlikely he will swim all six. The 200 IM, which he still owns the world record set in 2011, could be his best chance. He’s seeded fifth.

“I don’t have that target on my back anymore,” he said. “I know I’m hunting them instead of being the hunter. I’ve changed my life around completely. I’m a better person, I’m more grown up. I’m a family man, I’m a dad and husband. At the pool, they will be like, ‘Oh, come on, old man, you can do it. I’m like, ‘Grrr, if you only knew how hard this is.’”

Lochte has not had many stellar swims at meets or dropped any impressive times.

“We haven’t seen in competition what we see in training,” Troy said. “He’s done a good job training.”

Other qualified swimmers with University of Florida or Gator Swim Club ties are: Talia Bates, 20; Clark Beach, 21; Ethan Beach, 21; Caitlin Brooks, 20; Adam Chaney, 19; Jace Crawford, 19; Mitch D’Arrigo, 26; Will Davis, 21; Sherridon Dressel, 22; Robert Finke, 21; Trey Freeman, 21; Brennan Gravley, 20; Julian Hill, 20; Dillon Hillis, 20; Natalie Hinds, 27; Isabel Ivey, 20; Alena Kraus, 21; Drew Loy, 23; Tylor Mathieu, 20; Vanessa Pearl, 21; Allie Piccirillo, 20; Amanda Ray, 18; Grant Sanders, 23; Kieran Smith, 21; Jonathan Tybur, 25; Kevin Vargas, 19; and Tyler Watson, 20.

Many coaches believe the year delay has added to the build-up of the Trials. Meets and training were shut down during portions of the pandemic.

“I think the kids are dying to race,” said Ray Looze, who coaches breaststroker Lilly King. “If anybody sets a world record, that’s a phenomenal accomplishment. But I think there’s going to be some world records that go down because there’s been some people that have had to go through a great deal and they really, really want it bad.”

Unlike the Wave I shorter format where 49 swimmers qualified for Wave II, the regular format for team selection at the Trials will be used.

The top two finishers of most events will most likely become 2021 US Olympians. Relay only spots go to places 3-6 (though not completely guaranteed for 6th place) of 100- and 200-meter freestyle events. The maximum roster size for Team USA is 26 men and 26 women.

All races 200 meters or shorter will have three stages at Trials: a prelim in the morning, followed by a semifinal that evening. The final of the top-8 qualifier will take place on the following night.

Sunday’s events are: (Morning Session)men’s 400 individual medley prelims, women’s 100 butterfly prelims, men’s 400 freestyle prelims, women’s 400 individual medley prelims and men’s 100 breaststroke prelims; (Evening Session) men’s 400 IM final, women’s 100 butterfly semifinal, men’s 400 freestyle final, women’s 400 IM final and men’s 100 breaststroke semifinal.

Swimming is one of the top sports for the U.S. at the Olympics. In the 2016 Rio Games, 33 of the 121 medals won by the Americans came from swimming, just ahead of 32 from track and field. Sixteen gold medals out of the 46 won by the U.S. also came from swimming.

In other highlights:

Hall of Famer and Arizona State coach Bob Bowman will be coaching at this first U.S. Olympic trials without his former swimmer Michael Phelps, 35, now married with two sons and retired from swimming.

ASU has 20 qualifiers, up from four in 2016. He is also coaching veterans Matt Grevers, Allison Schmitt, Hali Flickinger and Leah Smith, who have been training in Tucson.

“It’ll be strange,” Bowman told the Arizona Republic. “When Michael was with me [since age 15 in 2000], I had had an idea of what was going to be happening at the trials and after the trials. It will be a completely different experience, but I’m excited to go with these guys. They have prepared well and want to get better.”

Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented by five talented swimmers. They are:

Kathleen Golding, 20, University of Florida All-American, seeded 28th, 400-meter freestyle, 4:12.38; 37th, 400-meter individual medley, 4:46.12, and 35th, 200-meter individual medley, 2:15.48.

Julia Podkoscielny, 16, Pine Crest Swimming, seeded 24th, 400-meter individual medley, 4:44.83; seeded 49th, 200-meter individual medley, 2:16.36 and 48th seed, 200-meter backstroke, 2:14.16.

Josh Zuchowski, 17, of King’s Academy and Flood Aquatics Swim Team (FAST), seeded 44th, 400-meter individual medley, 4:25.79; 48th, 100-meter backstroke, 55.99 and 29th, 200-meter backstroke, 2.00.76.

Alex Evdokimov, 25, Pinnacle Racing (VA), formerly Coral Springs Swim Club, seeded 10th, 100-meter breaststroke, 1:00.47 and 16th, 200-meter breaststroke, 2:12.10.

Erika Pelaez, 14, Eagle Aquatics and South Florida HEAT, seeded 53rd, 100-meter backstroke, 1:01.85; seeded 40th, 100-meter freestyle, 55.51; seeded 57th, 50-meter freestyle, 25.83.

Seeds were taken from pre-meet psych sheet for the qualifying period (Nov. 28, 2018-May 30, 2021).

Daily finals coverage will be broadcast across NBC channels. Along with live finals coverage, 24 hours of preliminaries will be available on and NBC Sports App.

For prelims, Sunday’s schedule is 11 a.m. on NBC Stream at 5:30 p.m. on NBCSN and June 14-19 11 a.m. on NBC Stream and 6:30 p.m. on NBCSN. For finals, Sunday through June 16 on NBC at 8 p.m., June 17 NBC at 10 p.m. and NBCSN at 8 p.m., June 18-19 NBC at 9 p.m. and June 20 NBC at 8:15 p.m. All times are Eastern Standard Time for South Florida.

Sharon Robb can be reached at