Azura Wins Three Events; SOFLO’s Rodriguez Seventh In Prelims At Puerto Rico International Swimming Open


By Sharon Robb
SALINAS, Puerto Rico, April 23, 2022—Despite a pool water problem that forced Friday’s finals to be moved, swimmers overcame the adversity to swim well Saturday morning.

Four of the finals on Friday had to be rescheduled because of an issue with the pool water being cloudy. The events were moved to another pool and four of the finals were held Saturday morning before Saturday’s prelims.

SOFLO’s Enrique Rodriguez, 17, was seventh in the 400-meter freestyle prelims in 4:16.09 on Friday. The final is being rescheduled because of the pool problem.

SOFLO’s Aldo Zepeda, 16, was 27th in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.23.

Azura Florida Aquatics picked up three more wins.

Top-seeded Julimar Avila, 24, of Honduras won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:02.18. She also won the 50-meter butterfly earlier in the meet in 28.40. She was her country’s only woman swimmer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Nicole Frank, 18, of Uruguay won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.11. She was second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 33.10. She also competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Two-time Olympian Abbas Qali, 29, of Kuwait won the 100-meter butterfly in 54.68. He was the only male swimmer to represent Kuwait at the Olympics.

The four-day meet runs through Sunday. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to SOFLO, swimmers from Azura Florida Aquatics (21 swimmers) and Plantation Swim Team (24 swimmers) are among the 35-team field. Swimmers from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Uruguay and Puerto Rico head the field.

The FINA meet is a qualifying event for the May 13-29 19th FINA World Swimming Championship in Hungary and 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY MORNING FINALS
WOMEN

100-meter butterfly: 1. Julimar Avila, Azura 1:02.18, 2. Gabriela Robles Cortes, Azura 1:04.58, 3. Alexandria Hope Cotter, FPN 1:04.74.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 2:34.11, 2. Emily Santos, MVAC 2:36.14, 3. Elisa Alejandra Funes, GCMST 2:39.86.

MEN
100-meter butterfly: 1. Abbas Qali, Azura 54.68, 2. Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico 54.81, 3. Erick Gordillo, GUA 54.83, 4. Davidson Vincent, Azura 55.00, 9. Renato Herran, PST 57.95.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Xavier Ruiz, SJC 2:20.41, 2. Ryan Tirado, MST 2:26.62, 3. Jorell Melendez Figueroa, LMDM 2:27.72, 4. Emanuel Cuarta, PST 2:32.34.

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

SOFLO’s Luciano Gonzalez Takes Silver At Puerto Rico International Swimming Open


By Sharon Robb
SALINAS, Puerto Rico, April 21, 2022—Luciano Gonzalez was South Florida Aquatic Club’s top finisher Thursday at the Puerto Rico International Swimming Open at Albergue Olimico German Rieckehoff.

Gonzalez, 27, was SOFLO’s top finisher placing second in the 50-meter butterfly in 25.04. He was fourth fastest in prelims in 25.29.

SOFLO’s Enrique Rodriguez, 17, finished sixth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:47.40, dropping 10.65 off his previous best of 8:58.05.

SOFLO’s Aldo Zepeda, 16, placed ninth in the 50-meter backstroke prelims in a best time 28.67, dropping 3.73 and came back in finals to finish ninth in 28.83.

Azura Florida Aquatics had three individual winners.

Julimar Avila, 24, Kito Campbell, 18, and Jayhan Odlum-Smith, 19, won individual events.

Avila, the top seed, won the 50-meter butterfly in 28.40.

Campbell, also the fastest morning qualifier, won the 50-meter breaststroke in a best time 28.36, dropping 1.16.

Odlum-Smith, second fastest in morning prelims, won the 50-meter butterfly in 24.63.

The four-day meet runs through Sunday. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5:30 p.m. Friday, Satuday and Sunday.

In addition to SOFLO, swimmers from Azura Florida Aquatics (21 swimmers) and Plantation Swim Team (24 swimmers) are among the 35-team field. Swimmers from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and Puerto Rico head the field.

The FINA meet is a qualifying event for the May 13-29 19th FINA World Swimming Championship in Hungary and 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

THURSDAY FINALS
WOMEN

50-meter backstroke: 1. Liznel Ortiz, CAM 29.99, 2. Daniela Gutierrez, UN-CC 30.52, 3. Maria Jose Arrua, Azura 30.66.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Emily Santos, MVAC 32.87, 2. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 33.10, 3. Marissa Marie Lugo, HUM 33.69.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Julimar Avila, Azura 28.40, 2. Alexandria Hope Cotter, FPN 28.83, 3. Regina Torres Pomar, MVAC 29.22.

MEN
50-meter backstroke: 1. Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico 26.19, 2. Erick Gordillo, GUA 26.98, 3. Carlos Cobos, Azura 27.33.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Kito Campbell, Azura 28.36, 2. Kebo Stubbs, MVAC 29.77, 3. Xavier Ruiz, SJC 29.94.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Jayhan Odlum-Smith, Azura 24.6; 2. Luciano Gonzalez, SOFLO 25.04, 3. Davidson Vincent, Azura 25.08.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Heads Large Florida Gold Coast Contingent At FINA Short Course World Championships; Big Prize Money On The Line


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2021–World record holder Alia Atkinson is expected to take her final bow this week at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

The five-day meet begins Thursday and ends Tuesday, Dec. 21. Etihad Arena is Yas Island’s new multi-purpose arena set on the stunning waterfront at Yas Bay.

Atkinson will be joined by SOFLO teammate and 2020 Olympian Julio Horrego, representing Honduras.

Atkinson, a five-time Jamaican Olympian who turned 33 on Dec. 11, is expected to retire from the sport at the end of the year. She recently completed her International Swimming League season with the London Roar, that finished third in the final playoffs.

Atkinson competed in her fifth Olympics in Tokyo where she finished third in her 100-meter breaststroke heat and failed to qualify for the semifinals. She did final in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 where she finished fourth and eighth respectively.

She told the Jamaica Observer, “If you see me next year, then ask me what happened because that’s not the plan right now.”

Atkinson announced after Tokyo it was her final Olympic appearance.

“It’s funny, looking back the years went by so fast and before I realized it I was looking at the end of it,” Atkinson said. “I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything.”

Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2014 FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. She tied the World Record and gave Jamaica its first swimming gold medal at World Championships. She also took silver in the 50-meter breaststroke in Doha.

The following August, she became the first Jamaican swimmer to win a long course worlds medal when she took bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke and silver in the 50-meter breaststroke at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan.

Atkinson broke her own world record (28.64) in the 50-meter breaststroke (28.56) at the short course meters 2018 World Cup. Later that year she added two more World Championship gold medals in the 50- and 100-meter breaststrokes and bronze in the 100-meter individual medley.

FINA announced the prize money pool for the meet is more than $2.8 million, including a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There will also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

In addition to Atkinson and Horrego, the Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending eight swimmers. They are Steven Aimable, Senegal; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico; Maria Fe Munoz, Peru; Kerry Ollivierre, Grenada; Joaquin Vargas, Peru; and Sidrell Williams, Jamaica.

American Heritage Plantation alum and two-time Olympian Dylan Carter will represent Trinidad and Tobago.

St. Andrew’s alum and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian will represent the Bahamas.

Gulliver Prep alum and University of Florida senior Miguel Cancel, who trains summers at SOFLO, will represent Puerto Rico.

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