SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Kaitlin Armstrong

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Kaitlin Armstrong

SENIOR SPOTLIGHT: Kaitlin Armstrong

High School: Archbishop McCarthy

College: Lynn University

For nine years, Kaitlin Armstrong has worked hard in the pool and in the classroom and it’s paid off.

Armstrong is the first swimmer from South Florida Aquatic Club to sign with the women’s program at Lynn University in Boca Raton.

The school added women’s swimming to its NCAA Division II athletic program in February, 2012. The program made its debut in October 13, 2012 in a Sunshine State Conference tri-meet against St. Leo and Florida Tech.

Lynn’s head coach is Niki Alvarez was a men’s and women’s assistant swim coach for eight years at Florida Atlantic. The team trains on-campus at the newly-renovated West Pool at McCusker Sports Complex.

“I just really liked the coach and the campus,” Armstrong said. “All the girls were nice. I liked the fact that it was a smaller team and there were three coaches and the swimmers get a lot of attention.”

Armstrong first visited the campus after the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships. She visited other schools in the north before making her decision.

“I wanted to stay close to home,” she said. “I couldn’t see myself 5,000 miles away.

Armstrong expects to swim the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events and relays and is “looking to make an impact” her freshman year.

Armstrong met with Alvarez during a Lynn home swim meet.

“I talked to Coach Niki and told her that I wanted to commit to Lynn if she still had a spot open and she said, of course,” Armstrong said. “I was really happy. My mom got a little emotional.”

Armstrong swam all four years during her high school career for the Mavericks and worked with SOFLO coach Megan Garland, head coach at Archbishop McCarthy.

Swimming was a challenge at first when she was little.

“When I was younger I actually never wanted to put my face in the water,” Armstrong said. “When I got older I saw a flyer for the Comets. The pool was only three minutes from my house. I wanted to try out. I loved it. I liked all the coaches and the facility was really nice. I just stuck with it.”

One of her shining moments in the pool was qualifying for the state meet in the 50-yard freestyle as a senior. She still has plenty of goals including dropping more time and qualifying for nationals.

“I worked really hard for a long time,” she said. “I really enjoy it.”

Armstrong is one of seven seniors who will be honored during SOFLO’s annual banquet at the Signature Grand in Davie on Saturday. Other seniors are Amber Hunter, Maria Lopez, Astrid Rigau, Bowie Suen, Olivia Katcher and Kry Nichlany.

By Sharon Robb,

Archbishop McCarthy Boys’ Success Continues

Archbishop McCarthy Boys’ Success Continues


September 27, 2012

Archbishop McCarthy boys team, coming off its runner-up finish at this past weekend’s Florida Catholic State Swimming Championships in Orlando, kept its momentum going with an impressive 101-65 victory over South Florida Heat.

The Mavericks won two of the three boys’ relays and three individual events Wednesday night at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.

Matt Mila was a double winner capturing the 50-yard freestyle in 23.13 and 100-yard breaststroke in 1:06.34. Mila also anchored the winning 200-yard freestyle relay (1:45.56) that also includes Ryan Hall, Jojo Perez and Kry Nichlany.

Daniel Reyna was the Mavs other individual winner in the 100-yard freestyle in 1:00.40.

In the girls’ competition, the Mavericks’ Julie Plasencia and Kaitlin Armstrong won individual events in the South Florida Heat’s 100-69 victory.

Plasencia won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:30.53 and Armstrong won the 50-yard freestyle in 26.81.



Archbishop McCarthy 101, South Florida Heat 65

200-yard medley relay: Archbishop McCarthy 1:45.56 (Hall, Perez, Nichlany, Mila); 200-yard freestyle: Bryce Pierce, Heat 1:56.19; 200-yard individual medley: Matt Smutny, Heat 2:04.94; 50-yard freestyle: Matt Mila, ABM 23.13; 100-yard butterfly: Luke Smutny, Heat 58.59; 100-yard freestyle: Daniel Reyna, ABM 1:00.40; 500-yard freestyle: Bryce Pierce, Heat 5:13.12; 200-yard freestyle relay: Archbishop McCarthy 1:52.18 (Fernandez, Schubert, Duval, Larson); 100-yard backstroke: Jacob Brookins, Heat 58.31; 100-yard breaststroke: Matt Mila, ABM 1:06.34; 400-yard freestyle relay: Heat 3:36.47 (Brookins, Smutny, Gaenz, Pierce).


South Florida Heat 100, Archbishop McCarthy 69

200-yard medley relay: South Florida Heat 2:07.81 (Anderton, Smiddy, Sauer, Anderton); 200-yard freestyle, Lindsey Sauer, Heat 2:05.56; 200-yard individual medley: Julie Plasencia 2:30.53; 50-yard freestyle: Kaitlin Armstrong, ABM 26.81; 100-yard butterfly: Rose Smiddy, Heat 1:04.82; 100-yard freestyle: Lindsey Sauer, Heat 59.50; 500-yard freestyle: Clara Smiddy, Heat 5:08.06; 200-yard freestyle relay: South Florida Heat 1:45.08 (Contich, L. Sauer, K. Sauer, C. Smiddy); 100-yard backstroke: Jillian Contich, Heat 1:08.28; 100-yard breaststroke: Madline Erwich, Heat 1:18.16; 400-yard freestyle relay: South Florida Heat 4:05.33 (W. Anderton, K. Sauer, J. Contich, R. Smiddy).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Archbishop McCarthy, SOFLO Swimmers Ready For Catholic States

Archbishop McCarthy, SOFLO Swimmers Ready For Catholic States


September 21, 2012

After getting rained out on Wednesday night, Archbishop McCarthy High School will finally get a chance to compete no matter what on Saturday since the annual Florida Catholic Swimming and Diving Championships are indoors at the Orlando YMCA, site of the high school state meet.

The Mavericks’ meet against Cardinal Gibbons and Pembroke Pines Charter, after two weather delays, was cancelled before it could become official (not enough events completed) at Academic Village Pool.

The Mavericks have several swimmers expected to do well including senior Ryan Hall, seeded first in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:48.16 and seeded third in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.46. Last year he was third in the 100-yard freestyle.

Teammate Kry Nichlany, a junior, is seeded second in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:08.69 behind Brandon Goldman of St. Thomas Aquinas and second in the 100-yard butterfly in 53.65. Matthew Mila, also a junior, is seeded third in the 50-yard freestyle in 22.70.

For the girls, junior Julianne Plasencia is seeded fifth in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:35.00. Junior Kaitlin Armstrong is seeded fifth in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:07.48.

Archbishop McCarthy, with several SOFLO boys swimmers, was second with 401 points last year and finished ahead of former champion Cardinal Gibbons. The girls team was seventh with 95 points.

Kry Nichlany of Archbishop McCarthy is defending champion in the 100-yard butterfly. He finished first last year in 53.99.

St. Thomas Aquinas is defending boys and girls team champions for the annual meet that features only Catholic schools from around the state. The Raider boys, runners-up at the state meet last year, are favored to win the team title again with its depth and talented swimmers.

The Raider girls will also be in the hunt for a team title again. Bishop Kenny is the girls’ team favorite.

The only other Broward team competing is Cardinal Gibbons. Pope John Paul II will represent Palm Beach County.


What: Annual Florida Catholic Swimming and Diving Championships

When: Saturday, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Where: Orlando YMCA, International Drive

Admission: $5