SOFLO’s Cooke, Heron, Hosfeld, Kopas and Lopez Come Up Big On Day One Of FGC Junior Olympics

SOFLO’s Cooke, Heron, Hosfeld, Kopas and Lopez Come Up Big On Day One Of FGC Junior Olympics


July 16, 2010

PLANTATION—The opening day of the Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics Long Course Championships brought out the best in the South Florida Aquatic Club.

SOFLO, competing for the first time as a team at the JO long course meet, turned in 58 career-best times in morning prelims at Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex.

SOFLO came back to add another 45 career-best swims in finals to highlight opening day action in the three-day meet that features the Florida Gold Coast’s best 14-and-under age group swimmers.

Next weekend the seniors will have their turn at the FGC Senior Championships at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

But Friday it was the younger swimmers time to shine and shine they did.

Emily Kopas, 13, set the tone in the championship finals with SOFLO’s first victory of the night in the 13-14 200-meter backstroke.

Kopas, seeded second after morning prelims, won the event with a career-best time of 2 minutes, 27.72 seconds. Her previous best was 2:32.03.

Later in the night, Kopas won her second event in the 100-meter breaststroke. After swimming a junior national cut time (1:14.09) two weeks ago, Kopas came back to better her career-best time in finals in 1:13.73.

Kopas was the team’s only double winner in individual events.

Speedster Eden Cooke, 10, won the 10-and-under 50-meter freestyle against a fast field that included teammate Catharine Cooper, 10. Cooke won in 31.79, just off her career-best of 31.28.

Cooper was second in 31.98. Cooper swam back-to-back career bests in prelims (32.58) and finals (31.98) bettering her previous best of 33.24.

Cooper was also fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke in a career-best 1:38.01 and fourth in the 400-meter freestyle in 5:18.64, also a career-best.

“It was a pretty challenging race,” Cooke said. “There were some pretty good people in the race.

“It is nice to race my teammates like Catharine, we push each other. It was a good win.  I am happy to start the meet with a win. I want and hope to place high in all my events.

“I notice from practices I am getting faster,” said Cooke. “I like being a sprinter and I like being fast. It’s not as hard as the other races and it’s short. I am happy our team is doing good. I’m excited for the next day’s events.”

Kelley Heron, 10, kept the 10-year-olds’ streak going with a win in the 10-and-under 100-meter breaststroke. Heron swam a career-best in morning prelims in 1:29.54 and came back to win in 1:29.88. Her previous best time was 1:31.76.

Maria Lopez, 14, swam back-to-back career-bests in the 100-meter butterfly. She swam a career-best and second fastest time in morning prelims in 1:07.51, bettering her previous best of 1:08.67. She came back to win finals in another best time of 1:07.47.

Leading the boys team was Marco Hosfeld, 14, who turned in a career-best of 4:19.62 to win the 13-14 400-meter freestyle in an exciting race. Boleck Depawlikowski, 14, was second in 4:19.93. Hosfeld’s previous best was 4:21.91.

Ricardo Roche, 10, was second in the 10-and-under 400-meter freestyle in a career-best 5:14.27. His previous best was 5:14.90.

SOFLO scored some big points in the relay competition. The girls 13-14 800-meter freestyle relay of Kristina Brennan, 14, Leonie Davies, 14, Andrea Melendez, 13, and Emma Lincoln, 14, won in 9:10.55 to finish ahead of AK Sharks and Pine Crest Swimming.

SOFLO’s boys 13-14 800-meter freestyle relay of Dylan Sell, 13, Kyle Desrosiers, 14, Blake Kelley, 14 and Hosfeld finished second in 8:50.32.

SOFLO head coach Michael Loberg called Kopas and Hosfeld’s swims “sparkling.”

“The finals were significantly faster than prelims which is good,” Lohberg said. “We had some really spectacular swims and a couple nice swims. We are happy with the way the kids performed especially at night. We are swimming well together.

“The best swim was Emily’s 100 breaststroke,” Lohberg said. “She made her junior national cut time two weeks ago at our meet and then dropped more time which is really, really good. It was a way better swim.”

Several SOFLO swimmers are not competing in multiple events, opting instead to focus on the July 27-31 Southern Zone Championships in Atlanta.

Other SOFLO top swims in finals were:

Girls 13-14 200-meter freestyle relay: third, 1:57.19, season-best.

Boys 13-14 200-meter freestyle relay: fourth, 1:49.41, season-best.

Boys 11-12 200-meter backstroke: 3. Gustavo Valery, 12, 2:43.82, career-best; 5. Alfredo Mesa, 11, 2:46.13, career-best; 6. John Lucas, 11, 2:48.12, career-best.

Girls 13-14 200-meter backstroke: 8. Leonie Davies, 14, 2:39.64.

Boys 13-14 200-meter backstroke: 4. Dylan Sell, 13, 2:30.74.

Boys 10-and-under 50-meter freestyle: 6. Jorge Depassier, 10, 32.61.

Girls 11-12 50-meter freestyle: 4. Steph Campo, 12, 30.10.

Girls 13-14 50-meter freestyle: 4. Emma Lincoln, 14, 28.56, career-best.

Girls 10-and-under 100-meter breaststroke: 7. Delanie Perez, 10, 1:41.64.

Boys 10-and-under 100-meter breaststroke: 6. Jonathan Skarie, 8, 1:39.21, career-best.

Boys 11-12 100-meter breaststroke: 5. Diego Rodriguez, 12, 1:26.76, career-best.

Girls 13-14 100-meter breaststroke: 6. Kayla Moodie, 13, 1:21.15, career-best; 7. Emma Lincoln, 14, 1:22.90, career-best.

Boys 13-14 100-meter breaststroke: 8. Dylan Sell, 13, 1:20.19.

Boys 10-and-under 100-meter butterfly: 5. Kevin Porto, 10, 1:22.50, career-best; 7. Nicholas Perera, 10, 1:23.56, career-best.

Girls 13-14 100-meter butterfly: 6. Kristina Brennan, 14, 1:09.93, career-best.

Girls 10-and-under 400-meter freestyle: 16. Jennifer Rodriguez, 9, 5:56.99, career-best.

Boys 10-and-under 400-meter freestyle: 6. Kevin Porto, 10, 5:18.86, career-best; 12. Federico Maeso, 10, 5:36.53, career-best; 13. Nicholas Perera, 10, 5:37.58, career-best; 22. Andres Lares, 10, 6:20.22, career-best.

Girls 11-12 400-meter freestyle: 4. Carly Swanson, 12, 4:58.78; 23. Jessica Rodriguez, 11, 5:21.02; 27. Maria Rodriguez, 12, 5:25.65; 35. Alani Carrasco, 11, 5:32.39.

Boys 11-12 400-meter freestyle: 7. Raphael Mora, 12, 4:58.03; 8. Carlos Rodriguez, 11, 5:08.30, career-best; 16. Gustavo Valery, 12, 5:15.82, career-best; 18. Alexander Viloria, 12, 5:16.25, career-best; 19. John Lucas, 11, 5:17.45;  21. Arie Van Der Vlist, 11, 5:18.21; 27. Cristian Rossi, 11, 5:25.31, career-best; 37. Santiago Arango, 12, 5:38.57, career-best; 40. Rodrigo Rodriguez, 11, 5:44.71.

Girls 13-14 400-meter freestyle: 11. Leonie Davies, 14, 4:48.99; 13. Kayla Moodie, 13, 4:50.39, career-best; 14. Kristina Brennan, 14, 4:50.95, career-best; 22. Jenna Diaz, 13, 4:59.08, career-best; 28. Haley Wright, 13, 5:07.61.

Boys 13-14 400-meter freestyle: 4. Blake Kelley, 14, 4:27.04, career-best; 7. Dylan Sell, 13, 4:31.57; 12. Kyle Desrosiers, 14, 4:43.41, career-best; 14. Roger Capote, 14, 4:45.60, career-best; 30. Edward Kon, 14, 4:59.96, career-best; 33. Teddy Sandoval, 13, 5:01.89.

Girls 11-12 400-meter freestyle relay: 3. SOFLO 4:36.39; 10. SOFLO, 4:50.25, season-best.

Boys 11-12 400-meter freestyle relay: 3. SOFLO 4:33.52; 6. SOFLO 4:38.03, season-best.

Girls 13-14 800-meter freestyle: 9. SOFLO 9:37.41.

Boys 13-14 800-meter freestyle: 9. SOFLO 9:23.10, season-best.

The three-day meet continues Saturday with prelims at 8:30 a.m. and championship finals at 5 p.m. The public is welcome.


What: Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics

When: Saturday-Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m.

Where: Plantation Central Park Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW 2nd St., Plantation.

Admission: $3 adults per session, $3 heat sheets per session. For information call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Wins CSSC Meet Combined Team Title,Cooke, Campo, Kopas High Point Winners

SOFLO Wins CSSC Meet Combined Team Title,Cooke, Campo, Kopas High Point Winners


June 27, 2010

CORAL SPRINGS—The four-day Florida Gold Coast Coral Springs Invitational was the measuring stick coaches and swimmers were looking for in the midst of a full summer meet schedule.

South Florida Aquatic Club, competing for the first time as a full team, dominated the meet, won the combined team title with a record 1,506.50 points, and more importantly, was able to gauge its long course training progress.

Now SOFLO coaches and swimmers, looking ahead to the July 15-18 FGC Junior Olympics at Plantation Central Park and July 23-25 FGC Senior Championships at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex and July 27-31 Southern Zone Championships in Atlanta, will be able to go back and fine tune.

“The kids did a good job,” SOFLO national head coach Michael Lohberg said. “It seems a couple of our kids had a breakthrough. Our younger ones who moved up all had best times. Some of the people who swam at the Texas meet last week like Luke Torres all did very well.”

SOFLO had three high point award winners and three runners-up.

In the girls’ 10-and-under age group, Eden Cooke, 10, captured top honors with 57 points. Kelley Heron, 10, was second with 50 points. On the final day, Cooke won the 100-meter freestyle with back-to-back career-bests in prelims (1:10.40) and finals (1:08.78). She was also fourth in the 50 butterfly in 37.05, another best time.

Steph Campo, 12, who won all of seven of her events in career-best times, earned top honors in the 11-12 girls’ age group with 63 points, the most points earned in any age group.

On the final day, Campo won the 11-12 100-meter freestyle in 1:03.12 and 50-meter butterfly in 31.59, both career-bests. Kylie Herman, second in the 11-12 high point category with 34 points, was second in the 50 butterfly in a career-best 32.82. Allison Kopas, 11, was third in a career-best 33.27.

“I was happy with every single event, I dropped time and won every single one,” Campo said. “I aim high so I can shoot even higher. Hopefully, the next meet I can drop even more time. I am excited for the rest of summer training and to see what my little body can put me through and see what times I can do. I am exceeding my expectations.”

SOFLO newcomer Emily Kopas, 13, won high point honors in the girls’ 13-14 age group with 58 points.

Marco Hosfeld, 14, was second in the 13-14 age group high point category with 58 points, just three behind FGC record-breaker Quinn Cassidy of St. Andrew’s Swimming.

“We are swimming technically better,” Lohberg said. “We are looking at strokes, starts and other technical things but still with them swimming at a decent pace. I wasn’t looking at good strokes and slow times. We can do that in practice.

“Under a little bit more stress situation and good competition we expected certain things to happen that we worked on in practice,” Lohberg said. “It seems they are a little bit ahead on paper. But now in a couple weeks we need to show what we can do. This is where we have to drop even more time and have good swims. Some of them are reaching a level of performance that becomes more interesting. It makes a difference.”

Kelly Kealty, 12, had a breakthrough meet. On the fourth and final day, she finished second in the 11-12 50-meter breaststroke with back-to-back career-bests in prelims (40.38) and finals (38.74). Her previous best was 40.92.

Kealty also finished third in the 100-meter freestyle, also with back-to-back time drops in prelims (1:08.10) and finals (1:07.47). Her previous best was 1:13.33.

“I was looking for my best times because I haven’t swum these events since last year and I got what I wanted especially in breaststroke,” Kealty said. “It all came out good. I was happiest with my 50 breaststroke because I dropped the most.

“This was a big deal for me,” Kealty said. “This is my last 11-12 meet. I was working towards getting my 13 cuts and for JOs. This was to see where I am at. I am tired but really happy about what I accomplished.”

Kopas, the newest member of SOFLO, wrapped up an impressive meet after only one week of training with Lohberg.

Coming off her junior national cut performance in the 100 breaststroke on Saturday, Kopas, the top seed and fastest qualifier, won the 13-14 50-meter breaststroke. She posted back-to-back career-bests in prelims (34.99) and finals (34.87). Her previous best was 35.79. Jillian Alexander, 13, was third in the 50 breaststroke in a career-best 36.32.

Kopas was also third in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:35.36. She bettered her previous career-best of 2:33.52 in morning prelims in 2:32.03.

“I was going after that junior national cut,” Kopas said. “I felt really good in the water because Michael started fixing my stroke and I think that helped me along the way.

“I thought about how cool it would be to get this junior national cut the whole time during my race. I just wanted it so bad. That last 50 I was pushing as hard as I could to get to that wall. Right when I finished and saw that time it was like yes, I finally did this. It was the greatest feeling.”

Kopas, who has been swimming since age 4 and got her first sectional cut at age 12, has already fit in nicely with her coaches and teammates.

“I love SOFLO, I like the pool, I like the coaches and all my teammates are so nice, they were cheering for me the whole time and motivated me and I just learned their names,” Kopas said.

While making junior nationals is nice, Kopas has loftier goals.

“My goal this season is to make senior nationals and that is the goal I am focusing on most right now because that is a privilege to go to seniors and I would really like to be able to participate in that meet,” Kopas said.

High point runner-up Kelley Heron had a confidence-building meet while developing a nice rivalry with high point winner Eden Cooke. Both are 10-year-olds and bringing out the best in each other.

On Sunday, Heron won the 50-meter breaststroke in 41.75 and was fourth in the 100-meter freestyle in 1:10.77 bettering her previous best of 1:12.88 in prelims (1:11.21) and finals.

“I wanted to win and I expected to drop times a little bit, but I didn’t expect to drop that much time,” Heron said. “I wanted to see how my training was doing. I learned a lot in prelims and finals. I am tired but I feel good about what I swam.”

Maria Lopez, 14, was runner-up in the 13-14 200-meter butterfly in 2:34.37.

In the boys’ competition:

Marco Hosfeld, 14, won the 13-14 50-meter breaststroke in 35.88 and Joshua Cutter, 14, was second in a career-best 36.07. Hosfeld was also second in the 100-meter freestyle in a career-best 57.11.

Jorge Depassier, 10, was second in the 100-meter freestyle in a career-best 1:10.23. Alex Rodriguez, 19, was second in the 50-meter breaststroke, equaling his prelim time of 30.60. Dylan Sell, 13, was third in the 200 backstroke in a career-best 2:30.90. His previous best was 2:42.69.

Blake Kelley, 14, was second in the 200-meter butterfly in a career-best 2:25.45. He bettered his seed time of 2:42.51 in prelims with a 2:30.33 and dropped even more in finals.

“This was a “I want to do good meet” because it’s prelims and finals,” Kelley said. “I was happiest with my 200 free, I dropped six seconds total. I am extremely happy with this meet. Now I am working toward JOs which I want to do better than this.”

Lohberg said the meet served as a perfect dress rehearsal for next month’s bigger meets.

“The swimmers can deal better with the expectations and stress because they consider themselves good,” Lohberg said. “Nobody goes into these events anymore with ‘hopefully, I am going to swim fast.’ I hate the word hopefully. You do your job, you do what you can and you most likely will succeed.”

Team totals: 1. SOFLO 1,506.50, 2. St. Andrew’s Swimming 362, 3. Pine Crest Swimming 343.50, 4. Davie Nadadores 342, 5. Plantation Swim Team 271.

Sharon Robb can be reached at