SOFLO Swimmers Continue Championship Season At FGC Senior Championships This Weekend

By Sharon Robb

CORAL SPRINGS, July 26, 2018—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will compete this weekend at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Championships.

The three-day meet will be hosted by Coral Springs Swim Club at the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

A week after winning the FGC Junior Olympics, SOFLO will compete along with several top teams including defending champion Azura Florida Aquatics.

SOFLO hopes to improve on last year’s seventh-place finish in the combined team totals with 540 points. A few SOFLO swimmers are also hoping to make their cuts for the USA Swimming Futures Championships.

SOFLO qualified 30 swimmers (12 women and 18 men) in 151 individual events. SOFLO also has 18 relay teams entered in 10 relays.

SOFLO swimmers are: Alana Acevedo, 17; Monica Alvarez, 30; Michael Arias, 15; Sophia Bedoya, 16; Heath Brames, 18; Kyana Castro, 15; Maya Coffey, 17; Juan Colmenares, 14; Daniela Curbelo, 15; Naomi Eaton, 16; Jonathan Farah, 20; Logan Gonzalez, 13; John Paul Handal, 15; Kylie Herman, 21; Kerollos Ibrahim, 18; Philopatier Ibrahim, 15; CJ Kopecki, 19; Jena Legaspi, 14; Rebekah Ling, 16; Melissa Marinheiro, 21; Michelle Marinheiro, 15; Alejandro Mateus, 13; Leonardo Mateus, 16; Abby Oyetunji, 18; Juancamilo Rivero, 15; Moises Rodriguez, 14; Nicolas Rossi, 15; Andrea Toledano, 17; Amy-Nicole Toro, 16; Michael Toro, 16; Christian Vasquez, 15; Marcos Vazquez, 15; and Robert Wilson, 15.

SOFLO’s CJ Kopecki, 19, is seeded second in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:08.83.

Melissa Marinheiro, 21, is seeded second in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:26.89 and second in the 200-meter freestyle in 2:07.55.

Leonardo Mateus, 16, is seeded first among 15-16s in the 1500-meter freestyle in 16:54.58.

The field features 42 Florida Gold Coast teams including Azura, Swim Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Gulliver Swim Club, Jupiter Dragons, Pine Crest Swimming, Westminster Academy and East Coast Aquatic Club.

The 50s will start from the dive well end of the pool for the entire meet according to meet organizers.


What: Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Championships

When: Friday-Sunday, prelims 8:30 a.m., finals 5 p.m., warm-ups 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day.

Timelines: Friday, prelims, 8:30 a.m.-12:28 p.m., finals 5-7:42 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-12:19 p.m., 5-7:37 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-1:16 p.m., 5-8:03 p.m.

Where: Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Michael Lohberg School of Champions, 12441 Royal Palm Blvd., Coral Springs.

Of note: In last year’s meet, Azura won the combined team title with 1,295.50 followed by Gulliver with 1,245 and Metro Aquatics with 930…Admission $5 per session for prelims and $3 per session for finals…Concession stand will be available…For information call 954-345-2121 or 954-340-5032.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


SOFLO’s Grant, Porven, Mateus Brothers Win At Swim Miami; Schleicher 11th In 5K Junior Open Water Nationals Debut

By Sharon Robb

MIAMI, May 6, 2018–South Florida Aquatic Club distance swimmers were busy this past weekend.

At Swim Miami, Gina Grant, Giada Porven and Alejandro and Leonardo Mateus won Sunday off Miami Marine Stadium.

Grant, 20, won the Special Olympics one mile overall women’s title in 28:44.

Giada Porven, 10, won the 10-and-under one mile age group in 24:51.

Leonardo Mateus, 16, won the 15-16 one mile age group in 18:20, was third overall and second overall among boys. Alejandro Mateus, 12, won the 11-12 one mile age group in 19:29 and was 14th overall.

Oceane Peretti, 20, won the overall 10K title and women’s race in 1:58:05.45. She was the only swimmer to crack two hours for the 6.2-mile course. Andres Lares, 18, of Davie was second overall and first male finisher in 2:00:13.41.

In the 5K, Adrian Aguilar, 17, of Kendall won the overall title and men’s race in 56:59. Anna Montgomery, 17, of Fort Lauderdale won the women’s title and was sixth overall in 57:27.

In the one-mile race, Olivia Hernandez, 16, of Miami won the overall and women’s titles in 17:37. Miguel Cancel, 18, was top men’s finisher and second overall in 18:17.

Katrina Bellio, 13, of Toronto won the overall title in the 800-meter swim in 14:09.38 ahead of teammate Kenna Smallegange, 14, in 14:09.60. Michael Wang, 13, also of Toronto won the boys race in 14:28 and was third overall.

In other results:
5K, 40-44, 2. Evelyn Salama, 1:26:03
5K, 17-18, 5. Jennifer Rodriguez 1:13:52.
5K, 19-24, 5. Theodore Sandoval, 1:17:12.
1 Mile, 10-and-under, 1. Giada Porven, 24:51.43.
1-Mile, 11-12, 1. Alejandro Mateus, 19:29.45.
1-Mile, 15-16, 1. Leonardo Mateus 18:20.19
1-Mile, 11-12, 2. Gavin Sheyda, 22:19.06.
1-Mile, 65-69, 2. George Mersinger 29:59.10
1-Mile, 11-12, 3. Lucas Porven 22:24.35.
1-Mile, 15-16, 3. Lance Lesage 19:09.10
1-Mile, 17-18, 3. Luis Villanueva 19:25.20.
1 Mile, 11-12, 4. Anastasia Lutz, 24:47.66.
1-Mile, 15-16, 4. Brandon Moran 19:10.54.
1 Mile, 11-12, 5. Hartley Pitters-Hinds, 26:00.54
1 Mile Special Olympics, 1. Gina Grant, 28:44.56

Swim Miami is part of the South Florida Swim Series with proceeds benefitting the H20s Foundation.


TEMPE, ARIZ.—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Mallory Schleicher was 11th in her USA Swimming Women’s Junior 5K National Championships debut Saturday at Town Lake.

Schleicher finished 11th out of a field of 32 open water swimmers in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 31.37, 5.62 behind winner Denigan Mariah of Northern Ky. Clippers Swimming in 1:01.05.32.

Anna Auld of Delray Beach-based East Coast Aquatic Club was top Florida Gold Coast finisher placing third in 1:02:31.78, just 2.36 out of first place.

In his open water debut, Jackson Carlile of Fishers Area Swimming Tigers won a close race against Connor Hunt of Ridgefield Aquatic Club in 59:57.91, just two seconds ahead in 1:00:00.26. It was Carlile’s first-ever open water race. Only 10 boys were in the field. The top two boys and girls finishers qualified for the World Junior Championships.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Lares, Mateus Compete Opening Day Of Southern Zones

By Sharon Robb

SOFLO’s Sebastian Lares and Leonardo Mateus, representing Florida Gold Coast, competed on Day One of the five-day Southern Zone Age Group Championships at Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, N.C.

Mateus, 14, was 16th in the 1500-meter freestyle in 17:44.57. Mateus has five events remaining: 200-meter backstroke, 400-meter individual medley, 400-meter freestyle, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter butterfly.

Lares, 12, finished 24th in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:56.19. He has five events remaining: 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley.

Paige Lane, 13, will begin competing on Wednesday. Her first event is the 200-meter freestyle. She is also entered in the 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke, 50-meter freestyle and 200-meter butterfly.

The zone championships feature top regional swimmers at the senior and age group levels who qualify for these meets within the four designated zones (Eastern, Central, Southern and Western.)


COMBINED TEAM SCORES: 1. Georgia Zone Team 47, 2. Florida Swimming 45, 3. North Carolina Swimming 38, 4. Kentucky Swimming 27, 5. Southeastern Swimming Zone 19, 6. Florida Gold Coast, South Texas 14.

MEN TEAM SCORES: 1. Kentucky 25, 2. Georgia 20, 3. North Carolina 19, 6. Florida Gold Coast 8.

WOMEN TEAM SCORES: 1. Florida Swimming 30, 2. Georgia 27, 3. North Carolina 19, 6. Florida Gold Coast 6.


400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Ana Herceg, South Texas 4:31.62; FGC 16. Rebecca Montero 4:47.48, best time, 19. Kiara Caamano 4:53.70, 22. Riley Botting 4:57.45, best time.

800-meter freestyle:

13-14, 1. Samantha Mobley, GAZ 9:13.30; FGC: 4. Anna Auld 9:17.02, best time, 19. Rachel Botting 9:51.53; 15-18, 1. Ashley Cesario, GAZ 9:08.14; FGC: 8. Marissa Brannan 9:34.32, best time.


400-meter freestyle:

11-12, 1. Braeden Haughey, NCS 4:22.97; FGC: 6. Joshua Zuchowski 4:34.59, best time, 24. Sebastian Lares 4:56.19.

800-meter freestyle:

1.Chase Mattingly, KY 8:38.39.

1500-meter freestyle:

13-14, 1. Neal Wolfram, KY 16:48.73; FGC: 13. Andres Wong 17:35.88, 16. Leonardo Mateus 17:44.57; 15-18, 1. Chase Mattingly, KY 16:22.48; FGC: 5. Andres Lares 17:01.49, best time, 8. Andres Vargas 17:07.65, best time, 19.Cameron Anderson 18:19.49.


The U.S. Open got underway Tuesday in Minneapolis with mostly collegiate and up-and-coming swimmers.

SOFLO’s Marc Rojas, 22, competes Wednesday in the 200-meter breaststroke and SOFLO teammate Claire Donahue, 27, competes Thursday in the 100-meter butterfly.



800-meter freestyle:

1.Ashley Twichell, Unattached 8:25.31, 2. Hannah Moore, NCS 8:28.23, 3. Katy Campbell, PASA 8:37.17.

200-meter butterfly:

1.Hannah Saiz, SSTY 2:10.14, 2. Courtney Harnish, YY 2:12.80, 3. Madison Homovich, MOR 2:13.54.

100-meter freestyle:

1.Shayna Jack, AUS 54.37, 2. Mallory Comerford, CARD 54.46, 3. Eva Merrell, AZOT 55.38.

4×100-meter freestyle:

1.Australia 3:42.98, 2. Wisconsin 3:45.92, 3. Cardinal Aquatics 3:46.81.


1500-meter freestyle:

1.Daniel Jervis, NC 15:03.99, 2. True Sweetser, Gainesville SC 15:04.52, 3. Robert Finke, SPA 15:14.75; 18. Joey Pedraza, RACE 16:15.47.

200-meter butterfly:

1.Zach Harting, CARD 1:57.64, 2. Vini Lanza, IU 1:58.27, 3. Nicholas Brown, AUS 1:58.82.

100-meter freestyle:

1.William Stockwell, AUS 49.84, 2. Cannon Clifton, WA 49.90, 3. Alexander Graham, AUS 49.97.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Win Team Pursuit For FGC All-Star Team At Zone Open Water Championships

By Sharon Robb

June 5, 2016—Rafael Rodriguez and Leonardo Mateus of South Florida Aquatic Club won gold medals at the Southern Zone Open Water Championships this past weekend off Fort Myers Beach.

Rodriguez and Mateus teamed with Bryan Rivero and Michael Fernandez of Hialeah Swim Club to win gold in the 13-14 team pursuit event for the Florida Gold Coast All-Stars.

Rafael Rodriguez, 14, also took a bronze medal in the individual event in 35:26.

The only other gold medal FGC All-Stars won was in the individual 11-12 event, Anna Auld, 12, finished in 19:25. Rose Smiddy was second among the senior girls in 38:23.



11-12, 1. Anna Auld, 12, FGC, 19:25; 2. McKenna Fiore, 12, Florida Swimming, 19:47, 3. Kelsey Swartout, 12, Florida Swimming, 20:01; SOFLO: 16. Sarah Acevedo, 12, FGC, 21:17.

13-14, 1. Claire Epperson, 14, Southeastern 38:01, 2. Makayla Ludwick, 14, Southeastern 38:25, 3. Isabel Pennington, 13, NC Select Team, 39:44.

15-16, 1. Noa Heron, 15, Florida Swimming, 37:43; 2. Polina Rukosuev, 15, Florida Swimming, 37:50; 3. Jordan Gorham, 16, Florida Swimming, 37:59.

Senior Girls: 1. Emmaline Peterson, 17, NC Select Team 37:42, 2. Rose Smiddy, 17, FGC, 38:23, 3. Kelsey Stevens, 18, Kentucky Swimming, 38:39.


11-12, 1. JD Bengston, 12, Georgia, 18:45; 2. Cole Firlie, 12, Florida Swimming, 18:47, 3. Beau Bengston, 12, Georgia 19:08; SOFLO: 17. Alejandro Mateus, 11, FGC, 21:39.

13-14, 1. Ian Grum, 14, Georgia 35:11; 2. Zachary Cairns, 13, NC Select Team 35:25; 3. Rafael Rodriguez, 14, Florida Gold Coast/SOFLO, 35:26; SOFLO: 12. Leonardo Mateus, 14, FGC 38:08.

15-16, 1. Ethan Sanders, 16, Southeastern, 35:20; 2. Noland Deas, 16, Georgia, 35:23; 3. Ross Dant, 15, NC Select Team 35:23.

Senior Boys: 1. Sadler McKeen, 17, Southeastern, 35:19, 2. Alex Robinson, 17, Southeastern, 35:20, 3. Patrick Frith, 17, NC Select Team, 35:22.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Ready To Go The Distance At Zone Open Water Championships

By Sharon Robb

June 2, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers are known for going the extra mile when it comes to swimming and this weekend they will be doing just that at the Southern Zone Open Water Championships in Fort Myers Friday through Sunday.

SOFLO will be well-represented on the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team coached by veteran coach Cathy Silveira of Metro Miami and state champion Doral Academy’s Miami Herald Coach of the Year.

Representing SOFLO are: Sarah Acevedo (11-12), Alejandro Mateus (11-12), Leonardo Mateus (13-14) and Rafael Rodriguez (13-14).

All four are talented open water and distance swimmers and among favorites.

The remaining Florida Gold Coast All-Stars are:

11-12 Girls, Anna Auld, ECAC, Megan Murphy, ECAC, Kiara Caamano, NPB.

11-12 Boys, Dominic Bono, AKS, Trenton Pace Edwards, ECAC, Carson Neidert, ECAC.

13-14 Girls, Delaney Biro, CSSC, Gaby Chambers, PST, Isabella Taylor, HAT, Karen Perez, HSC.

13-14 Boys, Bryan Rivero, HSC, Michael Fernandez, HSC.

15-16 Girls, None

15-16 Boys, Diego Avellandea, Azura, Fernando Rodriguez, MAC, Noah Proctor, MCA, Adrian Aguilar, MAC

17-and-over Girls, Rose Smiddy, AKS, Samantha Trodick, Sun.

17-and-over Boys, Cameron Anderson, MCA

The first race, hosted by the Gulf Coast Swim Team, off Fort Myers Beach is Friday night with men and women open relays.

On Saturday the action continues with the men 11-12, 2.5K at 9 a.m.; women 11-12, 2.5K at 9:10 a.m., men 13-14, 15-16, senior 5K, 10:30 a.m. and women 13-14, 15-16, senior 5K, 10:40 a.m. A beach barbecue for participants will be held 6 p.m. On Sunday the weekend events conclude with the team pursuits for 11-12, 14-and-under and senior at 10 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Shine With Best Times On Opening Day Of Southern Zone Senior Long Course Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 5, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers turned in four individual best times and one relay best time Tuesday at the Southern Zone Senior Long Course Championships in Greenville, S.C.

SOFLO, known for its strong distance program, had four boys turn in life-time bests in the 800-meter freestyle.

Max Asnis, 15, broke nine minutes for the first time with an impressive 8:47.10. His previous best was 9:00.51.

Sam Asnis, 16, swam 8:53.07, dropping from 8:59.17.

Juan Diaz, 15, turned in a 9:02.53, dropping from 9:03.84.

Leonardo Mateus, 13, swam 9:02.64, dropping from 9:04.16.

SOFLO was also eighth in the 200-meter medley relay in 1:53.74, bettering its seed time of 1:58.66. Relay members were Esteban Diaz-Velasco, 16, Jonathan Farah, 17, Juan Diaz, 15, and Max Asnis, 15.

The five-day meet continues with prelims and finals on Wednesday.



800-meter freestyle: 1. Dorothy Halmy, Woodlands 8:59.21, 2. Ashlyn Butkowski, TAC 9:12.42, 3. Flo Almada, Swim Florida 9:20.57; FLORIDA: 12. Emma Volz, CVST 9:48.91, 20. Alex Griffith, Swim Florida 10:08.70, 23. Abby Forman, CVST 10:20.01.

200-meter medley relay: 1. Gators NC 2:03.96, 2. FCST 2:04.78, 3. MMST 2:04.82, 10. Plantation Swim Team, Florida Gold Coast 2:09.48 (Meagan Abad, Krissa Robinson, Aly Pacitti, Camila Manrique), 16. Plantation Swim Team, Florida Gold Coast 2:16.84 (Carly Hyman, Skye Downey, Quinn Connor, Angie Petrillo.


800-meter freestyle: 1. Rhory Legendre, Woodlands 8:24.08, 2. Darrin Asphall, FCST 8:32.48, 3. Ryan Sharkey, Woodlands 8:32.71; FLORIDA: 6. Matthew Strickland, SWIM Florida 8:40.43, 7. Max Asnis, SOFLO FGC 8:47.10, 10. Dan Young, SWIM, Florida 8:49.06, 11. Nick Pacitti, PST, FGC 8:50.24, 13. Jason Tillotson, SWIM, Florida 8:52.27, 15. Sam Asnis, SOFLO, FGC 8:53.07, 17. Zach Bowles, CVST 8:54.73, 25. Juan Diaz, SOFLO 9:02.53, 27. Leonardo Mateus, SOFLO 9:02.64, 28. Andrew Pittman, ACE, FGC 9:03.32, 43. Dylan Weiss, PST, FGC 9:32.59, 44. Daryl Pickerell, CVST, FL 9:33.08, 45. Jack Pellegrino, SWIM, FL 9:59.17.

200-meter medley relay: 1. NFS, Florida 1:47.84 (Mel Nash II, David Li, Trista Burroughs, Tate Callahan), 2. Woodlands 1:49.47, 3. TG 1:50.11; FLORIDA: 8. South Florida Aquatic Club 1:53.74 (Esteban Diaz-Velasco, Jonathan Farah, Juan Diaz, Max Asnis), 17. Plantation Swim Team 1:59.01 (Leonardo Manrique, John Silvera, Bennett Rodriguez, Felipe Farias).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Mateus Leads SOFLO Swimmers, Finishes Fifth At Open Water Southern Zones

By Sharon Robb

June 7, 2015—Leonardo Mateus of South Florida Aquatic Club was among top finishers at the Southern Zones Open Water Championships in Lake Echo at Seven Lakes, North Carolina.

Mateus finished fifth in the 5K 13-14 age group in 1 hour, 6 minutes and 19 seconds for 3.1 miles. He finished 3:11 minutes behind age group champion Nicholas Hernandez-Tome who finished in 1:04:18.

SOFLO teammate Kevin Porto was 20th in 1:08:29 in the 15-16 age group in the 5K.

SOFLO’s Alana Acevedo was 27th in 1:25:32 in the girls 13-14 age group 5K.

Sharon Robb can be reached at