SOFLO’s Julio Horrego Leads Florida Gold Coast 20-Swimmer Contingent For FINA World Aquatics Championships That Begin Saturday

By Sharon Robb
BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 15, 2022–Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego of South Florida Aquatic Club will compete on opening day of the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships Saturday at Duna Arena.

Horrego, 23, will swim the prelims of the 100-meter breaststroke. It is the first of two events he will compete in. He will also swim the 50-meter breaststroke.

Horrego competed in the 2019 World Championships in South Korea, 2019 Pan American Games in Peru and 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and was flagbearer for his country in the opening parade of nations ceremony.

Horrego will see plenty of familiar faces during the meet with Florida Gold Coast well-represented with 20 swimmers competing on one of swimming’s biggest international stages.

Azura Florida Aquatics has qualified 14 swimmers.

Heading the group is Uruguayan national record holder Micaela Sierra. The Pompano Beach resident who will start swimming for Auburn University this fall, competed for South Florida Heat in high school.

Other Azura swimmers are: Esteban Nunez Del Prado, Bolivia; Fatima Portillo, El Salvador, open water; Jahir Lopez, Ecuador, open water; Jayhan Odlum-Smith, St. Lucia; Jenebi Benoit, Grenada; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Kito Campbell, Jamaica; Leon Seaton, Guyana; Matheo Mateos, Paraguay; Maximiliano Paccot, Uruguay; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Steven Aimable, Senegal and Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico, coming off the PanAm Aquatics Age Group Championships.

Brazil Olympic bronze medalist Bruno Fratus of Coral Springs Swim Club will compete in the 50-meter freestyle.

Patrick Groters, a former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club swimmer now at South Carolina, will represent Aruba in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and 200 individual medley.

Former St. Andrew’s and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian, national record holder for the Bahamas, will compete in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes.

Former Plantation American Heritage swimmer Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago will compete in the 50 butterfly, and 50 and 100 freestyles.

University of Florida’s Anna Auld of West Palm Beach and Forest Hill High School and East Coast Aquatic Club alum, will compete in the 5K and 25K open water events for the U.S. team.

The swimming opens Saturday and runs through June 25 with the pool events. The aquatics championships that also features water polo, diving, open water swimming, high diving and synchronized swimming end July 3. NBC Sports will televise the swimming finals only. The FINA facebook page will show the other competitions. Canada’s CBC will also broadcast the swimming.

Saturday’s opening day prelim events are: women’s 200 IM, men’s 400 freestyle, women’s 100 butterfly, men’s 50 butterfly, women’s 400 freestile, men’s 100 breaststroke, men’s 400 IM and women’s and men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay. Finals will be held in the men’s and women’s 400 freestyle, men’s 400 IM and relays. The opening ceremony will also be held.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

South Florida Heat Sweeps Westminster Academy, Chaminade

By Sharon Robb
FORT LAUDERDALE, September 30, 2021–South Florida Heat boys and girls teams picked up four wins with a sweep of Chaminade and host Westminster Academy in a tri-meet.

South Florida Heat girls, led by double winners Erika Pelaez, Samantha Schoenborn and Micaela Sierra, defeated Westminster Academy, 106-61, and Chaminade 112-16. In the other matchup, Westminster Academy topped Chaminade 133-17.

South Florida Heat girls won all but two individual events and one relay.

Pelaez won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.27 and 100-yard freestyle in 51.56.

Schoenborn won the 100-yard butterfly in 50.66 and 100-yard backstroke in 1:00.80.

Sierra won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:10.88 and 100-yard breaststroke in 1:07.18.

South Florida Heat won the girls’ 200-yard medley and 400-yard freestyle relays.

South Florida Heat boys swept all three relays. Kaii Winkler and Dario Martin were double winners.

Winkler won the 50-yard freestyle (20.67) and 100-yard freestyle (44.32).

Martin won the 100-yard butterfly in 51.05 and 100-year breaststroke in 58.46.

South Florida Heat 106, Westminster Academy 61
South Florida Heat 112, Chaminade 16
Westminster Academy 133, Chaminade 17

200-yard medley relay: 1. South Florida Heat A 1:49.48, 2. South Florida Heat B 2:00.43, 3. Westminster Academy 2:12.68.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Gioia Balzano, SFH 2:01.47, 2. Hope Suther, SFH 2:12.42, 3. Sydney Gordon, WA 2:15.44.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Micaela Sierra, SFH 2:10.88, 2. Marley Scott, WA 2:51.81, 3. Isabella Volkert, WA 3:02.44.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Erika Pelaez, SFH 23.27, 2. Mia Patton, SFH 25.67, 3. Sydney Gordon, WA 27.19.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Samantha Schoenborn, SFH 50.66, 2. Mia Patton, SFH 1:03.14, 3. Fiorella DiSalvo, SFH 1:06.45.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Erika Pelaez, SFH 51.56, 2. Anais Gedeon, SFH 57.87, 3. Arizel Sosa, SFH 1:08.90.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Lynn-Rose Ruiz, WA 6:49.93, 2. Karsen Reeves, WA 7:13.40.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Westminster Academy 1:54.47, 2. South Florida Heat 1:57.32, 3. Westminster Academy 2:21.20.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Samantha Schoenborn, SFH 1:00.80, 2. Gioia Balzano, SFH 1:02.70, 3. Fiorella DiSalvo, SFH 1:09.70.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Micaela Sierra, SFH 1:07.18, 2. Anais Gedeon, SFH 1:20.75, 3. Hope Suther, SFH 1:24.06.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. South Florida Heat 3:45.85, 2. Westminster Academy 4:58.73.

1-meter diving: 1. Makenzie Blake, WA 205.25.

South Florida Heat 95, Westminster Academy 66
South Florida Heat 101, Chaminade 11
Westminster Academy 124, Chaminade 11

200-yard medley relay: 1. South Florida Heat A 1:36.48, 2. South Florida Heat B 1:50.91, 3. Westminster Academy 1:54.96.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Frank Maio, WA 2:27.12, 2. Matias Rodriguez, WA 2:48.74, 3. Charles Scasserra, WA 3:00.94.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Nikita Efimov, SFH 1:59.63, 2. Joshua Barreto, SFH 2:12.86, 3. Christian Clark, WA 2:16.23.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Kaii Winkler, SFH 20.67, 2. Max Flores, WA 25.51, 3. Mark Pekic, WA 25.86.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Dario Martin, SFH 51.05, 2. Finn Winkler, SFH 54.10, 3. Aiden Kohanyi, SFH 58.08.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Kaii Winkler, SFH 44.32, 2. Christian Clark, WA 52.13, 3. Leo Garcia, CHAM 53.93.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Josue Paiz, SFH 5:31.73, 2. Kyle Gayle, WA 6:06.20, 3. Thomas Breza, WA 7:34.25.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. South Florida Heat 1:33.51, 2. Westminster Academy 1:54.22.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Finn Winkler, SFH 54.88, 2. Jordan Cote, WA 1:11.11, 3. Layton McCartney, WA 1:24.80.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Dario Martin, SFH 58.46, 2. Nikita Efimov, SFH 59.84, 3. Aiden Kohanyi, SFH 1:03.61.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. South Florida Heat 3:28.64, 2. Westminster Academy A 4:31.17, 3. Westminster Academy B 5:10.23.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Defending Champion SOFLO, Azura, Jupiter, St. Andrew’s Among Favorites For FGC Senior Championships

By Sharon Robb
CORAL SPRINGS, July 28, 2021—South Florida Aquatic Club will be trying to win its eighth title against a strong field when the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships begin Friday at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Azura Florida Aquatics, Jupiter Dragons and St. Andrew’s Aquatics will also challenge for the team titles.

After a year’s absence because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SOFLO won its seventh title in March at its home pool. SOFLO swept the combined (2,007 points), women (1,013.50) and men (993.50) team titles.

Prelims are 8:30 a.m. and finals 5 p.m. each day. On Sunday, the men’s and women’s 1500 freestyle distance finals are 11:25 a.m. with the remaining finals at 5 p.m.

For the three-day long course meet in the Michael Lohberg Pool of Champions, 41 SOFLO swimmers, ages 15-and-over, (26 men and 15 women) have qualified for 174 individual and eight relay events.

SOFLO has no top seeds in individual or relay events. Several of its top swimmers are competing in the USA Swimming Futures Championships Wednesday through Saturday in Huntsville, Ala.

SOFLO will be led by Gaby Banks, 18, of Florida State, who represents Jamaica internationally; Venezuela national team member and Drexel-bound Mariangela Cincotti, 18; Sebastian Lares, 17; Michelle Marinheiro, 18; Alejandro Mateus, 16; Sara Quintero, 17; Alex Golding, 17; Enrique Rodriguez, 16; Rafael Rodriguez, 19; and Robert Wilson, 18.

The field features Poland 2012 Olympian Marcin Cieslak, 29, of Swim Fort Lauderdale. The University of Florida alum and butterflier is a member of the International Swimming League’s Cali Condors. Cieslak is seeded first in the 100 butterfly in 53.33.

U.S. Olympic trials qualifier Katie Minnich, 21, of Swim Fort Lauderdale heads the women’s field. After the 2020 season, the backstroker transferred from Michigan to Florida. She is seeded first in the 100 backstroke in 1:04.56.

Other top seeds include Josh Zuchowski, 17, of FAST, 200 backstroke, 2:00.22, 100 backstroke, 55.91, 200 IM, 2:04.52; Solana Capalbo, 20, of Azura, 2:20.99; Heidi Smithwick, 17, of Jupiter Dragons, 100 freestyle, 56.95, 50 freestyle, 25.90, 200 IM, 2:22.81 and 100 butterfly, 1:00.48; Reese Branzell, 18, of St. Andrew’s Aquatics, 100 freestyle, 50.23, 50 freestyle, 23.10 and 200 freestyle, 1:51.30; Gabriel Arraya, 22, Azura, 2:00.42; and Micaela Sierra, 16, Azura, 200 breaststroke, 2:34.27 and 100 breaststroke, 1:12.13.

The meet will be live streamed. The link will be posted online at Everyone is encouraged to wear face coverings or face masks while at the facility. Hand sanitation stations will be available throughout the facility.

Sharon Robb can be reached at