Pembroke Pines Charter Girls Win District 12-2A Title; Rodriguez, Calero Win

Pembroke Pines Charter Girls Win District 12-2A Title; Rodriguez, Calero Win


October 29, 2012

Can Mother Nature really be this cruel?

Not only did Hurricane Sandy force the rescheduling of the District 12-2A Swimming and Diving Championships to Monday, the same week as Thursday’s Region 4-2A at Florida Gulf Coast but the weather dipped in the low 60s with winds gusting up to 20 mph.

Despite the adversity, Pembroke Pines Charter girls’ team rose to the occasion, braved the biting cold weather and brisk wind, to defend its team title and turn back upset-minded Fort Lauderdale High, 403-378. Archbishop McCarthy was fourth among the 10-team girls field with 240 points.

Miami Belen Jesuit defended its boys title with 515 points. Archbishop McCarthy, enjoying one of its finest boys seasons, was runner-up with 274.50 points. Pembroke Pines Charter was fourth with 255 and Mater Academy, with SOFLO’s Jordan Colon, was fifth with 182 points.

What makes the girls’ victory so impressive was the fact Pembroke Pines Charter did it without any diving points. Fort Lauderdale had five divers that scored 82 points.

Pembroke Pines Charter overcame the disadvantage with its depth where every point mattered.

“The girls definitely stepped up,” Pembroke Pines head coach and SOFLO age group coach Rose Lockie said. “There were some girls who weren’t suppose to make it to regions and made it which is really nice.

“I think for those honestly trying to make it to states having two qualifying meets in one week could be a problem,” Lockie said. “For a lot of these kids this is really the furthest they have gone and they are excited about perhaps making relays through to states. A lot of them realize in the individual events they probably may not make it but relays they could. We’ll see what happens.

“I think our girls really did well, the girls made it in the events they were suppose to make it in,” Lockie said.

Pembroke Pines Charter freshman Monica Rodriguez won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:26.38 and earned 20 points. Senior teammate Maddy Fernandez picked up another 15 points with her fourth place and Jessica Cordero and Leysha Caraballo combined for 23 points with their seventh and eighth place finishes in the event.

In the girls 50-yard freestyle, Pembroke Pines Charter had four girls (Victoria Hill, Nicole Cordoba, Astrid Rigau and Cristina Villegas) in the top seven scoring 57 points.

Freshman Lilli Calero of Pembroke Pines Charter won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:29.77, just off her best time of 5:29.12 and was fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:21.49. She picked up 34 points in two events.

Fernandez and Rigau finished two-three in the 100-yard backstroke for 33 points. Caraballo and Cordero combined for 24 more points in the 100-yard butterfly with sixth and eighth places.

Hill was third in the 100-yard freestyle in 58.71 and sophomore Caroline Cabeza was fifth in 1:00.59 to total 30 points.

Pembroke Pines Charter boys were led by Ivan Parada, second in the 100-yard freestyle in 49.36 and third in the 100-yard backstroke in 58.76.

Mater Academy sophomore Jordan Colon was second in the 100-yard breaststroke in a best time 1:04.47, lowering his previous best of 1:04.77 and third in the 200-yard individual medley in a best time 2:09.54. His previous best was 2:09.81.

For Archbishop McCarthy, it was bittersweet for head coach Megan Garland who had several swimmers just miss qualifying by finishing ninth.

Archbishop McCarthy junior Kry Nichlany led the boys with a second place in the 100-yard butterfly in a best time 53.47, lowering his seed time of 54.28 and fifth in the 100-yard backstroke in a best time 1:00.18. Ryan Hall was third in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:51.62 and fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in 50.30. Matt Mila was fourth in the 100-yard freestyle in 50.24. All three are favorites to make state along with the boys relays.

The Mustang girls were led by Kaitlin Armstrong, who also has a shot at the state meet in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle. She was second in the 50 in 26.85 and fourth in the 100 in 59.06.

Jojo Perez, a sophomore, finished ninth in the 200-yard individual medley and 500-yard freestyle. Junior Jeremy Piacente was ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke. Sophomore Raleigh McDonald was ninth in the girls 500-yard freestyle and team captain Grace Slaton was ninth in the 100-yard breaststroke by .1.

“There were some disappointments,” Garland said. “But there were positives, too. A lot of kids went best times today. I was very pleased with the meet in general. This was a tough meet. If you look at what it took last year to make it to regionals, it has gotten so much faster this year.

“We have a tough district,” Garland said. “I told the kids to look at the psych sheet when it came out. I told them we can’t mess around, we got to race. They did a good job with the way the weather was and the meet getting pushed back. I am really happy with how we did.”

Archbishop McCarthy and Pembroke Pines Charter will leave for regions on Wednesday.

“We have to re-prepare ourselves for Thursday. They have to get up and swim fast on Thursday because it’s do-or-die in the morning,” Garland said.


At Academic Village Pool, Pembroke Pines


1.Pembroke Pines Charter 403, 2. Fort Lauderdale 378, 3. Pompano Beach 361, 4. Archbishop McCarthy 240, 5. Key West 211, 6. Mater Academy 203, 7. Hollywood Hills 97, 8. Stranahan 52, 9. Hialeah Miami Lakes 51, 10. Dillard 44.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Pompano Beach 2:00.89, 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 2:08.21, 3. Archbishop McCarthy 2:09.86.

200-yard freestyle:  1. Maria Aponte (FTL) 2:01.00, 2. Chloe Adams (FTL) 2:01.65, 3. Maria Perez (HML) 2:04.48; SOFLO: 4. Juliann Plasencia (ABM) 2:09.12, 6. Maria Fernandez (ABM) 2:25.18, 8. Marcella Gallardo (PPC) 2:30.36, 9. Viviana Calero (PPC) 2:30.51, 12. Melanie Quintero (PPC) 2:43.00.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Monica Rodriguez (PPC) 2:26.38, 2. Courtney Stewart (PB) 2:29.55, 3. Margaret Collier (PB) 2:29.94; SOFLO: 4. Maddy Fernandez (PPC) 2:32.76, 7. Jessica Cordero (PPC) 2:38.33, 8. Leysha Caraballo (PPC) 2:39.61.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Julia Schulte (PB) 26.03, 2. Kaitlin Armstrong (PPC) 26.85, 3. Victoria Hill (PPC) 26.91; SOFLO: 4. Nicole Cordoba (PPC) 26.93, 5. Astrid Rigau (PPC) 27.77, 7. Cristina Villegas (PPC) 28.35.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Maria Aponte (FTL) 1:00.93, 2. Adrienne Aponte (FTL) 1:07.20, 3. Angela Petrillo (FTL) 1:08.23; SOFLO: 4. Juliann Plasencia (ABM) 1:08.58, 6. Leysha Caraballo (PPC) 1:10.62, 8. Jessica Cordero (PPC) 1:13.26, 15. Johmi Vargas (PPC) 1:18.48.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Chloe Adams (FTL) 56.67, 2. Taylor Aseere (PB) 57.05, 3. Victoria Hill (PPC) 58.71; SOFLO: 4. Kaitlin Armstrong (PPC) 59.06, 8. Melissa Gonzalez (PPC) 1:05.55, 19. Cara Jacob (ABM) 1:12.41.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Lilli Calero (PPC) 5:29.77, 2. Maria Perez (HML) 5:39.83, 3. Adrienne Aponte (FTL) 5:48.10; SOFLO: 11. Vivi Calero (PPC) 6:50.60, 13. Catalina Villegas (PPC) 7:02.00.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pompano Beach 1:46.53, 2. Fort Lauderdale 1:47.65, 3. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:50.03, 6. Archbishop McCarthy 2:01.92.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Taylor Aseere (PB) 1:03.43, 2. Maddy Fernandez (PPC) 1:08.21, 3. Astrid Rigau (PPC) 1:12.35; SOFLO: 4. Maria Fernandez (ABM) 1:14.90.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Julia Schulte (PB) 1:13.95, 2. Tara Lawson-Corley (FTL) 1:18.97, 3. Victoria Portella (PB) 1:19.55; SOFLO: 5. Lilli Calero, PPC 1:21.49.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Fort Lauderdale 3:58.94, 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 4:02.84, 3. Archbishop McCarthy 4:08.13.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Jade Degouveia (FTL) 343.10, 2. Skye Cassanelli-Warriner (FTL) 310.90, 3. Bonnie Rutherford (FTL) 306.20.


1.Miami Belen Jesuit 515, 2. Archbishop McCarthy 274.50, 3. Fort Lauderdale 268, 4. Pembroke Pines Charter 255, 5. Mater Academy 182, 6. Pompano Beach 148, 7. Key West 107.50, 8. Hialeah Miami Lakes 84, 9. Stranahan 75, 10. Hollywood Hills 72, 11. Dillard 22.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Miami Belen Jesuit 1:45.29, 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:50.33, 3. Mater Academy 1:52.62, 4. Archbishop McCarthy 1:56.11.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Julian Ballestas (BJ) 1:43.33, 2. Lance Rutkin (FTL) 1:43.70, 3. Ryan Hall (ABM) 1:51.62; SOFLO: 9. Joshua Coote (PPC) 2:03.03, 15. Tomas Legaspi (PPC) 2:20.44, 17. Stefano Dioguardi (PPC) 2:25.38.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Manuel Lopez (BJ) 2:05.74, 2. Alexander Viloria (PPC) 2:09.43, 3. Jordan Colon (MA) 2:09.54; SOFLO: 5. Joshue Kon (PPC) 2:11.47, 9. Jojo Perez (ABM) 2:15.08, 10. Diego Rodriguez (PPC) 2:16.47, 11. Juan Saldana (PPC) 2:17.80, 16. Daniel Reyna (ABM) 2:28.79.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Raphael Marcoux (FTL) 22.67, 2. Ryan Guso (BJ) 23.04, 3. Matthew Mila (ABM) 23.19; SOFLO: 11. Nikolas Ujueta (PPC) 24.87, 18. Noah Hernandez (PPC) 25.75.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Jose Alvarez (BJ) 52.69, 2. Kry Nichlany (ABM) 53.47, 3. Joseph Ring (PB) 56.84; SOFLO: 10. Joshua Coote (PPC) 59.97, 11. Jose Miguel Fernandez (ABM) 1:00.33, 12. Nikolas Ujueta (PPC) 1:01.02.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Julian Ballestas (BJ) 47.47, 2. Ivan Parada (PPC) 49.36, 3. Raphael Marcoux (FTL) 49.95; SOFLO: 4. Matthew Mila (ABM) 50.24, 5. Ryan Hall (ABM) 50.30.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Lance Rutkin (FTL) 4:41.35, 2. Boleck DePawlikowski (BJ) 4:41.80, 3. Ronald Santos (MA) 4:49.47; SOFLO: 5. Joshue Kon (PPC) 5:06.64, 6. Alexander Viloria (PPC) 5:07.35, 9. Jojo Perez (ABM) 5:16.08, 12. Jose Miguel Fernandez (ABM) 5:34.71, 17. Stefano Dioguardi (PPC) 6:39.61.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Miami Belen Jesuit 1:31.62, 2. Fort Lauderdale 1:32.00, 3. Archbishop McCarthy 1:35.09, 6. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:39.34.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Boleck DePawlikowski (BJ) 53.56, 2. Jose Alvarez (BJ) 54.65, 3. Ivan Parada (PPC) 58.76; SOFLO: 9. Juan Saldana (PPC) 1:06.17, 13. Daniel Reyna (ABM) 1:07.98, 17. Tomas Legaspi (PPC) 1:11.78.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Manuel Lopez (BJ) 1:03.25, 2. Jordan Colon (MA) 1:04.47, 3. Sebastian Wermuth (BJ) 1:06.08; SOFLO: 5. Diego Rodriguez (PPC) 1:10.27.

400-yard freestyle relay – 1. Archbishop McCarthy 3:24.90, 2. Fort Lauderdale 3:26.43, 3. Belen Jesuit 3:26.89, 4. Pembroke Pines Charter 3:33.16.

1-meter diving: 1. Alex Honner, FTL 312.90, 2. Daniel Hardegree (HML) 295.65.

Sharon Robb can be reached at





DAVIE—On an emotionally-charged night in the grand ballroom of the Signature Grand, the Comets swim team celebrated the 2009-2010 season and a future full of promise.

In a festive atmosphere, more than 400 swimmers, parents, coaches and volunteers shared laughs and tears while reliving some of the highlights of the Comets 11th season.

It was a historical night for the Comets celebrating their final banquet before beginning a new chapter as the South Florida Aquatic Club.

CEO Chris Anderson announced that the merger between the Comets and Coral Springs Swim Club is now official and that SOFLO signed Nike as its first major sponsor.

The Comets coaching staff of Chris Anderson, Chris Grace, George Mersinger, Alex Wlosek, Rosemarie Lockie and Luis Soler took turns handing out awards for most improved, most dedicated and most valuable swimmers in six different age groups, from 8-and-unders to seniors.

The Comets also honored 12 high school seniors all about to embark on their next journey to college, but hopefully, Anderson said will be back for summers and holidays.

“It was such a pleasure to watch a fine group of seniors,” Anderson said. “I can’t wait for the future years when they come back.”

The seniors honored were Andy Alvarez (University of Miami), Melissa Fernandez (George Washington University), Stephanie Freiria (Florida Atlantic), Kevin Ganaim (Embry-Riddle), Ashley Hicks (Florida State), Travis Lockie (New Mexico Military Institute), Courtney Marx (Western Kentucky), Bianca Muniz (St. Leo College), Tiffany Oliver (Florida State), Tyler Sell (Florida State), Jake Shultz (Trinity) and Julio Simon (University of Miami).

Some of the most poignant moments came when the seniors took the stage and talked about their team and coaches.

From the eloquent words of Tyler Sell; touching, tearful moments between Travis Lockie and his mother Rosemarie, one of the Comets popular coaches who Travis called “a true inspiration;” to Andy Alvarez’s David Letterman-like highlights list including “watching Chris cry at every banquet,” and Tiffany Oliver’s “fake” book-sized speech, it was obvious the Comets common bond was their love for the team, their coaches and what the sport has done to help them develop through the years in and out of the pool.

“This has been the best experience of my life,” said a teary-eyed Julio Simon. “I learned what family is and what it’s like to be close to everyone. This team is just great. It helped me get to where I am now. I love you all.”

Simon told Anderson, “you made me go beyond my limits.”

“The memories will last a lifetime,” said Ashley Hicks.

“I found a place, a home away from home with the Comets,” said Courtney Marx.

“I don’t want this to end,” said Tiffany Oliver. “It wasn’t exactly a cakewalk for me to get here. Now I understand why I did everything I had to do when I was younger. You get out of life what you put into it. Never lose focus of your dreams.”

Anderson also took time to give a heartfelt thanks to booster club members Paula Berti, president; Tracee Gibson, treasurer; Christina Perera, secretary; and Jamie Mlujeak, parliamentarian; office staff, coaches, city officials, webmaster Nestor Mateus and “all the special people” that have helped the Comets “become one of the most competitive swim programs.”

Banquet organizers, headed by Berti and Kristy Monti, in charge of logistics, along with office manager Diana Oliver, staged a memorable night. There was a DJ and music; and entertaining, well-choreographed slide presentation of season highlights put together by Karina and Alfredo Raimont that garnered screams from the young crowd sitting around the projection screen. In addition to candid snap shots there were inspiring messages including “through it all, we believe” and “we believe in the future.”

Among the 2010 Special Awards were:

Most Improved Swimmer: 8-and-under, Kelly CiFuentes and Leonardo Mateus; 9-10, Jenna Shultz and Kevin Porto; 11-12, Emily Neville and Gustavo Valery; 13-14, Maria Lopez and Teddy Sandoval; 15-and-over, Xavier Brown; Senior, Stephanie Freiria and Travis Lockie.

Most Dedicated Swimmer: 8-and-under, Sarah Walpole and Rafael Rodriguez; 9-10, Kelley Heron and Jorge Depassier; 11-12, Monica Rodriguez and Austin Iglesias; 13-14, Kristina Brennan and Edward Kon; 15-and-over, Katie Brennan.

Most Valuable Swimmer: 8-and-under, Jennifer Rodriguez and Jonathan Skarie; 9-10, Jessica Rodriguez and Ricardo Roche; 11-12, Andrea Melendez and Diego Rodriguez; 13-14, Leonie Davies and Blake Kelley; 15-and-over, Courtney Marx and Marc Rojas; Seniors, Tiffany Oliver and Tyler Sell.

For those interested in purchasing banquet photographs contact photographer Kathleen Armstrong at

Sharon Robb can be reached at