Izzy Wilson Top SOFLO Finisher At Southern Zone Open Water 5K Championships


By Sharon Robb
DeLEON SPRINGS, Fl., May 14, 2022—Izzy Wilson was South Florida Aquatic Club and Florida Gold Coast’s top girls’ finisher at the Southern Zone Open Water Championships Saturday at Camp Winona YMCA.

Wilson, 16, was second in the 5K 15-16 age category in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 25.6 seconds for the 3.1 mile race. Claire Stuhlmacher, 16, of Florida Swimming finished first in 1:01.34.2.

Andreas Da Silva, 14, was Florida Gold Coast’s top boys finisher, placing second in the 13-14 5K in 1:01:35.8. Dillon Brigman, 14, of Florida Swimming won in 59:42.9.

SOFLO’ top qualifier is Natalie Gembicki, 17, was tenth among the open 5K swimmers in 1:07:27.2. The time bettered her previous 5K time of 1:13:22.

Amelie Bicerne, 15, was 27th in the girls 15-16 in 1:11:27.3.

Jemma Baldwin, 12, was sixth in the girls 11-12 2K open water race in 27:58.9.

Juan Vallmitjana, 13, was 27th in the boys 13-14 1:12.01.9.

Ryan Harries, 13, was 29th in the boys 13-14 1:12:57.4.

Ivan Grass, 17, was tenth in the open boys in 1:05:22.0.

Sunday’s events at 8:45 a.m. feature the 11-12 2K Team Pursuit Race; 13-14 2K Team Pursuit Race; 15-16 2K Team Pursuit Race and Open 2K Team Pursuit Race.

UNOFFICIAL 5K RESULTS
GIRLS

13-14: 1. Gabriella Underwood, Gulf 1:06:02.9, 2. Alexandra Dunn, South Texas 1:06:03.0, 3. JB Kodera, Florida Swimming 1:06:05.3; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 9. Allison Connors 1:09:21.3, 35. Erin Reid 1:24:20.5, 36. Frankie Ninova 1:31:39.4, 37. Kalina Gitchev 1:32:50.3.
15-16: 1. Claire Stuhlmacher, Florida Swimming 1:01:34.2, 2. Izzy Wilson, Florida Gold Coast 1:02:25.6, 3. Olivia Moore, Florida Swimming 1:03:20.6; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 15. Lilia Blanco 1:08:14.4, 20. Evelyn Balog 1:10:13.3, 27. Amelie Bicerne 1:11.27.3.
17-18: 1. Summer Cardwell, Florida Swimming 1:01:28.4, 2. Cadence Fort, Florida Swimming 1:01:29.7, 3. Blair Stoneburg, Florida Swimming 1:01:32.4; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 6. Samira Zambrano 1:05:51.9, 10. Natalie Gembicki 1:07:27.2, 21. Leslie Dame 1:12:07.0.

BOYS
13-14: 1. Dillon Brigman, Florida Swimming 59:42.9, 2. Andreas Da Silva, Florida Gold Coast 1:01:35.8, 3. Rylan Sepulveda, Florida Swimming 1:01:43.8; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 27. Juan Valmitjana 1:12:01.9, 29. Ryan Harries 1:12:57.4, 33. Kavon Clarke 1:13:40.9.

15-16: 1. Bucky Gettys, South Texas 57:50.9, 2. Ryan Turner, Florida Swimming 1:00.13.5, 3. Jack Culbertson, Gulf 1:00:18.2; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 17. Billy Connors 1:04:18.3, 20. Caleb DaSilva 1:04:55.1, 34. Lucas Young 1:08:17.6, 38. Michael Grenier 1:10:24.1.

17-18: 1. Andrew Taylor, Florida Swimming 57:45.5, 2. Carter Stuhlmacher, Florida Swimming 57:48.0, 3. Connor Fry, Gulf 57:50.3; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 10. Ivan Grass 1:05:22.0, 20. Kolby Hardin 1:09:11.3.

UNOFFICIAL 2K RESULTS
GIRLS

11-12: 1. Charlee McEvoy, Gulf 27:04.8, 2. Annie Shall, NC 27:15.9, 3. Ellison Mandacina, South Texas 27:36.3; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 5. Cali Jerabek 27:50.4, 6. Jemma Baldwin 27:58.9, 13. Gia Euseppi 29:35.5, 20. Alina Rodriguez 31:01.2.

BOYS
11-12: 1. Jorge Guerra, Gulf 25:59.9, 2. Lupo Sgroi, Florida Swimming 26:12.6, 3. Reef McMeeking, Florida Swimming 26:13.2; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 11. Caleb Caponera 27:01.5, 14. Luke Reid 28:09.9, 15. Elan Beker 28:23.3.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

SOFLO Swimmers Compete This Weekend At Southern Zone Open Water Championships


By Sharon Robb
DeLEON SPRINGS, Fl., May 13, 2022—After checking in, swimmers got a chance to warm up Friday for the Southern Zone Open Water Championships Saturday and Sunday at Camp Winona YMCA.

South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented on the Florida Gold Coast zone team with seven swimmers in the two-day event hosted by Hydro4 Swimming and Florida Swimming.

Florida Swimming has won the event for the past three years followed by North Carolina, Gulf Swimming and South Texas Swimming.

On Saturday at 8:15 a.m. the 11-12 2K, 13-14 5K and Senior Open and 15-16 5K races will be held.

Sunday’s events at 8:45 a.m. feature the 11-12 2K Team Pursuit Race; 13-14 2K Team Pursuit Race; 15-16 2K Team Pursuit Race and Open 2K Team Pursuit Race.

The 5K course is a rectangular shape with multiple buoys placed on the course to identify the course boundaries. The start and finish are in-water. The races are being live streamed on YouTube. Results will be posted on Florida Swimming’s open water swimming page.

The water depth off the dock is 15 feet and water temperature is expected to range from 72-78 degrees.

SOFLO’ top qualifier is Natalie Gembicki, 17, who was SOFLO’s top girls’ finisher in the FGC local qualifier placing second in the 17-and-over 5K in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 22 seconds for the 3.1 course off Pompano Beach Pier.

Other SOFLO swimmers are: Juan Vallmitjana, 13, Alexander Miller, 16, Jemma Baldwin, 12, Izzy Wilson, 15, Amelie Bicerne, 15, Ivan Grass, 17 and Ryan Harries, 13.

OPEN WATER ZONE TEAM ROSTERS
GIRLS

11-12, 1. Cali Jerabek, 2. Gia Euseppi, 3. Alina Rodriguez, 4. Jemma Baldwin, SOFLO.
13-14, 1. Erin Reid, 2. Frankie Ninova, 3. Kalina Gitchev, 4. Allison Connors.
15-16, 1. Izzy Wilson, SOFLO, 2. Lily Blanco, 3. Evelyn Balog, 4. Amelie Bicerne, SOFLO.
Open, 1. Leslie Dame, 2. Natalie Gembecki, SOFLO, 3. Samira Zambrano.

BOYS
11-12, 1. Caleb Camponera, 2. Luke Reid.
13-14, 1. Andreas DaSilva, 2. Juan Vallmitjana, SOFLO, 3. Ryan Harries, SOFLO, 4. Kavon Clarke.
15-16, 1. Billy Connors, 2. Caleb DaSilva, 3. Lucas Young, 4. Michael Grenier.
Open, 1. Giuliano Brunetti, 2. Fernando Collazo, 3. Ivan Grass, SOFLO, 4. Kolby Hardin.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

Seven SOFLO Swimmers Make Open Water Zone Team; SOFLO’s Mallory Schleicher Wins Open Water 2K


By Sharon Robb
POMPANO BEACH, May 1, 2022—South Florida Aquatic Club had seven swimmers qualify for the zone team Friday at the Florida Gold Coast Swimming Open Water Championships off Pompano Beach Pier.

Natalie Gembicki, 17, was SOFLO’s top girls’ finisher placing second in the 17-and-over 5K in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 22 seconds for the 3.1 course.

Juan Vallmitjana, 13, and Alexander Miller, 16, were SOFLO boys’ top finishers, both placing their in their age groups. Vallmitjana finished in 1:10:15 for 13-14 and Miller finished in 1:10:19 for 15-16.

Joining Gembicki, Vallmitjana and Miller on the FGC zone team are Jemma Baldwin, 12, Izzy Wilson, 15, Amelie Bicerne, 15, and Ivan Grass, 17.

Mallory Schleicher, 19, was SOFLO’s lone winner in the girls 2K in 16:27, nearly three minutes ahead of Coral Springs’ Reese Maxwell in 19:25.

The Southern Zone Open Water Championship is May 14-15 at Camp Winona YMCA in DeLeon Springs.

FRIDAY RESULTS
GIRLS 5K

13-14, 1. Erin Reid, SAS 1:33.49, 2. Frankie Ninova, CANE 1:39:54, 3. Kalina Gitchev, CANE 1:46:46.
15-16, 1. Lilia Blanco, PB 1:11:29, 2. Evelyn Balog, PB 1:15:43, 3. Amelie Bicerne, SOFLO 1:20:12; SOFLO: 6. Gabriela Avila 1:36:21, 7. Dahlia Hirsh 1:38:09.
17-and-over, 1. Fatima Portillo, Azura 1:11:28, 2. Natalie Gembicki, SOFLO 1:13:22, 3. Samira Zambrano, MWA 1:15:30.
BOYS 5K
13-14, 1. Andreas DaSilva, WOW 1:06:31, 2. Dillon Metz, WOW 1:07:30, 3. Juan Vallmitjana, SOFLO 1:10:15; SOFLO: 4. Ryan Harries 1:19:53.
15-16, 1. Billy Connors, WOW 1:07:01, 2. Caleb Dasilva, WOW 1:08:04, 3. Alexander Miller, SOFLO 1:10:19; SOFLO: 4. Jaden Amores 1:10:53, 5. Hashan Ekanayake 1:12:43, 9. Derek Hau 1:21:38, 10. Abraham Penaloza 1:21:40, 11. Garrett Garcia-Stoddard 1:26:52.
17-and-over, 1 Maximiliano Paccot, Azura 1:00:16, 2. Abraham Flores, Azura 1:02:40, 3. Elias Segovia, Azura 1:02:41; SOFLO: 6. Ivan Grass 1:10:06.
GIRLS 2K
12-and-under, 1. Cali Jerabek, NPB 17:29, 2. Gia Euseppi, NPB 17:40, 3. Alina Rodriguez, PB 17:41, 4. Jemma Baldwin, SOFLO 17:44.
13-14, 1. Nikki Wood, PB 17:50, 2. Lucia Blanco, PB 17:51, 3. Rose Seniuk, SOFLO 18:30.
17-and-over, 1. Mallory Schleicher, SOFLO 16:37, 2. Reese Maxwell, CSSC 19:25.
BOYS 2K
12-and-under, 1. Elan Becker, SAS 18:32, 2. Alejandro Bahos Andrade, WOW 19:05.
13-14, 1. Becket Menacho, PB 16:37, 2. Ethan Persten, CSSC 17:45, 3. Alistair Bass, SFTL 17:56.
15-16, 1. Andrew Smith, PB 17:37, 2. tie, Everhart Fergus, WOW 17:43 and Adriano Brunetti, PB 17:43.
17-and-over, 1. Nick Potter, PB 16:34, 2. Lee Scharf, PB 21:47.

OPEN WATER ZONE TEAM ROSTERS
GIRLS

11-12, 1. Cali Jerabek, 2. Gia Euseppi, 3. Alina Rodriguez, 4. Jemma Baldwin, SOFLO.
13-14, 1. Erin Reid, 2. Frankie Ninova, 3. Kalina Gitchev, 4. Allison Connors.
15-16, 1. Izzy Wilson, SOFLO, 2. Lily Blanco, 3. Evelyn Balog, 4. Amelie Bicerne, SOFLO.
Open, 1. Leslie Dame, 2. Natalie Gembecki, SOFLO, 3. Samira Zambrano.
BOYS
11-12, 1. Caleb Camponera, 2. Luke Reid.
13-14, 1. Andreas DaSilva, 2. Juan Vallmitjana, SOFLO, 3. Ryan Harries, SOFLO, 4. Kavon Clarke.
15-16, 1. Billy Connors, 2. Caleb DaSilva, 3. Lucas Young, 4. Michael Grenier.
Open, 1. Giuliano Brunetti, 2. Fernando Collazo, 3. Ivan Grass, SOFLO, 4. Kolby Hardin.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com

TYR MARCH GIRL SWIMMER OF THE MONTH: Natalie Gembicki


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, April 10, 2022–Natalie Gembicki loves training in her team’s 25-yard pool at Westminster Christian School.

“I love the small atmosphere, it creates a sense of family and I love that vibe,” said Gembicki, 17, a junior at Cutler Bay Senior High School.

At the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships, Gembicki competed in 11 events at Academic Village Pool. She had 10 best times in individual and relay events including six in individual events. She totaled 91 points in high point.

Gembecki’s highest finish at seniors was sixth in the 100-yard individual medley in a best time 59.73, dropping 0.26 seconds. Her biggest time drop was 4.25 seconds in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:03.64 for sixth place.

“I went into senior champs thinking ‘you know what, I’m going to do good at this meet,'” Gembicki said. “I was telling my sister I thought I was going to do really well. I was just ready to swim fast. Before my last race, the 200 IM finals, I went into the Ready Room and I was like ‘All right guys, last race, let’s go crazy.’ I was really hyped up for senior champs.”

Gembicki has been swimming since she was 7. She trained with the Riptides, Big Gators and Gulliver Prep before moving to SOFLO 13 months ago and training with Coach Lou and Great Whites Group.

“I love it, he is the best coach I’ve ever had when I think of all my coaches,” praised Gembicki. “He really puts the work and dedication into coaching his swimmers at every practice.

“I love my teammates, they are so positive during practice. They are there for me and they get me through it. We get each other through it.”

Her two biggest meets have been FGC Senior Championships and FHSAA Class 1A State Championships which she has qualified for three times. She has two USA Swimming Futures cuts in the 200 IM and 100 freestyle and hopes to pick up a few more.

“At states I focused more on my sprinting events and when I focus more on my sprinting I do very well,” Gembicki said. “I swam the 200 free and 100 free and I improved on those at states. At senior champs, I did well in all my other races except the 100 free. I’ve improved on everything this last season.”

Gembicki has a true passion for swimming and is self-motivated to do well.

“When you achieve your goals it’s the best feeling ever,” Gembicki said. “To have your teammates there you form a bond, too. I just love swimming. Then some days you kind of hate it because you don’t do so well at practice or it’s a distance set and it’s boring. But you look back on that, it’s all the memories.”

Swimming has helped her manage her time.

“I go from morning practice to home, I have 30 minutes to get ready for school, then I go to school. Then after school ends, I have 30 minutes we start swim practice and dryland. The rest of the day is relaxing but then you have to do homework. It’s tough but you learn it and it gets easier as you learn it. I’ve been doing it for such a long time it’s now a regular thing.”

With school and swimming Gembicki doesn’t have a lot of free time, but she does love photography and a few of her photos will appear in the school’s yearbook. She’s also done dance, gymnastics and soccer but decided to focus solely on swimming. Making it even better is her mom Deb is a USA Swimming official.

“My mom saw all these swim moms on the pool deck relaxing when I was playing soccer,” Gembicki said. “She introduced me to swimming and I loved it so we continued with that.”

Recently, Gembicki visited the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs where she hopes to continue her swimming and academics. She got a chance to train in high altitude which took some adjusting to. She hopes to be a meteorologist and “fly into hurricanes taking photos that you’ll probably see on the Weather Channel.”

Gembicki also lifeguards at a summer camp at her home pool along with her teammates who are camp swim instructors. “We live at the pool in the summer,” Gembicki said.

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack. Gembicki joins SOFLO teammates Sofia Lugo and Valentina Remmele as 2022 Swimmers of the Month.

SOFLO sponsor TYR is a USA manufacturer of recreational and competitive swimwear, caps, goggles, triathlon gear and accessories and one of the nation’s top companies.

TYR, created by athletes, is named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology. Among its female-sponsored athletes are 2020 Olympians Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, Lilly King, Annie Lazor, Ashley Twichell and other elite swimmers Melanie Margalis, Molly Hannis and Kelsi Dahlia.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com
http://www.swim4soflo.com