Cutler Bay, Miami Beach Win Team Titles In Weather-Shortened Ransom-Everglades School Invite; SOFLO Girl Swimmers Dominate

By Sharon Robb
COCONUT GROVE, September 17, 2022–Cutler Bay and Miami Beach won the girls and boys team titles in the lightning-abbreviated 24th annual Ransom Everglades Invite Saturday at Ansin Aquatics Center.

The timed final eight-team meet was called during the boys’ 100-yard backstroke and girls’ 100 breaststroke heats because of lightning but not before South Florida Aquatic Club girls came up big for Cutler Bay.

Cutler Bay, led by SOFLO swimmers’ six individual event victories and one relay win, won the girls team title with 356 points. Carrollton was runner-up with 339.

Miami Beach, led by double winner Marcoaurelio Lopez-Casula, won the boys team title with 424.5 points. Ransom-Everglades was runner-up with 372 points.

Host Ransom-Everglades, buoyed by depth, won the combined team title with 696 points. Cutler Bay was second with 612. They were the only teams to top the 600-point mark.

SOFLO’s Maddy Smutny and Natalie Gembicki were double winners for Cutler Bay.

Smutny, a senior, won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:57.18 and 500-yard freestyle in 5:12.24 ahead of SOFLO teammate Izzy Wilson of Carrollton in 5:16.03.

Gembicki, also a senior, won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:17.00 and 100-yard freestyle in 55.81.

Other Cutler Bay/SOFLO winners were freshman Jenesys Amores in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:04.31 and sophomore Katelyn Gembicki in the 50-yard freestyle in 25.69.

The SOFLO foursome of Amores, Elise Dinehart, Maddy Smutny and Natalie Gembecki won the 200-yard medley relay for Cutler Bay in 1:55.96.

Olivia Dinehart swam an exhibition in the 200-yard individual medley race in 2:12.34. Dinehart was set to take the SAT but for some reason her registration got canceled and meet organizers would not allow her to enter late.

Cutler Bay junior Austin Nelson was the lone SOFLO boys winner. Nelson won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:53.49 and was a member of the third place 200-yard medley relay team that finished in 1:48.44 with Nicholas Mejia, Jaden Amores and Armando Bertea.

Marcoaurelio Lopez-Casula of Miami Beach was a double winner in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.23 and 100-yard freestyle in 47.50.


  1. Ransom-Everglades 696, 2. Cutler Bay 612, 3. Miami Beach 525.5, 4. Miami Country Day 485, 5. Immaculata-La Salle 226, 6. Westminster Christian 193, 7. Doctors Charter School 63.5, 8. Keys Gate Charter 44.


  1. Cutler Bay 356, 2. Carrollton 339, 3. Ransom-Everglades 324, 4. Miami Country Day 270, 5. Miami Beach 101, 6. Immaculata-La Salle 88, 7. Westminster Christian 84, 8. Doctors Charter School 33, 9. Keys Gate Charter 14.
    200-yard medley relay: 1. Cutler Bay 1:55.96 (Jenesys Amores, Elise Dinehart, Maddy Smutny, Natalie Gembicki), 2. Carrollton 2:01.36 (Izzy Wilson, Alexandra De Angulo, Katia Alonso, Mila Fanjul), 3. Ransom Everglades 2:01.42.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Maddy Smutny, CB 1:57.18, 2. Hannah Webb, MCDS 2:00.69, 3. Izzy Wilson, CAR 2:02.23.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Natalie Gembicki, CB 2:17.00, 2. Elise Dinehart, CB 2:23.58, 3. Sophia Lindfield, RANS 2:26.76; EXHIB: Olivia Dinehart, CB 2:12.34.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Katelyn Gembicki, CB 25.69, 2. Marcella Orlandini, ILAS 25.89, 3. Luna Balzano, MB 26.63.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Kiera Rampersad, RANS 58.59, 2. Hannah Webb, MC 59.72, 3. Alexandra De Angulo, CAR 1:03.23, 4. Lydia Smutny, CB 1:05.10.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Natalie Gembicki, CB 55.81, 2. Marcella Orlandini, ILAS 56.56, 3. Katelyn Gembicki, CB 57.84.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Maddy Smutny, CB 5:12.24, 2. Izzy Wison, CAR 5:16.03, 3. Caitlin Martinez, CB 5:30.64, 4. Jenesys Amores, CB 5:30.96.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Miami Country Day 1:50.32 (Hannah Webb, Sidney Lydecker, Madison Castro, Olivia Quintaine), 2. Cutler Bay 1:51.32 (Katelyn Gembicki, Ainsley Miller, Lydia Smutny, Caitlin Martinez), 3. Ransom Everglades 1:56.85.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Jenesys Amores, CB 1:04.31, 2. Lydia Smutny, CB 1:06.89, 3. Sophia Linfield, RANS 1:07.76.

100-yard breaststroke: CANCELLED LIGHTNING
400-yard freestyle relay: CANCELLED LIGHTNING


  1. Miami Beach 424.5, 2. Ransom- Everglades 372, 3. Cutler Bay 256, 4. Miami Country Day 215, 5. Immaculata-La Salle 138, 6. Westminster Christian 109, 7. Doctors Charter School 30.5, 8. Keys Gate Charter 30.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Miami Beach 1:40.99 (Andy Serrano-Pena, Marcoaurelio Lopez-Casula, Leonardo Lopez-Casula, Tomas Fermin), 2. Ransom Everglades 1:47.42, 3. Cutler Bay 1:48.44 (Austin Nelson, Nicholas Mejia, Jaden Amores, Armando Bertea).

200-yard freestyle: 1. Tomas Fermin, MB 1:46.05, 2. Ethan Sullivan, RANS 1:55.23, 3. Mathias Alvarado, MB 1:56.79.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Dylan Smiley, MC 1:56.03, 2. Pablo Lopez Franco, ILAS 1:58.16, 3. Lucas Franchak, ILAS 2:10.08, 4. Nicholas Pelaez, CB 2:11.91.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Marcoaurelio Lopez-Casula, MB 21.23, 2. Victor Perez, RANS 24.03, 3. Julius Reus, MC 24.10.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Andy Serrano-Pena, MB 53.11, 2. Nohan Gomez, RANS 54.45, 3. Leonardo Lopez-Casula, MB 55.13, 6. Jaden Amores, CB 56.46.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Marcoaurelio Lopez-Casula, MB 47.50, 2. Evan Wilson, DR 49.53, 3. Mathias Alvarado, MB 52.83.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Austin Nelson, CB 4:53.49, 2. Nicholas Pelaez, CB 5:08.34, 4. Ethan Sullivan, RANS 5:09.28.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Immaculata La Salle 1:34.77 (Lucas Young, Joaquin Espinal, Lucas Franchak, Pablo Lopez Franco), 2. Miami Beach 1:35.66, 3. Ransom Everglades 1:37.75.

100-yard backstroke: CANCELLED LIGHTNING
100-yard breaststroke: CANCELLED LIGHTNING
400-yard freestyle relay: CANCELLED LIGHTNING

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Podkoscielny, Crooks, Winkler Top FGC Finishers On Day Two Of USA Swimming Futures Championship

By Sharon Robb
CARY, N.C., July 28, 2022—It was another fast night of swimming at the USA Swimming Futures Championship Thursday at Triangle Aquatic Center.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s top finisher was its women’s 800-meter freestyle relay, placing 14th in 8:39.90 with Elena Dinehart, Maddie Smutny, Natalie Gembicki and Olivia Dinehart. SOFLO women are 16th among 52 teams.

Other Thursday SOFLO results:
Javier Colmenares, 16, 100 breaststroke time trial, 3. 1:07.43.
Elena Dinehart, 17, 100 backstroke, 26. 1:05.80, prelims; 25. 1:05.09.
Natalie Gembicki, 17, 100 freestyle, 102. 1:00.86.
Alex Golding, 18, 100 backstroke time trials, 1. 1:02.18; 400 IM, 48. 4:46.90.
Sophia Grubbs, 17, 100 freestyle time trial 1:03.38.
Ricardo Roche, 22, 100 backstroke, 18. 58.71, 0.95 drop.
Rafael Rodriguez, 20, 100 freestyle, 97. 54.40.
Mallory Schleicher, 18, 400 IM, 28. 5:07.91 prelims; 25. 4:45.92, finals.
Izzy Wilson, 15, 100 freestyle time trial, 1:03.61.

SOFLO has thirteen swimmers (seven girls and six boys) competing in 48 individual events and one relay.

Among Florida Gold Coast swimmer highlights:

Julia Podkoscielny, 17, prepping for next month’s Junior Pan Pacs, won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:46.37. She was second fastest in prelims in 4:52.36. In an exciting 100 meter backstroke race, she finished second in 1:02.31, dropping 1.10. Lily Cleason, 17, of Club Wolverine won in 1:02.25. Podkoscielny was third fastest in 1:03.18, dropping 0.23. Pine Crest Swimming is eighth among women’s teams with 37 points, all scored by Podkoscielny.

Jillian Crooks, 16, of TS Aquatics was second in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.56, dropping 0.29 seconds. Addison Sauickie, 16, of Sarasota Sharks won in 55.66.

Kaii Winkler, 16, of Eagle Aquatics was third in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.75. Macguire McDuff, 19, of Bolles won in 49.06 and Michael Cotter, 19, of TAC Titans was second in 49.65.

The Futures Championship is designed as an intermediate step between Sectional Championships and Junior Nationals or National Championships, and open to swimmers of all ages who have time standards. The seventh edition of Futures is one of five around the nation.

Swimmers from the following LSCs are eligible to compete including Florida Gold Coast, Florida Swimming, Southeastern, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Indiana.

1. TAC Titans 596, 2. Sarasota Sharks 382, 3. Club Wolverine 285.5, 4. Bolles 268, 5. Chattahoochee Gold 124, 13. TS Aquatics 43, 16. Pine Crest Swimming, 22. Eagle Aquatics 28, 32. SOFLO 15, 36. Treasure Coast 11, 36. Miami Country Day 11, 39. Metro Aquatics 7, 45. Midtown Weston 4.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. TAC Titans 339, 2. Bolles 229, 3. Sarasota Sharks 111, 4. Club Wolverine 101, 5. Dynamo 53, 13. Eagle Aquatics 28, 14. TS Aquatics 26, 27. Miami Country Day 11.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Sarasota Sharks 271, 2. TAC Titans 257, 3. Club Wolverine 184.5, 4. Chattahoochee Gold 112, 5. Blue Dolfins 76.5, 8. Pine Crest Swimming 37, 15. TS Aquatics 17, 16. SOFLO 15, 24. Treasure Coast 11, 25. Metro Aquatics 7, 33. Midtown Weston 4.

100-meter freestyle: 1. Addison Sauickie, SYS 55.66, 2. Jillian Crooks, TS Aquatics 56.56, 3. Meredith Whelehan, TAC 56.92; FGC: 18. Gioia Balzano, EA 58.06.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Julia Podkoscielny, Pine Crest Swimming 4:46.37, 2. Hannah Bellard, CW 4:47.67, 3. Michaela Mattes, SYS 4:48.13; SOFLO: 25. Mallory Schleicher 4:58.92, time drop 0.13; FGC: 26. Riley Botting, PC 5:00.19.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Lily Cleason, CW 1:02.25, 2. Julia Podkoscielny, PCS 1:02.31, time drop 1.10, 3. Taylor Morris, TAC 1:02.90; SOFLO: 25. Elena Dinehart 1:05.09.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Sarasota Sharks A 8:10.77, 2. TAC Titans 8:17.61, 3. Club Wolverine 8:22.57, 14. SOFLO 8:39.90 (Elena Dinehart, Maddie Smutny, Natalie Gembicki, Olivia Dinehart).

100-meter freestyle: 1. Macguire McDuff, Bolles 49.06, 2. Michael Cotter, TAC 49.65, 3. Kaii Winkler, Eagle Aquatics 49.75, 25. Dylan Smiley, MCDA 52.14, 27. Finn Winkler, Eagle Aquatics 52.75.

400-meter individual medley: 1. Michael Mullen, Bolles 4:21.50, 2. Lance Norris, TAC 4:22.59, 3. Amadeusz Knop, SYS 4:26.16.

100-meter backstroke: 1. Matthew Menke, HA 55.50, 2. Derek Maas, MLA 56.32, 3. Braeden Haughey, TAC 56.82; FGC: 14. Kaii Winkler, EA 58.76, 21. Finn Winkler, EA 59.09.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. TAC Titans A 7:27.72, 2. Bolles 7:36.93, 3. TAC Titans B 7:37.74, 10. TS Aquatics 7:51.48.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Begin Competing Wednesday At USA Swimming Futures Championship

By Sharon Robb
CARY, N.C., July 26, 2022—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will be among a talented field when the USA Swimming Futures Championship begins Wednesday at Triangle Aquatic Center.

The Futures Championship is designed as an intermediate step between Sectional Championships and Junior Nationals or National Championships, and open to swimmers of all ages who have time standards.

SOFLO’s talented contingent includes Javier Colmenares, 16; Elena Dinehart, 17; Olivia Dinehart, 17; Natalie Gembicki, 17; Alex Golding, 18; Sophia Grubbs, 17; Austin Nelson, 16; Wisthon Rendon, 18; Ricardo Roche, 22; Rafael Rodriguez, 20; Mallory Schleicher, 18; Maddie Smutny, 17; and Izzy Wilson, 15.

SOFLO swimmers (seven girls and six boys) will compete in 48 individual events and one relay.

Other notable swimmers competing are: Julia Podkoscielny of Pine Crest Swimming; Kaii Winkler of Eagle Aquatics; Heidi Smithwick, Jupiter Dragons; Addison Sauickie and Gracie Weyant of Sarasota Sharks; Jillian Crooks of TS Aquatics; Hannah Bellard of Club Wolverine; Davidson Vincent of Azura; and Lismar Lyon of Midtown Weston

Podkoscielny, 17, seeded first in the 400 IM (4:43.57) and 200 backstroke (2:12.42) is prepping for Junior Pan Pacs.

The seventh edition of Futures is one of five around the nation. In previous years, there were four hosting sites for four designated regions. The Board of Directors added another site and adjusted the boundary map to accommodate the fifth region.

Swimmers from the following LSCs are eligible to compete including Florida Gold Coast, Florida Swimming, Southeastern, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Indiana.

The other Futures sites are Geneva, Ohio; Minneapolis; College Station, Tex. and Santa Clara, Calif. The meets are capped at 800 swimmers.

Wednesday events are men’s and women’s 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter breaststroke, 200-meter butterfly, 800-meter freestyle and 1500-meter freestyle. The 800, 1500 and all relays are timed final events. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m.

Stanford-bound Josh Zuchowski of FAST is competing in this week’s U.S. Summer Nationals in Irvine, Calif. The meet, which began Tuesday, is a lead-up to the Junior Pac Pacific Championships in Hawaii in August for him. He is entered in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, 100 butterfly and 200 IM. He is coming off last week’s FGC Senior Championships. In Tuesday morning’s prelims, Erika Pelaez, 16, of Eagle Aquatics turned in a 54.65 lifetime best in the 100-meter freestyle prelims of U.S. Nationals to move from No. 38 to seventh in the 15-16 year-old rankings.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Auld, Campbell Shine; Horrego, Dinehart Sisters, Women’s Relay Top Finishers For Second Place SOFLO At Southern Zone South Sectional Championships

By Sharon Robb
PLANTATION, July 7, 2022—Two swimmers coming off the 19th FINA World Aquatics Championships had plenty left in the tank Thursday at the Southern Zone South Sectional Championships at Plantation Aquatic Complex.

A week after competing in the 25K open water event in Budapest Hungary, Anna Auld, 19, of St. Andrew’s Aquatics won the 800-meter freestyle in 8:51.08, just 0.11 off her entry time.

In Hungary, the University of Florida freshman was the top American finisher in the 25K, placing seventh in 5:25:25.60, just two minutes off the leader. She was also 20th in the 5K in 1:00:57.20.

In the best men’s race of the evening, Jamaican Kito Campbell, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics out-touched South Florida Aquatic Club’s Julio Horrego, 23, by 1/100ths of a second to win the 50-meter breaststroke 28.65-28.66. They were the only two swimmers to dip below 29 seconds among the 31-swimmer field. In Hungary, Campbell competed in the 50 and 100 breaststrokes.

In the men’s 800 freestyle, Philip Moldovanu, 19, of the Wahoos of Wellington won in 8:26.75 ahead of Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Dylan Felt in 8:29.21. SOFLO’s Enrique Rodriguez, 17, dropped 3.12 seconds off his 800 time in 8:46.77 to finish 13th.

South Florida Aquatic Club had three swimmers among the top three finishers in their events. In addition to Horrego, Elena Dinehart, 17, was third in the 50-meter backstroke in 31.39. Olivia Dinehart, 17, was third in the 50-meter breaststroke in 33.87.

SOFLO’s women’s 800-meter freestyle relay was third in 8:44.81 with Olivia Dinehart, Natalie Gembicki, Mallory Schleicher and Elena Dinehart.

SOFLO women and men’s teams are both second among 50 teams. Azura leads the men’s team standings and Planet Swim Aquatics lead the women’s.

On Friday and Saturday, prelims are 8 a.m. and finals 6 p.m. On Sunday, prelims are 8 a.m., 1500-meter freestyle distance events 3:15 p.m. and finals at 5 p.m.

SOFLO has 29 swimmers (16 girls and 13 boys) qualified in 131 individual events (77 girls and 54 boys) and 10 relays.

Some of the top teams entered are Azura Florida Aquatics, St. Petersburg Swimming, Treasure Coast Swimming, Flood Aquatics, Sarasota Tsunami, Pine Crest Swimming, Eagle Aquatics and Gulliver Swim Club.

: 1. Planet Swim Aquatics 125, 2. SOFLO 93, 3. Azura 77, 4. FAST 62, 5. Academy Aquatics 57, 6. Berkeley 48, 7. Golden Panther 38, 8. Pine Crest 36, 9. Hurricane Aquatics 35.5, 10. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 33.
MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Azura 145, 2. SOFLO 87.5, 3. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 81, 4. Academy Aquatic 73.5, 5. Plantation Swim Team 49, 6. Planet Swim 43, 7. Metro Aquatics 41, 8. FAST 36, 9. Gulf Coast 31, 10. Eagle Aquatics 21.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Anna Auld, St. Andrew’s Swimming 8:51.08, 2. Riley Botting, PC 9:11.06, 3. Cadence Fort, GCST 9:11.44; SOFLO: 10. Izzy Wilson 9:25.16, 12. Mallory Schleicher 9:25.82.

50-meter butterfly: 1. Kelsie Campbell, GPA 28.73, 2. Mia Zahab, GPA 28.97, 3. Adrianna Cera, CANE 28.97; SOFLO: 25. Natalie Gembicki 30.19, 26. Molly Golding 30.24, 39. Sara Quintero 31.90.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Annie Wohlgemuth, PSA 31.04, 2. Alyssa Bozzuto, FAST 31.15, 3. Elena Dinehart, SOFLO 31.39; SOFLO: 21. Gabriella DeLuna 33.31, 29. Sara Quintero 34.29.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Alyssa Bozzuto, FAST 33.77, 2. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 33.80, 3. Olivia Dinehart, SOFLO 33.87; SOFLO: 8. Ana Villamil 34.26, 11. Sophia Grubbs 34.55, 15. Molly Golding 35.01, 37. Mariann Catalasan 37.17, 48. Sally Golding 39.47.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Planet Swim Aquatics 8:41.49, 2. Azura 8:44.48, 3. SOFLO A 8:44.81 (Olivia Dinehart, Natalie Gembicki, Mallory Schleicher, Elena Dinehart).

800-meter freestyle: 1. Philip Moldovanu, WOW 8:26.75, 2. Dylan Felt, SFTL 8:29.21, 3. Cole Firile, SRQ 8:30.98; SOFLO: 13. Enrique Rodriguez 8:46.77, time drop 3.12

50-meter butterfly: 1. Mitchell Ledford, Treasure Coast 24.50, 2. Josiah Morales, PAQ 25.12, 3. Kaii Winkle, EA 25.18; SOFLO: 23. Alejandro Mateus 27.89.

50-meter backstroke: 1. Josh Zuchowski, FAST 27.09, 2. Lance Lesage, PC 27.63, 3. Steven Aimable, Azura 27.97; SOFLO: 6. Ricardo Roche 28.94, 8. Aldo Zepeda 29.04, 12. Alex Golding 29.80, 27. Nathaniel Garrick 32.42.

50-meter breaststroke: 1. Kito Campbell, Azura 28.65, 2. Julio Horrego, SOFLO 28.66, 3. Noah Sipowski, FAST 30.17; SOFLO: 11. Javier Colmenares 31.33, 13. Manuel Melendez 31.49.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Azura 7:46.43, 2. Academy Aquatic Club 7:49.81, 3. St. Andrew’s Aquatics 7:58.88, 5. SOFLO A 8:07.41 (Agustin Rodriguez, Ricardo Roche, Wisthon Rendon, Alex Golding).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

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.


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.

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.


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.

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

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.


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.

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

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.


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.
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.
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.
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.


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.
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


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