Azura Wins Three Events; SOFLO’s Rodriguez Seventh In Prelims At Puerto Rico International Swimming Open


By Sharon Robb
SALINAS, Puerto Rico, April 23, 2022—Despite a pool water problem that forced Friday’s finals to be moved, swimmers overcame the adversity to swim well Saturday morning.

Four of the finals on Friday had to be rescheduled because of an issue with the pool water being cloudy. The events were moved to another pool and four of the finals were held Saturday morning before Saturday’s prelims.

SOFLO’s Enrique Rodriguez, 17, was seventh in the 400-meter freestyle prelims in 4:16.09 on Friday. The final is being rescheduled because of the pool problem.

SOFLO’s Aldo Zepeda, 16, was 27th in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.23.

Azura Florida Aquatics picked up three more wins.

Top-seeded Julimar Avila, 24, of Honduras won the 100-meter butterfly in 1:02.18. She also won the 50-meter butterfly earlier in the meet in 28.40. She was her country’s only woman swimmer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Nicole Frank, 18, of Uruguay won the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.11. She was second in the 50-meter breaststroke in 33.10. She also competed in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Two-time Olympian Abbas Qali, 29, of Kuwait won the 100-meter butterfly in 54.68. He was the only male swimmer to represent Kuwait at the Olympics.

The four-day meet runs through Sunday. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to SOFLO, swimmers from Azura Florida Aquatics (21 swimmers) and Plantation Swim Team (24 swimmers) are among the 35-team field. Swimmers from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Uruguay and Puerto Rico head the field.

The FINA meet is a qualifying event for the May 13-29 19th FINA World Swimming Championship in Hungary and 8th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY MORNING FINALS
WOMEN

100-meter butterfly: 1. Julimar Avila, Azura 1:02.18, 2. Gabriela Robles Cortes, Azura 1:04.58, 3. Alexandria Hope Cotter, FPN 1:04.74.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Nicole Frank Rodriguez, Azura 2:34.11, 2. Emily Santos, MVAC 2:36.14, 3. Elisa Alejandra Funes, GCMST 2:39.86.

MEN
100-meter butterfly: 1. Abbas Qali, Azura 54.68, 2. Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico 54.81, 3. Erick Gordillo, GUA 54.83, 4. Davidson Vincent, Azura 55.00, 9. Renato Herran, PST 57.95.

200-meter breaststroke: 1. Xavier Ruiz, SJC 2:20.41, 2. Ryan Tirado, MST 2:26.62, 3. Jorell Melendez Figueroa, LMDM 2:27.72, 4. Emanuel Cuarta, PST 2:32.34.

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

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Heads Large Florida Gold Coast Contingent At FINA Short Course World Championships; Big Prize Money On The Line


By Sharon Robb
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, December 13, 2021–World record holder Alia Atkinson is expected to take her final bow this week at the 15th FINA Short Course World Championships at Etihad Arena.

The five-day meet begins Thursday and ends Tuesday, Dec. 21. Etihad Arena is Yas Island’s new multi-purpose arena set on the stunning waterfront at Yas Bay.

Atkinson will be joined by SOFLO teammate and 2020 Olympian Julio Horrego, representing Honduras.

Atkinson, a five-time Jamaican Olympian who turned 33 on Dec. 11, is expected to retire from the sport at the end of the year. She recently completed her International Swimming League season with the London Roar, that finished third in the final playoffs.

Atkinson competed in her fifth Olympics in Tokyo where she finished third in her 100-meter breaststroke heat and failed to qualify for the semifinals. She did final in London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 where she finished fourth and eighth respectively.

She told the Jamaica Observer, “If you see me next year, then ask me what happened because that’s not the plan right now.”

Atkinson announced after Tokyo it was her final Olympic appearance.

“It’s funny, looking back the years went by so fast and before I realized it I was looking at the end of it,” Atkinson said. “I wouldn’t trade this journey for anything.”

Atkinson won the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2014 FINA Short Course World Championships in Doha, Qatar. She tied the World Record and gave Jamaica its first swimming gold medal at World Championships. She also took silver in the 50-meter breaststroke in Doha.

The following August, she became the first Jamaican swimmer to win a long course worlds medal when she took bronze in the 100-meter breaststroke and silver in the 50-meter breaststroke at the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan.

Atkinson broke her own world record (28.64) in the 50-meter breaststroke (28.56) at the short course meters 2018 World Cup. Later that year she added two more World Championship gold medals in the 50- and 100-meter breaststrokes and bronze in the 100-meter individual medley.

FINA announced the prize money pool for the meet is more than $2.8 million, including a 50 percent increase in prize money for individual swimmers. There will also be a $50,000 bonus for any swimmer who breaks a world record.

The top eight individual payoffs for first through eighth place are $10,000, $8,000, $7,000, $6,000, $5,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000.

In addition to Atkinson and Horrego, the Florida Gold Coast will be well-represented.

Azura Florida Aquatics is sending eight swimmers. They are Steven Aimable, Senegal; Julimar Avila, Honduras; Nicole Frank, Uruguay; Yeziel Morales, Puerto Rico; Maria Fe Munoz, Peru; Kerry Ollivierre, Grenada; Joaquin Vargas, Peru; and Sidrell Williams, Jamaica.

American Heritage Plantation alum and two-time Olympian Dylan Carter will represent Trinidad and Tobago.

St. Andrew’s alum and Florida State swimmer Izaak Bastian will represent the Bahamas.

Gulliver Prep alum and University of Florida senior Miguel Cancel, who trains summers at SOFLO, will represent Puerto Rico.

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

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Wins Second Gold Medal, Breaks Second Junior Pan American Games Record Twice


By Sharon Robb
CALI, Colombia, November 30, 2021–Patrick Groters of Aruba won his second gold medal and broke his second meet record at the Junior Pan American Games Tuesday at Hernando Botero O’Byrne Swimming Pool.

On the fifth and final night of the inaugural competition, Groters, 22, won the 200-meter individual medley with an exciting finish in 2:02.09, holding off Guatemala’s Erick Gordillo in 2:02.47.

Groters broke his second Junior Pan American Games record in morning prelims in 2:03.93 and came back to break it again in finals in 2:02.09.

The former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club swimmer, now at University of South Carolina, finished with two gold medals, two meet records, two national records, one silver medal and three World Championship qualifying times.

Nicole Frank, 17, of Uruguay and Azura Florida Aquatics, won her first gold medal of the meet in the 200-meter individual medley. She won in a best time 2:17.46, a drop of 0.78. She was second fastest in morning prelims in 2:21.61.

Brazil swept the men’s and women’s team titles.

Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, hosted the first-ever edition of the Junior Pan American Games.

It was a key event in the lead-up to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympics, allowing up-and-coming athletes a new level of competition they didn’t have in past years.

Approximately 3,000 volunteers, 1,400 technical officials and 1,142 other officials participated along with 4,806 athletes from 41 countries and territories affiliated with Panam Sports in 39 sports. The meet was for ages up to 22.

Neither the U.S. or Canada, the region’s most successful countries, sent swim teams to the event although they competed in other sports. Brazil (25), Colombia (25), and Mexico (26) had the largest delegations of swimmers.

The Games were initially scheduled to begin on June 5 but were postponed to September 9 to 19. It was further delayed because of COVID-19 before moving to late November and early December.

WOMEN
1500-meter freestyle: 1. Karen Durango Restrepo, Colombia 17:18.34, 2. Maite Gonzalez Rodriguez, Cuba 17:35.28, 3. Michelle Jativa, Ecuador 17:45.32.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Nicole Frank, Uruguay 2:17.46, 2. Maria Selene Alborzen, Argentina 2:18.99, 3. Fernando De Groeij, Brazil 2:19.32.

MEN
1500-meter freestyle: 1. Gerald Hernandez Huerta, Nicaragua 16:44.64, 2. Juan Jose Bolanos, Costa Rica 16:50.44, 3. Miguel Siwady, Honduras 16:52.42.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Patrick Groters, Aruba 2:02.09, 2. Erick Gordillo, Guatemala 2:02.47, 3. Matheo Mateos, Paraguay 2:04.53.

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

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Medals Again, Breaks National Record At Junior Pan American Games; Brazil Leads Team Standings


By Sharon Robb
CALI, Colombia, November 28, 2021–Patrick Groters of Aruba won his second medal of the inaugural Junior Pan American Games Sunday at Hernando Botero O’Byrne Swimming Pool.

In an exciting men’s 100-meter backstroke, Groters, 22, finished second in a national record 55.75, just behind Mexico’s Diego Camacho Salgado in 55.38. Groters dropped 0.07. He was fourth fastest in morning prelims in 56.63. Earlier in the meet, Groters took gold in the 200 backstroke in the first-ever Junior Pan American Games record.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Gaby Banks, 18, of Florida State who represents Jamaica internationally, was 22nd in the 100-meter freestyle 59.48. She has the 50-meter freestyle left to swim.

Nicole Frank, 17, of Uruguay and Azura was third fastest in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.52. She finished fourth in finals in 2:33.36, a best time with a 0.30 drop.

South Florida Heat’s Micaela Sierra, 17, of Uruguay and Azura was eighth fastest in 2:36.79 in the 200-meter breaststroke and finished sixth in 2:36.41.

Peru’s Joaquin Vargas, 19, of Azura, was eighth fastest qualifier in the 100-meter freestyle in 51.21 and came back in finals to finish seventh in 51.23. Gabriel Araya, 22, of Chile was 22nd in 52.75 and 15th in finals in 52.77.

Brazil leads the men’s and women’s team standings followed by Colombia and Mexico.

Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, is hosting the first-ever edition of the Junior Pan American Games.

It is a key event in the lead-up to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympics, allowing up-and-coming athletes a new level of competition they didn’t have in past years.

Approximately 3,000 volunteers, 1,400 technical officials and 1,142 other officials are participating along with 4,806 athletes from 41 countries and territories affiliated with Panam Sports in 39 sports. The meet is for ages up to 22.

Neither the U.S. or Canada, the region’s most successful countries, sent swim teams to the event although they are competing in other sports. Brazil (25), Colombia (25), and Mexico (26) have the largest delegations of swimmers.

The Games were initially scheduled to begin on June 5 but were postponed to September 9 to 19. It was further delayed because of COVID-19 before moving to late November and early December.

WOMEN
100-meter freestyle:

  1. Stephanie Balduccini, Brazil 54.63, 2. Ana Carolina Vieira, Brazil 55.89, 3. Anicka Delgado, Ecuador 56.32.

200-meter breaststroke:

  1. Martina Lucia Barbeito, Argentina 2:30.17, 2. Bruna Monteiro Leme, Brazil 2:31.15, 3. Maria Selene Alborzen, Argentina 2:32.21.

100-meter backstroke:

  1. Tayde Andrea Sansores De La Fuente, Mexico 1:02.00, 2. Julia Karla Ferreira Goes, Brazil 1:02.82, 3. Celia Del Rocio Pulido Ortiz, Mexico 1:03.24.

800-meter freestyle:

  1. Mayte Gonzalez Rodriguez, Cuba 9:10.66, 2. Danna Alejandra Martinez, Ecuador 9:17.31, 3. Daniela Alfaro, Costa Rica 9:23.10.

MEN
100-meter freestyle:

  1. Breno Martins Correia, Brazil 49.33, 2. Lucas Peixoto, Brazil 49.71, 3. Andres Dupont Cabrera, Mexico 50.37.

200-meter breaststroke:

  1. Andres Eduardo Puente Bustamante, Mexico 2:14.85, 2. Juan Bautista Carrocia, Argentina 2:16.78, 3. Roberto Bonilla Flores, Guatemala 2:17.18.

100-meter backstroke:

  1. Diego Camacho Salgado, Mexico 55.38, 2. Patrick Groters, Aruba 55.75, 3. Jack Kirby, Barbados 56.18.

800-meter freestyle:

  1. Graham Chatoor, Trinidad & Tobago 8:33.58, 2. Juan Jose Bolanos, Costa Rica 8:46.68, 3. Jenry Jahir Lopez, Ecuador 8:48.07.

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

Patrick Groters Flag Bearer For Aruba; Uruguay’s Nicole Frank Top FGC Finisher On Opening Night At Junior Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb
CALI, Colombia, November 27, 2021–The Florida Gold Coast is well-represented at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games at Hernando Botero O’Byrne Swimming Pool.

On opening night Friday, Uruguay’s Nicole Frank, 17, who trains with Azura Florida Aquatics, finished fourth in the 100-meter breaststroke in a best time 1:10.34. She was fastest morning qualifier in a best time 1:10.20. Her previous best was 1:12.70.

Also in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke prelims, Uruguay’s Micaela Sierra of South Florida Heat and Azura was 11th in 1:14.73 and finished third in the consolation in a personal best 1:14.43.

Maria Munoz, 22, of Peru and Azura Florida Aquatics, was fourth fastest qualifier in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:18.65 and finished seventh in 2:20.17.

Azura’s Gabriela Araya, 22, of Chile was ninth fastest in the men’s 200-meter butterfly prelims in 2:05.13. He did not swim finals.

In morning prelims, Peru’s Joaquin Vargas, 19, of Azura Florida Aquatics was sixth fastest in the 400-meter freestyle in 4:02.55. He went on to finish sixth in 3:58.81.

Aruba national team member Patrick Groters was 13th in the 400-meter freestyle prelims in 4:11.07. On Saturday, he will swim the 200-meter backstroke. He is also entered in the 100 backstroke, 200 IM and 400 IM.

Groters, now at University of South Carolina, swam at NSU University School and Pine Crest Swim Club. He was chosen as one of Aruba’s flag bearers in the Opening Ceremonies. Patrick’s older brother Jordy Groters, is coaching Aruba’s swimmers. Jordy Groters also swam at NSU University School, Pine Crest Swim Club and Missouri and founded and now coaches Giants Aquatics Aruba.

Cali, the capital of Valle del Cauca, is hosting the first-ever edition of the Junior Pan American Games.

It is a key event in the lead-up to the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games and Paris 2024 Olympics, allowing up-and-coming athletes a new level of competition they didn’t have past years.

Approximately 3,000 volunteers, 1,400 technical officials and 1,142 other officials are participating along with 4,806 athletes from 41 countries and territories affiliated with Panam Sports in 39 sports. The meet is for ages up to 22.

Neither the U.S. or Canada, the region’s most successful countries, sent swim teams to the event although they are competing in other sports. Brazil (25), Colombia (25), and Mexico (26) have the largest delegations of swimmers.

The Games were initially scheduled to begin on June 5 but were postponed to September 9 to 19. It was further delayed because of COVID-19 before moving to late November and early December.

WOMEN
400-meter freestyle:

  1. Maria Paula Heitmann, Brazil 4:17.64, 2. Lucia Gauna, Argentina 4:19.14, 3. Delfina Dini, Argentina 4:19.24.

100-meter breaststroke:

  1. Martina Lucia Barbeito, Argentina 1:08.74, 2. Giulia Oliveira Carvalho, Brazil 1:10.24, 3. Bruna Monteiro Leme, Brazil 1:10.27.

200-meter butterfly:

  1. Karen Durango Restrepo, Colombia 2:13.51, 2. Rafaela Trevisan Raurich, Brazil 2:14.58, 3. Samantha Banos, Colombia 2:15.90.

400-meter freestyle relay: 1. Brazil 3:45.06, 2. Mexico 3:49.97, 3. Colo,bia 3:51.05.

MEN
400-meter freestyle:

  1. Santi Corredor, Colombia 3:53.14, 2. Eduardo de Moraes, Brazil 3:53.23, 3. Juan Manuel Morales Restrepo, Colombia 3:57.26.

100-meter breaststroke:

  1. Mariano Lazzerini, Chile 1:02.28, 2. Andres Puente Bustamante, Mexcico 1:02.29, 3. Bernhard Christianson, Panama 1:03.16.

200-meter butterfly:

  1. Matheus Gonche, Brazil 1:59.63, 2. Roberto Bonilla Flores, Guatemala 2:01.08, 3. Kayky Mota, Brazil 2:01.60.

400-meter freestyle relay:

  1. Brazil 3:17.14, 2. Mexico 3:24.02, 3. Colombia 3:24.40.

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