October 10, 2014

Kellie Wilcox of South Florida Aquatic Club is the Nike Swimmer of the Month for September.

Wilcox, 13, an eighth grader at Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines, has only been swimming for four years but has made remarkable progress.

Wilcox recently moved up to the Senior Development Group and is working on making her qualifying cuts for the Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics.

Her introduction to swimming was at a summer camp in Davie.

“I took lessons there and liked it,” Wilcox remembered. “I guess I was pretty good at it. What I liked about it was I didn’t sweat.”

She credits her SOFLO coaches, particularly Rose Lockie, for helping her progress in the sport. The former cheerleader started swimming at SOFLO in 2010.

“It’s mostly been because of my coaches,” Wilcox said. “Coach Rose helped me with my strokes. When I was in Bronze Group I knew I really needed to step up my game.

“I really like the sport,” she said. “It keeps me in shape and I get to hang out with my friends. I can be myself in the water. I made all these friends when I started swimming.”

Her favorite events are the 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard breaststroke.

“I am on the path of becoming better,” said Wilcox, who hopes to swim at West Broward High School next season as a freshman.

Wilcox, who is 5-foot-6 ½, qualified for her first JOs at age 12. She competed in the 50 backstroke, 100 backstroke, 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 50 breaststroke and 100 breaststroke.

“I was really excited to be at JOs no matter what happened,” Wilcox said. “I am happy with my swimming. I am training for Winter Championships and trying to make my first JO cut this weekend.”

Wilcox joins other SOFLO Swimmers of the Month sisters Kathleen and Molly Golding for January, Sebastian Sierra for February, Jessica Rodriguez for March, Leonardo Mateus for April, Rafael Rodriguez for May, Valentina Carrion for June, Erika Pelaez for July and Isabella Di Salvo for August.

The Nike Swimmer of the Month award, chosen by the SOFLO coaching staff, is awarded each month to the swimmer who excels at both swim meets and practice sessions.—Sharon Robb

Sharon Robb can be reached at