Carter, Cancel, Ponson, Cooper Shine On Day Four Of XVIII Pan American Games; Pine Crest’s Santander Swims 200 IM On Final Day Sunday


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 10, 2019—Past and present South Florida swimmers were among top finishers in the “A” and “B” finals Friday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional Aquatic Center.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad and Tobago won the “B” final of the 50-meter freestyle in 22.67. Aruba’s Mikel Schreuders was third in 22.89.

South Florida Aquatic Club’s Miguel Cancel of Puerto Rico was third in the “B” final of the 400-meter individual medley in 4:28.54. Cancel and Azura’s Yeziel Morales of were members of Puerto Rico’s fifth-place 4×200-meter freestyle relay that fini9shed in 7:36.13.

Pine Crest Swimming’s Andrea Santander and NSU University School’s Mariangela Cincotti of Azura were members of Venezuela’s eighth place 4×200-meter freestyle relay that finished in 8:33.91.

Aruba’s Allyson Ponson of Azura Florida Aquatics was third in the “B” final of the 50-meter freestyle in 26.19. American Heritage alum Cathy Cooper of Panama was eighth in 27.01.

Individual winners on Friday night:

Brazil sprinter Etiene Medeiros won the 50-meter freestyle gold medal in 24.88. It was Brazil’s first medal in this event at the Pan American Games. She was the only woman under 25 seconds. Americans Margo Geer (25.03) and Madison Kennedy (25.14) were second and third.

Brazilian Bruno Fratus won his first gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle for the first time in three Pan American Games after back-to-back silvers. The 30-year-old won in 21.61 ahead of Americans Nathan Adrian in a season-best 21.87 and Michael Chadwick in 21.99. Former local swimmer Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Surinam was eighth in 22.58.

Camille Cieplucha of Canada won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:39.90. Argentine Virginia Bardach was second in 4:41.05.

American Charles Swanson won the 400-meter individual medley in 4:11.46. Bolles alum Santi Corredor of Colombia was eighth in 4:35.44.

The U.S. women’s team won the 4×200-meter freestyle relay in 7:57.33 with Margo Geer, Lia Neal, Claire Rasmus and Meaghan Raab.

Brazil’s men’s 4×200-meter freestyle relay won gold in a Pan Ams record 7:10.66 with Luiz Melo, Fernando Scheffer, Joao De Lucca and Breno Correia. The U.S. was second in 7:14.82.

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

Aruba’s Patrick Groters Breaks Second National Record; El Salvador’s Celina Marquez Of Azura Breaks National Record; Carter Takes Bronze Day Three Of XVIII Pan American Games


By Sharon Robb

LIMA, Peru, August 9, 2019—Patrick Groters of Aruba continued to make history for his country with a second national record Thursday at the XVIII Pan American Games at Villa Deportiva Nacional Aquatic Center.

The former NSU University School and Pine Crest Swimming alum just missed his second final, placing ninth in the men’s 100-meter backstroke and making “B” final but did break his second national record for Aruba in a personal-best 56.20. He broke his own record of 57.17 set in 2017 at the CARIFTA Championships.

In an exciting “B” final race, Groters was second in another best time and lowering his national record in 55.82 just 4/100ths of a second behind Azura’s Yeziel Morales of Puerto Rico in 55.78. Groters is being coached by his older brother Jordy.

Morales finished fourth in his heat in 56.53. He finished fifth overall in 200-meter backstroke on Wednesday in 2:00.27.

Azura Florida Aquatics’ Celina Marquez, 20, of El Salvador swam a national record in the 100-meter backstroke in a lifetime-best 1:01.92. Her previous best was 1:02.92 in April at the Puerto Rico Open. She also swam 1:02.96 at the recent FINA World Aquatic Championships. She earned the fifth-fastest time. Her splits were 29.96 and 31.96, breaking the national record by more than two and a half seconds. In finals, she finished seventh in 1:03.07.

American Heritage alum Dylan Carter of Trinidad & Tobago 100-meter won a bronze medal in the 100-meter backstroke final in 54.42.

Groters’ Aruba teammate Mikel Schreuders, 20, swam the fastest time in his career to break a national record in the 100-meter freestyle in 49.08. His splits were 23.74 and 25.34 to earn the third seed for final. His previous best was 49.17 swam at the 2018 Central American & Caribbean Games. He came back at night to finish sixth in 49.21.

Azura’s Allyson Ponson of Aruba won the “B” final in the 100-meter freestyle in 57.06. In prelims she was ninth in 57.28 to make “B” final.

Former SOFLO swimmer Jorge Murillo won the “B” final in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:13.59 after going 2:14.09 in his heat. He was also a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in 3:55.22.

Renzo Tjon-A-Joe of Surinam was fourth in the 100-meter freestyle heats in 49.73.

Azura and Cypress Bay alum Marco Guarente, now at Florida, qualified for the “A” final of 200-meter breaststroke, where he finished seventh in 2:14.40.

Azura alum Marcelo Acosta of El Salvador, now at Louisville, was fifth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:00.98.

Mateo Gonzalez of Mexico, a Sagemont and Azura alum qualified for the “B” final on Wednesday in 100-meter butterfly and finished second in 54.09.

Azura alum Luis Martinez won a silver medal in 100-meter butterfly in 51.63 behind American Tom Shields in 51.59 Wednesday night.

Azura alum Jose Angel Martinez of Mexico, now at Texas A&M, was fifth in 200-meter butterfly in 1:59.23 Wednesday night.

Azura’s Julio Horrego of Honduras was fourth in the “B” final of 200-meter breaststroke in 2:17.90 after going 2:18.21 in his heat.

Doral alum Isabella Paez was a member of Venezuela’s mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fourth in its heat in 4:03.18.

American Heritage alum Cathy Cooper of Panama was a member of the mixed 4×100-meter medley relay that finished fifth in its heat in 4:06.11 and sixth in finals in 3:58.10.

Individual winners on Thursday night:

American Margo Greer, top qualifier, led from start-to-finish to win the 100-meter freestyle in 54.17.

Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini outsprinted American Nathan Adrian to win the 100-meter freestyle in 48.09 and snap the Americans win streak. Adrian finished in 48.17.

American Anne Lazor won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record 2:21.40.

American William Licon won the 200-meter breaststroke in a Pan Am record of 2:07.62.

American Phoebe Bacon won the 100-meter backstroke in 59.47, the only swimmer under 1 minute.

American Daniel Carr won the 100-meter backstroke in 53.50.

Argentina’s Delfina Pignatiello continues to dominate the distance events winning the 800-meter freestyle in 8:29.42. American Mariah Denigan was second in 8:34.18. U.S. teammate Becca Mann, a former Clearwater swimmer, was fifth in 8:38.25.

American Andrew Abruzzo won the 800-meter freestyle in 7:54.70.

Brazil won the 4×100-meter medley relay in 3:48.61. The U.S. team of Anne Lazor, Kendyl Stewart, Cody Miller and Nathan Adrian was disqualified for an illegal second dolphin kick on Miller’s breaststroke.

The U.S. won 11 medals including six gold on Day 3 and broke two Pan American records.

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

Tjon A Joe Wins Second Gold Medal, Neckles Breaks FINA Masters World Record On Final Day Of CCCAN Swimming Championships In Barbados


By Sharon Robb

CHRISTCHURCH, BARBADOS, July 3, 2019—Renzo Tjon A Joe of Suriname swept the freestyle events on the fifth and final day of the 32nd Central American and Caribbean Aquatic Championships [CCCAN] Tuesday at National Aquatic Centre.

The Olympian and national record holder won the 50-meter freestyle in 22.70. He was top seed after prelims in 22.78. The day before he won the 100-meter freestyle in 50.35 after going 50.18 in the morning.

SOFLO’s Diego Nazario, 12, of Puerto Rico finished his successful week with a second-place finish as a member of the 4×100-meter medley relay in 4:31.79. His butterfly split was 1:04.98. He was 14th in his final individual event, 50-meter freestyle in 28.06. He finished with 11 points.

SOFLO teammate Sebastian Lares, 14, of Panama was a member of the fourth place 4×100-meter medley relay in 4:20.28. His breaststroke split was 1:14.10. He was 12th in the 200-meter backstroke in a best time 2:23.00 with a time drop of 0.57. He finished with seven points.

Jamaica’s Gaby Banks of SOFLO and Nicholas Vale are shortlisted for the FINA Junior World Championship set for August 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary.

At age 40, Nicky Neckles of Barbados broke the FINA Masters world record in the 40-44 age group in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:09.08 and won the event, beating swimmers more than half his age. The previous record was 2:10.57.

An estimated 500 athletes from 29 countries are competed. Several participants were attempting to qualify for the World Championship and Pan American Games before the July 3 deadline.

Twenty eight countries were represented at the swimming championships including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicente and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

CCCAN is an age group swimming championship with 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and 18-and-over age categories.

TUESDAY RESULTS
GIRLS

400-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Diana Paola Gomez Ruiz, MEX 4:39.43; 13-14, 1. Maria Yegres, VEN 4:28.53; 15-17, 1. Michelle Ramiez, HON 4:30.57; 18-and-over, 1. Silvia Garza Castro, MEX 4:31.59.

50-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Amari Ash, TTO 28.37; 13-14, 1. Miriam Sheehan, PUR 26.74; 15-17, 1. Elizabeth Timmer, ARU 26.92; 3. Gaby Banks, JAM 27.13/27.17; 18-and-over, 1. Cherelle Thompson, TTO 26.08. 3. Cathy Cooper, PAN 26.87/26.94, 7. Lauren Hew, CAY 27.57/27.87.

100-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Kokolo Foster, JAM 1:19.01; 13-14, 1. Emily Santos, PAN 1:13.40; 15-17, 1. Elisa Alejandra Funes, ESA 1:16.90, Gaby Banks, JAM, scratch; 18-and-under, 1. Anahi Schreuders, ARU 1:14.57.

200-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido, DOM 2:26.39; 13-14, 1. Camila Rodriguez Suriano, MEX 2:27.37; 15-17, 1. Danielle Titus, BAR 2:19.38, 11. Simone Vale, JAM 2:34.88; 18-and-over, 1. Krystal Lara, DOM 2:16.06.

4×100 meter medley relay:
11-12, 1. Mexico 4:43.15, 2. Bermuda 4:52.75, 3. Dominican Republic 4:56.59; 13-14, 1. Mexico 4:31.62, 2. Puerto Rico 4:34.07, 3. Jamaica 4:38.16; 15-17, 1. Mexico 4:29.18, 2. Barbados 4:38.48, 3. Honduras 4:38.94; 18-and-over, 1. Mexico 4:34.55, 2. Panama 4:51.05.

BOYS

400-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Luis Eduardo Corona Martinez, MEX 4:18.73; 13-14, 1. Josean Massucco, PUR 4:06.85; 15-17, 1. Chance Conde, PUR 4:04.33; 7. Nicholas Vale, JAM 4:18.82/4:18.57; 18-and-over, 1. Alex Sobers, BAR 3:59.74.

50-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Marvin Johnson, BAH 26.08, 14. Diego Nazario, PUR 28.06; 13-14, 1. Nathaniel Thomas, JAM 24.38; 15-17, 1. Lamar Taylor, BAH 23.33; 18-and-over, 1. Renzo Tjon A Joe, SUR 22.70/22.78, 7. Sidrell Williams, JAM 23.94/23.97.

100-meter breaststroke:
11-12, 1. Gavin Kock, ARU 1:12.39; 13-14, 1. Ludovic Lomon, GUADE 1:07.13; 15-17, 1. Luis Ramirez, VEN 1:04.96; 18-and-over, 1. Josue Dominguez, DOM 1:02.90

200-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Kevin Alejandro Palencia Llamas, MEX 2:24.49; 13-14, 1. Eduardo Pardo Torres, MEX 2:11.53, 12. Sebastian Lares, PAN 2:23.00; 15-17, 1. Tristian Pragnell, BAR 2:09.76; 18-and-over, 1. Nicky Neckles, BAR 2:09.08.

4×100 meter medley relay:
11-12, 1. Mexico 4:28.06, 2. Puerto Rico 4:31.79, 3. Bermuda 4:39.62; 13-14, 1. Mexico 4:03.66, 2. Trinidad & Tobago 4:13.64, 3. Jamaica 4:15.93; 15-17, 1. Venezuela 3:56.54, 2. Mexico 3:58.20, 3. Bahamas 4:00.29; 18-and-over, 1. Panama 3:49.93, 2. Mexico 3:54.24, 3. Barbados 4:00.27.

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

SOFLO’s Nazario Top Local Finisher On Day Three Of CCCAN Swimming Championships; Mexico Leads Medal Count


By Sharon Robb

CHRISTCHURCH, BARBADOS, July 1, 2019—Diego Nazario of Puerto Rico was the top local finisher on Day Three of the 32nd Central American and Caribbean Aquatic Championships [CCCAN] Sunday at National Aquatic Centre.

The 12-year-old South Florida Aquatic Club Silver Group swimmer was fourth in the 50-meter butterfly in 29.55.

Nazario was also a member of the second place 11-12 4×100-meter freestyle relay that won in 4:02.95. Nazario’s split was 1:00.46.

SOFLO’s Sebastian Lares, 14, of Panama was sixth in the 400-meter individual medley in a career-best 4:50.52. Lares dropped 7.43 seconds off his previous best of 4:57.95.

Lares was also sixth in the 100-meter backstroke in 1:02.84. Lares swam a best time of 1:02.52 in morning prelims, dropping 0.70.

Lares anchored Panama’s winning 4×100-meter freestyle that won in 3:50.51. His split was 55.69.

Laila Michel of Haiti broke the 100-meter butterfly national record in 1:08.84.

After three days of competition, Mexico is dominating the medal count with 60 (26 gold, 21 silver, 13 bronze) ahead of Venezuela with 17 and Panama, Bahamas and Puerto Rico each with 16 total medals.

Jamaica’s Gaby Banks and Nicholas Vale are shortlisted for the FINA Junior World Championship set for August 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary.

An estimated 500 athletes from 29 countries are competing. Several participants are trying to qualify for the World Championship and Pan American Games before the July 3 deadline.

Twenty eight countries are represented at the swimming championships including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicente and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

CCCAN is an age group swimming championship with 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and 18-and-over age categories. The meet ends Tuesday.

The prelims and finals are being live streamed on the meet’s official Facebook page.

SUNDAY RESULTS
GIRLS

200-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Harper Barrowman, CAY 2:14.60; 13-14, 1. Elan Daley, BER 2:08.56; 15-17, 1. Logan Watson-Brown, BERAG 2:06.33; 18-and-over, 1. Krystal Lara, DOM 2:06.04, 5. Lauren Hew, CAY 2:12.96.

50-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Saidah Brown, JAM 30.76; 13-14, 1. Miriam Sheehan, PUR 27.59; 15-17. 1. Karla Abarca, NCA 29.11, 8. Simone Vale, JAM 30.21/30.16 prelims, 11. Gaby Banks 30.37; 18-and-over, 1. Lismar Lyon, VEN 27.61.

100-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Elizabeth Jimenez Garrido, DOM 1:08.20; 13-14, 1. Camilla Rodriguez Suriano, MEX 1:07.90; 15-17, 1. Danielle Titus, BAR 1:04.64, 10. Simone Vale, JAM 1:09.96; 18-and-over, 1. Krystal Lara, DOM 1:03.77, 6. Lauren Hew, CAY 1:08.96/1:07.31.

400-meter individual medley:
13-14, 1. Aide Beatriz Diaz Lugo, MEX 5:05.56; 15-17, 1. Karen Rodriguez Cardenas, MEX 5:07.67; 18-and-over, 1. Georgina Gonzalez Garcia, MEX 5:11.76.

4×100-meter freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. Mexico 4:15.56, 2. Bermuda 4:17.15, 3. Dominican 4:17.47; 13-14, 1. Mexico 4:03.40, 2. Puerto Rico 4:06.33, 3. Bermuda 4:07.44; 15-17, 1. Mexico 3:58.37, 2. Puerto Rico 4:05.11, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 4:06.85; 18-and-over, 1. Mexico 4:03.34, 2. Panama 4:06.55.

BOYS

200-meter freestyle:
11-12, 1. Luis Eduardo Corona Martinez, MEX 2:03.06; 13-14, 1. Rodrigo Ramos Chavez, MEX 1:57.55; 15-17, 1. Mitch Bourgeois, GUADE 1:55.67; 6. Nicholas Vale, JAM 1:58.35/1:57.81; 18-and-over, 1. Alex Sobers, BAR 1:53.30, 9. Sidrell Williams, JAM 1:59.14.

50-meter butterfly:
11-12, 1. Marvin Johnson, BAH 28.10, 4. Diego Nazario, PUR 29.55; 13-14, 1. Miguel Eduardo Rojas Newman, MEX 25.72; 15-17, 1. Jayhan Odlum-Smith, LCA 25.46, 6. Nicholas Vale 26.30/25.98; 18-and-over, 1. Cadell Lyons, TTO 24.69, 8. Sidrell Williams, JAM 26.30/26.55.

100-meter backstroke:
11-12, 1. Kaiser Ruiz Garcia, PUR 1:07.07; 13-14, 1. Eduardo Pardo Torres, MEX 1:00.72, 6. Sebastian Lares, PAN 1:02.84/1:02.52; 15-17, 1. Davante Carey, BAH 58.81; 18-and-over, 1. Carlos Godinez Garcia, MEX 58.61.

400-meter individual medley:
13-14, 1. Roberto Bonilla, GUA 4:37.63, 6. Sebastian Lares, PAN 4:50.52; 15-17, 1. Tyler Chrsitianson, PAN 4:31.73; 18-and-over, 1. Carlos Kossio Mendez, MEX 4:30.23.

4×100-meter freestyle relay:
11-12, 1. Mexico :56.02, 2. Puerto Rico 4:02.95, 3. Bermuda 4:06.94; 13-14, 1. Panama 3:50.51; 15-17, 1. Mexico 3:34.89, 2. Venezuela 3:36.03, 3. Trinidad & Tobago 3:36.94; 18-and-over, 1. Panama 3:28.13, 2. Trinidad & Tobago 3:28.89, 3. Mexico 3:29.50.

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

Mexico Sweeps Open Distance Events; Panama Wins Relay With Cooper; SOFLO’s Lares, Banks, Nazario Swim Saturday


By Sharon Robb

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, June 28, 2019—Mexico got off to a good start in the distance events and mixed relays on opening day of the 32nd Central American and Caribbean Aquatic Championships [CCCAN] Friday at National Aquatic Centre.

Cathy Cooper led off Panama’s winning mixed 4×50-meter freestyle relay that won in 1:41.90.

SOFLO’s Gaby Banks and Nicholas Vale were relay members of Jamaica’s second place 15-17 4×50-meter freestyle relay in 1:43.08, lower than its entry time of 1:43.70.

Mexico swept three of the four mixed 4×50-meter freestyle relays.

Venezuela’s Maria Yegres, 13, had the fastest time in all age groups, winning the 13-14 800-meter freestyle in 9:04.80.

Mexico’s Axxel Salgado Salinas, 18, won the 18-and-over 1500-meter freestyle in 16:02.80, fastest time in all age groups.

Weather permitting, South Florida Aquatic Club and Florida Gold Coast swimmers race on Saturday.

Sebastian Lares, 14, will compete in four individual events and two relays: 13-14 100-meter backstroke, 400-meter individual medley, 200-meter individual medley and 200-meter backstroke.

Gaby Banks, 16, is seeded second in the 50-meter freestyle in 26.65. She will also swim the 50-meter butterfly, 200-meter breaststroke, 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter freestyle and 100-meter breaststroke.

SOFLO’s Diego Nazario, 12, making his CCCAN debut, will represent Puerto Rico. The Silver Group swimmer is entered in the 100-meter butterfly, 50-meter butterfly, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter butterfly and 50-meter freestyle.

Pine Crest alum and Kenyon College-bound Nicholas Vale are representing Jamaica. He will be joined by his younger sister, Simone Vale, 15, and Sidrell Williams, another Florida Gold Coast swimmer. Renzo Tjon A Joe, 23, will represent Suriname. Cathy Cooper, 19, is competing for Panama. Lauren Hew will represent the Cayman Islands.

Banks and Vale are also shortlisted for the FINA Junior World Championship set for August 20-25 in Budapest, Hungary.

An estimated 500 athletes from 29 countries are competing. Several participants are trying to qualify for the World Championship and Pan American Games before the July 3 deadline.

Twenty eight countries are represented at the swimming championships including Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vicente and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

CCCAN is an age group swimming championship with 11-12, 13-14, 15-17 and 18-and-over age categories. The meet ends Tuesday.

FRIDAY RESULTS
GIRLS

800-meter freestyle:
13-14, 1. Maria Yegres, VEN 9:04.80; 15-17, 1. Michelle Ramirez, HOND 9:14.59; 18-and-over, 1. Mariajose Lopez Lizarraga, MEX 9:14.70.

4×50-meter freestyle relay: 11-12, 1. Mexico 1:51.27, 2. Bahamas 1:52.00, 3. Dominican Republic 1:52.35; 13-14, 1. Mexico 1:45.09, 2. Bermuda 1:45.95, 3. Jamaica 1:46.72; 15-17, 1. Mexico 1:42.089, 2. Jamaica 1:43.08, 3. Puerto Rico 1:44.15; 18-and-over, 1. Panama 1:41.90, 2. Mexico 1:42.41, 3. Honduras 1:43.44.

BOYS

1500-meter freestyle:
13-14, 1. Alan Alejandro Gonzalez Mujica, MEX 16:23.56; 15-17, 1. Chance Conde, PUR 16:25.00; 18-and-over, 1. Axxel Salgado Salinas, MEX 16:02.80

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

SOFLO’S Sebastian Lares Shines At CAMEX Championships


By Sharon Robb

June 14, 2016—Sebastian Lares of South Florida Aquatic Club wasted no time establishing himself in international swimming.

Lares, 12, made a successful international swimming debut at last week’s Central American and Mexico Championships in Panama City, Panama.

CAMEX is an age group aquatics championships featuring teams from Central America and Mexico. It is held biennially and organized by CCCAN (Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation).

Lares, 12, representing Panama, competed in seven individual events. He swam six personal best times and won six medals including three individual and three as a relay member despite nursing a hamstring injury.

Lares took gold in the 100- and 200-meter backstroke events to earn the Central American champion title in his age group. He also captured a silver medal in the 50-meter backstroke.

On relays, Lares won a gold medal on the 4×100 medley relay; silver on the 4×100 relay and bronze on the 4×200 freestyle relay.

His times were: 32.59, 50-meter backstroke; 1:08.22, 100-meter butterfly; 2:14.74, 200-meter freestyle; 1:09.83, 100-meter backstroke; 2:30.72, 200-meter individual medley; 2:27.88, 200-meter backstroke; and 4:44.69, 400-meter freestyle.

Lares, a member of SOFLO’s Bronze Group, was born in the U.S. and has dual citizenship. He is a member of the Panama national team in his age group.

Lares was extremely happy with his meet performance and said he grew as a swimmer because of the experience against other swimmers he had never competed against. There were a few challenges including lack of sleep, but he ended up far exceeding his expectations.

Lares will be a seventh grader in the fall at Somerset Academy, where he will swim on the high school team.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO’S Sebastian Lares Makes International Debut In Panama


By Sharon Robb

June 6, 2016—Sebastian Lares of South Florida Aquatic Club will make his international debut in swimming at the June 9-13 Central American and Mexico Championships in Panama City, Panama.

CAMEX is an age group aquatics championship meet featuring teams from Central America and Mexico. It is held biennially and organized by CCCAN (Central American and Caribbean Swimming Confederation).

Lares, 12, and his older brother Andres Lares, 16, who swims for Azura, will represent Panama.

Sebastian Lares is entered in the 50-, 100- and 200-meter backstroke events, 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter freestyle in addition to relays. Andres Lares will compete in the 100-, 200- 400- and 1500-meter freestyles and relays.

The brothers were born in the U.S. and have dual citizenship. Both are members of the Panama national team in their age group divisions.

Sebastian Lares has been getting in some solid training with SOFLO Coach Rose Lockie and Bronze group for the CAMEX event.

The Lares family is scheduled to depart for Panama on Tuesday. He is eager to swim in front of his aunt who lives in Panama.

“I am pretty excited about it,” Sebastian Lares said. “I think it will be challenging but I think I can do it. I am a little nervous but I am confident in my training.”

Lares has been swimming since he was five years old. He has been swimming with SOFLO for four years.

“I started because my brother did it but then I fell in love with it,” Lares said.

Lares plans to focus on his strokes during the meet, he said.

“I feel like this is more for experience since it’s my first international meet,” Lares said. “My brother has gone the last two years. It’s my turn now. I’m going to try and do my best.

“It’s going to be good. I’ve been training hard especially on my breaststroke. I needed improvement. Coach Rose helps me a lot.”

Lares, who will be a seventh grader in the fall at Somerset Academy, would like to swim in college and Olympics.

“The Olympics are definitely my goal,” he said.

Lares has improved every season since he started swimming competitively.

“This is definitely my best season in swimming so far,” Lares said. “I did a lot of best times at the All-Star meet. It was a great experience and it helped my confidence.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com