SOFLO Swimmers Hit The Road This Weekend In Plantation And Weston

By Sharon Robb

February 8, 2018–South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will gauge their training progress at two meets this weekend in Plantation and Weston.

SOFLO senior swimmers hit the road for the Florida Gold Coast Senior Long Course Sectional Qualifier at Plantation Aquatic Complex on Friday and Saturday.

The meet opens 5 p.m. on Friday with the mixed 800 freestyle in Session I. Two more sessions are scheduled for Saturday at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., all timed finals.

Ricardo Roche, 18, and Rafael Rodriguez, 16, are SOFLO’s top two seeds in the 800-meter freestyle on opening night. Roche is seeded in 8:28.90 and Rodriguez 8:33.24.

Kelley Heron, 18, is top seed in the 200-mter backstroke in 2:20.95 and 50-meter backstroke in 30.44.

Kathleen Golding, 17, is seeded first in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.20.

The field has attracted some of the Florida Gold Coast’s top swimmers including Miguel Cancel, 18, and Mary Smutny, 17, of AquaKids Sharks; Alessandra Baldari, 17, of North Palm Beach; Jessica Nava, 17, of Pine Crest; Jhonny Perez, 20, of Azura; Yona Rubin, 17, and Cathy Cooper, 18, of Swim Fort Lauderdale and Patrick Groters, 19, of Pine Crest.

In addition to SOFLO, among teams competing are Azura, Pine Crest, Swim Fort Lauderdale, AquaKids Sharks, East Coast Aquatic and Boca Raton Swim Team.

Ten swimmers will compete in 40 individual events and one relay at the 8&Under YSF Barracudas Sizzler at the YMCA Fitness Center in Weston.

Swimmers entered are: Preston Christensen, 8; Jordan Evans, 6; Shelby Evans, 7; Connor Jimenez, 8; Ella Michael, 8; Caitlin Nguyen, 8; Francesca Perry, 7; Isabella Perry, 8; Aanya Robinson 7; Oleksei Viazmetinov, 8; and Saree Young, 8.

Michael, Nguyen, Francesca Perry and Isabella Perry, Robinson and Young are making their meet debut.


What: 8&Under YSF Barracudas Sizzler.
When: Friday.
Where: YMCA Family Center-Weston, 20201 Saddle Club Road, Weston.
Of note: Admission is $3. Heat sheets are $2. For more information call 954-557-8177.


What: FGC Senior Long Course Sectional Qualifier
When: Friday-Saturday
Schedule: Friday, Session I, 5 p.m.; Saturday, Session II, 9 a.m., Session III, 4 p.m.
Where: Plantation Aquatic Complex, 9151 NW Second Street, Plantation
Of note: Admission is $5 per person, per session. All sessions passes are available. Heat sheets are $3 per session. For more information, call 954-452-2526.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Ends Successful Road Trip At Speedo Winter Junior East Championships

By Sharon Robb

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., December 9, 2017—On a snowy night, South Florida Aquatic Club ended a successful road trip at the Speedo Winter Junior East Championships Saturday at University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

SOFLO’s five swimmers Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, Luke Lezotte, Ricardo Roche and Rafael Rodriguez competed against some of the nation’s top east region swimmers.

On the fourth and final day, Golding was SOFLO’s top finisher. The 17-year-old placed fifth in the 100-yard freestyle in a best time 49.43, bettering her previous best of 49.55. She qualified eighth in 50.07 in prelims.

Rafael Rodriguez turned in a best time of 15:55.40 in the 1,650 yard freestyle.

Mason Manta Rays won the boys team title with 346 points ahead of SwimMAC with 327.5. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami was the top Florida Gold Coast finisher placing tenth with 103 points.

SwimMAC, with two 4×100 freestyle relay teams among the top three finishers for 66 points, captured the girls team title with 514 points. Early leader Nashville Aquatic Club was second with 440.

AquaKids Sharks was the top FGC team placing 16th with 43 points, all from Mary Smutny, followed by Pine Crest with 41 and South Florida Aquatic Club with 40 points, all from Golding.


BOYS TEAM TOTALS: 1. Mason Manta Rays 346, 2. SwimMAC 327.5, 3. Carmel 311, 4. Dayton Raiders 245, 5. SwimAtlanta 235, 10. Metro Aquatics 103, 31. St. Andrew’s 23, 49. Pine Crest, 52. Gulliver 5.

GIRLS TEAM TOTALS: 1. SwimMAC 514, 2. Nashville Aquatic Club 440, 3. Marlins of Raleigh 257, 4. Carmel Swim Club 238, 5. Gator Swim Club 197, 16. AquaKids Sharks 43, 17. Pine Crest 41, 18. South Florida Aquatic Club 40, 52. East Coast Aquatic Club 9, 53. St. Andrew’s 7.

200-yard backstroke: 1. Alexandra Walsh, Nashville Aquatics 1:51.42; SOFLO: 106. Kelley Heron 2:05.19; FGC: 105. Gabriella Antonini, Gulliver 2:04.85.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Kelly Pash, Carmel Swim Club 48.55; SOFLO: 5. Kathleen Golding 49.43, 8. 50.07, prelims.

FGC: 18. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks, 49.48, 17. 50.51, prelims, 29. Chade Nersicio, East Coast Aquatics 50.76, 33. Andrea Santander, Pine Crest 50.82, 46. Jennifer Secrest, NPB 51.34, 64. Emily Cordovi, Gulliver 51.73, 67. Lauren Hew 51.80, 68. Eriana Temperino, East Coast Aquatics 51.87, 87. Jessica Nava, Pine Crest 52.18, 116. Sloan Sizemore, Martin County 52.78, 120. Catharine Cooper, Swim Fort Lauderdale 52.86.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Ashley McCauley, Marlins of Raleigh 2:09.54.

FGC: 10. Shayna Fetes, SAS 2:15.65, 33. Hannah Virgin, Pine Crest 2:18.45, 74. Anna Auld, East Coast Aquatics 2:22.34, 80. Victoria Miyamoto, Pine Crest 2:23.91.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Olivia Carter, Enfinity Aquatics 1:53.49, meet record.

FGC: 14. Mary Smutny, AquaKids Sharks, 1:58.92, 9. 1:59.97, 24. Alessandra Baldari, NPB, 2:02.38, 22. 2:01.07, prelims, 27. Emily Cordovi, Gulliver 2:01.64, 29. Jennifer Secrest, NPB 2:01.91, 68. Eriana Temperino, East Coast Aquatic 2:04.61, 81. Alexandra Meszaros, Pine Crest 2:05.80, 99. Marcella Ruppert-Gomez, Gulliver 2:08.35.

1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Madison Homovic, Marlins of Raleigh 16:10.30.

FGC: 14. Anna Auld, East Coast 16:40.40, 28. Marcella Ruppert-Gomez, Gulliver 16:58.86.

4×100-yard freestyle relay: 1. Nashville Aquatic Club 3:17.32, 2. SwimMAC A 3:18.45, 3. SwimMAC B 3:20.86, 10. Pine Crest 3:24.45, 14. East Coast Aquatics 3:26.55


200-yard backstroke: 1. Carson Foster, Mason Manta Rays 1:41.66; SOFLO: 95. Ricardo Roche 1:53.16.

FGC: 11. Patrick Groters, Pine Crest 1:46.57, 35. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:49.50, 49. Trahern Gribble, Gulliver 1:50.10

100-yard freestyle: 1. Drew Kibler, Carmel 42.90.

FGC: 23. Kyle Dimattero, Lake Lytal Lightning, 45.46, 21. 45.18, prelims, 28. Cason Wilburn, East Coast Aquatic 45.32, 29. Jorge Depassier, Azura 45.34, 32. Nico Ferrara, Pine Crest 45.52, 58. Aitor Fungairino, Metro Aquatics 45.94, 69. Irvin Hoost, Metro Aquatics 46.26, 88. Steven Aimable, Azura 46.70, 105. Adrian Aguilar, Metro Aquatics 47.72.

200-yard breaststroke: 1. Jacob Foster, Mason Manta Rays 1:55.54.

FGC: 9. Izaak Bastian, SAS 159.22, 16. 2:00.72, prelims, 48. Guillemo Perez, Azura 2:04.74, 76. Teolio Darias, Gulliver 2:06.89, 99. Kevin Degrijze, East Coast Aquatics 2:09.71.

200-yard butterfly: 1. Zachary Brown, Marlins of Raleigh 1:44.11.

FGC: 18. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 20. 1:47.97, prelims, 22. Brandon Vives, Metro Aquatics 1:49.17, 82.David Farinang, Metro Aquatics 1:53.57.

1,650-yard freestyle: 1. Jacob Magahey, SwimAtlanta 14:52.85; SOFLO: 40. Rafael Rodriguez 15:55.40, 46. Ricardo Roche 16:10.90; FGC: 45. David Farinang, Metro Aquatics 16:09.32.

4×100-yard freestyle relay: 1. SwimMAC 2:57.74, 2. Carmel Swim Club 2:58.12, 3. Mason Manta Rays 2:59.37, 6. Metro Aquatics 3:00.79

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Open Speedo Winter Junior East Championships With Mixed Results; Smutny Top FGC Finisher

By Sharon Robb

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., December 7, 2017—Kathleen Golding will chalk it off as a learning experience at the Speedo Winter Junior East Championships Thursday at University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer qualified for the final of the 200-yard individual medley in 1:59.93, just off her seed time of 1:59.72 but was disqualified in the final.

Golding, 17, was also 14th in the 50-yard freestyle in 23.02, after going 22.98 in prelims.

Golding, who qualified in five events, has the 400-yard individual medley and 100- and 200-yard freestyles remaining.

All five SOFLO swimmers saw action on Day Two of the national-caliber meet.

SOFLO’s contingent includes Golding, Kelley Heron, Luke Lezotte, Ricardo Roche and Rafael Rodriguez.

Lezotte, swimming his only event, went 21.20 in the 50-yard freestyle and will now time trial every day.

Heron went 2:06.83 in the 200-yard individual medley, faster than her time at the high school state meet and has set herself up nicely for her remaining 100- and 200-yard backstroke events.

Roche, who qualified in five events, went 4:39.23 in the 500-yard freestyle and 1:56.82 in the 200-yard individual medley. He has the 400-yard individual medley, 1,650-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke left to swim.

Rafael Rodriguez went 4:37.27 in the 500-yard freestyle and still has the 400-yard individual medley and 1,650-yard freestyle remaining.

Florida Gold Coast’s top finisher was Mary Smutny, 17, of AquaKids Sharks placing third in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:42.80.

The Speedo Winter Junior West Championships are also being held through Saturday at the University of Iowa Recreation Center in Iowa City.


500-yard freestyle: 1. Leah Braswell, York YMCA 4:39.29; FGC: 3. Mary Smutny, AK Sharks 4:42.80; 30. Alessandra Baldari, NPB 4:53.47, 35. Marcella Ruppert-Gomez Gulliver 4:54.96, 51. Anna Auld, ECAC 4:57.52.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Alexandra Walsh, Nashville Aquatics 1:54.02, meet record: SOFLO: 8. Kathleen Golding 1:59.93, prelims; 124. Kelley Heron 2:06.83.

FGC: 34. Shayna Fetes, SAS 2:03.07, 35. Jennifer Secrest, NPB 2:03.13, 45. Mary Smutny, AK Sharks 2:03.68, 63. Alessandra Baldari, NPB 2:04.32, 82. Erica Temperino, ECAC 2:05.23, 83. Andrea Santander, PC 2:05.24, 105. Emily Cordovi, GP 2:06.01, 156. Hannah Virgin, PC 2:08.49.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Gretchen Walsh, Nashville 22.00; SOFLO: 14. Kathleen Golding 23.02/13. 22.98, prelims.

FGC: Swim-off, 4. Chade Nersicio, ECAC 23.39/ 25. 23.32/17. 22.97, finals; 32. Lauren Hew, SAS 23.44, 48. Andrea Santander, PC 23.56 and 48. Mary Smutny, AK Sharks 23.56, 86. Sloan Sizemore, MC 23.87, 88. Jennifer Secrest, NPB 23.88, 106. Catharine Cooper, SFTL 23.99, 119. Hailey Jerew, AK Sharks 24.08, 134. Alexandra Meszaros, PC 24.23, 40. Megan Murphy, ECAC 24.28, 158. Jessica Nava, PC 24.60.

4×100-yard medley relay: 1. Nashville Aquatics 3:36.68, 17. Pine Crest 3:46.83, 25. East Coast Aquatics 3:49.15.


500-yard freestyle: 1. Drew Kibler, Carmel 4:14.42, meet record; SOFLO: 79. Rafael Rodriguez, 4:37.27; 84. Ricardo Roche, 4:39.23.

FGC: 12. Aitor Fungairino, Metro Aquatics 4:24.27/10. 4:24.05, prelims; 20. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 4:27.53, 33. Adrian Aguilar, Metro Aquatics 4:03.07, 74. Daniel Jacobs, PC 4:36.15, 91. Cameron Taddonio, BRST 4:42.94.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Carson Foster, Mason Manta Rays 1:43.79; SOFLO: 140. Ricardo Roche, SOFLO 1:56.82.

FGC: 12. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:48.02/16. 1:50.14, prelims, 19. Trahern Gribble, Gulliver 1:49.73/26. 1:50.67, prelims, 30. Patrick Groters, PC 1:50.91, 53. Brandon Vives, MAC 1:52.04, 142. Kevin Degrijze, ECAC 1:58.41.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Drew Kibler, Carmel 19.57; SOFLO: 86. Luke Lezotte 21.20.

FGC: 20. Kyle Dimatteo, Lake Lytal Lightning 20.58/18. 20.50, prelims; 22. Irvin Hoost, Metro Aquatics 20.60/ 21. 20.55, prelims, 24. Cason Wilburn, ECAC 20.87/23. 20.63, prelims, 38. Nico Ferrara, PC 20.80, 48. Jorge Depassier, Azura 20.85, 55. Izaak Bastian, SAS 20.90, 61. Patrick Groters, PC 20.97, 88. Steven Aimable, Azura 21.03.

4×100-yard medley relay: 1. Mason Manta Rays 3:13.68, 9. Metro Aquatics 3:18.98, 36. Gulliver 3:24.87.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Fab Five Head To Speedo Winter Junior East Championships That Begin Wednesday

By Sharon Robb

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., December 5, 2017—South Florida Aquatic Club will have one of its largest contingents at this week’s Speedo Winter Junior East Championships at University of Tennessee’s Allan Jones Aquatic Center.

The four-day meet begins Wednesday with the men’s and women’s 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays. SOFLO swimmers begin competing on Thursday.

SOFLO’s contingent includes Kathleen Golding, Kelley Heron, Luke Lezotte, Ricardo Roche and Rafael Rodriguez.

Golding is qualified in five events. She will compete in the 200- and 400-yard individual medleys and 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyles.

Heron will compete in the 200-yard individual medley and 100- and 200-yard backstroke.

Lezotte qualified in the 50-yard freestyle.

Roche will swim five events, 500-yard freestyle, 200- and 400-yard individual medleys, 1,650-yard freestyle and 200-yard backstroke.

Rodriguez will swim the 500-yard freestyle, 400-yard individual medley and 1,650-yard freestyle.

The East field features swimmers from SwimMAC Carolina, Gator Swim Club, Marlins of Raleigh, Carmel, Mason Manta Rays, Swim Atlanta, Dynamo, Bolles and Pine Crest.

In addition to Pine Crest and SOFLO swimmers, other Florida Gold Coast teams entered are Boca Raton Swim Team, AquaKids Sharks, Gulliver Swim Club, Metro Aquatics, North Palm Beach, St. Andrew’s Swimming, Azura Florida Aquatics and Lake Lytal Lightning.

The star-studded girls field is led by Alex Walsh who is seeded first in four events, the 100- and 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley. She also qualified in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle.

Other top girls competing are Junior World medalists Emily Weiss and Ella Nelson, Morgan Tankersley and Madison Homovich.

The boys field is led by Trey Freeman, Carson Foster, Cody Bybee and Drew Kibler.

The Speedo Winter Junior West Championships are also being held Wednesday through Saturday at the University of Iowa Recreation Center in Iowa City.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Doral Firebirds, Pembroke Pines Charter Swimmers Ready For Saturday’s FHSAA State 3A Meet; Doral Wins First Region 4-3A Boys’ Title

By Sharon Robb

STUART, November 9, 2017–Pembroke Pines Charter and Doral Academy swimmers, coming off good Region 4-3A showings, will try and continue the success at the FHSAA State 3A Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday at Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center.

Several swimmers are among top seeds.

Doral Academy’s Adrian Aguilar is top seed in the 100-yard butterfly in 50.18. The Firebirds’ boys 400-yard freestyle relay is seeded first in 3:11.04 and 200-yard freestyle relay is seeded second in 1:28.05.

Andres Lares of Pembroke Pines Charter is second seed in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.45 behind Belen Jesuit’s Aitor Fungairino. Lares is also seeded second in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:34.90. Teammate Rafael Rodriguez is fourth seed in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.04 and fifth seed in 1:44.42.

Ricardo Roche of Pembroke Pines Charter is also seeded second in the 200-yard individual medley in 1:54.77.

Kelley Heron of Pembroke Pines Charter is fourth seed in the 100-yard backstroke in 58.41.


Doral Academy Firebirds made more history capturing its first-ever Region 4-3A boys’ team title.

The Firebirds topped a field of 18 teams from Dade, Broward and Palm Beach with 418 points, more than 200 points over defending champion Fort Lauderdale.

Martin County won the girls’ team title with 385 points and Doral Academy was runner-up with 303 points.

Doral swept all three boys relays, had two swimmers finish runner-up, David Montana and Aaron Rodriguez and two swimmers, Gregory Espinoza and Nestor Montero place third to add another major accomplishment to its swim program.

The Doral girls won the 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays and had three swimmers, Stephanie Hernandez, Stephanie Suarez and Madeleine Peraza place second and one swimmer, Stephanie Sequera finish third.

Pembroke Pines Charter boys finished fourth with 241 points and girls finished fifth with 162 points.

Pembroke Pines Charter swimmers turned in several good swims.

Michigan State-bound Kelley Heron was a double winner in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:11.71 and 100-yard backstroke in 58.41.

Middle schooler Victoria Torres was fourth in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:10.89.

Ricardo Roche won the 200-yard individual medley in 1:54.77 and was fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:40.06.

Casey Mora won the 50-yard freestyle in 22.25.

Andres Lares won the 500-yard freestyle in 4:34.90 and second in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:42.45.

Rafael Rodriguez was second in the 100-yard butterfly in 52.04 and fourth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:44.42.

Pembroke Pines Charter lost its’ girls 400-yard freestyle relay of Victoria Torres, Maria Herne Katherine DeBarros and Kelley Heron when a swimmer took off the blocks too early.


1. Martin County 385, 2. Doral Firebirds 303, 3. Fort Lauderdale 296, 4. South Fork 168, 5. Pembroke Pines Charter 162, 6. Mater Academy 142, 7. Jensen Beach 136, 8. Northeast 123, 9. West Boca Raton 120, 10. Dwyer 113, 11. Terra Institute 97, 12. Nova 95, 13. South Broward 61, 14. Hialeah-Miami Lakes 49, 15. Okeechobee 16, 16. tie, Westland, Dillard 12, 18. Olympic Heights 2.


200-yard medley relay: 1. Martin County 1:52.17, 2. Fort Lauderdale 1:53.85, 3. Doral Academy 1:54.66.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Emily Miller, JB 1:53.96, 2. Stephanie Hernandez, DF 1:54.79, 3. Margot Parrilli, SF 1:59.90.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Kelley Heron, PPC 2:11.71, 2. Stephanie Suarez, DF 2:13.37, 3. Stephanie Sequera, DF 2:15.70.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Sloan Sizemore, MC 24.10, 2. Delaney Simpkins, MC 24.35, 3. Racine Ross, FTL 25.14.

1-meter diving: 1. Emma Slinkma, SF 409.65, 2. Aubrey Quintanilla, DWY 405.95, 3. Autumn Bros, MC 377.60.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Racine Ross, FTL 57.62, 2. Gabby Johnson, MC 58.61, 3. Jocelyn Ruiz, HML 59.01.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Sloan Sizemore, MC 52.06, 2. Delaney Simpkins, MC 52.79, 3. Emily Miller, JB 53.17.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Giulia Guerra Montes, FTL 5:09.78, 2. Madeleine Peraza, DF 5:26.73, 3. Emma Cavendish, DWY 5:32.99.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Doral Firebirds 1:42.83 (Stephanie Hernandez, Stephanie Sequera, Sabrina Perna, Madeleine Peraza), 2. Martin County 1:43.93, 3. Fort Lauderdale 1:45.67.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Kelley Heron, PPC 58.41, 2. Giulia Guerra Montes, FTL 59.03, 3. Gabby Johnson, MC 1:00.87.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Stephanie Suarez, DF 1:08.37, 2. Samantha Trodick, NOVA 1:09.01, 3. Alicja Zielinski, NE 1:10.83, 4. Victoria Torres, PPC 1:10.89

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Doral Firebirds 3:41.93 (Stephanie Hernandez, Madeleine, Stephanie Suarez, Stephanie Sequera), 2. Fort Lauderdale 3:50.29, 3. West Boca Raton 3:53.89.


1. Doral Firebirds 418, 2. Fort Lauderdale 270, 3. Martin County 259, 4. Pembroke Pines Charter 241, 5. Belen Jesuit 196, 6. Jensen Beach 184, 7. Terra Institute 117, 8. Mater Academy 107, 9. tie, Nova, South Broward 88, 11. West Boca Raton 69, 12. Northeast 53, 13. Westland Hialeah 32, 14. Olympic Heights 30, 15. South Fork 26, 16. Hialeah Miami Lakes 23, 17. Okeechobee 16, 18. Dwyer 1.


200-yard medley relay: 1. Doral Firebirds 1:38.06 (Nestor Montero, Santiago Gomez, Adrian Aguilar, Aaron Rodriguez), 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:39.60 (Andres Lares, Ricardo Roche, Rafael Rodriguez, Casey Moya), 3. Fort Lauderdae 1:41.59.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Aitor Fungairino, BJ 1:38.08, AA-A 2. Andres Lares, PPC 1:42.45, 3. Andres Wong, BJ 1:42.79, 4. Rafael Rodriguez, PPC 1:44.42.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Ricardo Roche, PPC 1:54.77, 2. Kevin De Grijze, FTL 1:55.24, 3. Noah Proctor, MC 1:56.21, 4. Nestor Montero, DF 1:57.99.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Casey Mora, PPC 22.25, 2. David Montana, DF 22.33, 3. Michael Fernandez, WBR 22.38.

1-meter diving: 1. Michael Tsiopelas, MC 452.50, 2. Javier Saumell, BJ 431.20, 3. Dillon Kadish, NOVA 321.05.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Adrian Aguilar, DF 50.18, 2. Rafael Rodriguez, PPC 52.04, 3. Gregory Espinoza, DF 52.49.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Andres Wong, BJ 47.51, 2. Aaron Rodriguez, DF 48.40, 3. Hugo Marin, BJ 48.46.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Andres Lares, PPC 4:34.90, 2. Aitor Fungairino, BJ 4:35.04, 3. Nestor Montero, DF 4:39.92, 4. Ricardo Roche, PPC 4:40.06.

200-yard freestyle relay: 1. Doral Firebirds 1:28.05, 2. Belen Jesuit 1:29.50, 3. Jensen Beach 1:31.02, 6. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:36.01 (Sebastian Sevilla, Christian Vasquez, Martin Berti, Casey Moya).

100-yard backstroke: 1. Noah Proctor, MC 52.36, 2. Alex Marrero, SB 54.70, 3. Lance Lesage, FTL 55.01.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Kevin De Grijze, FTL 58.39, 2. Victor Valdes, MA 1:00.07, 3. Andrew Rogantinsky, SB 1:00.38.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Doral Firebirds 3:11.04 (Adrian Aguilar, Nestor Montero, Vittorio Parravano, Aaron Rodriguez), 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 3:15.91 (Ricardo Roche, Sebastian Sevilla, Rafael Rodriguez, Andres Lares), 3. Martin County 3:20.31.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Pembroke Pines Charter Sweeps Douglas In Season-Opening Thriller

By Sharon Robb

August 30, 2017—In an exciting finish, Pembroke Pines Charter boys’ team, tied 81-81 going into the final event, won the 400-yard freestyle relay to clinch a 91-85 victory over Douglas Wednesday night at Academic Village Pool.

The relay of Ricardo Roche, Rafael Rodriguez, Sebastian Sevilla and Andres Lares won the relay in 3:19.34.

Lares, Rodriguez and Roche were double winners for Pines Charter.

Lares, a senior, won the 200-yard freestyle in 1:46.46 and 500-yard freestyle in 4:50.63.

Rodriguez, a sophomore, won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:01.16 and 100-yard butterfly in 53.27.

Roche, a senior, won back-to-back events in the 100-yard backstroke in 57.13 and 100-yard breaststroke in 1:03.22.

Lares, Roche and Rodriguez were also members of the winning 200-yard medley relay in 1:42.28.

Pembroke Pines Charter girls team were just as impressive in its 100-80 victory over Douglas.

The Jaguars won the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay.

The Pine Charter girls had a slim two-point lead, 68-66, after Douglas won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:59.63.

A win by senior Kelley Heron in the 100-yard backstroke in 1:05.22 and senior Victoria Torres and senior Katherine DeBarros one-two finish in the 100-yard breaststroke gave them an 88-78 advantage going into the final relay which DeBarros, junior Julinna Villarta, junior Jennifer Zukoski and Heron won in 4:14.62.

Heron also won the 200-yard individual medley in 2:15.45, DeBarros won the 500-yard freestyle in 5:57.00 and Torres won the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:15.88.

Stranahan was scheduled to compete in the meet but opted not to field a team this season according to its athletic director. The Dragons expect to have their on-campus pool renovated in time for next season.

Pines Charter next meet is Sept. 6 against St. Thomas Aquinas and Pompano Beach at Pompano.



Pembroke Pines Charter 100, Douglas 80

200-yard medley relay: 1. Pembroke Pines Charter 2:04.16 (Heron, Torres, Villarta, DeBarros), 2. Douglas 2:18.94, 3. Pembroke Pines Charter 2:19.58.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Jennifer Zukoski, PPC 2:23.01, 2. Janna Volz, DOUG 2:25.31, 3. Anna Gally, DOUG 2:33.44.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Kelley Heron, PPC 2:15.45, 2. Andromeda Smith, DOUG 2:30.04; 3. Julinna Villarta, PPC 2:30.38.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Andromeda Smith, DOUG 28.43, 2. Kathia Jaramillo, PPC 32.21, 3. Isabella Cohen, DOUG 33.51.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Olivia Rosen, DOUG 213.05, 2. Penelope Jacobson, DOUG 200.10.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Victoria Veiga, DOUG 1:16.26, 2. Kailey Smith, PPC 1:18.78, 3. Megan Biggs, PPC 1:19.15.

100-yard freestyle: 1. Anna Kasperski, DOUG 1:01.56, 2. Valentina Terry, PPC 1:02.33, 3. Giuliana Peres, PPC 1:12.88.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Katherine DeBarros, PPC 5:57.00, 2. Jennifer Zukoski, PPC 6:32.38, 3. Anna Gally, PPC 7:07.25.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Douglas 1:59.63 (Smith, Ortiz, Volz, Kasperski), 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 2:02.70, 3. Douglas 2:08.16.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Kelley Heron, PPC 1:05.22, 2. Victoria Veiga, DOUG 1:15.07, 3. Julianna Gatlin, DOUG 1:20.15.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Victoria Torres, PPC 1:15.88, 2. Katherine DeBarros, PPC 1:19.94, 3. Olivia Triggs, DOUG 1:33.02.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pembroke Pines Charter 4:14.62 (DeBarros, Villarta, Zukoski, Heron), 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 4:49.06, 3. Douglas 4:56.07.


Pembroke Pines Charter 91, Douglas 85

200-yard medley relay: 1. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:42.28 (Lares, Roche, Rodriguez, Moya), 2. Douglas 1:45.59, 3. Douglas 1:55.84.

200-yard freestyle: 1. Andres Lares, PPC 1:46.46, 2. Nicholas Dworet, DOUG 1:52.34, 3. Patrick Franzino, DOUG 2:02.45.

200-yard individual medley: 1. Rafael Rodriguez, PPC 2:01.16, 2. Sebastian Sevilla, PPC 2:12.27, 3. Justin Irwin, DOUG 2:14.77.

50-yard freestyle: 1. Nicholas Dworet, DOUG 22.58, 2. Casey Moya, PPC 23.28, 3. Cody Chin, DOUG 26.58.

1-meter springboard diving: 1. Connor Dietrich, DOUG 237.40.

100-yard butterfly: 1. Rafael Rodriguez, PPC 53.27, 2. Cody Chin, DOUG 56.96, 3. Patrick Franzino, DOUG 1:05.36.

500-yard freestyle: 1. Andres Lares, PPC 4:50.63, 2. Gian Luca Savino, DOUG 5:26.77, 3. Justin Irwin, DOUG 5:33.32.

200-yard medley relay: 1. Douglas 1:33.44, 2. Pembroke Pines Charter 1:37.65, 3. Douglas 1:44.82.

100-yard backstroke: 1. Ricardo Roche, PPC 57.13, 2. Guy Bogoslavsky, DOUG 1:07.53, 3. Martin Berti, PPC 1:08.27.

100-yard breaststroke: 1. Ricardo Roche, PPC 1:03.22, 2. Kyle Jones, DOUG 1:05.01, 3. Gian Luca Savino, DOUG 1:09.50.

400-yard freestyle relay: 1. Pembroke Pines Charter 3:19.34 (Roche, Rodriguez, Sevilla, Lares), 2. Douglas 3:49.70.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Has Top 10 Finish; Heron, Roche Lead Team On Final Day Of Futures Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 6, 2017—South Florida Aquatic Club enjoyed its best national finish in club history at the USA Swimming Futures Championships at Centennial Sportsplex Tracy Caulkins Competition Pool in Nashville, Tenn.

After four days of competition, SOFLO finished tenth among a field of 84 teams in the combined team standings. The men’s team placed sixth overall and was the best finish by a Florida Gold Coast men’s team.

“I am excited about the combined score and our participation,” said SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson now headed to New York for USA Swimming Junior Nationals with Kathleen Golding.

“It was nice to have this many swimmers at a national meet and to have relays competing was pretty exciting. It was a nice cap to the summer. It was a very successful summer for SOFLO.”

Kelley Heron, 17, was SOFLO’s top finisher on the fourth and final day of competition.
Heron, seeded fourth in 2:22.88 after morning prelims of the 200-meter backstroke. She came back and bettered her time in 2:20.95 to finish fourth. She shaved 0.77 off her previous best of 2:21.72.

Ricardo Roche, 17, was eighth in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:10.06. He went a best time of 2:08.44 in prelims. His previous best was 2:09.44 for a 1.00 time drop. Roche was also ninth in the 800-meter freestyle in 8:28.96 with a time drop of 0.05.

The championship meet was open to swimmers who are USA Swimming members and achieved the time standards in one or more events. The summer meet provides swimmers with a new stepping stone between Sectionals and Junior Nationals. Some refer to the Futures meet as a “junior” Junior Nationals.

It was one of four Futures meets held across the country. The other three were in Santa Clara, Calif., Lewisville, Tex. and Geneva, Ohio.

Several Florida teams were among the field including Gator Swim Club, Pine Crest Swimming, Tampa Bay Aquatics, Highlander, Area Tallahassee, AquaKids Sharks, East Coast Aquatics and Blue Wave Swimming.

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. SwimMAC 540, 2. Tennessee Aquatics 405, 3. Dynamo 378, 4. Marlins of Raleigh 377, 5. Pine Crest Swimming 316, 6. East Coast Aquatic Club 245, 7. Area Tallahassee 224, 8. Highlander 207, 9. Cardinal Aquatics 187, 10. South Florida Aquatic Club 157.5.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SwimMAC 282, 2. Tennessee Aquatics 219, 3. Marlins of Raleigh 195, 4. Dynamo 191, 5. Area Tallahassee 186, 6. South Florida Aquatic Club 112.5, 7. Tampa Bay 103, 8. Ensworth 87, 9. Kentucky Aquatics, 10. Pine Crest Swimming 82.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. SwimMAC 258, 2. Pine Crest Swimming 234, 3. Highlanders 204, 4. Dynamo 187, 5. Tennessee Aquatics 186, 6. Marlins of Raleigh 182, 7. East Coast Aquatic Club 176, 8. T2 Aquatics 133, 9. Saline Swim Team 118, 10. Cardinal Aquatics 116, 19. SOFLO 45.


100-meter freestyle: 1. Andrea Santander, PC 57.22, 2. Mary Arsenault, GOLD 57.62, 3. Ella Marlow, GTSA 58.07; SOFLO: 102. Jessica Rodriguez 1:04.26, time drop.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Brooke Zettel, TAC 2:18.09, 2. Elizabeth Broshears, BOON 2:19.29, 3. Alexandra Massey, ENSW 2:20.33, 4. Kelley Heron, SOFLO 2:20.95, time drop.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Brooke Zettel, TAC 2:19.98, 2. Emma Feehery, T2 2:21.23, 3. Sara Sotler, LA 2:21.58; SOFLO: 67. Jennifer Rodriguez 2:38.22

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Elise Bauer, CFM 17:00.46, 2. Anna Auld, ECAC 17:05.78, 3. Noa Heron, WFLA 17:13.72, 14. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 17:49.98.

400-meter medley relay: 1. SwimMAC 4:19.88, 2. Cardinal Aquatics 4:22.73, 3. Pine Crest Swimming 4:23.92, 13. SOFLO 4:36.77 (Kelley Heron, Jennifer Rodriguez, Jessica Rodriguez, Melissa Marinheiro).


100-meter freestyle: 1. Nolan Briggs, BC 51.40, 2. Ethan Long, AAC 51.63, 3. Matthew Lattin, ENSW 51.82; SOFLO: 44. Luke Lezotte 54.70, 45. Juan Serna 54.75, time drop, 55. Kevin Porto 55.11.

200-meter backstroke: 1. Joseph Licht, TBAY 2:05.28, 2. Conor Lynch, NTCA 2:05.49, 3. Campbell Auerbach, DYNA 2:06.10, 8. Ricardo Roche, SOFLO 2:10.06; SOFLO: 37. Juan Diaz 2:16.74.

200-meter individual medley: 1. Dillon Hall, GCAT 2:07.85, 2. Brett Riley, SYS 2:08.10, 3. James McGuire, DYNA 2:08.49; SOFLO: 55. Samuel Quintero 2:17.28, 61. Luis Villanueva 2:18.78.

800-meter freestyle: 1. Ilis Sibirsev, FSLA 8:22.39, 2. Alfonso Mestre, CAT 8:22.47, 3. Cole Forbes, ATAC 8:23.91, 9. Ricardo Roche, SOFLO 8:28.96, time drop, 13. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 8:33.24, time drop.

400-meter medley relay: 1. SwimMAC 3:55.42, 2. Dynamo 3:56.19, 3. Tennessee Aquatics 3:57.10, 12. SOFLO 4:02.54 (Ricardo Roche, Samuel Quintero, Max Asnis, Luke Lezotte).

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Led By Top 8 Relay Finish, SOFLO Men’s Team Fourth After Day One Of Futures Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 3, 2017—South Florida Aquatic Club’s men’s 800-meter freestyle relay finished among the Top 8 teams on opening day of the USA Swimming Futures Championships at the Tracy Caulkins Competition Pool in Nashville, Tenn.

The SOFLO foursome of Max Asnis, Ricardo Roche, Kevin Porto and Rafael Rodriguez finished seventh in 7:56.52 and moved SOFLO into fourth place in the team standings among a field of 29 teams with 37 points.

SOFLO is fourth behind SwimMAC (69), Tennessee Aquatics (69) and Marlins of Raleigh (52). It is the team’s best start in a national meet. SOFLO is seventh among combined teams.

Other SOFLO finishers on Thursday were:

Ricardo Roche, ninth, 1500-meter freestyle, 16:18.39.

Rafael Rodriguez, 13th, 1500-meter freestyle, 16:28.51.

SOFLO women’s 800-meter freestyle relay team of Kelley Heron, Melissa Marinheiro, Jessica Rodriguez and Jennifer Rodriguez, 15th, 9:03.67.

Melissa Marinheiro, 22nd, 800-meter freestyle, 9:23.44.

COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Tennessee Aquatics 123, 2. SwimMAC 101, 3. Dynamo 91, 4. Marlins of Raleigh 86, 5. East Coast Aquatic Club 46, 6. Central Florida 45, 7. tie, South Florida Aquatic Club, Kentucky Aquatics 41, 9. Highlander 40, 10. Area Tallahassee 33, 11. Pine Crest 30.

MEN: 1. SwimMAC, Tennessee Aquatics 69, 3. Marlins of Raleigh 52, 4. South Florida Aquatic Club 37, 5. Area Tallahassee 33, 6. Dynamo 30, 7. Kentucky Aquatics 28, 8. McCallie/GPS Aquatics 26, 9. Central Florida 25, 10. Franklin Regional 22.

WOMEN: 1. Dynamo 61, 2. Tennessee Aquatics 54, 3. Highlander 40, 4. tie, East Coast Aquatic Club 34, Marlins of Raleigh 34, 6. SwimMAC 32, 7. Pine Crest 30, 8. Saline Swim Team 26, 9. Tampa Bay Aquatics 22, 10. Central Florida Marlins 20.


800-meter freestyle: 1. Elise Bauer, CFM 8:53.49, 2. Madison Murtagh, FSLA 8:54.95, 3. Anna Auld, ECAC 8:57.49; 22. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 9:23.44.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Tennessee Aquatics 8:29.29, 2. Dynamo 8:31.52, 3. Highlander Aquatics 8:32.45, 4. Pine Crest 8:33.41, 15. SOFLO 9:03.67 (Kelley Heron, Melissa Marinheiro, Jessica Rodriguez, Jennifer Rodriguez).


1500-meter freestyle: 1. Cole Forbes, ATAC 15:53.63, 2. Jamison Rzepecki, MAC 16:01.08, 3. Cale Russell, CFM 16:01.68, 9. Ricardo Roche, SOFLO 16:18.39, 13. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 16:28.51.

800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Tennessee Aquatics 7:43.49, 2. SwimMAC 7:45.80, 3. Marlins of Raleigh 7:46.70, 4. Dynamo 7:49.61, 5. Kentucky Aquatics 7:52.71, 6. McCallie/GPS Aquatics 7:54.83, 7. South Florida Aquatic Club 7:56.52 (Max Asnis, Ricardo Roche, Kevin Porto, Rafael Rodriguez), 8. Franklin Regional 7:56.54.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Ricardo Roche, Mixed Medley Relay Lead SOFLO On Day One Of Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone Sectionals

By Sharon Robb

ORLANDO, July 6, 2017—South Florida Aquatic Club had two top 10 finishes on opening night of the Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional Championships Thursday at the YMCA of Central Florida Aquatic Center.

SOFLO’s “A” mixed 200-meter medley relay team of Kelley Heron, Marc Rojas, Jessica Rodriguez and Luke Lezotte finished fourth in 1:56.33.

SOFLO’s “B” relay of Ricardo Roche, Samuel Quintero, Kathleen Golding and Jennifer Rodriguez were just two places behind their teammates, placing sixth in 1:56.97.

Roche, 17, was also sixth in the 800-meter freestyle in a best time 8:29.01, shaving 4.72 seconds off his previous best. Roche has 13 points after the first night in high point.

Roche was also a member of SOFLO’s 12th place 200-meter medley relay.

In the team competition, Scarlet Aquatics leads the combined (288) and men’s (108) team totals and Gator Swim Club lead the women’s (124). SOFLO is tenth in the combined team standings with 99 points.

SOFLO has 23 swimmers (14 men and 9 women) competing in 127 individual events and 24 relay teams in 12 relay events.

In addition to SOFLO, other top teams entered are Gator Swim Club, Sarasota YMCA, Gulliver Swim Club, Club Seminole and Trinity Prep.

Among top swimmers in the field are Arkady Vyatchanin of New York Athletic Club, Adreina Pinto and Isabella Paez of Metro Aquatics, Iliana Oikonomou of Hurricane Aquatics and Jan Switkowski of Gator Swim Club.

The Speedo Sectionals Series display some of the top swimming talent across the U.S. The series has several stops.


COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Scarlet Aquatics 288, 2. Club Seminole 212, 3. Gator Swim Club 205, 4. Trinity Prep 181, 5. East Coast Aquatic Club 177, 10. South Florida Aquatic Club 99.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Scarlet Aquatics 108, 2. Metro Aquatics 101, 3. Club Seminoles 92, 4. Bolles 66, 5. Westminster Academy 63, 11. SOFLO 26.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Gator Swim Club 124, 2. Scarlet Aquatics 90, 3. Club Seminoles 80, 4. Gulliver Swim Club 72, 5. Bolles 71, 12. SOFLO 17.


1500-meter freestyle: 1. Junseo Kim, SCAR 17:05.77, 2. Marcella Ruppert-Gomez, Gulliver 17:07.59, 3. Abigail Kilgallon, SCAR 17:10.84; SOFLO: 14. Melissa Marinheiro 17:50.59.

200-meter medley relay: 1. Club Seminole 1:53.96, 2. Gator Swim Club 1:55.87, 3. Trinity Prep 1:57.95; 20. SOFLO B 2:06.85 (Kayla Cunningham, Jennifer Rodriguez, Isabella Di Salvo, Molly Golding), SOFLO A, DQ.

200-meter freestyle relay: 1. Club Seminoles 1:45.73, 2. Gator Swim Club 1:46.76, 3. East Coast Aquatic Club 1:48.10, 10. SOFLO A 1:51.35 (Kathleen Golding, Melissa Marinheiro, Jessica Rodriguez, Kelley Heron), 28. SOFLO B 1:57.26 (Isabella Di Salvo, Jennifer Rodriguez, Molly Golding, Kayla Cunningham).

Mixed 200-meter medley relay: 1. Scarlet Aquatics 1:54.65, 2. East Coast Aquatic Club 1:55.09, 3. Swim Florida 1:56.27, 4. SOFLO A 1:56.33 (Kelley Heron, Marc Rojas, Jessica Rodriguez, Luke Lezotte), 6. SOFLO B 1:56.97 (Ricardo Roche, Samuel Quintero, Kathleen Golding, Jennifer Rodriguez).


800-meter freestyle: 1. Jackson Karofsky, SCAR 8:22.62, 2. Alfonso Mestre, Clearwater 8:23.54, 3. Hayden Curley, Highlander 8:26.45; SOFLO: 6. Ricardo Roche 8:29.01, time drop, 16. Rafael Rodriguez 8:41.25, 29. Juan Diaz 8:54.20, time drop, 31. Max Asnis 8:56.49.

200-meter medley relay: 1. Club Seminole 1:42.88, 2. Westminster Academy 1:46.07, 3. Bolles 1:47.23, 12. SOFLO A 1:50.00 (Ricardo Roche, Marc Rojas, Juan Serna, Luke Lezotte), 18. SOFLO B 1:53.04.

200-meter freestyle relay: 1. Club Seminole 1:32.70, 2. Metro Aquatics 1:34.44, 3. Gator Swim Club 1:34.44, 15. SOFLO B 1:39.75 (Kevin Porto, Rafael Rodriguez, CJ Kopecki, Max Asnis), SOFLO A DQ.

Mixed 200-meter freestyle relay: 1. Club Seminoles 1:39.60, 2. Gator Swim Club 1:41.11, 3. Trinity Prep 1:41.38, 18. SOFLO A 1:49.35 (CJ Kopecki, Jennifer Rodriguez, Jessica Rodriguez, Heath Brames), 19. SOFLO B 1:50.45 (Lance Lesage, Molly Golding, Kayla Cunningham, Ricardo Roche).

What: Speedo Champions Series Southern Zone South Sectional LCM Championship
When: Friday-Sunday
Schedule: Friday-Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m. prelims, 4 p.m. finals.
Where: YMCA of Central Florida Aquatic Center, 8422 International Drive, Orlando.
Of note: Admission is $5 per session, heat sheets are $3 per session and there is an all-sessions pass available. There is a sectional event page on the Florida Swimming website ( Florida Gold Coast and Florida Swimming athletes head the field. Out-of-section and international swimmers are also in the field. YMCA Central Florida is hosting the meet.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb

May 12, 2017—Two years ago Ricardo Roche got serious about his swimming and it’s made a world of difference.

“I was always competitive and I always wanted to be my best, but two years ago I started looking at cuts and wanting to go out of town to meets,” the South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer said.

“I started to mature and got a little more dedicated. Coach beat me up more in workouts and I started going to the gym.”

The dedication has paid off for the Pembroke Pines Charter junior and SOFLO national team member.

Roche, 17, turned in his finest performance at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships in his home pool at Academic Village. He swam six best times in individual events, was a member of three relays and now has three Junior National cut times.

Roche dropped 30.29 seconds off his previous best time winning the 1,650-yard freestyle. He finished in 15:44.80 and played a key role in SOFLO winning the combined team and men’s team titles.

In his other five events, he was:

Second in the 400-yard individual medley in 4:00.36, 8.73 time drop.

Third in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:34.48, 8.28 time drop from 4:42.76.

Third in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:50.69, 3.59 time drop from 1:54.28.

Eighth in the 200-yard freestyle, 1:42.99, 3.92 time drop.

Eighth in the 100-yard backstroke in 52.71, 1.64 time drop.

“I wanted to drop all of my times and I got the times I wanted to get,” Roche said. “This was really big, it was my best meet. I got my Junior National cuts and I am moving up.”

Roche finished fifth in high point in the open division with 115 points.

Roche has been swimming for 13 years. He learned the basics in Mexico, where he was born, and continued in South Florida when his family moved. Roche has dual citizenship and can compete for both Mexico and U.S. He has been on the national team since his freshman year of high school.

“I am happy about how I am doing,” Roche said. “I don’t think I am super surprised. I do work hard even though sometimes I slack and tend to miss a practice. But I give it my best.”

Roche played soccer in Mexico but gave it up for swimming.

“I just like the sport, I love the water,” Roche said. “I have a passion for it. I’m not sure why, I just do.”

Roche trains six days a week with his SOFLO teammates. He has three junior national cuts in the mile, 800 freestyle and 200 backstroke.

“I think I am bigger, stronger and faster and that’s helped me improve,” said Roche, now motivated by the prospect of earning a college scholarship and competing internationally.

“College is the goal for sure,” Roche said. “A few years ago I didn’t really focus on it. I didn’t think about it back then. But now I started to focus on it a lot. I am narrowing my goals for the future.”

Roche is the only swimmer in his family. Younger brother Carlo, 15, is a talented cyclist who competes at the Brian Piccolo Park Velodrome.

“He is really good, but I am glad I chose swimming,” Roche said. “I was super excited after seniors. I got best times and the team won which was best of all.”

Each TYR Swimmer of the Month receives a free TYR backpack.

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.

Sharon Robb can be reached at