SOFLO Heads To USA Swimming Southern Zone South Sectional Championships To Race Star-Studded Field

By Sharon Robb
ORLANDO, February 8, 2022—Two-time defending champion South Florida Aquatic Club continues the championship season at the USA Swimming Southern Zone South Sectional Championships.

The Speedo Championship Series four-day meet begins Thursday at Rosen Aquatic & Fitness Center.

Two sessions will open the meet with the combined 800-meter freestyle with a 3:15 p.m. start and 50-meter butterfly, 50-meter backstroke and 50-meter breaststroke with a 6 p.m. start.

SOFLO has 34 swimmers qualified in 151 individual events and has 20 relay teams in 10 relay events.

SOFLO made club history in 2021 winning back-to-back Southern Zone South Sectional Championships. In February, SOFLO won the combined team title, was second among women and third among men. In July, SOFLO won the combined team title and boys team titles and girls were second.

The field features a Who’s Who in swimming with U.S. Olympians Katie Ledecky, Michael Andrew, Caeleb Dressel and Natalie Hinds, Brazilian Olympian Bruno Fratus and Haitian Olympian Davidson Vincent heading the field.

In a fun opening matchup in the women’s 800-meter freestyle, Ledecky, swimming unattached for Gainesville Swim Club (8:12.57) where she now trains and coaches, will go head-to-head with Swimmer of the Year Blair Stoneburg of Treasure Coast Aquatics (8:45.23). University of Florida-bound Mallory Schleicher of SOFLO is seeded seventh in 9:03.34. Ledecky and Stoneburg will go at it again in the 1500 freestyle.

SOFLO’s Honduran Olympian Julio Horrego is seeded second (27.81) behind U.S. Olympian Michael Andrew (26.84) in the 50-meter breaststroke. Horrego is seeded first in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:01.18.

SOFLO’s Maddy Smutny, 16, is seeded first in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:14.37 ahead of Azura’s Julimar Avila, 25, in 2:15.36. Schleicher is seeded third in the 400 IM in 4:53.96 and fifth in the 400 freestyle in 4:21.95. Elena Dinehart was seeded fourth in the 200 backstroke in 2:17.97. Olivia Dinehart is seeded fifth in the 200 breaststroke in 2:34.85.

Other SOFLO swimmers qualified are: Mariano Catalasan, 15; Javier Colmenares, 15; Gabriella DeLuna, 15; Elena Dinehart, 17; Elise Dinehart, 13; Olivia Dinehart, 17; Hashan Ekanayake, 15; Natalie Gembicki, 16; Alex Golding, 17; Sally Golding, 17; Ivan Grass, 16; Sophia Grubbs, 16; Zackary Harris, 17; Derek Hau, 14; Adrian Hernandez, 16; Dahlia Hirsh, 15; Stephen Kim, 16; Alejandro Mateus, 16; Manuel Melendez, 18; Alexander Miller, 15; Austin Nelson, 16; Sabrina Osorio, 17; Sara Quintero, 18; Wisthon Rendon, 17; Ricardo Roche, 22; Enrique Rodriguez, 17; Javier Roman, 18; Nicolas Sachade, 15; Ana Villamil, 16; Isabelle Wilson, 15; and Aldo Zepeda, 16.

Other top teams competing are Bolles, Azura Florida Aquatics, Gainesville Swim Club, Clearwater Aquatic Team, Flood Aquatics Swim Team, St. Andrew’s Aquatics, Sarasota Sharks and Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Swim Fort Lauderdale Masters Head Local Contingent For Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic

By Sharon Robb
ORLANDO, October 14, 2021—Swim Fort Lauderdale, fresh off its sixth U.S. Masters Swimming Long Course National Championship title, heads the local contingent for the 13th annual Rowdy Gaines Masters Classic at historic Rosen Aquatic and Fitness Center.

A field of 58 teams including Coral Springs Masters, Gold Coast Masters, Palm Beach Masters and Wellington Swim Club will compete in the premier short course United States Masters swim meet.

The 25-meter timed finals, sanctioned by Florida LMSC for U.S. Masters, Inc., will be hosted by YCF Masters.

The meet begins Friday at 3 p.m. with Session 1 and ends 5:44 p.m. The three-day meet continues Saturday with Session 2 at 9 a.m. and ending at 2:27 p.m. It concludes Sunday with Session 3 at 10:30 a.m. and ending at 1:54 p.m.

Swim Fort Lauderdale has 18 swimmers entered including Eduard Tiozzo, 48, seeded first in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:28.00.

Several Swim Fort Lauderdale swimmers who competed at masters nationals will also compete including Adrienne Chin-Ogilvie, Alan Hsieh, Hubie Kerns, Linda Larson, Richard Strzelecki, Kathleen Stutz, Kristin Volz and Linda Webb.

Palm Beach Masters is sending 20 swimmers to the meet. The team is led by Daniel Lotano, 41, seeded first in the 50-meter backstroke in 26.72, 100-meter backstroke in 1:02.45 and 25-meter backstroke in 13.03. Teammate Barry Garland, 43, is seeded first in 200-meter breaststroke in 2:34.28.

Gold Coast Masters has a 25-swimmer contingent headed by ageless Cav Cavanaugh, 86, a world and national age group masters champion. He will swim the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events. Debbie Cavanaugh, Celia Devanney, Bill Dykstra, Andres Miyares and Lee Scharf are also among the contingent.

Miyares is training for the June 5-12 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. He will represent Team Florida in the open water swim in Orlando at the Games.

Single club entries include Coral Springs Masters’ Sandro Herek, 50, and Wellington Swim Club’s Henry Eronimous, 21.

There is also the Rowdy and Lucky Lake Swim 1.5K Open Water Challenge on Sunday at 7:45 a.m. Entry fees benefit YMCA scholarship programs.

Sharon Robb can be reached at