Former SOFLO Swimmer Jack Davies Returns To Join Coaching Staff

By Sharon Robb

PEMBROKE PINES, September 16, 2020—Jack Davies has come full circle with South Florida Aquatic Club.

Davies swam for SOFLO for four years (100 and 200 backstroke) before his family moved to The Woodlands in Texas. From 9 to 13-years-old, Davies was mentored by Coach George, Coach Luis and Coach Rose.

Davies will reunite with his former coaches on September 28, his first day as SOFLO’s new Silver and Senior Developmental coach at Academic Village Pool.

“I am extremely excited to be back,” Davies said. “It’s an awesome opportunity and one I can’t pass up. The coaches I was swimming for years I now am going to have the opportunity to coach with them. It is bittersweet leaving my old job, but there is a ridiculous amount of excitement to offset the sadness.”

Davies is currently wrapping up his coaching duties with the CSP Tideriders in St. Louis, Mo., where he coached all age groups and masters, from ages 4 to 60. He was also a private swim instructor at McKendree MetroRec Plex.

Davies graduated from McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., where he swam Division II until getting injured. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a background in data analytics, projections, basic administration and business environment theoretical techniques.

Davies graduated from The Woodlands College Park High School where he was captain of his swim team. He also competed for The Woodlands club team for five years and was a junior national team member from 2014-2016.

The Bishop Auckland, England-born Davies started swimming when he was 4 years old and has been in love with the sport ever since. His passion for swimming and coaching is a win-win for SOFLO.

“When I swam at SOFLO it was a good atmosphere,” said Davies, whose sister Leonie swam for SOFLO and parents were USA Swimming officials. “I had such an all-around good experience with good coaching, good assistants and good staff. It’s such an appealing program. It’s a set-up I know and am familiar with. Any job is going to be hard work. It might as well be hard work you enjoy.”

Midway through his sophomore year at McKendree, Davies injured his back and took four months off. The injury forced him to quit competitive swimming and started doing private lessons.

“Then I made the jump to coaching and never looked back,” Davies said.

The transition from competing to coaching took time. “It was very different, I took it in steps,” Davies said. “I started with private lessons and at one stage I was running the private lessons facility, doing the scheduling and using all the instructors in addition to teaching. Stepping into a coaching role felt natural and I enjoyed it.

“Swimming is something I have done my entire life. It’s something I understand. My desire to coach goes back to being injured. I feel like I have unfinished business. Coaching allows me to stay in the sport. I definitely want more to my swimming story than what I accomplished in the water.”

Davies loves the idea of working alongside CEO and head coach Chris Anderson and his former mentors.

“I hope to stick around as long as possible,” Davies said. “They all have such great experiences in swimming and coaching. I want to have as many good experiences as possible and I know I have a good network around me during the bad experiences. Swimming provides such a great environment because it’s not just about swimming but also about growing in life.”

Davies said he has followed the success of SOFLO, the Florida Gold Coast’s largest USA Swimming Club and one of the most successful in the state.

“It’s good to see what they have accomplished, these coaches are great coaches,” Davies said. “I’m not surprised how well they have done. They have good athletes and get the most out of them.”

With SOFLO’s program back in full swing while weathering the COVID-19 pandemic for seven months, Anderson is looking forward to having another coach on staff.

“Jack is a nice addition to the program,” Anderson said. “He has a lot of passion and energy. He interviewed well with Coach Lou, Coach Rose and myself. He is extremely excited to be here. He knows the area and parents. We are very excited about it.”

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Rafael Rodriguez Finishes Third On Day One Of Southern Zones Age Group Championships

By Sharon Robb

August 4, 2015—Rafael Rodriguez of South Florida Aquatic Club was third in the 1500-meter freestyle on opening day of the Southern Zones Age Group Championships at Tupelo (Miss.) Aquatic Center.

Rodriguez, 13, finished in 16:57.72 and was the top boys’ finisher among the Florida Gold Coast team.

Mary Smutny of Florida Gold Coast and Madison Murtagh of Florida Swimming won individual titles.

Smutny, 14, won the 400-meter freestyle in a best time 9:06.83, dropping 11.35 seconds. Olivia McMurray, 12, of Florida Swimming, the top seed in the 11-12, tied for second in 4:35.65.

Murtagh, 15, the top seed won the 15-18 800-meter freestyle in 9:13.65. Teammate Kelsey Hahn, 17, was second in a best time 9:19.73.

Charles Gallagher, 16, of Florida Swimming won the 15-18 1500-meter freestyle in a best time 16:19.58, shaving 25.10 off his previous best.

The five-day meet ends on Sunday. Prelims are 9 a.m. and finals are 5:30 p.m.


COMBINED TEAM SCORES: 1. North Carolina Swimming 52, 2. Florida Swimming 41.5, 3. Georgia Zone 33.5, 4. SC Zone 25, 5. Florida Gold Coast 22.

MEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. North Carolina 36, 2. Florida Swimming 16, 3. Georgia Zone 15, 4. SC Zone 14, 5. Florida Gold Coast 10.

WOMEN TEAM TOTALS: 1. Florida Swimming 25.5, 2. Georgia Zone 18.5, 3. North Carolina 16, 4. Florida Gold Coast 12, 5. SC Zone 11.


400-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Amanda Ray, NCS 4:33.71, 2. tie, Olivia McMurray, FL and Samantha Mobley, GA 4:35.65; FLORIDA: 9. Iliza Aguiar, FG 4:43.56, 11. Emily Chorpening, FL 4:44.62, 20. Paige Lane, FG 4:55.38, 21. Mattie Barfield, FG 4:55.51.

800-meter freestyle: 13-14, 1. Mary Smutny, FG 9:06.83, 2. Savannah Mitchell, GA 9:08.76, 3. Faith Hefner, NCS 9:13.07; FLORIDA: 6. Isabella Marsala, FL 9:20.54; 15-18, 1. Madison Murtagh, FL 9:13.65, 2. Kelsey Hahn, FL 9:19.73, 3. Josie McGuire, SES 9:23.08; FLORIDA: 6. Sloan Sizemore, FG 9:33.18, 14. Marissa Brannan, FG 10:05.90.


400-meter freestyle: 11-12, 1. Brendan Hausdorf, GA 4:27.62, 2. Matthew Gush, SCZT 4:29.24, 3. Vincent Ribeiro, STX 4:33.23; FLORIDA: 6. Jason Brzozowski, FL 4:35.65, 7. Jie Hoon Lee, FG 4:36.44, 8. Lance Lesage, FG 4:37.08, 11. Colton Frantz, FL 4:40.63, 18. Conor Cranfield, FL 4:45.28.

1500-meter freestyle: 13-14, 1. Ross Dant, NCS 16:07.52, 2. Cotalee Watko, NCS 16:52.18, 3. Rafael Rodriguez, FG 16:57.72; FLORIDA: 8. Isaac Jacobs FL 17:06.98, 9. Noah Smith, FL 17:09.69; 15-18, 1. Charles Gallagher, FL 16:19.58, 2. Casey Charles, SES 16:33.56, 3. Alan Hudgens, NCS 16:43.69; FLORIDA: 6. Alec Bowie, FL 16:53.44, 8. Cameron Anderson, FG 17:02.10.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

South Florida Aquatic Club Second After Day One Of Inaugural USA Swimming Futures Championships

By Sharon Robb

July 30, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club, in the midst of an outstanding year, is among early leaders at the the inaugural USA Swimming Futures Championships.

After opening day action at Purdue’s Boilermaker Aquatic Center in West Lafayette, Ind., SOFLO is second in the combined team standings with 75 points and third among women’s teams with 49 points.

Kathleen Golding, 14, of SOFLO, one of the youngest swimmers in the meet, was sixth in the 800-meter freestyle in a best time 9:06.15, dropping 1.69 seconds.

Golding was also a member of SOFLO’s fourth place 800-meter freestyle relay team in 8:35.70 with teammates Kelley Heron and Florida Gulf Coast swimmers and sisters Marcella and Melissa Marinheiro.

SOFLO boys was sixth in the 800-meter freestyle relay in 7:51.04 with Julien Pinon, CJ Kopecki, Ervin Marin and Ryan Capote. Pinon led off with a best time 1:53.43 for 200.

“Our kids did well on the national stage,” said SOFLO head coach Chris Anderson, now headed to the XVI FINA World Championships to coach five swimmers from Jamaica, Colombia and U.S.

The Futures Championships are a trio of meets in Greensboro, N.C., Mt. Hood, Ore. and West Lafayette, Ind.

The meets are designed to bridge the gap between Sectionals and Junior Nationals enabling swimmers not qualified for Junior Nationals to compete in their own meet.

The meet continues today with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 6 p.m. The results are posted on Meet Mobile under FUTURES West Lafayette 2015.


COMBINED TEAM TOTALS: 1. Columbia Swim Club 91, 2. South Florida Aquatic Club 75, 3. Highlander 68, 4. Rockwood Swim Club 56, 5. Kansas City Blazers 54, 6. Dynamo Swim Club 46, 7. Boilermaker Aquatics 40, 8. tie, Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club, Stingrays 36, 10. Indiana University Swim Team 30.

WOMEN’S TEAM TOTALS: 1. Columbia Swim Club 57, 2. Kansas City Blazers 54, 3. South Florida Aquatic Club 49, 4. Rockwood Swim Club 34, 5. Riptide 29, 6. Highlander Aquatic Club 28, 7. Southwest Stars Swim Club 26, 8. Michiana Stars Swimming 20, 9. Stingrays 16, 10. Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club 14.

MEN’S TEAM TOTALS: 1. Boilermaker Aquatics, Highlander Aquatics 40, 3. Dynamo 37, 4. Columbia 34, 5. Indiana University 30, 6. Memphis Thunder Aquatic Club 28, 7. South Florida Aquatic Club 26, 8. tie, Rockwood Swim Club, Area Tallahassee Aquatic Club, Spartan Swim Club 22.


800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Columbia 8:31.51, 2. Rockwood 8:31.81, 3. Kansas City Blazers 8:32.92; FLORIDA: 4. South Florida Aquatic Club 8:35.70 (Kelley Heron, Kathleen Golding, Marcella Marinheiro, Melissa Marinheiro).

800-meter freestyle: 1. Emily Meckstroth, STAR 8:51.02, 2. Elizabeth Walker, CSC 8:53.88, 3. Caitlyn McHugh, RAYS 8:58.87; FLORIDA: 6. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 9:06.15, 11. Melissa Marinheiro, SOFLO 9:11.19.


800-meter freestyle relay: 1. Boilermaker Aquatics 7:41.20, 2. Columbia 7:45.20, 3. Dynamo 7:47.98; FLORIDA: 6. South Florida Aquatic Club 7:51.04 (Julien Pinon, CJ Kopecki, Ervin Marin, Ryan Capote).

1500-meter freestyle: 1. Jackson Gunning, RAYS 15:59.41, 2. James Koval, Unattached 16:12.11, 3. Hayden Curley, Highlander 16:12.11.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Erika Pelaez Double Winner On Opening Night Of IMX Challenge

By Sharon Robb

May 1, 2015—South Florida Aquatic Club dominated opening night of the IMX Challenge Friday at Academic Village Swimming Pool.

SOFLO swimmers swept the top three places in several events.

In the girls’ 200-meter individual medley, SOFLO swept the top three places in the 11-12 age group with Kyana Castro, 12, Jacqueline Lugo, 12, and Molly Golding, 12. Castro won in a best time 2:41.99, dropping 3.11 seconds from her previous best. SOFLO swimmers placed in the top eight.

SOFLO’s 13-14 girls also swept the top three places in the 200 IM with Marianna Serrao, 13, Annita Huang, 13, and Vanessa Mesa, 13. Serrao won in 2:43.62. SOFLO’s Jessica Rodriguez, 15, won the 15-and-over age group in 2:33.70.

Erika Pelaez, 8, of SOFLO won the 200 IM 10-and-under in a best time 2:54.37, dropping 7.20.

It was the first of two events Pelaez captured. She also won the 200-meter freestyle in 2:32.28, another best time, shaving 6.85 off her previous best.

SOFLO finished off the night taking eight of the top 10 spots in the girls’ 11-and-over 400-meter freestyle. Kyana Castro, 12, won in a best time 4:59.62. Ruthie Kauffman, 12, of North Miami Swim Team was second in a best time 5:02.16 and SOFLO’s Isabella Di Salvo, 12, was third in a best time 5:03.16.

Kathleen Golding, 14, of SOFLO won the 13-14 400 freestyle in 4:37.12 and Aly Pacitti, 17, of Plantation Swim Team won the 15-and-over in 4:47.74.

SOFLO swept the top three spots in the boys’ 11-12, 13-14 and 15-and-over 200 IM.

SOFLO finished in the top 11-12 spots with Joseph Lee, 12, John Paul Handal, 12, and Michael Arias, 12. Lee won in a best time 2:37.98, dropping 5.12 seconds.

SOFLO also took the top three places in the 13-14 200 IM. Rafael Rodriguez, 13, won in 2:21.96 followed by teammates Leonardo Mateus, 13, and Samuel Quintero, 14.

SOFLO took the top six spots in the 15-and-over 200 IM with Julien Pinon, 16, Jonathan Farah, 17, and Ricardo Roche, 15, leading the way. Pinon won in 2:19.46.

Zackary Harris, 10, led a 1-2-3 SOFLO sweep winning in 2:38.61 followed by Alejandro Mateus, 9, second in a best time 2:41.50 with a huge time drop of 10.33 seconds and Christian Tijero was third in 2:50.08.

In the 11-and-over 400-meter freestyle, Arias, 12, Handal, 12, and Lee, 12, swept the top three spots with Arias winning in a best time 4:49.24, dropping 6.94. SOFLO also swept the 13-14 with Rodriguez winning in 4:21.44 followed by Mateus and Samuel Quintero, 14.

Also in the boys’ competition, Sebastian Lares, 10, of Azura Florida Aquatics won the 10-and-under 200 IM in 2:49.88. Samuel Asnis, 16, swimming unattached, won the 400-meter freestyle in 4:18.93.

Swimmers not only are getting some good racing in but will also get a chance to see how they stack up against the rest of the nation’s age group swimmers in the USA Swimming program when times are compiled and compared.

USA Swimming’s IMX (Xtreme) Challenge is a series of five or six events. Once swimmers complete the IMX program they can see where their score ranks nationally, among their local LSC and own swim club.

In addition to host SOFLO, other teams competing are Azura Florida Aquatics, Hialeah Swim Club, North Miami Swim Team, Plantation Swim Team and SwimFast.

The meet continues on Saturday with two sessions. The first session at 8 a.m. is the 12-and-under 100 butterfly, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 200 freestyle relay.

The second session at 12:30 p.m. is the 13-and-over 200 butterfly, 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 200 freestyle relay.



200-meter individual medley:

10-and-under, 1. Rebeca Levin, SwimFast 3:14.83, 2. Mia Escudero, SOFLO 3:18.43, 3. Morgan Sebo, SwimFast 3:19.53; SOFLO: 4. Sabrina Osorio 3:19.70, 8. Sofia Osorio 3:26.81, 10. Kerry Cunningham 3:29.90; 11-12, 1. Isabella Jurado, SOFLO 3:00.15, 2. Michelle Ordonez, SOFLO 3:01.20, 3. Kaycie Kennedy, SwimFast 3:11.27; SOFLO: 4. Daniela Barreto 3:11.61, 5. Lily Sines 3:13.58, 6. Salma Hegazy 3:22.40, 8. Emma Twombly 3:26.05, 9. Molly Masson 3:30.81; 13-14, 1. Madison Johnson, SOFLO 2:56.61; 15-and-over, 1. Lily Munoz, SOFLO 3:08.47.

200-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Erika Pelaez, SOFLO 2:32.28, 2. Rebeca Levin, Swim Fast 2:53.16, 3. Megan Smith, Plantation Swim Team 2:53.39; SOFLO: 4. Valerie Vank 2:55.56, 6. Sabrina Osorio 2:58.90, 7. Sofia Osorio 2:59.26, 10. Mia Escudero 3:02.47.

400-meter freestyle:

12-and-under, 1. Kyana Castro, SOFLO 4:59.62, 2. Ruthie Kauffman, North Miami Swim Team 5:02.16, 3. Isabella DiSalvo, SOFLO 5:03.16; SOFLO: 4. Michelle Marinheiro 5:06.86, 5. Sara Quintero 5:08.04, 6. Molly Golding 5:08.51, 7. Jacqueline Lugo 5:09.49, 8. Kayla Cunningham 5:09.88, 10. Daniela Curbelo 5:12.76; 13-14, 1. Kathleen Golding, SOFLO 4:37.12, 2. Cameron Thomas, SwimFast 4:58.56; 15-and-over, 1. Aly Pacitti, Plantation Swim Team 4:47.74, 2. Kylie Herman, SOFLO 4:49.65, 3. Jessica Rodriguez, SOFLO 4:51.69.


200-meter individual medley: 10-and-under, 1. Sebastian Lares, Azura 2:49.88, 2. Zackary Harris, SOFLO 2:53.40, 3. Alejandro Mateus, SOFLO 2:59.40; SOFLO: 5. Christian Tijero 3:16.51, 7. Jacob Navarro 3:19.25, 8. Logan Gonzalez 3:22.43, 9. Aldo Zepeda 3:22.75, 10. Fernando Barreto 3:23.90; 11-12, 1. Joseph Lee, SOFLO 2:37.98, 2. John Paul Handal, SOFLO 2:38.46, 3. Michael Arias, SOFLO 2:43.11; SOFLO: 5. Marcos Vazquez 2:53.38, 8. Alex Golding 3:06.42, 9. Nicolas Munoz 3:06.65, 10. Chris Vasquez 3:07.62; 13-14, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 2:21.96, 2. Leonardo Mateus, SOFLO 2:27.36, 3. Samuel Quintero, SOFLO 2:32.39; SOFLO: 5. Brandon Moran 2:37.51, 8. Sebastian Sevilla 2:45.77, 10. Eiza Gantus 2:46.65; 15-and-over, 1. Julien Pinon, Unattached-SOFLO 2:19.46, 2. Jonathan Farah, SOFLO 2:20.71, 3. Ricardo Roche, SOFLO 2:22.39; SOFLO: 4. Ervin Marin 2:23.99, 5. Juan Lucas 2:25.61, 6. Juan Diaz 2:27.70, 8. Ryan Capote 2:31.25, 9. Juan Osorio 2:31.96.

200-meter freestyle:

10-and-under, 1. Zackary Harris, SOFLO 2:38.61, 2. Alejandro Mateus, SOFLO 2:41.50, 3. Christian Tijero, SOFLO 2:50.08; SOFLO: 5. Tyler Herring 2:50.98, 6. Noah Hew 2:51.54, 7. Jacob Navarro 2:52.49, 8. Logan Gonzalez 2:53.41, 9. Fernando Barreto 3:03.42, 10. Aldo Zepeda 3:03.52.

400-meter freestyle:

12-and-under, 1. Michael Arias, SOFLO 4:49.24, 2. John Paul Handal, SOFLO 4:49.58, 3. Joseph Lee, SOFLO 4:50.23; SOFLO: 6. Alex Golding 5:35.76, 8. Nicolas Munoz 5:48.13, 9. Daniel Hughes 5:49.14, 10. Chris Vasquez 5:54.18; 13-14, 1. Rafael Rodriguez, SOFLO 4:21.44, 2. Leonardo Mateus, SOFLO 4:29.83, 3. Samuel Quintero, SOFLO 4:46.38; 15-and-over, 1. Samuel Asnis, Unattached 4:18.93, 2. Maximillian Asnis, Unattached 4:20.13, 3. Andres Lares, Azura 4:22.72; SOFLO: 4. Juan Lucas 4:27.42, 2. Ricardo Roche 4:27.87, 8. Juan Diaz 4:34.97, 9. Jordan Colon 4:37.08, 10. Ryan Capote 4:37.86.


What: SOFLO IMX Challenge

When: Saturday

Where: Academic Village Swimming Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines

Schedule: Saturday, Session 2, 8 a.m., Session 3, 12:30 p.m.

Admission: $3, heat sheets $3.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Alia Atkinson Wins Gold, Ties World Record At FINA Short Course World Championships

By Sharon Robb

December 6, 2014—In front of a cheering, capacity crowd waving Jamaican flags, Alia Atkinson made history on so many levels Saturday at the 12th FINA Short Course World Swimming Championships at Hamad Aquatic Center in Doha, Qatar.

The three-time Jamaican Olympian and longtime South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer became the first Jamaican to win a gold medal and tie the world record at a major international swim meet.

Atkinson, 25, out-touched reigning Olympic and defending champion Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania to win the 100-meter breaststroke in 1:02.36, also a meet record which Meilutyte had broken the day before in 1:02.43.

Meilutyte, 17, has held the world record since 2012 and now shares it with Atkinson, who has now beaten the teenager three times in the last two months.

It was also a national record for Atkinson, who has been knocking on the door for a world record in the past year. Her previous best and national record was 1:02.54.

Atkinson is also the first black woman to win a world swimming title in 40 years.

Atkinson and Meilutyte were neck-and-neck early in the race with Meilutyte leading slightly at the 50-meter mark (29.10-29.46). With great back-half speed and incredible turn at the 75-mark, Atkinson reeled her in to beat her by 1/10th of a second.

After Atkinson touched the wall she turned to look at the scoreboard. She threw her arms in the air when she saw that she had won and then looked stunned when she realized she had her first career world record.

“Me?” Atkinson screamed in utter joy. “I just didn’t know until I looked up, the race was so close. I have been getting closer and closer.

“Considering the 50 breaststroke and how it went I had to keep my head in check and told myself I could still turn it around, I am better in the 100,” Atkinson said. “I had to keep a positive outlook and for the most part I did pretty well so I am pretty excited about that.”

Still cloud-walking after the race, Atkinson later tweeted “world record holder baby! We did it. Team effort.”

Congratulatory Facebook messages started pouring in after her race. “Congrats to my fellow teammate and inspiration for the WORLD RECORD, you are a true idol for a lot of swimmers including myself, you are the best,” said French national age group champion Julien Pinon.

Atkinson now has a gold and silver medal with the 200-meter breaststroke next on Sunday. At the 2012 world short course championships, Atkinson finished with two silvers.

Four other world records were smashed on Saturday.

In the opening event, Russia’s relay team of Vladimir Morozov, Evgeny Sedov, Oleg Tikhobaev and Sergei Fesikov broke the world record in the 4×50-meter freestyle in 1:22.60. Russia held the previous record of 1:23.36. The U.S. team of Josh Schneider, Tom Shields, Jimmy Feigen and Ryan Lochte took the silver in 1:23.47.

France’s Florent Manaudou broke his second world and course records in the 50-meter backstroke in 22.22. The previous record was 22.61 set by American Peter Marshall wearing a shin suit in 2009.

Hungarian Katinka Hosszu continued her hot streak with another world and course record in the 200-meter individual medley in 2:01.86, her fourth gold medal. St. Petersburg’s Melanie Margalis, 22, took bronze in 2:06.68 after surging in the last half of the race. Margalis was fifth at the halfway mark before laying down a huge 30.02 freestyle split.

The U.S. team of Josh Schneider, Matt Grevers, Madison Kennedy and Abbey Weitzeil came from behind to break the world record in the 4×50-meter mixed freestyle relay in 1:28.57. The previous record of 1:29.53 was held by Russia.

South African Chad Le Clos broke the course record in the 50-meter butterfly to win in 21.95 on the heels of his gold and world record in the 100-meter butterfly.

Florida State’s Rafael Van Leeuwaarde of Surinam broke his third national record in three events. In his final event, he broke the 50-meter breaststroke record in 28.13. “Not what I wanted but a reason to come back and crush that time,” he said. “Three for three in Nattys. Big things ahead.”

Talisa Lanoe of Kenya and Boca Raton-based Performance Aquatics (PAQ) broke her second national record. She swam 1:04.46 in the 100-meter backstroke to better her own mark of 1:07.16. On Friday, she broke the 200-meter backstroke national record in 2:19.55.

The state of Florida has 27 nine swimmers, who train in Florida, representing 18 countries. The biennial event features 1,100 swimmers from 171 countries.

Universal Sports Network is televising the meet over ten hours with nightly broadcasts at 8 p.m. The two-hour daily highlight shows feature the best of each day’s races.


Max Abreu, Paraguay, Bolles

Marcelo Acosta, El Salvador, Azura Florida Aquatics

Alia Atkinson, Jamaica, South Florida Aquatic Club

Jevon Atkinson, Jamaica, South Florida Aquatic Club

Valentina Artemevia, Russia, Bolles

Elizabeth Beisel, United States, Gator Swim Club

Elvis Burrows, Bahamas, Orlando

Lani Cabrera, Barbados, Florida Gulf Coast

Marcin Cieslak, Poland, Gator Swim Club

Carolina Colorado, Colombia, Bolles

Mitch D’Arrigo, Italy, Gator Swim Club

Brett Fraser, Cayman Islands, Florida/Bolles

Patrick Groters, Aruba, Pine Crest Swim Team

Talisa Lanoe, Kenya, Performance Aquatics (PAQ)

Ryan Lochte, Daytona Beach, United States

Hilda Luthersdottir, Iceland, Gator Swim Club

Melanie Margalis, United States, St. Petersburg Aquatics

Noah Mascoll-Gomes, Antigua & Barbuda, Azura

Jorge Murillo, Colombia, Bolles

Vien Nguyen, Vietnam, St. Augustine Swim Team Cyclones

Chinyere Pigot, Suriname, Metro Aquatics

Zuhayr Pigot, Suriname, Metro Aquatics

Omar Pinzon, Colombia, Bolles

Sebastien Rousseau, South Africa, Gator Swim Club

Mario Todorivic, Croatia, Bolles

Rafael Van Leeuwaarde, Suriname, Florida State

Ariel Weech, Bahamas, Orlando

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Sends Thirty-Eight Swimmers To State 4A And 3A Meets

By Sharon Robb

November 6, 2014—It’s show time for South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers on high school swimming’s center stage.

After ten weeks of training and competing in high school meets, SOFLO swimmer’s will try and grab a piece of the spotlight at the sport’s pinnacle meet, the Pinch-A-Penny FHSAA State Swimming and Diving Championships Friday and Saturday at the Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center in Stuart.

The Class 4A competition is Friday with prelims at 9 a.m. and finals at 5:30 p.m.

SOFLO has qualified nineteen swimmers for the Class 4A meet.

West Broward High School is sending the largest SOFLO contingent with nine swimmers. They are Brendan Cassie, Melissa Marinheiro, Stephanie Mlujeak, Alex Monti, Bianca Monti, Simon Ortiz, Juan Osorio, Zariya Harris and Whitney Johnson.

Cypress Bay has the second largest group of qualifiers with eight. They are Kylie Herman, Raquel Lugo, Juan Diaz, Carly Swanson, Baldwin Suen, Jonathan Strod, Mathew Delvalle and Meredith Sheldon.

SOFLO teammates Jessica Rodriguez, a sophomore at Hialeah Gardens, will make her second state meet appearance. St. Thomas Aquinas senior Henry Perillo will also compete.

Last year, Melissa Marinheiro was SOFLO’s top 4A finisher, placing third in the 500-yard freestyle in 4:51.13, an All-American automatic time.

“Next year I am going for the gold,” she said after the awards ceremony.

Marinheiro, who has committed to Florida Gulf Coast and will join her older sister Marcella next fall, was also ninth in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:52.21.

Marinheiro is seeded 16th in the 500 yard freestyle and 24th in the 200 freestyle among a field of 24 qualifiers in each event.

Jessica Rodriguez, making her state meet debut as a freshman, was 11th in the 100-yard breaststroke and is coming off an outstanding sophomore season.

Rodriguez is seeded second in the 100-yard breaststroke and ninth in the 200 individual medley.

In the 4A team competition, Sarasota Riverview won the girls team title with 209 points. St. Thomas Aquinas, led by the 1-2 finish of its divers was the top local finisher placing fifth with 134.5 points.

Palm Harbor University won the boys team title with 276 points. Defending champion Boca Raton was third with 173.5 points and St. Thomas boys were 16th with 61 points.

Boca Raton is among boys team favorites to finish among the top three. The Bobcats qualified 40 boys and girls swimmers.

In the Class 3A competition on Saturday, SOFLO will also be represented by nineteen swimmers.

Pembroke Pines Charter, coached by SOFLO veteran age group coach Rose Lockie, leads the charge with thirteen swimmers. They are Bruno Berti, Lilli Calero, Ryan Capote, Katherine De Barros, Juan Lucas, Kelley Heron, Victoria Hill, Tyler Gibson, Brandon Fratianni, Matthew Menocal, Leysha Caraballo, Alisa Huang and Monica Rodriguez.

Mater Academy has the next largest SOFLO contingent with four. They are Jordan Colon, making his final state meet appearance; Alfredo Mesa, Vanessa Mesa and Liz Travieso.

SOFLO teammates Delanie Perez, a freshman at Barbara Goleman High School and Brian Moran of Hialeah Miami Lakes.

Miami Belen Jesuit will go after its eighth boys state title including its second consecutive in its new 3A classification and third consecutive overall.

Last year’s boys title came down to the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay where Bolko De Pawlikowski anchored the winning relay to clinch the title. Belen Jesuit won by nine points with 249 points ahead of Gainesville with 240 and Venice with 165.

Tallahassee Chiles won the girls team title with 250 points. Fort Lauderdale was 15th with 53 points.



What: Pinch-A-Penny FHSAA State 4A Swimming and Diving Meet

When: Friday, 9 a.m. prelims, 5:30 p.m. finals

Where: Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, 931 S.E. Ruhnke St., Stuart.

Admission: $9 per session, parking $5.


What: Pinch-A-Penny FHSAA State 3A Swimming and Diving Meet.

When: Saturday, 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. finals

Where: Sailfish Splashpark Aquatic Athletics Center, 931 S.E. Ruhnke St., Stuart.

Admission: $9 per session, parking $5.

Sharon Robb can be reached at