Izzy Wilson Top SOFLO Finisher At Southern Zone Open Water 5K Championships

By Sharon Robb
DeLEON SPRINGS, Fl., May 14, 2022—Izzy Wilson was South Florida Aquatic Club and Florida Gold Coast’s top girls’ finisher at the Southern Zone Open Water Championships Saturday at Camp Winona YMCA.

Wilson, 16, was second in the 5K 15-16 age category in 1 hour, 2 minutes and 25.6 seconds for the 3.1 mile race. Claire Stuhlmacher, 16, of Florida Swimming finished first in 1:01.34.2.

Andreas Da Silva, 14, was Florida Gold Coast’s top boys finisher, placing second in the 13-14 5K in 1:01:35.8. Dillon Brigman, 14, of Florida Swimming won in 59:42.9.

SOFLO’ top qualifier is Natalie Gembicki, 17, was tenth among the open 5K swimmers in 1:07:27.2. The time bettered her previous 5K time of 1:13:22.

Amelie Bicerne, 15, was 27th in the girls 15-16 in 1:11:27.3.

Jemma Baldwin, 12, was sixth in the girls 11-12 2K open water race in 27:58.9.

Juan Vallmitjana, 13, was 27th in the boys 13-14 1:12.01.9.

Ryan Harries, 13, was 29th in the boys 13-14 1:12:57.4.

Ivan Grass, 17, was tenth in the open boys in 1:05:22.0.

Sunday’s events at 8:45 a.m. feature the 11-12 2K Team Pursuit Race; 13-14 2K Team Pursuit Race; 15-16 2K Team Pursuit Race and Open 2K Team Pursuit Race.


13-14: 1. Gabriella Underwood, Gulf 1:06:02.9, 2. Alexandra Dunn, South Texas 1:06:03.0, 3. JB Kodera, Florida Swimming 1:06:05.3; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 9. Allison Connors 1:09:21.3, 35. Erin Reid 1:24:20.5, 36. Frankie Ninova 1:31:39.4, 37. Kalina Gitchev 1:32:50.3.
15-16: 1. Claire Stuhlmacher, Florida Swimming 1:01:34.2, 2. Izzy Wilson, Florida Gold Coast 1:02:25.6, 3. Olivia Moore, Florida Swimming 1:03:20.6; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 15. Lilia Blanco 1:08:14.4, 20. Evelyn Balog 1:10:13.3, 27. Amelie Bicerne 1:11.27.3.
17-18: 1. Summer Cardwell, Florida Swimming 1:01:28.4, 2. Cadence Fort, Florida Swimming 1:01:29.7, 3. Blair Stoneburg, Florida Swimming 1:01:32.4; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 6. Samira Zambrano 1:05:51.9, 10. Natalie Gembicki 1:07:27.2, 21. Leslie Dame 1:12:07.0.

13-14: 1. Dillon Brigman, Florida Swimming 59:42.9, 2. Andreas Da Silva, Florida Gold Coast 1:01:35.8, 3. Rylan Sepulveda, Florida Swimming 1:01:43.8; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 27. Juan Valmitjana 1:12:01.9, 29. Ryan Harries 1:12:57.4, 33. Kavon Clarke 1:13:40.9.

15-16: 1. Bucky Gettys, South Texas 57:50.9, 2. Ryan Turner, Florida Swimming 1:00.13.5, 3. Jack Culbertson, Gulf 1:00:18.2; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 17. Billy Connors 1:04:18.3, 20. Caleb DaSilva 1:04:55.1, 34. Lucas Young 1:08:17.6, 38. Michael Grenier 1:10:24.1.

17-18: 1. Andrew Taylor, Florida Swimming 57:45.5, 2. Carter Stuhlmacher, Florida Swimming 57:48.0, 3. Connor Fry, Gulf 57:50.3; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 10. Ivan Grass 1:05:22.0, 20. Kolby Hardin 1:09:11.3.


11-12: 1. Charlee McEvoy, Gulf 27:04.8, 2. Annie Shall, NC 27:15.9, 3. Ellison Mandacina, South Texas 27:36.3; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 5. Cali Jerabek 27:50.4, 6. Jemma Baldwin 27:58.9, 13. Gia Euseppi 29:35.5, 20. Alina Rodriguez 31:01.2.

11-12: 1. Jorge Guerra, Gulf 25:59.9, 2. Lupo Sgroi, Florida Swimming 26:12.6, 3. Reef McMeeking, Florida Swimming 26:13.2; FLORIDA GOLD COAST: 11. Caleb Caponera 27:01.5, 14. Luke Reid 28:09.9, 15. Elan Beker 28:23.3.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO Swimmers Compete This Weekend At Southern Zone Open Water Championships

By Sharon Robb
DeLEON SPRINGS, Fl., May 13, 2022—After checking in, swimmers got a chance to warm up Friday for the Southern Zone Open Water Championships Saturday and Sunday at Camp Winona YMCA.

South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented on the Florida Gold Coast zone team with seven swimmers in the two-day event hosted by Hydro4 Swimming and Florida Swimming.

Florida Swimming has won the event for the past three years followed by North Carolina, Gulf Swimming and South Texas Swimming.

On Saturday at 8:15 a.m. the 11-12 2K, 13-14 5K and Senior Open and 15-16 5K races will be held.

Sunday’s events at 8:45 a.m. feature the 11-12 2K Team Pursuit Race; 13-14 2K Team Pursuit Race; 15-16 2K Team Pursuit Race and Open 2K Team Pursuit Race.

The 5K course is a rectangular shape with multiple buoys placed on the course to identify the course boundaries. The start and finish are in-water. The races are being live streamed on YouTube. Results will be posted on Florida Swimming’s open water swimming page.

The water depth off the dock is 15 feet and water temperature is expected to range from 72-78 degrees.

SOFLO’ top qualifier is Natalie Gembicki, 17, who was SOFLO’s top girls’ finisher in the FGC local qualifier placing second in the 17-and-over 5K in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 22 seconds for the 3.1 course off Pompano Beach Pier.

Other SOFLO swimmers are: Juan Vallmitjana, 13, Alexander Miller, 16, Jemma Baldwin, 12, Izzy Wilson, 15, Amelie Bicerne, 15, Ivan Grass, 17 and Ryan Harries, 13.


11-12, 1. Cali Jerabek, 2. Gia Euseppi, 3. Alina Rodriguez, 4. Jemma Baldwin, SOFLO.
13-14, 1. Erin Reid, 2. Frankie Ninova, 3. Kalina Gitchev, 4. Allison Connors.
15-16, 1. Izzy Wilson, SOFLO, 2. Lily Blanco, 3. Evelyn Balog, 4. Amelie Bicerne, SOFLO.
Open, 1. Leslie Dame, 2. Natalie Gembecki, SOFLO, 3. Samira Zambrano.

11-12, 1. Caleb Camponera, 2. Luke Reid.
13-14, 1. Andreas DaSilva, 2. Juan Vallmitjana, SOFLO, 3. Ryan Harries, SOFLO, 4. Kavon Clarke.
15-16, 1. Billy Connors, 2. Caleb DaSilva, 3. Lucas Young, 4. Michael Grenier.
Open, 1. Giuliano Brunetti, 2. Fernando Collazo, 3. Ivan Grass, SOFLO, 4. Kolby Hardin.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

Ten SOFLO Swimmers Will Compete In Southern Zone Open Water Championship This Weekend

By Sharon Robb
HIXSON, Tenn., June 3, 2021—Ten South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will represent Florida Gold Coast this weekend at the Southern Zone Open Water Championship at Chester Frost Park.

The 2021 Chattanooga Swim Fest will feature the Southern Zone Open Water Championship and Chattanooga Rat Race.

The Southern Zone Open Water Championship is for Zone All-Star Teams selected by their LSC.

Individual races will be held Saturday at 8:15 a.m. and relay races on Sunday on 8:45 a.m. The zone event on Saturday is for swimmers ages 11 and 12 in the 2K; 13 and 14 in the 5K and 15 and 16 and senior open in the 5K.

On Sunday, there is a 1K relay race for 11 and 12; 1.2K relay race for 13 and 14 and 1.2K relay race for open swimmers. Swimmers will check in on Friday and also be able to see the course and warm up. A zoom meeting for athletes and officials will also be held.

The meet, hosted and sponsored by SES Swimming and McCallie/GPS Aquatics, is being held about 30 minutes from downtown Chattanooga. Chester Frost Park is on Lake Chickamauga and Tennessee River, with the greater portion of the park cradling Dallas Bay.

The team was selected off the Florida Gold Coast Open Water Swimming Championship in Pompano Beach.

The FGC will be represented by SOFLO All-Stars Jaden Amores, 13-14; Elise Dinehart, 13-14; Ivan Grass, Open; Ryan Harries, 11-12; Juan Vallmitjana, 11-12; Isabelle Wilson, 15-16; Olivia Wilson, 11-12; Nat Gembicki, 15-16; Leo Mateus, Open and Alejandro Mateus, 15-16.

Other FGC All-Stars are: Reese Andres, Rylie Barnhardt, Adrianna Barone, Lilia Blanco, Addison Byrne, Caleb Caponera, Caleb DaSilva, Andreas DaSilva, Leslie Dame, Julia Freshour, Riley Garcia, Steven Gary, Giovanni Gianfriddo, Ian Meiselman, Francesca Ninova, Bree Silva, Evelyn Smith, Lillian Smith, Marcus Szabo and Lucas Young. The head coach is Cathy Silveira.

Awards will be distributed to the top eight finishers and top three team relays. The top five teams will also be awarded trophies.

The start is an in-water start and finish will be an out-of-water finish chute. The race course is a rectangular in a bay with no current.

Paddlers and escort boats will be spaced throughout the course under the supervision of the race committee to provide help to swimmers as needed. USA Swimming Rules will govern any interaction with escort crafts.

The Central Zone Open Water Championship is June 18-19 in Pleasant Prairie, Wisc. and Eastern Zone Open Water Championship is June 26 at Lake Quassapaug in Middlebury, Ct.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO Swimmers Win Team Pursuit For FGC All-Star Team At Zone Open Water Championships

By Sharon Robb

June 5, 2016—Rafael Rodriguez and Leonardo Mateus of South Florida Aquatic Club won gold medals at the Southern Zone Open Water Championships this past weekend off Fort Myers Beach.

Rodriguez and Mateus teamed with Bryan Rivero and Michael Fernandez of Hialeah Swim Club to win gold in the 13-14 team pursuit event for the Florida Gold Coast All-Stars.

Rafael Rodriguez, 14, also took a bronze medal in the individual event in 35:26.

The only other gold medal FGC All-Stars won was in the individual 11-12 event, Anna Auld, 12, finished in 19:25. Rose Smiddy was second among the senior girls in 38:23.



11-12, 1. Anna Auld, 12, FGC, 19:25; 2. McKenna Fiore, 12, Florida Swimming, 19:47, 3. Kelsey Swartout, 12, Florida Swimming, 20:01; SOFLO: 16. Sarah Acevedo, 12, FGC, 21:17.

13-14, 1. Claire Epperson, 14, Southeastern 38:01, 2. Makayla Ludwick, 14, Southeastern 38:25, 3. Isabel Pennington, 13, NC Select Team, 39:44.

15-16, 1. Noa Heron, 15, Florida Swimming, 37:43; 2. Polina Rukosuev, 15, Florida Swimming, 37:50; 3. Jordan Gorham, 16, Florida Swimming, 37:59.

Senior Girls: 1. Emmaline Peterson, 17, NC Select Team 37:42, 2. Rose Smiddy, 17, FGC, 38:23, 3. Kelsey Stevens, 18, Kentucky Swimming, 38:39.


11-12, 1. JD Bengston, 12, Georgia, 18:45; 2. Cole Firlie, 12, Florida Swimming, 18:47, 3. Beau Bengston, 12, Georgia 19:08; SOFLO: 17. Alejandro Mateus, 11, FGC, 21:39.

13-14, 1. Ian Grum, 14, Georgia 35:11; 2. Zachary Cairns, 13, NC Select Team 35:25; 3. Rafael Rodriguez, 14, Florida Gold Coast/SOFLO, 35:26; SOFLO: 12. Leonardo Mateus, 14, FGC 38:08.

15-16, 1. Ethan Sanders, 16, Southeastern, 35:20; 2. Noland Deas, 16, Georgia, 35:23; 3. Ross Dant, 15, NC Select Team 35:23.

Senior Boys: 1. Sadler McKeen, 17, Southeastern, 35:19, 2. Alex Robinson, 17, Southeastern, 35:20, 3. Patrick Frith, 17, NC Select Team, 35:22.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com

SOFLO Swimmers Ready To Go The Distance At Zone Open Water Championships

By Sharon Robb

June 2, 2016—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers are known for going the extra mile when it comes to swimming and this weekend they will be doing just that at the Southern Zone Open Water Championships in Fort Myers Friday through Sunday.

SOFLO will be well-represented on the Florida Gold Coast All-Star team coached by veteran coach Cathy Silveira of Metro Miami and state champion Doral Academy’s Miami Herald Coach of the Year.

Representing SOFLO are: Sarah Acevedo (11-12), Alejandro Mateus (11-12), Leonardo Mateus (13-14) and Rafael Rodriguez (13-14).

All four are talented open water and distance swimmers and among favorites.

The remaining Florida Gold Coast All-Stars are:

11-12 Girls, Anna Auld, ECAC, Megan Murphy, ECAC, Kiara Caamano, NPB.

11-12 Boys, Dominic Bono, AKS, Trenton Pace Edwards, ECAC, Carson Neidert, ECAC.

13-14 Girls, Delaney Biro, CSSC, Gaby Chambers, PST, Isabella Taylor, HAT, Karen Perez, HSC.

13-14 Boys, Bryan Rivero, HSC, Michael Fernandez, HSC.

15-16 Girls, None

15-16 Boys, Diego Avellandea, Azura, Fernando Rodriguez, MAC, Noah Proctor, MCA, Adrian Aguilar, MAC

17-and-over Girls, Rose Smiddy, AKS, Samantha Trodick, Sun.

17-and-over Boys, Cameron Anderson, MCA

The first race, hosted by the Gulf Coast Swim Team, off Fort Myers Beach is Friday night with men and women open relays.

On Saturday the action continues with the men 11-12, 2.5K at 9 a.m.; women 11-12, 2.5K at 9:10 a.m., men 13-14, 15-16, senior 5K, 10:30 a.m. and women 13-14, 15-16, senior 5K, 10:40 a.m. A beach barbecue for participants will be held 6 p.m. On Sunday the weekend events conclude with the team pursuits for 11-12, 14-and-under and senior at 10 a.m.

Sharon Robb can be reached at sha11cats@aol.com