SOFLO Super Six Will Compete In TYR 18&Under Spring Cup That Begins Thursday

By Sharon Robb
ORLANDO, April 28, 2021—South Florida Aquatic Club will be well-represented at the TYR 18&Under Spring Cup that begins Thursday at Rosen Aquatic & Fitness Center.

Fifteen-year-old U.S. Olympic trials qualifier Maddie Smutny heads SOFLO’s contingent that also includes twin sisters Olivia and Elena Dinehart, 16, Dominic Bono, 17, Juan Mora, 16, and Miguel Sierra, 16. They will swim a total of 27 individual events.

The USA Swimming long course meter competition features four host sites across the country, all scheduled from Thursday through Sunday. The meet was created in March as an additional opportunity for in-person competition for young swimmers to earn qualifying cuts for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in June in Omaha, Nebraska.

USA Swimming was recently made aware of California Department of Health restrictions that will no longer allow out-of-state teams to compete at the Woollett Aquatics Center in Irvine, Calif. location of the TYR 18&Under Spring Cup.

Affected teams will have the opportunity to attend any of the other three sites at Wellmark YMCA in Des Moines, Iowa; SwimRVA in Richmond, Va. or Orlando, if they choose. It is the only geographical exemption permitted.

The event is the third national event for 18&Under swimmers hosted by USA Swimming since December 2020, following the 18&Under Winter Championships and the 18&Under Spring Virtual Championships.

Smutny made her first trials cut in the 200-meter butterfly in 2:14.37 at the Piranhas Senior Invitational in March. She dipped under the first wave cut of 2:14.59.

Smutny is entered in the 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 200-meter butterfly, 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter individual medley.

Bono, headed to Youngstown State University in the fall, is entered in the 200- and 400-meter individual medley, 400-meter freestyle and 200-meter backstroke.

Elena Dinehart will swim the 200-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke.

Olivia Dinehart is entered in six events: 100- and 200-meter breaststroke, 200- and 400-meter individual medley and 100- and 400-meter freestyle. She is seeded first in the 200-meter breaststroke in 2:37.29.

Mora will swim the 100- and 200-meter breaststrokes and 100-meter freestyle.

Sierra is entered in the 100- and 200-meter butterfly events, 50- and 100-meter freestyles and 100-meter backstroke.

Thursday’s timed final events are the women’s 800-meter freestyle and 1500-meter freestyle at 5 p.m. Prelims and finals events are Friday through Sunday.

The meet will be live streamed on iSWIMTV and will be updated on social media @iSWIMTV.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, April 23, 2021–It was only natural Elise Dinehart would follow in the footsteps of her older twin sisters Elena and Olivia in swimming.

The family affair has turned into an advantage for the young talented swimmer.

Dinehart, 12, is in seventh grade and swims for Southwood Middle School along with South Florida Aquatic Club’s Mako Sharks group coached by Isidro Planell.

“It definitely helps having her sisters around,” Planell said. “They both work very hard and are positive influences for Elise when it comes to work ethic, attitude and being good people.”

Her work ethic paid off at the March 11-14 Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics at Coral Springs and March 31-April 3 International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA) East Coast Elite Showcase Classic Championship in St. Petersburg.

Dinehart scored 34 points (ninth place in high point for 11-12 girls) at JOs where she placed third in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:18.63 dropping 4.76 seconds off her previous best; fourth in the 500-yard freestyle in 5:28.65, dropping 19.51 and fifth in the 100-yard individual medley in 1:04.23, dropping 5.95.

“I think at the end of the meet I was really, really tired,” she said. “I was really happy with all my races.”

At ISCA, she was fifth in the 200-yard breaststroke, scoring 15 points and leading SOFLO girls in high point scoring. “That was really cool, the meet was a new experience because it was national,” she said.

Dinehart has been swimming for most of her life. She was 7 when she started competing in swim meets.

“I followed my sisters in swimming,” Dinehart said. “I was swimming already but I did watch them practice. It’s an advantage having older sisters because I can look up to them. I want to be like them when I’m older.

“We’re not competitive against each other. They do help me and give me advice about meets and stuff.”

Like many of her teammates, Dinehart loves to race.

“I love being competitive and racing people a lot,” she said. “I’m glad I stayed with swimming. It’s what I want to do. I really like it. I feel like when I am not doing well in practice or a meet, the next day I get more excited to try and go faster. It motivates me.”

Swimming has helped Dinehart with her time management when it comes to school.

“I’ve been working hard in school just like I do in swimming,” Dinehart said. “There is an advantage being home schooled because I can relax more, but I really want to go back to school.”

Dinehart’s long range goals include high school and college swimming and maybe even a trip to the Olympics one day. Dinehart is also in the art magnet program at middle school where she paints and draws.

Planell enjoys coaching Dinehart and watching her progress.

“Her work ethic is incredibly admirable,” he said. “Whenever she comes on deck for practice she brings positive energy along. She usually and almost always is the first person in the water. She always asks me to watch her strokes and see where she needs improvement.

“She never backs down from the challenges I throw at her during practice. In fact, she always responds positively by accepting the challenge and pushing through the entire set whether or not she hits the mark. She truly does set the example of what it means to be a Mako.”

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.

TYR, created by athletes, is named for the Norse god of warriors in Germanic mythology. Among its female-sponsored athletes are Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, Kelsi Dahlia, Lilly King, Melanie Margalis, Ashley Twichell and Molly Hannis.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

U.S. Masters Swimming Hosts Virtual TYR Last One Fast One Event That Begins Friday

By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, April 12, 2021–With the U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals postponed until late July because of the pandemic, the TYR Last One Fast One virtual event will offer masters swimmers an opportunity to race.

Until U.S. Masters Swimming is able to safely host large in-person events, the TYR event will give swimmers a chance to race in a favorite pool and open water events on the app. and see how they stack up against the rest of the nation.

Swimmers can race as many times in as many events as they want during the event. All swims will be recorded in a swimmer’s feed. Only the fastest time will appear on the leaderboard which means “make your last one, the fastest.”

Times can be submitted manually or via a smart watch. Manual results can be timed by a coach or friend with a stopwatch, regular watch, pace clock or anything else that displays times.

The TYR Last One Fast One kicks off Friday, April 16 and runs through Sunday, May 2, which is the time frame U.S. Masters Swimming Spring Nationals are typically held. They have been rescheduled for July 21-25.

Any 25-yard pool or open water venue can be used. All standard 25-yard pool individual events and open water distances from 1 mile to 25K will be held. No relays are offered. If there is no access to a 25-yard pool, swimmers can use a time conversion tool to convert times to 25-yards and manually input them.

Events include Freestyle: 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 1,650; Butterfly: 50, 100, 200; Backstroke: 50, 100, 200; Breaststroke: 50, 100, 200; Individual medley: 100, 200, 400; and Open water: 1 mile, 2 miles, 5K, 10K, 10 miles, 25K.

Results will not be eligible for USMS records or used to determine Top 10, All-American, or All-Star status.

However, swimmers will get a medal, swim cap, sticker and random prizes from TYR and $5 of the entry fee helps Adults Learn-to-Swim grants supported by the USA Swimming Foundation. Entry fee is $20 for all events.

All USMS members are welcome to participate. If not a member, age 18-and-over swimmers are welcome to join.

USASF board member and OHIO Masters member Jay DeFinis is matching all contributions made between April 12-18 up to $5,000.

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

SOFLO Swimmers Hit The Road For ISCA Elite Showcase Classic Championships

By Sharon Robb
ST. PETERSBURG, March 30, 2021–After a successful month of swimming in March, South Florida Aquatic Club continues its busy schedule in April with the first of several meets Wednesday through Saturday.

Seventeen swimmers (11 girls, 6 boys) will compete against clubs from throughout the nation in the International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA) East Coast Elite Showcase Classic Championships at North Shore Aquatic Complex. The age group meet is sponsored by TYR.

Its the first long road trip for SOFLO swimmers and coaches in more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All safety precautions will be observed at the meet.

SOFLO swimmers competing in 137 individual events are:

Jaden Amores, 14, who opted to compete in the elite meet instead of last weekend’s Florida All-Star dual meet against Florida Swimming; current TYR Swimmer of the Month Jenesys Amores, 12; Gabriella DeLuna, 14; Elise Dinehart, 12; Genesis Escobar, 13; Katelyn Gembicki, 13; Amanda Grubbs, 12; Ryan Harries, 11; Tania Mantilla, 13; Alexander Miller, 14; Nicholas Pelaez, 14; Felipe Rodriguez, 13; Alexandra Strong, 12; Juan Vallmitjana, 12; Sarah Vasquez, 13; Izzy Wilson 14; and Olivia Wilson 11.

The short course yards meet is open to 14 & under swimmers with qualifying times; 10-12-14 year olds with a minimum of A times; and 9-11-13 year olds with a minimum of BB times. There are prelims and finals Wednesday through Saturday.

Among teams competing are North Baltimore, Virginia Gators, Annapolis Swim CLub, Team Pittsburgh, Club Wolverine Bolles, Parkway, Denver, Dakota Riptide, Pine Crest and Plantation Swim Team.

Last week the March 23-27 ISCA International Senior Cup was held attracting some of the nation’s top teams and swimmers including Ryan Lochte, Caeleb Dressel, Farida Osman, Joseph Schooling, former Florida Gold Coast swimmer Ilya Evdokimov and SOFLO swimmer Miguel Cancel.

North Shore Aquatic Complex is located on the St. Petersburg waterfront. It features a 50-meter pool with diving board, 25-meter training pool with zero depth entry, a play pool with a giant flume slide, splash pad, and accessible zero depth entry.

A limited number of spectators is being allowed into the venue.

Spectators will be allowed to enter to watch their swimmer’s race only. Spectators are expected to enter the facility just prior to their swimmer’s race, and to promptly exit the facility as soon as the race is completed.

Spectators will be required to always wear masks properly, all times and, without exception. Mouth and nose must be fully covered. Those with a health issue preventing the proper wear of a mask should plan to watch the live stream outside the facility on their own devices.

Spectators will be required to always maintain 6 feet of social distance.

Rows in the spectator stands are clearly marked “with blue X” and spectators should sit on a X only. 1 family or same household per X.

Spectators are not allowed to sit in seating areas behind the stands, nor are they allowed to bring chairs, cushions, towels, blankets, etc. into the facility. There is no congregating inside the facility.

There is no food or drink allowed into the facility.

Spectators wishing to speak with their swimmer should plan to do so outside the gate and fenced area. Spectators should not interact with swimmers in front of or next to the spectator stands as this causes congestion and violates proper social distance.

The marshals are parent-volunteers who are there to make sure everyone complies with the published guidelines.

Those unable to comply with the published safety protocols for any reason should plan to watch the event from outside the venue. Those determined to be non-compliant will be asked to leave the facility immediately and without warning.

The meet is being live streamed on-demand by Floswimming. There is a subscription fee.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, January 17, 2021—Since joining South Florida Aquatic Club two years ago, Gaby Avila has seen her swimming improve. And that has motivated the 14-year-old even more for the future.

“It’s definitely the best choice I made coming to SOFLO,” Avila said. “I like the coaches and my team. Once I changed teams I noticed I was actually excited to go to practice. I had motivation. I definitely enjoyed it. My improvement was amazing and coaches, too.”

Avila had a great month of swimming in December. At the 30th Speedo Winter Championships, she swam freestyle legs on the second place 200-yard medley and 400-yard medley relays and fourth leg on the third place 400-yard freestyle relay.

Avila also had time drops in the 50-yard freestyle in 26.05 (0.56 drop), 100 freestyle in 56.13 (1.41) and 50-yard butterfly in 29.32 (0.02). She had lifetime-best times on every relay swim and sprint freestyle individual events. She also won a 50-yard freestyle swim-off in 25.52 (0.53 drop), another best time.

“I was a little shocked at first when Coach told me I was Swimmer of the Month, but very grateful,” said Avila of her first-time honor.”

Avila has been swimming since she was 6 months old. Her family wanted her to be water-safe and active. “I just kept doing it and getting better. It was something I liked to do,” she said.

Avila has an athletic background. She participated in soccer, taekwondo, gymnastics, ballet and hip-hop dancing in addition to swimming. The last three years she narrowed it down to swimming and gymnastics and now focuses solely on competitive swimming.

“My competitive swimming got to the point where I had to choose one or the other and I stuck with swimming,” Avila said.

“It’s interesting to see in practice how much happens. Sometimes you complain it’s so hard today, but then at a meet when you get the results you didn’t possibly expect it’s a good sense of accomplishment and that’s really nice to have.

“I think I am getting stronger and mentally tougher,” Avila said. “I feel I had to tough it out mentally to work harder. I had to change my mindset into thinking I have to work hard every single day if I want to see a change. Thanks to that mental change I started to improve physically and that helped my swimming.”

Avila said her biggest meet so far was her last 12-and-under Florida Gold Coast Long Course Junior Olympics. It was the first meet where she ever made finals. “That was really special to me,” she said.

Her goals for the future include improving and “building a nice career in the sport,” Avila said. “My goals are getting certain cuts in times. There are always times you want to improve and beat. If there is a time I haven’t dropped in the last two years, this is the year I want to drop that time.”

When she isn’t training, competing, going to school or doing homework, Avila loves to cook and bake. While with Bronze Group, she brought in her homemade pecan pie which was a hit.

Avila, a freshman at West Broward High School, will make her high school debut this week when West Broward meets Flanagan and host Nova on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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

SOFLO Swimmers Ring In Holidays With Two Weekend Meets At Home And Sunrise

By Sharon Robb

December 13, 2017—Before the holidays commence, more than 100 South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will compete this weekend at two festive meets.

Fifty-five swimmers (32 boys and 23 girls) will compete in 291 individual events and 11 relays over three days at the Sunrise Swimming Holiday Champs at Sunrise Civic Center Pool.

Among SOFLO’s top seeds at the Sunrise meet are:

Bryan Rivero, 16, 400-yard individual medley, 4:21.89; 100-yard backstroke, 58.68; 200-yard backstroke, 1:57.81.

CJ Kopecki, 18, 50-yard butterfly, 25.13; 100-yard individual medley, 56.68; 200-yard butterfly, 1:53.79; 100-yard butterfly, 52.53.

Joseph Lee, 200-yard individual medley, 2:04.06; 200-yard breaststroke 2:21.46.

In addition to SOFLO and host Sunrise Swimming, among other Florida Gold Coast teams competing are Pine Crest Swimming and Cooper City.

South Florida Aquatic Club will host its final Florida Gold Coast meet of the year on Saturday with the Sprint Holiday TYR Classic.

Two sessions will be held–developmental sprints in the morning session at 8:30 a.m. and 8-and-under sprint championships at 11 a.m.

Another 82 SOFLO swimmers (45 girls and 37 boys) will compete in their Academic Village home pool in 354 individual events and five relays.

SOFLO’s top seeds are:

Paige Lane, 15, 100-yard freestyle, 52.82; 50-yard butterfly, 26.22.

Luke Lezotte, 16, 100-yard freestyle, 47.49; 50-yard freestyle, 21.06; 50-yard butterfly, 23.36; 50-yard backstroke, 25.21; 100-yard individual medley, 53.88.

Alejandro Mateus, 12, 100-yard freestyle, 57.40; 50-yard backstroke, 29.72; 100-yard individual medley, 1:06.86.

Kaitlyn Barrios, 11, 100-yard freestyle, 1:02.68; 50-yard freestyle, 28.50.

Katrina Del Vecchio, 14, 100-yard individual medley, 1:02.12.

Jonathan Lozano, 10, 100-yard freestyle, 1:03.88.

Juan Vallmitjana, 8, 50-yard freestyle, 36.83; 50-yard butterfly 45.35: 50-yard breaststroke, 49.50; 100-yard individual medley, 1:32.92.

WHAT: Holiday Champs
WHEN: Friday-Sunday
SCHEDULE: Friday, timed finals; Saturday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.; Sunday, prelims 9 a.m., finals 5 p.m.
WHERE: Sunrise Civic Center Pool, 10610 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise.
ADMISSION: $3 per session, heat sheets $3 per session. For information call the Sunrise Swimming Office 954-747-4635.

WHAT: Sprint Holiday TYR Classic
WHEN: Saturday, 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.
WHERE: Academic Village Swimming Pool, 17191 Sheridan Street, Pembroke Pines
ADMISSION: $5 per session. Heat sheets will be available free of charge online at classic and on Meet Mobile.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb

June 14, 2017—Working toward a common goal with teammates who share the same vision has helped Kelley Heron raise the bar in her swimming.

Heron, 17, a senior-to-be at Pembroke Pines Charter this fall, realized that added motivation her sophomore year of high school.

“Swimming high school helps you realize how it’s going to be in college,” Heron said. “You can’t take vacations whenever you want, you have to be consistent, you have to train and be focused if you want to go to a good college and swim there.”

Training with South Florida Aquatic Club’s national group and head coach Chris Anderson for the past three years has not only helped the backstroker improve, but focus on her future in the sport.

“Training with good people every day where everyone has the same mindset and same goals where they want to be has definitely helped my swimming,” Heron said.

At the March 24-27 Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships held in her home pool at Academic Village, Heron turned in a Wonder Woman-like effort. She won the 200-yard backstroke in 2:00.86, placed second in the 50-yard backstroke in 26.64 and 100-yard backstroke in 57.95, all three best times.

She was also second in the 50-yard breaststroke in a best time 31.03; second in the 100-yard individual medley in a best time 58.02; fifth in the 100-yard butterfly in a best time 57.84, the first time she broke 1 minute (her previous best was 1:00.37); was eighth in the 50-yard butterfly and swam a best time 26.44 in prelims; and was fifth in the 200-yard individual medley in 2:08.54. She was a member of the winning 200-yard medley relay (1:42.97), one of three relays she swam.

Heron won her first high point award since age 10 with 159 points and played a key role in SOFLO defending its team title.

Heron is now diligently training for next month’s sectionals, hoping to get her Junior National cut time in the backstroke. She will also compete in her third Futures Championships.

“Getting all best times gave me confidence,” Heron said. “It was the training I did for the meet. It was a combination of everything with workouts, dryland, running and watching my diet. I have gotten older and stronger. I have more muscle and I am swimming more. I am disciplined which helps when I am in school and doing homework.”

Anderson has been pleased with Heron’s progress through the years. She started swimming with SOFLO at age 8 and is one of the swimmers who has been with the club the longest.

“She has done a great job,” Anderson said. “She is physically fit and is consistently in the weight room. She has become a better athlete and that translates into fast swims. She leads by example and is a great role model for our younger swimmers.”

Heron stumbled on to swimming by process of elimination. She tried softball, tennis and several other sports before a friend suggested swimming.

“I wasn’t coordinated at all and I didn’t do good in any of them,” Heron said. “I liked swimming and I was good at it and that helped. I am glad I stayed with the sport.

“When I was 8 I wasn’t thinking about a college scholarship and now I am. It’s been good working with Coach. I think probably my endurance and technique have improved with him. When I was younger I didn’t understand pace at all, I just knew to go fast. But now I see a change in the 200 and 100 back.”

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

Lance Lesage Leads SOFLO In Session II Of Gulliver Summer Invitational

By Sharon Robb

May 20, 2017—-Lance Lesage of South Florida Aquatic Club was the top finisher during Session II of the Gulliver Summer Invitational on Saturday at Gulliver Prep Aquatics Center.

Lesage, 14, after swimming the 200- and 50-meter freestyles, finished second in the 200-meter backstroke in 2:23.78.

Lesage has three events remaining: 100-meter backstroke, 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle.

Other top SOFLO finishers were:

Molly Golding, 14, third, 100-meter breaststroke 1:19.86 and fifth 400-meter individual medley 5:30.20.

Kayla Cunningham, 14, third, 200-meter backstroke, 2:33.86, time drop of 1.70.

Paige Lane, 14, fourth, 200-meter freestyle, 2:15.29, time drop of 1.43; seventh in the 50-meter freestyle in 29.20

Mallory Schleicher, 13, fourth, 400-meter individual medley, 5:27.92, time drop of 8.19.

Luke Lezotte, 16, fourth, 50-meter freestyle, 25.41.

SOFLO has 59 boys and 53 girls entered in 569 individual events during the three-day meet. All events are timed finals.

The third session continues at 2:45 p.m. Two more sessions are scheduled for Sunday at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

In addition to SOFLO and host Gulliver Swim Club, other Florida Gold Coast teams competing include AquaKids Sharks, Azura, Miami Swimming, Metro Aquatics, Heritage Aquatics, Swim Fort Lauderdale, FIU, Hurricanes, Sunrise and North Miami.



200-meter freestyle:

1.Mary Smutny, AK Sharks 2:07.64; SOFLO TOP 20: 4. Paige Lane 2:15.29, time drop, 9. Mallory Schleicher 2:18.16, 12. Kyana Castro 2:18.92, 13. Katrina Del Vecchio 2:19.33, time drop, 16. Molly Golding 2:21.82, 17. Kayla Cunningham 2:22.73, time drop.

100-meter breaststroke:

1.Nicole Hunnewell, FIU 1:17.86; SOFLO TOP 20: 3. Molly Golding 1:19.86, 20. Valentina Carrion 1:32.20.

200-meter butterfly:

1.Mary Smutny, AK Sharks 2:20.65; SOFLO TOP 20: 7. Daniela Curbelo 2:36.42, time drop, 11. Mallory Schleicher 2:39.00, time drop, 15. Kyana Castro 2:41.95, 16. Sarah Acevedo 2:43.08, 17. Kayla Cunningham 2:44.70.

50-meter freestyle:

1.Cathy Cooper, Swim Fort Lauderdale 27.28; SOFLO TOP 20: 7. Paige Lane 29.20, 8. Katrina Del Vecchio 29.48, 21. Jacqueline Lugo 30.68.

200-meter backstroke:

1.Roxanne Yu, Hurricanes 2:23.10; SOFLO TOP 20: 3. Kayla Cunningham 2:33.86, time drop, 14. Kyana Cunningham 2:45.06, 16. Rebekah Ling 2:45.55, time drop, 19. Jena Legaspi 2:46.51.

400-meter individual medley:

1.Mary Smutny, AK Sharks 5:14.85; SOFOLO TOP 20: 4. Mallory Schleicher 5:27.92, time drop, 5. Molly Golding 5:30.20, 7. Daniela Curbelo 5:37.06, 9. Katrina Del Vecchio 5:39.72, 12. Jacqueline Lugo 5:59.05, 17. Natasha Testa 6:37.48.


200-meter freestyle:

1.Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 1:59.75; SOFLO TOP 20: 9. Michael Arias 2:05.40, time drop, 13. Leonardo Mateus 2:07.38, 15. Lance Lesage 2:08.60, time drop.

100-meter breaststroke:

1.Teo Darias, Gulliver 1:09.33; SOFLO TOP 20: 12. Sebastian Lares 1:19.34, time drop, 13. Leonardo Mateus 1:19.69, time drop.

200-meter butterfly:

1.Brandon Vives, Metro Aquatics 2:10.77; SOFLO TOP 20: 18. Leonardo Mateus 2:28.36.

50-meter freestyle:

1.Erik Risolvato, Swim Fort Lauderdale 24.07; SOFLO TOP 20: 4. Luke Lezotte 25.41, 8. Michael Arias 26.34, time drop, 12. Lance Lesage 26.82, 19. David Avalos Aday 27.20, 20. Tomas Pelaez 27.37.

200-meter backstroke:

1.Trey Gribble, Gulliver 2:21.32; SOFLO TOP 20: 2. Lance Lesage 2:23.78, 6. Sebastian Lares 2:29.41, 7. Nicolas Munoz 2:30.35, 17. John Paul Handal 2:38.36, time drop, 20. Brennan Binder 2:40.41, 21. Marcos Vazquez 2:40.63, time drop, 22. Ty Lezotte 2:42.31.

400-meter individual medley:

1.Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 4:42.43; SOFLO TOP 20: 17. John Paul Handal 5:26.48, time drop.


What: Gulliver Summer Invitational

When: Saturday-Sunday. All timed finals.

Schedule: Saturday, Session 3, 2:45-6:40 p.m. p.m.; Sunday, Session 4, 8:30 a.m.-1:35 p.m., Session 5, 2:30 p.m.-5:45 p.m.

Where: Gulliver Prep Aquatics Complex, 6575 North Kendall Drive, Pinecrest.

Admission: $3 per session, heat sheets available free at For information call 305-666-7937, ext. 1465.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

Mallory Schleicher Posts Huge Time Drop As SOFLO’s Top Finisher On Day One Of Gulliver Summer Invitational

By Sharon Robb

May 19, 2017—-Mallory Schleicher was South Florida Aquatic Club’s top finisher during opening day action of the Gulliver Summer Invitational Friday at Gulliver Prep Aquatic Center.

Schleicher, 13, was seventh in the 800-meter freestyle in 9:46.96. Seeded 13th, Schleicher shaved 37.23 seconds off her previous best of 10:24.19. It was the first time she dipped under 10 minutes in the long course distance event.

It was the first of seven events for the teenager.

SOFLO’s top boys’ finisher in the 1500-meter freestyle was Nicolas Rossi, 14, placing 16th in 19:07.44.

Alejandro Mateus, 12, was 22nd in 19:59.65 with a drop of 32.68 seconds. Chris Vasquez, 13, was 23rd in 20:13.24.

Metro Aquatics swept the distance events. Venezuela national record holder Andreina Pinto, 25, won the women’s 800 freestyle in 9:10.17 just ahead of Mary Smutny of AquaKids Sharks in 9:11.29. Pinto, who trained with the Gator Swim Club, competed in the 2008 Olympics.

Carlos Omana, 24, won the men’s 1500 freestyle in 16:31.27. The Belen Jesuit and University of Florida alum also competes for Venezuela internationally.

SOFLO’s full squad of more than 100 swimmers begin competing on Saturday during the first full day of schedule of events.

SOFLO has 59 boys and 53 girls entered in 569 individual events over the three-day meet.

All events are timed finals.

In addition to SOFLO and host Gulliver Swim Club, other Florida Gold Coast teams competing include AquaKids Sharks, Azura, Miami Swimming, Metro Aquatics, Heritage Aquatics, Swim Fort Lauderdale, FIU, Hurricanes, Sunrise and North Miami.



800-meter freestyle:

1.Andreina Pinto, Metro Aquatics 9:10.17, 2. Mary Smutny, AK Sharks 9:11.29, 3. Alicia Mancilla, Gulliver 9:18.96; SOFLO: 7. Mallory Schleicher 9:46.96, time drop.


1500-meter freestyle:

1.Carlos Omana, Metro Aquatics 16:31.27, 2. Adrian Aguilar, Metro Aquatics 16:53.07, 3. Miguel Cancel, Gulliver 17:03.38; SOFLO: 16. Nicolas Rossi 19:07.44, 22. Alejandro Mateus 19:59.65, 23. Chris Vasquez 20:13.24.


What: Gulliver Summer Invitational

When: Saturday-Sunday. All timed finals.

Schedule: Saturday, Session 2, 8:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Session 3, 2:45-6:40 p.m. p.m.; Sunday, Session 4, 8:30 a.m.-1:35 p.m., Session 5, 2:30 p.m.-5:45 p.m.

Where: Gulliver Prep Aquatics Complex, 6575 North Kendall Drive, Pinecrest.

Admission: $3 per session, heat sheets available free at For information call 305-666-7937, ext. 1465.

Sharon Robb can be reached at


By Sharon Robb

February 23, 2017—Victoria Torres is a quick study.

The South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer only started competitive swimming two years ago and has already made remarkable progress in Coach Luis Soler’s Asteroids Group.

Torres, 12, a seventh grader at Pembroke Pines Charter, switched from martial arts including Ju Jitsu and Muy Thai to swimming in 2015 and has yet to regret her decision.

“I was getting really tired of martial arts and decided I wanted to transfer to a new sport,” Torres said. “My cousin Anna in Colorado is a really good swimmer on a travel team so I decided to follow in her footsteps and give swimming a try.”

Torres’ progress in the pool has been remarkable. She attributes her athleticism and fitness level from martial arts to helping her pick up swimming quickly.

“I think martial arts helped me a lot with my endurance and ability to do things longer because it’s really hard,” Torres said.

“I am a quick learner,” she said. “I love being in the water. I like swimming and I love getting tired after a workout. I hate it and I love it at the same time. You can’t really get injured unless you do your stroke wrong.”

Her time improvements keep her motivated, she said. They have been impressive drops.

At the Jan. 27-29 TYR SOFLO Open, Torres had five best times. Torres dropped 1.57 in the 50-yard breaststroke in 34.91; 0.51 in the 50-yard freestyle in 30.43; 3.20 in the 50-yard backstroke in 37.35; 0.83 in the 50-yard butterfly in 38.15; and 1.86 in the 100-yard individual medley in 1:16.81.

At the Feb. 11-12 Pine Crest Panther Invite earlier this month, she had a huge 5.74 time drop in the 200-yard freestyle for a best time 2:29.82. She also dropped 4.44 in the 100-yard breaststroke in 1:17.77 to finish third and 0.68 in the 50-yard freestyle in 29.75, just shy of her JO cut.

“Dropping times motivates me,” Torres said. “I don’t know why I perform really well. I think when I am with my friends they encourage me to do well and I relax.”

Torres started in SOFLO’s Dippers and is working her way up the ladder. Her goal is to get to Bronze Group before she turns 13 in October.

She would also like to get a few more Junior Olympic qualifying times. She has her JO cuts in the 50- and 100-yard breaststroke events. She is knocking on the door in the 50-yard freestyle.

“I want to try to get more JO times,” said Torres, who competes next in the March 3-5 Area 3 Championships with her SOFLO teammates in her home pool at Academic Village. The meet is a short course developmental championship meet.

“I would like to improve my strokes, too,” she said. “I want to stay with swimming for a long time.”

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