By Sharon Robb
SARASOTA, April 22, 2023—South Florida Aquatic Club’s Juan Vallmitjana left a lasting impression at the USA Swimming Men’s 5K Junior National Championship Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park.
Vallmitjana, 14, placed sixth in 1:01:06 for the 3.1-mile race and was the highest placing 14-year-old in the field of 13 open water boys swimmers. Vallmitjana was the only swimmer from the Florida Gold Coast competing against a national-caliber field.
Bolles’ Dillon Brigman won the boys title in 59:01, the only swimmer to break one hour. Max Stewart of Irvine Novaquatics was second in 1:00:17 and Colin Jacobs of Sarasota Sharks was third in 1:00:47.
Daisy Collins of North Carolina Aquatic Club won the girls race in 1:03:14. Rylee Erisman of Laker Swim was second in 1:03:28 and Jane Wheeler of Crimson Aquatics was third in 1:04:16. There were 21 swimmers in the girls field.
On Sunday, SOFLO teammate Izzy Wilson competes in the junior girls 7.5K on the final day of racing. The senior level 5K will also be held.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com