SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Strikes Gold At U.S. Police & Fire Championships

By Sharon Robb

SAN DIEGO, June 30, 2019—Jennifer Martin passed her first big test with flying colors Saturday at the United States Police & Fire Championships.

The City of Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant and South Florida Aquatic Club swimmer, tuning up for the Aug. 8-18 World Police and Fire Games, won nine gold medals in individual and relay events and broke two meet records in 2.5 hours at Southwestern College in Chula Vista.

Martin has now won 18 gold medals over two years at the meet.

“I am so very blessed for another great meet, but time to get back to work,” Martin wrote on her Facebook page.

Martin, 38, representing the Pembroke Pines Police Department, won the 50-meter breaststroke in a meet record 32.80, breaking her own record of 33.11 set last year. Her other record was in the 100-meter freestyle in 56.31, breaking the record of 56.50 set in 2010.

Martin also won the 50-meter freestyle in 25.35, 50-meter backstroke in 30.80 and 50-meter butterfly in 28.24, just missing her own record by 1/100th of a second. She and her teammates also won four relays: 200 freestyle, 200 medley, 200 medley mixed and 200 freestyle mixed.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported me along this journey,” Martin wrote. “The text messages, the phone calls and support means more than I can ever express in words. My success would not be possible without all the love and support that I get from my friends, family and co-workers.

“Today was a very challenging day. My biggest accomplishment was overcoming a fear that I have hid from for 20 years, the 100 Freestyle. I have let the event beat me mentally and allowed it to hinder my performance and even stopped swimming it. Exhausted, I made the resolution that I would no longer allow my fears and reservations to control me, and I was able to set a new record in that event.

“Coming out of the meet, I am pleased where my performance is and I have a month to fine tune and put in some more work before Chengdu. The journey isn’t over yet, we are just getting started.”

The World Police & Fire Games, held every two years, are in Chengdu, China where Martin will rekindle a few rivalries.

For the second consecutive year, Martin was sponsored by the Broward County PBA (Police Benevolent Association).

At the 2018 USPFC competition in less than three hours, Martin won nine gold medals and broke three meet records including one that stood for 18 years. She competed in three races in less than seven minutes which included two meet-record performances.

Martin won the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle, 50 butterfly, 100 breaststroke, 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and was a member of the winning 200 freestyle relay, 200 medley relay mixed relay and 200 freestyle mixed relay.

She broke meet records in the 50 breaststroke (1990 record of 33.93) in 33.11, 100 breaststroke (1994 record of 1:17.89) in 1:13 and 50 butterfly (2016 record of 28.36) in 28.1.

In her last major international competition, the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles, Martin won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records over four days of open water and pool racing.

The eight-day United States Police & Fire Championships is an Olympic-style competition with athletes representing law enforcement, firefighters and officers from corrections, probation, border protection, immigration and customs from across the country. It got under way June 22 and ended on Saturday.

Athletes competed in 54 different sports at 33 venues throughout the San Diego county.

It began in 1967 as the California Police Olympics, in 1990 was the California Police Summer Games, in 2000 was the California Police and Fire Games, and since 2012 has been known as the U.S. Police and Fire Championships.

The California Police Athletic Federation is the governing body for the U.S. Police & Fire Championships. Its mission is to promote sport and physical fitness among personnel representing various agencies.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO Swimmers Compete Saturday In P.O.W.E.R. Challenge At Pompano Beach Pier; Jennifer Martin, Lance Lesage Head Contingent

By Sharon Robb

POMPANO BEACH, August 30, 2018—South Florida Aquatic Club swimmers will kick off the Labor Day holiday weekend with an open water swim.

Sixteen SOFLO swimmers will compete in the P.O.W.E.R. (Piranhas Open Water Extreme Race) Challenge 2018 Saturday at Pompano Beach Pier.

The event is sanctioned by the World Open Water Swim Association and sponsored by Pompano Piranhas, Inc., Pompano Piranhas Swim Team, City of Pompano Beach.

Races include pier-to-pier 5K swim at 8 a.m., one mile swim, 8 a.m., paddleboard, 10:15 a.m., 500 meters, 10:30 a.m. and splash and dash 100 meters, 10:45 a.m. The races begin on the beach just south of the Pompano Beach Pier.

World Police & Fire Games world record holder and gold medalist Jennifer Martin, 37, heads the SOFLO contingent. Martin, a City of Pembroke Pines police sergeant, won seven gold medals and one silver and broke five world records at the 2017 World Games.

At the June 2018 U.S. Police & Fire Championships, Martin won a meet record nine gold medals and broke three meet records including an 18-year-old record.

The former Comets Swim Team coach is currently training for the Oct. 21 U.S. Marine Corps Marathon, one of the nation’s largest marathons. Her long range training goal, however, is the Aug. 8-18 2019 World Police & Fire Games in Chengdu, China where she will compete in several swimming events.

On Saturday morning, Martin will compete in the women’s 5,000 and Lesage, 15, who just started the high school swim season at Fort Lauderdale High, will also swim the men’s 5,000.

Martin and Lesage will be joined by teammates Jemma Baldwin, 7, 100 freestyle; Fiorella Di Salvo, 10, 1500 freestyle; Jordan Evans, 7, 500 freestyle; Shelby Evans, 8, 500 freestyle; Connor Jimenez, 9, 500 freestyle; Mason Jimenez, 10, 500 freestyle; Matthew Jimenez, 10, 500 freestyle; Anastasia Lutz, 11, 1500 freestyle; Martin Petkov, 9, 500 freestyle; Mariana Pinto, 10, 1500 freestyle; Alexandra Strong, 10, 500 freestyle; Juan Vallmitjana, 9, 500 freestyle; Christian Vasquez, 15, 1500 freestyle; and Saree Young, 500 freestyle.


SOFLO’s Samuel Bullen, 13, will compete Saturday in the Florida Gold Coast Key West Pentathlon at Bone Island. He will compete in his age group in the 50-yard butterfly (31.31), 50-yard backstroke (31.27), 50-yard breaststroke (32.69), 50-yard freestyle (26.61) and 100-yard individual medley (1:04.84).


On Tuesday, Sept. 11, 4-9 p.m. at the Habit Burger Grill, 306 NW 145th Ave. in Pembroke Pines, 20 percent of sales will go to the Forza Stefano Charitable Foundation that helps teens with cancer. The foundation was formed to honor water polo player and swimmer Stefano Dioguardi. He was a member of the South Florida Water Polo Club and graduated from Pembroke Pines Charter. He was going to attend Florida Atlantic University until he succumbed to a year-long battle to Ewing’s Sarcoma, a severe form of bone cancer, at age 18.


What: P.O.W.E.R. (Piranhas Open Water Extreme Race) Challenge 2018

When: Saturday, 6 a.m.-1 p.m.

Where: Pompano Beach Pier, 222 N. Pompano Beach Blvd., Pompano Beach

Of note: Races include pier-to-pier 5K swim, 8 a.m., one mile swim, 8 a.m., paddleboard, 10:15 a.m., 500 meters, 10:30 a.m. and splash and dash 100 meters, 10:45 a.m….There is online registration and also race day registration available at the race site, 6-7:30 a.m…Pompano Beach Piranhas is the host club…Contact is head coach Jesse Vassallo at 787-315-1529…Admission is free to the general public. Parking is available on site for a fee.

Sharon Robb can be reached at

SOFLO’s Jennifer Martin Wins Three Golds, Breaks Two World Records At World Police & Fire Games

By Sharon Robb

August 9, 2017–Jennifer Martin of South Florida Aquatic Club dominated the opening day of the swimming competition at the 2017 World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles.

The City of Pembroke Pines police sergeant has won three golds and one silver medal and broke two world records after two days of competition in open water and pool events.

On opening day of pool swimming on Wednesday at the Exposition Park Swim Stadium, Martin, 36, competing in the 35-39 age group, won the 100-meter breaststroke in a world record 1:24.43. The previous record was 1:24.74 set in 2013. She bettered her 2015 bronze medal swim of 1:27.8.

Defending 30-34 butterfly champion won another gold medal in the 35-39 50-meter butterfly in 31.32, just missing the world record of in 30.83.

Martin, competing on a multi-national 200-meter freestyle relay with swimmers from Romania, India and Taiwan, broke a 20-year-old world record in 1:59. The previous world record was 2:02.30 set in 1997.

In Sunday’s 2-mile open water pier-to-pier swim, Martin was second in her division taking a silver medal in 1:08.44 bettering her 2015 bronze medal place.

The World Police & Fire Games feature 8,000 police officers and firefighters from 70 countries competing in 65 different sports. The 11-day biennial Olympics-style competition is for finely-tuned active and retired police officers and firefighters.

Martin is a SOFLO masters swimmer and trains with SOFLO at Academic Village Pool.

The World Police and Fire Games have been held every two years since 1985.

Sharon Robb can be reached at