CSSC 11-12 Girls Win Junior Olympic High Point Title

Victoria Martinez
Mar 18, 2019

34 swim teams from our division gathered at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex over St. Patrick’s Day Weekend in order to participate in 2019’s Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympics. The three day event was a great success.

Coral Springs Swim Club 11-12 Girls dominated the other 23 teams competing in their age group.This group consisted of Nicole Creed, Samantha Schoenborn, Carolyn Powell, Selah Rogers, Brittany Bean, and Mariana Montes. They scored a collective 153 points to place 1st in their age group just ahead of Azura Florida Aquatics in 2nd place with 150 points and South Florida Aquatic Club in 3rd place with 149.5 points.

Overall, CSSC scored a total of 320 points throughout the weekend and finished in 10th place. Our top 3 scorers were 12-year-old Nicole Creed with 34 points, 10-year-old Alejandra Gil-Restrepo with 29.5 points, and 14-year-old Micaela Sierra with 24 points.    

Head Coach Bruno Darzi thought the meet a great success “I could not be more proud of our swimmers' performances over the weekend. We had incredible performances with multiple swimmers making finals .Our 11-12 girls won the age group team awards and our volunteers, as always, did an incredible job running such an amazing meet.

An unforgettable moment at the competition for Darzi was when Micaela Sierra broke Dana Hatic's long-standing 14-year-old club record in the 200 Breast. Sierra shaved 8 seconds from her previous personal record and placed 2nd at 2:17.87. She also placed 1st in her 100 Breast at 1:03.37, 3.41 seconds faster than her previous personal best and 3rd in her 50 Breast at 30.04.    

For Coach Lima, watching Cassia Flynn and Jasmine Martin participate at JO’s for the very first time made him proud. He reported “they both did amazing”. Flynn set new personal bests in her 50 Fly (29.53), 50 Back (31.14), as well as her best time closing the 4x 100’s relay (57.30) while Martin had an outstanding performance in her 50 Fly (30.49). “Way to go girls!”

Coach Kuczynski was so proud when Carolyn Powell, Brittany Bean, Samantha Schoenborn, and Nicole Creed placed 1st for gold in their 200 Free relay. For her, the weekend was a great success “what an exciting and successful meet. All my swimmers stepped up and swam their hearts out. I couldn’t be prouder.  

More stand-out performances include Anthony Palumbo’s 2nd place finish in his 100 Back (1:11.33), and 3rd place finish in his 50 Back (33.14) Palumbo showed grit and determination throughout the event and set 6 new personal records as did Braelyn Thorpe, who set 8 new personal records. Thorpe notably shaved 2.35 seconds from her 100 Back for a 5th place finish at 1:15.43 while Riley McCormick improved her 50 Fly time by 1.5 seconds, placing 2nd at 26.18.

The trend for setting personal records continued with Ryan Brander’s 1.57 improvement in his 100 Breast (1:03.57) for a 6th place finish and his 8.21 second improvement in his 200 Breast (2:22.05) for a 7th place finish.  And Kaitlyn Bonasera’s 17.50 second improvement in her 1650 Free, in which she placed 8th. As well as Brittany Bean’s nearly 23 second improvement in her 500 Free (5:36.33) for which she earned a AAA time, Carly Chin’s 1.13 second improvement in her 50 Fly (35.94), Daniella Balkcom’s 1 second improvement in her 500 Free (5:31.32),  Alejandro Alvarez’s .44 second improvement, also in his 500 Free (5:13.82), Sophia El Chantiry’s .24 second improvement in her 50 Fly (36.43), and Payton Ward’s .23 second improvement also in his 50 Fly (28.84).

Coach Kuczynski also notes Payton Lander, Emma Lin, and Rhiana Suarez as first time JO qualifirsr, Lander swam her 50 Back at 34.13 while Lin swam her 100 Fly at 1:15.16 and Suarez swam her 50 Fly at 32.36 as well as Kayleigh Didovic’s 34th place finish in her 200 Breast (3:01.45).

Five of our swimmers qualified for the All-Stars at the event. Congratulations to Samantha Schoenborn, Carolyn Powell, Alejandra Gil-Restrepo, Anthony Palumbo, and Braelyn Thorpe.

As always, we contribute the success of this event to our swimmers, coaches, families, and volunteers. Without your many hours of hard-work and dedication, we never would have been able to host such a prestigious and successful event. Coach Darzi’s sentiments, that he is  “thankful to be part of the CSSC family”, resonate with all of us at CSSC.

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