Alia Atkinson, Richard Funk Top 100 Breasts At Plantation Sectionals

Jul 15, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Alia Atkinson of Jamaica competes in the women's 200m breaststroke preliminary heat during the 2015 Pan Am Games at Pan Am Aquatics UTS Centre and Field House. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher/USA Today Sports Images

By Cathleen Pruden, Swimming World College Intern

A slew of professional swimmers won a majority of the events tonight at the Plantation Sectionals, but many other swimmers also made their way onto the podium in the first finals session of the meet.

In the women’s 200 freestyle, Pine Crest’s 15 year old Penny Oleksiak just out touched professional Megan Romano 2:00.80 to 2:00.91. Makos Aquatics’ Alena Kraus finished third in 2:02.72.

Azura’s Marcelo Acosta grabbed his second win of the weekend with a 1:52.59 in the men’s 200 freestyle. Gator Swim Club’s Eric Geunes was just behind in 1:52.95. Maxwell Miranda of Bluefish Swim Club rounded out the top three in 1:53.47.

Acosta was back again at the end of the night, taking the men’s 400 IM in 4:33.04. In that race, Miranda earned a podium finish again, touching second in 4:35.03. Blue Dolfins’ John Fulginiti finished third in 4:38.55.

After cruising through the morning, South Florida’s Alia Atkinson dominated the competition in tonight’s 100 breaststroke. The Olympian stopped the clock at 1:07.82. Teammate Monica Alvarez finished second in 1:13.96. Unattached Alexis Divelbiss placed third in 1:14.01.

Richard Funk, representing Pine Crest, topped Indie Swimming’s Michael Andrew by a half second in the men’s 100 breaststroke tonight. Funk touched in 1:01.61, ahead of Andrew’s 1:02.10. South Florida’s Kile Aukerman was just six hundredths off the Olympic Trials cut with his third place time of 1:03.75.

Andrew went on to post a dominating win in the 50 backstroke, touching in 25.66. Blue Dolfins’ Zachary Poti touched second in 27.47 while Martin County’s Kevin Lindgren earned bronze in 27.77. Later, in his third race of the night, Andrew was narrowly defeated, touching second in the 100 butterfly in 55.05. Unattached Zach Chetrat beat Andrew to the wall with a 55.03. Mason Wilby of Gator Swim Club touched third (56.98).

Fernanda Gonzalez was to the wall just before Colorado Stars teammate Missy Franklin in the 50 backstroke tonight, as the two finished in 29.14 and 29.18. Erin Voss also cracked 30 with a 29.43 to grab the third spot on the podium.

Olympian Claire Donahue impressed in her signature event, winning the 100 butterfly in 58.86. The South Florida professional was followed by a pair of 15 year olds. Oleksiak earned her second podium finish of the night, touching in 1:00.10, not far ahead of Gator Swim Club’s Isabel Ivey (1:00.62). The top four finishers were all under the Olympic Trials cut.

Ivey was back again to win the women’s 400 IM in a 4:51.55. South Florida’s Kathleen Golding earned her Olympic Trials cut, finishing second in 4:53.68. Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Allison Kopas earned third in 5:02.05.

The Colorado Stars used last night’s relay team of Tang YiJada Surrell-Norwood, Gonzalez, and Franklin to take the women’s 800 freestyle relay in a dominant 8:20.95. Gator Swim Club’s Kirschtine BalbuenaTalia BatesJulia Rodriguez, and Ivey finished second in 8:28.40. Third place went to South Florida’s Atkinson, Golding, Emiliana Pelaez, and Kelley Heron in 8:39.88.

Azura was dominant in the men’s relay. Acosta, Franco LupoliMarcos Lavado, and Fernando Alatorre touched in 7:41.45. Colorado Stars’ Max Grogan, Blake WiltonThomas Konde, and Austin Phillips were second in 7:55.80, just ahead of Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Julien PinonPhilippe MarcouxRaphael Marcoux, and Nikita Tretyakov in 7:56.15.

Full results available on Meet Mobile.