ArticlesJan 31 2012
- Written by Sharon Robb
Victoria Grimaldi was all smiles as she climbed out of the pool.
The 8-year-old Coral Springs Swim Club swimmer had just finished competing in the 200-yard freestyle at the Comets Florida Gold Coast Open Invitational that ended on Sunday and was trying to catch her breath.
It was only the second time she had competed in the middle distance race.
It was also the first of seven events she was scheduled to swim during the three-day meet at Academic Village Pool in Pembroke Pines.
"That was fun but I am kind of tired," Grimaldi said with a smile as her family congratulated her and wrapped her in a beach towel twice her size.
"I liked it a lot. I think I did good. On the last 50, I kind of felt a little tired but I always try to do the best I can.
"I like the 200. I like all the strokes. My favorite one is the breaststroke."
Grimaldi has been working hard at Mullins Parks in Coral Springs with Coach Jessica Nugent and her teammates.
Grimaldi and her family moved from Connecticut six months ago. She is still adjusting to her new surroundings, swimming outdoors and making new friends at North Broward Prep School, where she is a third grader.
"I like the sunshine and how there's a lot of beaches," Grimaldi said. "I don't really miss the cold or snow."
Grimaldi learned to swim when she was 5 and started swimming in meets when she was 6. She trains with the Green Group. Her family and friends call her "a fish."
"I like the water and I like swimming," Grimaldi said. "I meet a lot of friends."
Her hero is swim phenom Michael Phelps.
"I want to get better and move up to other groups," Grimaldi said. "I like working with Coach Jessica. She helps me with my kicking."
Grimaldi was one of twenty-one swimmers from Mullins Park at the meet. She had two impressive time drops in the 100-yard breaststroke from 2:07.02 to 2:04.60 and 50-yard butterfly from 58.59 to 58.52.
While several swimmers posted time drops and best times, SOFLO Coach Jessica Nugent said her biggest emphasis at local meets is on proper stroke technique at a young age.
"While I want them to go fast, I wanted to see what we worked on at practice," Nugent said. "We spend a lot of time refining their strokes so they look good and the way they are suppose to look. That's the biggest thing.
"I am pleased when I see their stroke come together. I know the times will drop over time. A fast time is not the biggest determination of what they are learning. When we adjust their stroke, initially their times will go up. It takes a while for the times to drop back down.
"We did a lot of stroke work over the past couple of weeks and I wanted to see more than anything else their stroke efficiency and technique come into play during their swims."
Meredith and Andrew McDade made their meet debut this past weekend. Joseph Turner competed in his second meet.
Others turned in some outstanding swims and improved times.
Kailey Norusis, 10, had a good meet, improving in the 50-yard breaststroke from 51.35 to 48.47 and 50-yard freestyle from 49.11 to 46.86.
Curtis Marcoux, 12, went from 1:01.17 to 54.73 in the 50-yard breaststroke and from 46.47 to 43.52 in the 50-yard freestyle.
Brooks Brown, 9, went from 44.07 to 41.74 in the 50-yard freestyle.
Giulianna Garcia, 9, went from 55.76 to 41.30 in the 50-yard freestyle.
Beliz Aral, 12, had a good drop in the 50-yard backstroke from 41.72 to 39.65.
Sam McCormick, 10, went from 59.24 to 56.40 in the 50-yard backstroke.
Andres McKeon, 10, went from 40.18 to 37.98 in the 50-yard backstroke.
Brooks Brown, 9, had the biggest drop, going from 2:17.18 to 1:58.22 in the 100-yard breaststroke.
Faith Newby went from 1:14.40 to 1:10.34 in the 50-yard butterfly.
Mullins Park January Swimmer of the Month Brooke Cordoba went from 48.65 to 47.17 in the 50-yard butterfly.
"The kids had a great time," Nugent said. "They were all smiles. They felt good before and after their races."