Pompano swim team takes 11th in Senior Swim champs

Posted on 27 April 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

The Pompano Beach Piranhas recently took 11th overall in the Florida Gold Coast Senior Championships at the Academic Village Swimming Pool.

Pompano Beach coach Jesse Vassallo brought 19 swimmers to the three-day meet and scored 449.50 points overall. The men’s team tallied 344.50 to finish 10th in that division, while the women scored 105 points, which was good enough for 17th overall.

We hoped to do that,” said Vassallo, who cited a Top-12 finish at the meet. The host South Florida Aquatic Club (SOFLO) won the combined team title with 2,748 points. The team also captured the men’s title.

We are a small team compared to the rest,” Vassallo said. “It adds up to the relays, a point here and a point there. There are three seasons in a year and we came to this meet not rested. We didn’t stop training. We kept training and we came in tired, but we did better that I expected. I had a kid (Tyler Zuyus) win high point without being shaved.”

Zuyus, 16, a junior at Ft. Lauderdale High School, is expecting to be the top swimmer at his school. He is also a Ft. Lauderdale resident.

Meets like this help me prepare for bigger meets,” said Zuyus. “This is a marking point for where I want to be and where I am at so I know how to train for it. Sometimes we go into it not shaved or tapered and this was one of those times.”

He was pleased with winning the high point award.

It is really an accomplishment for me to do this,” Zuyus said. “I wasn’t expecting to win the high point. It shows that I am able to do well under all of the pressure. Going back-to-back with all of those races … it is a confidence booster. My high school season was great and it was the first time I place individually. Unfortunately, our relays didn’t do so well. It’s okay. We will get them next year!”

Zuyus was runner-up for the high point award at the Winter Championships. He said he is now looking forward to swimming the summer season.

I am going to sleep,” said Zuyus, who swam nine total events individually and five relays. “I haven’t slept in a couple days. I was really happy with my 200 back because I dropped two seconds and every other race was close to my personal best time.”

The team’s performance also came off a solid effort at the Junior Olympic competition a couple of weeks earlier.

At the JOs,” Vassallo said, “we were a very small group. We only brought eight swimmers. Rafael Santos won three events, and Lilia Blanco also swam really well. She is only nine, but she came in third three times and scored in every event she swam in the 10-Under competition.”

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