Kaii Winkler, Erika Pelaez Swim Best Times in 100 Fly at Plantation Winter Championships

33rd Annual Winter Championships – Plantation, Florida

17-year old Kaii Winkler might be one of the top sprint free prospects in the United States, in spite of an injury keeping him out of the summer’s championship meets, but on Friday evening in Plantation, Florida he did more than that.

Winkler won two events. His 50 free time of 20.03 was well short of his best time of 19.44, but his 100 fly win in 45.98 was a new best time by .35 seconds. His splitting was 21.50-24.48.

The top-ranked recruit in the high school class of 2024, he is now the #1 ranked swimmer in the class of 2024 in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, and 100 fly.

His Eagle Aquatics teammate and fellow top-5 recruit and NC State commit Erika Pelaez also picked up a pair of wins on Friday. She won the 100 fly in 52.05, which shaves .07 seconds off her best time from the 2022 Florida High School 1A State Championship meet. With a similar specialty to Winkler, she later won the 50 free in 22.29, which was .38 seconds shy of her best.

Neither swimmer raced in relays on Thursday. The results show a mixed message of the level of preparation for the two stars, with both coming off the US Open last week. Both had best times in the 100 fly, but both missed their best times in the 50 free by about the same amount.

Eagle Aquatics had a big day. Among other top performers was a 23.92 from 12-year-old Penelope Lopez-Casula to win that race by more than a second. Her 23.58 in prelims ranks her as the top 11-12 in that event in the country this season.

She also won the 50 back (27.46) and the 500 free in 5:03.51. That 500 free time is a new personal best by 2.5 seconds and also ranks her 3rd nationally in the age group.

Other Big Swims from Friday:

  • South Carolina commit Braynsly Dirksz from Aruba won the 200 breaststroke in 2:02.78, which is his best time by 1.7 seconds. He has been better in the sprint breaststrokes to this point of his career, so that swim is a good marker ahead of that race later in the meet.
  • Aspen Gersper from Saint Andrew’s Aquatics swam 2:03.63 in the 200 IM and was 2nd behind Pelaez in the 50 free in 23.06. That 200 IM was a revelation for her and a best time by almost six seconds. She also swam a 56.79 on the leadoff leg of Saint Andrews’ winning 4×100 IM relay – fitting given that she’s headed to Virginia next year, a program that loves that non-traditional race.

Team Scores After Day 2:


  1. Saint Andrew’s – 336
  2. SoFlo Aquatic Club – 291
  3. Wellington Swim Team – 181
  4. Westchester Aquatic Club – 180
  5. YMCA of South Florida – 178


  1. SoFlo Aquatic Club – 338
  2. Saint Andrew’s – 300
  3. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami – 259
  4. YMCA of South Florida – 234
  5. Jupiter Dragons – 234


  1. Saint Andrew’s – 636
  2. SoFlo Aquatic Club – 629
  3. YMCA of South Florida – 412
  4. Metro Aquatic Club of Miami – 340
  5. Jupiter Dragons Swim Team – 327

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2 months ago

Nice cover pics. Robert is putting that slick Sony a1 to good use.

Randy Teeters
2 months ago

Leggo SSDL Believer

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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