Pelaez, Podkoscielny Add Trials Cuts At FG Senior Qualifier; Atkinson In Action

2021 FG Senior Qualifier

  • February 5-6, 2021
  • Plantation Aquatic Complex, Plantation, Fl.
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results (PDF)

Youngsters Erika Pelaez and Julia Podkoscielny were among the top performers at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Qualifier in Plantation, Fl., over the weekend, both establishing Olympic Trials cuts (Wave I) in new events.

Pelaez, 14, topped the women’s 50 freestyle in a time of 25.93, breaking the 26-second barrier for the first time in her career (having previously been 26.07) to get under the Trials cut of 25.99.

The time also moves Pelaez into #9 all-time in the girls’ 13-14 age group.

Pelaez had already qualified for Trials in the 100 back, having gone 1:02.65 last February, and narrowly missed that time here in 1:02.69 (which happens to be the exact OT standard).

The Eagle Aquatics swimmer also established a personal best time in the 100 fly (1:01.71), moving to 66th all-time in the age group, and took first place in the 200 free (2:06.59).

Podkoscielny, 16, earned a new Trials cut in the women’s 200 IM, clocking 2:16.36 to blow her previous best of 2:18.24 out of the water. The Wave I cut is 2:17.39, and she’s now just over a second off of the Wave II cut (2:15.26). Podkoscielny had already qualified for Trials in the 400 IM.

The Plantation swimmer also snuck under her best time in the 200 back (2:14.97), dropped more than three seconds in the 50 fly (29.20), and took second to Pelaez in the 100 back (1:03.92).

The most well-known name competing was four-time Jamaican Olympian and current world record holder Alia Atkinson, representing the South Florida Aquatic Club.

The 32-year-old was the runner-up to Pelaez in the 50 free (26.78), and placed first in the 50 back (31.60) and 100 breast (1:12.15).


  • 14-year-old Kaii Winkler of Eagle Aquatics established personal best times in the men’s 50 free (24.69), 200 free (1:58.80), 400 free (4:14.58) and 50 fly (26.15).
  • Joaquin Vargas of Azura Florida Aquatics won the men’s 100 (52.25) and 200 free (1:53.69), hitting a PB in the former. In the 400 free, his teammate Marcelo Acosta (4:00.66) edged him out by one-tenth of a second. Vargas represents Peru internationally, while Acosta swims for El Salvadaor.
  • Another South American, Honduran Julio Horrego, tore up the men’s 100 breast in a time of 1:03.98. The 22-year-old owns a best time of 1:02.37 from the 2019 Pan American Games.
  • Hungarian native Norbert Szabo won the men’s 200 IM in 2:05.84, and also took second to Vargas in the 200 free (1:53.92).

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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