Alia Atkinson, Jamaica’s four-time Olympian, won three gold medals at the Florida Gold Coast Senior Swimming championships, which were held from March 19 through 21, 2021, dominating the competition. Competing for South Florida Aquatics, she won all three of her individual events, which meant she had 13 victories in 14 starts for 2021.
Atkinson holds 19 national records and bested her already impressive times in the 100-meter butterfly at the Florida meet. She won the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 58.97 seconds, then went on to win gold in the 100-meter freestyle, which she completed in 48.81 seconds. She took first place in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 52.01 seconds. This was her best time and established a pool record as her time decreased by 6.44 seconds from her previous best of 58.45. She broke her own pool record time of 52.62 second established in 2015 as well.
Observers made note of how Atkinson achieved her victories. She outdid herself and Jamaica by breaking the national record in the 100-meter freestyle and cruised to the final in the top seed position with a time of 50.72 in the preliminary round. In the final, she swam the first 50 meters in 23.50 seconds and won by over two seconds by completing the distance in 48.81 seconds. With this time, she became the first Jamaican woman to swim the event in under 49 seconds. She then won the 100-meter breaststroke by over three seconds, the 10th fastest time of her career and the fastest she registered since 2019. She also brought South Florida Aquatics to victory in the 200-meter medley relay, winning with a time of 1:46.71.
Atkinson’s compatriots Morgan Cogle of the Jupiter Dragons and Simone Vale of Pine Crest Swimming also brought creditable results at the championships. Cogle swam the opening backstroke leg for her team in 28.47, and she split 24.09 seconds in the 200-meter freestyle to give the Jupiter Dragons the lead after her second leg and brought them to a win with a time of 1:37.41. Cogle also achieved a personal best in the 100-meter backstroke and improved her personal times in the 100-meter and 50-meter freestyle. Simone Vale was ninth in the 100-meter backstroke and tenth in the 200-meter backstroke.
Ultimately, the South Florida Aquatics Club won the women’s events with a total of 1,013.50 points and also took the men’s and overall titles.