ATHENS, Ga. – The FGCU Swimming and Diving team took home five of a possible six first-place finishes to sit in first-place with 245 points after day one of the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Conference Championships at the University of Georgia, Thursday night. The Eagles also set two CCSA and two FGCU records on day one.
"A great start to the meet! We won every meet except the first relay. Divers went 1-2 which was great, both Maegan and Cayla did awesome," said three-time CCSA Coach of the Year Neal Studd. "We also had a 1-2 finish in the 200-IM with Julie and Megan. Emma qualified for the NCAA in the 50-yard freestyle which is icing on the cake!"
In the first event of the three-day competition, the Eagles started off with its only second-place finish of the day in the 200-yard freestyle relay. The team of sophomore Emma Svensson (Upsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan), and seniors Danielle Beaubrun (Vieux Fort, St. Lucia/The Bolles School), Megan Wolfe (Sebring, Fla./Sebring HS/Daytona State College) and Eva Lehtonen (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams HS/Florida) finished with a time 1:31.47. Liberty took first with a time of 1:30.01.
Lehtonen gave the Green and Blue its first victory in the second event of the evening in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:53.54.
Freshman Julie Leth-Espensen (Vanloese, Copenhagen, Denmark/Falkonergaardens Gymnasium) followed Lehtonen up with her own first place finish in the next event. Leth-Espensen won the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:01.28. Leth-Espensen set a new CCSA meet record with the time and also qualified for the NCAA “B” cuts. Classmate Meghan McGuirk (Plaistown, N.H./Peddie School) was right behind her in second with a time of 2:03.74.
Svensson picked up the third-straight victory for the Eagles when she won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22:37 and broke the FGCU record of 22:54 which Svensson set last year. The time also helped Svensson qualify for the NCAA “B” cuts.
In diving, senior Maegan Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./Tappan Zee/FAU) collected a first-place finish on the one-meter board event with a score of 268.55. Sophomore Cayla Collins (Largo, Fla./Osceola) took second in the event with a score of 257.25.
In the final event of the day, the Eagles took its fifth victory when it set a new CCSA and FGCU record in the 400-yard medley relay event. The team of freshman Jennifer Morgan (Edmonton, Alberta/Harry Ainlay), Beaubrun, Lehtonen and Svensson finished with a time of 3:40.88. This same group set the previous record of 3:41.10 earlier this season.
The second day of the CCSA Championship begins Friday, Feb. 17 at 10:00 a.m. with preliminaries followed by the finals which will take place at 6:00 p.m.
Fans can watch the championship on a live video stream on the Big South Network. The final two days of the championship will be video-streamed LIVE and can be purchased for $7.95, while a single day can be viewed for $4.95. You can purchase the video streaming packages at BigSouthSports.com and choose “upcoming live events” from the multimedia menu.
In addition to the video stream, the CCSA will provide free live results through the HyTek manager system. The link for the live results will be available on TheCCSA.com. There will also be live Twitter updates on http://twitter.com/TheCCSA, updating you on all the action of the CCSA Championships.
For more information about the FGCU women’s swimming and diving team visit http://www.FGCUAthletics.comand follow @FGCU_WSwim on Twitter for more updates.
Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championship (Day One)
1. FGCU - 245
2. Liberty University - 182.5
3. North Florida - 143
4. Georgia Southern - 141
5. Gardner-Webb - 108
6. College of Charleston - 93.5
7. Davidson - 80
8. Campbell - 78
9. Radford - 37
10. North Carolina Asheville - 35
11. Howard - 32
12. Virginia Military Institute - 15
13. North Carolina A&T - 10