GAINESVILLE, Fla. – As the lights go out and the water calms the FGCU Swimming and Diving team exits the Stephen C. O’Connell Center holding third place after accumulating 225 points over day one of the Pinch A Penny All Florida Invite Friday in The Swamp.
Host Florida comfortably sits on top holding 342 points, followed by FSU with 251, with the Eagles dangerously close to catching up. Trailing FGCU is Miami in fourth totaling 142 points, UNF with 109, Florida Southern with 102 and Nova Southeastern with 42.
“Overall I couldn’t have asked for a better first day,” head coach Neal Studd said. “We had some amazing races, and are proving exactly what we wanted to – we can hang with the state’s top contenders.”
The evening began with the 200-yard freestyle relay where Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy), Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College), Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) and Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) combined to finish in third-place clocking a 1:31.47. Placing eighth were Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy), Kristen Goodson (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/UConn), Meghan McGuirk (Plaistow, N.H./Peddie School) and Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) after collectively posting a 1:38.66.
Sophomore Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala's Secondary School) came back to race in the 500-yard free where she placed fifth after swimming a 4:59.31. Joining Cabrera in the finals were team-newcomers Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund) placing 10th with a time of 5:02.52 and Caroline Hamilton (Davidsonville, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS) placing 11th with a 5:06.12.
Finishing the 200 I.M. within the same second were Hannah Soutar (Edinburgh, Scotland/Broughton HS), Sara Hamilton and Schiffer. Soutar led the group with a time of 2:10.07 to claim seventh place, followed by Sarah Hamilton in eighth with a 2:10.92 and Schiffer in ninth with a 2:10.11.
Adding more points for the Eagles were Svensson and Toussaint as they represented FGCU in the 50-yard freestyle A final, while Sara Hamilton swam in the B final. Svensson placed sixth after posting a 23.56, followed by Toussaint in with a 24.34. Hamilton finished at the top of her heat with a time of 23.97.
Twenty-nine of the points FGCU earned today came from the diving well after three Eagles placed in the 1-meter event. Cayla Collins (Largo, Fla./Osceola) lead the group finishing in seventh-place with the score of 228.00, directly followed by Taylor Malewicki (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) in eighth scoring a 211.15 and Alexis Johnson (Melbourne, Fla./Eau Gallie HS) in 11th totaling a 164.00.
The final event of the evening was the 400-yard medley relay, where the team of Toussaint, Leter, Schiffer and Svensson pulled out a fifth place finish posting a time of 3:48.58. Closely following were Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School), Samantha Rahael (Trinidad &Tobago/The Bolles School), Devon Robins (London, United Kingdom/The Grey Coat Hospital) and Sarah Hamilton Combined for an eighth-place finish clocking a time of 3:59.83.
The Eagles will return to the pool for day two of the competition, with prelims starting at 9:00 a.m. and finals at 4:00 p.m.
The meet will be broadcast on the Florida Swim Network Saturday and Sunday at 4:00 p.m. The broadcast can be seen here: http://FloridaSwimNetwork.com
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s swimming and diving over the weekend, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WSWIM and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where full recaps and results will be available at the end of each day.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, September 28:
Prelims 9:00 a.m., Finals 4:00 p.m.
200 Medley Relay
3 Meter Diving
800 Free Relay
Sunday, September 29:
Prelims 9:00 a.m., Finals 4:00 p.m.
400 Free Relay