GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Off to a great start at the Pinch A Penny All Florida Invite, the FGCU swimming and diving team returned to UF’s Stephen C. O’Connell Center aiming to continue building success in day two of the battle for state glory.
After the conclusion of Saturday’s events, it is becoming more apparent how the Sunshine State’s swimming and diving programs matchup. Host Florida continues to hold first place after earning 730 points, FSU sits in second with 534, followed by FGCU with 464. Distantly behind the top three are Miami (279), Florida Southern (255), UNF (208) and Nova Southeastern (96).
“I’m very proud of this team,” head coach Neal Studd said. “We had another great night. We saw some great relays with people really stepping it up. The team is having fun and we’re walking out of here each day very pleased with our performance. It’s tremendous to be around their positive energy.”
Day two started with the 200-yard medley relay where the Eagles started immediately shining. Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College), Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy), Sara Hamilton (Stonehaven, Scotland/Mackie Academy) and Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) teamed up to finish in second place clocking a 1:43.31. Placing fifth were Kristen Goodson (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot/UConn), Hannah Soutar (Edinburgh, Scotland/Broughton HS), Heather Coutts (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny/Houston) and Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) after collectively posting a 1:48.34.
Continuing on to the 400 IM were Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund), Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) and Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School). Schiffer led the trio placing fourth with a time of 4:26.83, followed by Porter in eighth with a 4:38.43 and Vilorio in ninth (4:39.48).
Next came the 100-yard butterfly, where three Eagles flew to earn points. Placing ninth was Svensson (56.61), directly followed by Coutts in 10th (59.29) and freshman Claudia Reyes (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage) in 15th (1:01.18), marking her first time to contribute points to FGCU.
Finishing the 200-yard freestyle in close proximity were Toussaint, Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala's Secondary School) and Devon Robins (London, United Kingdom/The Grey Coat Hospital). Cabrera led the group with a time of 1:54.30 to claim eighth place, followed by Toussaint in ninth with a 1:53.14 and Robins in 10th with a 1:56.85.
Adding more points for the Eagles were Meghan McGuirk (Plaistow, N.H./Peddie School), Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) and Soutar as they represented FGCU in the 100-yard breaststroke final. McGurik placed fifth after posting a 1:07.24, followed by Meeder in ninth with a 1:06.85 and Soutar in 11th with a time of 1:07.54.
Earning three finishes in the top-10, the 100-yard backstroke was another event where the Eagles showed state power-houses they were nothing to dismiss. Placing third, living up to the reputation that precedes her, was Toussaint, recording a 55.15. She was followed by Svensson in fifth (56.54) and Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Lawrence Dunbar HS) in ninth (57.20).
The final event of the evening was the 800-yard freestyle relay, where FGCU’s B relay team stepped in to earn the points after the A relay was disqualified. The team of Victoria Ho (West Palm Beach, Fla./Seminole Ridge HS/University of Florida), Caroline Hamilton (Davidsonville, Md./Archbishop Spalding HS), Meeder and Schiffer pulled out a fourth-place finish, posting a time of 7:44.57.
The Eagles will return to the pool for the final day of competition, Sunday, 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 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
Sunday, September 29:
Prelims 9:00 a.m., Finals 4:00 p.m.
400 Free Relay