FORT MYERS, Fla. – Five different Eagles posted multiple first-place finishes as the FGCU swimming and diving team earned a dominating 143.5-94.5 victory over the University of North Florida Saturday morning at the FGCU Aquatics Complex to open the home portion of its 2013-14 season.
Leading the quintet of first-place finishers was freshman Evita Leter (Paramaribo, Suriname/Doral Academy), who touched first as a member of the 200-yard medley relay team and also finished first in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard breastroke. Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan), the defending CCSA Swimmer of the Year, led the 200-yard relay team and then swam the third leg of the 200-yard free relay for her first-place finishes.
Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College) was also a member of both the 200 medley relay and 200 free relay teams. Individually, long-distance specialist Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala’s Secondary School) won the 1000-yard freestyle and 500-yard free. Additionally, senior Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) claimed the 200-yard IM and 100 free.
In diving action, Taylor Malewicki (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) finished second in the 3-meter with a score of 246.30, just more than a point shy of claiming the top spot. Junior Cayla Collins (Largo, Fla./Osceola) was third with a score of 241.20. Of UNF’s 94.5 points, 28 came from the divers as the Ospreys swept the top-three positions in the 1-meter board and also claimed the top spot in the 3 meter.
The Eagles, who have won five straight CCSA championships, unveiled their 2013 triumph on the Aquatics Complex board prior to the meet. With the victory over the Ospreys, the Eagles continued their dominance of their in-state foe as they have still never lost to UNF and also extended their dual-meet unbeaten streak to an astounding 2,086 days. FGCU is also now 25-1 all-time in CCSA regular-season meets, with its lone loss coming back in 2008.
“We had a chance to mix up events a little bit for us which allowed some kids to be essentially a ‘starter’ and they stepped up for us. We’re a team right now with a lot of depth, which is a good thing, but it’s going to give me some selection headaches in the future,” quipped head coach Neal Studd, a four-time CCSA Coach of the Year.
The Eagles began the meet with a near-clean sweep of the 200-yard medley relay, led by the group of Svensson, Leter, Toussaint and Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) with a time of 1:46.88.
That group finished nearly five seconds ahead of FGCU’s second quartet of Kristen Goodson (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS), Tryshia Centeno (Agus Buenas, Puerto Rico), Heather Coutts (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny HS) and Ellen Vann (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview HS) who touched in 1:51.33. FGCU also had the third-place team (1:52.59), but they were disqualified, allowing UNF to take the third position with a time of 1:53.33.
In the 1000-yard freestyle, sophomore Cabrera touched first with a time of 10:40.56. Nearly five seconds behind her was another FGCU finisher, McKenzie Cassidy (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Bishop Verot), at 10:45.03 for a second-place finish, followed by Kellie Roedig (Huntingdon Valley, Pa./Abington Senior HS) in third place at 10:50.89.
The trend of top-three finishes for the Green and Blue was no different in the third event as FGCU once again took first, second and third place, paced by a time of 1:55.78 in the 200-yard freestyle by Cassie Niles (Helotes, Texas/Sandra Day O’Connor). She just out-touched teammate Samantha Rahael (Trinidad & Tobago/The Bolles School) who was 12 one-hundreths of a second behind Niles (1:55.90) and just more than two seconds clear of third-place finisher Marcella Marinheiro (Davie, Fla./West Broward HS) with a time of 1:57.92.
Leter added her second first-place finish and first overall as an individual in the 50-yard freestyle by touching in 24.88, followed closely by Tanninen (25.08). The Ospreys finally earned their first top-three finish of the morning in the fourth event as Lauren Hall finished in third with a time of 25.24.
In the 200-yard IM, senior Meeder finished first in 2:12.38. UNF took second place, while Victoria Ho (West Palm Beach, Fla./Seminole Ridge HS) finished third with a time of 2:15.65.
The Eagles returned to their sweeping ways in the 100-yard butterfly, with Green and Blue finishing 1-2-3, led by Coutts as she was the only swimmer to touch in under a minute (59.53). Junior Devon Robins (London, UK/The Grey Coat Hospital) finished second with a time of 1:00.11, and Karen Vilorio (Tegucigalpa, Honduras/Elvel School) was third (1:00.30).
Meeder’s second first-place showing of the day came in the 100-yard free as she closed in 54.21, while Tanninen and UNF’s Mariana Paula tied for second as each touched in 55.34. In the 100-yard back, freshman Sandra Wilk (Lexington, Ky./Paul Lawrence Dunbar HS) touched first with a time of 58.07, more than a second-and-a-half ahead of Goodson’s time of 59.63.
Cabrera’s second long-distance top finish came in event 10 as she swam the 500-yard free in 5:12.39, four seconds clear of Cassidy (5:16.89).
Leter claimed the top spot in the 100-yard breaststroke by touching 1:05.22, while Rahael was shortly behind in 1:07.21. In the final event of the day, Goodson, Toussaint, Svensson and Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund) claimed the top spot (1:38.10), with Wilk, Meeder, Ho and Vilorio finishing in second with a time of 1:40.69.
The event was FGCU’s lone home meet of the fall as it won’t return to the Aquatics Complex until January. The Eagles dive into action next at Miami on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Noon. For up-to-date information on the program, be sure to follow @FGCU_WSwim on Twitter.