Swimming & Diving Ready For Florida Invitational
Thursday, October 06, 2011

FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU women’s swimming & diving team continues its 2011-12 campaign at the All-Florida Invitational, beginning on Friday at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville.

Hosted by the Florida Gators, who finished seventh at the NCAA national championships, the meet showcases the state's best collegiate talent and will provide an early barometer of where the teams match up. Florida State, Florida A&M, FAU and Miami highlight the seven-team field of in-state schools.

FGCU is coming off a solid opening weekend with a 2-1 record after defeating FIU (66-44) and Miami (151-148).

After their performances against Florida State and Miami, FGCU swimming senior Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Grant Park HS) was selected as the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Women’s Swimmer of the Week, while sophomore teammate Alex Valder (Tampa, Fla./Sickles HS) was selected as the CCSA Women’s Diver of the Week, ending on Oct. 5.

Daniel was a part of multiple events for the Eagles last weekend starting with a second-place finish in the 1000-yard free with a time of 10:16.29 coming in ahead of Miami and just missing first-place to Florida State’s Charlotte Broadbent. In her next two events, she placed third in the 200-yard free and fourth in the 500-yard free helping the Eagles take down Miami. In her final event of the meet, she capped off the day with a third-place showing in the 200-yard free in 1:37.20.

Valder was the top finisher in eighth place for FGCU in two events, recording scores of 214.25 in the 1-meter and 212.80 in the 3-meter dive.

The Green and Blue are hoping to make some noise in the 200-yard Medley Relay this weekend after finishing in first-place last weekend against Florida State and Miami. The relay team of freshman Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan), junior Shannon Blizzard (Jacksonville, Fla./Stanton College Prep HS), senior Victoria Cadge (Long Melford, Suffolk, United Kingdom/Kelly College) and sophomore Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson HS) swam a time of 1:44.06.

Svensson started her collegiate swimming debut with a couple of first-place finishes in the 50-yard free against FIU and the 100-yard back against FSU and Miami.

Junior transfer Eva Lehtonen (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams/Florida) swam the 200-yard individual medley against FIU, placing first with a time of 2:07.69. In the meet against FSU and Miami, she placed third in the 1000-yard free and second in the 500-yard free.

Last season, the Eagles finished fourth out of seven teams at the 2010 All-Florida Invite with 567 points.