FGCU’s Babaev Finishes Ninth in 50 Free at USA Nationals
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 | by Justin Glover

FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU volunteer assistant coach Pavel Babaev (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Lehigh Senior HS/FAU) placed ninth in the 50-meter freestyle at the three-day USA Long Course Nationals in Atlanta, Ga. last weekend.

In the 50-meter free preliminaries, Babaev qualified for the “A” finals with a time of 22.76. In the finals, Babaev swam an even faster time of 22.75, which was good for ninth overall and the sixth fastest American time at the meet. In the 100-meter free, Babaev finished 49th with a time of 51.48.

“I am very proud of Pavel not only being the sixth fastest American at Nationals and getting on NBC TV but the way he sets an example to our girls,” said head coach Neal Studd. “He is 100 percent focused all the time whether it’s the pool or the weight room. He realizes what sometimes younger athletes forget, time is short so you need to enjoy it while you can and make the most of it. We really appreciate what Pavel does for our program.”

Prior to FGCU, Babaev swam collegiately at Florida Atlantic University from 2002-06, where he was coached by current FGCU head coach Neal Studd. In 2005, Babaev participated in the 200 medley relay that posted a school and Sun Belt Conference record. During his career he also broke the school records in the 50 free, 200 free relay, and 400 medley relay.

FGCU will host its first home meet of the season on Jan. 7 against ACC member Georgia Tech, North Dakota and CCSA member Liberty at the FGCU Aquatics Center at 11 a.m.

For more information about the FGCU women’s swimming and diving team visit www.FGCUAthletics.com and follow @FGCUSwimandDive on Twitter for updates.