FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women's swimming and diving team is ranked fourth in the second CSCAA/CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Division I poll of the 2008-09 season. The poll ranks the schools from non-BCS conferences four times each year and emphasizes success in dual meet competition. The Eagles are ranked higher than any other CCSA school, with the closest CCSA opponent being Davidson (13th).
“It’s fantastic that we keep moving up the rankings,” said Head Coach Neal Studd. “Especially as there were so many new teams ranked for the first time, but only Harvard came in above us and they have had a great program for years. We just want to keep the momentum going with only seven weeks left to our conference championship. This has been a special year for us and we hope to finish it off in the best possible way!”
The CollegeSwimming.com rankings are based on each team's best dual meet lineup as judged and submitted by participating teams. Rankings are announced four times throughout the season – November (Pre-Invite), December (Post-Invite), February (Pre-Conference), and March (Post-Conference).
Since 2002, CollegeSwimming.com has produced an objective ranking system for Mid-Major, Division I swimming programs. To be eligible for the rankings, institutions can a) be a member of a participating non-BCS conference or b) provide fewer than one-half of the allowable scholarships under the NCAA rules.
Miami, Harvard, and William & Mary round out the women's top-3. It's the first time FGCU has earned a top-5 spot in the poll. The Eagles were ranked ninth in the first poll of the 2008-09 season and finished the 2007-08 campaign in 18th place, after being ranked as high as 17th earlier in the year.
FGCU started the season with a pair of double-duals, losing to Georgia Tech and beating FAU and falling to both Florida State and Miami, but has since defeated their last five opponents. Most recently, the young Eagles had a very impressive showing at the 15th Annual Miami Invitational by finishing in second place and setting eight conference (CCSA) records. The team also set 19 team records at the Miami Invite (12 Varsity records and seven Freshman records).
The next competition for Coach Studd’s Eagles (6-3) is a double-dual meet with Georgia Southern and Radford, January 10 at the FGCU Aquatics Center. Following the double-dual, FGCU faces three more meets before traveling to Athens, Ga. for the CCSA Championships on February 19-21.