FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU swimming & diving team hosted their first home meet of the 2009-10 season Saturday, defeating Miami 195-99 and falling to Florida State 187-113. This marks the first-ever win for the FGCU swimming & diving program over the University of Miami. With the split, the Eagles record now stands at 3-3 on the season.
The Eagles got off to a great start, winning the opening event, the 200-yard medley relay in a pool-record time of 1:46.35. In event two, the 1000-yard freestyle, FGCU picked up another victory thanks to Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba) swimming a 10:12.89, winning the event by nearly five seconds. The Eagles’ Myriam Plante (Sainte-Foy, Quebec) posted a solid time of 59.03 in the 100-yard backstroke, finishing third behind two Seminoles, but beating Miami’s Hannah King by .05 seconds. FGCU picked up some major points in the 200-yard butterfly, with Margie Chamberlain (Land O’Lakes, Fla.) winning the event in 2:03.68, and Alessandra Cianca (Plantation, Fla.) placing third with a 2:07.93. In the seventh event, the 50-yard freestyle, FGCU’s Line Lauridsen (Esbjerg, Denmark) took second place with a time of 23.98, just .04 seconds behind Florida State’s Shanda Casella. In the event, all three Eagle swimmers placed ahead of the Hurricanes two swimmers. After seven events the Eagles held an 82-49 advantage over Miami, and trailed FSU 75-56.
In event nine, the 100-yard freestyle, freshman Line Lauridsen had another good swim, finished third with a time of 53.03. The Eagles had a strong showing in the 200-yard backstroke, as all three Eagles finished ahead of Miami’s swimmers, extending FGCU’s lead over the Hurricanes. Leah Daniel won her second event of the day in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in a time of 4:59.12, over four seconds ahead of the field. In the 13th event, the 100-yard butterfly, Margie Chamberlain grabbed second place with a time of 57.13, just behind Florida State’s C.J. Hendry. Event 15, the 400-yard individual medley, saw the Eagles place two swimmers in the top three, with Myriam Plante winning in 4:26.32 and Leah Daniel taking third in 4:30.32. In the day’s final event, the 200-yard freestyle relay, FGCU took second place behind FSU, but finishing just ahead of Miami.
Head coach Neal Studd was pleased with his team’s performance, saying afterwards, “Today was really special for me and the team. It has been a great success to build a team from scratch and have success against such a big name like Miami. There were so many highlights to this meet; I am proud of every team member for their effort and attitude today. Even though Miami left their diving athletes at home, in head-to-head swimming competition, we still dominated the Hurricanes in the combined 14 swimming events.”
The Eagles will be back in the water next Saturday, October 24, when they travel to Miami to take on Florida International in a dual meet. The meet is scheduled to begin at 11 AM. The next home meet for FGCU is Friday, October 30, when Florida Atlantic and the University of Tampa will visit Fort Myers. That meet is scheduled for 6 PM.