ATLANTA – The FGCU swimming & diving team finished its final day at the Georgia Tech Invite and placed eighth with 244 points on Sunday at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center.
Texas A&M finished in first with 1735.5 points, while Florida State and Florida held down the spots they have sat for the first two days in second and third, respectively in the 13-team field. Clemson finished just ahead of the Eagles with 265, but FGCU placed just ahead of Big Ten foe Michigan State (224 points).
“We competed against some of the best teams in the country and faired pretty well,” said head coach Neal Studd. “I am proud that we beat the big schools and it came down to the last event with Clemson. I am looking forward to a big block of work to prepare us for our chance for a third conference title.”
Junior Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Grant Park) opened the day with a season-best time for 16:59.42 in the 1650-yard freestyle. Daniel’s time tops her previous time of 17:16.01 that was a top the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA). Senior Taylor Cooke (Homosassa, Fla./Lecanto) (17:27.82) and sophomore Kristen Potter (Rockledge, Fla/Rockledge) (17:29.61) both posted season-fastest times in the same event. Freshman McKenzie Cassidy (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Bishop Verot) swam the 1650 for the first time this season and she touched in at 17:33.55, which will sit in fourth on the conference top times.
Senior Viktoria Hyddmark (Lund, Sweden/Polhemskolah) shaved four seconds off her best time in the 200 backstroke with a time of 2:02.76. Freshman Nicolette Hansen (Salt Lake City, Utah/Skyline) missed the finals, but she did post a season-fastest time of 2:07.18 in the event. Classmate Cheryl Corvo (Shalimar, Fla./Choctawatchee) also touched in with a season-best time of 2:11.06, which is two seconds faster than her previous time.
In the 100 free, freshman Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) swam a season-best 52.01 in the preliminaries before posting a final time of 52.19. Classmate Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertsforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) (52.60) and Daniel (53.02) had season-best times as well.
Sophomore Dani Beaubrun (Vieux Fort, St. Lucia/The Bolles School) swam her fastest time in the 200 breast in the preliminaries with a time of 2:20.28 before finishing with a final time of 2:21.95. In the same event, junior Myriam Plante (Sainte-Foy, Quebec/Université Laval) had 2:23.12, which was also her best time of the season.
Junior Danielle Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./St. Bonaventure) touched the wall at 2:04.00 in the 200 fly in the ‘B’ final. Classmate Alessandra Cianci (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) took a full second off her previous time with a season-best 2:03.68, which will top the conference.
Tanninen, Porter, Plante and Daniel closed out the meet in the 400 relay, clocking in at 3:28.05. The time is the best in the conference and five seconds faster than FGCU’s best time this season from the Florida State and Miami tri-meet.
The Blue and Green closes out 2010 with a home meet against North Texas on December 18 at 11 a.m. at the FGCU Aquatics Center.