FORT MYERS, Fla. – Despite rain that lasted throughout the meet, the FGCU women’s swimming & diving team pushed through it to beat North Texas, 205-95, on Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Aquatics Center.
“It was a nice day for us. The weather didn’t cooperate, but the girls swam tough.” said two-time Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Coach of the Year Neal Studd. “North Texas is a good team. Today was a very nice victory against a very strong team.”
FGCU, who received five votes in the Top 25 poll on Thursday, went one-two in eight of the 16 events and swept the 50-meter breaststroke, 200 breaststroke and 100 freestyle. The pool was set up in long course meters as other teams utilize the facility in winter training.
The Eagles opened the meet with a first and second place finish in the 400 meter medley relay. The team of juniors Vicky Cadge (Long Melford, Suffolk, U.K./Kelly College), Myriam Plante (Sainte-Foy, Quebec/Université Laval), Danielle Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./St. Bonaventure) and freshman Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) clocked in at 4:31.63. Junior captain Teri Lytle (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic) anchored the second relay of sophomore Regina Rodriguez (Mexico City, Mexico/The Bolles School), junior Alessandra Cianci (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and senior Viktoria Hyddmark (Lund, Sweden/Polhemskolah) who finished at 4:36.05.
Freshman Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Community) earned a first-place finish in the 800 free with a time of 9:26.29. Senior captain Taylor Cooke (Homosassa, Fla./Lecanto) followed right behind her with a time of 9:30.40.
Meeder’s classmate Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) also picked up first-place points for the Eagles with a 2:11.26 in the 200 free, while Lytle was right on her tail, touching in at 2:11.88. Porter also picked up another first-place in the 400 free with a time of 4:37.80.
Cadge just missed taking first in the 50 backstroke, coming in four-hundredths of a second behind North Texas’ Rosa Gentile with a time of 31.94. The two-time CCSA Swimmer of the Week also took first in the 100 free with a time of 59.18 followed by Lytle (1:01.67) and freshman Brittney Evans (Hollywood, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) (1:02.14). Cadge paced the 200 IM with a time of 2:23.89, while classmate Plante finished at 2:28.07 for second place points.
Finishing closely behind Cadge in the 50 back, Hyddmark took third with a time of 33.23. Her best finish of the day was a first-place in the 200 back with a time of 2:26.93. Freshman Nicolette Hansen (Salt Lake City, Utah/Skyline) clocked in at 2:30.21 for a second-place finish.
Plante, Rodriguez and Evans swept the 50 breaststroke. Plante took first with a time of 35.70 while Rodriguez (35.90) and Evans (36.84) followed in second and third, respectively. Plante and Rodriguez along with Meeder led another sweep in the 200 breaststroke. Plante once again finished first, touching the wall at 2:47.23, while Meeder (2:49.91) and Rodriguez (2:53.76) finished in the two and three spots.
The duo of Cianci and Butler continue to battle for the top spots in the butterfly event. This time Cianci took first in the 200 with a time of 2:22.82 and second in the 50 with a 30.21. Butler took second in the 200 and third in the 50, clocking in at 2:25.74 and 30.74, respectively.
The Eagles also earned top points from a first-place finish from Tanninen in the 50 free with a time of 27.83 and Cooke’s third-place in the 400 free.
In diving action, senior Karmin McNamara (Tampa, Fla./Gaither) scored a season-best 281.10 in the three-meter competition for first, while classmate Gaby Shaw (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista Community) finished in third with a score of 237.15. McNamara also took third in the one-meter competition with 234.50 points.
After taking a short break, the Eagles begin 2011 with a quad meet against CCSA foes Georgia Southern, Liberty and Radford on January 8 at 11 a.m. at the FGCU Aquatics Center.