FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind 12 first-place finishes in the 13-event meet, the FGCU swimming & diving team downed visiting in-state rival FAU, 182-59 on a chilly Friday evening at the FGCU Aquatics Center.
The Eagles celebrated seven graduating senior with a ceremony before the meet. Five of the seniors were part of the inaugural season of the FGCU team in 2007-08.
FGCU finishes the season with an 11-2 dual meet record and will enter the 2011-12 season with a nine-meet winning streak. The Eagles now prepare to defend their back-to-back Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) titles in February.
Senior Karmin McNamara (Tampa, Fla./Gaither) set a school record in the 1-meter diving competition with a score of 285.45 for a first-place finish. She completely demolished the previous record of 258.25 that she set at the 2009 Miami (Ohio) Invitational. McNamara finished in second in 3-meter by seven-hundredths of a point (143.70) to classmate Gaby Shaw (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) who scored a 143.77 in just three dives. Shaw placed second in the 1-meter with a score of 251.40.
It may have been senior night, but a group of freshmen picked up a total of 51 points en route to three first-place finishes, two second places and four third-place finishes. Freshman Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista) started things off with a season-best time of 10:25.28 in the 1,000-yard freestyle and a first-place finish. Classmate McKenzie Cassidy (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Bishop Verot) finished third with a time of 10:38.35. Senior Taylor Cooke (Homosassa, Fla./Lecanto) took second with a time of 10:34.83.
In the next event, the 200 free, the newcomers once again took first and third places. Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) (1:54.11) finished first and classmate Katie Westbrook (Tampa, Fla./Sickles) (1:57.68), returning from an injury, took third. Westbrook also took second behind junior Vicky Cadge (Long Melford, Suffolk, United Kingdom/Kelly College) (52.04) in the 100 free with a time of 54.46. Porter along with Meeder placed two-three in the 500 free as well. Porter touched in at 5:05.82, while Meeder finished with a time of 5:07.71.
In the 100 backstroke, FGCU swept the event with senior Viktoria Hyddmark (Lund. Sweden/Polhemskolah) placing first with a time of 58.86. Freshmen Cheryl Corvo (Shalimar, Fla./Choctawatchee) and Nicolette Hansen (Salt Lake City, Utah/Skyline) (1:01.62) continued the strong showing of the underclassmen and took second and third, respectively. Corvo clocked in with a season-best 59.35.
Freshman Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) then took the top spot in the 50 free touching the wall at 24:56, just ahead of sophomore Dani Beaubrun (Vieux Fort, St. Lucia/The Bolles School) who finished with a season-best time of 24.59. Beaubrun also took first in the 100 breaststroke, touching in at 1:05.50. Classmate Regina Rodriguez (Mexico City, Mexico/The Bolles School) (1:06.64) took second in the same event and junior Myriam Plante (Sainte-Foy, Quebec/Université Laval) (1:06.86) finished right behind in third.
In the 200 IM, Cadge earned another first-place finish with a time of 2:04.29, while Plante took third with a time of 2:06.82. The duo of juniors Alessandra Cianci (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and Danielle Butler (Orangeburg, N.Y./St. Bonaventure) continue to pace the team in the butterfly event. Cianci took first with a time of 57.89 and Butler clocked in at 58.52 for a third-place finish.
To open the meet, the 200 medley relay teams took first and third. Cadge, Beaubrun, Butler and Tanninen finished in the top spot with a time of 1:46.80. The team of Corvo, Plante, Cianci and Brittney Evans (Hollywood, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons) finished just behind second-place FAU with a time of 1:50.91.
In the final event, the 200 free relay, a team of four seniors including Cooke, Hyddmark, Isabela Mills (Petropolis, Brazil/Universidade Amembi Morumbi) and Catrina Silveira (Doral, Fla./Doral Academy) finished in third place with at time of 1:42.95. The team of Tanninen, Shannon Blizzard (Jacksonville, Fla./Stanton College Prep), Porter and Leah Daniel (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Grant Park) (1:38.15) placed first.
FGCU now begins its preparation for the 2011 CCSA Championship beginning on February 17 at the University of Georgia. The Eagles ran away with the title last year by 315 points and return nine All-Conference swimmers and divers.